One In Two PCs Won’t Run Vista’s 3D Interface

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Roughly half of today’s PCs won’t be able to take advantage of the “Aero Glass” compositor found within Microsoft’s upcoming Vista software, due at the end of this year.

The estimate was one of the conclusions cited in a report released late Thursday by Jon Peddie Research, which used the same year-end data to conclude that Intel’s share in the graphics market is steadily decreasing.

The fault, Peddie reported, was that the low-cost integrated graphics controllers customers have chosen process the 2D windows of Windows XP and Windows 2000 just fine, but lack the bells and whistles necessary to process the Windows Desktop Compositing Engine used in Vista. About 63 percent of the 203 million PCs sold used an integrated graphics controller, JPR reported.

Source: extremetech

Microsoft Anti-Spyware Deleting Norton Anti-Virus

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft’s Anti-Spyware program is causing troubles for people who also use Symantec’s Norton Anti-Virus software; apparently, a recent update to Microsoft’s anti-spyware application flags Norton as a password-stealing program and prompts users to remove it.

According to several different support threads over at Microsoft’s user groups forum, the latest definitions file from Microsoft “(version 5805, 5807) detects Symantec Antivirus files as PWS.Bancos.A (Password Stealer).”

When Microsoft Anti-Spyware users remove the flagged Norton file as prompted, Symantec’s product gets corrupted and no longer protects the user’s machine. The Norton user then has to go through the Windows registry and delete multiple entries (registry editing is always a dicey affair that can quickly hose a system if the user doesn’t know what he or she is doing) so that the program can be completely removed and re-installed.

Microsoft said it is shipping updates that fix this problem.

Source: washingtonpost

Firefox Users Surf Safer

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

According to two University of Washington Professors, Firefox users have a safer browsing experice than users of IE. These researchers sent their crawlers to 45,000 websites and studied the impact on Firefox and IE.” From the article: “Levy and Gribble, along with graduate students Alexander Moshchuk and Tanya Bragin, set up IE in two configurations — one where it behaved as if the user had given permission for all downloads, the other as if the user refused all download permission — to track the number of successful spyware installations. During Levy’s and Gribble’s most recent crawl of October 2005, 1.6 percent of the domains infected the first IE configuration, the one mimicking a nave user blithely clicking ‘Yes;’ about a third as many domains (0.6 percent) did drive-by downloads by planting spyware even when the user rejected the installations.

Source: Slashdot

FBI makes connections in data breach case

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A data security breach that has spurred at least two large banks to cancel thousands of customer debit cards appears to be connected to an older ongoing investigation in Sacramento, the FBI said Friday.

Scores of Bank of America and Washington Mutual customers have received notifications from the banks that their debit cards were cancelled because of a breach at a “third-party” establishment. In interviews with CNET News.com, neither bank would disclose the name of the unidentified company.

However, law enforcement and banking sources, who asked for anonymity, told CNET News.com that the unidentified business was one of the big-box retailers.

The companies refused to name the retailer involved, but at least one bank said that systems belonging to Wal-Mart Stores, the world’s largest retailer, may be to blame.

Cauthen said the FBI believes the case is tied to a security breach first reported in The Sacramento Bee last November. In that case, the Golden 1 Credit Union canceled about 1,500 debit cards after being alerted to possible fraud in the Sacramento area.

Source: News.com

Google to get a handle on handwriting

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google is funding research aimed at making handwritten documents searchable. The Dublin City University project is a rare external collaboration for Google, which in the past has preferred to simply buy in the expertise it needs.

Computer scientists are adapting technology originally developed to recognise objects like cars and people in video. Team leader Professor Alan Smeaton told The Register: “We stumbled upon the idea of using the algorithms for handwriting.â€?

When the system is given an example of a word in someone’s handwriting, it can then search through documents written by that person and find other instances, adapting to variation in style. The approach has already been successfully tested on George Washington’s personal diaries – every appearance of the word “battle” can be quickly accessed, for example.

Google has provided enough funding for the team at Dublin, and its partners at the Universities of Buffalo and Massachusetts to work on the problem for at least a year. It’s hoped the tools the group develop will become a key part of Google’s stated aim of digitising the world’s libraries.

Professor Smeaton said: “This will make historical manuscripts searchable for scholars and others in a way that has never been possible before.

Source: The Register

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