3/31/2006

Company Touts Low-Cost Facial Recognition

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Security experts have long predicted that personal identification technologies such facial recognition software would someday replace passwords in the common business setting, and one firm is betting that the availability of cheap, effective hardware, along with its software, is making such systems more practical today.

Known as Sensible Vision, the company introduced a new product dubbed FastAccess that promises to deliver facial recognition identification to any Windows PC for $99 per user, plus the cost of a $25 USB camera it sell as part of the package.

While most people might doubt the ability of a low-end USB camera plugged into a PC to work consistently and effectively as a secure means of logging onto a corporate network, early testers of the program say it does work sufficiently well enough for them to recommend it.

Sensible Vision claims that its setup correctly identifies people in less than 2 seconds at least 75 percent of the time.

Source: eWeek

Microsoft Makes Progress in Antitrust Case

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft Corp. said Friday it had made a breakthrough in its antitrust case with the
European Union after an independent monitor outlined what it could do to stave off daily fines of $2.4 million.

EU officials and Microsoft rivals, however, expressed doubts.

“Two years on, Microsoft’s technical documentation remains incomplete, inaccurate and unusable,” a coalition of software companies, the European Committee for Interoperable Systems, said in a statement.

Microsoft lawyer Brad Smith told reporters that he was “very encouraged” by Professor Neil Barrett’s plan to move forward and said it was the most positive step since December, when the company was threatened with the fines.

Source: AP

H-1B visas hit roadblock in Congress

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A plan to boost the number of temporary visas is facing obstacles in the U.S. Congress, despite the plan’s popularity with technology companies and foreign workers.

Supporters of H-1B visas–reserved for highly skilled guest workers–applauded a move Monday by a U.S. Senate committee to nearly double the cap from 65,000 to 115,000 visas next year, and President Bush has endorsed the idea too. But by the end of the week, it became apparent that the House of Representatives may not follow suit.

During Thursday’s hearing before a House panel that oversees immigration topics, the idea of increasing the number of H-1B slots failed to win a commitment from politicians. And no legislation equivalent to the Senate bill has been introduced in the House.

Source: News.com

Fighting fraud by baiting phishers

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

RSA Security’s Cyota division is helping fight phishing attacks by giving the online fraudsters what they want: a lot of usernames, passwords, online-banking credentials and credit card numbers.

Phishing occurs when cybercriminals set up fraudulent copies of a genuine Web site–usually of a financial institution–and try to lure customers of that organization into visiting the site and entering their login credentials and other personal details.

Unfortunately for the phishers, one of the techniques Cyota is using to help protect its banking customers is to pump such fraudulent Web sites with so many fake entries that the genuine details are harder to find.

The fraudster may have obtained 30 genuine credentials out of 300–we are trying to make it less worthwhile and more risky for the fraudster,” Bennett told ZDNet Australia on Thursday.

Source: News.com

Sony goes prime-time with “LocationFree TV”

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sony’s dream of freeing TV from the confines of the living room is looking more like reality with a gadget that allows you to watch local broadcasts on a PC even if you are thousands of miles from home.

Imagine checking out your local news channel during an international flight or enjoying your favorite baseball team live while on a business trip in Dubai.

Sony Corp. is notching up strong sales of a small black box that can do just that, providing that the airplane is Wi-Fi enabled and your hotel in Dubai has a broadband connection.

The book-sized device plugs into your home TV antenna, converts the signal to the MPEG-4 digital standard, encrypts it for security and streams it over the Internet to your PC.

Source: Reuters

IBM tout tool to possibly build atom-size computers

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Scientists at an IBM research center in Silicon Valley have created a magnetism-manipulating tool suited to building molecular computers, the company revealed.

The development was touted as a step toward making computers based on the spin of electrons and atoms.

The new method was called “spin-excitation spectroscopy” and used a specially-designed microscope capable of creating magnetic fields as much as 140,000 times stronger than that of the Earth, scientists said.

Researchers were able to manipulate atoms and measure the effect their spins had on each other, according to IBM.

Source: AFP

US backs Microsoft in anti-trust row with EU

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft voiced hope for a last-ditch compromise in a long-running anti-trust dispute with the EU, as it emerged that US diplomats have weighed in to give provisional support to the software giant.

The upbeat tone came as talks between Microsoft and EU competition regulators resumed in Brussels, likely to be Microsoft’s last chance to avoid daily fines of up to two million euros (2.4 million dollars) a day.

Officials confirmed Friday that his efforts to persuade the EU not to slap fines on Microsoft are also being helped by US diplomats.

Specifically the US mission to the European Union has sent a letter to EU competition commissioner Neelie Kroes, saying it would have “substantial concerns” if Microsoft was being treated unfairly, as it claims.

Source: AFP

Yahoo threatened with court action over jailed Chinese journalist

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Internet firm Yahoo may face legal action for allegedly providing information which allowed a Chinese journalist to be jailed for 10 years for leaking state secrets.

Zhang Yu, representing the family of Shi Tao, said they were considering taking Yahoo Hong Kong Holdings to court either here or in the United States.

“We believe what (Yahoo) did was illegal so we are considering taking Yahoo to court,” Zhang told reporters Friday, adding that Yahoo had refused to discuss the matter with him.

Shi, 37, was sentenced in April last year after posting on the Internet a government order barring Chinese media from marking the 15th anniversary of the brutal Tiananmen Square crackdown on democracy activists.

Yahoo allegedly provided information that proved Shi had emailed the order from his office computer at the Contemporary Business News.

Source: AFP

BLOCKBUSTER Sends Movie Lovers on Easter Egg Hunt

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

BLOCKBUSTER Online is telling movie lovers about DVD titles on which they can find secret treats called Easter Eggs. The online movie retailer is presenting a list that includes some of the most popular movies with the hidden features and footage, as well as a special section on its web site devoted to movies with DVD Easter Eggs.

An Easter Egg is an entertaining hidden feature that can be found on a DVD by using your remote control. Some Easter Eggs are easy to find, while others take a little determination — and a lot of luck — to locate.

For example, on “The Matrix,” see if you can find and follow the white rabbit to reveal behind-the-scenes features. On the “Polar Express” DVD, you might get lucky and access footage of Tom Hanks playing five of the movie’s different characters in a performance-capture suit. Or, on the “Pirates of the Caribbean” DVD, you could track down an interview with Keith Richards, Johnny Depp’s inspiration for his role as Captain Jack Sparrow.

For Easter Egg hunting novices, BLOCKBUSTER Online presents a list of films with some of the best-known, easiest-to-find or most rewarding Easter Eggs, such as Finding Nemo, Flightplan, The Incredibles, The Lord of The Rings Trilogy, Lord of War, The Matrix, Monsters, Inc., Old School, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Polar Express

For ambitious Easter Egg hunters, BLOCKBUSTER Online has a section on its web site devoted to more than 150 popular films that feature the special features and footage.

Google beefs up local advertising with logos

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Internet search leader Google Inc. on Thursday began offering marketers more features for local advertising, allowing them to add logos and business information to their listings on a Google map.

Local advertising on the Internet is expected to be a prime driver of growth in the sector.

The new features allow an advertiser to insert a business logo or picture in a balloon that pops up next to its location on the Google map, as well as provide additional information in several lines of text, such as a phone number of business description.

Source: Reuters

Toshiba Starts Selling High-Def DVD Player

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Toshiba began selling the first players using the next-generation HD DVD video format Friday, beating the rival Blu-ray disc format to market in a high-stakes competition to deliver theater-quality movies to living rooms.

Japanese electronics maker Toshiba Corp. said its HD-XA1, priced at about 110,000 yen ($936) is the world’s first commercially available HD DVD player. The product, which has no recording function, is being promised for the United States in April at about $799.

Source: AP

CEO: JBoss Is Not for Sale (for Now)

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

JBoss CEO Marc Fleury broke his silence about acquisition rumors in a wide-ranging interview with eWEEK regarding the company’s business and technology strategies.

Fleury started out the interview by saying he would not comment on “rumors,” but that he has no plans to sell JBoss in the near future.

Source: eWeek

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