3/6/2006

Microsoft Opens AdCenter Briefly For U.S. Advertisers

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft Corp. on Monday invited advertisers to enroll in the U.S. pilot of AdCenter, an automated system for advertising on MSN Search.

The Redmond, Wash., company offered a three-hour window starting at 9 a.m. Eastern time for advertisers to join the beta program launched last year in the United States following testing in France and Singapore. Microsoft in the U.S. sign up charged a $5 one-time fee.

AdCenter, expected to launch this summer, is Microsoft’s answer to Google’s AdWords, which is the platform for the search engine’s leading, multi-billion dollar advertising business. AdCenter is a self-service system that will eventually cover all forms of advertising offered on Microsoft’s MSN portal, including branded displays, paid search, email marketing and other services. Microsoft plans to eventually allow MSN advertisers to go beyond a browser and PC to mobile devices and Internet-based television, called IPTV.

Source: Information Week

Microsoft Passport Morphs into Windows Live ID

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Microsoft Passport universal-login service is undergoing a major upgrade under the Windows Live umbrella.

The plan is to rebrand the Passport Network as Windows Live ID to serve as the authentication system for Windows Live, Office Live, Xbox Live, MSN and other Microsoft online services.

According to a blog entry by Trevin Chow, program manager in Microsoft’s Windows Live Identity Services team, current implementations of Passport will be compatible with the new Windows Live ID.

Now, with the InfoCard online ID management system coming down the pike, Microsoft is making another bet that the new Windows Live ID service could still find takers on the Web.

eWEEK.com Special Report: Identity Management

The InfoCard initiative was originally seen as the replacement for Passport, but Chow made it clear that InfoCard will simply be another credential, or proof of identity, within Passport.

“In other words, InfoCard will not replace Passport, but rather InfoCard will supplement Passport…You will be able to link an InfoCard to your Passport and use it to access Microsoft, MSN and Windows Live services,” he added.

Source: eWeek

CeBIT Show to Unveil New Range of Products

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The annual CeBIT high-tech fair is set to show off a new range of advanced mobile phones, ultra-light laptops, powerful yet compact digital cameras and - maybe - Microsoft’s latest secret project.

Established names such as Intel and Samsung will vie for product buzz with newcomers seeking entry into the minds and wallets of consumers at the fair beginning Thursday at the sprawling exhibition center in Hanover.

The show focuses on how companies and countries can expand their business and promote investment, and there also is a growing emphasis on new gadgets for consumers.

“It is the biggest show in Europe, especially for those of us who have operations in Central and Eastern Europe,” said Jeremy Roche, chairman of the European Software Association. “It puts us all in a room together and it’s a time where we can share views.”

While CeBIT remains an industry event at its core, it has branched out in recent years to focus on consumer products from high-powered digital cameras and gaming to the latest in wearable fashion with built-in speakers for portable MP3 players.

The most widely anticipated event is likely to come on opening day, when Microsoft Corp. may unveil its hyped Project Origami. It’s expected to be the first version of paperback book-sized computers that will run Microsoft’s regular Windows XP operating system.

Source: AP

Europe’s most powerful computer unveiled in Germany

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The most powerful computer in Europe, 15,000 times faster than the average home PC, was unveiled at a German research center.

The version of the IBM-built Blue Gene machine at the Juelich Research Center has managed processing speeds of 46 teraflops, equivalent to 46 trillion operations a second.

The supercomputer will allow physicians, chemists, biologists and medical researchers to make highly complex calculations.

IBM says possible applications are forecasting the weather or predicting the movements of stock markets.

Source: AFP

AOL Opens AIM Code to Developers

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

After years of jealously guarding access to its AOL Instant Messenger network, America Online is openly flirting with third-party developers looking to connect to its AIM service.

The Dulles, Va., company has launched Open AIM, a free developer kit that allows the creation of plug-ins, mashups and third-party applications that connect to AOL’s 63 million AIM users.

The Open AIM program gives smaller companies, Web communities and developers access to the code base of AIM Triton, AOL’s next-generation IM client, and the ability to create their own versions of the AIM service.

“What this means is that literally anyone can build a plug-in for AIM, an AIM client or a mashup to sell to consumers. They can even put advertising around what they create,” said Jamie Odell, director of product management for AIM.

Mashups, which are popular in the Web 2.0 realm, are Web sites or Web applications that combine content from several sources into a seamlessly integrated experience. Several big-name companies, including Amazon.com, eBay, Google, Yahoo and Skype, have expanded their footprint by experimenting with mashups and giving developers free access to their databases.

Source: eWeek

Mac OS X hacked under 30 minutes

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Gaining root access to a Mac is “easy pickings,” according to an individual who won an OS X hacking challenge last month by gaining root control of a machine using an unpublished security vulnerability.

On February 22, a Sweden-based Mac enthusiast set his Mac Mini as a server and invited hackers to break through the computer’s security and gain root control, which would allow the attacker to take charge of the computer and delete files and folders or install applications.

Within hours of going live, the “rm-my-mac” competition was over. The challenger posted this message on his Web site: “This sucks. Six hours later this poor little Mac was owned and this page got defaced”.

The hacker that won the challenge, who asked ZDNet Australia to identify him only as “gwerdna”, said he gained root control of the Mac in less than 30 minutes.

“It probably took about 20 or 30 minutes to get root on the box. Initially I tried looking around the box for certain mis-configurations and other obvious things but then I decided to use some unpublished exploits — of which there are a lot for Mac OS X,” gwerdna told ZDNet Australia .

According to gwerdna, the hacked Mac could have been better protected, but it would not have stopped him because he exploited a vulnerability that has not yet been made public or patched by Apple.

Source: ZDNet

Wal-Mart forms photo deal with Snapfish, Fujifilm

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said on Monday it has formed a relationship with Hewlett-Packard Co.’s Snapfish online photo service and is continuing its pact with Fujifilm.

Snapfish will provide online photo sharing and storing for Wal-Mart customers, while Fujifilm will continue to provide the services that link Internet ordering to in-store fulfillment throughout the Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club photo network.

The updated online service is set to launch in fall.

Source: Reuters

LG Blu-ray Disc player to support HD DVD too?

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

LG has apparently abandoned plans to ship a Blu-ray DIsc player this Spring, and appears instead to be preparing a dual-mode system that incorporates HD DVD support too. So, at any rate, claims a memo allegedly sent by the company’s US sales chief to staff last week.

The memo, cited by consumer electronics industry-watching website CE Pro, says the BD199 Blu-ray Disc player will not ship when originally intended because of “uncertainty in this early stage of the market for pre-recorded high-definition optical discs”.

LG - which signed an optical disc drive pact with HD DVD leader Toshiba in February - now seems to believe a dual-format player would be a better product to ship than one supporting just one of the two rival next-generation formats.

he LG memo says the company’s dual-format player is planned for late Summer or early Autumn.

Source: The Register

Man Faces IRC Trojan Charges

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A Washington state man has been indicted and arrested on a charge of releasing computer viruses that harmed a computer system in Missouri.

Richard Honour, 30, was arrested Tuesday in Seattle after being indicted Feb. 23 by a federal grand jury in St. Louis on a felony count of transmitting Internet viruses, U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway said.

The indictment said Honour developed and caused the release of computer programs that infected systems associated with an Internet chat room, called DarkMyst, that was developed in Missouri in 1998.

Honour faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

Source: The Seattle Post

Intel US retail desktop market share plummets

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

AMD’s share of the US retail desktop PC market jumped to a massive 81.5 per cent during the first two months of the year, pushing Intel’s share of the market to just 18.5 per cent, researcher NPD Techworld has revealed. Intel’s share of the US retail notebook fell to 63 per cent in the same period.

According to NPD, the US retail market accounts for nine per cent of the global PC business. Intel’s slide comes despite the launch this year of its Viiv media centre PC platform and 65nm dual-core desktop processors. In the notebook arena, Intel launched its Centrino Duo platform backed by its first dual-core notebook CPU, the Core Duo chip.

Source: The Register

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