3/14/2006

Microsoft Shuts Windows on New PC Firmware

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft has pushed back its plans to support a new type of PC firmware, called UEFI, or United Extensible Firmware Interface, which has begun working its way into the PC market.

Microsoft said in a presentation during last week’s Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco that the software giant would not roll out UEFI support—adopting the new firmware, which was created for Itanium servers but then repositioned to take over for PC BIOS or basic input output system software—in its Longhorn server, due in 2007.

However, the company will not offer support for UEFI in the first version of Windows Vista, its new PC OS slated for launch in November, as it had planned originally.

UEFI support will be added to “subsequent 64-bit client releases,” instead, according to an IDF presentation by Andrew Ritz, development manager at the company, in Redmond, Wash.

The new stance reverses a potion that both Vista and Longhorn Server would support both EFI and BIOS.

Source: eWeek

Man Charged With Hacking Into GM Database

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A former security guard at General Motors Corp.’s Warren technical center is accused of taking employee
Social Security numbers and using them to hack into the company’s employee vehicle database.

James S. Green II, 35, of Washington Township, found out what company cars the employees drove and sent them bogus e-mails asking them their thoughts on the vehicles, Macomb County sheriff’s Capt. Anthony Wickersham said Tuesday.

Green was arraigned Monday on eight counts of obtaining, possessing or transferring personal identity information, one count of using a computer to commit a crime and one count of stalking that was unrelated to the GM cases. He was released after posting 10 percent of a $50,000 bond.

Source: AP

Microsoft: EU Refused Open Hearing Request

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft Corp. said Tuesday that the European Commission has refused its request for an open antitrust hearing later this month — hearings the EU said are never open to the public.

The hearing March 30-31 gives the company the chance to respond to the EU December charges that it was not doing enough to comply with a 2004 ruling that ordered it to share information that would help rivals develop software to work with Windows servers.

“We believe this hearing should be conducted in an open forum,” Microsoft said in a statement. “We understand these sessions are normally private in order to protect the party under investigation; however, we waive our right to a confidential hearing to ensure a full and fair examination of the issues in this case.”

EU spokesman Jonathan Todd said the hearings exist to give due process to companies under antitrust investigation and allow regulators make a “considered” decision.

“Hearings in antitrust cases are never open to the public,” he said. “They are not there to allow parties to play to the gallery.”

Microsoft’s request for an open hearing was turned down several weeks ago, he said.

Source: AP

Report: Sony PS3 Delayed Until November

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Today, Sony officially conceded defeat to the recent flurry of rumors and speculation, with Japanese newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun reporting the company has confirmed the machine has been pushed back until November.

There aren’t many details out right now, but Sony says issues over the finalization of copy protection technology related to their Blu-ray disc drive is the cause of the delay.

Source: extremetech

Report: 60 Percent of WiFi Networks Are Vulnerable

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Panda Software has published the “Security in Wireless Networks” report(.PDF) by PandaLabs, which highlights the security deficiencies in WEP, the most widely used protocol in Wi-Fi environments, and underlines the relative reliability of other current systems, such as WPA or WPA-PSK. According to the survey, almost 60 percent of networks had no security system at all.

The study describes primary security protocols, such as WEP and WPA, and their main weaknesses, and includes an overview of wireless networks. The report looks at security in captive portals used to regulate connections in open networks, such as those in airports, hotels and various public locations.

“This survey highlights security levels in wireless networks, examining security methods and how their design limitations, or even incorrect configurations, can make them vulnerable,” explains Luis Corrons, director of PandaLabs. “This will enable users to avoid the dangers that lie in waiting if the correct measures are not taken while deploying a WiFi network.”
(more…)

Microsoft fixes Office, Windows flaws

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

As part of its monthly patch cycle, Microsoft on Tuesday released fixes for six security holes in Office and one flaw in Windows.

Five of the six vulnerabilities in Office are specific to Excel. The most serious flaws could allow an attacker to gain control over a vulnerable PC running the spreadsheet program, Microsoft said in Security Bulletin MS06-012. In all cases, the miscreant would have to persuade the user to open a malformed Excel file, the software maker said.

The sixth problem affects a range of Office applications, including some versions of Word, Outlook and PowerPoint. Microsoft deems the Office security issues “critical.” “We recommend that customers apply the update immediately,” the company said in its bulletin.

Microsoft’s second update deals with an operating system issue that affects Windows XP with Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2003. The vulnerability could enable someone who already has limited user privileges on a vulnerable computer to gain so-called “administrative,” or full, user rights, Microsoft said in Security Bulletin MS06-011.

Source: News.com

Judge to Order Google to Give Up Some Data

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Update: A federal judge said Tuesday he intends to require Google Inc. to turn over some information to the Department of Justice in its quest to revive a law making it harder for children to see online pornography.

U.S. District Judge James Ware did not immediately say whether the data will include words that users entered into the Internet’s leading search engine.

The legal showdown over how much of the Web’s vast databases should be shared with the government has pitted the Bush administration against the Mountain View-based company, which resisted a subpoena to turn over any information because of user privacy and trade secret concerns.

The judge also challenged government attorneys over whether a Justice Department subpoena for Google Inc.’s search data would be a burden on the Internet search leader.

Google’s attorney said the government was overreaching, but added that the government request had been scaled back.

Shares of Google rose more than $7, or 2 percent, to about $344 after the judge spoke in the closely watched case.

A U.S. federal judge said on Tuesday he intends to give the government some of what it wants after it scaled back the number of Google Inc. customers it wants information about, in a case seen as a major test of Internet privacy.

Shares of Google rose more than $12, or 3.6 percent, to go above $349 as a door appeared to open for a compromise between the Web search company and the Justice Department.

In a surprise, the government on Tuesday reduced the number of Google searches it wanted data on to just 50,000 Web addresses and roughly 5,000 search terms from the millions or potentially billions of addresses it had initially sought.

“It is my intent to grant some relief to the government,” said Judge James Ware of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Amazon Launches Storage Service

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Looking to wring some cash flow from its massive investment in computing infrastructure, Amazon.com Inc. is trying to sell software developers an online storage service, dubbed Amazon S3.

“The motivation is to enable developers to worry about building innovative applications with their data, and not to worry about where to store it,” says Adam Selipsky, VP of product management and developer relations at Amazon Web Services, an Amazon division.

Amazon Web Services already has about 150,000 registered developers, and Selipsky says some of them asked for help with storage, among other things. As it turns out, Amazon, like Google and Yahoo, has a fast, reliable, scalable computing infrastructure based on commodity hardware that it can make available quite affordably. AWS is charging $0.15 per gigabyte of storage per month and $0.20 per gigabyte of data transferred. There’s no minimum fee. Developers pay only for what they use —rather than having to purchase storage and bandwidth in advance with additional fees for exceeding the prepaid capacity.

Source: Information Week

OLED Goes To Printers

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Seiko Epson is bringing emerging OLED technology to one of the more staid pieces of office equipment, the printer.

The Japanese company has created a print head that uses organic light-emitting diodes as a light source. To date, OLED elements have appeared primarily in displays, and rather small ones at that.

Currently, printers and copiers use either lasers or standard LEDs as light sources. Epson worked with Sumitomo Chemical to develop a brighter OLED that can be used in printing, and the company said that prototypes have produced printouts with image quality comparable to or better than that produced by conventional laser printers.

An OLED print head would have two advantages. It can produce superior images by more precisely controlling a beam of light, and the print head can be very small and thin. Epson hopes to use the OLED technology to develop smaller color printers that have higher resolution and faster printing speeds.

Source: News.com

Apple Offering Full Length Movie on iTunes

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Now that Apple is offering Music Videos, Short Films and TV shows for download on their iTunes Music Store, the transition to selling full length movies is not a technical issue, but more of a marketing / licensing issue.

It appears Apple is now offering the first full-length movie for sale on the iTunes Music Store.

High School Musical is a 1 hour 39 minute Disney Channel original TV movie that is available on iTunes. The movie is 487MB and costs $1.99 - the same as all other videos on the iTunes Music Store.

This movie, however, does not appear to be linked from the main iTunes Store.

Apple has been rumored to be working on a distribution deal with the major movie studios, and is expected to launch a full-movie service alongside a Video iPod in the coming weeks.

Source: macrumors.com

Sony opens up PS3 details sought

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sony Corp. said on Tuesday it will allow the media and analysts to attend an annual meeting for third-party software developers of its PlayStation video game, prompting questions on whether it will give details on the launch of its next-generation console.

The meeting, in Tokyo on Wednesday, had been intended only for software licensees and was closed to analysts and reporters.

A Sony spokeswoman declined to give details of the meeting, to be attended by Sony Computer Entertainment President Ken Kutaragi, but analysts hope it will disclose the launch timing and price for the much-anticipated Playstation 3 (PS3) console.

Source: Reuters

@Last Software acquired by Google Inc.

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google continue with its purchases of promising startups and the latest asset is @Last Software

SketchUp is a deceptively simple, powerful tool for creating, viewing, and modifying 3D ideas quickly and easily. SketchUp was developed to combine the elegance and spontaneity of pencil sketching with the speed and flexibility of today’s digital media.

Developed for the conceptual stages of design, this powerful yet easy-to-learn software allows for quick and easy 3D form creation, the result is an interface that supports a dynamic, creative exploration of 3D form, material and light.

SketchUp combines a compact yet robust tool-set with an intelligent guidance system that streamlines the 3D drawing process.

Google purchased @Last Software probably because their Google Earth plugin, which lets you use Google Earth to view 3D models in their real-world context. You’re no longer limited to just viewing the world through satellite imagery; now you can build on the tapestry provided by Google Earth.

Powered by WordPress