3/20/2006

Researchers Warn Of Coming Tax Scams

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Phishing scams playing off the impending April 15 deadline for filing federal taxes are on the upswing, a security company said Monday, and more schemes are in the works.

San Diego-based Websense, Inc. said that its researchers have monitored a recent rise in the number of phishing attacks via fraudulent e-mails and Web sites that spoof the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Several of the ongoing phishing campaigns link to compromised servers beyond U.S. borders, a finding acknowledged last week by the IRS when it issued yet another warning about bogus sites and messages masquerading as notices from the IRS.

Although Websense noted that the spurious sites can closely resemble the real deal — and often include “IRS/claimrefund/caseid” or “www.irs.gov” in the address of the bogus URL — users can easily avoid the fraudsters by not clicking on links in suspicious e-mail messages, and instead typing “www.irs.gov” directly into their browser’s address bar.

Source: InformationWeek

Gates Vows A New Internet Explorer Every Year

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Software programs and the Web are converging quickly, and Microsoft needs to release Web browsing technology and other products faster to keep up with the changes, chairman Bill Gates said Monday.

Speaking at Microsoft’s MIX06 conference in Las Vegas for Web developers, Gates said Microsoft’s Internet Explorer version 7 Web browser, expected later this year, is long overdue, and the company plans more frequent browser updates in the future. Microsoft released a refreshed version of its “beta 2 preview” of Internet Explorer 7 on Monday. The company also put in place a new license that will let developers using a test version of a Microsoft programming tool for Ajax apps to launch production Web sites with code generated by the software.

While Microsoft was busy assembling a platform of technologies for programming online apps, its browser had lost market share to the open-source Firefox software and Apple Computer’s browser in the years since an IE upgrade. “In a sense, we’re doing a mea culpa and saying we waited too long to do a new browser release,” said Gates. Microsoft plans to release updates to IE more frequently, perhaps as often as every 9 months to a year. “IE7 is not the end of the line,” he said.

Microsoft is also testing an Ajax development tool and a set of code libraries code-named Atlas for building drag-and-drop Web applications.

Source: InformationWeek

Google News dumps partner after prank item appears

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google’s news service has cut ties with a press release aggregator after the partnership led Google News to link to a fake item written by a teenager who said he’d been hired by the search giant.

On March 10, Thomas Vendetta, a sophomore at Pitman High School in New Jersey, posted a fake press release to I-Newswire.com, a Web site that lets people submit press releases for distribution to online sites. The release said Vendetta had been hired by Google to work on fixing a security flaw in Gmail.

Google News picked up the item from I-Newswire that same day, and two days later news aggregator site Digg.com also linked to the item, Vendetta told CNET News.com. All three news sites moved quickly to remove the item from their pages.

And last Tuesday, I-Newswire quickly yanked from its site a release that falsely reported that actor Will Ferrell was killed in a paragliding accident. It was unknown who was responsible for that item, which apparently did not make it to Google News.

Source: News.com

Amazon.com Modifies ‘Abortion’ Queries

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Amazon.com Inc. said Monday it had modified the way its search engine handles queries for the term “abortion” after receiving an e-mail complaint that the results appeared biased.

Until the recent change, a user who visited the Seattle Internet retailer and typed in the word “abortion” received a prompt asking, “Did you mean adoption?” followed by search results for “abortion.”

Spokeswoman Patty Smith said the automated prompt was purely based on technology, and that no human had made the decision to show the question.

“Adoption and abortion are the same except for two keystrokes,” Smith said. “They also, in this case, happen to be somewhat related terms.”

Still, Smith said she and other company officials decided to remove the question after receiving an e-mail complaint and deciding that it raised a valid concern.

People who type in the term “adoption” do not see a prompt asking “Do you mean abortion?”

Smith said that’s because more people did adoption-related searches after typing in abortion, and said there are other words where the prompt works the same way. For example, if you type in the word “plaque” you get a prompt asking, “Did you mean plague?” but not the other way around.

Source: AP

Will Oracle Ditch Licenses?

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

At a recent conference, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison stoked speculation that the company is looking toward becoming a software subscription business. Ellison said at the Feb. 8 Credit Suisse Software Conference that licensing revenue “was an interesting number” but that “by far, our most profitable business is existing subscribers that renew their subscriptions every year.”

Source: eWeek

Sprint sues over cell phone records

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sprint filed its lawsuit against St. Petersburg-based San Marco & Associates last week in a U.S. District Court in Florida. The lawsuit alleges San Marco & Associates tried to obtain the confidential records under false pretenses and then tried to sell the information to data brokers.

“As we dig deeper into the origins of this fraud, we’ve determined that, in some cases, companies with no Internet presence whatsoever are handling the dirty work for these online operations,” Kent Nakamura, Sprint Nextel chief privacy officer, said in a statement.

Source: News.com

Cray unveils supercomputer integration plan

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Cray Inc. said on Monday it plans to develop supercomputers that will integrate a range of processing technologies in a single platform.

Cray said that over the next few years its supercomputers will combine standard microprocessors, vector processing, multithreading and hardware accelerators in one platform that uses the industry-standard Linux operating system.

Cray said its adaptive supercomputing approach means that the systems will be more flexible and won’t need to be tuned specially for individual programs to get the best performance, the new approach will also help to cut costs and save time.

Source: Reuters

Sun Announced Java Web Services Developer Pack 2.0

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sun Microsystems Inc. today announced it has released the Java Web Services Developer Pack 2.0 (Java WSDP), which features advanced web service technologies scheduled for inclusion in next-generation versions of the Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) and Java Platform, Standard Edition (Java SE). In addition, Sun is providing this enhanced web services development for Web Services with the NetBeans 5.0 IDE — bundled with the Sun Java System Application Server — to enable developers to speedily implement, debug and deploy web services.

The Java WSDP 2.0 is available for free download

Sun Announces C/C++ Support for NetBeans IDE

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sun Microsystems Inc. announced the release of a preview version of the NetBeans(TM) C/C++ Development Pack. This plug-in is supported in NetBeans 5.0 and preview versions of NetBeans Enterprise Pack 5.5 across common platforms, including Solaris(TM) 10, Linux, and Microsoft Windows Operating Systems.

The preview version of the NetBeans C/C++ Development Pack allows developers to edit, compile, and build C and C++ applications on multiple operating systems, including Solaris, Linux, and Windows. The preview Pack includes a variety of features to support the C and C++ developer, including editor syntax highlighting, easier code browsing via hyperlinks between invocation and declaration, a makefile wizard, and templates for building C/C++ libraries and applications. The Pack also extends the Netbeans project system to support C and C++ projects and support for multiple project configurations.

Microsoft working on mobile game device

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft Corp. is working on a handheld gaming device that will also play music and movies in a challenge to rivals such as Sony and Apple, the San Jose Mercury News said on Monday.

The software giant’s new device will probably not hit the market for at least a year and possibly two, the newspaper said, citing unidentified sources.

It will compete against popular gadgets like Sony Corp.’s PlayStation Portable, which can play games, music and movies, and Apple Computer Inc.’s iPod music players, the report said.

The project is being headed by vice president J Allard and other veterans of the team responsible for Microsoft’s Xbox video game console, it said.

Source: Reuters

Borland Buys Gauntlet Systems for Quality Control

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Borland Software on March 20 announced its acquisition of Gauntlet Systems, a provider of emerging technology designed to automate quality assurance in the development process.

Cupertino, Calif.-based Borland is expected to integrate San Francisco-based Gauntlet’s technology into Borland’s next-generation ALM (application lifecycle management) platform and Lifecycle Quality Management solution. The combined solutions are designed to introduce and enforce quality and security standards earlier in the development life cycle without slowing down the process or hindering developer productivity.

Source: eWeek

Sirius Satellite tops 4 million subscribers

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. on Monday said it recently surpassed 4 million subscribers to its nationwide pay radio service.

Sirius, No. 2 in the nascent market to rival XM Satellite Radio Inc. , had previously said it ended 2005 with 3.3 million subscribers, an increase of 2.2 million, and expects to end 2006 with more than 6 million subscribers.

Source: Reuters

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