Microsoft Invites Hackers to Test Vista

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

After suffering embarrassing security exploits over the past several years, Microsoft Corp. is trying a new tactic: inviting some of the world’s best-known computer experts to try to poke holes in Vista, the next generation of its Windows operating system.

Microsoft made a test version of Vista available to about 3,000 security professionals Thursday as it detailed the steps it has taken to fortify the product against attacks that can compromise bank account numbers and other sensitive information.

Source: AP

FCC Supports Broadband over Power Lines

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Federal Communications Commission decided Aug. 3 to reaffirm its stance on the deployment of broadband-over-power-line technology. In a Memorandum Opinion and Order adopted by the FCC today, the commissioners affirmed that BPL providers have the right to provide data access using power transmission lines, provided they don’t interfere with existing radio services.

By adpting this order, the FCC rejected requests by several groups, including the amateur radio community, the aviation industry and broadcasters, to either limit the service or to disallow it completely. However, the FCC did adopt provisions to protect some aeronautical stations and to protect radio astronomy sites from interference.

Source: eWeek

AOL to Slash 5,000 Employees

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

AOL said Thursday it expects to drop as many as 5,000 employees, or a quarter of its global work force, within six months as the company restructures its business to draw more online advertising dollars.

The announcement came a day after the Time Warner Inc. unit said it would no longer charge high-speed Internet customers for e-mail and other services.

An unknown number of European employees will still have jobs but with a different company as AOL looks to shed its Internet access businesses in France, Germany and the United Kingdom. AOL currently has 3,000 access employees in Europe.

But massive layoffs around the world are expected as AOL stops actively marketing its dial-up services in the United States and reduces its need for customer-support centers.

Source: AP

AOL gives non-paying users free digital storage

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Just a day after AOL announced it planned to give away its e-mail and Web services, the company now plans to offer free storage on its servers to lure new users.

The online unit of Time Warner Inc. in September will start offering Internet users who pay nothing up to 5 gigabytes of server space for users to store music, photos or any of their computer files.

Source: Reuters

Exploding Dell Laptop Destroys Truck

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

There’ve been scattered reports of Dell Computer Co. laptops bursting into flames without warning, though there’s been little urgency attached to the reports. But in a potentially catastrophic case documented by independent witnesses, a Dell laptop is the primary suspect in a blaze that ignited several boxes of ammunition, sent two tough outdoorsmen running for their lives and left a vintage Ford truck burned to the ground.

Source: consumeraffairs.com

Hackers Clone E-Passports

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A German computer security consultant has shown that he can clone the electronic passports that the United States and other countries are beginning to distribute this year.

The controversial e-passports contain radio frequency ID, or RFID, chips that the U.S. State Department and others say will help thwart document forgery. But Lukas Grunwald, a security consultant with DN-Systems in Germany and an RFID expert, says the data in the chips is easy to copy.

“The whole passport design is totally brain damaged,” Grunwald says. “From my point of view all of these RFID passports are a huge waste of money. They’re not increasing security at all.”

Grunwald plans to demonstrate the cloning technique Thursday at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas.

Source: Wired

Apple To Connect iPod To More Than 70% Of New Cars

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Apple Computer Inc. on Thursday said it had reach agreements with Ford Motor Co., General Motors and Mazda to make it easier to connect its popular iPod music player to car stereos.

More than 70 percent of 2007 U.S. car models will offer a way to link the iPod with car stereos under the agreements, Apple said.

Source: Reuters

Online child safety card debuts

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A virtual ID card design to protect kids from paedophiles online was launched in four countries yesterday.

Net-ID-me is touted as the first system that allows children to check the age of the person they are talking to online. Card details can be exchanged when youngsters enter chat rooms, social networks, or when they swap IM messages.

Parental applications for the card, which costs £9.99 a year in the UK and $19.99 in the US, need to be verified by a school or approved professional. The system is also available in Canada and Australia.

Source: The Register

New Program Allows Online Book Browsing

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

HarperCollins, which announced last year that it was digitizing its vast catalog, has set up a “Browse Inside” program that will allow readers worldwide to view online excerpts from books by Michael Crichton, Isabel Allende and several other writers.

“We see it as the next step,” HarperCollins president and CEO Jane Friedman told The Associated Press during a recent interview.

Readers wanting to view - but not download - a sample of Crichton’s “Prey” or other selected works can visit the HarperCollins Web site and, eventually, the sites of authors and retailers. Friedman is also hoping to establish links with MySpace and other online social networkers.

Source: AP

Where The Best-Paying High-Tech Jobs Are

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

If you want to find the top-paying jobs in the U.S. tech industry, you may want to look in the obvious places–Montgomery, Ala., Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Fort Smith, Ark., for instance.

Surprised? So were we. But for those looking to make top dollar as programmers, systems engineers and hardware technicians, these seemingly technologically out-of-the-way metros rival better-known high-tech hubs like San Francisco, Boston, New York and Washington D.C., for wages.

Such places often have niche local employers for IT professionals, not to mention much lower costs of living than the industry’s traditional epicenters. A programmer earning $100,000 per year in San Jose, Calif., for example, would only need to earn $61,515 in Montgomery, according to data from ACCRA, a nonprofit that compiles cost-of-living data.

Source: Forbes

Firefox Released

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Only few days after the update, Mozilla.org released a new update for the open source browser, Firefox

This update fixed an issue with playing Windows Media content.

Download Firefox

Plextor preps CD, DVD Eraser

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Storage specialist Plextor has announced an external optical drive designed to delete all the data stored on a recordable or rewriteable DVD or CD - permanently. It does it quickly, too - single layer CD-R/RW and DVD±R/RW media take just three minutes to wipe, the company claimed.

Dubbed the PlexEraser PX-OE100E, the product’s pitched at security conscious corporates who want to ensure that binned optical media don’t contain confidential information that could be retrieved later on. Plextor’s system zaps the organic dye layer, destroying any data the disc may contain and preventing any new information being written to it.

Source: Reg Hardware

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