8/5/2006

Exploding Powerbooks!

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

ver wondered just why Apple issued those Powerbook battery recalls? Giant explosions, as reader Kevin submitted, via his “sister’s friend:”

Just a warning to everyone: we woke up this morning at 6am because the apartment was filled with smoke and our laptop was on fire. It wasn’t plugged in, and it had been put to ’sleep’ over night. It’s only a year old, so the lesson is: DON’T LEAVE YOUR LAPTOP ON UNATTENDED!

Source: Wired

MS Watches as Vista Gets ‘0wn3d’ by Rootkit

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Ben Fathi slipped into the darkened, standing-room-only conference room and took a seat on the carpeted floor.

On the Black Hat stage, malware researcher Joanna Rutkowska, of COSEINC, was discussing a new technique that could plant an offensive rootkit in Windows Vista, Microsoft’s “most secure ever” operating system.

As corporate vice president for Microsoft’s STU (Security Technology Unit), it is Fathi’s responsibility to deliver on Vista’s security promise, and Rutkowska’s claim—complete with live demo—that a key anti-rootkit feature can be easily defeated could be a public relations nightmare.

But Fathi was unperturbed. Almost unnoticed in the crowd, he paid close attention to Rutkowska’s slides and didn’t even flinch when the room erupted in applause as the demo succeeded in loading unsigned code into Vista Beta 2 kernel (x64), without requiring a reboot.

Source: eWeek

Advertisers, eBay to test ad sales idea

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Several major advertisers are teaming up with online auctioneer eBay Inc. to test an idea for selling television advertising in an electronic marketplace, the group announced Friday.

A group of marketers and advertising agencies wants to try what would be a vastly different way of selling TV ads, which are usually negotiated in closed-door deals between networks and advertisers.

The process has long been criticized as cumbersome and opaque, since the exact prices paid by different advertisers often isn’t known, meaning that some will wind up paying more than others.

Source: AP

Google quashes talk of expansion into music sales

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Don’t look for Google to get into digital music sales anytime soon.

The Internet search giant used a keynote slot at the annual NARM (National Association of Recording Merchandisers) conference to quash rumors of a so-called “Gtunes” store — much to the delight of retailers attending the confab.

“We are not going to be selling music,” Chris Sacca, head of business development for Google, said in an August 3 address to music merchants and distributors during the August 2-5 event in Kissimmee, Fla.

Talk of a Google digital music solution has been swirling for more than a year. A Bear Stearns analyst predicted in January that a Google rival to Apple’s iTunes Music Store could come in as little as six months. And speculation intensified as the company branched into selling music videos from Sony BMG via Google Video, and offering a new dedicated music search function.

But in the wake of a cool reception to Google video sales, and in the face of a challenging environment for digital rights management and device compatibility, the company appears to be putting the brakes on expectations for a retail play in music and other areas of digital entertainment.

Source: Reuters

Cyber-Thieves Steal $700K Via ATM Hacking

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Cyber-thieves who hacked into the ATM information of at least 800 retail customers in California and Oregon have stolen as much as $700,000 from personal accounts during the last two months, according to police reports.

People who used ATM cards to purchase items at Dollar Tree, a national retail toy store chain, in Modesto and Carmichael, Calif., and Ashland, Ore., have turned in reports of unauthorized withdrawals in the computer-based scam.

Federal and local investigators would not discuss with eWEEK how the thieves stole the information. How many shoppers have been victimized is also an open question.

Source: eWeek

Record labels sue LimeWire

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Some of the world’s biggest record labels sued the makers of the file-sharing program LimeWire on Friday, saying the software allows users to download music without paying for it.

The complaint, filed in Manhattan federal court, is the latest in a string of lawsuits the music industry has filed in an attempt to curb Internet piracy. That effort was bolstered last year when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that content companies can take legal action against technology firms that encourage copyright infringement.

The suit seeks $150,000 in damages for every song “willfully infringed” by LimeWire. It also names LimeWire parent Lime Group LLC as well as chief executive Mark Gorton and chief operating officer Greg Bildson as defendants.

Source: Reuters

Tech Worker Surveys Show Happy Days Are Here Again

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Salaries are rising, jobs are secure, personal finances are solid, and skills in Web services, ERP, .Net, and Java are as hot as the weather outside.

Tech professionals are more confident about their jobs right now than workers in other segments, according to two new reports.

Technology workers were more optimistic in July than they’ve been at any other time this year, according to Hudson, a professional staffing and outsourcing services firm which conducts monthly phone surveys of 9,000 workers in several industries, including more than 400 IT and telecom workers.

Compared to a base score of 100, job optimism among techies climbed 4.3 points to 112.5 in July. Tech pros were also more upbeat in July than the same month a year ago, which saw a confidence rating of 109.9.

Source: InformationWeek

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