8/10/2006

Microsoft to offer free Vista upgrade coupons

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

When Microsoft announced that the consumer release of Windows Vista would miss the crucial 2006 Christmas shopping season, many PC retailers and OEMs saw visions of sugarplums dancing merrily away from their wallets. It was rumored that Microsoft might help lessen the pain slightly by offering free Vista upgrade coupons for people who buy PCs at the end of the year, and now these rumors have been confirmed, thanks to leaks from certain Taiwanese PC manufacturers.

The coupon offer will begin in October, and is a result of a joint effort between Microsoft and a group of leading PC vendors worldwide. According to the anonymous sources, Microsoft actually reached an agreement with these PC companies back in July, but decided not to reveal their plans so as to protect PC sales in the third quarter.

Source: arstechnica

Vista’s Fortified Kernel Could Trouble Third-Party Apps

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Researchers at Symantec are questioning whether security modifications added to the kernel of Microsoft’s Vista operating system could prevent the anti-virus company, and other third-party software makers, from enjoying the same level of integration they’ve enjoyed with previous Windows operating systems.

As part of a research effort examining the next-generation operating system’s kernel, the software’s very core, Symantec’s analysts have been led to believe that Microsoft’s work to better protect the product may impede innovation by other security applications vendors.

At least one other company, consumer firewall software maker Agnitum, has also complained publicly that Vista won’t allow the same level of kernel-access as earlier iterations of Windows.

Source: eWeek

Is the US finally fixing its patent system?

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Two US Senators introduced a bill on August 3 designed to change some fundamental features of the US patent system and bring the regime into step with the rest of the world.

With the introduction of the new bill, Senators Orrin Hatch (R, Utah) and Patrick Leahy (D, Vermont) have tossed their hats into the patent-reform maelstrom that has consistently swept through the US legislature like an Atlantic hurricane in years past. The bill, entitled the Patent Reform Act of 2006, proposes some broad, fundamental changes to the US patent system, and exists as both a complement and a competitor to a similar bill introduced in the House of Representatives by Texas congressman Lamar Smith (R.)

Source: http://www.theregister.com/2006/08/10/us_patent_reform/

Microsoft Hosts Project to Run PHP on .Net

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Extending its support for scripting and dynamic languages, Microsoft is hosting a project on its CodePlex site to deliver a PHP language compiler for the .Net Framework.

Known as Phalanger, the project reached Version 2.0 Beta 2 on July 30.

The primary goal of the project, released under Microsoft Shared Source Permissive License, is to enable full functionality of existing PHP scripts on .Net without any modification, Microsoft said.

Unlike the original PHP interpreter, Phalanger compiles scripts into MSIL (Microsoft Intermediate Language).

Phalanger offers Web application developers the ability to leverage both the ease-of-use and effectiveness of the PHP language and the power and richness of the .Net platform, the company said.

And the compiler developers can deploy and run existing PHP code on an ASP.Net Web server and develop cross-platform extensions to that code.

Source: eWeek

Major cellphone outage reported in New York

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sprint Nextel Corp. said an outage of its cellphone service in parts of the New York borough of Queens on Thursday was caused by water damage to network equipment due to a burst pipe.

The outage came amid intensified airport security after British police said they had foiled a plot to blow up several aircraft flying between Britain and the United States. Two major New York airports — JFK and LaGuardia — are in Queens.

The service interruption, reported earlier by the New York City police, was caused by damage to equipment in Verizon Communications Inc.’s wired network, Sprint spokesman Mark Elliott said.

Source: Reuters

Samsung Develops 3-Inch VGA LCD Screen for Digital Cameras

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. announced that it has developed the first three-inch LCD panel with VGA (640 x 480 pixels) resolution that directly meets industry interface standards for digital still cameras.

Yun Jin-hyuk, Executive Vice President of Samsung Electronics, said, “Our new LCD panel will make viewing of digital pictures distinctly more impressive on camera screens, personal multi-media players and other products requiring high-image resolution and low-power consumption.”

Source: IT News Online

Apple Issues Two Security Patches for New Mac Pro

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Apple Computer on Aug. 9 issued two security patches for its new Mac Pro, the Intel-based desktop that had just been unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.

The two patches fix two serious code execution vulnerabilities in the Mac Pro.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based computer maker issued the security update for the Mac Pro and the Mac OS X Server v10.4.7.

Source: eWeek

Verizon Offers Gamers Free Servers To Play

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Verizon hopes to make it big with gamers when its new PlayLinc service comes out of beta later this month. PlayLinc was designed by Super Computer International, in which Verizon now owns a stake, and the client allows gamers to chat (using VoIP or AOL instant messaging), browse for game servers, manage teams, and launch games. But the real surprise is that the client also allows gamers to configure and launch their own servers for popular games—free of charge.

Source: arstechnica

Online encyclopedia closes in China Internet crackdown

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A Chinese online encyclopedia has closed down due to government pressure as China continues to crack down on Internet information it sees as dangerous, an international rights group has said.

e-Wiki, a collaborative Internet encyclopedia modelled on the hugely successful
Wikipedia, closed itself down in late July, Reporters Without Borders said in a statement.

e-Wiki decided to close under government pressure after it called Taiwan the “Republic of China” and posted information on James Lung, a Hong Kong activist who is close to the banned Falungong movement, the press watchdog said.

Source: AFP

Skype malware scam targets Turkey

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Spyware authors have crafted a new attack that poses as an invitation to Turkish people to try Skype, the popular IP telephony application. Instead of being able to download the popular VoIP application, punters responding to Turkish-language emails containing the bogus offer will be directed towards a fake site.

This bogus site contains a malicious file, skypekur.exe, posing as Skype software. If executed, the malware application installs multiple password recovery tools designed to harvest passwords from IM applications, email clients, and FTP programs on compromised machines. Passwords, once extracted, are sent to hackers for later abuse.

Source: The Register

IBM agrees to buy FileNet for $1.6 bln

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

IBM the world’s largest information technology company, on Thursday said it agreed to buy FileNet for $1.6 billion, its third software-related purchase announcement in a week.

Source: Yahoo

Social sites a breeding ground for malware

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Social networking sites are behind a surge in viruses, spyware and other “nasty stuff”, according to web security firm ScanSafe’s monthly report.

According to an analysis of more than 5bn web requests in July, ScanSafe found that, on average, up to one in 600 profile pages on social networking sites hosted some form of malware.
Click here to find out more!

The company also reported that the use of social networking sites, often assumed to be popular only among teens, accounted for approximately one per cent of all internet use in the workplace.

Source: The Register

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