Google Removed Froogle Link

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google Inc., the search engine whose clean, minimalist home page was a stark contrast to the link-laden Web portals of the late 1990s, made a tiny tweak to its site last week that may have much bigger repercussions.

On Wednesday, Google removed a text link to its comparison-shopping site, Froogle, and replaced it with one pointing to Google Video, where amateur spoofs uploaded by users mingle with episodes of Dave Chappelle’s show.

While Google explained the switch as a philosophical one - more about helping users find new video content than driving traffic to any particular section - some bloggers and Web watchers saw the change as more strategically significant.

Source: AP

Dell to recall 4.1M laptop batteries

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Dell Inc. said Monday it will recall 4.1 million notebook computer batteries made by Sony Corp . because they can overheat and catch fire.

Round Rock-based Dell negotiated conditions of the recall with the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission, which called it the largest electronics-related recall ever involving the agency.

A Dell spokesman said the Sony batteries were placed in notebooks that were shipped between April 1, 2004, and July 18 of this year.

Source: AP

Java to Support More Languages

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

When Sun Microsystems began looking at what needed to be added to the Java platform, high on the list was support for dynamic languages, according to Graham Hamilton, a Sun vice president and fellow in the Sun platform team.

Sun was interested not only in providing support for so-called dynamic or scripting languages—which enable developers to build applications more quickly than with static languages such as Java—but also in providing better support for popular languages overall, Hamilton said.

The company is looking to make changes to the next major version of the Java SE (Standard Edition) platform after the upcoming release, according to Hamilton. That release is known as Java SE 6 and is code-named Mustang, but the follow-on version to that is Java SE 7, code-named Dolphin. Hamilton discussed some of the features that are expected to appear in Dolphin.

Source: eWeek

Google Sends Legal Threats to Media Organizations

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google, becoming more and more concerned about the growing use of the word google as a verb, has fired off warning letters to numerous media organizations warning them against using its name as a verb. This follows google (with a lowercase g) being added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary in June. According to a Google spokesperson: “We think it’s important to make the distinction between using the word Google to describe using Google to search the internet, and using the word Google to describe searching the internet. It has some serious trademark issues.

Source: Slashdot

MS Sites Rank as Top Web Property Worldwide in June

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

comScore Networks today released its monthly analysis of worldwide consumer activity at top online properties, based on its June World Metrix report, which estimates global online audience size. comScore revealed that 713 million people, age 15+ used the Web around the world from all locations in June. Visitors from the U.S. accounted for 21 percent of all worldwide unique visitors, while 11 percent originated from China and 7 percent originated from Japan.

Microsoft Sites topped the list as the most visited global property in June 2006 with approximately 500 million global visitors surpassing Yahoo which ranked first in May 2006.Yahoo! Sites (481 million visitors) dropped to second place, and Google Sites (454 million visitors) moved to third place pushing Time Warner Network sites which ranked second in May 2006, to fifth place after eBay. Yahoo! Sites led all global properties with 116 billion page views during June, followed by Google (84 billion page views), and Microsoft Sites (75 billion page views).

Hackers Exploit Windows ‘MS06-040′ Security Vulnerability

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

As expected, an attack against Windows PCs developed over the weekend, although it came in the form of one-at-a-time bot pinpricks rather than a massive hammer of a worm, security experts and Microsoft said Sunday.

The bot has been dubbed with several names by security firms, including “Graweg,” “Mocbot,” “WGAReg,” and “Cuebot.” It uses an exploit published last week that leverages a vulnerability disclosed last Tuesday, Aug. 8, to compromise computers and add them to a botnet. The vulnerability in Windows Server service, which was patched by Microsoft in its security bulletin MS06-040, was widely pegged as the most dangerous of the month’s lot. Several security analysts had predicted that an attack against unpatched PCs would soon begin, possibly as early as the weekend.

Source: InformationWeek

Wal-Mart cashier foils cellphone terror plot

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

An eagle-eyed Wal-Mart clerk in Caro, Michigan may have foiled a dastardly terrorist plot simply by alerting police to a suspicious purchase made by three men of Middle-Eastern descent, the Associated Press reports.

Police are holding the men on terror charges because they bought 80 pre-paid cell phones in violation of Wal-Mart policy, which limits to three the number of phones one can buy.

In the van the men were driving, police found an alarming cache of nearly 1,000 cell phones, which “can be used as detonators”, Caro Police chief Benson Page explained. “Packages are being cut open and batteries separated, the packaging and the chargers thrown away, which doesn’t make much sense,” he added.

Source: The Register

RIAA Wants to Depose Dead Defendant’s Children

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

In Michigan, in Warner Bros. v. Scantlebury, after learning that the defendant had passed away, the RIAA made a motion to stay the case for 60 days in order to allow the family time to “grieve”, after which time they want to start taking depositions of the late Mr. Scantlebury’s children.

Source: Slashdot

AOL Acquires Userplane

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

AOL today announced that is has acquired Userplane of Los Angeles, CA, a pioneer in community networking software that develops and markets easy-to-use, Web-based chat and instant messaging tools that can be quickly deployed and seamlessly integrated into a variety of Web services.

The agreement with AOL was signed on July 28th and closed last week. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Userplane - originally founded in 2001 by Michael Jones, Nate Thelen and Javier Hall - has licensed its chat technology to more than 100,000 Web sites and online communities, and has a presence in more than 25 countries. Key customers include MySpace.com, Honda, Date.com, Spark, IGN, Tagged, Red Bull, Marvel Comics, and others. Userplane’s wide network of online communities includes social networking and dating websites, blogs, and niche communities.

Userplane offers its Web-based chat and instant messaging services under three business models. There is a monthly licensing model in which customers pay fees based on usage, a free model in which Userplane represents the resulting advertising inventory, and a hybrid model through which licensed clients can also place Userplane’s advertising inventory on their site and share in the proceeds.

Iranian Censors Clamp Down on Bloggers

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sayeed Habibi considers himself a marked man. The reason: his Internet blog that challenges some of the policies of Iran’s theocracy.

He predicts that someday - perhaps soon - he’ll be taken to prison and his site will be shut down. “And another voice will be silenced,” said Habibi, a 34-year-old postgraduate and an unofficial elder statesman for student-led activist movements. “I fully expect to see the inside of a jail cell.”

Iranian authorities are stepping up arrests and pressure on popular bloggers as part of a wider Internet clampdown launched after hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became president last year, ending years of freewheeling Web access that once made Iran among the most vibrant online locales in the Middle East.

Source: AP

IBM Unveils Linux IM

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

IBM is taking instant messaging to Linux—on both the desktop and server.

The company will use the LinuxWorld Conference & Expo, taking place Aug. 14-17 in San Francisco, to announce that its Lotus Sametime IM platform will support Linux.

“This move will mark the first time that the millions of Linux users worldwide will have the ability to run this real-time collaboration platform on both the desktop and server in a 100 percent Linux environment,” said Scott Handy, IBM’s vice president of worldwide Linux strategy, in Armonk, N.Y.

A Java-based desktop version of the product was previously available, but that has been completely rewritten using the Eclipse RCP (Rich Client Platform) technology, Handy said.

Source: eWeek

Microsoft Releases Beta of New Blog-Authoring Tool

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Windows Live Writer, a first beta of which Microsoft has made available for download, will allow users to post to a variety of blogging platforms, not just Microsoft’s Windows Live Spaces.

Microsoft has released a first public beta of a new blog-authoring tool, Windows Live Writer, and made it available for download starting on August 13.

According to J.J. Allaire, the architect of the tool, Windows Live Writer is the evolution of Onfolio Writer, a tool developed by his former company Onfolio Inc., which Microsoft acquired in March 2006.

Source: microsof-watch

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