AOL Adds Free Insurance Coverage

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Free insurance coverage for identity theft and computer damage is among the premium security offerings AOL is making available to its dwindling base of paying subscribers.

The move, which AOL said it would announce to its members Tuesday, follows last month’s decision to give away AOL.com e-mail accounts, software and other features once reserved for paying subscribers and remove key reasons for millions of customers to keep paid accounts.

The insurance, offered through American International Group Inc., pledges up to $10,000 to help restore users’ identity and credit regardless of how their Social Security number, bank account or other personal information got compromised.

Source: AP

New York Apple store welcomes millionth visitor

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Elizabeth Rodriguez received a prize package including a MacBook, iPod, iPod Hi-Fi and an Apple ProCare membership for being the one millionth visitor to the New York Apple Store Fifth Avenue on Friday.

Source: macworld

Windows Live Search Goes Out Of Beta

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft Corp. today announced the release from beta of Live Search and of Live.com in 47 markets worldwide, and final availability of Live Local Search in the U.K. and the U.S. Microsoft also announced that Live Search will now power the Web search capability on MSN, the company’s media and entertainment portal, attracting more than 465 million unique users worldwide per month.

Japan launches spy satellite

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency successfully put an intelligence-gathering satellite into orbit Monday as it launched a rocket carrying the satellite from Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture.

The H-2A No. 10 rocket is carrying an optical satellite capable of a resolution of 1 meter and able to distinguish objects such as cars on the ground. The optical satellite is part of a pair of satellites — the other, a radar satellite, is scheduled for launch this winter. Japan decided to launch spy satellites after North Korea launched a Taepodong-1 ballistic missile in 1998, part of which flew over the Japanese archipelago before falling into the Pacific Ocean.

Source: Crisscross

Microsoft moves up shipment of AJAX technologies

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft on Monday is unveiling its official Atlas technology branding for AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) programming on ASP.Net, and will make the software available sooner than planned.

The company hopes to ship its Atlas technologies around the end of 2006, as opposed to next year.

Previously, Microsoft used the code name ASP.Net “Atlas” to refer to multiple components of technologies designed to assist Web developers with AJAX-style development, a Microsoft representative said in an e-mail. Now, the server-side Atlas functionality, which integrates with ASP.Net, is called ASP.Net 2.0 AJAX Extensions.

Client-side functionality, which integrates ASP.Net 2.0 AJAX Extensions and other back-end platforms such as PHP (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) or ColdFusion, is called Microsoft AJAX Library. This features the client-side JavaScript library.

The Atlas Control Toolkit, meanwhile, is now called the ASP.Net AJAX Control Toolkit.

Source: Yahoo

MGM to Produce “The Hobbit”

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

According to two sources, MGM and New Line are partnering to produce ‘The Hobbit’ as part of MGM’s new plans to create blockbuster movies again.

From theonering.net: ‘Over the next few years, MGM is planning to release half a dozen films, some in the $150 million to $200 million-plus range. Studio is ready to unveil such high-profile projects as “Terminator 4″; one or two installments of “The Hobbit,” which Sloan hopes will be directed by Peter Jackson; and a sequel to “The Thomas Crown Affair” with Pierce Brosnan.’”

Source: Slashdot

Yahoo Messenger offers free group conference calls

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Yahoo Inc. is offering free group conference calling services from Vapps Inc. to the roughly 80 million users of Yahoo’s instant-message and Web telephone-calling service, the companies said on Monday.

The service, called ConFreeCall, will be available for download through Yahoo Messenger with Voice service, allowing friends or families to hold free conference calls to complement Yahoo’s existing text, voice and photo-sharing services.

Source: Reuters

Prototype 3-Layer DVD, HD-DVD Disc Developed

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Toshiba and Memory-Tech have developed a three-layer optical disc that can be read by both DVD and HD-DVD players.

The disc, which could be on the market early next year, will make it possible for movie companies to package both a standard definition and high-definition version of the same movie on a single disc. That would mean consumers wouldn’t have to repurchase the same movies when or if they make the jump from DVD to HD DVD.

Source: CIO Tech Informer

Bank deals of 5,000 terror suspects tracked

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The bank accounts of more than 5,000 suspected terrorists are being monitored by Britain’s biggest financiers following fresh intelligence from MI5.

This figure is the security services’ highest estimate yet for the number of British-based individuals suspected of involvement in plotting attacks. Senior banking sources have told The Observer that 200 current accounts have recently been frozen as part of the fight against the financing of jihadist terrorism.

Source: Guardian Unlimited Business

McAfee: Celebrities Are A Bigger Spyware Lure Than Sex

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

McAfee research shows that adware and spyware distributors abuse the affiliate marketing programs of legitimate companies. In a paper from McAfee Avert Labs entitled, “Adware and Spyware: Unraveling the Financial Web.” McAfee research highlights the financial incentives fueling the rise of adware and spyware, the prevalence of adware and spyware, and culprits behind the problem.

In addition, adware distributors use front companies and Web sites to reach unsuspecting users and intermediaries, meaning that legitimate sites are finding themselves tied to known spyware distributors. Programs then install themselves on a user’s machine, often as the trade-off for a piece of “free” software, and are used to collect marketing data and distribute targeted advertising.

Key research findings from the paper include:

  • Celebrities are a bigger lure than sex. The most prolific distributors of adware are star/celebrity Web sites — not the commonly believed adult and pornography Web sites, according to McAfee SiteAdvisor(TM).
  • The prevalence of adware and spyware is increasing at an exponential rate. By August 2006, there were approximately 450 adware families with more than 4,000 variants.
  • A recent survey by McAfee SiteAdvisor found that 97% of Internet users could not differentiate safe from unsafe sites, meaning that the majority of users are just one click away from downloading potentially unwanted programs.
  • The adware business model is lucrative. A recent criminal indictment alleged that Jeanson James Ancheta, a convicted bot-herder, received $150 per each 1,000 infected computers.

AOL to stream NBC shows a week before their broadcast

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Time Warner Inc.’s AOL on Monday plans to announce that it will offer two new NBC programs on its Web site a week before their broadcast TV premiere.

The shows, “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” and “Twenty Good Years” are produced by Time Warner-owned Warner Bros. Television for NBC.

Viewers will be able to watch the premiere episodes of “Studio 60″ on Monday on AOL.com. “Twenty Good Years” will be available on October 4. The television premieres follow a week after the AOL debut.

Source: Yahoo

Fantasy site 2nd Life exposes user data

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Second Life, the fast-growing online site where hundreds of thousands of people play out fantasy lives online, has suffered a computer security breach that exposed the real-world personal data of its users.

Linden Lab, the San Francisco-based company behind the Second Life site, said in a letter to its 650,000 users this weekend that its customer database, including names, addresses, passwords and some credit card data, had been compromised.

All users — or residents in Second Life parlance — are being required to request a new password. Some 286,000 residents have used the site in the past 60 days, according to a count on the home page.

The database breach potentially exposed customer data including the unencrypted names and addresses, and the encrypted passwords and encrypted payment information of all Second Life users, Linden Lab said in the message to users. Unencrypted credit card information, which is stored on a separate database, was not compromised, it said.

Source: Reuters

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