9/22/2006

Belgium Court Rejects Google Appeal

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google Inc. lost an appeal Friday of a Belgian court’s requirement that the Internet search company publish on its home page the ruling in a recent case it lost.

Google spokesman D.J. Collins said the company would appeal again at a Nov. 24 hearing when the court takes up a broader challenge, saying the requirement was “disproportionate and unnecessary.” Google faces daily fines of about $640,000 for refusing to post the Sept. 5 ruling on its Belgian home pages, Google.be and news.google.be.

Source: AP

Zero-Day Response Team Launches with Emergency IE Patch

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A high-profile group of computer security professionals scattered around the globe has created a third-party patch for the critical VML vulnerability as part of a broader effort to provide an emergency response system for zero-day malware attacks.

The group, known as ZERT (Zero Day Emergency Response Team), was formed in the aftermath of the WMF (Windows Metafile) attacks of December 2005 and is now emerging from stealth mode with an unofficial patch that offers temporary respite from a spate of drive-by malware downloads aimed at users of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser.

The patch, which was created and tested by a roster of reverse engineering gurus and virus research experts, is available from the ZERT Web site for Windows 2000 SP4, Windows XP (SP1 and SP2), Windows Server 2003 (SP1 and R2 inclusive).

“Something has to be done about Microsoft’s patching cycle. In some ways, it works. But, in other ways, it fails us,” says Joe Stewart, a senior security researcher with SecureWorks, in Atlanta.

“It is clear that we are dealing with an underground group of people who are writing exploits for profits. They are waiting for Patch Tuesday to pass, then it becomes Exploit Wednesday. We’re seeing these zero-days in the wild, timed precisely to guarantee at least an entire month to spread,” Stewart said in an interview with eWEEK.

Source: eWeek

All Vista versions to ship on single disc

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft has confirmed that all versions of Vista will be shipped on a single DVD, in a feature called Windows Anytime Upgrade.

The idea, said a company representative, is to let customers more easily and directly upgrade to a higher edition of Windows Vista from within their current edition. Vista is scheduled to reach consumers in January.

Source: News.com

Official Sues Students Over MySpace Page

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A high school assistant principal is suing two students and their parents, alleging the teens set up a Web page on MySpace.com in her name and posted obscene comments and pictures.

Anna Draker, an assistant principal at Clark High School, is claiming defamation, libel, negligence and negligent supervision over the page on the popular free-access Web site.

Draker claims two 16-year-olds, a junior and a sophomore, created the page using her name and picture and wrote it as through Draker herself had posted the information, according to Draker’s attorney, Murphy Klasing.

Draker found out in April that someone had created a page on MySpace. It had been up about a month before she discovered it.

The site falsely identified Draker as a lesbian. Klasing said Draker, who is married and has small children, was “devastated.”

MySpace.com removed the page when Draker told them it wasn’t hers.

Source: AP

Free Repairs for XBOX 360s Manufactured Prior to 1/1/06

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft to offer free repairs for XBOX 360s manufactured before January 1; checks to be mailed to customers who have already paid

Well here’s a bit of good news for XBOX 360 customers who’ve seen their console go up in smoke within the past year.

For customers whose XBOX 360 console was manufactured before 01/01/2006, you are now eligible to receive free repairs should your console need attention. Customers who have already paid for repairs will receive checks in the mail within 5-8 weeks to cover their costs.

Source: DailyTech

Samsung Exec to Plead Guilty to U.S. Price-Fixing

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

An executive with the U.S. unit of South Korea’s Samsung Electronics agreed to plead guilty and serve prison time for taking part in price-fixing in the computer memory chip business, the U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday.

Samsung marketing executive Thomas Quinn is the fourth Samsung manager to plead guilty in the U.S. government’s memory chip probe. He will serve eight months in prison and pay a $250,000 fine under the plea deal, the department said.

If Quinn had been convicted at trial, he could have faced up to three years in prison and a larger fine.

The U.S. government said the conspiracy drove up the price of chips used in personal computers, servers, cell phones, cameras and game consoles.

Quinn was part of the price-fixing conspiracy in his capacity as vice president of marketing for memory products at Samsung Semiconductor Inc, a U.S. subsidiary of Samsung Electronics, the government said.

Source: eWeek

Sony’s 20GB PS3 to feature HDMI port

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sony’s forthcoming 20GB version of the PlayStation 3 video game console will feature an HDMI 1.3 output, the company announced Friday at the Tokyo Game Show.

The port, which had been previously announced as standard on the stepped-up 60GB model, allows games to be played in full high-definition video and audio.

The company said its decision was made in part by the “sharp increase” in flat-panel televisions now sold with high-definition multimedia interface ports, or HDMI.

Source: News.com

Census Bureau Loses Hundreds of Laptops

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Census Bureau collects the most personal information about Americans, from how much money they earn and where they spend it to how they live and die. It’s all confidential - as long as no one steals it.

Lost or stolen from the Census Bureau since 2003 are 217 laptop computers, 46 portable data storage devices and 15 handheld devices used by survey takers.

Although the number of people affected isn’t known, the Commerce Department reports that passwords, encryptions and other safeguards were in place. Nothing so far indicates a misuse of any information.

Source: AP

Sony cuts price of PlayStation 3 to $410

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sony Corp. said Friday it will slash the price of its much-anticipated PlayStation 3 video game console in Japan by 20 percent, heating up the competition in the next-generation gaming war against rivals Microsoft and Nintendo.

The announcement comes just days after Microsoft Corp. announced that it would roll out an external high definition DVD player for its Xbox 360 in an effort to match the PlayStation 3, due to be released in November with its own Blu-ray DVD technology.

Sony will cut the domestic price of its basic PlayStation 3 model to 47,600 yen, or about $410, from an originally planned 59,800 yen, or $515. That puts the PlayStation 3 in the same range as the combined basic Xbox 360 and HD DVD player in Japan, where the duo will sell for 49,600 yen, or $427.

There are no plans to lower prices in the U.S. or other markets, Sony spokeswoman Nanako Kato said. In Japan, the game will hit stores on Nov. 11.

In the U.S., it will go on sale Nov. 17 at $499 for a 20 gigabyte hard drive version and at $599 for the 60 gigabyte version.

Source: AP

Microsoft mulls free Web-based business software

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft Corp. said on Thursday it may offer a free, advertising-supported version of its basic word processing and spreadsheet software, in an apparent bid to fend off a nascent challenge from Google Inc. in the business software market.

Microsoft, which dominates the market for desktop computer software through its Windows and Office franchises, has long resisted offering its software online.

But it faces a growing pack of Web-based competitors — led by Google — that is offering similar technology for free with a business model that makes money off advertising.

The world’s largest software maker is now mulling how it can move Microsoft Works, a basic suite of business software that often comes preloaded on inexpensive consumer PCs, onto the Web as part of its growing stable of free online services.

Microsoft continues to roll out new online services under the Windows Live brand and it started testing Office Live, a software for small businesses to create e-mail accounts, Web sites and collaborate on projects.

Source: Yahoo

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