10/3/2006

The Day Against DRM

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

DefectiveByDesign.org, a campaign by the Free Software Foundation, is making Oct 3rd a Day Against DRM: ‘Defeating DRM is all about awareness. The direct actions that we have taken are all about this. Today we are asking you to let the people around you know that DRM is bad for our society. Let’s create space for the debate. Do we want handcuffs and locks on art and knowledge? As our friends at Disney recognize, if there is this debate, we will have won

Source: Slashdot

Google offers Gadgets for use on other sites

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google Inc. is allowing users to add hundreds of different miniature Web-based programs built by Google or outside programmers to other sites, the company said on Tuesday.

The Web search leader has jumped ahead of rivals who offer mini-applets or “widgets” when the user has installed special software on individual computer desktops: Apple Computer Inc., Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp..

Google Gadgets, which have previously been available for users to add to the Google home page and or their own computers via Google Desktop, are now available for Web page owners to add to their own sites.

Source: Reuters

Gmail Smartens Up About Spam

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google Gmail got nearly 15 times better at separating real messages from spam in the last three months, a developer of e-mail marketing software has calculated.

According to Emeryville, Calif.-based Lyris Technologies, Gmail’s false-positive rating — the amount of e-mail it mistakenly pegged as spam — improved to just 3 percent in the second quarter, down dramatically from 44 percent in the first quarter of 2006.

Microsoft’s Hotmail — also called Windows Live Mail — meanwhile, improved slightly, but still tags nearly 1 in 5 legitimate messages as spam, said Lyris. In the second quarter, Microsoft’s Web e-mail service’s false-positive rating was 18.2 percent, down from 23.4 percent in the first quarter.

By comparison, rival Yahoo Mail’s false-positive was 0.57 percent in the June-August period.

Source: InformationWeek

Mozilla Duped by Hacker’s ‘Humorous’ Presentation

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

One of the hackers who demonstrated exploit code for a vulnerability in the way the Firefox browser handles JavaScript admitted today that the presentation last week at a hacker conference was meant to be a joke, according to Mozilla’s chief of security.

Mozilla security researchers spent most of Sunday and Monday scrambling to determine whether exploit code revealed during a presentation by hackers Mischa Spiegelmock and Andrew Wbeelsoi at Toorcon over the weekend could allow someone to execute malicious code through a memory corruption attack on Firefox.

However, Window Snyder, who leads Mozilla’s security team, said Spiegelmock admitted to the company that the presentation was meant to be humorous, and that he and Wbeelsoi had not actually achieved remote execution with the exploit code demonstrated at the show.

“At best, in some cases it will crash only the client,” Snyder said Tuesday. “That’s all we’ve been able to verify at this point.”

Spiegelmock, who works for blogging-software maker Six Apart, confirmed as much in his LiveJournal blog, in which he includes a link to a statement he made that is posted on Snyder’s Mozilla blog.

Source: Yahoo

AOL Offers Parental Controls Software To All Web Users

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

AOL on Monday started offering its parental controls software to all Web users, the latest step in the Internet service provider’s transition to an entertainment portal.

AOL, a unit of Time Warner, has always made the software available to subscribers of its proprietary service, which was mostly used by dial-up subscribers. The tools provide parents with age-based access controls to Web sites, as well as controls on instant messaging and chat. In addition, parents can get email reports on their children’s online activities.

Source: InformationWeek

Mandriva 2007 Released

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Mandriva has announced today the immediate availability of Mandriva Linux 2007. This new version includes the latest Gnome 2.16 and KDE 3.5.4, as well as a 3D desktop with both AIGLX and Xgl technologies.

Source: Slashdot

New Jersey launches iTunes tax

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Beginning this week, New Jersey residents purchasing music and videos from services like Apple’s iTunes and rival digital downloads e-tailers encountered something they’d previously only found at bricks-and-mortar counterparts: a sales tax.

Democratic Governor Jon Corzine proposed the sales tax expansion earlier this spring to help the state to recover from a $4.5 billion budget deficit, an ABC News affiliate in New York reported recently on its Web site. The changes, along with a sales tax rate hike from 6 to 7 percent, took effect on Oct. 1.

Source: News.com

Sony plans its own battery recall

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sony is planning to announce a massive battery recall of its own, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) confirmed.

The recall, expected this month, will encompass all possibly defective batteries, including those previously announced by manufacturers for specific notebook computers, according to Julie Vallese, director of the Office of Public Affairs at the CPSC. But it is not expected to extend to batteries for devices other than laptops.

Source: News.com

Microsoft buys DesktopStandard

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft says it is to acquire software developer DesktopStandard for an undisclosed sum.

DesktopStandard develops tools for Microsoft’s Group Policy technology, part of the Active Directory in Windows Server that aids centralised management of computers and users.

Under the terms of the deal, DesktopStandard will operate as a subsidiary of the software behemoth until the technology is transferred to Redmond.

Microsoft plans to integrate much of the software into its Group Policy toolset, including GPOVault, ProfileMaker, Dragnet, PolicyMaker Standard Edition, Registry Extension, Share Manager, and Software Update.

Source: The Register

Fox offers shows on MySpace, TV sites

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

News Corp. on Tuesday said it will launch a new service to offer full episodes of its television shows on MySpace.com and the Web sites of its local Fox TV stations after they have aired.

The new service, Fox On Demand, will be advertising-supported and will offer shows such as “Prison Break”, “Justice” and “Bones” on MySpace and on Web sites in 24 U.S. markets where News Corp. owns TV stations.

Source: Reuters

Canon says to start mass-producing SED TVs in 2008

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Canon Inc. said on Tuesday it will start mass production of surface-conduction electron-emitter display (SED) TVs in early 2008.

In 2004, Canon and Toshiba Corp. set up a joint venture to produce SED TVs, whose panels are thinner and consume less energy than liquid crystal display (LCD) and plasma display panels, the main technologies used for flat panel TVs.

Source: Reuters

Power-Saving PowerPC Chips

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

IBM has improved the power efficiency of two models of PowerPC processors, making an effort to strengthen its position in markets from cars and printers to networking and communications equipment.

The PowerPC 750CL and PowerPC 970GX are both single-core chips built with a 90-nanometer process. Both chips reduce DC electricity leakage with thicker gate oxides and reduce AC switching power with higher thresholds, the company said.

IBM made the change to reach a wider range of enterprise and consumer applications, said Ron Martino, director of Power Architecture Solutions in IBM’s Technology Collaboration Solutions unit.

Source: Yahoo

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