11/30/2006

Battery Recalls Pushing Some Buyers to Switch Laptop Brands

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The stream of laptop battery recalls hasn’t put most IT managers and users off from buying notebooks but it may push some buyers to switch brands, according to a new study.

Some 85 percent of respondents said the widespread battery recalls will not impact their future notebook purchasing decisions, according to a survey from IDC. However, 15 percent of both corporate buyers and consumers said it will change their buying plans.

Source: InformationWeek

Adobe Confirms ‘Critical’ Reader, Acrobat Exploits

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A critical security vulnerability in an ActiveX control used by Internet Explorer could allow malicious hackers to use Adobe’s Reader and Acrobat software to launch PC hijack attacks, according to a warning from Adobe Systems.

The San Jose, Calif., company released an advisory with pre-patch workarounds and warned that multiple unpatched flaws could cause software crashes and “potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system.”

Affected software includes Adobe Reader 7.0.0 through 7.0.8 and Adobe Acrobat Standard and Professional 7.0.0 through 7.0.8 on the Windows platform.

The bugs are only triggered when using Internet Explorer. Users of other browsers are not affected.

Source: eWeek

Steve Ballmer Kicks Off Vista

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

At a press conference at NASDAQ MarketSite in Times Square, Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer announced the business availability of the Windows Vista™ operating system, the 2007 release of Microsoft Office, and a host of other new product offerings designed to enable businesses to thrive in a world of instant communication, expanding information and constant change.

Today’s announcement that Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft Office release are available to volume licensing customers marks the beginning of the most significant product launch in company history and the first simultaneous release of Microsoft’s flagship products since the joint launch of the Windows 95 operating system and Office 95 more than a decade ago. Windows Vista and the 2007 Office system will be available to consumers and organizations without volume license agreements on Jan. 30. In addition to Windows Vista and the 2007 release of Office, Ballmer discussed more than 30 new offerings for business customers.

Sun Microsystems Launches The Big Mashup - Video Available

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sun Microsystems, Inc. announced the launch of The Big Mashup, a unique online experience examining how the world of entertainment and news gathering is rapidly changing as the network blurs the line between audience and entertainer, viewer and newscaster, fan and producer.

With Internet technology — music and movies, broadcast news and blogs, entertainers and audiences — can all converge and mix online. The Big Mashup will feature a documentary with media and entertainment thought leaders, a community blog discussing the impact of changes brought on by the network, and Snapp Radio, an online music and photo application mashup developed by Sun Labs and featuring Last.fm and RadioParadise streams paired with Flickr images.

Amazon, Yahoo reject Google subpoenas

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Amazon and Yahoo have now both responded to Google’s subpoenas regarding their work on book digitization projects, and both have given the same basic response: you can see our confidential documents when you pry them from our cold, dead hands. Amazon even went so far as to suggest that, instead of proprietary information, Google could learn all it needs to know from some press releases.

The current unpleasantness is a result of Google’s own legal difficulties with the Authors Guild, which is suing the search giant over its decision to digitize copyrighted books and make them a part of its Google Book Search project. The Guild contends that this has to happen on an “opt-in” basis in which copyright owners must explicitly give Google permission to do the scanning and indexing. Google claims that the current opt-out system is both fair and legal.

Source: http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061130-8324.html

Key to U.S. industry? Immigrants

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The U.S. tech industry is dependent on people from foreign lands, according to a study from the National Venture Capital Foundation.

Over the past 15 years, immigrants have founded 25 percent of the publicly-traded companies that had venture backing were started by immigrants. Most of the companies these immigrants start, moreover, are based around technology. 40 percent of all publicly traded companies that had venture backing were founded by immigrants.

Legal immigrants, moreover, only constitute a small fraction of the population: approximately 6.7 percent of the population in 1990 and 8.7 percent today.

These businesses founded by immigrants employ 400,000, the study found.

“While the debate in Congress has focused on illegal immigration, American companies have identified significant problems with our current system for admitting skilled foreign born professionals on temporary visas and green cards,” the report stated.

Source: News.com

Emerging technology sees through clothing

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Security in airports and other sensitive areas may get a huge boost, thanks to a technology under development that is straight out of science fiction, said to be capable of looking through clothing to detect weapons and other dangerous items. But privacy advocates—and shy people—may have cause for alarm.

Source: EETimes

Yahoo Quietly Launches Mobile Social-Networking Service

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Yahoo has quietly launched an experimental site that offers mobile-phone subscribers the ability to send text messages and share videos and pictures among friends. The service follows a trend among Internet portals to offer mobile social-networking services.

Rather than the usual fanfare that accompanies the debut of most new sites, Yahoo plans to market Mixd on a handful of college campuses across the nation. The strategy focuses on Yahoo’s target audience, so-called Generation Yers who are the biggest users of their mobile phones’ data services.

“It’s really an experiment,” Scott Gatz, senior director of Yahoo’s Advanced Products Group, said of Mixd, which hit the Web Wednesday. “We’re putting it out to consumers to see how they use the product.”

Source: InformationWeek

Zombie tool makes use of Windows, antivirus flaws

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

An updated variant of a malicious bot program is spreading via a flaw in Symantec’s antivirus software as well as through several holes in Microsoft code.

The program, called “Spybot.ACYR” by Symantec and “Sdbot.worm!811a7027″ by McAfee, appears to be targeting educational institutions, according to a blog item posted by Symantec Tuesday. “We are seeing a spike in traffic on port 2967 with activity only in the .edu domain,” the security company said. “The impact of the attack is minimal thus far.”

This Spybot variant attempts to break into computers through a six-month-old vulnerability in Symantec Client Security and Symantec AntiVirus. A fix has been available since May 25. “Customers who have applied the patch in their environment are unaffected by the worm,” Symantec said.

Source: News.com

Microsoft to release pro Vista today

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

For the first time in five years, Microsoft Corp. is finally unveiling a new system for operating personal computers. Now the company must persuade PC buyers that the launch really matters to them.

Beginning Thursday, businesses that buy Windows licenses in bulk have first crack at the new operating system, called Vista. Consumers can get Vista on home PCs beginning Jan. 30.

Source: AP

11/29/2006

U.S. Bans Sale of IPods to North Korea

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

In a novel effort targeting the lifestyle of North Korea’s eccentric president, the Bush administration wants to make it tougher for him to buy iPods, plasma televisions, Segway electric scooters and more.

It is Washington’s first-ever attempt to use trade penalties as a way of personally aggravating a foreign leader. They target items believed to be favored by Kim Jong Il or presented by him as gifts to the roughly 600 loyalist families who run the communist government.

Source: AP

Sony sends sound through your skin

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The new technology appeared in a Sony patent filing that describes how engineers in the company’s Tokyo research unit developed wireless headphones that rely on electrical signals sent through the body. The goal of the project was to design a body transmission system “with secrecy, with low power consumption, and without interfering with another communication system in a neighborhood.”

Engineers turned instead to the human body, which can transmit electrical data between a pair of electrodes on the skin. Unfortunately, when people think about strapping metal electrodes to their skin, “Frankenstein” comes unavoidably to mind, so Sony tried to make the system more consumer-friendly. They did it by encasing the transmitting electrode in a conducting fabric, and by developing it in such a way that it only needs to be close to the skin—not touching it at all times.

Source: arstechnica

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