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

WordPerfect to Support Both ODF and Open XML

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Corel promised months ago that it would support the OpenOffice.org Open Document Format. Now, it says it will support both ODF and Microsoft’s Open XML next year.

Beginning in mid-2007, Corel will provide open, view, and edit functionality for Open XML and ODF as a first step toward comprehensive support for both formats. The company would not say how this support would be delivered, but the timing of its arrival makes it appear likely that it will be delivered in the next version of WordPerfect Office.

“Unfortunately, it is too early to disclose the details of the next version of Corel WordPerfect Office, but we will keep you closely availed of our plans as we are able to describe them further,” Richard Carriere, Corel’s general manager of office productivity, told Linux-Watch.

Source: eWeek

AMD Quad FX debuts in Japanese four-GPU PC

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

AMD will today announce its Quad FX platform, formerly codenamed ‘4×4′, it has been claimed. The technology is built out of Nvidia’s nForce 680a SLI chipset and AMD’s new Athlon 64 FX-70 series of dual-core processors.

According to a report on Japanese-language site PCWatch, there are the FX-70s: the FX-70, FX-72 and FX-74, clocked at 2.6GHz, 2.8GHz and 3.0GHz, respectively. All three are fabbed at 90nm and contain 2MB of L2 cache. Their on-board memory controllers support up to 800MHz DDR 2 unbuffered SDRAM, AMD presentation slides reveal.

Source: Reg Hardware

Microsoft set to push out updated antipiracy tool

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft will soon start pushing out a new version of its controversial Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications antipiracy tool to Windows XP users.

The updated WGA Notifications package includes additional changes in response to continued criticism Microsoft has faced over the software, the company said Tuesday. Microsoft in June also updated the tool after critics likened it to spyware because it checked in with Microsoft after each Windows restart.

In the latest update, Microsoft has changed the installation procedure of the tool so it’s clearer to people what it does, said David Lazar, director of the Windows Genuine program at Microsoft. In the original version, WGA Notifications displayed only a wordy user license, which people don’t typically read.

Source: ZDNet

Apple Mega-patch Fixes 22 Flaws

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Apple Computer has shipped a monster security update to correct a total of 22 vulnerabilities in its Mac OS X operating system.

The Cupertino, Calif, company’s patch batch includes a fix for a critical Wi-Fi flaw affecting eMac, iBook, iMac, PowerBook G3, PowerBook G4 and Power Mac G4 systems.

The Wi-Fi flaw, first exposed at the beginning of the Month of Kernel Bugs project, was discovered and reported by Metasploit’s HD Moore.

Apple confirmed that the issue is a heap buffer overflow that exists in the AirPort wireless driver’s handling of probe response frames.

Source: eWeek

BitTorrent expands movie, TV downloads

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

BitTorrent Inc., developer of a popular online file-sharing tool, said Tuesday it has reached licensing deals that will boost the number of movies and TV shows it can offer as part of a video download service launching next year.

The privately held company said it signed agreements with Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures, News Corp.’s 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate, Palm Pictures and Kadokawa Pictures USA.

The San Francisco-based BitTorrent also inked content deals with cable television networks G4 and Starz Media along with several Viacom-owned networks, including MTV Networks, VH1, SpikeTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and Logo.

Financial terms of the licensing agreements were not disclosed.

Added to BitTorrent’s lineup were films such as “X-Men The Last Stand,” “Saw III” and “Mission: Impossible III,” and TV shows “Star Trek,” “Laguna Beach” and “South Park.”

Source: AP

Ex-spy’s Poison For Sale On The Internet For $69

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

It’s one of the deadliest imaginable poisons, a radioactive substance about 100 billion times as deadly as cyanide — and a Web site run by a physicist and flying saucer enthusiast offers to sell you a trace amount of it for $69 and send it via the U.S. Postal Service or UPS.

Contrary to early news reports, polonium-210 — the poison suspected in the death of an ex-Russian spy in England — is not some exotic material available solely from nuclear laboratories. The isotope is available from firms that sell it for lawful and legitimate uses in industry, such as removing static electricity from machinery and photographic film.

If ingested in large enough amounts, polonium-210 causes a hideous death.

Source: sfgate.com

Beatles And Apple Could Come Together Over iTunes

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The relationship between the Apple music company and the Apple computer company may not have soured despite about two decades of legal battles between the two companies. In fact, the relationship may become closer if The Beatles agree to let iTunes offer their music for downloading.

Apple Computer and Apple Corps, which have fought over the use of their Apple mark for music-related products and services, may forge an agreement to offer Beatles music over iTunes, according to a report in Fortune.

Source: Yahoo

Comcast starts offering wireless phone service

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Comcast Corp. has become the first U.S. cable operator to take on telecommunications providers in the cell phone market, having begun marketing the service to consumers in Boston.

The largest U.S. cable television operator launched the service in Boston and Portland, Oregon, earlier this month after a year-long trial, but is only promoting its “mobile access” service with television commercials and direct-mail drops in the Boston metropolitan area.

Source: Yahoo

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