12/6/2006

Microsoft to ship over 10 million Xbox 360 units

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday said it expects to have shipped more than 10 million
Xbox 360 video game consoles to retailers by the end of calendar 2006.

“This holiday, we expect to have sold in excess of 10 million units worldwide,” a Microsoft spokeswoman said.

That “sold” number refers to units “sold into retail,” which refers to units in transit, units sitting in store inventories and machines sold to consumers.

Source: Yahoo

Company sues over cell phone rule

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The country’s largest provider of pay-as-you-go mobile services is suing the federal government over a recent ruling that allows people to disable the software that locks cell phones to a particular carrier.

Tracfone Wireless Inc. contends the new exemption to copyright law would make it more difficult to crack down on people who disable the locks and sell the phones at a profit overseas. The complaint, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Florida, seeks to force the U.S. Copyright Office to eliminate the exemption it announced last month.

Source: AP

Testing DRM-free waters: EMI selling a few MP3s through Yahoo Music

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Yahoo Music is selling the latest single from piano-playing songstress Norah Jones, along with a pair of tracks from Christian rockers Reliant K, in the MP3 format. Priced at 99¢ like the rest of the songs available from Yahoo Music (and just about every other US download site north of Wal-Mart), the three songs mark another timid step from the music industry away from DRM-encumbered formats that limit users to either the iPod, PlaysForSure, or Zune music ecosystems.

This marks at least the the third time Yahoo has sold MP3s from a major label. In September, Yahoo offered Jesse McCartney’s album Right Where You Want for $9.99 in the MP3 format, with WMA as an option. Earlier in the year, Yahoo sold a non-DRMed single by singer-actress Jessica Simpson for 99¢.
Navigating the DRM maze…

Why the sudden interest in non-DRMed formats? It appears that the record labels are slowly beginning to realize that they can’t have DRMed music and complete control over the online music market at the same time.

Source: arstechnica

Apple Launches iTunes & Online Apple Stores in New Zealand

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Apple today launched the iTunes Store in New Zealand, giving New Zealanders access to outstanding local music and the same innovative features, breakthrough pricing and seamless integration with iPod that have made iTunes the most popular music jukebox and online music store in the world. Apple today also opened the online Apple Store New Zealand (www.apple.co.nz/store), where customers can quickly and conveniently purchase Apple’s complete lineup of innovative products, including the wildly popular iPod digital music player, the critically acclaimed Intel based Mac® desktop and notebook computers, the iLife ‘06 suite of digital lifestyle applications, a vast assortment of iPod and Mac accessories from Apple and third parties and Mac OS X, the world’s most advanced operating system.

Consumer Use Of Ad-Blocking Technology Doubles

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Memo to marketers: Consumers still hate you, and they’ve taken to blocking your ads.

In the past two years, the number of consumers using pop-up blockers and spam filters has more than doubled, according to a new study, “Consumers Love to Hate Advertising,” from Forrester Research. More than half of all American households now report using these ad-blocking technologies to block unwanted pitches.

Broadband households have become even harder to reach: Some 81% of those with high-speed Internet access employ pop-up blockers and spam filters.

Consumer attitudes toward marketers have actually improved somewhat, according to the report. But it’s not clear whether this slight thaw in sentiment is the result of successful ad blocking.

The report suggests that marketers, media agencies, and publishers should see the stabilization of dislike as a sign of hope. At the same time, it warns that companies “cannot afford to ignore consumer distaste for advertising.”

Source: InformationWeek

Microsoft Issues Word Zero-Day Attack Alert

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft on Dec. 5 warned that an unpatched vulnerability in its Word software program is being used in targeted, zero-day attacks.

A security advisory from the Redmond, Wash., company said the flaw can be exploited if a user simply opens a rigged Word document.

Affected software versions include Microsoft Word 2000, Microsoft Word 2002, Microsoft Office Word 2003, Microsoft Word Viewer 2003, Microsoft Word 2004 for Mac and Microsoft Word 2004 v. X for Mac. The Microsoft Works 2004, 2005 and 2006 suites are also affected because they include Microsoft Word.

There are no pre-patch workarounds available. Microsoft suggests that users “not open or save Word files,” even from trusted sources. “As a best practice, users should always exercise extreme caution when opening unsolicited attachments from both known and unknown sources,” the company said.

Users who have installed and are using the Office Document Open Confirmation Tool for Office 2000 will be prompted with Open, Save or Cancel before a file is opened. This offers a minor warning mechanism for Word users.

Source: eWeek

Cell phones don’t raise cancer risk: study

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Using a cellular phone does not increase a person’s risk of cancer, according to a broad study released on Tuesday involving more than 400,000 Danish cellular telephone users.

A team of researchers used data on the entire population of Denmark to determine that neither short- nor long-term use of cellular phones, also called mobile phones, was linked to a greater risk of tumors of the brain and nervous system, salivary gland or eyes, leukemia or cancer overall.

It is estimated that more than 2 billion people worldwide use cellular phones.

“I think the results of this study are quite reassuring,” Joachim Schuz of the Danish Institute of Cancer Epidemiology in Copenhagen, the lead researcher, said in an interview by cellular phone from Denmark.

Source: Reuters

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