Paris Hilton, Bebo website top Google searches in 2006

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Celebrity bad-girl Paris Hilton and social networking website Bebo were the hottest topics on Google in 2006, the superstar online search engine revealed.

The “2006 Year-End Google Zeitgeist” top ten lists for general and news searches on the Internet showed global interest in online socializing and video viewing, as well as World Cup soccer, cancer, autism, celebrities and Hurricane Katrina.

Young website Bebo, where users share videos, pictures and music and seek former schoolmates, ranked ahead of MySpace, another teen-oriented social networking site, in the Google list of most popular general searches.

World Cup soccer ranked third, with the remaining top-ten queries focused on video sharing, radio blogging, and wikis, which are websites open to editing by visitors.

Source: AFP

Firefox Released

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Mozilla released an update to the open source browser. The new security update makes firefox version and is available for download here

NJ Worker Put ‘Bomb’ in Computers

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A computer administrator upset over the possibility of losing his job planted an electronic “bomb” in the systems of one of the nation’s largest prescription drug management companies, prosecutors said Tuesday.

If the so-called “logic bomb” had gone off at Medco Health Solutions Inc., it would have wiped out critical patient information, authorities said.

Even after surviving a round of layoffs, Yung-Hsun Lin, 50, kept the code in the system and tinkered with it in an attempt to set it off, prosecutors said. The bug eventually was discovered and neutralized by the company.

U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie said the bomb could have caused widespread financial damage to the company, and possibly harmed a large number of patients.

Source: AP

Sony BMG Settles Suit Over Rootkit

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sony BMG Music Entertainment will pay $1.5 million and kick in thousands more in customer refunds to settle lawsuits brought by California and Texas over music CDs that installed a hidden anti-piracy program on consumers’ computers.

Not only did the program itself open up a security hole on computers, but attempts to remove the software by some customers also damaged the PCs.

The settlements, announced Tuesday, cover lawsuits over CDs loaded with one of two types of copy-protection software - known as MediaMax or XCP.

Under the terms of the separate settlements, each state will receive $750,000 in civil penalties and costs.

In addition, Sony BMG agreed to reimburse consumers whose computers were damaged while trying to uninstall the XCP software. Customers in both states can file a claim with Sony BMG to receive refunds of up to $175.

State officials estimate some 450,000 compact discs carrying the XCP software were sold in California, while about 130,000 were sold in Texas.

Customers have 180 days to file claims, which must include a description of how their computer was harmed and documentation of repair expenses.

Source: AP

Google Updates AdSense Rules, Still Working on Radio

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The practice of placing images above or next to adsense banners has been around for a while — the idea is to trick visitors into thinking that the Googe Ads are clickable image captions. Unsuspecting visitors click on the ads, and the webmasters make money. Now, Google has officially announced that the practice is no longer allowed. Meanwhile, the Marketwatch site is reporting that the company’s previously discussed move into radio advertising is getting a mediocre reaction. Google, as yet, does not have enough access to airtime for the project to be profitable. The company plans on purchasing more airtime to expand the program, and is reportedly also looking to begin selling television ads as well.

Source: Slashdot

Intensity card offers HDMI video editing

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Blackmagic Design on Tuesday announced the worldwide release of Intensity — a card aimed at professional video editors and others who need to edit video using High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI). The PCI Express-based Intensity card is Mac
OS X and Windows-compatible and costs $249.

The Intensity features HDMI in for capture from HDMI video cameras and HDMI HDV decks. It switches between 1080HD and 720HD, NTSC and PAL video standards. It can manage uncompressed video capture and playback, and supports Apple’s Final Cut Pro, Adobe After Effects, Photoshop and any other QuickTime-based software application.

Source: Yahoo

Google axes search API

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google has quietly axed the web services API to its eponymous search engine. The stealth move was made without any announcement, but visitors to the page now receive a blunt message, backdated to 5 December, advising them that the SOAP API is no longer supported.

The service was launched in spring 2002, giving developers a limited chance to develop applications using data drawn from Google’s main search index. Amazon.com followed with its own web services interface weeks later. Both companies used SOAP, or Simple Object Access Protocol, the much-hyped web services protocol that is anything but simple.

Source: The Register

Facial recognition makes finding Web photos easier

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Swedish start-up Polar Rose AB aims to make it easy to find photos of familiar faces online, the company said on Tuesday, solving difficult Web search issues while potentially raising new privacy concerns.

Polar Rose said it plans to offer free software to make photos searchable on both personal computers and across the Web by analyzing the contents of pictures with pattern recognition technology to locate specific faces within them.

The company said it will allow users to annotate photos with descriptive details, harnessing the collective intelligence of the Web to improve what can be done with computational searching alone on sites like Google or Yahoo.

Source: Reuters

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