12/27/2007

Iran President’s Blog Installs Trojan Horse

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Israelis security companies warn that the popular blog of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s president installs a very sophisticated Trojan horse on computers connected from Israel.

The research company said that the spyware installed, spys on users computers and sends information to servers in Iran, China and other servers around the world.

Analyzing the Iranian horse the security companies say that this is not the work of an amature, but a state agency with a lot of resources and that the code is very advanced.

Sony becomes latest to quit rear-projection TVs

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sony Corp said on Thursday it would stop making rear-projection televisions, becoming the latest company to distance itself from a technology once seen as a promising rival of LCD and plasma displays in the flat-TV market.

Sony said it would focus its resources on liquid crystal display (LCD) and organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology to address the flat-TV market, which is growing rapidly as consumers trade in their boxy tube sets for sleeker flat screens.

The consumer electronics firm plans to stop making rear-projection TVs at three plants in Japan and overseas in February, company spokesman Shinji Obana said.

Apple, Fox planning movie rental deal

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Apple Inc and News Corp.’s Twentieth Century Fox are set to announce a deal that will allow consumers to rent movies through Apple’s digital iTunes Store, media reports said on Thursday.

The agreement will allow rentals of Fox’s latest DVD releases by downloading a copy from the online iTunes store for a limited time, the Financial Times said, quoting a source. The Wall Street Journal also reported the deal in its online edition.

Apple, Fox planning movie rental deal

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Apple Inc and News Corp.’s Twentieth Century Fox are set to announce a deal that will allow consumers to rent movies through Apple’s digital iTunes Store, media reports said on Thursday.

The agreement will allow rentals of Fox’s latest DVD releases by downloading a copy from the online iTunes store for a limited time, the Financial Times said, quoting a source. The Wall Street Journal also reported the deal in its online edition.

Apple Trades at $200 for First Time

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Shares of Apple Inc. hit the $200 mark for the first time Wednesday, as investor confidence in the company continued rising near the end of what has been a strong year for the iPod and computer maker.

Shares rose 15 cents to close at $198.95. They earlier peaked at $200.

Apple shares have traded between $76.77 and $199.33 in the past year, rising steadily since January as investors anticipated and then cheered the release of the company’s hybrid cell phone, multimedia player and wireless Internet device, the iPhone. The product went on sale at the end of June.

Apple released a refreshed line of iPods during the year, updating its flash-based Nano model to one that can play videos, and introducing a device called the iPod Touch which is much like an iPhone without cellular calling capabilities.

The company also refreshed its notebook computers during the year.

12/26/2007

IBM Dishes Five Predictions for Future

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Drained by your commute? Blood-sucking utility bills got you down? Wondering if that tomato in your dinner salad was really organic?

The cures to those ills and more may arrive within five years, according to IBM.

The company recently released its second annual set of “Next Five in Five” predictions, visions that sketch out a future where driving is a relative pleasure, eco-friendly devices save you money and super doctors use advanced technology to probe your body’s innermost depths in search of disease.

IBM’s contention that driving will become safer and less aggravating may be particularly tantalizing for many.

The company said that during the next five years, a “wave of connectivity” between vehicles and roadways will help keep traffic flowing smoothly, drive down pollution and get you to your destination easier, “without the stress.”

This will be accomplished through “intelligent” traffic systems that automatically adjust light patterns and shift traffic to alternative routes, as well as cars that exhibit “reflexes” thanks to communication with other vehicles and roadside sensors, according to IBM.

The company’s crystal ball also revealed that the long-simmering trend toward “smart energy” devices will proliferate wildly. “Dishwashers, air conditioners, house lights, and more will be connected directly to a ’smart’ electric grid, making it possible to turn them on and off using your cell phone or any Web browser,” a company statement asserts.

Even the act of eating will take on new meaning, in IBM’s view: “You will know everything from the climate and soil the food was grown in, to the pesticides and pollution it was exposed to, to the energy consumed to create the product, to the temperature and air quality of the shipping containers it traveled through on the way to your dinner table.”

The report also suggests that doctors’ ability to heal us will become even more astounding. Due to advances in X-ray and audio technologies, doctors will gain “superpowers,” according to IBM. Computers will also be able to compare your health data to an ocean’s worth of other patient records, helping with diagnosis and treatment, the company said.

In addition, the company said cell phones will continue to grow in power and functionality. For example, phones will enable users to snap a photo of an article of clothing, pull in results from the Web about the brand and where to buy it, and then render the garment on top of a 3-D image of the user, IBM said.

Russia launches final satellites for its own GPS

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Russia successfully launched a rocket on Tuesday carrying the last three satellites to complete a navigation system to rival America’s GPS.

The military-run GLONASS mapping system works over most of Russia and is expected to cover the globe by the end of 2009, once all its 24 navigational satellites are operating.

A space rocket blasted off from Russia’s Baikonur cosmodrome on the steppes of neighboring ex-Soviet Kazakhstan, from which Russia rents the facility.

12/25/2007

Google Reader Begins Sharing Private Data

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

One week ago Google Reader’s team decided to begin showing your private data to all your GMail contacts. No need to opt-in, no way to opt-out. Complaints haven’t been answered.

Some users share their problems, including one family who says they won’t be able to enjoy this Christmas because of this ‘feature.’ Will Google start doing this with all their products?

Using eBay to catch a truck thief

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

On the morning of Nov. 17, Ben Adams found himself hiding beneath the retractable cover in the back of a Chevy TrailBlazer. The truck was parked in front of a warehouse in Duncanville, Texas. His friend “Sam,” the TrailBlazer’s owner, had just finished a test drive on a 1949 Chevy truck–the same truck Adams was certain had been stolen from him four months earlier.

Adams pulled out his mobile phone and dialed 911. “Please help me,” he said. “I’m at a warehouse. There are criminals all around me.”

The story of how a mild-mannered software developer from San Antonio, Texas, ended up running his own undercover sting operation against eBay fraudsters begins with a truck. And if the story has a lesson, it’s the one told on Adams’s blog: Don’t mess with Texas, especially if it involves a truck.

Biggest Israeli Cell Phone Provider Helps Satisfy A Country’s Craving

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

If you think Americans have a lot of cell phones, consider this: Israel’s wireless penetration rate is 117%.

If that sounds impossible, well, that’s because people with more than one wireless device get double counted. Analysts estimate that about 80% of Israelis have at least one mobile phone.

The biggest share of this densely populated market belongs to Cellcom Israel (NYSE:CEL - News). Currently, it has about 3 million customers or about 34% of the total market. And it’s still growing.

Americans first got to know Cellcom in February when it came out on the NYSE. The stock priced at 20 and then cruised up to near 35 by December. It put on 40% in November alone when most of the U.S. market was tanking.

A Home Run?

Jefferies analyst Jonathan Schildkraut calls it a “home-run stock.”

12/24/2007

Australia to get net censorship

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

NEW restrictions on online chatrooms, websites and mobile phone content will be introduced within a month to stop children viewing unsuitable material.

From January 20 new laws will be in effect, imposing tougher rules for companies that sell entertainment-related content on subscription internet sites and mobile phones.

It is the first time content service providers will have to check that people accessing MA15-plus content are aged over 15 years and those accessing R18-plus and X18-plus content are over 18.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) will be able to force content providers to take down offensive material and issue notices for live content to be stopped and links to the content deleted.

First Virtual Video Bible and Virtual Video Prayer Wall

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

GodTube.com, the website which set the record as the #1 fastest growing website in the U.S. according to ComScore during its first official launch month, brought the Bible into the digital age with the launch of the first Virtual Video Bible and the world’s first Virtual Video Prayer Wall, offering the 2.1 billion Christians around the world a whole new way to experience their faith this Christmas season.

Coined “Bible 2.0,” the world’s first online interactive Virtual Video Bible provides an interactive way to experience the Bible through videos, photos and real life experiences uploaded by millions. The Virtual Video Bible offers the entire text of the Bible — from Genesis to Revelation — brought to life by accompanying videos for every chapter. Line by line, the Bible comes to life using GodTube.com’s 800,000 hours of video, which range from music videos to comedy to sermons and to a wide array of user-generated content. When a user scrolls over a verse or passage in the Virtual Video Bible, videos, pictures and comments related to that specific scripture appear on-screen. With more than 10 million people logging onto GodTube.com, the Virtual Video Bible offers the world’s largest Bible experience.

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