1/3/2008

Hitachi to debut First 500GB drive for laptops

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Notebook computers can be as powerful as desktops these days, especially as hard-disk makers like Hitachi Ltd. grab industry bragging rights by unveiling a 500-gigabyte drive for laptops.

The 500 GB drive is the beefiest one yet for laptops - enough to hold up to 500 hours of digital video, 178 standard-definition, feature-length movies, 250 games or 125,000 four-minute songs, Hitachi said. Currently, the largest laptop drive on the market is a 320 GB model by Western Digital Corp.

Hitachi said Thursday that its 500 GB drive would be available to computer manufacturers in February. Asustek Computer, based in Taiwan, said it would use two of the drives to create the world’s first laptops with a monster capacity of 1 terabyte.

CinemaNow, Macrovision tech pact

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Online movie download site CinemaNow Inc. has struck a deal with software maker Macrovision Corp. aimed at making it easier for manufacturers of media players and other devices to make their products compatible with CinemaNow’s on-demand movie service.

Terms of the agreement, which was being officially announced Thursday, were not made public.

CinemaNow has been pushing to make its movie service available beyond users’ personal computers, with the goal of enabling users to easily transfer movie downloads for viewing on TV sets.

CinemaNow users can currently download movies and videos from the service for viewing on televisions via several devices, including Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360, certain portable media players from Archos and Samsung Electronics Co., and on Hewlett-Packard Co.’s Media Smart LCD TVs.

The Macrovision deal should eventually lead to many more compatible devices coming to market in the second half of this year, said Curt Marvis, CinemaNow’s chief executive officer.

Researcher Accuses Sears of Spreading Spyware

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sears and Kmart customers who sign up for a new marketing program may be giving up more private information than they’d bargained for, a prominent anti-spyware researcher claims.

According to Harvard Business School Assistant Professor Ben Edelman, Sears Holdings’ My SHC Community program falls short of U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) standards by failing to notify users exactly what happens when they download the company’s marketing software.

And given the invasive nature of the product, Sears has an obligation to make its behavior clearer to users. “The software is not something you’d want on your computer or the computer of anyone you care about,” Edelman said in an interview. “It tracks every site you go to, every search you make, every product you buy, and every product you look at but don’t buy. It’s just spooky.”

US-CERT warns of flaw in latest RealPlayer

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

US-CERT is warning computer users of a possible problem with the latest version of RealPlayer after a Russian security company claimed to have found a way to exploit a critical flaw in the multimedia software.

US-CERT (United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team) published its warning on Wednesday, the day after Gleg chief technology officer Evgeny Legerov announced the exploit code in a posting to the Daily Dave security discussion list.

The flaw affects the latest version 11 of RealPlayer running on Windows XP, service pack 2, according to Gleg. A Flash demonstration of the vulnerability has been posted to the Gleg Web site, but the company has not released its attack code or any technical details of the flaw.

Netflix, LG to offer movie set-top box

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

DVD rental company Netflix Inc on Wednesday said it was developing a set-top box with LG Electronics Inc to let subscribers watch movies streamed directly from the Web to their TVs.

Netflix, with about 7 million subscribers, has for quite some time said it was looking to extend its Internet movie delivery feature — which lets subscribers play back about 6,000 films and TV episodes on PCs — to the television.

The leader of online DVD rentals will be entering an increasingly crowded and confusing market when it rolls out the new device via an LG-networked player sometime in the second half of 2008.

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