1/21/2008

HBO to let subscribers download TV shows, movies

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Time Warner Inc pay TV channel HBO will launch a service on Tuesday to let subscribers download movies and television shows over the Web, joining a crowded market for video on the Internet.

The service, HBO on Broadband, will make its debut with a much larger library than its cable-based on-demand service in a stab at satisfying increasingly mobile and choosy viewers.

It will roll out to Time Warner Cable high-speed Internet customers in Green Bay and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as a free add-on to HBO and HBO on Demand, HBO spokesman Jeff Cusson said.

The company has no timeline for when it will be available to all U.S. subscribers, Cusson said.

Americans Abroad Can Now Vote Online

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

This year, for the first time, expatriate Democrats can cast their ballots on the Internet in a presidential primary for people living outside the United States.

Democrats Abroad, an official branch of the party representing overseas voters, will hold its first global presidential preference primary from Feb. 5 to 12, with ex-pats selecting the candidate of their choice by Internet as well as fax, mail and in-person at polling places in more than 100 countries.

Democrats Abroad is particularly proud of the online voting option - which provides a new alternative to the usual process of voting from overseas, a system made difficult by complicated voter registration paperwork, early deadlines and unreliable foreign mail service.

“The online system is incredibly secure: That was one of our biggest goals,” said Lindsey Reynolds, executive director of Democrats Abroad. “And it does allow access to folks who ordinarily wouldn’t get to participate.”

U.S. citizens wanting to vote online must join Democrats Abroad before Feb. 1 and indicate their preference to vote by Internet instead of in the local primaries wherever they last lived in the United States. They must promise not to vote twice for president, but can still participate in non-presidential local elections.

Researcher pinpoints Skype vulnerability

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Security researcher Aviv Raff has discovered and demonstrated a flaw within Skype that allows malicious code to be run under certain circumstances. The problem is caused by Skype’s web control. The program uses Internet Explorer to render internal and external HTML, but does so using “Local Zone” security settings.

Actually taking advantage of the bug would require malware authors to find a trusted site with a cross-zone scripting error. These types of errors are relatively common, and allow for the execution of potentially unsafe scripts as if they carried higher permissions than they actually do. Such scripts have a wide variety of potential applications (some of which might be picked up by other security features, such as Vista’s UAC), but a wide range of potential activity could go completely unblocked and unnoticed.

Turkey Bans YouTube for Second Time

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A Turkish court has again blocked access to the popular video-sharing Web site YouTube because of clips allegedly insulting the country’s founding father, according to reports Sunday.

It was the second time Turkey banned the site because of clips deemed disrespectful to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. It is illegal in Turkey to insult the revered figure, whose portrait still hangs in nearly all government offices nearly 70 years after his death.

Users trying to access the Web site from Turkey were met with notices in English and Turkish saying it was banned under an Ankara court order issued Jan. 17.

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