iPhone emulator firmware jailbroken

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Apple iPhone owners worried that the release of an official software development kit (SDK) for the handset will mean an end to attempts to ‘jailbreak’ the device need fear not. Hackers have opened up version of the iPhone firmware that comes with the SDK.

A screenshot posted by a member of the iPhone Dev Team, a band of hackers working on keeping the handset open for third-party apps not sanctioned by Apple, is said to show just such software running on the SDK’s iPhone emulator.

YouTube lets developers build their own YouTubes

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

YouTube, Google Inc’s popular video sharing site, is giving away tools that let Web developers tap the underlying database functions of YouTube, in effect allowing users to build their own YouTubes.

The Silicon Valley-based video-sharing site said on Wednesday that it is providing wholesale access to YouTube’s extensive video library, global audience, and the underlying video hosting and streaming network that powers YouTube.

The move goes significantly beyond the current access to YouTube videos in which any Web user can copy and embed selected videos onto their own Web pages.

YouTube said its latest customization offerings allow anyone building a Web site or Internet-connected software program to upload videos straight to YouTube. They can fetch video feeds, comments, responses or playlists from YouTube.

Mozilla reaches stage 4 of Firefox 3 beta endurance test

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The fourth beta release of Firefox 3 is available for download today from Mozilla.

The browser’s latest build boasts several improvements over previous beta releases, including a speed boost, full-page zoom, a revamped download manager, tighter OS integration, and the plugging of Firefox’s rather irksome memory leaks.

Perhaps the most noticeable advancement user-side is performance. Tweaks to the Beta 4 JavaScript engine will double the speed of script-heavy web applications like Google Mail and Zoho Office, compared to Firefox 2, so say some release notes.

Video: Turning wood chips into fuel

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Menlo Park, Calif.’s ZeaChem has come up with a way to turn wood chips into ethanol that will sell for around $1.50 a gallon or less when it comes out in 2010. Brewing and petrochemical technology go into the mix. News.com Editor at Large Michael Kanellos talks with founder Dan Verser and CEO James Imbler about their plans for cheap fuel.

Researchers hack defibrillators

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A common new technology for monitoring defibrillators is vulnerable to hacking and even to reprogramming that could stop the devices from delivering a lifesaving shock, according to research to be released Wednesday.

In the past couple years, more than 100,000 patients in the U.S. alone have been implanted with newer devices that reduce medical visits by sending information on a patient to a bedside monitor that then sends the data to a doctor, usually once a day.

In the model researchers studied, transmissions from the defibrillator to the bedside monitor are not encrypted, which means that someone intercepting the transmissions could retrieve such data as the patient’s birth date, medical ID number and, in some cases, Social Security number.

As the technology spreads to more medical devices, including pacemakers, spinal cord stimulators and hearing implants - and as the range of the devices’ radio signals increase - the researchers predict patients’ data will face increasing risks.

“There will be more implanted devices and more wireless capabilities and transmissions over greater distances,” said Dr. William Maisel, one of the study’s authors and a Harvard-affiliated director of the Medical Device Safety Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

A Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman acknowledged a hacker could use specialized software and a small antenna to intercept transmissions from a defibrillator.

But she said the chance of that happening - or of a defibrillator being maliciously reprogrammed using a technique similar to the one a doctor would use to program it - was “remote.”

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