5/30/2011

Microsoft gets $5 for every Android phone made by HTC

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft Corp. receives $5 for every Android phone made by Taiwan-based HTC Corp., according to a Citigroup report on Microsoft.

The report released Friday said that Microsoft gets the money as part of a patent dispute settlement with HTC, which manufactures smartphones and tablets powered by Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows operating systems.

The Redmond, Wash.-based tech giant is also seeking to sue other Android phone makers, the report says, and is aiming for “a $7.50 to $12.50 per unit license to settle alleged infringement of Microsoft patents.”

5/29/2011

March RSA Hack Hits Lockheed, Remote Systems Breached

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A March attack on RSA’s SecurID authentication service has possibly claimed its first big victim: Lockheed Martin.

According to a source speaking to Reuters, unknown hackers have broken into Lockheed Martin’s security systems by using duplicate SecurID tokens to spoof legitimate authentications into the network. These SecurID tokens are analogous to Blizzard’s World of Warcraft Authenticators: Tiny little keyfobs that display an ever-changing code one must enter to log into a protected service.

Lockheed hasn’t issued comment on alleged breach itself, leading only to speculation as to what data, if any, those breaching the company’s network were able to acquire. But the plunder could be vast: Lockheed is the nation’s largest military contractor, and it undoubtedly has treasure troves of data about existing and future weapons systems as well as information related to the various cybersecurity services the company provides.

5/27/2011

Researchers crack Microsoft, eBay, Yahoo, Digg audio captchas

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Researchers have figured out how to to crack captchas, making it possible to launch automated attacks against sites such as Microsoft, eBay and Digg where opening phony accounts could be turned into cash.

Software written by researchers at Stanford University and Tulane University can interpret human speech well enough to crack audio captchas between 1.5% and 89% of the time - often enough to make sites that use them vulnerable to setting up false user accounts, the researchers say.

5/12/2011

Facebook Busted in Clumsy Smear Attempt on Google

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The social network secretly hired a PR firm to plant negative stories about the search giant, The Daily Beast’s Dan Lyons reveals—a caper that is blowing up in their face, and escalating their war.

For the past few days, a mystery has been unfolding in Silicon Valley. Somebody, it seems, hired Burson-Marsteller, a top public-relations firm, to pitch anti-Google stories to newspapers, urging them to investigate claims that Google was invading people’s privacy. Burson even offered to help an influential blogger write a Google-bashing op-ed, which it promised it could place in outlets like The Washington Post, Politico, and The Huffington Post.

The plot backfired when the blogger turned down Burson’s offer and posted the emails that Burson had sent him. It got worse when USA Today broke a story accusing Burson of spreading a “whisper campaign” about Google “on behalf of an unnamed client.”

But who was the mysterious unnamed client? While fingers pointed at Apple and Microsoft, The Daily Beast discovered that it’s a company nobody suspected—Facebook.

5/11/2011

Microsoft to buy Skype for $8.5 billion

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

It could be the most expensive call Microsoft Corp. has ever made.

In acquiring Internet phone service Skype for $8.5 billion, the technology giant is seeking new ways to make money as its core computer software business faces a growing threat from a new generation of powerful mobile devices.

But some analysts believe the Skype deal, Microsoft’s largest ever, could become a multibillion-dollar dud, as it once was for EBay Inc. The online auction site acquired Skype for $3.1 billion in 2005 but then sold most of its stake in the phone service after failing to wring a profit from it.

5/8/2011

You’ll Soon Be Able To See Inside Buildings With Google Maps

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google has unveiled Business Photos for Google Maps, a new product that allows users to check out the inside of local businesses.

During a demo on stage at the Social-Loco conference, Mayer and a co-worker showed off the ability to “enter” local businesses and see the inside of a building. Businesses can provide photos to Google, which can then be compiled into a 360-degree view of a building’s interior.

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