May I borrow your phone? Call the World for Free

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The fwdOUT™ Network is a system that matches callers with other users that can complete the call for them at no charge. The only catch is that to make some calls, you have to let others use your phone. fwdOUT™is free and not to be used for commercial purposes.

The fwdOUT™ Network keeps a tally of calls that you make and that you give to others. It’s like getting a calling card that starts with a few credits. One credit is used for each call and you get credits for each call that you give. As long as your balance remains positive, you can place calls.

Many of us have free calling regions and unused minutes in our phone plans, by sharing minutes, you get expand your free access considerably. Even if you don’t have free minutes, the minutes you give might cost significantly less than those you take – balancing out in your favor in the end.

An Example:

In New York, Steve and Nick want to go backpacking through Europe this summer, and they are trying to make reservations in Korfu. The Palace doesn’t have a US number and they don’t have international dialing privileges. So, they connect their Asterisk system up to the fwdOUT™ Network and dial 394+30 26610 53103. This dialing pattern routes their call to the fwdOUT™ Network. fwdOUT™ finds the best and closest matching fwdOUT™ members through which to route call. In this case, fwdOUT™ found a system in Athens to complete the call. The call goes through the internet to Athens and then back on the Phone Network in Greece.

To learn more about this new free service check out fwdOUT™ Network


Yahoo Ups Free Email Storage to 1 GB

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Yahoo Inc. said on Wednesday it will soon begin giving users of its free Web e-mail service 1 gigabyte of storage, four times more than it now offers, amid intense competition.

Consumers are increasingly using their Web e-mail inboxes as a repository for e-mail as well as digital photos and documents. Web e-mail providers have been responding with offers of ever more free storage.

Yahoo said the global storage upgrade will begin in late April and take about two weeks to complete.

The Internet media company also said it is beefing up antivirus protection for free e-mail users, giving them the ability to remove viruses from attachments — a feature that had only been available to paying users.

Yahoo Mail is available in 15 languages in almost two dozen countries around the world.

Source: Reuters


Yahoo backtracks on Firefox pledge

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Yahoo retracted a statement from the company’s Australian office that had promised future products would work with both the Firefox and Internet Explorer browsers. Users of the Mozilla Foundation’s open-source Firefox browser have had to switch to IE in order to use some Yahoo services, including parts of its search toolbar.

“In the grand scheme of things Firefox is still a new technology,” said a Yahoo representative, retracting the earlier promise. “I’m not saying we are not going to be developing and exploring other areas–we are. But there are so many different products on the Yahoo network that there may be some products that are, perhaps, not appropriate for that browser.”

Source: News.com


Google personalizes news site

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google began testing new customization features on its news aggregation site Wednesday in a salvo against competition from Microsoft.

Google News
, still in its test or “beta” phase after launching in 2002, says it will let people specify what categories of news to display on the page, giving an array of choices including results chosen by keyword.

“We’ve made a number of improvements to Google News that allow you to customize your News front page by creating sections that focus on topics you care about, for instance, your favorite sports team, technology, or celebrity,” reads a Google News page posted Wednesday. “You can also design your custom front page by mixing and matching existing standard sections from the 22 regional editions of Google News from around the globe.”

Source: News.com


The Ultimate Portable Media Player

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Imagine a new portable device that can play mp3, display pictures, record and display video (PVR), surf the internet, write and receive emails, have a calendar, notes and a phone book. A device that you can play games with it, has a 40GB drive and you can install any other application that you want. All that at a price range of $300-$400.



Video Game Ratings System Adds New Category

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The video game ratings system will add a new category to protect children under 10 from seeing certain kinds of violence, the board that administers the system said on Wednesday.

The Entertainment Software Rating Board said “E10+” would mark games that might contain “moderate amounts of cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.”

The E10+ rating will reside on the scale between “E,” meaning a game is appropriate for all ages, and “T,” meaning a game for teenagers. The ratings system also includes “M” ratings for those over 17 and the rarely-used “AO” for adult audiences only.

The ESRB said it expected most top sports, racing and adventure games would continue to take an E rating, while racing games with graphic crashes and fighting games with superheroes would likely take an E10+.

The ESRB rates virtually every game released in the United States. Its system has been praised by the federal government as one of the most effective in the media industry.

Source: Reuters


Winamp blocks music-copying feature

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

America Online is disabling a feature of its popular music software that had been used to evade copy-prevention features of digital music services, the company said Friday.

The company’s Winamp software was identified this week as part of a process that transformed copy-protected music downloads into songs that could be burned by the thousand to CD. The tool had potentially affected any subscription service that used Microsoft’s media format, including Napster, Virgin Music and even America Online’s own music subscription plan.

AOL has already removed the Winamp plug-in that made this process fairly simple. Programmers are developing a patch that will be automatically pushed to the software’s users. The patch will probably disable altogether the ability to play copy-protected songs in Microsoft’s format.

A new version of Winamp software will then be released that can once again play the Microsoft-formatted songs, but will block the stream-ripping capability, Burkart said.

Source: News.com


Gates pledges $750m for child vaccines

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is giving $750m to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization which protects children in the developing world from preventable diseases.

The government of Norway is putting $290m in the pot and Gates is calling on other donors to meet the funding gap. The World Health Organisation estimates $8bn to $12bn is needed between 2005 and 2015 to immunise 27m children in the world’s poorest countries. GAVI has raised $2.3bn towards this goal.

Gates said: “Today, a child’s access to life-saving vaccines too often depends on where he or she lives in the world, and that’s unacceptable….This is a solvable problem - it’s time for donors, both public and private, to dramatically step up their efforts to close the immunization gap.” WHO estimates that of the 10m children who die before their fifth birthday 1.4m die of a disease for which there is a vaccine and another 1.1m die of a disease for which there will soon be a vaccine.

Source: The Register


Microsoft Reverses Plan, Will Patch Media Player

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft will patch its Windows Media Player after all.

One week after saying it had no plans to change the way WMP (Windows Media Player) handles the download of DRM licenses, Microsoft now says it will release an update in the next 30 days to help thwart the threat of spyware infection.

“While this issue is not the result of any exploit of Windows Media DRM, we do recognize it may cause problems for some of our customers,” the company said in a statement.

“To help mitigate these problems, Microsoft is committed to providing an update to Windows Media Player in the next 30 days that would allow the end-user more control over when and how any pop-ups display in the license acquisition process.”

Source: eWeek


U.S. researcher says finds Atlantis off Cyprus

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A U.S. researcher on Sunday claimed he had found the lost civilisation of Atlantis in the watery deep off Cyprus — adding his theory to a mystery which has baffled explorers for centuries.

Robert Sarmast says a Mediterranean basin was flooded in a deluge around 9,000 BC which submerged a rectangular land mass he believes was Atlantis, lying 1.5 km beneath sea level between Cyprus and Syria.

“We have definitely found it,” said Sarmast, who led a team of explorers 80 kilometres off the south-east coast of Cyprus earlier this month.

Deep water sonar scanning had indicated man-made structures on a submerged hill, including a 3-kilometre-long wall, a walled hill summit and deep trenches, he said. But further explorations were needed, he added.

“We cannot yet provide tangible proof in the form of bricks and mortar as the artefacts are still buried under several metres of sediment, but the circumstantial and other evidence is irrefutable,” he claimed.

At a news conference in the port city of Limassol, Sarmast provided only animated simulations of the “hill”.

Whether and where Atlantis existed has captured imaginations for centuries.

Source: Reuters


Ultra personal computing in the palm of your hand

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sony VAIO U-Series Notebook Combines Power of Full-size PC with Portability of PDA

At a shade over 1 pound, Sony’s new VAIO® U Ultra Portable PC, announced today, has the heart of a PC but the soul of an entertainer.

Doubling as a portable media player, this “pocketable” PC allows you to download entertainment content and enjoy it virtually anywhere you go. Integrated 802.11 b/g wireless LAN helps you stay in touch with the Internet, email and your favorite digital content download services.

Multiple input modes contribute to the PC’s extreme versatility. Using the stylus and virtual keyboard on the unit’s touch panel screen, you can compose email messages or navigate files even while standing up. Handwriting recognition software simplifies note-taking or annotating documents. Users can also quickly launch programs or execute common commands with thumb-controlled action buttons, or draft longer text files with the included foldout keyboard.

Vaio U

The new VAIO presents an impresive spec:

Man Charged with Selling Secret Windows Code

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A Connecticut man was arrested on Tuesday on charges that he illegally sold a secret source code used for Microsoft Corp.’s Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 programs, federal prosecutors said.

The Manhattan United States Attorney’s Office said William P. Genovese, Jr., 27, was charged with unlawfully distributing a trade secret, a charge that carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years and a $250,000 fine if he is convicted.

Genovese was not immediately available for comment.

Prosecutors charged in the criminal complaint that Genovese posted a message on his Web site offering to sell the source code, which had previously been stolen by others. Access to a software program’s source code can allow someone to replicate the program or find vulnerabilities.

In February 2004, prosecutors said, an investigator hired by Microsoft downloaded a copy of the source code from Genovese’s site after making an electronic payment. On another occasion, an undercover FBI agent also made an electronic payment to Genovese and downloaded a copy of the code, according to the complaint.

Source: Reuters

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