Todays Tech 5/24/2007

Here are some of the latest technology stories floating around the internet today.

Wal-Mart to begin selling Dell PCs Initial word was that the Dell PCs would go on sale this weekend. A representative for Wal-Mart on Thursday morning said that the PCs are slated to be in stores on June 10, with two models each offered in a bundle priced below $700. Details on the PCs were not provided. Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart Canada stores will carry different models.

Copying HD DVD and Blu-ray discs may become legal Under a licensing agreement in its final stages, consumers may get the right to make several legal copies of HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc movies they’ve purchased, a concession by the movie industry that may quell criticism that DRM (digital rights management) technologies are too restrictive.

This is crazy. I can’t believe I just posted a story that said users MAY get the right to copy their OWN property. The movie and music industries suck and they are killing it all by themselves.

Flexible, full-color OLED On May 24, Sony unveiled what it is calling the world?s first flexible, full-color organic electroluminescent display (OLED) built on organic thin-film transistor (TFT) technology. OLEDs typically use a glass substrate, but Sony researchers developed new technology for forming organic TFT on a plastic substrate, enabling them to create a thin, lightweight and flexible full-color display.

Dell Offers Three Consumer Systems With Ubuntu 7.04 Later today, Dell will offer U.S customers three different systems with Ubuntu 7.04 installed: the XPS 410n and Dimension E520n desktops and the Inspiron E1505n notebook. These systems will be available at www.dell.com/open by 4pm CST today. Starting price for the E520n desktop and the E1505n notebook is $599; the XPS 410n starts at $849.

Why Are CC Numbers Still So Easy To Find? Some “script kiddie” tricks still work after all: Take the first 8 digits of a standard 16-digit credit card number. Search for them on Google in “nnnn nnnn” form. Since the 8-digit prefix of a given card number is often shared with many other cards, about 1/4 of credit card numbers in my random test, turned up pages that included other credit card numbers, and about 1 in 10 turned up a “treasure trove” of card numbers that were exposed through someone’s sloppily written Web app.

DOG (Distrust/Disdain of Google) moves in Me? Google is too secretive. Too unwilling to engage. Too aloof. Oh, and Eric Schmidt, Google?s CEO, has lost touch with how normal people think (if these quotes are correct, and that?s a big ?if?). If they are correct I think it?s evidence that he?s been hanging around too many advertising execs lately. Their goal is to put impulses into your mind so you take certain actions (like buy Diet Coke instead of Diet Pepsi). Believe it or not advertising execs talk like that. So, when Eric is reported to have said, during a visit to Britain this week: ?The goal is to enable Google users to be able to ask the question such as ?What shall I do tomorrow?? and ?What job shall I take??? we all get a little freaked out. We don?t want Google to know that much about us.

Windows XP SP3 in the Works – Microsoft Confirms They have confirmed service pack 3, but the date on that article is wrong, according to Microsoft the release date will be 1st half of 2008, whatever that means.

Cyber Crooks Hijack Activities of Large Web-Hosting Firm Brian Krebs talks about IPOWER Inc, on of the hosting companies that was recently featured by Stopbadware.org as one of the largest hosting companies that are currently silently installing malicious software, as detailed here, Exposing Hosting Companies with Malicious Websites. Brian says organized crime is responsible and IPOWER says it was one compromised server run by another company.

Google is failing the Microsoft litmus test If you want to evaluate the ?evil? quotient of any company?s strategy/behavior, consider how you?d feel about it if it were Microsoft in the driver seat.

Vista no panacea for PC sales Although Microsoft has characterized itself as happy with Vista adoption so far?and Bill Gates said last week at WinHEC that Microsoft had shipped 40 million copies?the release of the new operating system has not resulted in a significant bump in PC sales.

Skype Worm Variant Targets Other Instant Messaging Clients Yesterday, I discovered what appears to be a new collection of “Skype Worm” infection binaries in circulation – it uses the tried and tested methods employed by similar infections over the past few months, with the ultimate payload being the Stration Worm. Aside from that, there’s another little surprise waiting but we’ll get to that shortly…