Tech News

Todays Tech 6/25/2007

Some interesting technology stories.

Leader of net piracy gang jailed A Briton has been jailed for 51 months after pleading guilty to software piracy charges in the US.

Microsoft’s anti-virtualization stance: forget DRM, think Apple This weekend Eric Lai of Computerworld attempted to describe the possible relationship between Vista’s DRM and Microsoft’s licensing restrictions against virtualization. The view that Microsoft’s prohibition stems from fears that users will circumvent DRM isn’t new, but the article comes at an opportune time: Microsoft came within an inch of reversing their position last week, but then backed off. The time is ripe for more speculation as to just why Microsoft says “no” to the virtualization of those two OSes, yet allows virtualization of other editions of Vista.

Viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace Over the last six months, I?ve noticed an increasing number of press articles about how high school teens are leaving MySpace for Facebook. That’s only partially true. There is indeed a change taking place, but it’s not a shift so much as a fragmentation. Until recently, American teenagers were flocking to MySpace. The picture is now being blurred. Some teens are flocking to MySpace. And some teens are flocking to Facebook. Which go where gets kind of sticky, because it seems to primarily have to do with socio-economic class.

Symantec offers free software as amends for antivirus snafu Symantec gives away some more of their crappy software to the people they hosed in China with a bad dat file update.

First Apple iPhone shipments arrive stateside First shipments of the iPhone arrive.

Seagate Announces 1TB Drives Seagate today unveiled two 1TB hard drives for consumer and enterprise markets.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - June 25, 2007 at 6:57 pm

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Todays Tech 6/15/2007

Here are some of the more recent interesting tech stories.

eBay Experiment Demonstrates Frailty Of Google’s Monopoly For the past several days, Larry Dignan has been seeing what it’s like to live without Google. Each day, he’s been trying different, lesser-known search engines to see how they stack up. As he points out, this is essentially what eBay decided to do when it announced that it would cease Adwords spending on Google in the US market, at least for the time being.

Windows Ultimate Extras is a sham – where?s the responsibility? In a post titled ?Is Windows Vista Ultimate Extras a sham??, I voiced some of my concerns about Ultimate Extras and why I thought it was going to disappoint. A lot of people didn?t agree with me, suggesting we needed more time to allow ?progress? to happen. Well, I think now is a better time than any.

Dear AT&T: Please go to hell LA Times: AT&T to target pirated content: It joins Hollywood in trying to keep bootleg material off its network. Its network, the headline says. Not “the Internet”, but its network. If you had any illusions that what you get from the likes of AT&T is “the Internet”, you’ve just been corrected. Remember Ma Bell? Sheee’s back! And now she’s got the TV and “the Internet” as well as the phone.

Over 1 Million Potential Victims of Botnet Cyber Crime Today the Department of Justice and FBI announced the results of an ongoing cyber crime initiative to disrupt and dismantle ?botherders? and elevate the public?s cyber security awareness of botnets. OPERATION BOT ROAST is a national initiative and ongoing investigations have identified over 1 million victim computer IP addresses.

Google Video Flaw Raises Privacy Concerns by Exposing Usernames and Passwords It appears from Insomniac’s find that if you choose to share a video from Google Video to another social network (like MySpace, for example), your username and password get sent in plaintext on the http protocol (rather than the more secure https protocol).

Act now to stop Congress from legalizing spyware! The SPY Act, a new anti-spyware law, makes it impossible for consumer rights groups to sue DRM companies for putting spyware in their DRM (like Sony did last year, with its rootkit DRM). The irony is that spyware is already illegal, so all that this act does is immunize big media companies that sneak spyware onto your computer.

Report: MS Using New Heat Sinks to Alleviate 360 Failures New photos have surfaced that seem to reveal an improved cooling system within the 360, and the reports suggest that owners who have had their systems repaired are getting them back with the new heat sinks installed. Microsoft would not comment directly on this, but said “updating console components is commonplace.”

Yahoo defect endangers users — do web sites care? Every day, hundreds of defects known as “cross-site scripting,” or XSS for short, are discovered on web sites every day. (This is not even counting all those that don?t get disclosed.) And the peanut butter eating yahoos in Yahoo?s development organization are not immune to coding up such so-called XSS bugs.

iPods to blame for total eclipse of the art, says Hockney What?

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - June 15, 2007 at 6:46 pm

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Todays Tech 5/31/2007

Hitting some of the technology highlights.

Data Recovery Using Linux Recovering data from a Windows system using Linux tools.

Well we really screwed this one up? In trying to remove some Live Journals that were violating their terms, specifically pedophile journals and communities, they deleted some that should not have been deleted and are trying to explain what happened and what they are doing to get them back. Related article from News.com here.

Can you say du huh. Studies: music industry overstating threat of P2P piracy Unauthorized sharing of digital music remains a huge issue for the global music business, but is most of that sharing taking place on peer-to-peer networks? For years, peer-to-peer was the bogeyman, the red Communist music monster than was going to devour the industry’s revenues. But new research suggests that sneakernets may be as big a problem as darknets.

EMI Music, Google and YouTube strike milestone partnership Soon, you will be watching videos and recordings from EMI Music artists, through a deal between EMI and Google.

Mahalo Is Hawaiian for Useless Unbiased review of Mahalo, the hand made search engine from Jason Calacanis. Michael Arrington writes a puff piece here.

BBC to broadcast in ‘Second Life’ In the Second Life economy, more than $600,000 changes hands every day. Now the virtual world is about to play host to a BBC show about that economy and how people have made real money from it.

A picture’s worth a thousand clicks Google has bought Panoramio, a community photos website that enables digital photographers to geo-locate, store and organize their photographs — and to view those photographs in Google Earth. Big surprise huh?

Google brings developers offline with ?Gears?; new offline Reader ?Google Gears,? an open source project that will bring offline capabilities to Web Applications ? aimed at developers. From the Gears API Blog Gears is a browser extension that we hope — with time and plenty of input and collaboration from outside of Google — can make not just our applications but everyone’s applications work offline. From Read/Write Web And guess who is most at risk with this announcement? Yes, Microsoft. Google after all has many of the top ‘best of breed’ web apps now, and Mozilla wants more market share against Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser. Adobe and Microsoft are also engaged in an ongoing battle for Rich Internet App supremacy, which probably explains why Adobe is involved in Gears. And of course, this will have major implications for the Web Office – where Google Apps is directly competing against Microsoft Office (whether Google admits it or not!).

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - May 31, 2007 at 4:59 pm

Categories: Computer Forensics, Google, Piracy, Second Life, Tech News, YouTube   Tags:

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…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - May 24, 2007 at 5:14 pm

Categories: Dell, Google, Malicious Websites, Microsoft News, Tech News   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Todays Tech Notes

More great technology reads.

The 100 Best Products of 2007 PCWorlds Editors rank the top 100 products of 2007.

Google?s goal to organize your daily life See, now Google is just getting plain scary, they plan on being able to collect all the data they can about us, and be able to answer questions from us like ?What shall I do tomorrow?? and ?What job shall I take?? Might be time to go back offline….

What’s hot today? The hottest products of the moment, the ones that are shown are usually the ones are experiencing surges in searches, like current events, Paris Hilton going to jail, etc. Sounds like an interesting tool.

Proposed National Database Raises Privacy Concerns Experts point out the security risks of the nationwide database of workers’ personal information that would be required under an immigration bill expanding the Employee Eligibility Verification System.

automatically upload a folder of photos to Flickr Say that three times fast. They show you how to have your pictures folder auto magically upload to Flickr whatever you dump in it.

Virtual World Gold Rush? The business of buying businesses is booming once again, but, who’s next?

House passes more tech-friendly antispyware bill In their third effort to enact a federal law targeting spyware, members of the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved criminal penalties aimed at anyone implanting certain types of malicious software on computers. More coverage to come on this one…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - May 23, 2007 at 3:58 am

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Todays Tech 5/21/2007

Some of the interesting technology stories making the rounds today.

Google News: The End of News Indexing As We Know It? Has Google started paying newspaper sites to include their stories? Surely not, but it is making the rounds, Google denies it here, Google Denies New UK News Search Deal saying, “It is categorically no,” said spokesperson Jessica Powell. “We don’t pay to index news content.” Talk about being a big mistake if they did….

Google Coop Embeds Gadgets in Search Results If you have been playing with a Google Coop search engine, I have here, Technology Search Engine, Google is embedding some widgets on certain types of searches.

Ubuntu 7.04 Offering?Technical Details Here is an overview of what to expect from the Dell Ubuntu computer offerings that are coming up.

BenQ Sells Digital Camera Division BenQ Corp. has agreed to sell its digital camera division as part of a broad restructuring aimed at returning to financial health after a disastrous attempt to compete in the global handset business.

Who Will Buy Facebook? Duncan Riley wonders who will buy Facebook and thinks that Google is the logical choice. Meanwhile, Facebook Opens Its Pages
As a Way to Fuel Growth
They are allowing other companies to provide services in the Facebook network and will be able to link to friends and networks. Previously some companies have had pages within Facebook, but they didn’t interact with the Web site’s user networks. This move is significant because it could turn Facebook into a central hub for Web users, akin to an Internet portal like Yahoo Inc. Rather than using Facebook only to keep in touch with friends and going elsewhere for other content, users could now gain access to that content inside Facebook. That could keep people on Facebook for longer periods of time, which would also appeal to advertisers. Makes sense.

Panasonic gooses megapixels, zoom Panasonic announced a new Lumix camera Monday that squeezes a wide-angle lens, a 12.2-megapixel sensor and a novel way of extending zoom lens range into a compact camera.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - May 21, 2007 at 5:48 pm

Categories: Dell, Google, Social Networks, Tech News   Tags:

Computer News for 5/20/2007

Symantec false positive cripples thousands of Chinese PCs A signature update to Symantec’s anti-virus software crippled thousands of Chinese PCs Friday when the security software took two critical Windows .dll files for [tag]malware[/tag].

According to numerous blog entries from Chinese computer users, a virus signature database seeded yesterday mistook two system files of a Chinese edition of Windows XP SP2 as a Trojan horse which Symantec dubs “Backdoor.Haxdoor.” The anti-virus software — Norton AntiVirus, for example, or the anti-virus component of the Norton 360 or Norton Internet Security suites — then quarantined the netapi32.dll and lsasrv.dll files.

“With these files removed, Windows XP will no longer start up, and even the system Safe Mode no longer functions,” said one user writing to the alt.comp.anti-virus newsgroup this morning.

Google Licenses Technology for 3D Maps Google has licensed technology that will enable [tag]Google[/tag] to map out 3-D versions of cities world wide.

According to a Mercury News report, the technology was developed by a team of Stanford University students and was used to run a robotic car that won the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge.

Although Google is the market leader in mapping, to date it has lagged behind Microsoft?s Virtual Earth in terms of 3-D functionality.

Dell announces the models for Ubuntu We will be launching a Linux based OS (Ubuntu) on the E520, 1505 and XPS 410 starting next Thursday, 5/24. We expect these systems to be less than 1% of our OS mix for the entire year which is ~20,000 systems annually. Please cover the huddle deck below with your team by EOB Sunday. If any questions come up, please let me know so I can address them before launch.

The goal of launching Linux is to continue to give our customers more choices to customize their new Dell. Providing more options to our Linux Enthusiast customer group will hopefully create even more Raving Fans!!

Governments using filters to censor Internet, survey finds With the aid of sophisticated software, government censorship of the Internet is spreading into a global phenomenon, with tech-savvy governments filtering forbidden themes from politics and human rights to sexuality and religion, according to a new academic survey of 40 countries.

In the past five years, the practice has grown beyond a handful of countries, including Iran, China and Saudi Arabia, to 26 nations that block a wide range of topics as they adopt filtering techniques, according to an OpenNet Initiative report to be issued Friday in Oxford, England.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - May 20, 2007 at 6:13 am

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Tech News 5/18/2007

Lots of interesting technology news concerning Microsoft, Google, Torrents, Youtube and more.

The Pirate Bay to Launch YouTube Competitor The Pirate Bay is preparing to launch a Youtube competitor, they have confirmed it themselves, ?YES – we?re going to do a video streaming site. It?s true. It?s in the works being done right now and as usual we put a bit of Pirate Bay mentality behind every project we do.? Sounds like a version of Youtube where the copyrighted videos don’t come down, hehe.

Google Apps Partner Edition Today, we’re excited to take another step in that direction by releasing a version of Google Apps specifically designed for ISPs, portals, and other service providers, whether you have a few thousand subscribers or over a million. This new version, which we’re calling the Partner Edition, makes it easy for large and small service providers to offer your subscribers the latest versions of powerful tools, like Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Docs & Spreadsheets, without having to worry about hosting, updating, or maintaining any of the services yourself. Sounds interesting.

Microsoft Launches Popfly: Mashup App Creator Built On Silverlight A mashup and widget creator using Microsoft’s new Silverlight. Mary Jo Foley calls it Microsoft Popfly: Yahoo Pipes for the rest of us, an app for the people who don’t want to program, just create.

Now that Feedburner Story?. Is Google going to buy Feedburner? Some say yes and the Doubleclick deal is holding it up, if they do, it would give them a foothold in the RSS ad’s market. Sure glad I’m not running any ads in my feed….

Microsoft Gets Its Ad Network Microsoft announced the purchase of aQuantive, a 10-year-old, publicly traded digital marketing company in an all cash deal worth approximately $6 billion — the biggest acquisition in Microsoft history. That is kind of hard to believe, as long as Microsoft has been around, but they do tend to buy the smaller companies I guess. Om Malik says “Microsoft?s willingness to pay big dollars and bid aggressively for aQuantive ($66 a share versus mid-$30s trading price) shows that the Barons of Redmond truly believe that advertising will play a big role in its future. How that eventually plays out – remains to be seen.” Michael Arrington has posted lots of info from the Media Call here, such as this question from Bear Stearns: does this affect MS?s opinion on Google/doubleclick transaction. MS: no, not at all. Says this will promote competition and Google/doubleclick will hurt competition. Microsoft is in none of the businesses that aQuantive is in, whereas Google was already in direct competition with doubleclick and will give Google 80% market share in those markets.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - May 18, 2007 at 6:54 pm

Categories: Microsoft News, Tech News, YouTube   Tags:

Todays Tech News

Lots of interesting tech news today, lets get to it.

Universal search: The best answer is still the best answer Google updated their search engine results, they are introducing content from Images, Maps, Books, Video, and News into the search results, and making one big pile of stuff, instead of keeping it separate like they used to.

Making The Switch From Twitter to Jaiku Tired of the downtime Twitter has had lately? In a post from Techcrunch, Duncan Riley talks about people making the switch and some of the tools already available and some they want. He’s not switching, btw, and neither am I, at least not until everyone else does. Mine has been quiet recently, but you can check it here, Jimmy Daniels Twitter microblog.

More Firefox Bloat? Say It Ain’t So, Mozilla Do you feel bloated? Er, I mean, does your Firefox feel bloated? You’re not alone…

New Stuff At My Yahoo Michael Arrington covers the new stuff from My Yahoo. No, not my Yahoo, your Yahoo, no, just read it…

BitTorrent in Focus: TV-series are Hot TorrentFreak says TV is hot online, with 50% of people on BitTorrent downloading TV shows, while TV shows only make up 10% of the available “content”. Interesting, sounds like good news for Joost.

Latest AACS revision defeated a week before release Remember when Kevin Rose lost control of digg? I said they should just give up on the [tag]DRM[/tag] because someone will always be around to crack it for them, well they already have. A new volume key used by high-def films scheduled for release next week has already been cracked. The previous AACS volume key was invalidated by AACS LA after it was exposed and broadly disseminated earlier this month. The latest beta release of SlySoft’s AnyDVD HD program can apparently be used to rip HD DVD discs that use AACS version 3. Although these won’t hit store shelves until the May 22, pirates have already successfully tested SlySoft’s program with early release previews of the Matrix trilogy.

Google to Yahoo and Microsoft: the $1.65 billion was worth it Can you say du huh?

Microsoft apologizes for Halo 3 problems, extends beta The press invites sent out before the Halo 3 beta became widely available were the calm before the storm apparently, as there was a problem with gamers who had the Crackdown invites grabbing the file yesterday. Frank was caught up in the foolishness and it seemed like the entire Internet was going to come down. I know how hard it is to plan something this big, but seriously, this is Microsoft. They should have been better prepared. Now we’re at the point of apologizing, after a very unhappy player-base spent a frustrating day yesterday pulling out their hair waiting for the beta to become available.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - May 17, 2007 at 6:15 pm

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Todays Tech News

Again, too much stuff to really comment on, so here are the highlights.

Aero and battery life First off, the Aero theme drives the GPU harder and therefore uses more power. But in the big picture, it’s really not that much more, the display on most laptops will consume somewhere between 15-25% of your power when you are running on battery. Nevertheless, in our testing we’ve seen that turning on Aero consumes only about 1-4% more of battery life. In terms of making your battery last longer, turning off Aero will not go very far while at the same time costing you some of the cool features that make Windows Vista fun to use, such as Flip 3D, taskbar previews, window transparency and so on.

Microsoft Details Patent Breaches Microsoft has given the most detailed description to date of the number of open-source computer programs it says infringe on its patents, but the company says it still prefers licensing deals with open-source developers, software distributors and users instead of taking legal action against them.

Facing the full horror of Windows Vista So far, Transit has been using Vista Business full-time for a fortnight. And so far, we’ve found nothing that works better than in Windows XP, dozens of things that are annoyingly different without being a functional improvement, and several things that work at best intermittently and at worst not at all. On the whole, we wish we’d never moved. Sounds like a bunch of whiners to me, I mean, come on, after one day they are ready to go back? Sounds like someone wanted some website traffic.

Microsoft delves further into manufacturing with Zune plant Microsoft is making a new push in hardware manufacturing by building a factory in China to produce its Zune media player. The factory will produce a second iteration of the Zune, which has so far failed to impress.

Microsoft building a Zune factory The fact that you all voted the Zune Worst Gadget of the Year in the recent Engadget Awards doesn’t seem to be causing any hand-wringing in Redmond, as Microsoft confirmed today that they’re building a dedicated Zune factory in China with an unnamed partner to crank out the oft-rumored next-gen Zune. Probably because there are so many Apple guys on Engadget?

WinHEC 2007 has begun Uncle Bill went on stage 30 minutes ago to begin this year?s Windows Hardware Engineering Conference. For those who aren?t familiar, this is the place to see the some of the coolest new hardware coming to the Windows ecosystem. If you must see the news as it happens, then go and grab the hot and tasty WinHEC Keynote stream.

Twitter Cloning: Tiny Blogs Bloom Everywhere Over the past few months, a flood of clones has appeared, imitating and repurposing the micro-blogging concept popularized by the San Francisco-based social networking start-up. People generally use Twitter to post short status updates telling their friends via SMS what they’re doing right this minute.

Sneak peek at Windows Live Folders Microsoft’s new Windows Live Folders feature still isn’t ready for public release, but the system showed up online briefly, giving folks a chance to see what the Redmond-based software company has planned for the future in online storage.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - May 15, 2007 at 6:17 pm

Categories: Tech News, Windows Vista   Tags: , , , , , , ,

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