Lots of interesting stuff to read.
Encryption vendor claims AACS infringes its patents, sues Sony Certicom has done extensive work in elliptic curve cryptography (ECC), and the patents in question build on this work. The patents have already been licensed by groups like the US National Security Agency, which paid $25 million back in 2003 for the right to use 26 Certicom patents, including the two in the Sony case. Now, Certicom wants Sony to pay up, claiming that encryption present in several key Sony technologies violates Certicom patents on “Strengthened public key protocol” and “Digital signatures on a Smartcard.”
Zune Firmware Update 1.4 Improves [tag]Zune[/tag] Shuffle experience, that’s about it.
How Online Criminals Make Themselves Tough to Find, Near Impossible to Nab The investigator (who could only speak anonymously) wonders aloud what other networks are right now being controlled by criminal enterprises whose presence is entirely concealed. Computer crime has shifted from a game of disruption to one of access. The hacker?s focus has shifted too, from developing destructive payloads to circumventing detection. Now, for every tool forensic investigators have come to rely on to discover and prosecute electronic crimes, criminals have a corresponding tool to baffle the investigation. This is antiforensics. It is more than technology. It is an approach to criminal hacking that can be summed up like this: Make it hard for them to find you and impossible for them to prove they found you.
Meet the people of the Web A new series from Yahoo!, exploring the most interesting stories and characters on the web.
The Scariest Google Street View Finds Have you been caught doing something with the Google Street View?
Surfing Sex Offender Caught with Mum’s Spyware Pedophile is caught using a keylogger, like Teen Minder, installed by teens mom. This is what I have been saying for awhile, watch your kids, you don’t have to watch everything, just check in occasionally.
New firmware prevents modders from being banned A new firmware version has just been released for all 360s with the TS-H943 DVD drive preventing against any Xbox Live detection attempts and allowing the 360 to play all “backup” game copies.
New Details On Gears Of War Update…. New Achievements Looks like Epic is going to be taking advantage of the extra 250 gamerscore via DLC, and we will be getting some more Gears of War achievements.
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.
Just finished looking at a lot of posts talking about a major announcement at some function in Redmond, at Microsoft headquarters. iLounge is reporting that they are announcing a new Zune, and none of the other sites that posted about it, Engadget, CrunchGear, Gizmodo, and Cliczune, among others, had anything else to add. I guess we will see tomorrow.
Some more of the notable, and not so notable, news running about today.
Hack Attack: Control multiple computers with a single keyboard and mouse This is one great post, and something I will definitely be trying out at work and at home.
Cracking open the Microsoft Zune Portable media players are all the rage. View this gallery for an inside look at Microsoft’s new Zune. From the device’s packaging to its software and the device itself, here’s what you get (and how it works) when you buy a Zune.
Cracking open the Linksys WRT54G wireless router The Linksys WRT54G Wireless Router is one of the most common 802.11g devices deployed, a favorite of everyone from Linux fans to Windows users. Take a look inside what powers this ubiquitous device.
Wi-fi? Why worry? While the heating effects of high exposures to electromagnetic radiation can be damaging, the power levels of wireless connections are much lower than the microwave ovens and mobile phones which share the frequency range, and treating them in the same way is the worst sort of scaremongering.
An Open Letter to Apple from a Lifelong Gamer Mac convert asks Apple to make some good games.
Microsoft, Trying to Avoid a European Fine, Defends Demand for Royalties Microsoft, seeking to avoid another multimillion-dollar fine in its antitrust battle with the European Commission, filed documents with competition officials yesterday defending its demand to be paid royalties for releasing some software code to competitors.
9 ways ColdFusion 8 will rule web development Ben Forta and Adobe are getting into full swing with ColdFusion 8 Scorpio Pre-Release tour. Last night Ben gave us in Seattle a taste of things to come. Here is why it will kick the tar balls out of everything else on the market.
Intel cuts server and desktop CPU prices Intel has published price cuts of up to 40% for is 3000-sequence uni-processor server CPUs and updated its desktop CPU lineup with lower prices and new products.
WIRED journo won’t do email interviews–ironic A WIRED journalist pinged me for some comments on Michael Arrington and his A-list blogger status. I told the journalist to send me the questions by email and he refused. He said Dave Winer did the same thing.
Calacanis Won’t Do Phone Interview Jason McCabe Calacanis is complaining about a Wired reporter who wants to do an interview with him, but refuses to do it via email. He says it’s “ironic” that a magazine covering the digital age refuses to use email for its interviews.
More of the daily tech text links.
Microsoft confirms Vista OEM hack More on the hacks that allow users to bypass the product activation in Windows Vista.
Viridian and Virtual Server Timing Updates Windows Server virtualization will ship in the second half of 2007 not in the first half, like originally announced.
Three Of Four Say They Will Stop Shopping At Stores That Suffer Data Breaches Could be the beginning of user revolts against stuff, hopefully, it will transfer over to merchants who advertise in spyware.
Collections Redux for Scoble A PM for Live Maps responds to Scoble’s post from yesterday about how he liked Google Maps better than Live Maps.
Massive spam shot of ‘Storm Trojan’ reaches record proportions They are calling it the biggest spam blast of the year. “We’re seeing 50 to 60 times the normal volume of spam.”
Top 10 Free Computer System Recovery Tools A look at some of the free tools that can help you recover your systems from failure. I’m downloading most of these right now. Many will be used as part of our computer forensics toolset.
The Zune Review, Part 1: The Out of Box Experience A thorough review of the unboxing of his Zune, the hands on review is to come.
101 Hidden Tips & Secrets For Photoshop Just what it says.
A writer over at Zune Scene says he got the drop on a Microsoft employee working in the Zune department, and once he found out he worked on the Zune, he started pumping him for information. The latest version of the Zune will have a bigger hard drive, but it will be thinner, he also told him about the smaller, flash based player, like the iPod Shuffle, it will be 3 inches by 1 1/4 inches by 1 1/4 inches, will be video capable, with the screen covering about 755 of the front, and it will have wifi!
Zune 2.0 and a smaller flash based Zune will be sold this year. He would not tell me the marketing names but referred to them as the big one and little one. The hard drive version looks like the generation 1 Zune, but is thinner. It has a larger hard drive and still uses the double shot. The flash based player he said is about “3 by 1 1/4 by 1/4 inches” in size. It is video capable and he said the screen covers about 75% of the front, similar to the hard drive Zune. The flash player has WiFi and also uses a double shot. We discussed colors, he said there were several but did not disclose them. He had some interesting points about the clamshells saying that they can’t be opened easily like the current Zune. Both devices have completed the design phase, although some last minute minor tweaks to the hardware will occur. When I asked about memory capacity he said “you have to beat the competition you know” he also said the flash memory fills the smaller device from top to bottom. Surprisingly he gave some hard numbers: 2.4 million next gen Zunes will be fabricated prior the 2007 holiday season. About 2/3 of them are the smaller flash units. ” A new building is currently under construction in Dao Min China, next to the one that makes the XBOX 360″ he said. In Zune Scene’s opinion, based on that statement, it appears the Zune 2.0 will not be another Toshiba Gigabeat based device. Source: Zune 2.0 and Flash Zune Details Leaked
Pretty cool, wonder if the Microsoft employee has read the blog yet?
The Zune release manager has just reported that the next firmware update for the Zune will be mid-March. The will take it to version 1.3. They are fixing at least three problems, the skipping, FM tuner power drain and are updating the synching.
We’re fixing the skipping problem that some users were experiencing, that is, content acquired from Zune Marketplace will no longer skip when played on the device.
Improved device and software reliability, when it comes to device detection, and improved sync’ing.
We?ve made some changes to the FM Tuner so it no longer drains the battery when in sleep mode. source: Zune Firmware Update 1.3 Coming Mid-March
One commenter stated he would like to see them get rid of the 3×3 rule, three days or three listens and then you can’t play an item that has been beamed to another Zune, because he can’t even keep podcasts given to him by their owner. An entirely reasonable request, by adding the DRM they are making it harder for people to pass around their own stuff to people, if someone wants to give away their songs, podcasts, etc, to someone for a review, etc, why should it go away after three days? Complete and utter crap, please keep your DRM off of MY digital media.
There has been some speculation that Microsoft was going to release a Zune Phone ever since Apple announced their new iPhone. Two articles today talked about Microsoft filing with the Federal Communications Commission, and that filing suggests the technology giant will likely add phone service to its line of hand-held media players, known as the Zune. The article on Marketwatch said it would be a wireless advice using OFDM.
In the filing, Microsoft describes a wireless device that utilizes OFDM, a technology that can be used to route digital TV and voice calls among devices. Versions of OFDM have been tested and deployed for mobile phone use by carriers including Sprint Nextel Corp. and closely-held Clearwire Corp.
Microsoft is part of a broad coalition of tech companies that has lobbied regulators for expanded wireless access to the Internet. Others in the coalition, which are mentioned in the filing as taking part in submitting the device for testing, include Google Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Intel Corp.
The coalition has focused on encouraging the FCC to make unused wireless spectrum — originally allotted for things like digital TV — available for Internet communication. Source: Microsoft to submit wireless device for FCC testing
Talk has been it will be a VOIP, voice over IP, mobile phone, while the iPhone is a cell phone, or a smart phone. Microsoft has stated that it will be used for consumer broadband access and networking. There is some big speculation going on at Crunchgear, saying it will be using WiMax and taking the social nationwide.
The Zune Phone remedies this by allowing you to share music not via WiFi, but via WiMax, so that anyone on your friends list who is online can sample your music, and vice versa. By using the mobile WiMax network, you can be in New York and your friend can be in San Jose and you can send him that Shins song you like.
By taking the proximity limitations from an otherwise sound idea and reversing them macro-syle, Microsoft opens up the Zune experience to everyone, making the ecosystem reach from coast-to-coast. The Social, as they say, goes national. We love the idea, as it really frames the concept of portable social networking in a wide, wide light. Source: Zune Phone Confirmed! Launch Scenario! 4G WiMax Action! Rumors Off the WTF-o-Meter
Lots and lots of speculation. Bill was asked recently about a Zune phone and he said no, but they have submitted this to the FTC, and they have said it will offer broadband access and networking. Their source did say that this has been in development for awhile, but is just now being rolled into the Zune. Time will tell.
Added: Engadget has dug some more into the FTC filing and says this probably doesn’t have anything to do with the Zune Phone, though they say they know one is coming.
…but what passed through the FCC was a pre-approval application document that ran down a list of questions the FCC had for a CE “coalition” consisting of Microsoft, Dell, Google, HP, Intel, Philips, who are apparently in on some device together. (Strike one. You really think Microsoft’s gonna collaborate on the Zune phone? And with that many non-cell phone carrier companies?) From what we can tell, it’ll be wireless (duh) with DTV signal detection and transmission (i.e. cognitive radio), and BPSK, WPSK (and likely QAM) modulation and OFDM. Doesn’t mean a lot to most people, we know, but the FCC plainly asked the consortium to describe the product’s purpose… Source: Debunk: Microsoft files for Zune phone with FCC — probably not
But, they do say, they will know for sure when the filing actually hits the FTC in the near future.
Engadget has done a great video walk through of the Zune MP3 Player from Microsoft. He goes through all the features and you can watch his screen, it’s almost like being there! Well, not quite, but it’s a great video. We’ve added 12 or so other Zune videos as well, check out the Zune play list. Even better, check em out in wide screen.
This is a text excerpt, this post is about some Zune videos we just posted.