Friday, December 22, 2006

Profits overflow at RIM ... Sony rootkit settlement reaches $5.75M

News: Profits overflow at RIM
News: Toshiba: We'll beat Sony to the living room with Cell
News: Santa's Web site hacked
News: Sony rootkit settlement reaches $5.75M
Opinion: Net neutrality and what the Internet will become
Podcast: Today's IT news audio update
ITwhirled: Geek Comic of the Week: xkcd


Profits overflow at RIM
Revenue and profit both surged at Research in Motion Ltd. in the third quarter, driven by strong sales of its first consumer-focused device, the BlackBerry Pearl.

Toshiba: We'll beat Sony to the living room with Cell
Toshiba Corp. is confident that it will beat Sony Corp. to market with consumer electronics devices packing the powerful Cell microprocessor, the head of its consumer electronics business said Thursday.

Santa's Web site hacked
With Christmas fast approaching, Santa Claus reached out for a little help from this week. The consumer advocacy group said it was approached by a Nevada man named Santa Claus, who asked them to help figure out why his Web site was being flagged by Google's Web site filters. It turned out that Santa's Web site,, had been hacked.

Sony rootkit settlement reaches $5.75M
Sony BMG Music Entertainment's botched attempt to stop unauthorized music copying has cost the company another $4.25 million. Two days after reaching settlements worth a combined total of $1.5 million with Texas and California, Sony on Thursday agreed to pay another 40 states the money to end investigations into its use of two copy protection programs.

Microsoft acknowledges vulnerability in Vista
A vulnerability that affects four of Microsoft Corp.'s operating systems, including Vista, doesn't appear to pose a great risk, according to one security vendor.

Wall Street Beat: The year ahead
Get set for some surprises. With 12 more months of moderate expansion expected in the global IT arena, vendors will have to get creative in 2007 to maintain the kind of growth investors want.

Microsoft releases new Longhorn build
Microsoft Corp. Thursday released a new build of its forthcoming release of Windows Server, code-named Longhorn. The company posted the release, which is the December Community Technology Preview (CTP) of the server OS, on its Microsoft Connect site.

Motorola to buy video vendor Tut for $39 million
Motorola Inc. will expand its video delivery lineup by buying Tut Systems Inc. for $39 million, the companies announced Thursday. Tut, in Lake Oswego, Oregon, sells systems to service providers for encoding, processing and distributing digital video.

Samsung exec pleads guilty to DRAM price fixing
A top executive from Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. will serve 10 months in prison and pay a $250,000 fine for his role in a global conspiracy to fix DRAM prices.

IBM tames photons in optical chips
Researchers at IBM Corp. have drawn one step closer to building a microprocessor that transfers data with light instead of electricity, a technique that could one day boost computing speed while saving power.


Net neutrality and what the Internet will become
By Dan Blacharski

The thing I like most, and dislike most about the Internet is that anybody can publish an opinion. But as in much of life, you must take the bad to get to the good, and so I willingly wade through the inevitable and prolific web sites created by half-literate hatemongers, and am usually able to find those pearls of wisdom that I require.


Daily IT News Audio Update
Sony BMG pays out more for rootkit settlement ... IBM makes photonic computing breakthrough ... Motorola buys Tut Systems


Geek Comic of the Week: xkcd
This deliberately unpronouncable comic is subtitled a "webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language." Its subjects range from the sweet (attempting to reduce the Earth's angular momentum to make a night of romance last a little longer) to the silly (John Nash trying to use game theory to pick up women in a bar). There's also a map of the Internet (really!), and plenty of equations.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Google upgrades Blogger ... Siemens sets network speed record

News: Google upgrades Blogger service - for some
News: Siemens sets network speed record
News: Seagate buys backup services company
News: Juniper to take $900M charge for options
Unix Tip: Problems with inetd
Podcast: Today's IT news audio update
ITwhirled: Crazy Apple Rumors


Google upgrades Blogger service - for some
Google Inc. is offering some users of its Blogger Web site access to a new version of the blog hosting service allowing user-definable templates, tagging of posts, multiple authors, and faster publication of new posts, the company announced on its own blog. It will also integrate use of the blogging service more closely with other services through changes to the account log-in process.

Siemens sets network speed record
The race to push more bits down broadband networks has leaped ahead with Siemens AG achieving a transmission speed of 107G bps (bits per second) over a single optical fiber.

Seagate buys backup services company
Hard drive maker Seagate Technology LLC will buy EVault Inc. for US$185 million in an acquisition designed to bolster Seagate's managed services business, the company said on Thursday.

Juniper to take $900M charge for options
Juniper Networks Inc. will take a non-cash charge of about $900 million in the wake of an investigation that found the company improperly dated employee stock-option grants.

HP will acquire Bitfone to boost iPAQ line
Hewlett-Packard Co. moved to strengthen its line of iPAQ handhelds on Wednesday by announcing a plan to acquire Bitfone Corp., a developer of software applications that allow cell-phone manufacturers to manage wireless mobile devices.

Websense to buy PortAuthority
Websense Inc. will pay $90 million to acquire PortAuthority Technologies Inc., a provider of information-leak detection appliances.


Problems with inetd
By Sandra Henry-Stocker

I ran into a problem recently with one of my Solaris 9 servers. For
some reason which I have yet to pinpoint, any lines that I add to
the /etc/inet/inetd.conf file are removed from the file almost as soon
as I finish adding them. Well, almost any lines. Since I generally
precede any additions to system configuration files with comments that
describe what the lines are for, I did so with these recently added
lines as well. When the file was modified, I noticed that only my
comments remained in the file of the lines that I had inserted.

The culprit wasn't a cron job. For one thing, there were no obvious
cron jobs which could account for what was happening. For another,
the timing was odd. The file wasn't changed back on a time boundary
(e.g., on the minute). Further, since comments were not removed, it
was clear that the file was not simply being overwritten by a copy of
the old file. Instead, only the functional entries were being
stripped. Some recent change to this system was ensuring that nothing
was added to inetd.conf.

Read the full article here.


Daily IT News Audio Update
HP acquires Bitfone ... Fiber broadband usage rises in Japan ... PC sales slump in U.S.


Crazy Apple Rumors
The Mac rumor community is so rich and, um, passionate that it's no wonder it has its own clown prince. John Moltz's Crazy Apple Rumor Site is a funhouse mirror to normal Apple paparazzi, where rumors about the iPhone coexist with alien entities and "Schillermania."

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

EBay's Chinese site to become JV ... Mozilla patches vulnerabilities

News: EBay to replace Chinese auction site with JV
News: Ericsson to buy Redback for $2.1 billion
News: Apple to get a month of security bugs
News: Mozilla fixes bugs with first update to Firefox 2.0
Windows Tip: Deploying printers using Group Policy
Podcast: Today's IT news audio update
ITwhirled: YouTube Amateur


EBay to replace Chinese auction site with JV
EBay Inc. confirmed Wednesday that it will replace its China auction site with a new joint-venture site run by partner Tom Online Inc. in 2007.

Ericsson to buy Redback for $2.1 billion
Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson has agreed to acquire Redback Networks Inc., a maker of carrier edge routers, for $2.1 billion.

Apple to get a month of security bugs
Apple Computer Inc. will soon be a member of the "month of bugs" club. On Jan. 1, two security researchers will begin publishing details of a flood of security vulnerabilities in Apple's products. Their plan is to disclose one bug per day for the entire month, they said Tuesday.

Mozilla fixes bugs with first update to Firefox 2.0
Mozilla Corp. has released the first update for the Firefox 2.0 browser to fix eight security vulnerabilities. According to the company, release of Firefox fixes flaws in memory corruption as well as the way the browser executes RSS, Javascript and CSS code, among other vulnerabilities.

Sony pays $1.5M to settle Texas, CA rootkit suits
Sony BMG Music Entertainment will pay $1.5 million in penalties to settle lawsuits with California and Texas over its controversial use of copy protection software.

Dell taps chair of board audit committee for CFO post
Dell Tuesday named Donald Carty as vice chairman and chief financial officer (CFO), replacing James Schneider, who had previously announced plans to leave for the position of executive chairman of the board of Frontier Bancshares Inc.

Intel to launch Core 2 Quad in January
Intel Corp. plans to launch the third model of its four-core processor in January, continuing its efforts to stay ahead of Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) on the next-generation processor family.

Citrix buys application provisioning company Ardence
Citrix Systems Inc. agreed to buy Ardence Inc., the developer of real-time provisioning technology, for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition will extend Citrix's application delivery offering to include real-time, on demand provisioning of desktops, server images and service oriented architecture objects.


Deploying printers using Group Policy
By Mitch Tulloch, MTIT Enterprises

Windows Vista includes Group Policy software by default, which means Windows Vista clients don't need any preparation before deploying printers to them. But you must make sure your Active Directory schema is upgraded to "R2" level before you can deploy printer connections to Vista machines using Group Policy.


Daily IT News Audio Update
EBay's Chinese site to become JV ... Mozilla patches vulnerabilities ... Ericsson buys Redback for $2.1B


YouTube Amateur
How do you play the drums and the piano if you don't actually, you know, know how to play the drums and piano? You videotape everything one note and drumbeat at a time and then splice it all together, of course. Bonus: Strange-looking Norwegian man in tights.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Worm spreading via Skype chat ... eBay to close China site

News: Worm may be spreading via Skype chat
News: Tech lobby to renew visa reform push
Reports: eBay to close China site, Tom to take over
News: CD maker will pay Microsoft for counterfeit software
Opinion: RFID Chips: Not in my arm!
Podcast: Today's IT news audio update
ITwhirled: How to spend $250 on Christmas games


Worm may be spreading via Skype chat
Computer security analysts are studying reports of a worm that may be circulating via a feature in Skype Ltd.'s popular VOIP (voice over Internet protocol) service.

Tech lobby to renew visa reform push
As Democrats take over leadership of both houses of the U.S. Congress from Republicans, technology industry lobbyists will try again to push for worker visa reform.

Reports: eBay to close China site, Tom to take over
EBay Inc. will close its China site and begin a relationship with Tom Online Inc. to create a replacement, news reports indicated Tuesday.

CD maker will pay Microsoft for counterfeit software
A French CD duplicator has agreed to compensate Microsoft Corp. after producing discs with unauthorized copies of Microsoft software, the companies said Tuesday.

Falco memo confirms AOL senior exec departures
AOL LLC on Monday confirmed to its employees the rumored departure of several senior executives and announced a reshuffling of top-tier management duties in a memo penned by Randy Falco, the new chief executive officer.

Oracle software revenue shows signs of weakness in Q2
Oracle Corp. reported another strong financial quarter on Monday, posting $4.2 billion in revenue for the second quarter of fiscal 2007, results that beat analysts estimates by 1 percent. However, there were signs in its software revenue results that the company's growth spurt on the strength of acquisitions of PeopleSoft and Siebel Systems could be coming to a halt.

Vista could sap notebook PC battery life
Notebook PC users who upgrade to Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Vista may have to disable some of the new operating system's flashy graphics features to avoid seeing a decrease in battery life compared to Windows XP.

Opera updates browser with phishing filter
Opera Software ASA has added a filter that blocks phishing sites to its Web browser software, following the example set by rivals Microsoft Corp. and Mozilla Corp.

Trend Micro: Vista zero-day exploit for sale
An online criminal has offered to sell software that exploits an unpatched bug in Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Vista operating system, according to security vendor Trend Micro Inc.

Yahoo resumes Messenger upgrade prompts
Yahoo Inc. resumed promoting a Yahoo Messenger upgrade on Monday after fixing a bug in the program that altered users' e-mail preferences without their consent.

Myspace goes mobile with Cingular
MySpace went mobile in a big way on Monday, launching a service that lets Cingular Wireless LLC subscribers use many features of the social networking portal on their cell phones.


RFID Chips: Not in my arm!
By Dan Blacharski

RFID technology is here to stay, and in its most benign form, brings a
lot of advantages. But there are two things to make clear: First,
despite industry claims to the contrary, RFID is not a secure
technology, and it should never be used to track anything sensitive.
Second, it should never be used on people, or in personal
identification of any type. But regrettably, our government is moving
away from being one which values the privacy of its citizenry, and
seems bound to push this technology into places where it has no
business being.


Daily IT News Audio Update
Hackers allegedly offer Vista exploit for sale ... Sharp ramps up production of blue diodes ... Linksys, not Apple, offers iPhone


How to spend $250 on Christmas games
The average Brit spends £125 (about $250) on computer games at Christmas time. For some, that might seem like nothing; to others, a crazy amount of money. One Web site dares to show both sides how it's done.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Google, NASA plan 'major' announcement ... BSA, MPA, China copyright agency sign piracy agreement


News: Google, NASA plan 'major' announcement Monday
News: BSA, MPA, China copyright agency sign piracy agreement
News: Three AOL senior executives to leave
News: HP tightens security in HP-UX
Opinion: Budget adjustments
Podcast: Today's IT news audio update
ITwhirled: The 10 best Internet acquisitions ever


Google, NASA plan 'major' announcement Monday
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Ames Research Center plans a "major announcement involving Google Inc." Monday at 11:00 a.m. PST, it said Friday in a statement.

BSA, MPA, China copyright agency sign piracy agreement
Industry groups for producers of copyright material, including the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and the Motion Picture Association (MPA), signed an agreement on Friday with the National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC) for protection against Internet piracy in China.

Three AOL senior executives to leave
A month after Jonathan Miller unexpectedly got fired as AOL LLC's chief executive officer, three of the senior executives who reported directly to him and who oversee key areas of AOL's business are on their way out, according to sources.

HP tightens security in HP-UX
HP is announcing Monday the availability of a free upgrade to HP-UX 11i v2 that automatically encrypts data as it is stored. HP has offered this capability before, but this upgrade puts the encryption capability right into the operating system (OS).

Reports: Sony to start video download service
Sony Corp. plans to launch an online video download service next year, according to reports in both the Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal newspapers.


Budget adjustments
By James Gaskin

Whatever your final budget number for 2007, prepare to slice that
number. Continued weakness in the residential housing market
(construction spending was down for the seventh month in a row in
October), a slowdown in US manufacturing, and warnings about flat
retail sales from WalMart and others means your budget will probably
get cut next spring.


Daily IT News Audio Update
Intel should share documents in antitrust case, expert says ... Nintendo replaces Wii straps ... Worm hits Symantec antivirus products

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