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Author Topic: Tech News Weekly: Edition 20-09  (Read 3238 times)


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Tech News Weekly: Edition 20-09
« on: May 18, 2009, 06:25 AM »
The Weekly Tech News
TNWeekly01.gifHi all.
Sorry for the late posting this week, I got a last minute call from friends last night inviting me out for a second Star Trek viewing, and I just couldn't resist. I hope you don't mind ;)
As usual, you can find last week's news here.

1. Pirate Win 7 Ruse Used to Build Botnet
Attackers managed to draft thousands of PCs into a botnet by planting a trojan inside copies of Windows 7 RC distributed on torrent sites. It's an odd attack vector, as Microsoft themselves are hosting downloads of it on their servers with no limitations.

A Trojan buried within counterfeit copies of Windows 7 RC was used to build a botnet of compromised PCs.

The tactic emerged after researchers from security firm Damballa shut down the command and control servers used to control the system, reckoned to have drafted thousands of Windows PCs into its compromised ranks. Damballa reckons malicious hackers distributed the malware by hiding it within counterfeit copies of pre-release versions of Microsoft's next operating system on offer through BitTorrent.

2. Hacked Flight Sim Site in Catastrophic Crash and Burn
Discussion started by Mouse Man: https://www.donationcoder.com/forum/index.php?topic=18329
A popular and long standing website devited to flight simulation software discussion has been brought down by attackers who have erased the entire site including backups.

A popular website for users of flight simulation gear has been felled, most likely fatally, after malicious hackers attacked both of the servers housing more than 12 years worth of content supplied by its 60,000 members.

Tom Allensworth, the founder of Avsim.com, said in a statement that that an attack on Tuesday left the site "effectively destroyed." He added: "The method of the hack makes recovery difficult, if not impossible, to recover from. We are not able to predict when we will be back online, if we can come back at all."

3. UK ISPs Refuse to Play Internet Copyright Cops
Disconnection of online copyright infringers has officially been taken off the table by British ISPs amid their claims that improved business practices by entertainment companies would go further to preventing the practice.

Warnings just aren't good enough. That was the message delivered at a London conference today by a group of UK creative industries, which are demanding that ISPs start disconnecting users accused of repeated online copyright infringement. But the response from ISPs was clear: the creative industries can just shut their collective pie-hole until they do a better job of licensing legal content.

4. Intel Hammered by EU, Faces $1.45 Billion Fine
Intel has been hit by a record fine by the European Union for their alleged anti-competitive business practices.

Although the Obama administration is indicating that it will be more aggressive about enforcing antitrust regulations, the European Union has been pursuing high-profile cases for years, having levied a large fine against Microsoft back in 2004, and hitting the software giant again last year. The latest target of the EU's Competition group is the chipmaker Intel and, this morning, the EU announced that it too would face a hefty fine: slightly over €1 billion, which comes in just shy of $1.5 billion. Intel is already promising to appeal but, in the meantime, it's going to have to drop over half a year of its current profits into a bank account in case its appeal fails.

The full decision, which is over 500 pages long, hasn't yet been released to the public, but a summary of the EU's case is available. It focuses primarily on the company's pricing practices during the years 2002-2005, when Intel was facing growing competition from AMD in the desktop and server space. The EU authorities also cite an instance of similar practices in the notebook space in 2007, a time when that market was rising in prominence.

5. WiFi Goes Gigabit... But It Won't Go Through Walls
Gigabit Wi-Fi may be a thing of the near-future, with plans to bring it to the public before the end of this year. Unfortunately, the standard will be for use inside a single room only, as the signal won't be capable of penetrating walls.

The "cable-free living room" exists in the same futuristic space that holds the "paperless office" and the "coherent tax code"—and we'll believe in all of them just as soon as we see them. But a new consortium called the Wireless Gigabit Alliance says that it can help make the cable-free household a reality within the next few years by providing a wireless gigabit spec with enough bandwidth to transmit HD video.

The plan is like WiFi on steroids, and, just as with steroids, wireless gigabit comes with some serious drawbacks. These (fortunately) do not affect the gonads or cause 'roid rage, but they do mean that you won't likely be using wireless gigabit to transmit through walls. This is an in-room tech only, and therefore not a full replacement for the various WiFi specifications.

6. French Net Piracy Bill Signed Off
Despite significant objection from, well...almost everyone, the French parliament has finally managed to pass legislation that will see repeat copyright offenders cut off from their internet service.

The legislation, backed by President Nicolas Sarkozy, was surprisingly voted down by the Assembly last month.

The bill sets a tough global precedent in cracking down on internet piracy, and is being closely watched by other governments as a potential deterrent.

The global music industry has been calling for tougher anti-piracy laws.

7. Sony Makes First Loss in 14 Years
Sony has recorded its first financial loss in 14 years, having lost just over $1 billion since march last year to this year, and they are expected to record further losses.

Sony reported a loss of 98.9bn yen ($1.04bn; £685m) for the year to the end of March, compared with a profit of 369.4bn yen the previous year.

The company blamed the global downturn and the strong yen for the loss. Worldwide sales were down 12.9%.

It had previously announced it would be cutting 8,000 of its 185,000 workforce and closing 10% of its factories.

8. Google Apology for Slow Service
Google have issued an apology for outages and slow service that effected approximately %14 of users accessing their search, mail and apps services for almost two hours last week, due to a routing issue.

Gmail and Google's news site were also reported as "sluggish" or unavailable to millions of users for about an hour.

This is not the first time the company has faced such problems.

"An error in one of our systems caused us to direct some of our traffic through Asia," said Urs Hoelzle, a spokesman for the company.

9. AMD Gains Market Share from Intel As Atom Slumps
It's hard to believe, but it seems a slump in Atom sales has allowed AMD to gain market share from Intel in the CPU market.

IDC's first quarter numbers are out for PC processors, and the picture is not a pretty one for Intel. There is typically a seasonal sequential decline in processor sales in the first quarter of any given year, and 2009 was no exception. The sequential decline this year was slightly worse than normal, but not catastrophically so, reflecting a slowing in the pace of the PC market's collapse. As Intel pointed out on its recent earnings call, the total free-fall in sales appears to be over, but things are still on a downslope.

The impact of this decline on the Intel vs. AMD dynamic was predictable—whenever money is tight, the budget vendor isn't hit quite as hard as the premium vendor, and that held true this time. While revenues and shipments declined at both companies, Intel was hurt worse and the result was that the company gave up about 4.6 percent of unit market share to rival AMD.



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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 20-09
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2009, 07:58 AM »
thanks Ethyar, sounds like you're enjoying Star Trek ;)


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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 20-09
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2009, 03:18 PM »
Yvw tomos.

Yes and no really. It was an awesome movie, but what they did to the storyline I can't really understand...