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Author Topic: Tech News Weekly: Edition 22-09  (Read 3511 times)


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Tech News Weekly: Edition 22-09
« on: May 31, 2009, 04:39:20 AM »
The Weekly Tech News
TNWeekly01.gifHi all.

As usual, you can find last week's news here.

1. Critical Windows Vulnerability Under Attack, Microsoft Warns
A flaw in DirectX is being exploited in the wild by malcontents distributing QuickTime movies that take advantage of the vulnerability.

Microsoft has warned of a critical security bug in older versions of its Windows operating system that is already being exploited in the wild to remotely execute malware on vulnerable machines.

The vulnerability in a Windows component known as DirectX is being targeted using booby-trapped QuickTime files, which when parsed can allow attackers to gain complete control of a computer. Because many browsers are designed to automatically play video, people can be compromised simply by visiting a site serving malicious files. Vista, Windows Server 2008 and the beta version of Windows 7 are not affected, and neither is Apple's QuickTime player, Microsoft said.

2. Time Warner and AOL to Separate
It seems one of the worlds most unsuccessful mergers in history is finally coming to an end, with Time Warner announcing it intends to spin AOL off, offering it up to shareholders.

US media giant Time Warner says its board has approved plans to spin off its AOL internet division as a separate company by the end of this year.

Time Warner will buy the 5% of AOL it does not already own from Google, then offer the firm to its own shareholders.

3. Canonical Developers Aim to Make Android Apps Run On Ubuntu
The creator of the Ubunutu Linux distribution has demoed prototype which will allow Android applications to execute on Ubuntu.

Canonical is building an Android execution environment that will make it possible for Android applications to run on Ubuntu and potentially other conventional Linux distributions. The effort will open the door for bringing Android's growing ecosystem of third-party software to the desktop.

Google's Linux-based Android platform is attracting a lot of attention. The new version significantly improves the platform's reliability and could make it look a lot more appealing to carriers and handset makers. The availability of an experimental x86 port has caused some people to speculate that Android might have a place in the netbook market.

4. Google Chromium Browser Alpha for Linux
Chromium, the code base from which Google Chrome is built has hit the alpha stage on the Linux operating system.

When Google's Chrome web browser debuted with much fanfare last year, it was Windows-only and not cross-platform compatible. The developers soon began working on Linux and Mac OS X ports of the browser's underlying open source Chromium code base. These ports are beginning to mature and could soon be ready for regular users.

We took a look at the Mac OS X port of Chromium a few months ago, but the Linux port was still barely functional at the time. A lot of progress has been made since then and the Linux version is now in the alpha stage. We tested it on Ubuntu 9.04 to see how it compares with the latest release of Chrome for Windows. There are still missing features and lots of rendering bugs, but it is clearly moving in the right direction.

5. SATA 3.0 Standard Ratified; 6Gbps, Isochronous SATA Inbound
Version 3 of the SATA standard has been ratified, bringing twice the data transfer speeds to help cope with SSD uptake, whilst maintaining full backward compatibility.

The SATA International Organization, the industry consortium governing Serial ATA interfaces, yesterday released a finalized version of the SATA 3.0 specification, which features 6.0Gbps data transfers and a number of improved features while remaining completely backwards-compatible with existing drives, controllers, connectors, and cables. While current hard disk drives can't saturate SATA 2.0's 3Gbps data rate, SSDs can, and the new features are moderately compelling.

SATA launched in 2001, and has been through one prior speed bump, from 1.5Gbps to 3.0Gbps. The IDE-SATA transition and prior bump were both timed to give the industry about three years to adopt the new standard, making for a smooth transition, unlike, for instance, the 4GB file limit on FAT32 file systems, the 4GB memory limit on 32-bit x86 operating systems, or the 640k memory limit and extended/expanded memory misery of the 1980s. This new transition is significantly more urgent than the others, because SSDs are already saturating SATA 2.0.

6. Google Wave Mashes Communication, Collaboration Together
A new software/service offering from Google aims to unify many ways people communicate with each other.

Google is looking to change the way we use the Internet to communicate with a new service that it calls Google Wave. Wave was previewed Thursday during the Google I/O conference as a way to combine e-mail, chat, photos, feeds from around the Web, and more in a collaborative environment. The project is not only cool-sounding, it's also quite ambitious, and Google hopes it will eventually replace some of our uses for e-mail.

In a post to the Official Google Blog, Google Software Engineering Manager Lars Rasmussen discussed the evolution of Wave after he and his brother Jens joined Google. According to Rasmussen, too much of our Internet communication was created out of imitation of a real-life form (e-mail, live chat, document sharing), and as a result, it had become too segmented when it didn't have to be. "What if we tried designing a communications system that took advantage of computers' current abilities, rather than imitating non-electronic forms?"

7. Ain't No Money in Mac Cloning: Psystar Files for Bankruptcy
Psystar, a company that has made a business out of selling 'hackintoshes', or standard computer systems that come preinstalled with Mac OS X, has filed for bankruptcy during a legal battle with Apple.

Mac clone maker Psystar, after having been embroiled in a lawsuit with Apple since last July, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US Bankruptcy Court's Southern District of Florida. The filing gives Psystar a temporary stay in its legal proceedings with Apple, though it certainly calls into question the viability of the company's business plan.

Psystar began selling a Mac clone called "OpenMac," which the company quickly renamed "Open Computer," in April of 2008. After a couple months of nary a peep from Apple legal, a lawsuit was filed against Psystar in July. Since then, Psystar has attempted to countersue Apple for limiting installation of Mac OS X to Apple's own hardware. The filing for bankruptcy protection comes not long after the company was ordered to provide detailed financial information to Apple as part of the evidence discovery process.

8. EU Sues Sweden, Demands Law Requiring ISPs to Retain Data
The European Union is sueing Sweden to force them to implement the EU's Data Retention Directive, a decree passed 3 years ago requiring ISPs to retain user data for up to two years.

The European Commission has moved to sue Sweden after the Nordic state failed to implement the EU's Data Retention Directive in a timely fashion.

The Directive was passed back in 2006 and requires all EU member states to implement some form of data retention legislation, with terms of six month to two years. National laws were to be in place by March of this year, but Sweden still has yet to introduce a bill of its own.

9. Seminal Password Tool Rises from Symantec Ashes
Symantec has made L0phtcrack available again, bringing it back with a slew of new features under a business model that is more suited to Symantec's strategy.

More than three years after Symantec unceremoniously pulled the plug on L0phtcrack, the seminal tool for auditing and cracking passwords is back with a set of new capabilities.

Starting Wednesday, L0phtcrack 6 is available from the same team of hackers who introduced it to the world a decade ago. The program was pulled from the market in late 2005 shortly after it was acquired by Symantec, presumably because its offensive capabilities didn't fit in with the company's portfolio of defensive products and services.

10. Clare the Bogan
You may have heard of Clare the Bogan aka 'Chk Chk, Boom', she Australia's current celebrity of the moment. I recommend you don't watch this video if you're easily offended. She's admitted she didn't actually see anything, and she made up what you see in the video. She may have had poor judgement in making the comments she made, but perhaps the Nine Network is a little irresponsible also?




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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 22-09
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2009, 06:50:36 PM »
Thanks for the interesting read.


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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 22-09
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2009, 09:41:42 AM »
missed this last week -

related to #10:-
Clare Werbeloff the Kings Cross shooting witness accused of being PR stunt
learning a bit of Aussie slang along the way :-)