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Author Topic: Tech News Weekly: Edition 40-09  (Read 3080 times)


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Tech News Weekly: Edition 40-09
« on: October 05, 2009, 04:54:54 AM »
The Weekly Tech News
TNWeekly01.gifHi all.
Enjoy :)
As usual, you can find last week's news here.

1. Bank Snafu Gmail Missive Never Opened
You may remember the story involving a mistakenly emails bank document and a suit against Google..well a lot has happened since then. The bank successfully sued Google, and the judge actually ordered Google to close the entire Gmail account (and the fucktard score here is?....anyone?). So anyway, Google closes the account, deletes the offending email, and through an agreement with the bank, reopens the account. Now the bank is shouting from the hilltops that the email was never opened...well hip-hip-hooray for that....

The confidential email at the heart of a roundabout US lawsuit against Google was never opened, according to the bank that accidentally sent the missive to the wrong Gmail account.

This summer, according to court documents, an unnamed employee with the Wyoming-based Rocky Mountain Bank was asked by a customer to send some loan documents to a Gmail account used by a third party. But the employee mistakenly sent them to different Gmail account, along with another confidential file packed with the names, addresses, tax IDs, and loan info for 1,325 of the bank's customers.

2. Next-gen Trojan Rewrites Bank Statements
Now why didn't I think of that...?

Black hat hackers have created a new strain of Trojan that rewrites online bank statements to disguise fraud.

Victims of the URLZone Trojan would only realise their bank account has been looted after they check their balance with a bank branch or via an ATM.

Cybercriminals distribute the malware by booby-trapping websites (many of them legitimate) using the LuckySpoilt toolkit. Malicious pdf files or JavaScripts are used to push the URLZone Trojan onto the vulnerable Windows boxes of visiting surfers.

3. Holographic Storage, Phase-change Memory Coming Soon
Soooo cool, but we need capacity people!!

Last week's EmTech 09 meeting played host to a panel discussion on the future of data storage. All three of the panelists were from companies that have a poorly known product on the market, and each of them discussed improvements that are in the pipeline, which we'll cover towards the end of this article. But they also provided a more general overview of the challenges facing storage technology at a time when data production is beginning to outstrip our ability to cope with it.

Ed Doller, of memory maker Numonyx, put things into perspective by discussing the launch of the iPhone 3GS. The hardware itself doesn't store all that much, but its capabilities led to downstream issues: within a few weeks of its release, mobile uploads of videos to YouTube had shot up by roughly 400 percent, and it's likely that other data-intensive activities will follow personal video before very long.

4. Irate Android Devs Aim to Replace Google's Proprietary Bits
Apparently its commonplace to hack at mobile phone roms, redistribute it, and have the manufacturer turn a blind eye. It seems this is not the case with a largely open-source phone firmware.

Google is facing a major backlash from the Android community after sending a cease-and-desist order to the independent developer behind a popular Android mod. The controversy reflects some of the licensing challenges that are raised by mobile platforms that incorporate both open and proprietary components. It also illuminates yet another weak point in Google's commitment to delivering a truly inclusive and open platform.

Developer Steve Kondik, known by his handle Cyanogen, is an independent Android hacker who builds custom ROM images that users can install on their Android-powered handsets. His customizations are well-liked and bring significant improvements to the platform. A growing number of Android enthusiasts contend that the stock platform doesn't live up to expectations and that the custom ROM, particularly its performance optimizations, are essential to having a quality Android user experience. The problem, however, is that the custom ROM ships with Google's proprietary software components, such as the Android Market and Maps applications.

5. ICANN Cuts Cord to US Government, Gets Broader Oversight
On the heels of the US government considering passing legislation that would permit the President to "shut down the Internet" (we all know that's not possible, but the US could get the furthest), ICANN has significantly lessened its ties to the US, going for a more international approach.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is breaking free of the US Department of Commerce. The many-times-amended Memorandum of Understanding between the two groups was replaced today with a new Affirmation of Commitments that gives international stakeholders more say in how ICANN oversees the worldwide domain name system (DNS).

The US government has exerted control over ICANN since the nonprofit group was set up in 1998. Though DNS was a worldwide system, ICANN was answerable only to the Department of Commerce, and it faced significant criticism for being slow to adopt measures useful to Web browsers in other countries—non-English characters in domain names, for instance.

6. $388 Million Patent Verdict Against Microsoft Overturned
SO who didn't see this one coming? Hands up, you need a spanking....

Judge William Smith of the US District Court for the District of Rhode Island has overturned a $388 million patent-infringement verdict against Microsoft. A jury had found the company had infringed on a patent held by software maker Uniloc, a Singapore-based security company, sticking Microsoft with the largest patent penalty on record, but the court has now ruled in the software giant's favor. "We are pleased that the court has vacated the jury verdict and entered judgment in favor of Microsoft," a Microsoft spokesperson told Ars.

Uniloc now plans to appeal. "We are disappointed by the decision the trial judge has made to overturn the jury's unanimous verdict in Uniloc's patent infringement case against Microsoft," Brad Davis, CEO at Uniloc, told Ars. "We believe that the jury's verdict in April was thoughtful, well reasoned and supported by the evidence presented. Since the patent status remains unchanged, Uniloc will continue to protect its intellectual property and appeal the Judge's decision to override the jury's verdict to the US Court of Appeals. We are confident that Uniloc will ultimately prevail."

7. @fakeaccount You Got Served! Quit the Fake Tweets!
Not really new since that Facebook incident, but it looks we can consider social networks fair ground when it comes to being served.

What if we all started getting legal notifications via Twitter? It seems like a recipe for disaster, but Britain's High Court believes it's worth a shot in order to reach one anonymous Twitter user who just won't let up on his (or her) impersonation of conservative blogger Donal Blaney.

The Twitter account in question is called "blaneysblarney," after Blaney's own blog of the same name. A quick look at the Twitter page gives no indication that the account is a fake or parody—it uses a real picture of Blaney and merely states "Blaney's Blarney" under the name field with no bio. For those looking to follow the real Donal Blaney on Twitter, there's nothing that would make a casual user suspect that this account wasn't his except perhaps the snarky tone of its tweets.

8. Apple Tries to Patent Method to Lock Down Your Mobile Device
*sigh* So does this mean we don't have to pay for the hardware? I don't need a phone with a compass...

One of the ways Apple's iPhone succeeded where other phones failed is that it doesn't let carriers install custom firmware that locks out features of the phone. However, Apple doesn't appear to be above giving carriers a way to be able to do that, even with the iPhone. The company filed a patent application earlier this year (published yesterday) for "provisioning" services on a mobile device based on a custom carrier profile.

In the patent filling, revealed by Slashdot, Apple describes a unified system for allowing a carrier-defined list of approved and unapproved features and applications to be uploaded to the device during activation, essentially allowing carriers to restrict whatever features or applications it decided not to "allow" on its network. "[M]obile devices often have capabilities that the carriers do not want utilized on their networks," according to the patent application. "For example, a mobile device may be designed with Bluetooth functionality, but the carrier may wish to prevent its users from taking advantage of that capability. Various applications on these devices may also need to be restricted."

9. Terminator 2 Mega Tribute
A Terminator 2 tribute by the staff at Vimeo. A woman as John and a guy as Sarah? That's my kind of tribute...




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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 40-09
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2009, 05:19:55 AM »
re 7: I wonder how it is even possible to serve a notice to an anonymous account. How can it be considered "served"? in .de such notices can be only be served to summonable addresses...