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Author Topic: Tech News Weekly: Edition 34-09  (Read 5056 times)


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Tech News Weekly: Edition 34-09
« on: August 23, 2009, 04:58 AM »
The Weekly Tech News
TNWeekly01.gifHi all.
Enjoy :)
As usual, you can find last week's news here.

1. Tech Giants Unite Against Google
Yet another sensationalist head, though it is an interesting story. Microsoft, Amazon and Yahoo have joined the Open Book Alliance in opposition to a deal made by Google that could see it monopolize book access online.

Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo will sign up to the Open Book Alliance being spearheaded by the Internet Archive.

They oppose a legal settlement that could make Google the main source for many online works.

"Google is trying to monopolise the library system," the Internet Archive's founder Brewster Kahle told BBC News.

"If this deal goes ahead, they're making a real shot at being 'the' library and the only library."

2. Finn Fined Just €3,000 for Sharing 768MB of Music
Gee, I wonder which country is home to the big content creators...

Getting caught file sharing in Finland apparently carries far fewer financial repercussions than in the US. A man who was found sharing 164 albums' worth of music (768MB) and had illegally downloaded 1,850 tracks will be forced to pay fines of €3,000, or about US$4,230. Needless to say, that's a far cry from the penalties handed to American file sharers as of late.

A district court had ruled in February of 2008 that the unnamed man was guilty of various copyright violations and would have to fork over the cash for damages. During his appeal, the man argued that while he was aware the file sharing took place on his machine, it wasn't him who did it (was it the cat?). The appeals court in Helsinki, however, didn't buy this excuse and upheld the lower court's ruling.

3. Scientists Make Bendable, Transparent LEDs - Without Organics
Researchers have developed a technique to create flexible screens using artifically manufactured LEDs, where once only OLEDs could be used.

Organic light emitting diodes, or OLEDs, promise to bring a great deal of flexibility to where we can put a display—literally. Because of their organic components, it should be possible to create flexible and transparent displays, opening up a large number of potential uses. But now, just as OLEDs may finally be ready for the consumer market, some engineers have figured out a way to get many of the same properties using inorganic LEDs (ILEDs), using a method that's so simple, even a biologist could understand it. It's a few years away—at least—from commercialization, but it's a significant advance.

The paper that describes the process will be published today in Science. The basic idea is that, since LEDs are so efficient at converting electrical charges to light, the human eye can detect the light of very small LEDs. As a result, it's possible to make a display out of a surface where only a small fraction is occupied by the actual LEDs, which can be small enough to be invisible to the naked eye. Under these conditions, the display will take on the properties of whatever material the LEDs are embedded in: bendable, transparent, etc.

4. Symantec Identifies 'Dirtiest Web Sites of Summer'
Funny the kinds of sites that dominate the list...are you reading Joshua?

Symantec is out with its "Dirtiest Web Sites of Summer 2009," which it's calling "the worst of the worst" when it comes to malware threats.

The security vendor says that "48 percent of the Dirtiest Web Sites are, well, dirty--sites that feature adult content." That means that more than half the sites cover a wide range of other categories including legal services, catering, figure skating, and electronics shopping, according to the report.

On average, sites on the dirtiest list have 18,000 threats per site, but 40 of the sites have in excess of 20,000 threats. One site that appears to offer restaurant catering services has 23,414 computer threats

5. Bungling Cybercops' Sting Backfires
Good to know the Australian Federal Police are at least as competent as the Australian Government... How about setting up a honeypot for internet malcontents, and leaving your backend unprotected?

Australian Federal police have been humbled after boasting of taking over an underground cybercrime forum - only for hackers to break into a federal police computer system, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Police computer security experts claimed responsibility for taking over the cybercrime forum as part of a sting operation on ABC's Four Corners TV programme on Monday night entitled Fear in the Fast Lane. The Feds had reportedly configured their own systems as a honeypot designed to track and trace denizens logging into the forum. Police gained access to the forum not through infiltration but after raiding the Melbourne home of the forum's alleged administrator last Wednesday.

6. Besieged by Attacks, AT&T Dumps Celebrity Hacker
It seems that celebrity status for a hacker is not quite the dream some might envision. Hacker, turned white-hat, Kevin Mitnick is being driven out of yet another service with an online presence after AT&T decided it was better off dropping his account as opposed to securing its online access portal. Hackers targeting Mitnick had breached his account several times, stealing personal data, at which point AT&T decided to close his account.

Over the years, Kevin Mitnick has gotten used to the attacks on his website and cell phone account that routinely result from being a convicted hacker turned security expert. What he finds much harder to stomach is the treatment he's getting from his providers.

Over the past month, both, his longtime webhost, and AT&T, his cellular provider since he was released from prison more than nine years ago, have told him they no longer want him as a customer. The reason: his status as a celebrity hacker makes his accounts too hard to defend against the legions of script kiddies who regularly attack them.

7. Oracle Gets Go-ahead to Buy Sun
The DoJ has cleared Oracle's proposed purchase of Sun.

The $7.4bn (£4.5bn) deal was agreed by the two in April this year, but still needs approval from the European Commission before it can be concluded.

The acquisition gives Oracle control over Java, a key programming language used in its products.

The takeover had been held up over questions about licensing Java.

8. Internet Slowly Wakes Up to PayPal's Quiet Fee Hike
Seems eBay doesn't like to advertise increases in fees, having recently gone to great lengths to hide a recent fee hike at PayPal.

PayPal has generated its fair share of controversies over the years, but it has begun to stir up another one by adding new transaction fees that affect all customers—without telling anyone about them. The company slipped the fees in with a more general update to its "send money" service in June, but because the changes were so well hidden, the Internet has been slow to wake up to what amounts to a good increase in PayPal's income.

Under the previous system, fees were charged based on the type of account the receiver was using as well as where the money was coming from. If the receiver was a premium or business account owner, he or she was charged 30¢ plus 2.9 percent of the transaction—the same applied to all accounts if the money was coming from a credit or debit card instead of a PayPal balance or directly from a bank account. People using personal accounts could make all these payments to anyone else for free.

9. Theft of 130 Million Credit Cards Tied to Miami Man
Three individuals, including a man from Miami, have been charged with the largest credit card theft in US history.

A Miami man and two unidentified computer hackers were charged with stealing 130 million credit and debit card numbers in what the Justice Department said was the largest such prosecution in U.S. history.

Albert Gonzalez, a 28-year-old Miami resident, and two hackers living “in or near Russia” were indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury in Newark, New Jersey, for stealing data from Heartland Payment Systems Inc., 7-Eleven Inc., Delhaize Group’s Hannaford Brothers Co. and two unidentified national retailers.

10. Roommates (Thanks April)



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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 34-09
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2009, 05:44 AM »
On '8. Internet Slowly Wakes Up to PayPal's Quiet Fee Hike', also see this topic.


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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 34-09
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2009, 05:46 AM »
Nice edition this week!
ps Roomates gets pretty funny by episode 2  ;D