Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Pouring cold water in the Apple iPhone by ZDNet's Adrian Kingsley-Hughes -- Apple's new iPhone is undoubtedly an amazing piece of technology - cramming Mac OS X into a device measuring 4.5 x 2.4 x 0.46 inches is pretty neat - but I believe I can see a potentially serious flaw with the design.
802.11n - The consequences of abandoning the 5 GHz frontier by ZDNet's George Ou -- When 802.11b first started getting popular in late 2000, no one imagined that it would still be the most dominant standard 6 years later and continue to dictate the design of the latest wireless LAN products because it is the lowest common denominator. As with any technology that is first to reach critical mass, it [...]
Before you go Vista: Advice from nine experts by ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley -- I asked some of the best known of the Windows experts out there for one -- just one -- piece of advice they'd give to users who have decided to take the Windows Vista plunge. Here's what they said -- and showed, via some interesting screen-shot captures.
The proposal says that such Web sites may--but are not required to--send a formal statement to the U.S. Department of Justice to request a list of sex offenders' e-mail addresses and screen names used for instant messaging.
A press conference is planned on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to announce the sex-offender legislation (PDF), a draft version of which was seen in advance by CNET News.com. Scheduled speakers include Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., Rep. Paul Gillmor, R-Ohio, and MySpace.com Chief Security Officer Hemanshu Nigam.
"This bill provides social-networking sites, which are an increasingly popular way for kids to connect with their friends, with one more tool to help keep our children safe from dangerous predators on the Internet," Pomeroy said in response to an inquiry Monday.
The legislation may also help allay the public relations problems that News Corp.-owned MySpace has encountered after a series of incidents involving adults using the popular service to seek sex with youths. Earlier this month, for instance, MySpace said it had developed software to let parents know what their children were doing online.
Current federal law requires that sex offenders provide information to the federal registry including their name, Social Security number, home address, work address, license plate number, DNA sample, fingerprints, and palm prints.
Pomeroy's so-called "Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators Act," or KIDS Act, would add the requirement of providing an e-mail address, instant message name and any other "similar Internet identifier."
The offender's e-mail address and other Internet information would be generally exempt from disclosure to the public. Social-networking sites, however, would be permitted to request it in confidence from the attorney general.
Social-networking sites are defined as any commercial Web site that permits people to create their own Web pages and offers a "mechanism for communication with other users," which would include sites like Slashdot.org, Amazon.com, CNET's Gamespot.com and CNET Reviews.
A similar version of the KIDS Act has been drafted by aides to Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, and Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican. One difference is that the draft Senate bill includes a revocation of supervised release for failure to register.
McCain has not introduced in the new Congress a related proposal from last year, which would force Web sites to report illegal images posted by their users or pay fines of up to $300,000 and delete Web pages posted by sex offenders.
Virginia's attorney general has also proposed an e-mail registration requirement for sex offenders.
The vulnerabilities lie in Windows Mobile Internet Explorer and Windows Mobile Pictures and Video, Trend Micro, a Tokyo-based security vendor, said in a pair of security alerts. Viewing a rigged Web page or malicious JPEG image file on a Windows Mobile device will cause it to fail, according to Trend Micro.
"Both of these vulnerabilities are potential denial-of-service factors," Todd Thiemann, director of device security marketing at Trend Micro, said in an interview Tuesday. "What we're seeing over time is an uptick in the threats against smart phones, particularly those running Symbian and Windows Mobile."
Trend Micro has told Microsoft about the problems and has not publicly shared the vulnerability details. "The sky isn't falling. Nobody out there is aware of this," Thiemann said. The company doesn't expect any imminent attacks exploiting the problems, he said.
Microsoft is aware of the issues and is investigating them, a company representative said Wednesday. If needed, the software maker will provide an update to hardware makers for distribution to people who use the Windows Mobile devices, it said. The problems affect Windows Mobile 2003 and Windows Mobile 5.0, according to Trend Micro.
While the number of threats to phones today is low, security experts and analysts agree that situation is likely to change with the advent of smart phones running common operating systems. Security companies, including Trend Micro, are hawking software to shield phones against possible attacks.
Another Word zero-day bug
In addition to the Windows Mobile issues, Microsoft is also investigating a report of yet another vulnerability in Word. Symantec and the French Security Incident Response Team, or FrSirt, say they have spotted a fifth zero-day flaw in the word-processing application. Microsoft, however, says the problem was previously known.
"Microsoft's initial investigation shows that this is not a new vulnerability but a duplicate of an already known public issue," the Microsoft representative said.
The newest problem allows an attacker to hijack systems running Word 2003, Symantec said in an alert Tuesday. The company has advised people to make sure their security software is up to date and urges caution when opening Word documents.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
ANTWERP, Belgium (Reuters) - Mozart, an iguana with an erection that has lasted for over a week, will have his penis amputated in the next couple of days.
Veterinarians at Antwerp's Aquatopia had sought to treat the animal's problem, but decided removal was the only solution because of the risk of infection. The good news for Mozart and his mates is that male iguanas have two penises.
Mozart, sitting on the shoulders of his keeper as camera crews focused on his red, swollen erection, seemed unperturbed by the news.
"It doesn't bother him. He doesn't know what amputation means," said vet Luc Lambrecht, adding that Mozart's sexual activity should be undimmed by the operation.
"I don't think so. That's all in his head."
Monday, January 22, 2007
iPhone’s missing features by ZDNet's Jason D. O'Grady -- I want to start out by saying that I think that the iPhone will be wildly successful. I think that Apple will sell boat loads of them. I will definitely be buying one, at minimum for research purposes. That being said, it would be irresponsible to simply laud the device without pointing out some of it's more serious deficiencies, and there are several of them.