Yahoo launches multi-media search revamp

Friday, September 17, 2010

Searches to yield articles, images, videos and tweets all on one page

Khidr Suleman, V3.co.uk 17 Sep 2010

Yahoo has redesigned its core functionality in an attempt to make searches more relevant and visually compelling as the firm tries to claw back market share from Google.

News searches will be more conveniently organised, with videos, images, articles and tweets appearing on a single page, the firm said in a blog post.

Searches for movies, music, artists or celebrities will also yield "richer content results" by combining images, news articles, videos, tweets, events and ratings.

The 'Trending Now' lists across the Yahoo network will be accompanied by slideshows later this year, allowing users to browse pictures from the entire Yahoo network without leaving the search results page.

"With more searches than ever for information-rich topics like music, movies and news, we'll be launching more visually compelling search results that let you discover information and be entertained all on one search result page," said Kaushal Kurapati, director of product management for emerging markets at Yahoo Search, and Caroline Tsay, director of product management at Yahoo Search.

Google unveiled its Instant search feature at the beginning of the month in an effort to make searching faster and more convenient.

Twitter is also rolling out a redesigned site in an effort to make it easier to share multimedia content and provide more information to about tweets.

This article was printed from the V3.co.uk web site

© Incisive Media Ltd. 2009 Incisive Media Limited, Haymarket House, 28-29 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4RX, is a company registered in England and Wales with company registration number 04038503

Facebook Places launches amid continued privacy concerns

Geo-location tool allows users to 'check-in' each other

Phil Muncaster, V3.co.uk 17 Sep 2010

Facebook launched its Places geo-location feature in the UK today, but the social networking site is still fighting off criticism related to privacy concerns.

The company has made the functionality accessible to UK users via the Facebook iPhone application and on touch.facebook.com after the US launch last month.

Facebook Places essentially allows users to instantly log where they are via GPS, and display the results on Facebook in a manner very similar to Foursquare.

People using the Places application are also asked to tag any 'friends' that may be at the same location, as with Facebook Photo.

However, privacy concerns persist over the default settings associated with the new tool.

Rik Ferguson, senior security advisor at Trend Micro, noted that it is possible for people to tag friends in their own check-ins, meaning that an individual could be 'checked-in' without their consent.

Users can prevent this by altering their privacy settings, and are notified after the effect with the option to remove the tag. However, the default settings appear to enable checking in by friends, and represent a "risk to individual privacy", according to Ferguson.

"If Facebook persists in allowing check-ins by third parties it needs to ensure that the information is not made public until it has been agreed to by all people identified," he said.

"Otherwise it means that anyone with an interest in the location of their friends, colleagues, partners even ex-partners simply needs to become a friend of a friend, or just frequent the same places, and Facebook will do all the espionage for them."

The concerns echo those made by the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California when the tool was launched in the US last month.

"Facebook makes it very easy to say 'yes' to allowing your friends to check in for you. But when it comes to opting out of that feature, you are only given a 'not now' option. 'No' isn't one of the easy options," said a statement from the organisation.

"And if you use Places yourself, you aren't even given a 'not now', you're just told that friends are able to check-in for you and left to discover for yourself that you can change this setting by digging into your privacy controls. "

Facebook released a video soon after the US launch of Places designed to teach people how to change their privacy settings to avoid being checked in by others. First time users also receive an alert asking whether they would like to be checked in.

This article was printed from the V3.co.uk web site

© Incisive Media Ltd. 2009 Incisive Media Limited, Haymarket House, 28-29 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4RX, is a company registered in England and Wales with company registration number 04038503

VMware rumoured to buy Novell's Suse

Virtualisation firm said to be keen to broaden its enterprise stack

Daniel Robinson, V3.co.uk 17 Sep 2010

Novell is in discussions to sell off its Suse Linux division to VMware, according to various reports on the web.

The rumours indicate that Novell is attempting to sell various parts of its business, including its Suse Linux subsidiary, which the company acquired in 2003.

Various sources, including The Wall Street Journal, claim to have confirmation that VMware is to be the buyer.

Neither company would comment on the story when contacted by V3.co.uk.

VMware is said to be interested in the acquisition in order to widen its product portfolio to offer a complete software stack, and better compete against rivals such as Red Hat and Microsoft.

Although VMware is currently the market leader in virtualisation, Red Hat in particular has been touting its portfolio as offering a complete enterprise stack for customers, especially those planning for cloud computing.

VMware and Novell already have a partnership for development and support of ready-made virtual appliances based on Suse Linux to run on VMware infrastructure, so bringing Suse in-house would appear to make sense.

Other commentators have speculated that VMware could gain from acquiring the Unix intellectual property rights that Novell still owns, especially if it came to patent battles with rivals.

This article was printed from the V3.co.uk web site

© Incisive Media Ltd. 2009 Incisive Media Limited, Haymarket House, 28-29 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4RX, is a company registered in England and Wales with company registration number 04038503

Opera posts security update for Apple and Windows

Sunday, May 2, 2010



Opera Software has released an update for its namesake web browser.

The company said that the 10.53 update would address security vulnerabilities in both the Mac and Windows version of the browser.

Opera said that the update would address a vulnerability which the company classifies as "extremely severe."

The company said that the vulnerability lies within a script that handles document files. An attacker could potentially modify a file to make multiple calls to the vulnerable component and cause an application crash. From there, a targeted system would be vulnerable to remote code execution.

Users of both the MacOS X and Windows versions of the browser are being advised to install the update. Other versions of Operawere not listed as vulnerable to attack.

The update comes as Opera is seeking to expand the reach of its browser business. The company has in recent weeks released an iPhone version of the browser and in March an updated version of Opera for the Android smartphone platform was debuted.



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Twitter reveals app for Android mobile phones



Twitter has revealed a client for Android mobile phones that it developed with Google.

The application, which was first promised by Twitter at its first annual conference Chirp a couple of weeks ago, will only be applicable to phones running Android 2.1 and above, such as the Droid, Desire, Incredible and Nexus One.

Head of Twitter’s mobile user experience design team, Leland Rechis, described the application in the firm’s official blog as easy to use, and said it will offer users deep integration with Android mobile phones.

“Sharing any link or photo is super simple too – just look for the share button in your favourite application and choose Twitter,” he said.

“Reading tweets is easy in a bunch of places on your phone. Quickly access your timeline with the home screen widget, view a tweet location on a map, and see your friend’s latest tweet in your phonebook, GoogleTalk list or any application that uses Android’s QuickContact bar.”

Rechis joined Twitter last year after working on Android user experience design at Google for four years, according to his LinkedIn profile details.

Rechis said the Google Android team will open source the code used in the application in the near future.

“We look forward to the amazing experiences developers will create using Twitter APIs in their upcoming Android apps,” he said.

Twitter has recently started producing its own applications for mobile phones, rather than relying on third-party developers to do the work. For example, Twitter launched an official application for the BlackBerry under a month ago. The company has also bought Tweetie, the most popular Twitter client for the iPhone.

The strategy coincides with statements made by Twitter investor Fred Wilson, principal of Union Square Ventures, who said third-party developers focused on the Twitter platform should consider more radical innovation, and the creation of "killer apps", rather than filling holes in the Twitter product.



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Blackhat SEO Techniques Could Lead To Scareware infections

Thursday, April 22, 2010



Cyber criminals quick to pounce on McAfee crash story

Security experts are warning users searching for information on the breaking McAfee systems crash story to beware of malicious links in search results that could contain scareware.

Security giant McAfee caused widespread concern among users after it revealed that a problem with its anti-virus product caused some Windows XP systems to crash.

However, cyber criminals have been first to react to the incident, by using blackhat search engine optimisation techniques to ensure that their malicious web pages are returned first in a search for information on the incident.

Many of these will infect the user with malicious software designed to trick them into thinking they are infected and then paying a fee for 'anti-virus software' to alleviate the problem.

"These poisoned pages are appearing on the very first page of search engine results, making it likely that many will click on them,"
said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.


"If you visit the links you may see pop-up warnings telling you about security issues with your computer. These warnings are fake and designed to trick you into downloading dangerous software, which could result in hackers gaining control of your corporate computers or the theft of your credit card details."


Rik Ferguson, senior security advisor at Trend Micro, said that he is not surprised that the news had been hijacked by cyber criminals.

"Unfortunately this is an ongoing trend, and we see it related to any newsworthy event,"
he said.


"People cannot afford to blindly trust the results offered by search engines, as abusing search trends has now become one of online crime's primary infection vectors."




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Google using speed to rank search results

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Google is now using site speed as a consideration when ranking sites in its search results, giving webmasters yet more food for thought.


In a blog post yesterday, Google fellow Amit Singhal and principal engineer Matt Cutts revealed the news, arguing that speeding up the response times of your site is important for both site owners and users.

“Faster sites create happy users and we've seen in our internal studies that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there,”
they wrote.


“But faster sites don't just improve user experience; recent data shows that improving site speed also reduces operating costs. Like us, our users place a lot of value in speed — that's why we've decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings.”

Singhal and Cutts recommended several tools webmasters can use to evaluate the speed of their sites. These include open source Firefox/Firebug add-on Page Speed, Yahoo tool YSlow, and a Google function in its Webmaster Tools section.

However, the web giant did concede that site speed will not be taken into consideration as much as, say, relevance, when evaluating the search rankings of a particular site.

“Currently, fewer than 1 per cent of search queries are affected by the site speed signal in our implementation and the signal for site speed only applies for visitors searching in English on Google.com at this point,”
noted the blog post.


“We launched this change a few weeks back after rigorous testing. If you haven't seen much change to your site rankings, then this site speed change possibly did not impact your site.”




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Twice in two week Glitch diverts net traffic through Chinese ISP

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Internet service providers in China briefly tainted network routing tables on Thursday, marking the second time in two weeks operators in that country have done so, IDG news reports.

The bad networking information originated from IDC China Telecommunication and was soon retransmitted by China's state-owned China Telecommunications. ISPs including AT&T, Level3, Deutsche Telekom, Qwest Communications and Telefonica soon incorporated the data into their tables as well, IDG said.


As a result, routing information for 32,000 to 37,000 networks was affected, potentially causing them to be redirected through IDC China instead of their path. Some 8,000 of the networks were located in the US, including those operated by Dell, Apple, CNN, and Starbucks. Networks in Australia, China and elsewhere were also affected.

The incident comes two weeks after a similar networking anomaly caused people in Chile to be redirected to Chinese networks, potentially blocking websites such as Facebook and YouTube, which are banned in that country.

The snafu underscores the fragility of the Border Gateway Protocol, which is used to route traffic over the internet. The core net underpinning remains susceptible to man-in-the-middle attacks that can divert traffic to impostor networks.

At the 2008 Defcon hacker conference in Las Vegas, researchers demonstrated a BGP attack that allowed them to redirect traffic bound for the conference network to a system they controlled in New York. Also in 2008, large chunks of the internet lost access to YouTube when BGP tables inside Pakistan spread to other countries.

It's unclear how widely felt Thursday's incident was outside of Asia, IDG said. Routers frequently subscribe to several BGP routes and follow the shortest path. That means networks physically located in the US, Europe and elsewhere may have ignored the tables that traveled through China.

Internet service providers in China briefly tainted network routing tables on Thursday, marking the second time in two weeks operators in that country have done so, IDG news reports.

The bad networking information originated from IDC China Telecommunication and was soon retransmitted by China's state-owned China Telecommunications. ISPs including AT&T, Level3, Deutsche Telekom, Qwest Communications and Telefonica soon incorporated the data into their tables as well, IDG said.




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Twitter leaks details of major redesign

Friday, April 9, 2010


Twitter has released statistics which it claims prove the site is a "global information network", as it prepares for a radical overhaul.

Matt Sanford, lead engineer for Twitter's international team, said in a blog post that over 60 per cent of new Twitter users have come from outside the US since the beginning of September.

The news follows Twitter creative director Doug Bowman's leaking of a screenshot of the new design for the site, in which user profiles show more information, such as when they joined and how many tweets they post a day.

Fred Wilson, principal of Union Square Ventures, which has invested in Twitter, has published a blog post indicating that the micro-blogging site could be about to undergo a major change.

Wilson said that third-party developers focused on the Twitter platform may have to consider more radical innovation, and the creation of "killer apps".

Wilson sits on Twitter's board of directors, and his views are likely to hold some weight. Twitter platform developer Doug Williams tweeted that Wilson's blog post was "incredibly timely", and that "all Twitter developers should read it".

"Much of the early work on the Twitter platform has been filling holes in the Twitter product. Mobile clients come to mind. Photo sharing services come to mind. URL shorteners come to mind. Search comes to mind,"
Wilson said.


"Twitter really should have had all of that when it launched, or it should have built those services right into the Twitter experience."


Williams warned that the time for developing applications that fill holes in Twitter's platform had passed, and that developers should now focus on areas such as social gaming, analytics and discovery.

He also encouraged developers to focus on applications for vertical markets, like the Stockwits application for finance, and for enterprise use.



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iPad hardware weighs in at $259, say analysts

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Analyst's teardown lauds "game changing" design

Industry analysts praised the internal design of Apple's iPad in the first major "teardown" reports on the device.

Research firm iSuppli took the iPad apart and found the hardware components and manufacturing costs for each 16GB Wi-Fi iPad added up to around $259.60 per unit. The cost for the 3G-enabled iPad, expected to be released later this month, would be higher due to the additional components.

The most expensive hardware on the iPad is the display. The company estimated that the screen and touch-sensing hard interface for the device costs come $109.50, roughly 44 per cent of the total cost of the device.

Meanwhile the casing for the iPad was estimated to cost $32.50, while the lithium ion battery was pegged at $21. The NAND flash memory for the iPad was also cited as major portion of the costs with its estimated $29.50 price tag.

The 16GB Wi-Fi iPad currently retails for $499 in the US. International release is tentatively scheduled for the end of April.

The firm said that the Apple tablet delivered a "game changing" design in the way it was constructed.

"The iPad’s design represents a new paradigm in terms of electronics cost structure and electronic content,"
said iSuppli principal analyst and teardown services manager Andrew Rassweiler.


The analyst explained that rather than start by designing a motherboard system to power the device and adding on peripherals such as touch screen or displays, the company used the screen and interface as the basis for the design and tailored the computing components to work with those systems.

"Everything is human-machine-interface-centric, with the printed circuit board and integrated circuits all there to facilitate the display of content as well as user inputs,"
he said.




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Shadow Network busted Spies caught plundering secret Indian docs



An espionage gang that infiltrated Indian government computer networks across the globe has been pilfering highly classified documents related to missile systems, national security assessments and the United Nations, according to researchers who tracked the intruders for eight months.

The gang, dubbed the Shadow Network, was monitored by researchers from the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto and the SecDev Group. With assistance from colleagues at the Shadowserver Foundation, the white hat hackers watched the spies as they systematically compromised computers in government offices on multiple continents.

Shadow Network members also infiltrated the systems of Indian embassies in Kabul, Moscow and Dubai, India's Military Engineer Services, and several private companies. Reports they grabbed were frequently stamped with "Secret," "Restricted," and "Confidential" notices. The plundered documents also included a year's worth of personal email from the Dalai Lama.

The researchers are the same ones who last year discovered another stealthy spy ring dubbed Ghostnet. That group also stole documents from the Dalai Lama and from governments and corporations in more than 103 countries.

It was while following Ghostnet that the researchers stumbled onto the Shadow Network, which is believed to be a separate operation. By gaining access to the control servers Shadow Network spies used, the researchers were able to observe the theft of vast amounts of Indian government documents.

To conceal their tracks and to build redundancy into their operation, the spies configured their control servers to work with a wide range of free internet services, including Twitter, Google Groups, Baidu Blogs, and Yahoo Mail. The free services allowed the attackers to maintain control of compromised computers even if they lost contact with the command and control servers, the researchers said.

Following a trail of digital breadcrumbs, the researchers traced the attackers to China's Sichuan Province, though they noted it's hard to say conclusively that's where the individuals were located. Chinese government officials strongly denied the government was behind the attacks.

Members of the Shadowserver Foundation said they have already reported Shadow Network operations to China's National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team and called on the Chinese government to shutter the spy network.

The researchers' report, titled Shadows in the Cloud: An investigation Into Cyberespionage 2.0, is available here and there are additional details from The New York Times here.



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PDF security hole opens can of worms

Tuesday, April 6, 2010



The security perils of PDF files have been further highlighted by new research illustrating how a manipulated file might be used to infect other PDF files on a system.

Jeremy Conway, an application security researcher at NitroSecurity, said the attack scenario he has discovered shows PDFs are "wormable". Computer viruses are capable, by definition, of overwriting other files to spread. Conway's research is chiefly notable for illustrating how a benign PDF file might become infected using features supported by PDF specification, not a software vulnerability as such, and without the use of external binaries or JavaScript.

The "wormable PDF" research comes days after another security researcher, Didier Stevens, showed how it was possible to both embed malicious executables in PDFs and manipulate pop-up dialog boxes to trick victims into running a malicious payload. Both Adobe and FoxIT are working on a fix against the security shortcomings in their respective PDF viewing packages illustrated by the research.

Conway, who last week published an advisory and proof of concept video demo on wormable PDFs, said he was inspired to hunt for related vulnerabilities in the PDF specification by Stevens' research. A fix capable of blocking the security loophole discovered by Stevens ought to also prevent the possibility of 'worming' PDFs.
"If the vendors figure out a method to prevent Didier’s example this same fix will stop this proof of concept as well," Conway writes.


A follow-up blog post by Conway explains the implications of the security shortcomings of PDF files in greater depth.

"I chose to infect the benign PDF with another, and launch a hack that redirected a user to my website, but this could have just as easily been an exploit pack and or embedded Trojan binary,"
Conway explains.
"Worse yet this dynamic infection vector could be utilised to populate all PDFs for some new O-day attack, thereby multiplying an attackers infection vehicles while still exploiting user systems ('worm-able')."


An informative blog post by Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at net security firm F-Secure, explains how all sorts of unexpected content is supported by the PDF specification.

Media files, JavaScript and forms that upload data a user inputs to an external web server are all supported by the PDF specification in addition to embedded executables. These little-known features go a long way towards explaining both why PDF applications such as Adobe Reader takes ages to load and why the file format has become such a firm favorite with hackers over the last year or so, Hypponen notes.



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China implicated in another major hacking attack


Security researchers in Canada have uncovered a new targeted malware network controlled by servers in China which has compromised computer systems in the Office of the Dalai Lama, Indian government, business and academic organisations and even the United Nations.

University of Toronto researcher Nart Villeneuve highlighted the main findings of the new Shadows in the Cloud report, revealing a "complex and tiered command-and-control infrastructure".

"The attackers misused a variety of services, including Twitter, Google Groups, Blogspot, Baidu Blogs, blog.com and Yahoo Mail, in order to maintain persistent control over the compromised computers,"
he said in a blog post yesterday.


"This top layer directed compromised computers to accounts on free web hosting services, and as the free hosting servers were disabled, to a stable core of command-and-control servers located in China."


Any concrete link with the Chinese authorities is unproven, but the report has managed to link the network with two individuals living in Chengdu and to the underground hacking community in China.

The report, which was compiled by Shadowserver Foundation and the Information Warfare Monitor, also claimed that the network had been involved in stealing countless documents marked 'secret' or 'confidential', and that over 1,500 letters sent from the Dalai Lama's office last year had been compromised.

"The nature of the data stolen by the attackers does indicate correlations with the strategic interests of the Chinese state. But we were unable to determine any direct connection between these attackers and elements of the Chinese state," wrote Villeneuve.


"However, it would not be implausible to suggest that the stolen data may have ended up in the possession of some entity of the Chinese government."


The new attack network bears several similarities to the GhostNet system uncovered by the same team of researchers about a year ago which heavily implicated China in cyber snooping activities.

The Chinese government is reported to have issued a stock denial of any such activities, claiming that they had been "stirred up" to cause trouble.

"We resolutely oppose all forms of cyber crime including hacking," China foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu is reported to have told a press conference.




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iPhone 4.0 to be introduced this week



Apple is reportedly planning to outline the features for its next iPhone OS build this week.

The company has begun informing media outlets that it will be holding a special event on its campus Thursday 8 April to introduce the iPhone 4.0 firmware.

Little information was given about the new OS or what features it will introduce, but early rumours have suggested that the update could allow multi-tasking, a feature which would allow more than one application to run on the handset.

While the iPhone hardware is capable of multi-tasking, the feature is currently only accessible through 'jailbreaking,' a process of removing security protections that Apple has repeatedly advised against. Such modified handsets commonly have trouble with firmware updates.

The late winter to early spring period is commonly when Apple prefers to unveil its hardware and software updates for the iPhone, The new products are then released to the public later in the summer.

The news comes just days after the company delivered what many consider to be the biggest product release since the original iPhone. Apple said that in its first day of availability, the new iPad tablet delivered some 300,000 units.



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iPad jailbroken in less than a day


Apple's iPad is selling well but hackers have been busy and the iPad has already been jailbroken, according to postings online.

Yesterday Twitter user MuscleNerd posted a video and picture of what appears to be a jailbroken iPad, credited to hacker Comex. Comex is a member of the iPhone Dev team, who have also said that a jailbreak is possible but have yet to release it.

Both attacks appear to depend on the use of a variant of the Spirit application that is used to crack iPhones.

Apple is playing a continuing game of cat and mouse with those who seek to use their own software on the devices. In the past updates have rendered devices useless and it bans some users from its App Store.



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Microsoft cuts 'Series' lump from Windows Phone 7

Monday, April 5, 2010



It's just two months old, but Microsoft has already renamed its next operating system for Windows phones.

Microsoft's dropped the "Series" from the Windows Phone 7 Series - now the software will simply be called Windows Phone 7, according to a Microsoft team Tweet, below.

The Tweet gave no explanation why Microsoft is dumping the clumsy appendage, but David Webster, chief strategy officer in the company's central marketing group, did try to explain to TechFlash the thinking for inserting "Series" into an otherwise perfectly acceptable name in the first place.

Windows Phone is an OS, it's not a phone. The idea was that we needed a handle to refer to the devices that ran Windows Phone 7 - the family, in essence. Now, in a lot of the coverage and a lot of the usage cases, that context, I think, got lost. People got to thinking that the software was Windows Phone 7 Series, when really that was just an effort to refer to the devices that would be running Windows Phone 7.

No doubt the word "Series" made sense in some meeting of marketing drones who justify their existence on the value attached to the position of a comma in a sentence, or how people "connect" with a brand.

That's the kind of thinking at Microsoft that has, over the years, given us MSN versus Windows Live, and .NET on everything then .NET on just some things.

Here's to you Microsoft: keep sweating the message.



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New Gmail launches for the iPad



Google has announced an enhanced version of its popular email client Gmail designed for the iPad.


In a blog posting, engineering manager Alex Nicolaou argued that Google’s work to optimise Gmail for touchscreen devices began when the first iPhones and Android handsets came onto the market.

He explained that this new version would take advantage of the iPad’s large touchscreen and tablet form factor to include “an experimental two-pane user interface”.

The new interface will feature a user’s conversations down the left hand side and messages in the right column, he added.

“All the features of the Gmail web app that you're used to, such as offline access and aggressive caching to reduce latency, are present in the iPad version,” Nicolaou explained.

“Tablet devices are still very new, so expect changes as we continue to optimise for this new format.”

The iPad was finally launched to great fanfare in the US on Saturday, with a UK release date expected by the end of the month.

Although it is being marketed, as the iPhone was originally, as primarily a consumer device, its enterprise credentials have been given a boost by the launch of a couple of new Citrix apps.

The latest research seems to indicate Apple could be on to yet another winner after its success with the iPhone. A new survey from price comparison site Kelkoo UK last week found that 40 per cent of consumers are ready to ditch their laptops for a tablet PC like the iPad.




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A week in security: Apple and Microsoft patch numerous flaws

Sunday, April 4, 2010


A week in security: Apple and Microsoft patch numerous flaws

It was a busy week this week for both Apple and Microsoft, after the two tech giants were forced to patch critical flaws in their products, while Google’s spat with China continued and social networks were found wanting once again.

First, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer product was found wanting again, with the firm forced to issue an out-of-cycle patch for IE6 and IE7, the second time this year Redmond has had to release a patch outside its regular schedule.

"The out-of-band security bulletin is a cumulative security update for IE and will also contain fixes for privately reported vulnerabilities rated 'critical' on all versions of IE that are not related to this attack,"
said the company.


On the same day, Apple issued major security updates for Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard) and Mac OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard), as well as additional performance and stability updates for Snow Leopard. The security update includes 69 fixes for various components in Leopard and Snow Leopard, including nine vulnerabilities in QuickTime and four in the ImageIO component.

There was more trouble for Google this week as the tit for tat battle between the web giant and the Chinese government continued.

It emerged early in the week that some of Google’s mobile services were being blocked by China, while a senior Google security researcher argued that the attacks it suffered in January originating in the region represented a much wider threat to the internet.



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Download Free Need For Speed 4 - High Stakes

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Download Free Need For Speed 4 - High Stakes


Need for Speed: High Stakes (also known asNeed For Speed: Road Challenge in Europe and Brazil) is a 1999 racing video game, developed by Electronic Arts Canada and published by Electronic Arts. It is part of the Need for Speed series, once again featuring a host of exotic sport cars and tracks located in Western Europe and North America.

Career Mode has a chronological set of tournaments that challenges the player to complete a set of 8-car races for trophies to unlock bonus cars and tracks, incorporating a monetary reward system that allows a player to purchase vehicles, performance upgrades as well as repairs while earning cash by racing. In addition, each cup tournament requires that the player compete against one opponent in a "High Stakes" race (only in the PC version, and only after the first tournament). There are more tournaments on the PC version, and they are different from the console one - for example, the PS version separates the Career into two separate modes, Tournament and Special Event.

High Stakes Mode
High Stakes race is a challenge, wherein the winner of the race will obtain the loser's car, while the loser obviously loses his car. On Playstation it is a separate 2-Player mode, which required 2 memory cards inserted and deleted the loser's car immediately after the race to prevent re-loading.
Hot Pursuit Mode,Classic,Getaway,Time racing.









Download Free Sony Sound Forge Pro 10.0 + Keygen


Download Free Sony Sound Forge Pro 10.0 + Keygen

Sony Sound Forge Pro software efficiently and reliably provides audio editors and producers complete control over all aspects of audio editing and mastering. Whether in the studio or field, it's the ultimate all-in-one production suite for professional audio recording and mastering, sound design, audio restoration, and Red Book CD creation. New features in Sound Forge Pro 10 include precise event-based editing, integrated disc-at-once CD burning, musical instrument file processing, and pristine audio conversion and time stretching.


Basic guidelines for anyone having issues:

1. Download and Install Sound Forge.
2. Open the key gen and make sure to "Run as Administrator" otherwise patching fails.
3. Select Sound Forge 10 from the list and click on the patch button
4. Locate the directory where you installed Sound Forge, probable in /program file(x86)/sony/sound forge 10/
5. Patch it.
6. Click generate button and copy the serial number.
7. Run Sound Forge for the first time, it will ask for serial, paste it in.
8. Click next until you see 'register from another computer', select that option, then save the htm file somewhere, click next until it asks for 'activation code'
9. Copy the activation code that was generated along with your serial number. Copy and paste.
10.Click Finish and it should work! Well it did for me at least, finally Good luck!









Download Free Ashampoo ClipFisher 1.21

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Download Free Ashampoo ClipFisher 1.21


Download, Edit, Play and Convert Videos from YouTube, MyVideo, GoogleVideo, Metacafe, sevenload, MySpace, VideU and ClipFish!

Thousands of videos have been made available via applicable online portals such as YouTube, VideU, MyVideo, ClipFish and GoogleVideo. They offer amusing fun videos, film trailers, snippets of cult movies and serious documentations. However, on the Net there is frequently a view-only policy – download not possible.

This has now been changed by the Ashampoo ClipFisher. All you need to do is to copy a video’s current http:// address from the web browser and paste it into Ashampoo ClipFisher: immediately, the cunning tool will be flexing its download muscles and starting to transfer the film to your hard drive. In this way, compiling your own little (or big, for that matter) video library is no problem at all.



Highlights:

Transfers videos from YouTube, MyVideo, ClipFish, Metacafe, sevenload, VideU, MySpace and GoogleVideo
Saves online videos in Flash format (FLV)
Converts films to WMV format
Breaks down excessive-sized videos by splitting them into smaller units
Adjusts the videos’ size and quality to your individual requirements
Auto-aspect ratio maintains the correct proportions
All settings may be fine-tuned manually
Integrated player plays all videos straight away









Download Free Modeling Autodesk 3ds Max 2010


Download Free Modeling Autodesk 3ds Max 2010


The world's most widely used professional 3D modeling software.

Create rich and complex design visualization. Generate realistic characters for a top-selling game. Bring 3D effects to the big screen.

Autodesk 3ds Max supports 3D modeling, animation, and rendering software helps design visualization professionals, game developers, and visual effects artists maximize their productivity by streamlining the process of working with complex scenes.

Viewing and Handling of Large, Complex Scenes
3ds Max software delivers new viewport technology and optimizations that result in vastly improved interactivity of even the largest, most complex scenes. Common tasks and operations-selection, material assignment, transform, grouping, cloning, and many more-are now significantly faster, making 3ds Max the most streamlined version of the software ever. Plus, a new Scene Explorer makes managing large scenes-and interacting with hundreds or even thousands of objects-far more intuitive.

Review Rendering
Produce stunning photo-real imagery, faster. With the release of 3ds Max, Autodesk unveils Review. This powerful new toolset supports iterative rendering workflows by delivering interactive previewing of shadows, the 3ds Max sun/sky environment, and mental ray Architectural and Design material settings. Based on the latest game engine technology, Review gives you the instant visual feedback you need to iterate rapidly.

Support for Complex Pipelines and Workflows
Quickly extend 3ds Max or streamline multi-application workflows. The new MAXScript ProEditor provides you with an intuitive interface for working with MAXScript that will streamline the scripting workflow, making it easier to author scripts that automate and customize 3ds Max. Deeper support for the DWG and FBX file formats results in faster, more accurate importing of data from other popular Autodesk applications; plus, new features facilitate working with this imported data.

Artist-Friendly Modeling
Enjoy a less menu-dependent modeling experience. 3ds Max gives you a more streamlined, artist-friendly modeling workflow through a collection of hands-on modeling UI options that let you focus more on the creative process.










Download Free Avira Antivirus Professional

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Download Free Avira Antivirus Professional

Virus protection for PCs – secure and efficient

Optimum security

  • Integrated, cross-platform virus and malware protection
  • Reliable, extremely powerful AntiVir technology with leading multi-awardwinning detection performance
  • Fast reaction to new dangers through in-house malware research centers

Low costs
  • Extremely low administration costs through automated workflows and central management
  • Intuitive operation without long, expensive training times
  • All licenses incl. free updates, upgrades and 14 day installation support

High investment security
  • Fast, resource-saving scanning technology which reduces the load on servers and networks existing systems can therefore be used for a longer time
  • Transparent licensing designed to meet requirements without hidden costs
  • Free platform change to new or alternative operating systems




Download Free Avast Pro Antivirus 4.8.1296.0

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Download Free Avast Pro Antivirus 4.8.1296.0

Avast 4 Professional Edition is a complete ICSA & Checkmark certified antivirus, Checkmark certified anti-spyware & anti-rootkit software package for corporate and advanced home use. avast Professional Edition includes an on demand scanner with two user interfaces, a skinnable simple interface: just select what you want to scan and in which way and press the play button, an enhanced user interface: Outlook like UI allows users to set any feature of Avast, prepare and run tasks, store and check task results, on access scanner: special providers to protect: most available e-mail clients, instant messaging: ICQ or Miranda, network traffic: lightweight firewall, P2P protection for Kazaa, BitTorrent, Web shield: all HTTP traffic, script blocker. avast Professional Edition is available in 32 languages. Small, true incremental, updates are downloaded and installed automatically.

* avast! now contains a built-in anti-rootkit protection
* avast! now comes with a built-in anti-spyware protection* new self-defense function to prevent active malware from terminating avast! processes as well as corrupting avast! files and registry items
* scanners now display a progress of current scan (percentage of work done)
* fixed a vulnerability in AavmKer4.sys kernel-mode driver (problem applies to Windows NT/2000/XP, 32-bit only); special thanks to Tobias Klein* improvements in boot-time scanner (detection & removal of hidden or hard to delete files)
* boot-time scanner will not start when booting into Safe Mode (the program was "invisible" in that case, no progress/messages could be seen)
* improvements in many unpackers
* ACE and RAR unpackers now work even in boot-time scanner
* IM Shield: added support for QQ
* improvements in handling of NTFS streams* Internet Mail provider now displays the name of the sending/receiving program in the tooltip of its taskbar icon
* implemented a protection against false positives in critical system files
* removed a small memory leak in one of avast! drivers (Windows Vista and XP 64-bit only)* added support for 64-bit WHS connector (available in WHS Power Pack 1)
* greatly improved performance of the updater, especially in cases where many increments are being downloaded (e.g. avast! installations with outdated virus definitions)* silent installation now also includes scheduled tasks, if any
* resolved a compatibility issue with Acronis TrueImage (XP 64-bit only)
* compatibility tests with Vista SP1 and XP SP3







Windows Phone 7: Microsoft's exercise in self restraint

Saturday, March 20, 2010




Mix10 The key difference between Windows Phone 7 and Windows Mobile is not Silverlight, the Windows Marketplace lock-in, nor the disallowing of native-code applications.

Rather, Windows Phone 7 is Microsoft's best effort at creating a user-centric device, something that is actually a pleasure to use. Its existence has everything to do with Apple and the way it has stolen Microsoft's market - in music downloads, in high-end laptops, soon in tablet computers, and of course in smartphones themselves.And why has Apple succeeded? As Microsoft Research principal researcher Bill Buxton told The Reg three years ago, two words: industrial design. His mission in joining the company was to reform it into one that understood the importance of user experience.

It does not come easy. Intellectually, Microsoft gets this message, but its culture and legacy is against it. The company's annual Mix conference held last week in Las Vegas, Nevada, is meant to be design-focused, but there was just as much developer content, such as detailed sessions on the OData protocol. Some attendees complained that it was too much like the Professional Developers Conference held four months earlier. Adobe has a design community, Microsoft has a developer community - and a transition is hard to pull off.

Further, Microsoft has a problem with its core software products such as Office. There is no more hope of Outlook becoming user-centric than there was for the old Windows Mobile. It does not need a dollop of Office Ribbon, it needs complete reconstruction.

Microsoft's dependency on OEM partners, the engine of its growth, also works against its design efforts. I was reminded of this recently when starting a Windows 7 Toshiba Netbook for the first time, fresh out of its box. Windows 7 is meant to be quieter, but the screen soon filled with ugly dialogs competing for attention, mostly from third-parties. It's this kind of thing that drives users to the Mac.

Lip service to innovation

Here's what Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said during the February press launch for Windows Phone 7: "We want to lead and take complete accountability for the end user experience ... have more consistency in the hardware platform, more consistency in the user experience, but still enable [partner] innovation."

"Partner innovation" is generally a disaster for Microsoft.

Ballmer makes a nod towards it as a matter of good public relations, but by locking down both hardware and software, the company is trying to minimize the extent to which OEMs can spoil the design effort.
During Mix10 last week I asked Buxton what influence he had on the design of Windows Phone 7. He said it was mostly the work of others, but it does show the ascendancy of design at Microsoft. "We kinda changed the water that we drink, in the sense that all through the design community within the company we talk, and we have a common goal in terms of trying to bring a certain change of sensibility," he said.


"For me it's not even about the phone, but what's interesting is that it's the first product in the company with critical mass that's embraced this ... it will have an impact on other parts of the company."

Whether or not he was directly involved, Windows Phone 7 does seem to embody many of Buxton's principles, such as the attention given to transitions between states, with attractive flowing animations. "If you don't have as much detail in the transition as you do in the state, you're going to get it wrong," Buxton said at Mix09.

The priority of design is one reason for the limited features in this release, and for that Microsoft is taking heat from developers. No native code, no multi-tasking, no socket support, no local SQL, no communication between applications - the list goes on. Such features may be opened up gradually in future versions, but only if resource usage and user control are protected.

If users love the phone, these limitations will be forgiven. Microsoft is coming from behind though, and rivals including Apple and makers of Android phones will not be standing still while the company tries to catch up.




Source:http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/03/20/windows_phone_7_design/



Royal Navy launches iPhone app




The Royal Navy has become the latest venerable institution to enter the brave new world of Web 2.0 in an attempt to haul itself into the 21st century and attract new members.

The oldest of the Armed Forces demonstrated a variety of interactive technologies at careers fair Jobserve Live held in London this week, including a new iPhone and Facebook application designed to attract and challenge potential recruits.

The application sets a series of challenges which simulate real life situations encountered by Royal Navy Engineer Officers.

Various training exercises and tasks are bundled into five interactive ‘missions’ requiring quick thinking and decision making. Tasks include engine maintenance, preparing for a simulated missile attack or re-wiring radar systems, according to the Royal Navy.

Mike Davis-Marks, Captain Naval Recruiting, said the Royal Navy and Royal Marines are looking for potential recruits who feel that they need a new challenge.

“Launching the iPhone is very exciting for both serving officers and prospective recruits as it is an interactive challenge which is a cut above other recruiting methods,”
he added.


“The app contains the career and benefits campaign messages as well as a link back to the Royal Navy careers website, providing a clear call to action for those interested in joining.”


The Royal Navy is the first of the Armed Forces to exploit the potential of the iPhone, although the US army has an iPhone app.




Source:http://www.v3.co.uk/v3/news/2259871/royal-navy-launches-iphone-app