Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The ABCs of securing your wireless network

Ars Technica's original Wireless Security Blackpaper was first published back in 2002, and in the intervening years, it has been a great reference for getting the technical lowdown on different wireless security protocols. As a sequel to the original blackpaper, we wanted to do something a little more basic and practical, because the number of devices with 802.11x support has greatly expanded since 2002. Wireless security is no longer the domain of geeks and system administrators, but is now an issue in the lives of everyday users, from the worker with a home office who wants to keep sensitive files secure to the homemaker who wants to avoid an RIAA lawsuit because the teen next door is a wireless-leeching P2P addict.

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18 Features Windows Should Have (but Doesn't)

Some of the coolest OS features are nowhere to be found in Windows XP or Vista. Here are 18 brilliant features that Microsoft should beg for, borrow, or steal--plus tips on how you can add many of them to your PC now. Love it or hate it, Microsoft Windows is the world's most dominant operating system. But when you look at some of the hot features found in competitors such as Linux and Mac OS X, both XP and Vista can seem a little incomplete.

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Microsoft device helps police pluck evidence from cyberscene

Microsoft has developed a small plug-in device that investigators can use to quickly extract forensic data from computers that may have been used in crimes. The COFEE, which stands for Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor, is a USB "thumb drive" that was quietly distributed to a handful of law-enforcement agencies last June. Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith described its use to the 350 law-enforcement experts attending a company conference Monday.

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iTunes Store turns 5: Can anyone break its dominance?

Cupertino (CA) - Apple's digital music store just celebrated its fifth anniversary and had a Cinderella-like run so far. More than four billion music tracks and more than 125 million TV episodes have been sold since launch. The market share is estimated at or above 70% worldwide. Earlier this year, iTunes was believed to briefly have been the nation’s largest music retailer. TG Daily took a look at the store’s history, the environment and competing landscape to sum up its five years of business and look at difficulties it may be facing.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Five reasons why Vista beats Mac OS X

The conventional wisdom, that Mac's OS X is superior to Windows Vista, is flat-out wrong. In fact, despite much belief to the contrary, Vista is a superior operating system according to Preston Gralla of ComputerWorld. After your done reading his article view the video from Chris Pirillo.

Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

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AT&T to cut the price of Apple’s new iPhone

AT&T (T) is planning to put some extra shine on the even sleeker new Apple (AAPL) iPhone. When the 3G iPhone is introduced this summer, AT&T, the exclusive U.S. iPhone sales partner with Apple, will cut the price by as much as $200, according to a person familiar with the strategy.AT&T is preparing to subsidize $200 of the cost of a new iPhone, bringing the price down to $199 for customers who sign two-year contracts, the source says. Apple is expected to have two versions of the new iPhone, an 8-gigabyte-memory and a 16-gigabyte-memory model with price tags widely expected to be $399 and $499. AT&T and Apple declined to comment.

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Illegal iPhones, Apple of Russian Elites' Eyes

There are approximately 500,000 iPhone users in Russia -- a country where the phone is not officially for sale, according to Eldar Murtazin, head of analysis at Mobile Research Group in Moscow, citing data obtained from Russia's cellphone operators. The phones are bought in bulk in the United States, and an 8-gigabyte model sells in Russia for at least $700, nearly twice the price in the United States. Still, the price of an iPhone in Russia has fallen dramatically since its launch in the United States last year, when they went on sale here for $1,800. "Russian people love anything that is forbidden," said Murtazin, adding that iPhone sales in Russia are the third-highest in the world, after the United States and China (where the phone also cannot be sold legally).

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iPhone vs. BlackBerry: Which Do Consumers Love Most?

ChangeWave's recent Smart Phone Wars report showed a rapidly evolving two-horse race between the Apple (AAPL) iPhone and Research In Motion's (RIMM) BlackBerry - with second tier players like Palm (PALM) and a host of others being shoved to the sidelines.To follow-up, we took a closer look at the features users love and hate about their iPhones and BlackBerrys as part of our March 2008 survey of 864 smart phone owners.If you recall, our previous report showed consumer satisfaction levels were sky high for the two smart phone frontrunners - with Apple boasting a 79% Very Satisfied rating for its iPhone models and RIM garnering a highly respectable 54% rating for the BlackBerry.But what is it about these two brands that have consumers so very satisfied?

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Half A Million Microsoft-Powered Sites Hit With SQL Injection Attack

A new SQL injection attack aimed at Microsoft IIS web servers has hit some 500,000 websites, including the United Nations, UK Government sites and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In other words, there’s no patch that’s going to fix the issue, the problem is with the developers who failed follow well-established security practices for handling database input. While the attack is not necessarily Microsoft's fault, it is unique to the company's IIS server.

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Hackers Now Target Firefox and Safari

Many people are switching from Internet Explorer to alternative browsers such as Firefox and Safari. Though that might make them feel more secure, the shift has also opened new doors for bad guys. In a somewhat dubious recognition of Firefox's growing popularity, hackers have focused their attention on it, leading to a rash of newly discovered holes. The folks at Mozilla recently released two Firefox updates in less than six weeks, fixing a total of five critical security vulnerabilities. All five can be exploited by planting a poisoned JavaScript file in a Web site and waiting for you to stumble across it.

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Is technology ruining children?

Technology is moulding a generation of children unable to think for themselves or empathise with others, says the leading brain scientist Susan Greenfield. Is it time to switch off? Susan Greenfield’s theory goes like this. The more we play games, the less time there is for learning specific facts and working out how those facts relate to each other. This can result, she maintains, in a failure to build highly personalised individual conceptual frameworks – the whole point of education and the basis of individual identity. If the purpose of a game, for instance, is to free the princess from the tower, it is the thrill of attaining the goal, the process, that counts. What does not count is the content – the personality of the princess and the narrative as to why and how she is there, as in a storybook. Greenfield avers that emphasis on process in isolation becomes addictive and profoundly mind-changing.Here is her hypothesis. A natural brain chemical called dopamine is involved in all forms of addiction. Dopamine contributes to feelings of wellbeing on attaining a goal, especially when gratification repeatedly deferred is finally delivered. Falling levels of dopamine accompany the opposite situations, when gratification has been frustrated (for example, waiting for a phone call that never comes).

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Friday, April 25, 2008

3G IPhone Due on June 9, Analysts Say

The 3G iPhone will be announced June 9, the likely date of Apple CEO Steve Jobs' keynote at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference, analysts said in research notes on Thursday. The 3G iPhone will be the "first of an impressive wave of new products" from Apple, wrote Citi analysts Richard Gardner and Yeechang LeeApple is confident it will sell 10 million iPhones this year, officials said during a conference call on Wednesday to discuss the company's second-quarter earnings. They also expect an updated Mac laptop and iPod lines. The Apple conference is scheduled for June 9-13 in San Francisco.

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Need help learning Russian?

Do you need help learning Russian? Today Russian is widely used outside Russia. Over a quarter of the world's scientific literature is published in Russian. It is also applied as a means of coding and storage of universal knowledge — 60–70% of all world information is published in English and Russian languages. Learning a new language can be a daunting task but there are a number of books, tape, and CD/DVD's one could buy but what if your pinched for cash? Well there are a number of great sites on the Internet to help you and I would like to highlight a one today called Listen 2 Russian. Not only do they offer help learning Russian they also offer a tutorial on how to setup a account. The Listen 2 Russian web site offers good help to those new students of the Russian language and I hope that you will visit them and congratulate them on their web site.

Hardy Heron reflects Ubuntu Linux ambitions

Canonical plans to release Hardy Heron, its newest version of Ubuntu Linux on Thursday, and Chief Executive Mark Shuttleworth isn't being shy and retiring about it. "This is our most significant release ever," he said in an interview. Ordinarily I avoid publishing such marketing superlatives, but Shuttleworth is right. Hardy Heron, also called version 8.04 for its April 2008 launch date, is Canonical's proof-in-the-pudding moment that will show whether the company can grow beyond its subsidized roots into a self-sustaining business. Ubuntu has a strong following among Linux enthusiasts.

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Opera Desktop Beta 2 (Kestrel) now available for download

Opera today unveiled the second beta preview of the forthcoming Opera 9.5 desktop browser, code-named Kestrel. The new beta improves on security, speed and performance, while refining some of Opera’s most popular features. For download, please visit

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Homemade Robot Has Water Cannon, Shoots Vagrants

The regulars hardly glance outside. They've seen bar owner Rufus Terrill's invention on patrol before — its bright red lights and even brighter spotlight blazing, infrared video camera filming and water cannon at the ready in the spinning turret on top. An environmental engineer by day, Terrill gathered the makings of his robot for three months. A three-wheel scooter gives the Bum Bot mobility. A home-alarm loudspeaker attached to a walkie-talkie gives it a voice. Its head is a former home meat-smoker. The red lights are from a 1997 Chevrolet, and it's powered by four car batteries. 

iPhone stats confirmed; it really does run my world

If you have an iPhone, you're doing a lot more than just making calls. Market research firm iSuppli Corp. found that many people use iPhones in ways that differ markedly from other phones, especially in categories that until recently weren't that important to most users. What surprised me the most out of all of iSuppli's statistics is that iPhone owners spent less than half the time actually making calls -- 46.5% -- compared to 71.7% of the time people use other phones for calls.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

80% of all Russian Tv's are made in Kaliningrad

Russia’s enclave in Europe - Kaliningrad - is becoming known for more that just being the holder of 90% of worlds amber deposits and is now undergoing an exciting economic boom, driven by tax breaks which have attracted many foreign car manufacturers. However the Kaliningrad exclave is separated from the rest of Russia and its residents can only reach other parts of Russia through Poland or Lithuania so shipments goods must reach their Russian consumers via truck or train.

Tips for improving gas mileage 30% or more

Area gas prices reached record highs again yesterday, and crude oil neared $120 a barrel. So, how would you like to improve your fuel economy by 30 percent or more without buying a new car?

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Dealing with Mac Creep

With the popularity of Apple products on the rise, IT departments must start thinking differently about their management processes. Fortunately, as Apple's computing fortunes have risen, an array of options for integrating these systems with Microsoft Windows-based applications and management infrastructure also have emerged.

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Why 'no Macs' is no longer a defensible IT strategy

Why more users are demanding Macs in the Enterprise. Luckily for IT, many of those same trends are making it easier for tech departments to say yes to the Mac by facilitating IT's ability to provide enterprise-grade Mac management and support. The Mac fits much better than it ever has, and the trend toward cloud computing is reducing the importance of the client platform to access both internal and external resources. Mac manageability is on par with Windows standards. So you can let your users choose the equipment they prefer, without undue worry.

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Apple Buys Chip Designer

Late Tuesday, in response to questions from, an Apple spokesman said Apple has agreed to buy a boutique microprocessor design company called PA Semi. The company, which is known for its design of sophisticated, low-power chips, could spell a new future for Apple's flagship iPhone, and possibly iPod products as well. Executives believe the company will have created a unique asset--a powerful microprocessor that sips power lightly and so can support just about any imaginable applications Apple's software gurus can imagine .

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The (new) Fastest Hard Drive Ever

"It's here! Western Digital's follow-up to its speedy Raptor drives doesn't disappoint. The Velociraptor achieves its new footholds of speed and storage as a result of its reduced, 2.5-inch size. The two-platter Velociraptor runs with the same cache as its predecessors, 16MB. Although the Velociraptor's drive's interface takes a much-needed upgrade from SATA 1.5 Gb/s to 3 Gb/s. In real-world testing, the drive we checked out was 59 percent faster than a Raptor X and 18 percent faster than Samsung's HD103UJ."

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It's official! Windows XP SP3 goes RTM today

The moment that Windows XP users have been waiting for. Today Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) goes RTM. The update gives Windows XP users the following improvements:"Black Hole" Router DetectionNetwork Access Protection (NAP)Descriptive Security Options User InterfaceMicrosoft Kernel Mode Cryptographic ModuleWindows Product Activation

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Apple's OS Edge Is a Threat to Microsoft

A recent upgrade to the Mac operating system moves Apple closer to challenging Microsoft for overall computing dominance, even in the corporate market. The 20-year death grip that Microsoft has held on the core of computing is finally weakening—pried loose with just two fingers. It all started with Mac OS X, the multi-core, multi-processor platform officially released in 2001. Based on "Mach," a university UNIX research prototype, Mac OS X represented a clean break with the computer industry's uniprocessor past. By contrast, Microsoft has held on to an OS tethered to the 1980s, piling additions upon additions with each upgrade to Windows. With last year's arrival of Vista, Windows has swollen to 1 billion bytes (a gigabyte) or more of software code. The "Mach" kernel of the Mac OS X, however, requires less than 1 million bytes (a megabyte) of data in its smallest configuration, expanding modestly with the sophistication of the application.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

IGN: Jericho Third Season Still Possible

"One thing is for sure, the show is interesting to many parties – and not just the fans. There is money to be made from this audience, who has proven itself extraordinarily loyal and supportive – and one thing the television business knows how to do is find the money."

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New Windows Worm Evading Harpoons of Antivirus Programs

Researchers at Damballa Solutions have uncovered evidence of a powerful new botnet they've nicknamed Kracken. The company estimates that Kraken has infected 400,000 systems, which would make it twice the size of Storm during that botnet's hayday. Specific details on the newly discovered botnet are still hard to come by, but rhetoric isn't. Damballa currently predicts that Kraken will continue to infect new machines (up to 600,000 by mid-April).

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Australian iPhone release info revealed!

Apple Australia have today announced internally the details of the Australian iPhone release. The phone will be released in the last week of June to coincide with the opening of the Sydney Apple Store. The phone will also be unlocked for use with more than 1 carrier, providing evidence it may be a 3G iPhone we first see here.

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3G iPhone pictures.

Picture of what the new 3G iphone will look like. If it turns out to look like this and has what everyone says it'll have, then this will be a great new version of the iPhone.

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Monday, April 7, 2008

iPhone is already the top mobile browser

It's been on the market for just six months, and already the iPhone(plus the iPod Touch) is the most used mobile browser for Internet access in the U.S., according to researcher StatCounter. At No. 2 is the Symbian OS used in Nokia's devices. In either case, Windows Mobile -- in all its versions -- is just a blip.

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What should the next iPhone have?

With a recent shortage of Apple's iPhones in U.S. stores, and indications that a new model may be released within the next few months, there's speculation about what features the new phone should or might have. Walt Mossberg, of The Wall Street Journal, said 3G, a faster broadband connection, is coming to the new iPhone "in 60 days." What does Apple say? Very little. The company routinely declines to comment on products that are in development. “They’re clearly one of the more secretive organizations around,” said Ken Dulaney, vice president of Gartner Research.

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Top 25 overlooked and underrated features in Leopard

About five months ago, Macintosh lovers finally got their hands on Mac OS X 10.5 “Leopard,” which boasts more than 300 new features But many others are buried just beneath the surface, unknown or ignored by users even though they’ve had Leopard installed for months. These “hidden” features may be things you never heard of or noticed.

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Viruses Expected to Hit 1 Million This Year

New and creative malware will push the total number of viruses to one million (mostly Windows) users by year's end, Sophos security experts say.

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Friday, April 4, 2008

Apple Xserve, One Sweet Byte

We take the Apple Xserve out for a spin and find that what's under the hood lives up to its glossy exterior -- a turnkey server environment that delivers out-of-the-box productivity that enterprise PC servers seldom able to match.

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20 Stores Sold Out of iPhone, 80% Chance New Ones On The Way

Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray has called 20 Apple stores around the U.S. and found the same thing. No iPhones to be had. He figures the chances that a new iPhone is coming are about 80%.

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Sun Microsystems' Next Linux Move

In recent weeks, Sun has quietly increased its bets on the fastest growing version of Linux in the market. And it isn't from Red Hat or Novell. Rather, Sun is preparing to certify more of its servers for Canonical's Ubuntu Linux.

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The Inside Story: Why Microsoft's Surface Took So Long

The Popular Mechanics editor who pumped up Microsoft Surface so hard a year ago now does a 180, with exclusive quotes from Microsoft goats and a blasting of the touchscreen table's deployment.

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Microsoft will extend life of Windows XP--again

Microsoft has decided to extend the life of Windows XP, although only for a limited class of machines.

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