Census 2010: Universities, Colleges Push To Get Students Counted
Well regardless of the point of the story, look at all those Macs. I doubt the kids pay much attention to the lecture now, those are some nice toys to sit through class with.
Census 2010: Universities, Colleges Push To Get Students Counted
BBC News - Microsoft's foiling of botnet gets mixed response
Security experts are split over the effectiveness of Microsoft's efforts to shut down a network of PCs that could send 1.5 billion spam messages a day.
The firm persuaded a US judge to issue a court order to cripple 277 internet domains used by the Waledac botnet.
Botnets are usually armies of hijacked Windows PCs that send spam or malware.
"We aim to be more proactive in going after botnets to help protect the internet," said Richard Boscovich, the head of Microsoft's digital crime unit.
"We will do whatever it takes to look out for our customers and our brand. We hope it will spur similar actions," Mr Boscovich told the BBC.
Many saw Waledac as a devastatingly active botnet. Microsoft cited one 18-day period in December when the botnet sent more than 650 million spam e-mails to Hotmail accounts for everything from online pharmacies to fake designer goods, jobs and more.
"This was a worldwide problem and we scored a big, big victory," said Mr Boscovich.
Despite Microsoft's bullishness, some security industry figures were sceptical saying Waledac did not make a big contribution to global spam levels. Others were more impressed with the shutdown.
"Microsoft has taken a bold move in addressing this problem and it will be interesting to see how it develops," said Sandra Toms LaPedis, general manager of the RSA Conference, the world's biggest gathering of security professionals.
BBC News - Online archive of UK science launches
The British Library has begun a project to create a vast, online oral history and archive of British science.
The three-year project will see 200 British scientists interviewed and their recollections recorded for the audio library.
An advisory board will help the project pick key technological innovators and scientists for the archive.
The interviews will be put online to form a permanent record of the way British science has been practiced.
An alleged hacker has been hailed as a latter-day Robin Hood for leaking data about the finances of banks and state-owned firms to Latvian TV.BBC News - Latvian 'Robin Hood' hacker leaks bank details to TV
BBC News - British Library warns UK's web heritage 'could be lost'
The UK's online heritage could be lost forever if the government does not grant a "right to archive", a group of leading libraries has said.
The British Library, along with other institutions, has been archiving UK websites since 2004 but has only been able to cover 6,000 of an estimated 8m.
Currently, it must ask permission from website owners before archiving them.
The group, which has just made its UK Web Archive available to the public, warned of "a digital black hole".
"We've got the know-how but we need the rules to say we don't need to ask permission," said a spokesman for the British Library.
"We're archiving for the nation rather than commercial gain."
The British Library believes the UK Web Archive could prove as useful to historians as ancient pamphlets and other ephemeral material in its archive.
China tightens internet controlsA Beijing office worker surfs the internetChina has the world's biggest online population: more than 380m usersChina has tightened controls on internet use, requiring anyone who wants to set up a website to meet regulators and produce ID documents.BBC News - China tightens internet controls
Microsoft is apparently exploring ways to make Xbox Live avatars more like their users. To that end, the company has filed for a patent that details "an Avatar generator for a virtual environment [which] reflects a physiological characteristic of the user, injecting a degree of reality into the capabilities or appearance."Virtual Worlds News: Microsoft Rethinking Avatar Creation Tools?
Patent application 20090309891 describes the new approach to avatar generation as follows:
An avatar generator for a virtual environment reflects a physiological characteristic of the user, injecting a degree of reality into the capabilities or appearance. Thereby, many of the incentives of the real world are replicated in a virtual environment. Physiological data that reflect a degree of health of the real person can be linked to rewards of capabilities of a gaming avatar, an amount of time budgeted to play, or a visible indication. Thereby, people are encouraged to exercise. Physiological data that reflect the health and perhaps also mood also improve social interaction in virtual environments. People seeking to meet and become acquainted with particular types of people are not thwarted by the artificiality of avatars. The physiological data can be gleaned from a third party health data collection repository, a healthcare smart card, a real-time physiological sensor (e.g., blood pressure, heart rate, blood glucose, peak flow, pedometer, etc.) [via 1UP]
(CNN) -- A growing number of software companies are capitalizing on an unexpected business opportunity: Internet censorship.Cashing in on Internet censorship - CNN.com
In countries where governments continue to ramp up Web filtering systems, more people are searching for tools that will allow them to access inaccessible information -- and they are willing to pay for them.
Such tools include virtual private networks (VPN), proxy servers and other workarounds that enable users to breach barriers to blocked information online.
VPNs "tunnel" through to servers in a country with no Web controls, encrypting information under an anonymous computer address to conceal private traffic. Proxies also allow unfiltered Internet access but are considered less secure than VPNs.
BBC News - Laptop launched to aid computer novices
People confused and frustrated by computers can now turn to a laptop called Alex built just for them.
Based on Linux, the laptop comes with simplified e-mail, web browsing, image editing and office software.
Those who sign up for Alex pay £39.95 a month for telephone support, software updates and broadband access.
Its creators hope the laptop and its simple suite of software proves to be a popular alternative to the Windows and Mac operating systems.
"Alex is not designed as a super-computer," said Barney Morrison-Lyons, head of technology at The Broadband Computer Company which is behind Alex. "We're not buying into the current computer market."
BBC - Newsbeat - Satio phone 'misleading' in Facebook TV advert
Sony Ericsson has landed in hot water over the way it advertised its Satio smartphone.
The company "exaggerated" the handset's ability to access Facebook, according to the Advertising Standards Authority(ASA).
Google Gives $2 Million to Wikipedia’s Foundation
The donation’s definitely in line with Google’s () generosity to foundations that promote a faster and more open web. However, we think it’s interesting that Google is giving money to the Wikimedia Foundation now, only a year and a half after the search giant launched its own Wikipedia killer, Google Knol.
Back then, we said it was doomed to fail, and so far Knol’s stagnation has proven us right. Is this a sign that Google’s abandoned the project and is embracing Wikipedia () as the web’s center for knowledge? Hopefully we’ll get some answers tomorrow.
The average U.S. Internet user spends more time on Facebook than on Google, Yahoo, YouTube, Microsoft, Wikipedia, and Amazon combined. Think about that for a moment.Social Media News and Web Tips – Mashable – The Social Media Guide
Microsoft Outlook to Add MySpace and Facebook Integration
Microsoft Outlook has just become a lot more social through new partnerships with Facebook and MySpace and an existing one with LinkedIn.
You might remember back in November that Microsoft announced Outlook Social Connector, a new Office 2010 feature that hooks up social feeds into the Outlook inbox. The initial partner for the program was LinkedIn (LinkedIn), whose business connections, alerts, and messages would integrate directly with Outlook.
Now that integration has gone live. Outlook users can now download LinkedIn for Outlook and transform their desktop inboxes into their hub for all things LinkedIn.
Overshadowing its release though is Microsoft’s announcement of two big partners for the Outlook Social Connector, MySpace (MySpace) and Facebook (Facebook). Sometime in the next few months, users will be able to check up on their MySpace friends, update their Facebook status, and browse through photos.
BBC News - Google Buzz 'breaks privacy laws' says watchdog
A leading privacy group has urged US regulators to investigate Google's new social networking service Buzz, one week after its launch.
The Electronic Privacy Information Centre (Epic) has made its complaint to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
It says that Buzz - which is part of Google's Gmail service - is "deceptive" and breaks consumer protection law.
The search giant has twice made changes to the service to placate an outcry from users about privacy concerns.
Canadian officials are also looking at whether Buzz violates privacy laws.
"Google still hasn't gone far enough," Epic's consumer privacy counsel Kim Nguyen told BBC News.
"Twitter is a social networking site and people know what they are signing up for. With Gmail, users signed up for an e-mail service not a social networking service," said Ms Nguyen.
"Despite all the changes, they still do not give users a meaningful way to opt into it."
Buzz was automatically rolled out to Gmail's 176 million users.
The FTC has been asked to "require Google to provide Gmail users with opt-in consent to the Google Buzz service".
BBC News - Google admits Buzz social network testing flaws
The BBC understands that Buzz was only tested internally and bypassed more extensive trials with external testers - used for many other Google services.
Microsoft System Center Capacity Planner (SCCP) is formally being discontinued, effective immediately, as it no longer supports the current versions of Microsoft applications it was designed for. The most recent version, SCCP 2007, is no longer available. No new versions of this standalone capacity planning tool, as well as any new or updated application capacity planning models, will be developed.System Center Capacity Planner TechCenter
Twitter 'is a weapon in cyber warfare' - Online, Media - The Independent
Britain needs to learn from the actions of the Israeli military in the Gaza in using YouTube and tweets to engage in 21st-century cyber-warfare, the head of the Royal Air force said yesterday.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton highlighted how the Israeli Air Force used the internet in the battle over international public opinion during last year's conflict as an example of harnessing new technology.
"Accurate and timely information has always been critical to the military but its importance is increasing as societies become more networked," he stated. "This is intimately linked to developments in space and cyber-space; as we saw in the conflict in Gaza in early 2009, operations on the ground were paralleled by operations in cyber-space and an 'info ops' campaign that was fought across the internet: the Israeli Air Force downloaded sensor imagery onto YouTube, tweets warned of rocket attacks and the 'help-us-win.com' blog was used to mobilise public support."
The Israeli attack on Gaza, with its large number of civilian casualties, led to widespread international criticism. However, the use of the internet by the Israeli forces attempting to show Hamas fighters employing local people as cover and the supposedly "surgical" nature of some of the bombing is thought to have countered some of the adverse publicity.
The emotive impact of civilian casualties has been graphically shown during the current offensive in Afghanistan to capture the Marjah region from Taliban forces. Twelve civilians, 10 of them from one family, were killed when two Nato missiles overshot their targets and hit a family home.
General Stanley McChrystal, the US commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan, immediately issued a public apology and the use of the missile system involved in the deaths has been suspended. The Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, who had warned Western forces about civilian casualties before the mission was launched, has demanded an inquiry.
As well as the propaganda campaign, cyber-warfare can be used to target vital strategic communications and defence systems. Both Russia and China have been accused of using the new technology as offensive weapons to hack into targeted computer systems.
In a keynote speech at the International Institute for Strategic Defences, Sir Stephen urged military planners to focus on the "operational environment that is increasingly becoming the 'vital ground' in 21st-century conflict".
BBC News - Intel and Nokia merge software to create MeeGo
The world's largest chip maker and the world's largest mobile phone maker have merged operating systems to create a single platform for mobiles.
The new MeeGo platform, unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, will be used to power phones, netbooks, TVs and in-car entertainment systems.
The open-source software has been created by merging elements of Intel's Moblin and Nokia's Maemo software.
Twenty-four of the largest phone operators have banded together to challenge the dominance of mobile app stores, such as that operated by Apple.BBC News - Mobile firms unite to offer applications
Microsoft has launched the latest version of its mobile phone operating system, called Windows Phone 7 series.BBC News - Microsoft launches Windows Phone 7 Series for mobiles
The software has a redesigned user interface and incorporates many Microsoft services such as Xbox LIVE games and the Zune music service.
The software was introduced at an event at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
According to research firm Canalys, Microsoft's software currently has around 9% of the smartphone market.
That puts it fourth in the global market behind Symbian, Rim (makers of the Blackberry) and Apple's iPhone OS.
Windows Mobile 7 is Microsoft’s last chance to challenge iPhone | VentureBeat
On Monday, at the Mobile World Congress show in Spain, the company will try again with Windows Mobile 7, a new version of the company’s operating system for cell phones, according to Bloomberg News. Robbie Bach, head of the group that makes Windows Mobile 7, pretty much signaled at the Consumer Electronics Show in January that Microsoft would have more to say about mobile at Mobile World Congress. Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer plans to show off the software in Barcelona. The new software has a revised user interface that looks like Microsoft’s Zune HD music player, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Microsoft security updates cripple computers running Windows XP - 12/02/2010 - Computer Weekly
Microsoft's monthly security updates for February have left Windows XP users unable to restart their computers, according to more than 100 people on a Microsoft support forum.
"I updated 11 Windows XP updates today and restarted my PC like it asked me to," said a user identified as "tansenroy".
"From then on, Windows cannot restart again. It is stopping at the blue screen with the following message: A problem has been detected and Windows has been shutdown to prevent damage to your computer."
BBC News - Yahoo talks tough about its search business
Research group comScore revealed this week that Yahoo's share of US search queries has dropped more than three percentage points to 17% in the past year.
Google has solidified its hold on first place with around 65% of all queries made while Microsoft's Bing has gained share at Yahoo's expense rising to 11% in January.
"I think the market wants a competitive Yahoo," Greg Sterling, of blog SearchEngineLand, told BBC News.
"It doesn't want to see just two players dominate this space. It wants more diversity and innovation and that comes from competition. I give them a fighting chance."
Google Wave was the biggest hyped dud since the Star Wars prequels. Google seemed to think making people beg to use this tool would somehow make it more popular.
China has closed down what is believed to be the country's biggest training website for hackers, state media has reported.BBC News - China shuts down training website for hackers
The portion of those saying that they've heard of the iPad grew from 48 percent to 82 percent within weeks but the percentage saying that they won't need to buy one shot from 26 percent to 52 percent, a very worrying trend for Apple.US Survey Predicts Apple iPad To Be Embarrassing Flop - ITProPortal.com
British outfit X2 Computing announced on Friday that it would be shipping soon a tablet computer going by the name of iTablet, a clear attempt to surf on the celebrity wave of Apple's tablet computer, the iPad.More Details Emerge About The X2 Computing's iTablet - ITProPortal.com
BBC News - Microsoft to patch 17-year-old computer bug
A 17-year-old bug in Windows will be patched by Microsoft in its latest security update.
The February update for Windows will close the loophole that dates from the time of the DOS operating system.
First appearing in Windows NT 3.1, the vulnerability has been carried over into almost every version of Windows that has appeared since.
The monthly security update will also tackle a further 25 holes in Windows, five of which are rated as "critical".
|Bulletin ID||Max Severity Rating||Vulnerability Impact||Restart Requirement||Affected Software*|
|Bulletin 1||Critical ||Remote Code Execution||Requires restart||Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2.|
|Bulletin 2||Critical ||Remote Code Execution||Requires restart||Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003.|
|Bulletin 3||Critical ||Remote Code Execution||May require restart||Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2.|
|Bulletin 4||Critical ||Remote Code Execution||Requires restart||Microsoft Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.|
|Bulletin 5||Important ||Remote Code Execution||Requires restart||Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2.|
|Bulletin 6||Critical ||Remote Code Execution||Requires restart|
|Bulletin 7||Important ||Remote Code Execution||May require restart||Microsoft Office XP and Office 2004 for Mac.|
|Bulletin 8||Important ||Remote Code Execution||May require restart||Microsoft PowerPoint 2002, PowerPoint 2003 and Office 2004 for Mac.|
|Bulletin 9||Important ||Denial of Service||Requires restart||Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and Server 2008 R2.|
|Bulletin 10||Important ||Elevation of Privilege||Requires restart||Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003.|
|Bulletin 11||Important ||Denial of Service||Requires restart||Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Server 2008.|
|Bulletin 12||Important ||Elevation of Privilege||Requires restart||Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, and Windows 7.|
|Bulletin 13||Moderate ||Remote Code Execution||Requires restart||Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003.|
|* The list of affected software in the summary table is an abstract. To see the full list of affected components please click on the "Advance Notification Web Page" link below and review the "Affected Software" section.|
BBC News - Symbian phone operating system goes open source
The group behind the world's most popular smartphone operating system - Symbian - is giving away "billions of dollars" worth of code for free.
The Symbian Foundation's announced that it would make its code open source in 2008 and has now completed the move.
It means that any organisation or individual can now use and modify the platform's underlying source code "for any purpose".
BBC News - Blogging loses appeal for US teenagers, says survey
A US study has indicated that younger internet users are losing interest in blogging and switching to shorter and more mobile forms of communication.
The number of 12 to 17-year-olds in the US who blog has halved to 14% since 2006, according to a survey for the Pew Internet and American Life Project.
It suggests they prefer making short postings on social networking sites, and going online on mobile phones.
But the study also found a modest rise in blogging by those aged 30 and older.
The increase from 7% in 2007 to 11% in 2009 is believed to be responsible for the prevalence of blogging within the overall adult internet population remaining steady at roughly 10%
BBC News - Pressure mounts to phase out Internet Explorer 6
A Downing Street petition is calling for the UK government to drop Microsoft's Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) and move to a more modern browser.
The petition says that IE6 has security flaws and uses outdated technology, creating a burden for developers.
The petition comes as the Department of Health advised the NHS to move away from the old browser.
Other government departments - and many firms - still use the software, which was first released in 2001.
"Most creative and software development companies are forced by government department clients to build websites for IE6 when most of the industry has moved on," the petition reads.
"Upgrading would be a massive task for government, but if the public is encouraged to lead the way and the government follows, that would create the momentum needed."
The petition was set up by Dan Frydman of web firm Inigo.
A campaign in the US, called ie6nomore, is supported by more than 70 web firms and claims the software is "holding the web back".
Microsoft has released two more versions of its web browser since IE6, but some firms and government departments still use systems that require it.
New pictures posted to the official Chromium website suggest that Google may have its own tablet in the works, and also offer renderings of what a Google tablet might look like. (Chromium is the 'open-source project behind the Google Chrome browser and Google Chrome OS.')TechCrunch says of the pictures' origins,