Articles from March 2010



#014 Frankie Speaks 03/30/10 FemmeFrankie.com / TechJives.net produced by Chris Pope

03/30/10 Warning!  Touch screen phones can lead to embarrassing messages on acquaintances’ voicemails!!  Gadget: Vizit interactive digital photo frame.  Moms/Musing: The Motherhood Manifesto. –  Frankie Speaks is a daily 10 mins+ look into the quirky goings on with Frankie’s(Bonnie Frankum) daily routine in which she plans to keep you entertained with some humor, some techie gadget reviews, and much more. This being a general topic show, she has alot of other fun things planned to go along with all that! This podcast is part of the TechJives.net network and is produced by Chris Pope

Microsoft Releases Emergency Internet Explorer Patch

The patch addresses 10 vulnerabilities in the Web browser; Internet Explorer 6 and 7 users are most at risk.

By Thomas Claburn InformationWeek March 30, 2010 01:51 PM

Microsoft on Tuesday released an emergency, or out-of-band, patch for 10 vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer.

“The Internet Explorer team accelerated testing of this update due to the growing attacks against the publicly disclosed vulnerability (CVE-2010-0806), and the update has reached the appropriate quality bar for distribution to customers,” said Microsoft Security Response group manager Jerry Bryant in a blog post. “Releasing the update early provides Internet Explorer 6 and 7 customers protection against the active attacks and provides users of all versions of Internet Explorer protection against nine other vulnerabilities.”

Symantec security researcher Joshua Talbot said in an e-mail that the catalyst for the patch is the increased activity related to the iepeers.dll zero-day vulnerability that surfaced March 9. “Symantec has also observed a recent spike in attempted infections via this security hole,” he said. “The typical attempted infection process seems to involve compromising a legitimate Web site then inserting an iframe which redirects users to a malicious site.”

Internet Explorer 6 and 7 users are at risk from the iepeers.dll vulnerability; Internet Explorer 8 users are not.

Read the complete story at InformationWeek.com

Cisco takes the Flip approach to home routers

by Erica Ogg

One of the most essential tech products at home is also probably the one you hate the most: your wireless router.

Setting up a home network can be for some an excruciating experience, one that can leave even tech-savvy folks wringing their hands while switching off between calling the router’s customer service line and their Internet service provider.

Cisco Systems says it’s designed a new line of routers specifically to avoid this. The Valet and Valet Plus, will be available at retailers like Best Buy, Staples, and Target and online at Amazon.com starting Wednesday for $99 and $149, respectively.

“We’re trying to take the negative emotions you have about not being able to set it up, and turn it into a positive experience,” said Scott Kabat, director of marketing for Cisco Consumer Products.

Read the full article at news.cnet.com

AT&T Prepares Network For Battle

By NIRAJ SHETH

With a new version of the iPhone in the works, the clock is ticking for AT&T Inc. to get its much-criticized network ready for the looming battle.

The carrier has taken a beating from consumers who have complained about poor coverage in major cities including New York and San Francisco. Now, AT&T is racing to reduce its dropped calls and speed up Web-surfing before Apple Inc. releases a new version of the iPhone that could run on Verizon Wireless’s network.

In mid-December, AT&T executives set up a 100-day plan to dramatically improve the company’s network in densely-populated cities, according to people familiar with the plan. Since then, AT&T has added new network spectrum to better handle traffic, repositioned antennas to improve reception in office towers and wired more neighborhood cell towers with faster connections.

But even with its recent efforts, the network still has not met customers’ quality standards everywhere. While some third-party tests have given AT&T nods for having a faster network, a poll last month by J.D. Power & Associates found AT&T still ranks poorly against Verizon Wireless in call quality.

Read more at Google News

Journalists in China say Yahoo accounts hacked

By ANITA CHANG, Associated Press Writer – Tue Mar 30, 4:49 pm ET

BEIJING – Yahoo e-mail accounts belonging to foreign journalists appeared to have been hacked and Google’s Chinese search engine was intermittently blocked Tuesday, the latest troubles in China’s heavily censored Internet market.

The Yahoo Inc. accounts of at least three journalists and an analyst became inaccessible over the last few weeks. They were greeted with messages saying, “We’ve detected an issue with your account” and were told to contact Yahoo, they said Tuesday. Yahoo technicians told one of the four that his account had been hacked and restored his access, but it was not clear if the other instances were related.

Sensitivity about Internet security has run high since Google Inc. announced in January it might leave China after a series of cyberattacks and complaints about censorship. Last week, Google made a partial retreat, shutting down its mainland-based search engine and redirecting those queries offshore, to the freer Chinese territory of Hong Kong.

Read more at Yahoo! News.

Google, Microsoft Push Feds to Fix Privacy Laws

By Ryan Singel March 30, 2010 4:38 pm

A coalition of the net’s biggest online service providers, including Google and Microsoft, are joining with the top internet rights groups to demand Congress modernize the nation’s privacy laws.

Among the reforms pushed by the so-called Digital Due Process coalition is a requirement that law enforcement get warrants from a judge when they want to force companies to turn over your e-mails, documents and location data. But despite issuing a clarion call to change privacy laws, none of the companies that are pushing citizens to store more and more sensitive information online announced any change to their own practices.

The coalition announced its four principles in a conference call with reporters Tuesday. The group says they’ve briefed the White House, the FBI and Congress on the proposed changes and expect hearings this year. Congress isn’t expected to act before 2011, because of a crowded legislative agenda.

Changes in technology dictate the need to update the nation’s electronic privacy law, known as the 1986 Electronic Communications Protection Act, according to Jim Dempsey of the Center for Democracy and Technology.

Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3

By Jon L. Jacob – March 29, 2010, 4:43 PM EDT

Everything Lenovo sells, including the third-gen, 10.1-inch IdeaPad S10-3 netbook ($369, as of 3/29/10) appears to be intended for the board or meeting room–in this case, perhaps the meeting room imagined in Terry Gilliam’s movie Brazil (the top or cover of the unit has a slightly psychedelic red checkerboard pattern)–but a meeting room nonetheless.

The 2.76-pound, business-oriented S10-3 netbook is a bit pricier per spec than the competition. Most other 10.1-inch, 1024-by-600-resolution netbooks sell for $10 to $50 less with the same 1GB Intel N450/3150 CPU/GPU combination, as well as a more-capacious 250GB hard drive compared with the S10-3’s 150GB model. While 150GB is more than enough for most users, it means that you are getting a bit less of the basics and paying a bit extra for the business features and software.

Or is it the ergonomics you’re paying for? Whoever is in charge of Lenovo’s input devices deserves a raise and/or high praise. The innovative multitouch combination touchpad/rocker button on the S10-3 is a relief for anyone (including this writer) who hates inadvertently tapping while dragging, or hunting for buttons. Simply apply a little pressure to the bottom left or right corners of the device, and you have your click.

Read more at BusinessWeek

Facebook Mulls Privacy Changes, Causes More Outrage

Jared Newman Mar 29, 2010 6:07 pm

Facebook users are expressing strong disapproval of proposed privacy changes that will let the site share some user information with third-party Web sites and applications.

Under Facebook’s current rules you’re asked first if you want to share information (your name, photos and friends list) with third-party sites. The proposed policy, which Facebook hasn’t implemented yet, would bypass asking you for approval when visiting some sites and applications Facebook has busines relationships with, sharing limited personal information automatically.

In other words, if Facebook deems a Web site or application trustworthy, it’ll immediately grab your information when you visit or use it, provided you’re logged into Facebook when that happens. Users will be able to opt-out, but it’s not clear if this would happen on a user’s settings page or by some other means. Facebook didn’t get into specifics on when these changes will be made, why they’re happening now or which sites will be participating.

Read more at PC World.com

Apple may be working on iPhone for Verizon: report

(Reuters) – Apple Inc appears to be working on a new iPhone model for No. 1 U.S. mobile carrier Verizon Wireless, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

Verizon Communications Inc shares surged on the news, rising 3.4 percent in after-hours trading, while the shares of AT&T Inc, the current exclusive carrier of the iPhone in the United States, fell 2.2 percent.

Apple is apparently developing a CDMA-compatible iPhone model that would work on Verizon’s network, the Journal reported, citing people briefed on the matter.

An Apple spokeswoman said the company does not comment on rumors and speculation.

Verizon also declined to comment. Verizon Wireless is a venture of Verizon and Vodafone Group Plc.

When asked about the report, an AT&T spokesman said: “We have a great relationship with Apple and we don’t comment on the specifics of that relationship.”

AT&T also repeated previous comments that the iPhone “will be an important device for us for quite some time.”

Apple has released a new iPhone model every summer for the past three years and is widely expected to do so this summer.

Read more at Reuters.com

Chinese city is world’s hacker hub

Times of London, Michael Sheridan, Far East Correspondent

A city in eastern China has been identified as the world capital of cyber-espionage by an American Internet security company.

A city in eastern China has been identified as the world capital of cyber-espionage by an American Internet security company.

The firm traced 12 billion e-mails in a study which showed that a higher number of “targeted attacks” on computers come from China than previously thought.

Researchers for Symantec found almost 30% of “malicious” e-mails were sent from China and that 21.3% came from the city of Shaoxing alone. They were able to identify key targets for the hackers as experts in Asian defense policy and human rights activists, strongly suggesting state involvement.

Read more at the Times of London