US Senate panel clears plan for tighter cybersecurity

WASHINGTON (AFP) – A US Senate committee on Wednesday approved a bill to try to tighten cybersecurity to better protect US government agencies and businesses from Internet threats.

The text was unanimously approved and now moves to a full Senate vote.

“The status quo is not sustainable. We need a new model for the 21st century. We must secure America?s critical networks, innovation and competitiveness in the global market,” committee chair and cosponsorJohn Rockefeller said in a statement.

The Cybersecurity Act is a new draft of a bill introduced last year and was revised to take into account the views of more cybersecurity experts in the private sector, government and civil liberties community.

The bill would not allow the president to shut down the Internet unilaterally — a revision to address critics of the prior bill who claimed it would provide that authority.

Read more at Yahoo! News.

Software firm Red Hat 4Q profit rises 44 percent

RALEIGH, N.C. – Red Hat Inc. on Wednesday reported a 44 percent increase in its fiscal fourth-quarter profit on the back of a strong gain in subscription revenue.

The developer of Linux operating systems software earned $23.4 million, or 12 cents per share, compared with $16.2 million, or 8 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, Red Hat earned 17 cents per share in the quarter, up from 15 cents per share a year earlier.

Red Hat’s revenue rose 18 percent to $195.9 million from $166.2 million.

Its subscription revenue rose 21 percent to $169.2 million, more than offsetting a slight decrease in training and services revenue to $26.7 million.

The company beat the expectations of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, who on average had forecast profit of 16 cents per share for the fourth quarter on revenue of $193.2 million. Analysts typically exclude one-time items.

Read more at Yahoo! News.

AT&T sees big cash in small gizmos like dog collars

(Reporting by Sinead Carew; Editing by Gary Hill)

A wireless dog collar set to hit the market this year is just one of a plethora of new devices the telephone company hopes will catch on with U.S. consumers.

The collar could send text messages or emails to the owner of a pet when it strays outside a certain area, or the device could allow continuous tracking of the pet.

Other gadgets include a pill box that uses a wireless connection to remind people to take their medicine, e-readers, a device that tracks product pallets for shipping companies, and entertainment systems for people riding in cars.

When all these are connected to other devices or the Internet, they will connect using AT&T’s network — meaning more revenue for the company. AT&T expects they will bring in about $1 billion in annual services revenue in about five years.

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A production studio in a kit

Ej4’s Instant Video Presenter kit is winning fans among businesses that need to make Web marketing videos on the cheap.

By Diane Anderson, December 10, 2009: 3:12 PM ET

(Fortune Small Business) — In June, Missouri doctor Stuart Hoover needed to create a Web video to market his new wellness center in Springfield. He had farmed out similar video projects in the past, at a cost of thousands of dollars and weeks of waiting. This time he took a chance on a $300 product called Instant Video Presenter, from St. Louis company ej4.

He was sent a green screen to stand in front of and software that let him key in professional-looking images over that green screen. The recommended camera and lighting cost him an additional $200. In just 30 minutes his first video appeared on his new Web site, It featured Hoover in front of a (simulated) bank of monitors in a television newsroom. “I couldn’t believe how simple and precise it was,” he recalls.