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Is your boss a jerk? Mine is. I'm self-employed. The king of all bad bosses has got to be Fairchild Semiconductor.  It constantly drove bright, forward thinking tech pioneers out of the building. Their loss is all our gain. "Fairchildren" started Intel in 1968, for instance. And lots, lots more of the most important companies on earth.In the 1980s, the folks at the Semiconductor Materials and Equipment International trade group assembled a flow chart that tracked "Fairchildren" who created spinoffs such as Advanced Micro Devices, LSI Logic and Electroglas. Perhaps the most important was the venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. A more recent parallel to the Fairchild diaspora... Read more...
According to Dave Cullinane, Chief Information Officer  and Security Officer for eBay, online badguys are becoming more organized and sophisticated, and some development of malicious code is being funded and directed in advance like any normal project would be. And according to eBay's analysis of its online security situation, the vast majority of the phishing threats they uncovered are rootkitted machines running Linux for an operating system.Rootkit software covers the tracks of the attackers and can be extremely difficult to detect. According to Cullinane, none of the Linux operators whose machines had been compromised were even aware they'd been infected. Although Linux has long been... Read more...
Just about anyone who lived through the 90's knows what The Gap is.  It was almost impossible to escape their advertising blitz, and even harder not to spot people wearing clothing from one of their brands.Life is generally just peachy at The Gap until somebody nabs a laptop with 800,000 personal information belonging to applications, not all of which became employees.  Did we mention that the information contained their SSNs and wasn't even encrypted?“The San Francisco-based retailer said it has begun notifying on Thursday those applicants whose Social Security numbers were included in the information on the laptop."Gap Inc. deeply regrets this incident occurred. We take our obligation to protect... Read more...
Phishing, we all hate it.  Not the kind with Uncle Earl out on his 14 foot “yacht” and 8 sick-packs that were never going to see the shore again, but the kind of misleading e-mails and/or web sites that result in innocent users (such as Uncle Earl) giving out personal data to people who would intend to misuse it.Despite anti-phishing technology being integrated in modern browsers, it seems that it's still on the rise:“The September 2007 MessageLabs Intelligence report states that one in every 87.2 e-mails is a phishing attack. The figure represents a slight increase over what was previously the highest level ever recorded by U.K.-based MessageLabs—one in every 93.3 emails—back in January.”Just... Read more...
Straight out of Silicon Valley, and perhaps a Skype Exec's worst nightmare, a new startup calling itself Ooma is planning to offer a $399 device that will allow users to make unlimited free calls.  Unlike Skype, which made its debut on computers before moving on to telephone-like devices, Ooma is simply a box that will sit between your phone and your broadband connection.  Here's how it works:“Users plug a white machine smaller than a macaroni-and-cheese box between their home's broadband connection and a primary telephone. They can connect a secondary phone using an Ooma "Scout," to cost $39 each. The system relies on a patent-pending software code, but executives won't provide what they consider... Read more...
If you thought that the new draft N routers and cards were quick, hold on to your hats as future WiFi technologies could reach up to 150 gigabits per second before the end of the decade!The high speeds can be accomplished by utilizing the 60 GHz band, which is mostly unused. “The technology could get a big boost if the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a top international association of electrical engineers, decides to create a standard for the spectrum. The group is weighing the decision now and could decide by next year. "You're talking about moving gigabits in seconds, your whole iPod library, your whole video library," said Laskar. "This has the potential of becoming the... Read more...
A new worm has been unleashed that has the capability of deleting MP3 files. Known as the Deletemusic worm, it uses removable devices as a vector. Once the infected device gets accessed, the worm starts its work. It first multiplies onto all drives and is executed when Windows fires up. “‘With so many people relying on their PCs to store their digital music, rather than physical CDs, a worm capable of deleting an entire MP3 collection could leave someone thousands of pounds out of pocket,’ said Orla Cox, Security Operations Manager, Symantec Security Response. ‘We would recommend all users with MP3 files on their PCs to remain cautious about the removable media devices they are using in their... Read more...
Universal Music Group has notified Apple that it's not renewing its annual contract that allows Apple to offer Universal's  music through Apple's iTunes service. They haven't ended the relationship entirely, as Universal continues to market through iTunes as a sort of tenant at will. It's all about leverage when the pennies get counted. By refusing to enter a long-term deal, Universal may continue to press for more favorable terms from Apple or even explore deals to sell its catalog exclusively through other channels. If Universal were to pull its catalog from iTunes, Mr. Jobs would lose access to record labels that collectively account for one out of every three new releases sold... Read more...
Just when you thought it was safe to open your browser: "The Department of Justice and FBI today said ongoing investigations have identified over 1 million botnet crime victims. The FBI is working with industry partners, including the Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center at Carnegie Mellon University, to notify the victim owners of the computers. Microsoft and the Botnet Task Force have also helped out the FBI. Through this process the FBI may uncover additional incidents in which botnets have been used to facilitate other criminal activity, the FBI said in a statement." It's actually quite troubling to think that either these 1 million+ people either didn't use proper protection... Read more...
Windows Vista brought users a new security feature called User Account Control, or UAC for short.  Some like it, some find it to be annoying, and Apple even made a humorous commercial that made fun of UAC.  Of course you can just turn UAC off, and some do, but that may or may not be the optimal solution.  After all, UAC is designed to be helpful, but not everyone wants to see it so often.  Here's a solution you can try, but please make sure your system is well protected before following these steps: "Click Start and Control Panel. Switch to Classic View (if you haven't already) and click on the Administration Tools icon. In the list that opens click on Local Security Policy, and in the next... Read more...
HotHardware's own Nick Welles told you earlier this week about Apple's plan to release its Safari web browser for use on Windows machines. The Apple crowd assembled seemed to like the idea. But they're probably already using Safari. Now that the dust has settled a bit, Leander Kahney at Wired asks and answers the question: "Who in their right mind would run Safari on Windows?" But the initiative seems to rely on a domino theory fueled by infatuation. Apple is hoping there are Windows users so in love with their iPods and iTunes that they will also download Safari. Then they'll fall in love with that, and the next thing you know they'll be down at the Apple Store fishing for their... Read more...
As cell phones have gotten smaller in recent years, it is a bit of a paradox to say that a cell phone boasts a "big screen." Nonetheless, Fujitsu's F904i features a 3.1 inch 16:9 widescreen display (big compared to other cell phones) and is scheduled for sale on Friday. "The F904i is equipped with a 3.0 megapixel camera, music player, document viewer, GPS, browser, mobile Internet capability, and others.  The F904i measures 108-x-50-x-22mm and weighs 138g. Fujitsu says the battery will provide up to 190 minutes of talk time and up to 550 hours on standby." Unfortunately, cell phone enthusiasts overseas will have to wait since the device will only... Read more...
There's an old saying that if you gave a million monkeys a million typewriters and at least a million years, eventually they'd type the Collected Works of Shakespeare. It's  a way to illustrate a slim, but not infinitely impossible likelihood of anything. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have decided to try to use a similar vast but unfocused pool of available typing skills to digitize books- they're using the "CAPTCHA" test on websites to decipher printed words from important books and digitize them.  Researchers estimate that about 60 million of those nonsensical jumbles are solved everyday around the world, taking an average of about 10 seconds each to decipher and type... Read more...
Samsung  announced Friday they'll be selling a  disc player that will play either HD  DVD or Blu-ray discs.  Should be available by the end of the year. "Consumers are hungry for more HD content but are currently confused about competing formats," Dongsoo Jun, executive vice president of the Digital AV Division at Samsung," said in a statement."Samsung's Duo HD player will allow consumers access to every HD movie title available regardless of the authoring format."Samsung is not the first to announce it would offer a duo-format player. LG Electronics, also based in Korea, unveiled its device in January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Still nothing that will  play your Criterion... Read more...
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