Friday, June 30, 2006

Browser bugs hit IE, Firefox | CNET

Browser bugs hit IE, Firefox | CNET "Two new security flaws have been discovered in Microsoft's Internet Explorer, and one could also affect Mozilla's Firefox, security experts have warned.
Code for both the vulnerabilities has been published, but there have been no reports of attacks taking advantage of the flaws, the SANS Internet Storm Center, which monitors network threats, said in an advisory released Wednesday.
The flaw that affects both IE and Firefox is related to the handling of a technology that is used to access documents delivered from one Web site to another, according to the advisory. "

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Congress targets social-networking sites

CNET "The concept of forcing companies to record information about their users' Internet activities to aid in future criminal prosecutions took another twist this week.
Rep. Diana DeGette, a Colorado Democrat, originally proposed legislation (click here for PDF) in April that would require Internet service providers to retain activity logs to aid in criminal investigations, including ones of child abuse.
Now DeGette and some of her colleagues in the House of Representatives are suggesting that social-networking sites should be required to do the same thing.
'How much would it cost your company to preserve those IP addresses?' DeGette asked at a hearing on Wednesday that included representatives from, and Fox Interactive Media, the parent company of 'You're going to store the data indefinitely?'
An IP address is a unique four-byte address used to communicate with a device on a computer network that relies on the Internet Protocol. An IP address associated with, for instance, is "

Judge OKs Yahoo click fraud settlement

CNET "A federal judge on Wednesday gave preliminary approval to a settlement in a lawsuit that accused Yahoo of not adequately protecting advertisers from a practice known as click fraud, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Under the terms of the settlement, Yahoo would pay about $5 million in legal fees and extend its period for reviewing advertiser click fraud complaints to include disputed charges since January 2004, rather than addressing complaints received only within the past 60 days, the newspaper said.
The preliminary approval was granted by U.S. District Court Judge Christina Snyder in Los Angeles. "

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Border patrol for Internet Explorer

CNET "A security start-up is borrowing a technique from the research labs to try to give Internet Explorer PCs relief from Web-based attacks.
GreenBorder Technologies, a venture-backed start-up, plans to release on Tuesday a consumer security tool that puts Microsoft's IE in a virtual sandbox. Called GreenBorder Pro, the product uses virtualization technology similar to what researchers at antivirus companies have been using for years. In a virtual environment, malicious software is allowed to execute, but it can't touch the underlying operating system. "

Attack code for Windows flaw heightens risk

CNET "Computer code that exploits a 'critical' vulnerability in Windows has been released on the Internet, prompting Microsoft to issue a security advisory.
The attack code takes advantage of a flawed Windows routing and remote access component for which Microsoft released a patch two weeks ago, the company said in its advisory published late Friday. The company is not aware of any actual cyberattacks that use the exploit code, it said"

Microsoft puts Office preview online

CNET "Microsoft is trying to allow people to try out the next Office--without the hassle of installing beta software or replacing their current version.
The software maker late Monday released a free, Web-based test version of the new Office.
Microsoft said more than 2.5 million people have downloaded the Beta 2 version of Office 2007 since it was released last month. "

Tech companies agree on mobile Web rules

Tech companies agree on mobile Web rules | CNET "Some of the world's top wireless and Internet companies, including Nokia, Vodafone and Google, have agreed on a set of Web site development guidelines aimed at making it easier to surf the Internet on cell phones.
The majority of cell phones today have Web browsers as wireless providers hope to expand beyond voice services, but only about 19 percent of U.S. mobile phone users regularly use the Web on their phones, according to researcher M:Metrics.
The Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C), a group backed by 30 industry players, hopes to improve on this percentage by creating 60 guidelines for developers to design sites that are easy to use on cell phones, which have much smaller screens and tiny keypads.
'We're now seeing devices in users' hands that are capable of browsing the Web, but they're not being used as much as they could be,' said Daniel Applequist, a Vodafone executive who chaired the group that worked on the guidelines. "

Monday, June 26, 2006

State governments push for Net neutrality laws | CNET

State governments push for Net neutrality laws | CNET "As a U.S. Senate panel prepares for a vote on Net neutrality legislation this week, state attorneys general in New York and California are joining Internet companies in saying that network operators must not be permitted to prioritize certain broadband content and services.
In a letter sent Friday to the leaders of the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee, Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, a Democrat, urged the adoption of a proposal called the Internet Freedom Preservation Act. This is the first time that state officials have entered the Net neutrality debate.
'Congress must not permit the ongoing consolidation of the telecommunications industry to work radical and perhaps irrevocable change in the free and neutral nature of the Internet,' wrote Spitzer, who is running for governor in the fall election. He was referring to the recent mergers between AT&T and SBC Communications and Verizon and MCI. "

Merrill: Positives seen in big Microsoft buy

CNET "With Google taking a dominant lead in the Internet search market, it looks increasingly likely that Microsoft could make a large acquisition, such as of Yahoo, Merrill Lynch said on Friday.
A move by Microsoft to acquire Yahoo would speed up the software giant's efforts to build its search business, boost its Asian presence and eliminate a rival, according to the report.
The report, written by Merrill Lynch analyst Justin Post, comes at a critical period for Microsoft. The company, whose Windows operating system runs an estimated 90 percent of the world's personal computers, is struggling to find sources of growth beyond its traditional business.
What is more, founder Bill Gates said earlier this month that over the next two years he planned to ease out of a day-to-day role at the company, and stepped down immediately as its chief software architect.
Such pressures at Microsoft, which has seen its stock fall more than 10 percent over the past year, have given rise to speculation that it could consider a major acquisition such as Yahoo or eBay. "

Miller brews blog for beer distributors - The Business Journal of Milwaukee:

Miller brews blog for beer distributors - The Business Journal of Milwaukee:: "Miller Brewing Co. has entered the blogosphere with an online site designed to provide daily news, analysis, commentary and some original reporting on the brewing industry.
Milwaukee-based Miller launched June 12. The weblog targets Miller employees, distributors, analysts, beer industry media and even competitors, said Miller spokesman Pete Marino. "

Friday, June 23, 2006

U.S. unprepared for Net meltdown, blue chips warn

CNET "The cautionary document (click here for PDF) was a product of the Business Roundtable, whose 160 corporate members include companies ranging from Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Sun Microsystems to General Motors, Home Depot and Coca-Cola. All told, the group's high-rolling membership counts $4.5 trillion in annual revenues, more than 10 million employees, and nearly a third the total value of the U.S. stock market.

Experts remain divided on the likelihood that a 'cyber Katrina' will occur, as the roundtable itself acknowledges. But many sectors of the economy continue to urge the government to be better prepared, should such an event occur.

Without proper planning, myriad industries--from health care to transportation to financial services--could face devastation if a natural disaster, terrorist or hacker succeeds in disrupting Net access, they charged. "

France unveils national rival to Google Earth

CNET "A clear view of your favorite French beach or monument is only a click away.
France unveiled a Web site on Friday that allows people to access detailed satellite images of the country and said it offered more detail of its territory than Google Earth.
Google Earth, which allows Internet users to zoom in on locations around the world, caused concern when it was launched last year among governments that feared terrorists might use the service to help plot attacks. "

Office hit by another security problem

CNET " weakness in how Office applications handle Macromedia Flash files exposes Microsoft customers to cyberattacks, experts have warned.
Flash files embedded in Office documents could run and execute code without any warning, Symantec said in an alert sent to customers on Thursday. The security issue is the third problem reported within a week that affects Microsoft Office users.
'A successful attack may allow attackers to access sensitive information and potentially execute malicious commands on a vulnerable computer,' Symantec said in the alert, which was sent to users of its DeepSight security intelligence. The vulnerability was reported by researcher Debasis Mohanty.
The issue relates to the ability to load ActiveX controls in an Office document and is not a vulnerability but an Office feature, a Microsoft representative said. 'This behavior is by design and by itself does not represent a security risk to customers,' he said. An ActiveX control is a small application typically used to make Web sites more interactive. "

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Google tests new ads

CNET "Google is testing a new online-ad system in which advertisers pay only when their ad leads to a purchase or a sales lead, the company confirmed on Thursday.
The new cost-per-action system will be a separate ad auction system from the current cost-per-click setup, said Google spokesman Brandon McCormick. The ads are being offered through Google's AdSense unit, which places ads on Web sites.
AdSense publishers will be able to choose from a selection of ads and will have more flexibility in promoting the ads, according to Google.
Because they'll be tied to a purchase, the new ads are expected to be auctioned at higher prices than cost-per-click ads, which cost advertisers every time an ad is clicked on whether or not it leads to a sale. The ads also would cut down on click fraud, which occurs when ads are clicked on without there being any intention of making a purchase. "

Art teacher in hot water over topless photos - Jun 17, 2006 - Art teacher in hot water over topless photos - Jun 17, 2006: "AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Until they found the topless photos, Austin High School officials considered Tamara Hoover an excellent art teacher with a knack for helping students find their creativity.
Now, she's fighting for her job.
The photos, which were posted on by her partner, depict Hoover in the shower, lifting weights, getting dressed, in bed and doing other routine activities.
Hoover said Friday the photos are art and makes no apologies.
'I'm an artist and I'm going to participate in the arts,' Hoover said. 'If that's not something they want me to do then I want to be told that. I don't feel as if I was doing anything that was beyond expectations.'
The school district said the photos were inappropriate and violate the 'higher moral standard' expected of public school teachers. As she was escorted out of class last month she was told that she's become an ineffective teacher."

Yahoo outages frustrate some users


While the company acknowledged an early morning outage Wednesday, some Yahoo user reports indicated that services were also out on Tuesday night in some areas. There were also complaints of Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball being unavailable.

"I've been encountering problems with logging in to Yahoo last night and again this morning. Sluggish to get into mail, and I have been unable to log in to Messenger at all this morning," said Joe Beaulaurier, the blogger for "The Unofficial Yahoo Weblog," which is part of the Weblogs, Inc. Network. The site also received comments from users complaining that Yahoo did not immediately post a notice about the outage on its main page.

While Yahoo's e-mail and messenger services were inaccessible for some people, Yahoo Search, Yahoo News and the Yahoo home pages seem to have been unaffected.

"For a brief period early this morning, certain areas of Yahoo were inaccessible to a portion of registered users due to software-related issues," Yahoo spokeswoman Kiersten Hollars said in a statement. "We have identified the issue and corrected it. We know that this may have caused some inconvenience, and we apologize to our users who might have been affected. We take these issues extremely seriously, and Yahoo is instituting new processes to protect against similar incidents from occurring again."

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Study: Google had 49 percent of U.S. Web searches in May

CNET "Google had 49.1 percent of all Internet searches conducted in the U.S. last month, followed by Yahoo at 22.9 percent, MSN at 10.6 percent, AOL at 6.4 percent and at 2.6 percent, according to Nielsen/NetRatings. Year over year, reported the most growth, with its search volume rising 69 percent. "

Monday, June 19, 2006

Trojan targets Google hosting service

Trojan targets Google hosting service | CNET "A Trojan horse has been discovered in Google Pages, a Web site hosting service offered by the search giant.
An attacker apparently uploaded a malicious file to a server, part of a service that allows people to create their own Web pages, said Dan Hubbard, the senior director of security research at Websense Security Labs. The Trojan could lie dormant on a user's system until the individual logs on to a banking Web site and then attempt to steal his or her personal information by capturing their keystrokes, according to a security alert released Friday by Websense.
Although the security monitoring company has detected the presence of the Trojan horse on Google Pages, it has not yet received any reports of bogus e-mails or instant messages that attempt to lure users to click on malicious links or download dangerous files. "

Sony Music wants bloggers to promo videos, music

CNET "Sony BMG Music Entertainment wants to give bloggers free music and video--sort of.
The music conglomerate is promoting a new site, called Musicbox Video, that showcases videos, artist interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and other material from a broad portfolio of its artists. Want to see a film clip of Bruce Springsteen singing 'The River' from the 1980 movie 'No Nukes' or some clips from Franz Ferdinand? The site has it.
But Sony will also actively encourage fan sites and bloggers--who are mostly used to receiving cease-and-desist letters from studios--to link to the material. Links for adding Musicbox content are displayed on the site. Individuals thus could create sites focused around certain artists by linking to video channels on the Musicbox site dedicated to them, or link to several channels which, in the aggregate, comprise the most mawkish artists (in the view of the blogger) that Sony has to offer. "

Senator offers Net neutrality compromise


Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens has offered a compromise in the fierce fight over legislation on Internet network neutrality, but stopped short of demands sought by content companies like Google.

Google, Microsoft and other Internet companies have lobbied hard for Congress to bar broadband Internet service providers such as AT&T and Comcast from charging them to guarantee access and service quality, often called network neutrality.

AT&T and Comcast, two of the largest high-speed broadband Internet providers, have opposed any obligations imposed on their services or restricting their business operations.

Stevens has added a new section to his proposed bill aimed at preserving consumers' ability to surf anywhere on the public Internet and use any Web-based application, according to the latest draft obtained by Reuters this weekend.

Friday, June 16, 2006

New Excel zero-day flaw used in attacks

CNET "A new, yet-to-be-patched security vulnerability in Microsoft's Excel has been exploited in at least one targeted cyberattack, experts warned on Friday.
A malicious Excel document is sent as an e-mail attachment or otherwise delivered by the attacker to the intended victim, Microsoft said in a posting to its Security Response Center blog. The Redmond, Wash., software maker said it has received one report from a customer who had been hit by such a problem.
'In order for this attack to be carried out, a user must first open a malicious Excel document,' a Microsoft representative wrote. 'So remember to be very careful opening unsolicited attachments from both known and unknown sources.'
Samples of malicious Excel files called 'okN.xls' have been found, Symantec said in an advisory. The malicious spreadsheet file contains a Trojan horse, called 'Mdropper.J,' and program called 'Booli.A' that can download more malicious files to an infected PC, the security company said. "

Say what? A look back at Gates' pearls of wisdom

CNET "Bill Gates is the richest and arguably most powerful man in the tech sector. Historically reserved with regard to his private life, he has--over the last few decades--said a lot about business, global health and the evolution of the computer industry. Here are some of the more memorable quotes from Microsoft's co-founder and tech titan:
• 'If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today's ideas were invented, and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today.' (Challenges and Strategy, May 16, 1991)
• 'If something's expensive to develop, and somebody's not going to get paid, it won't get developed. So you decide: Do you want software to be written, or not?' (Interview with Dennis Bathory-Kitsz in 80 Microcomputing, 1980)
• 'IBM to this day is the biggest company in the computer industry. People misunderstand that. We managed our relationship with IBM because we managed to surprise them again and again with how quickly we were able to do new things.' (U.S. News & World Report, Aug. 20, 2001) "

Wary of ethanol buzz

CNET "Alternative-energy buzz drove ethanol maker VeraSun Energy to a dazzling market debut on Wednesday, but investment strategists are skeptical about the chances to turn a fast buck in an energy form that remains largely a mystery to many Americans.
Speaking at the Reuters Investment Outlook Summit in New York, strategists said that if crude oil prices were to slump, the wild bets that investors have put on ethanol's future could breed the kind of pain that stung Wall Street when the Internet bubble burst in 2000. "

Google still testing display ads

CNET "Web search leader Google's global sales chief sidestepped questions on Tuesday over whether its foray into graphical display advertising has been a disappointment, saying the effort remains in testing mode.
'I think it's fair to say we have basically just started,' said Sheryl Sandberg, Google's vice president of global online sales.
Sandberg was responding to a question from analyst Safa Rashtchy at the Piper Jaffray Global Internet Summit in Laguna Beach, Calif., about whether the company had gotten off to a slow start in its display ads business.
Her comments were Webcast on Google's investor relations Web site. "

Google tests online payment system

CNET "Internet search leader Google is testing a system that aims to speed purchases online but bears no resemblance to the popular PayPal payments service of Web auctioneer eBay, Google's chief executive said Thursday.
Analysts have speculated whether Google would enter into direct competition with PayPal, dubbing its potential new service 'GBuy' to capture commercial transaction data.
Google's system aims to allow quicker purchases by a consumer from a marketer, and a beta version is expected soon, said Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
'It's not like PayPal at all,' Schmidt said when asked about GBuy during a New York meeting hosted by Conde Nast's Portfolio business magazine. "

Online threats outpacing law crackdowns

CNET "SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.--Authorities are cracking down on phishing and botnets, but the threats are advancing instead of diminishing, two law enforcement officials said.
Cybercrooks are organizing better and moving to more sophisticated tactics to get their hands on confidential data and turn PCs of unwitting users into bots, representatives from the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations said in separate presentations here at the Computer Security Institute's NetSec event this week. "

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Terrorists and the Internet - Council on Foreign Relations

Terrorists and the Internet - Council on Foreign Relations: "How effective is online terrorist propaganda?
Perhaps the most effective way in which terrorists use the Internet is the spread of propaganda. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's al-Qaeda cell in Iraq has proven particularly adept in its use of the web, garnering attention by posting footage of events such as roadside bombings, the decapitation of American hostage Nick Berg, and kidnapped Egyptian and Algerian diplomats prior to their execution. On July 29, the Iraqi al-Qaeda group released via the Internet a forty-six-minute propaganda video entitled 'All Religion Will Be for Allah.' The Washington Post report described it as 'slickly produced' with 'the feel of a blood-and-guts annual report.' "

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Social networks--future portal or fad?

CNET "Social networks like MySpace and Facebook are the zeitgeist for online executives and investors, just as they are for millions of young people.
But attendees at the Piper Jaffray Global Internet Summit here still can't decide if these companies are next-generation portals, or merely flash-in-the-pan communities that will eventually fade from popularity like one-time high-fliers Geocities or AOL.
Telling evidence stacks up on both sides.
On the one hand, MySpace's scope of services and member traffic rivals that of many major portals. Since launching three years ago, MySpace, now owned by News Corp., has added e-mail, instant messaging and blog services, as well as jobs, video, book and music stores. According to founding MySpace member Colin Digiaro, who spoke here Tuesday, the company is talking to 'all the usual suspects and unusual suspects' about licensing Web search technology to accommodate a growing demand among its 50 million members for that functionality. (It currently uses Yahoo search for internal site search and displays Overture ads for Web search results.)"

MySpace to solicit bids for search

CNET "News Corp. said on Tuesday that its Web site plans to tap one of the three leading Internet companies to provide its popular youth-oriented network with search-based advertising.
The global media conglomerate run by Rupert Murdoch plans to solicit bids from Microsoft, Google and Yahoo, News Corp. Chief Operating Officer Peter Chernin said at a Deutsche Bank Media & Telecom conference broadcast over the Web.
'We will auction off our search business to Google, Yahoo, or MSN,' Chernin said, confirming market speculation.
Murdoch has previously said that News Corp. was seeking an investment in the search business. On Tuesday, Chernin said, 'Our instincts are we can't get into the search business in the same way.'"

Kevin Mitnick, the great pretender

Newsmakers | CNET "Ten years ago, there wasn't much of a World Wide Web to exploit, but there were still hackers--or, more accurately, crackers.
Without the current glut of naive Web users to exploit, would-be cyberthieves and vandals had to be somewhat more creative, and one of the most creative and infamous was Kevin Mitnick.
Arrested by the FBI in 1995 and convicted of breaking into the systems of Fujitsu Siemens, Nokia and Sun Microsystems, Mitnick served five years in prison--eight months of it in solitary confinement"

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Net neutrality fight returns to Senate

CNET "WASHINGTON--The political tussle over Net neutrality shifted back to the Senate's turf Tuesday, taking center stage at the last public hearing before a mammoth communications bill goes up for a preliminary vote.
As leaders of the Senate Commerce Committee continue negotiations over how to deal with the controversial concept, committee members and witnesses from advocacy groups took turns airing their positions yet again.
The latest draft of the sweeping bill, called the Consumer's Choice and Broadband Deployment Act, numbers 151 pages and covers everything from the digital television switch to city-run broadband networks to changes in the procedure by which video services operators seek franchises to serve new areas.
Arguably the most contentious portion has turned out to be Net neutrality, the idea that network operators should not be allowed to prioritize Internet content and services that travel across their pipes or to make deals with companies seeking special treatment. "

Monday, June 12, 2006

Yahoo launches customized IE 7 beta

CNET "The lines are being drawn in the search wars, with Yahoo and Microsoft squaring off against Firefox and Google.
Yahoo has launched a customized version of Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 which has Yahoo search built into the browser.
The customized browser sets as the default home page on the primary tab, while Yahoo Mail automatically loads in the secondary tab. The Internet giant used Microsoft's Internet Explorer Administration Kit to customize IE 7, according to a Friday post on IEBlog.
Although Yahoo's customized browser presets the home page and search to Yahoo properties, 'users can easily change the settings, just as they can with the standard version that [Microsoft] ships', according to IEBlog. "

Google's Gbuy nears launch

CNET "Google's online payment system, Gbuy, is expected to launch June 28, further pitting the Internet giant against industry titan and rival eBay, according to a research note released Friday by a Wall Street analyst.
Gbuy is expected to be free during the initial phase, but merchants may eventually be charged a 1.5 percent to 2 percent per-transaction fee, Jordan Rohan, an RBC Capital Markets analyst, said in his research note. A fee of that size would be slightly less than that charged by eBay's online payment system, PayPal.
Google was not immediately available to comment. "

Microsoft: Zombies most prevalent Windows threat

CNET "Many Windows PCs have been turned into zombies, but rootkits are not yet widespread, according to a Microsoft security report slated for release Monday.
More than 60 percent of Windows PCs scanned by Microsoft's Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool between January 2005 and March 2006 were found to run malicious bot software, according to Microsoft. The tool removed at least one version of the remote control software from about 3.5 million PCs, the software maker said.
'Backdoor Trojans…are a significant and tangible threat to Windows users,' Microsoft said in the report.
A computer compromised by such a Trojan, popularly referred to as a zombie, can be used by attackers in a network of bots, or botnet, to relay spam and launch cyberattacks. Additionally, hackers often steal the victim's data and install spyware and adware on PCs, to earn a kickback from the spyware or adware maker. "

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Domain name price hikes come under fire

CNET "WASHINGTON--A dispute over the cost of Internet domain names has spilled over onto Capitol Hill, where allegations of monopolization and unreasonable price hikes surfaced in a congressional hearing on Wednesday.

The dispute arises out of a lawsuit settlement reached on March 1 in which the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) gave VeriSign the right to raise fees on .com domains by 7 percent annually. The settlement, approved by ICANN's board by a 9-5 vote, ended a legal spat that started with VeriSign's controversial move to take control of all unassigned .com and .net domain names in 2003.

Those guaranteed price hikes struck some members of the House of Representatives' Small Business Committee as unreasonable. 'When you're talking about increased prices and you're allowed to do that at VeriSign, I don't know that's going to produce any better safety or security from anyone who's paying that additional cost,' said Rep. Sue Kelly, a New York Republican. 'And I haven't heard anything today that tells me that would be the case.' "

Hotel offers BlackBerry reprieve

CNET "BlackBerry addicts have a crack at freedom when they check into one Chicago hotel: the manager will put the communications devices and others like them under lock and key for guests who want a break.
Rick Ueno, general manager of the Sheraton Chicago Hotel, said the program which began on Wednesday grew out of his own personal BlackBerry addiction. His one-step recovery was switching to a regular cell phone.
'I was really addicted to my BlackBerry. I had an obsession with e-mail,' he told Reuters. 'Morning and night. There came a time when I didn't think it was healthy ... I quit cold turkey.'
He believes guests might want to try the same thing for a day or two anyway, so they can concentrate on meetings, business and socializing while at the hotel.
Ueno said he would take personal charge of any BlackBerrys or related devices guests want to surrender and place them in his office locked up until their return is requested. There is no charge. "

Google forging ahead with Wi-Fi efforts

CNET "Google will begin a phased rollout of a free wireless Net access service in its hometown of Mountain View, Calif., this summer and is still hammering out details with San Francisco officials for its citywide Wi-Fi service there.
Testers who volunteer to offer feedback for the Mountain View project will be able to sign up for Wi-Fi starting sometime this summer, and the service will be widely available to the public later this year, Chris Sacca, head of special initiatives at Google, said Wednesday.
'The Mountain View network rollout is on track to be completed by (the end of) June,' Sacca said. Google will operate the network itself and has partnered with wireless technology providers, equipment vendors and integration providers to design, build and install the network, he said.
'We are going to be an ISP here in Mountain View,' Sacca said, adding that there are no plans at this time to put ads on the service. "

Google forging ahead with Wi-Fi efforts

CNET "Google will begin a phased rollout of a free wireless Net access service in its hometown of Mountain View, Calif., this summer and is still hammering out details with San Francisco officials for its citywide Wi-Fi service there.
Testers who volunteer to offer feedback for the Mountain View project will be able to sign up for Wi-Fi starting sometime this summer, and the service will be widely available to the public later this year, Chris Sacca, head of special initiatives at Google, said Wednesday.
'The Mountain View network rollout is on track to be completed by (the end of) June,' Sacca said. Google will operate the network itself and has partnered with wireless technology providers, equipment vendors and integration providers to design, build and install the network, he said.
'We are going to be an ISP here in Mountain View,' Sacca said, adding that there are no plans at this time to put ads on the service. "

Yahoo rolls out photo site beta

CNET "Yahoo is expected to launch on Thursday a limited beta of a new Yahoo Photos site that allows people to download high-resolution photos, tag shots with descriptors for easy search and comment on other peoples' images.
Yahoo Photos offers a more visually appealing user welcome page, with a list of the user's albums and albums of friends on the left, as well as larger images of recent photos. Users can drag and drop multiple photos at a time to rearrange them and easily rename them by pointing and clicking on the old name and typing in a new one.
Images are accompanied by additional descriptive information about each shot and are designated as private by default, Brad Garlinghouse, senior vice president of communications, community and front door at Yahoo, said at a briefing and product demo with reporters late on Wednesday. "

Yahoo rolls out photo site beta

CNET "Yahoo is expected to launch on Thursday a limited beta of a new Yahoo Photos site that allows people to download high-resolution photos, tag shots with descriptors for easy search and comment on other peoples' images.

Yahoo Photos offers a more visually appealing user welcome page, with a list of the user's albums and albums of friends on the left, as well as larger images of recent photos. Users can drag and drop multiple photos at a time to rearrange them and easily rename them by pointing and clicking on the old name and typing in a new one.

Images are accompanied by additional descriptive information about each shot and are designated as private by default, Brad Garlinghouse, senior vice president of communications, community and front door at Yahoo, said at a briefing and product demo with reporters late on Wednesday. "

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Google guns for Microsoft

CNET "Google's launch of a Web-based spreadsheet on Tuesday is further proof that the company is eyeing Microsoft's Office stronghold. Now the question is: Should Microsoft be worried?
Google on Monday unveiled Google Spreadsheets, an addition to its roster of Web-based productivity applications that includes Google Calendar, launched in April, and Gmail, launched two years ago. "

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

American Airlines doubles win in name game : "NEW YORK — American Airlines has a rare opportunity to slam dunk its brand into the minds of basketball fans starting Thursday, when the NBA Finals begin inside the two arenas that carry the ailing carrier's name.
It pays more than $8 million a year in naming rights, which ensures that the Dallas Mavericks play in the American Airlines Center, while the Miami Heat cool off in the American Airlines Arena.
That has marketers at the airline, which lost $92 million in the first quarter, dreaming up ways to capitalize on its home courts advantage. On Monday, it was still working on a fan promotion.
'Once it dawned on us that this could happen, and that we're the only corporation that has the opportunity to do something, we said it's a no-brainer — we have to do something,' says American Airlines spokesman Tim Wagner. "

Study: Web is the No. 1 media

CNET "Web media is the dominant at-work media and No. 2 in the home, according to a new report from the Online Publishers Association.
The Web also ranked as the No. 1 daytime media.
A research project, conducted by Ball State University's Center for Media Design, tracked the media use of 350 people every 15 seconds. The subjects represented each gender, about equally, across three age groups: 18 to 34, 35 to 49 and 50-plus. The people were monitored by another person for approximately 13 hours, or 80 percent of their waking day.
'Someone actually came into their homes and workplaces and had a handheld computer, every 15 seconds registering their media consumption and life activities,' Pam Horan, president of the Online Publishers Association (OPA), told CNET"

Google Spreadsheets turns up heat on Excel

CNET "Google is set to launch on Tuesday a Web-based spreadsheet program that will allow people to view and simultaneously edit data while conducting 'in-document' chat, a company product manager said Monday.

The launch of Google Spreadsheets puts the search engine in even more heated competition with Microsoft, whose desktop-based Excel spreadsheet program is a standard office tool.
Google, which acquired the Writely Web-based word processor in March, is unleashing Web-based services of programs that propelled Microsoft to dominance on the desktop. Microsoft is responding by revamping its business to focus on Web services under the Windows Live and Office Live monikers. "

Chatting With Your Search Engine

Wired News: "Cell phone users and instant messaging addicts can now search the web using IM chat software rather than a web browser.
Kozoru, a Kansas-based startup, on Monday launched Byoms, a new search engine that queries the web with instant messages.
Users send the system a question as a chat message, and the system replies with relevant links. It's similar to Google, except Byoms returns three of four replies instead of hundreds, and can be queried in plain English."

Monday, June 05, 2006

Your Money or Your Site

Wired 14.06: Posts: "Some kids are good at skateboarding or playing guitar. Alex Tew has a knack for making money. When his UK high school banned water bottles on the soccer practice field, he sold swigs for 50 pence a pop, taking home a quick 8 quid in one day. After competing in a human-beat-box contest, he peddled a $30 DVD of the event and unloaded 500 of them online in 18 months. Then one night last summer, the 22-year-old devised his most outrageous scheme yet: selling pixels. “My mum thought it was a cool idea,” Tew recalls with a chuckle. “But she wasn’t convinced.”

Last August, Tew launched the Million Dollar Homepage ( The plan was to cram thousands of tiny banner ads onto a single page by selling a million pixels for $1 each, with a 100-pixel minimum (that’s about the size of a sesame seed). In return, Tew committed to keep the ads up for five years. He sold the first 400 pixels to a beat-boxing friend who wanted to plug his Web site. He unloaded another chunk on his brother, who used it to promote his go-cart business.

News of the site spread quickly, fueling traffic and demand. Japanese dating companies and toy train dealers gobbled up space. Within two weeks, Tew had earned enough to pay for three years of college. By September, he had pocketed $200,000. On January 11, he auctioned off his remaining 1,000 pixels on eBay, pushing his total earnings to $1,037,100. “I took a deep breath and thought, ‘Job done,’” Tew says."

Friday, June 02, 2006

eBay tries e-mail in Net neutrality fight

CNET "SAN JOSE, Calif.--eBay this week unleashed a political machine that should make politicians envious: a national e-mail blast over Net neutrality.
Meg Whitman, chief executive of the Internet auctioneer, called on more than a million eBay members to get involved in the debate over telecommunications laws and 'send a message to your representatives in Congress before it is too late.'
'The telephone and cable companies in control of Internet access are trying to use their enormous political muscle to dramatically change the Internet,' Whitman wrote. 'It might be hard to believe, but lawmakers in Washington are seriously debating whether consumers should be free to use the Internet as they want in the future.'
This is the first time that eBay has used e-mail to urge its members to weigh in on a national issue and the first time Whitman has sent an e-mail to members under her own name, the company said Thursday.
eBay--which has been active in a pro-Net neutrality coalition for years--confirmed that more than a million e-mails have been sent out so far, but declined to offer a more specific number. The campaign is ongoing. "

Vista plays hide-and-seek with hackers

CNET "Microsoft is starting a game of hide-and-seek with malicious code writers.
Windows Vista Beta 2, released last week, includes a new security feature designed to protect against buffer overrun exploits. Called Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR), the feature loads key system files in different memory locations each time the PC starts, making it harder for malicious code to run, according to Microsoft.
'It is not a panacea, it is not a replacement for insecure code,' Michael Howard, a senior security program manager at Microsoft, wrote in a blog post announcing the feature. 'But when used in conjunction with other is a useful defense, because it makes Windows systems look 'different' to malware, making automated attacks harder.' "