Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Microsoft to cease IE support for Apple's Mac

Users who use Microsoft's IE to read web pages on Mac will soon have to consider another browser. Microsoft will not support IE operation on Mac any longer as of Dec. 31 this year.

That will not be a surprise to Mac users. Microsoft declared the move as early as June, 2003. No upgrading has been made on IE for three years. This means that IE5, instead of IE6 which is used by Windows users, is the latest version that is offered for the Mac system.

Although Mac subscribers can continue browsing with IE for a month after the support ceases, Microsoft has advised them to shift to ¡°more recent web browsing technologies such as Apple's Safari.

IE will not be a problem for Apple users because most of them have applied different browsers on their computers. The only potential trouble is that some web pages can only be accessed through IE.

That does not seem to matter a lot. But that is not the end of the problem. SciVisum, a UK-based company offering web testing service, said one-tenth of web sites in Britain cannot be browsed with Firefox, an open-source browser which is in vogue.

Firefox, Safari and other browsers like Opera are all operational under Apple's Mac OSX operating system.


Saturday, December 10, 2005

Latest Technology News

Yahoo! plans to shoot Skype with Messenger

Internet media giant Yahoo! has fired the first salvo in a pricing war with Skype with plans to introduce a new internet voice service within days.

Yahoo! is releasing an upgrade to its popular Messenger text, voice and video communications software with the addition of a feature that's familiar to Skype's 68million worldwide users.

"Phone out" will let people make calls from computers to regular telephones while "Phone in" will let computer users receive telephone calls. The service mirror's Skype's equivalent service, named "Skype in" and "Skype out."

Yahoo! said it would undercut Skype's pricing plans for the telephone services, charging just 1¢per minute to people calling the US from countries such as Russia. It will charge 2¢ a minute to call 30 other countries, including Australia, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Korea.

A Yahoo! spokeswoman said it would make the Yahoo! Messenger service available in 180countries, with downloads available from http://voice.yahoo.com/, although as of late on Friday the site was yet to go live.

Where's the 'Wow'?

Xbox 360 Has a Better Design, but the Games Fall Short

Microsoft's big event last month -- the release of the much-anticipated Xbox 360 -- meant that gamers could finally get their hands on the "next big thing" in video-gaming and home technology.

And even though the company had the support of the big-name video game publishers -- Electronic Arts, Activision, Ubisoft and Sega, among others -- the Xbox 360 experience just hasn't been what it should be, given the hype, anticipation and price tag for one of the units.

Sure, it's exciting to play with a new system and see the new games -- but I expected a lot more from Microsoft's next big gamble.

Out of the box, the Xbox 360 looks more like a svelte PC with its smooth curved edges and rounded buttons. Its unobtrusive DVD media tray and USB inputs highlight its clean look and modern design. Without question, the 360's elegant lines make it a whole lot sleeker than the original Xbox.

The controller is especially worth noting. It feels good in-hand, providing easy access to both analog joysticks as well as the face and shoulder buttons. Microsoft took on a fair amount of criticism about the original Xbox controller and seems to have done a good job of making it better.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Chief of Al Qaeda Is Killed in Blast

An Egyptian believed to be commander of Al Qaeda international terrorism operations was killed last week in Pakistan's mountainous border region near Afghanistan, President Pervez Musharraf said Saturday.

Abu Hamza Rabia died Thursday in an explosion in the tribal area of North Waziristan, Musharraf told reporters during an official visit to Kuwait.

Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, said that Hamza Rabia, a top operational planner for al Qaeda, was killed Thursday in an explosion in a tribal area along the border with Afghanistan. Although there were conflicting reports about the details of Rabia's death, Pakistani intelligence sources said U.S. operatives killed him and four others with a missile fired by an unmanned Predator drone.

American officials confirmed that a missile attack had taken place after the target had been located with US help. But last night they had not confirmed Rabia’s death. The Americans called him one of Al-Qaeda’s “top five” leaders and one US official said that “killing him would indeed be a very big deal”.

At the time of Farj's arrest, Pakistan's government called it the most important capture of a senior Al Qaeda leader since that of Mohammed. When Farj was still at large, senior Pakistani intelligence officers insisted he was more of a regional commander than an international terrorist in Mohammed's league.

Musharraf has repeatedly said that numerous raids and military offensives in the Pushtun tribal areas of North and South Waziristan have severely disrupted Al Qaeda's ability to plan and carry out terrorist attacks.

Those plotting to kill Musharraf have also included low-ranking members of Pakistan's military. In August, several people accused of attempts on Musharraf's life, including two bomb attacks on his convoy in December 2003, were sentenced to hang by a military court-martial.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

'FBI, CIA' e-mails spread virus

Washington - A scam involving e-mails appearing to come from the FBI or CIA has unleashed a computer virus that spread rapidly worldwide, United States officials and security experts said on Tuesday.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released a statement on its website noting that the agency was not the source of the e-mails. But experts said the virus was propagating because the authors made the message appear authentic.

The FBI statement said recipients of this or similar messages "should know that the FBI does not engage in the practice of sending unsolicited e-mails to the public in this manner".

The messages appear to be sent from an e-mail address such as mail@fbi.gov, post@fbi.gov, admin@fbi.gov or a similar address, and direct the recipient to open an attachment to answer question. The opening of the file activates the virus and causes it to spread to others.

The internet security firm Sophos said similar e-mails may appear to come from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), but that both contain a strain of the Sober virus that has been spreading worldwide.

The worm -- named "Sober X" -- has spread so far so fast that the CIA and the FBI put prominent warnings on their Web sites making clear that they did not send out the e-mail and urging people to not open the attachment.

Across the Atlantic Ocean, Austria's equivalent to the FBI is investigating a flurry of similar bogus e-mails sent in its name to people in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, the Associated Press reported.

"This particular virus is a mass-mailer worm and is the largest one we have seen this year," said Alfred A. Huger, senior director of engineering at Symantec Corp., which sells Norton AntiVirus software. "It's as bad as it gets. With this particular type of virus on your system, there is a high probability that your personal information will be stolen."

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Sony BMG is spying on thousands of listeners

Sony is spying on thousands of listeners who buy and play its music CDs on their computers, a leading computer security firm said recently.

Computer Associates International Inc. said that new anti-copying software Sony is using to discourage pirating of its music also secretly collects information from any computer that plays the discs.

The anti-piracy technology, which works only on Windows computers, prevents customers from making more than a few copies of the CD and prevents them from loading the CD's songs directly onto Apple Computer's popular iPod portable music players. Some other music players, which recognize Microsoft's proprietary music format, do play the CDs.

A hacker had mass-mailed e-mail with an attachment, which when clicked on installs malware. The malware hides by using Sony BMG software that is also hidden -- the software would have already been installed on a computer when consumers played Sony's copy-protected music CDs.

The malware, a trojan program which appears desirable but actually contains something harmful, tears down a computer's firewall and gives hackers access to a PC. Sony BMG provided a patch to protect computers against the virus, which is available on its Web site.

"We also intend to re-examine all aspects of our content protection initiative to be sure that it continues to meet our goals of security and ease of consumer use," Sony BMG added.

The software works only on computers running Microsoft Corp.’s Windows operating system. It limits listeners’ ability to copy the music onto their computers, and locks copied files so they cannot be freely distributed over the internet.

Friday, November 04, 2005

New Apple Ipod Nano Video 30GB

Apple Ipod Nano Video 30GB - With Video IPod, the Music Still Comes First

When Apple Computer unveiled the video-capable version of its popular iPod music player this month, it trumpeted the fact that users could download Pixar short films and top music videos, along with recent episodes of "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives."

But video clips of a spicier nature quickly became available as free, iPod-friendly downloads. That created an immediate problem for parents already scrambling to keep abreast of their teenagers' computer routines.

Consider that you can now get the 30GB model for the same price as the previous-generation 20GB model, and you have a pretty impressive product.

The new 30GB iPod is 30 percent thinner than the previous 20GB color model, but the height and width are the same. (The current 60GB model is roughly 10 percent slimmer than the older 20GB model.) This may not seem like a big difference on paper, but we were impressed with the new model's slimmed-down figure when we held the two side by side. The 2.5-inch backlit LCD, at 320 by 240 pixels, is noticeably bigger than the previous 2-inch 220-by-176 screen.

Apple also eliminated the 9-pin remote-control connector in this version, which means third parties such as Griffin and Belkin will have to update their accessory lines. Apple's reasoning was that accessories should go through the already-present dock connector rather than through a second proprietary port.

If you just happen to be in the market for a music player, the iPod Video is a no-brainer, suiting the needs of music, video and photos all in one, and landing at the same price points ($299 for 30 gigs and $399 for 60 gigs) as the previous generation. But does the new iPod offer enough new features to be worth the upgrade for those with previous generations, particularly if you already own a 4g (4th generation) with a color screen? That answer is yet to come when IGN Gear unleashes our full in-depth iPod Video review next week.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Astronauts, U.S. Businessman world's third space tourist boarded the International Space Station

Moscow - A Russian- The 12th astronaut crew and U.S. space tourist Gregory Olsen ( New Jersey businessman who paid $20 million for his trip to the station ) arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) early Monday after their Russian Soyuz spacecraft docked flawlessly at the orbital laboratory.

Olsen and the ISS Expedition 12 crew, commanded by NASA astronaut Bill McArthur with cosmonaut Valery Tokarev serving as flight engineer, docked at the space station at 1:27 a.m. EDT (0527 GMT). Both spacecraft were flying 220 miles above Central Asia as the Soyuz TMA-7 spacecraft eased into its berth at the Russian-built Pirs docking compartment outside the station’s Zvezda service.

Aboard were NASA Commander William McArthur, 54, Russian Flight Engineer Valery Tokarev, 52, and Gregory Olsen, 60. Olsen, founder and chairman of Sensors Unlimited, a Princeton, New Jersey-based maker of night-vision gear for the U.S. military that was bought by Goodrich Corp. earlier this month, became the third private citizen into space.

Olsen, 60, is the third fare-paying visitor to the ISS, following the successful flights of South African Mark Shuttleworth in 2002 and U.S. entrepreneur Dennis Tito in 2001, respectively. Olsen’s $20 million flight, like those of Shuttleworth and Tito, were brokered with Russia’s Federal Space Agency by the space tourism firm Space Adventures.

“Dad, we love you so much and we’re so proud of you,” said one of Olsen’s two daughters, who attended his launch. “You look great up there.”

Saturday, October 01, 2005

15 round trips has been temporarily canceled by US Airlines due to fuel prices

September 30, 2005

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - American Airlines, the No. 1 U.S. air carrier, on Friday said it decided to temporarily cancel 15 daily round-trip temporarily in markets it serves from its two largest hubs, Chicago O'Hare and Dallas-Fort Worth international airports.

Refinery outages caused by Hurricanes Rita and Katrina have made worse an already bad situation for U.S. airlines. In addition to record crude prices, the airlines are paying as much as a 60 percent premium for refined jet fuel.

American's cutbacks were announced a day after Continental Airlines raised most fares on flights within the United States and between the U.S. and Canada, also blaming jet fuel costs. The Houston-based carrier raised one-way fares $10 and round-trip fares $20.

"The skyrocketing price of jet fuel has forced American Airlines to take the regretful step," according to a statement issued by the Fort Worth-based airline, a unit of AMR Corp.

American also said it would discontinue flights between Chicago O'Hare and Nagoya, Japan at the end of October because of fuel prices.

Jet fuel costs have risen 39 percent in the past month. That alone prompted the decision, said Dan Garton, American executive vice president. American said jet fuel cost 91 percent more Thursday than in September 2004, while crude oil prices had increased just half of that amount, 45 percent, in the same period.

American said it cut back markets that would have plenty of other American flights operating.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Hurricane Rita destroyed all the things.

Hurricane Rita spread watery desolation anew across Louisiana on Saturday, rolling over bayou country on the southwest coast and trapping hundreds on rooftops. Texas was spared widespread destruction, but some shoreline oil towns struggled with high water and wind damage.
Hurricane Rita Evacuations and Preparations At least 1,000 Louisiana residents were rescued by Coast Guard helicopter teams and volunteers in airboats. But as daylight faded, hundreds more remained atop buildings, water levels rising.

Despite the dire situation in southwest Louisiana and across the Sabine River into east Texas, authorities were relieved that Houston and cities along the vulnerable coastline in both states appeared to have been spared widespread destruction.

Authorities said a tornado killed one person in the Mississippi Delta. In the storm's direct path, no other fatalities and few injuries were initially reported.

According to latest Internet posts of the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC), Rita was downgraded to Category 2 with winds of 167 kph at 8 a.m. (1200 GMT), and was centered between Jasper and Beaumont, Texas.

Complete Hurricane Coverage Now storm moving northwest,could produce 25 to 38 cm of rain over the next day or two and it may stall and remain stationary.

He said people should not take it easy since the impact seems to be smaller than anticipated, because more floodings could come,especially on the east flank of the storm's eye.

Mayfield said the water will not subside until Rita's winds diedown, which is not expected before Saturday afternoon.

A key natural gas installation in southern Louisiana known as Henry Hub, through which a third of the nation's natural gas flows and where spot gas prices are determined, was damaged by Rita, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco said.

"We understand there is a gas leak and ... a possible shearing of an oil storage tank," Blanco told CNN.

She gave no other details about the damage or its effects on gas delivery, but said the leak would have to be plugged.

"We're watching the situation very carefully," Blanco said.

Rita and Katrina knocked out nearly all energy production in the offshore oil fields of the Gulf of Mexico and 30 percent of the U.S. refining capacity onshore.

At least three oil refineries were damaged by Rita, oil companies said.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Mass evacuations as Rita heads for Texas

Hurricane Rita was today bearing down on the Texas coastline ahead of its expected landfall north-east of Houston tomorrow.

Almost 2 million people in the path of the storm - which will bring 140mph winds and a storm surge of up to 20ft - have been told to evacuate.

They include most of the 1.2 million residents of Houston and up to 58,000 people in Galveston, a city that was devastated by a hurricane in 1900 with the loss of up to 12,000 lives.

Traffic jams stretched 100 miles north of Houston and crossed the state line into Louisiana even after the Texas governor, Rick Perry, ruled that every lane of the Interstate-45 motorway should be used to help traffic flow out of the city. Google.com