AIG memo may suggest privacy tied to bonus return: report
Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:09pm EDT
NEW YORK (Reuters) - American International Group Inc appeared to advise staffers in its troubled Financial Products division that, if enough returned bonuses than it was unlikely their names would be publicly released, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The “new” customer relationship...
Consumers can be stuck when Web sites change terms
March 27th, 2009 By DEBORAH YAO , AP Business Writer
On May 16, the company's Kodak Gallery online photo service will delete her picture albums unless she spends at least $4.99 by then and every year thereafter on prints and other products.
We are a very young industry.
First email virus turns 10
Security By Wolfgang Gruener Thursday, March 26, 2009 15:00
Chicago (IL) – It appears we have been living with viruses all the time, but if we are looking back in history we find that certain types of viruses are actually not that old. For example, the email-aware virus is turning just 10 today. Melissa, the first virus of this kind, was estimated to have infected more than one million PCs and caused damage in excess of $80 million.
Related? What does this suggest as the fate of other profitable tech companies?
Red Hat — Stand Alone Or Get Bought?
Posted by Soulskill on Friday March 27, @11:47PM from the all-about-the-benjamins dept. Red Hat Software Linux Business The Almighty Buck
"It seems that this economy has inspired a lot of businesses to move to Linux, with Red Hat posting profits that beat everyone's expectations. There's a dark side to being a highly profitable company in a down economy, though — now there are talks of Citigroup and Oracle wanting to buy Red Hat. For a while now, we've been watching Yahoo fend off Carl Icahn and Steve Ballmer so that they could stay independent, but the fight seems to be a huge distraction for Yahoo, with lots of energy (and money) invested. Will Red Hat stay independent? What potential buyer would make for a good parent company?"
Did I mention that enrollment in my Hacking class is way up?
More IT Pros Could Turn To E-Crime In Poor Economy
Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Friday March 27, @03:03PM from the what-would-mitnick-do dept.
snydeq writes to mention that a recent survey by KPMG shows that many people feel that out-of-work IT workers will be much more tempted to turn to criminal activities due to the down economy. This, coupled with an E-crime survey that shows fraud committed by managers, employees, and customers tripled between 2007 and 2008 paints an interesting picture.
"In other survey results, 45 percent of respondents who handle critical national infrastructure said they are seeing an increase in the number of attacks on their systems. Fifty-one percent of respondents from the same category said the technical sophistication of those attacks is getting better. Sixty-eight percent said that of all kinds of malicious code they felt Trojan horse programs -- ones that are designed to look harmless but can steal data along with other functions -- had the most impact on their businesses. Rootkits are the next highest concern, followed by spyware, worms, viruses, mobile malicious code and, finally, adware."
Ahead of G-20 summit, Britons alerted to 'dirty bomb' risk
A new government report says that a terrorist attack is now more likely than ever.
By Ben Quinn | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor from the March 27, 2009 edition
LONDON - After decades of campaigns by Irish Republicans and, most recently, Islamist militants, Britons have become used to the daily threat of terrorism.
But in a warning that the stakes have been raised – and just days before world leaders gather here for the Group of 20 meeting – a warning was given this week that a so-called dirty bomb on a British city is more likely than ever.
… The new approach aims to train some 60,000 retail, hotel, and service industry staff to recognize terrorist threats. In addition, more resources will go into blocking access to information posted online on how to stage terror attacks.
I guess there was no law addressing Deceptive Practices before this, huh?
FTC Warns Against Deceptive DRM
Posted by kdawson on Friday March 27, @01:31PM from the we'll-come-calling dept. Government United States
Jane Q. Public writes
"At the Federal Trade Commission's Seattle conference on DRM, FTC Director Mary Engle started off by referencing the Sony rootkit debacle, and said that companies are going to have to get serious about disclosing DRM that may affect the usability of products. She also said that disclosure via the fine print in a EULA is not good enough, and 'If your advertising giveth and your EULA taketh away, don't be surprised if the FTC comes calling.' Transcripts and webcasts are available from the FTC website." Update 18:13 GMT by SM: as Jane Q. Public was nice enough to diplomatically point out, the webcasts are no longer functioning, but transcripts are still available.
Related? I think so... (Want to bet that they won't be un-bricked when the software is available for free?)
IPhones bricked after non-developers try to upgrade to 3.0 beta
6:17 PM, March 26, 2009
… Application coders, who pay the $99 membership fee, get access to new features, including copy-and-paste, multimedia messaging, voice note recording and text-note syncing. The idea is to give developers a few months to test the nuances of the firmware and build new features into their apps.
The software update will be available to the general public (free for the iPhone and $10 for the iPod Touch) in the summer. But some couldn't wait and decided to snatch the beta from the many piracy websites that offer it for download.
Many were shocked when they hit a brick wall.
After the update process, iTunes connects to Apple's servers and attempts to verify whether your iPhone or iPod Touch is registered as a developer's device. If not, users are asked to join the developer program -- or else.
If you refuse, your pricey gadget is, as they say, "bricked." The error message, shown in the photo above, will be the permanent wallpaper for the iPhone. It asks you to connect to iTunes, but when you do so there's no escape. Because the firmware modifies certain files within the phone, you cannot downgrade to a previous version, third-party developers say.
If you aren't “Cloud Literate” you better start learning.
Gartner: Cloud spending to skyrocket in 2009 (InfoWorld)
Posted on Thu Mar 26, 2009 1:09PM EDT
Gartner on Thursday released a report estimating that worldwide cloud services revenue will not only surpass $56.3 billion this year but, perhaps more telling, will surge to just more than $150 billion in 2013.
Related Microsoft protecting a “monopoly” on the desktop and Amazon protecting a lead in the cloud?
Microsoft, Amazon Oppose Cloud Computing Interoperability Plan
Posted by Soulskill on Friday March 27, @07:29PM from the stormy-weather dept. The Internet Microsoft IT
"Microsoft is opposing an industry plan, the Open Cloud Manifesto, to promote cloud computing interoperability. Officially, Microsoft says the plan is unnecessarily secretive and that cloud computing is still in an early stage of development, but there are allegations that Microsoft feels threatened by the plan because it could boost Linux-based systems. The goal of the group behind the manifesto, the Cloud Computing Interoperability Forum (CCIF), is to minimize the barriers between different technologies used in cloud computing. And this is where the problem seems to lie, with the group stating that 'whenever possible the CCIF will emphasize the use of open, patent-free and/or vendor-neutral technical solutions.' Some speculate that Microsoft is actually worried that this will allow open source systems, such as Linux, to flourish, at the expense of Microsoft technology."
Amazon is also declining to support the plan, saying, "the best way to illustrate openness and customer flexibility is by what you actually provide and deliver for them." Reader smack.addict contributes a link to an O'Reilly piece asking what openness really means for cloud computing.
A look inside the 'Open Cloud Manifesto'
by Ina Fried
You mean Barack hasn't friended me? I'm crushed.
When Stars Twitter, a Ghost May Be Lurking
By NOAM COHEN Published: March 26, 2009
… In its short history, Twitter — a microblogging tool that uses 140 characters in bursts of text — has become an important marketing tool for celebrities, politicians and businesses, promising a level of intimacy never before approached online, as well as giving the public the ability to speak directly to people and institutions once comfortably on a pedestal.
Why do I find these article the day I'm due to get on a plane?
FAA Says Public Accountability Is Dangerous
By David Kravets March 27, 2009 1:39:02 PM
The Federal Aviation Administration thinks you can't handle the truth.
The agency has quietly moved to ban public disclosure of bird-strike records — information that chronicles where and when commercial aircraft were hit by birds.
For my Business Continuity students (and e-Discovery?)
Data Preservation and How Ancient Egypt Got It Right
Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Friday March 27, @06:44PM from the keep-buying-the-white-album dept. Data Storage Technology
"After rocks, the human race moved on to writing on animal skins and papyrus, which were faster at recording but didn't last nearly as long. Paper and printing presses were even faster, but also deteriorated more quickly. Starting to see a pattern? And now we have digital records, which might last a decade before becoming obsolete. Recording and handing down history thus becomes an increasingly daunting task, as each generation of media must be migrated to the next at a faster and faster rate, or we risk losing vital records."
Related. Our bandwidth is so limited, electronic backups are difficult. (You'll never guess who is number one...)
Report: U.S. 17th In Broadband Speed
by Wendy Davis, Yesterday, 4:45 PM
Web users in the U.S. surf the Internet at an average broadband speed of 3.9 Mbps, according to an upcoming Akamai report obtained by GigaOm's Om Malik.
That's higher than the worldwide figure of 1.5 Mpbs, but lower than average speeds in 16 other countries.
Tools & Techniques
Convert your PDFs to MS Word
by Seth Rosenblatt March 27, 2009 3:13 PM PDT
There are several well-regarded, free ways to take advantage of the Print function to transform just about any file to a PDF. PrimoPDF and doPDF sit at the top of the list, but what about reverse engineering that conversion? Converting in the other direction, from a PDF to a Microsoft Word-compatible format like DOC or RTF is trickier.
For one thing, there's a lot of crap out there. Many PDF-to-DOC converters have similar or even identical names, differentiated sometimes by nothing more than a cunning tap of the space bar. Many offer features that are hamstrung in various ways unless you pay for an upgrade, and just about all of them offer imperfect conversions. Even with these problems, though, you can get a reasonable conversion from the four programs and three Web-based services listed below.