Archive for December, 2007

Cisco, Intel and Adobe have been named the best technology corporate citizens by Corporate Responsibility Officer magazine.   The rankings are part of the magazine’s look at the 10 best corporate citizens in 11 industries.

In the field of hardware technology, Intel and Cisco tied for the number one spot. Intel was lauded for its philanthropy and employee relations based on its sabbatical and flex time programs. Cisco was given high marks for restricting directors to only serving on four corporate boards and requiring all directors to attend at least 75 percent of board meetings.

The companies are followed in the rankings by Corning, Sun Microsystems, Fairchild Semiconductor International, Agilent Technologies, National Semiconductor, SPX, International Business Machines, SanDisk and Motorola.

On the software side, Adobe took top honors, with Oracle coming in second. Adobe earned points for its employee benefits, including adoption assistance, elder-care programs and sabbaticals. Oracle earned the highest score for climate change and took the second-highest score for environment issues.

The other software companies ranked are Akamai Technologies, Activision, CheckFree, FactSet Research Systems, Autodesk, Intuit, Microsoft, Citrix Systems and Fiserv.

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Japan’s Hitachi Ltd, Canon Inc. and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd.announced that they have reached a basic agreement on liquid crystal display or LCD panel businesses and technologies.

Under the terms of this agreement, Canon and Matsushita will each acquire 24.9% of the shares of Hitachi’s subsidiary Hitachi Displays Co., Ltd. by March 31, 2008. As a result, Hitachi’s stake in Hitachi Displays, which is engaged in small- and medium-sized LCD panel-related businesses, will become 50.2%.

Apple is developing an automatic volume control device for iPods amid growing fears that its users are at risk of hearing damage from listening to loud music.

The next iPods and iPhones could automatically calculate how long a person has been listening and at what volume, before gradually reducing the sound level.

The device will also calculate the amount of “quiet time” between when the iPod is turned off and when it is restarted, allowing the volume to be increased again to a safe level.

Sharp, Toshiba to Form LCD Alliance

Posted: December 26, 2007 in Tech

Sharp Corporation and Toshiba Corporation announced that the two companies have agreed to collaborate closely in LCDs, a move that is expected to enhance the companies’ corporate value, profitability and global competitiveness. The alliance will allow each company to make full and effective use of its respective strengths and resources, particularly Sharp’s capabilities in LCDs and Toshiba’s expertise in advanced semiconductors.

Sharp and Toshiba will initiate the collaborative partnership in fiscal year 2008, starting with an expansion of reciprocal procurement – Sharp’s procurement of system LSIs for LCDs from Toshiba, and Toshiba’s procurement of Sharp’s LCD modules for TVs of 32 inches and larger. Through the program, Sharp aims to satisfy about 50 percent of its total demand for system LSIs for TVs in fiscal year 2010, while Toshiba targets meeting 40 percent of its demand for LCD modules in the same year.

By bringing together their key, world class technologies, Sharp and Toshiba will promote business advances through development of differentiated products. Each company aims to secure a leading position in the LCD TV market, and to reinforce its capabilities in LCDs and semiconductors, by overcoming increasingly intense global competition.

Google Ads Replaced with Malware

Posted: December 21, 2007 in Tech

A new ad-hijacking Trojan that hijacks Google text advertisements, replacing them with ads containing malware has been detected.  The threat, identified as “Trojan.Qhost.WU”, modifies the infected computer’s host file, and redirects queries sent to Google servers to rogue servers that display ads from third parties instead of from Google.

Users are affected because advertisements and/or linked sites may contain malicious code, which is very likely, given that they are promoted using malware in the first place.

Google has said it has cancelled accounts of some customers found displaying ads that redirect users to malicious sites, or ads of products violating its software principles.

Microsoft, Viacom in $500 Million Ad Deal

Posted: December 21, 2007 in Tech

Viacom has signed a $500m advertising and content deal with Microsoft, a development that will see Viacom dropping Google’s DoubleClick.

The five-year deal, which the companies said has a “projected base value” of $500m, will see Microsoft’s Atlas system replace DoubleClick to deliver ads across Viacom’s extensive range of US websites.

Internet Explorer 8 Beta Due in 2008

Posted: December 21, 2007 in Tech

Microsoft announced that the first beta version of Internet Explorer 8 would be launched in the first half of 2008.  Microsoft assured users that its new version browser has been put through necessary tests to ensure it doesn’t ‘break’ the Web.

IE8 passed the Acid2 Browser Test from the Web Standards Project, which means that the browser is able to render a Web site in the appropriate way.