Archive for December 6, 2007

Microsoft Sued Over Halo 3 Crashes

Posted: December 6, 2007 in Tech

A federal lawsuit was filed against Microsoft and Bungie recently alleging that Halo 3 “routinely, consistently, and systematically ‘froze,’ crashed,’ or ‘locked up’” the plantiff’s Xbox 360.

The plaintiff is Randy Nunez and he is seeking class-action status along with $5 million in damages plus costs and attorneys’ fees.

Nokia announced the introduction of “Comes with Music,” a new service that allows users to download an unlimited amount of music for free for 12 months.  Users will have 12 months in which to listen to, download, and archive as many tracks from Universal as they please, without paying an extra fee.

After the 12 months, users can continue to use Comes with Music for an as-yet-undefined subscription fee, but will be able to retain access to any songs downloaded during the free period.

Yahoo Messenger Adds Vista Support

Posted: December 6, 2007 in Tech

Yahoo! has finally released the first preview edition of their upcoming Yahoo Messenger application for the Windows Vista platform.

The new YM for Vista sports a new interface, allows you to organize conversations into tabs and drag and drop tabs out to create a new window.  Keep favorite contacts by dragging them into the Windows Sidebar gadget, send enhanced emoticons, change the color of IM windows, adjust the display size of the contacts, arrange your contact list into multiple columns, and send files as large as 2 gigabytes.

British Telecom (BT) announced the acquisition of Singapore-based IT services firm Frontline for Singapore dollar 202 million.

Frontline provides IT consulting, infrastructure services, systems integration and IT outsourcing to local, regional and multinational customers. The company, which is listed on the main board of the Singapore Exchange, has operations in China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand.

BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications solutions and services operating in 170 countries. Its principal activities include networked IT services; local, national and international telecommunications services; higher-value broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, Openreach, BT Retail and BT Wholesale.

Microsoft has announced that they are going to drop the anti-piracy tool called “Kill Switch” from Windows Vista, which could disable the operating system.  The “kill switch” is designed to prevent users with illegal copies of Vista from using certain features.

Instead of cutting off access to the operating system entirely in response to failed product validation, Windows will now present a persistent message nagging customers to purchase a genuine copy of Vista.

Klausner Technologies, Inc. announced today that it has filed a patent lawsuit under its visual voicemail patents against ATT for selling the Apple iPhone, its Visual Voicemail service and other visual voice messaging services, with damages and future royalties estimated at $360 million.

The lawsuit asserts that sales of Apple’s iPhone, Visual Voicemail and other visual voice messaging services implemented by ATT infringe Klausner Technologies’ U.S. Patents 5,572,576 and 5,283,818. These patents have already been licensed to various other companies that provide visual voicemail services including Time Warner’s AOL for its AOL Voicemail services, Vonage Holdings for its Vonage Voicemail Plus services as well as others, under the Klausner Patents.

In its 2007 data security summary, F-Secure reports of a steep increase in the amount of new malware detected during 2007. In fact the amount of cumulative malware detections doubled during the year, reaching the amount of half a million. This indicates that network criminals are producing new malware variants in bulk.

Other increasing data security phenomena during 2007 included parasitic behavior, like the Zlob DNSChanger, and increasing security exploit activity for Apple products, including both Mac’s, iTunes and the iPhone.

Also the vulnerability of large databases containing personal data has become an issue with several major leaks reported during the year including tens of millions of e.g. credit card numbers or bank account information. Such leaks enable so called “spear phishing” attacks with very well targeted information. The increased popularity of social networking services carries similar risks.