Archive for January 10, 2008

Reports started appearing regarding the existence of malicious packages for the Apple iPhone. A package called “iPhone firmware 1.1.3 prep”, which was described as “An important system update. Install this before updating to the new 1.1.3 firmware.” was reportedly causing problems for iPhone users once uninstalled.

According to various reports, installing the package doesn’t have much effect on the iPhone. However, uninstalling it may cause problems, as the malicious package overwrites some other applications during the install. Some of the applications it overwrites are “Erica’s Utilities” (a collection of command-line utilities for the iPhone) and OpenSSH. If the user chooses to uninstall the bogus package, these applications will also be removed. Affected users will need to reinstall these applications.

This is technically the first Trojan horse seen for the iPhone, however it does appear to be more of a prank than an actual threat. The impact of uninstalling the “Trojan” would appear to be an unintended side effect. The risk to users is minimal as they would have to choose to install the bogus package and the site which was hosting it has now been taken offline. Nevertheless, iPhone users should exercise caution regarding the packages they choose to install on their phones.

F-Secure reported that it was an 11-year-old kid playing with XML files who created the Trojan. “Next time it might be someone else with more skills and with specific target,” they said.

Web sites hosting the malicious package were taken offline soon after the discovery of the low-risk threat.

Hopefully this serves as a warning for those who have opened their iPhones using a security hole in the system and then installing unverified software without a second thought to what they are doing.

Apple Introduces New Mac Pro

Posted: January 10, 2008 in Tech

Apple introduced the new Mac Pro with eight processor cores and a new system architecture that delivers up to twice the performance of its predecessor*. The new Mac Pro combines two of Intel’s new 45 nanometer Quad-Core Xeon processors running up to 3.2 GHz, powerful new graphics and up to 4TB of internal storage to offer the ideal system for creative professionals, 3D digital content creators and scientists.

Every Mac Pro comes standard with the ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT graphics card with 256MB of video memory. The Mac Pro includes a new PCI Express 2.0 graphics slot that delivers up to double the bandwidth compared to the previous generation, and supports the latest generation of graphics cards from NVIDIA, such as the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT with 512MB of video memory, or NVIDIA Quadro FX 5600 with 1.5GB of video memory and a 3-D stereo port for stereo-in-a-window applications. With support for up to four graphics cards, the new Mac Pro can drive up to eight 30-inch displays at once for advanced visualization and large display walls.

AMD has announced its AMD Live! Ultra brand, which will enable end users to identify desktop and notebook PCs designed to deliver what the company claims to be “the ultimate visual entertainment experience.”

Desktop AMD Live! Ultra products will be based on the company’s ‘Spider’ platform.  Mobile AMD Live! Ultra products will be powered by the AMD Puma mobile platform, which is set to be released later this year.

AMD also announced the AMD Live! Explorer software that will work in conjunction with the hardware. AMD says that the application will allow you to easily browse through music, photos and videos in a three-dimensional revolving carousel that looks similar to Apple’s Cover Flow feature inside iTunes.

Panasonic unveils 150-inch Plasma TV

Posted: January 10, 2008 in Tech

Panasonic announced that the company has developed three prototype plasma display panels (PDPs) using ground-breaking technologies.

The prototypes include a 42-inch panel with double efficiency technology that halves energy consumption while maintaining the same brightness, a less than one-inch super-thin 50-inch PDP and the world’s largest 150-inch advanced high definition (HD) PDP.

The 150-inch PDP delivers dynamic, overwhelming image quality with an 8.84 million pixel resolution (2,160 x 4,096) ―more than four times the 1080p HD specification (1,080 x 1,920). The prototype has a screen size equivalent to nine 50-inch PDPs with an effective viewing area of 11 ft (3.31 m) (W) x 6 1/4 ft (1.87 m) (H).

Best of CES Winners

Posted: January 10, 2008 in Tech

The CES winners for each categories are as follows:

1.   Car tech and GPS – Azentek builds a PC for your car.
2.   Cell phones and smartphones – Touchy-feely with the new Moto Rokr E8
3.   Computers and hardware – Lenovo launches three IdeaPad laptops.
4.   Digital photo and video – Sony’s $700 dSLR looks like a contender.
5.   Emerging technologies – Bug Labs: Build your own dream gadget.
6.   Gaming – Nyko Wireless Nunchuck takes the wire out of the Wii waggle.
7.   Home audio – Logitech’s Squeezebox Duet.
8.   Home video – EchoStar TR-50: HD DVR for the antenna crowd.
9.   MP3 and portable video players – iRiver W7 MP3 player hankers for directions.
10.  Televisions – Philips’ Eco TV sips power, saves rainforest.

Sony Announces Skype For PSP

Posted: January 10, 2008 in Tech

Sony has officially confirmed that the internet voice chat service Skype, will be available on the PSP.  The PSP will be able to support Skype with only a firmware update.

PSP owners will be able to manage their contacts list, see who’s online and who’s not, make and calls to/from actual telephone numbers, and have complete access to Skype account settings.

Microsoft Patches Flaw in Windows OS

Posted: January 10, 2008 in Tech

Microsoft issued two patches that address three vulnerabilities in Windows.

The first patch fixes a pair of vulnerabilities in the Windows kernel related to TCP/IP processing that could allow attackers to gain full control of the operating system or launch a denial of service attack against the computer.

The second patch fixes an elevation of privilege vulnerability in all recent versions of Windows except Vista. Microsoft has given an important rating.