part of the Blog News Channel

Conspiracy Corner: Microsoft Lawyer Sues Apple

A lawsuit has been filed against Apple, alleging that its iPod causes damage to hearing. Now forgeting about the idea that not knowing loud music causes hearing damage is akin to not knowing that a lot of McDonald’s food causes weight gain, The Unofficial Apple Weblog has a great conspiracy theory for everyone to fawn on: The lawyer suing Apple is Steve W. Berman, who is on retainer with Microsoft.

Of course, Microsoft has roughly 800,000,000 lawyers, so it’d be hard to find one who isn’t on retainer.

February 3rd, 2006 Posted by | Apple, General, Law | no comments

Symantec Announces Security As A Service

Security company Symantec has unveiled plans for a security service that will offer protection against spyware, phishing, spam and viruses, as well as backup and optimization technology. Code-named “Genesis”, it will be sold on a subscription basis as a hosted service.

The service is clearly designed to head off Windows OneCare, which should be nearing feature complete at the same time (assuming Microsoft wants it ready for Vista), as well as Windows Defender and Internet Explorer’s Phishing Filter. It will be a single integrated system designed for security, optimization and backup, the three cornerstones of OneCare, and will likely launch in September, one or two months prior to Vista.

CNET reports:

The software, code-named Genesis, will integrate components of Symantec’s current security, PC optimisation and backup products, the security company said. It will be sold on a subscription basis and will require an initial one-year agreement. Pricing has not yet been determined.

… Online shoppers will be able to use Genesis to securely store personal information such as credit card numbers, Symantec said. They can also use it to authenticate Web sites, the company said.

The technology in Genesis comes from current Symantec products such as Norton Internet Security and SystemWorks, as well as from work by Whole Security, the anti-phishing specialist Symantec acquired in September of last year, Powledge said.

Microsoft’s security offerings, made necessary due to the porous state of computer security in 2003-2004 that gave the company such bad press, present a huge challenge to the other computer security firms. They may not be able to hold off Microsoft’s products, and Microsoft is divorcing OneCare enough from Windows itself to avoid antitrust accusations.

If the security firms had made it their mission to secure every single Windows computer, rather than market to businesses and the security conscious home user, none of this would have happened, and they wouldn’t be dealing with the Redmond giant breathing down their necks. If you can’t do your job well, someone else will take it from you.

February 3rd, 2006 Posted by | AntiSpyware, Defender, General, OneCare, Security | no comments

Hosting sponsored by GoDaddy

Microsoft And Fiat Team Up For Smart Car

Microsoft and Fiat have announced Blue&Me, a platform to be built into Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Fiat Commercial Vehicle, starting with the Grande Punto, Alfa Romeo 159, 159 Sportwagon, Brera and Spider. It will feature a USB port in the glove box, allowing the connection of USB sticks with music files, a voice-controlled navigation system, and Bluetooth for routing calls through the navigation system (including reading out loud text messages).
(via PCPro)

February 3rd, 2006 Posted by | General | one comment

Super-Tiny Media Center PC

Blueado is selling a pretty small Media Center PC (4.2X7″, 12″ deep) for $1,499. Anyone know where the specs are?
(via Gregory Class)

Engadget lists the specs as:

  • Silent running Intel Pentium M
  • 1GB RAM
  • 200GB of storage
  • built-in DVD burner
  • TV-tuner
  • Dolby Digital Audio out in 5.1
  • DTS Digital Audio in 5.1/6.1 and 7.1
  • front-mounted USB 2.0 and FireWire connections
  • a 7-input card reader
  • S-Vid, DVI, VGA and Standard Video outs

Not bad at all.

February 3rd, 2006 Posted by | General, Media Center, Windows | one comment

Windows Live Local PC Mag Editor’s Choice

PC Magazine has done a roundup of trip planning tools, and newcomer Windows Live Local has gottent the Editor’s Choice over hype-champion Google Local and longtime stalwarts like MS’s Street’s and Trips. PC Mag gives Live Local a 4 out of 5, noting the bird’s eye view as setting it apart, while acknowledging that it still has some beta kinks to work out.

They also give it props for the Location Finder, which tries to use wi-fi hotspots and IP addresses to determine your location; and the scratch pad, for taking notes. Why doesn’t Google Local win? Because of poor search syntax and irrelevant listings.
(via Scoble)

February 3rd, 2006 Posted by | General, Google, Live, Local, Windows | no comments

What Would An Xbox Handheld Look Like?

One of the rumors floating these days (and I hate rumors) is that Microsoft is considering an Xbox 360 handheld. “Considering” could mean anything, and reflects no actual reality. I’m considering chasing my cat around, but I probably won’t.

I’m such a liar.

Anyway, the only reason I’m posting on this rumor is that Kotaku has some cool Photoshops of what an Xbox handheld gaming device would look like. Rumors aren’t worth the time you waste on them, but these are cool to look at.

February 3rd, 2006 Posted by | General, Xbox | no comments

Windows Live Favorites In MSN Spaces

Just because you ship an update one week, doesn’t mean you can’t do it again a week later. Spaces has shipped a minor update that improves RSS feed linking, restores normal comment ordering and fixes some stability and performance issues.

There is one new feature: Windows Live Favorites integration. If you have Windows Live Favorites, which can be added straight from your computer at, you just right-click on whichever ones you want to make public (right-clicking on the web? The horror!). Then, add the Live Favorites module to your space, and you’re good to go.

Oh, Windows Live, when will the rest of us get to use your blog features? WordPress is pretty, too >:-)

(via Torres)

February 3rd, 2006 Posted by | General, Live, MSN, Spaces, Windows | 2 comments

Super Bowl Dashboard Themes

There are a bunch of Super Bowl 40 (hey, I’m no Roman!) Xbox Live Dashboard themes available.

Chain of credit: Kotaku > Pixel Gamers > Major Nelson

February 3rd, 2006 Posted by | General, Xbox, Xbox 360 | no comments

PS3 Will Match Xbox Live “Feature For Feature”

Joystiq reports that Sony says in the latest PlayStation Magazine that it aims to match Xbox Live “feature for feature and then some” in a full-on assault on Microsoft’s industry leading online gaming service. You can view a scan of the article at the PlayStation forums. Sony calls it “All-Out Online War”.

Can Sony close the gap, are they trying to boost sales of the coming PS3, or are they just talking out of their Emotion Engine over-marketing asses?

February 3rd, 2006 Posted by | General, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox Live | no comments

Windows Vulnerability Was For Sale

How much is a Windows vulnerability worth to you? According to Mary Jo Foley, some Russian hacker groups were selling the Windows Metafile vulnerability, shopping it around in December for about $4,000. As eWeek explains, this was two weeks before security experts were aware of it, and well before a patch was shipped.

He said the hacker groups clearly didn’t understand exactly how the vulnerability functions and was more intent on selling it to cyber-criminals in Russia for quick profit.

“[R]esearch bodies did not have information about the fact that the exploit was being sold, due to the fact that it was created for the Russian market,” he added.

Jim Melnick, director of threat operations at Reston, Va.-based vulnerability research firm iDefense, said his team’s research confirms some of Gostev’s findings.

“We did see some early activity coming out of the Russian sites. There was a pump-and-dump stock scheme going on at the time and a Russian hacker who we think has some connection to this mentioned that the WMF flaw was already being exploited quietly,” Melnick said in an interview with eWEEK.

February 3rd, 2006 Posted by | General, Security | no comments