Archive for July, 2007

Data Skimming Ring Busted By Risk Management System

July 30, 2007

The scam worked like this: as they entered a store, one of the men distracted a clerk while the others swapped the store’s PIN-pad terminals with nearly identical devices that had been electronically altered to capture customers’ account numbers and PINs, a process that took as little as 12 seconds, according to a statement released July 13 by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Rhode Island. Several days later, the men returned to the store, replaced the original terminal, and made off with the altered one containing customers’ account information.”

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Microsoft’s Annual Revenue Surpasses $50 Billion

July 20, 2007

Microsoft Corp. today announced revenue of $13.37 billion for the quarter ended June 30, 2007, a 13% increase over the same period of the prior year. Diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $0.31. Excluding $0.08 of previously announced charges primarily related to Xbox 360™ warranty policies, earnings per share would have been $0.39, an increase of 26% over the same period of the prior year when also adjusted for certain items. For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2007, Microsoft announced revenue of $51.12 billion, a 15% increase over the prior year. Diluted earnings per share for the year were $1.42. Excluding certain items, earnings per share would have been $1.49, an increase of 17% over the prior year when also adjusted for certain items. $31 billion in cash, or approximately 175% of operating cash flow, was returned to shareholders during the year through share buybacks and dividends. “Surpassing $50 billion in annual sales is a testament to the innovation and value that our product groups delivered into the marketplace, as well as the outstanding execution by our field sales, marketing teams and partners to bring that value to life with our customers,” said Kevin Turner, chief operating officer at Microsoft. “In fiscal year 2008, we will continue to drive growth through new product offerings, such as Windows Server® 2008, Visual Studio® 2008, SQL Server™ 2008, Office PerformancePoint™ Server 2007, and Microsoft Dynamics™ Live CRM.””

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Google’s 2Q Profit Disappoints Investors

July 20, 2007

“Google Inc. (GOOG, News) co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page have always told Wall Street that positioning the Internet search leader to realize its long-term ambitions is more important to them than meeting the earnings expectations of shortsighted investors. Just in case anyone forgot, the company punctuated the point with its second-quarter results.Propelled by the online advertising boom, Google said Thursday that revenue surged to $3.87 billion, up 58 percent from the same time last year – a gain that was slightly above analyst estimates.

But Google’s profit margins narrowed as management ramped up spending to hire additional employees and buy more content for its Web sites. That left Google with a 28 percent increase in its second-quarter earnings, by far its slowest growth since becoming a public company in August 2004.

Investors expressed their dismay in Thursday’s extended trading, causing Google shares to plunge by $39.06, or 7.1 percent, after ending the regular session at $548.59. If it carries over into Friday’s trading, the harsh reaction threatens to wipe out about $12 billion in shareholder wealth.”

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Ooma Puts Unlimited Phone Calls In A Box

July 20, 2007

Ooma, a Palo Alto, Calif., Internet telephony startup, is offering a box that connects to your broadband Internet connection and your regular old phone, priced at $399. After that, you get unlimited domestic calls at no additional cost. Think of it as Skype but square, tangible, and more expensive, at least if used for less than 13 years. It may sound too good to be true, particularly in light of the troubles faced by Vonage and the collapse of SunRocket. But Ooma has a management team that includes executives from Apple, Cisco, IBM, and Yahoo, as well as actor/entrepeneur Ashton Kutcher. Ooma could be the next TiVo.”

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Web-Based Anonymizer Discontinued

July 19, 2007

With no fanfare, and apparently no outcry from the privacy community, Anonymizer Inc. discontinued its web-based Private Surfing service effective June 20, 2007. No reason was given, either on the Anonymizer web site or on founder Lance Cottrell’s privacy blog. Private Surfing customers are now required to download a anonymizing client that handles all TCP traffic, but the program is Windows-only (with Vista support still a work-in-progress). And of course it’s closed-source, which means it has few advantages over several other alternatives.”

Slashdot

RIAA Admits ‘Stream-ripping’ Is Not A Problem

July 19, 2007

I guess this is about as close to good news as you’re going to get when it concerns the RIAA.

“The Digital Freedom Campaign today responded to a statement made by RIAA Senior VP of Govt Relations, Mitch Glazier in a recently noted that stream ripping, an unrelated issue to the current Internet radio royalty rate debates, was not necessarily a problem.

Mr. Glazier, addressing the logic behind a sudden effort by the recording industry to require webcasters to adopt anti-stream ripping technology was asked whether stream-ripping was even a problem, stated, “why wait until it is a big problem to start addressing it? There are available technologies in the marketplace to address this issue.” The ‘stream-ripping’ issue is not relevant to the Internet royalty rate decision by the Copyright Royalty Board in March, and was not mentioned in the CRB ruling.

“The music industry’s top lobbyist is calling for the implementation of a burdensome, costly, and completely unnecessary technology by webcasters who play and promote the artists the RIAA claims to represent. He then admits that the issue is “not a big problem,” said Jennifer Stoltz, a spokesperson for the Digital Freedom Campaign. “For the RIAA to try to impose unrealistic and wholly unnecessary technical mandates on an innovative and vibrant industry as part of larger, unrelated negotiations process is baffling.”

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SunRocket is Toast?

July 17, 2007

“All right people, its all over. SunRocket has hit the dirt. Check our this internal email which went out earlier today to the employees. Now it is hard to ascertain the authenticity of the email, it is clear from recent developments that this was coming. The email was sent out by Sonya Jefferson, Director of Routing and Carrier Services earlier this morning. Jefferson is also looking for a new gig.”

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Photobucket Allows Public Access To Private Photos

July 14, 2007

“I got an email from Ryan N today describing a huge privacy leak in Photobucket – allowing anyone to look at anyone else’s private photos. Photobucket protects photos normally by password protecting them.”

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Why does Linux suck?

July 14, 2007

Don’t shoot me, I’m only the messenger here.  I do however agree with many of the points of the article.  It’s not a Linux bashing article at all.  It simply states things are clearly in the way of Linux gaining mass adoption.

“Given that 93% of the desktops in the world run an Operating System that costs an arm-and-a-leg, there must be something seriously wrong when you cannot give your Operating System away. So, why does Linux suck?

Consistency

Linux is a modular Operating System, unlike Windows, it can combine any number of software packages to create a distribution. The end result is that there is no single Linux Operating System, but rather, a diverse number of variations. These variations can have different commands, desktops, directory structures, hardware detection systems, installation managers and software applications.”

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Easy TV To Resume Free TV Listings For Myth TV Users

July 14, 2007

“Zap2it users can breathe a little easier, but probably shouldn’t break out the champagne just yet. It looks like there is a solution in the works for the continuation of its free TV listings service, although details are still somewhat sketchy.
Easy TV Data was created in response to Zap2it Labs announcement that they would be discontinuing their free TV listings XML based service effective September 1, 2007, due to abuse of the service. Although, tight on the details, it looks like Easy TV is in negotiations with Zap2It Labs to transition the service so it can continue, hopefully without interruption.”

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