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Monthly Archives: August 2009

WPA Encryption Cracked in One Minute

In Japan, computer scientists say they have discovered a method of breaking the WPA encryption system used in wireless routers in around a minute. The method gives hackers a way to view encrypted traffic sent between certain types of routers that use the WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) encryption system. The attack was developed by Masakatu Morii of Kobe University Toshihiro Ohigashi of Hiroshima University. Security researchers first showed how WPA could be broken last November, but the Japanese researchers have taken this attack to a new level. They discussed their attack in a paper presented at the Joint Workshop on Information Security held in Kaohsiung, Taiwan earlier this month. Courtesy of networkworld.com ... --

Will XP Users Finally Switch?

Twitter, the microblogging program craze, has prompted two researchers to use it as a hedonimeter, or a device that measures happiness. Christopher M. Danforth and Peter Sheridan Dodds, both statisticians at the University of Vermont, are hoping to utilize the stream of messages flowing through the platform in order to interpret public opinion and sentiment in real time. The ultimate goal is to establish an index, something like the Dow Jones industrial average, that is able to provide an overall idea of how a collective body of people are feeling at a given point in time. The theory is that tracking and analyzing public Web opinions could yield more accurate results than other surveys because the responses are unfiltered and therefore more genuine. In additionto their main study, the researchers hope to observe how one user’s mood... --

U.S. Government Fights Foreign Censorship

The U.S. government has been covertly testing technology in both China and Iran which lets residents break through firewalls set up by their governments to limit access to news on the Internet. Ken Berman, head of IT at the U.s. government's Broadcasting Board of Governors, said that the "feed over email" (FOE) system delivers news, podcasts and data via technology that smoothly evades web-screening protocols of restrictive regimes.   The news feeds are sent through email accounts including those operated by Google Inc, Microsoft Corp's Hotmail and Yahoo Inc. The Internet has recently become a very powerful tool for citizens in countries whose governments regularly censor news media, enabling them to learn about and predictably, react to major social and political events. In addition to China and Iran, targets for the FOE technology include Myanmar, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan... --

Knol Falls Another Notch

Google’s Knol has never posed any real threat to Wikipedia, but now the knowledge-sharing site is slowly embarassing itself before Craigslist. The original idea behind Knol was people collaboratively writing definitive articles about any topic they like and getting rewarded by earning a share of the AdSense revenues from each page they author. But that model doesn’t work if no one actually reads the articles on Knol. Only 174,000 people visited the site in the past month. And if your Knol page isn’t throwing up enough AdSense pennies to make it worth your while, the next step seems to be selling a pair of stereo speakers directly to the few surfers who somehow ended up at Knol.

Unfortunately, selling your junk on Knol is not necessarily prohibited by... --


Microsoft and IE6 Growing Together

In the recent flurry of YouTube and other sites letting it be known they will no longer support the outdated version 6 of Internet Explorer, Microsoft's view on the point has been long awaited. And the truth is, they want to see IE6 gone as much as anyone else. But the final verdict seems to be that the company will not make the decision for its users. Eversince it arrived in March 2009, the software giant has been pushing IE6 and IE7 users to move over to IE8. But it's still up to the user to make the final decision to upgrade, as supported by the statement Microsoft has released. Microsoft seems determined to hold up their end of the bargain, as they "committed to supporting the IE included with Windows for the lifespan of... --

AOL Gets Into the News

During a phone interview today, Marty Moe of AOL outlined the “structural advantages” AOL enjoys over newspapers, magazines, and television networks selling news. These companies have been letting many talented journalists go over the past 18 months. These journalists are increasingly showing up on AOL’s payroll. Moe explains that AOL has none of the legacy costs associated with producing print publications such as printing presses or delivery trucks. Taking great advantage of this opportunity, AOL has began hiring up all these talented journalists, with some 1,500 on board already – a number it expects to double or even triple over the coming year. Some of them have been hired as full-time employees, while the greater majority work as freelancers. In light of Rupert Murdoch's recent decision to put all of his internet publications behind a paywall, AOL... --

Windows 7 + Macbook Battery Life = NO GO

Macbook users who prefer a Windows OS have been suffering for a long time due to how much their preferences reduce their battery life. But that's not surprising. Virtualization software required for running Windows has to simulate an entire PC environment, which is extremely hard on any CPU. The process also generates heat that must be dissipated by the MacBook's fan, which drains the battery even faster. But the draining has been said to afflict users running Windows on Macs who aren't using virtualization, but turning instead to Apple's Boot Camp software. Back in June, well-known hobbyist blog AnandTech posted the results of tests it ran, which found that battery life for a MacBook running Vista with BootCamp were25%-50% less that those with Mac OS X. Also, a CNET reviewer found that running Windows 7 on... --

Broken Licensing Agreement Threatens Skype

eBay has released a statement detailing why they may have to shut down Skype. Apparently the problem stems from a licensing dispute with the founders of the internet telephony service. The surprise announcement puts a serious damper on any excitement about the 40 million active daily users around the world who use Skype to keep in touch. Best known for online auctions, eBay bought Skype in 2005 from entrepreneurs Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis. But the $2.6 billion spent did not include an integral piece of peer to peer communications technology that is needed to power the software. Since then, the company has been licensing the technology from the founders’ new company, Joltid. In the last week. the pair recently decided to break the licensing agreement. The dispute has now become a legal battle in the... --

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