News Archive 2007

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Study reveals employees ignore IT policies

According to Net Security, more than a third of US employees ignore their companies' IT policies.

John Pironti, member of ISACA’s Education Board, said that the most often broken policies are not using peer-to-peer networks while at work, causing breaches in the confidentiality and security of an entire corporate network.

According to the study, most employees do not really care, over 65% of the professionals said they are not very concerned or not concerned at all with their privacy. Over 63% said that they don't care about the security of their information while at work and over 74% think that downloading personal software on the work computer is not wrong.

The national study was commissioned by the nonprofit, independent organization ISACA.

This news article was written on November 1, 2007.

Microsoft to release new version of Windows XP

Microsoft has announced that it will release next month an updated version of Windows XP to OEMs.

The updated version of Windows XP will contain Service Pack 2c and will resolve the shortage of product keys caused by the unexpected longevity of the operating system. This update will allow OEMs to ship Windows XP Professional up to its end of life on the 31st of January, 2009.

The end of life date for Windows XP Professional is the 31st of January, 2008 but System Builders have 12 more months before they have to find an alternative operating system.

This news article was written on August 11, 2007.

JEDEC approves DDR3 RAM standard

The memory standard association JEDEC has completed the development and publication of the DDR3 standard.

The association hopes DDR3 will be accepted by companies due to its improvements in performance and reduced power consumption, compared to DDR1 and DDR2.

DDR3 uses a 1.5V power supply and can work at higher temperatures, among other features such as dynamic on-die terminations, output driver calibration and write leveling. The capacity of the DDR3 memory modules can reach 8Gb.

This news article was written on June 27, 2007.

Microsoft buys Aquantive for $6 billion

Microsoft has purchased Aquantive for around $6 billion, paying $66.50 for each share, at a moment when the usual price on NASDAQ was $35.87.

Aquantive is based in Seattle and owns the Avenue A and Razorfish solutions.

Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer said the acquisition was intended to grow MSN and its other net offerings, including Windows Live, Office Live and Xbox Live.

This news article was written on May 20, 2007.

Firefox 3 Alpha 4 released

The Mozilla Foundation has released an alpha build of its upcoming FireFox 3.0, with the code name Gran Paradiso.

This alpha has the mark 3.0b4, and it is being distributed to web designers and developers, so that they can check to see if all the features or add-ons function in this new generation application.

This is a public build that is not meant to replace your current browser. However, it works really well and is very stable.

This news article was written on April 30, 2007.

PS3 1.60 Firmware to add more features

PlayStation 3 will receive new features with the next firmware upgrade, version 1.60.

The system update will give users the the ability to download files from the PlayStation Network in the background. Right now, PS3 stops any activity and stays focused on the download progress bar and does not allow downloads to be resumed. Users are often upset about this, considering the fact that games like Gran Turismo HD Concept can reach 625 MB.

The firmware will also include the Folding@home functionality, giving owners of a PS3 the opportunity to use their new game system to help find real-life cures to diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, cystic fibrosis and many cancers.

Web browsing will also be better: users will be able to zoom pages and switch between resolutions for easier surfing.

This news article was written on March 20, 2007.

FAIR USE Act may limit DCMA restrictions

U.S. Representative Rick Boucher has proposed a new bill in the Congress that aims to allow consumers to copy and safely play digital material that they legally own, and to protect user rights for consumers of copyright material. The bill also aims to protect fair use in hardware devices, which The RIAA is strongly against as of this moment.

Under the Freedom and Innovation Revitalizing U.S. Entrepreneurship (FAIR USE) Act, users will be allowed to copy material they own, but will also be granted exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA. Users will be allowed to make limited copies of copyrighted material for personal purposes as well as for reviews, news reporting and education. Also, manufacturers and service providers will not be held accountable for what customers do with their devices and services.

"The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) dramatically tilted the copyright balance toward complete copyright protection at the expense of the public's right to fair use," said U.S. Representative Rick Boucher.


A fragment from the FAIR USE doctrine, available online here, reads:

The court shall remit statutory damages for secondary infringement, except in a case in which the copyright owner sustains the burden of proving, and the court finds, that the act or acts constituting such secondary infringement were done under circumstances in which no reasonable person could have believed such conduct to be lawful.

According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), "the bill would loosen the grip of the DMCA, which restricts circumvention of digital rights management (DRM) restrictions even for lawful uses".

This news article was written on March 8, 2007.

AMD releases final specs for DTX format

After a first announcement in January, AMD has released the final DTX case format specifications.

DTX motherboards are designed to fit inside ATX cases and DTX cases will support mini-ITX motherboards, allowing full backwards compatibility.

The main advantage of this DTX case format is that it allows manufacturers to produce four boards on a standard manufacturing panel size. The DTX specification is slightly larger than Via's mini ATX form factor, but inlike the mini ATX form factor, DTX includes a mandatory two expansion slots - either PCI or PCI-Express.

The DTX motherboards will require a standard 24-pin power connector and an additional 2x2 power connector.

This news article was written on February 20, 2007.

YouTube asked to remove Viacom videos

Viacom has requested YouTube to remove almost 100.000 unauthorized video clips from the site after licensing negotiations have failed.

"It has become clear that YouTube is unwilling to come to a fair market agreement that would make Viacom content available to YouTube users," said Viacom in a public statement issued on Friday.

At this moment there is no information about future attempts to negociate another agreement in the near future. Viacom currently owns cable networks MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1 and also owns the Paramount Pictures movie studio.

YouTube has agreed to comply with Viacom's request and a spokesman said "it's unfortunate that Viacom will no longer be able to benefit from YouTube's passionate audience, which has helped to promote many of Viacom's shows".

This news article was written on February 4, 2007.

RIAA sues AllOfMP3.com for $1.6 trillion

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has started a lawsuit against the Russian online music site, AllOfMP3.com for $1.6 trillion.

Although it has been known that the RIAA intended to sue Mediaservices, which owns AllofMP3.com and allTunes.com, for illegally flogging copyrighted music, it was not clear how much or how the recording industry lobby group intended to do it.

According to Zeropaid.com, it seems that RIAA wants $150,000 for each of the 11 million songs allegedly pirated.

RIAA is taking its court action in New York and not in Russia where AllofMP3 operates. An AllofMP3 company spokesman pointed out that his company does not operate in New York so the suit is unjustified. The company obeys Russian copyright laws and even pays a chunk of its profits to the RIAA's equivalent in that country. It pays the standard 15 per cent Russian licensing fee that applies to online music to ROM, the Russian Organisation for Multimedia.

However, RIAA denies the right of ROM to exist, because the organisation has negotiated Internet deals that would weaken the RIAA's case if they were adopted globally and these fees are lower than RIAA deems acceptable to itself.

This news article was written on January 2, 2007.