Internet Explorer flaw bigger than expected - Network World
A day after its massive Patch Tuesday release, Microsoft last week warned of a new Internet Explorer vulnerability that could be used to steal user information. At the time, it was thought that only IE7 that was affected. Turns out all versions of IE are vulnerable and hackers are taking action, according to the SANS Internet Storm Center. Microsoft has not yet released a patch for the flaw, which affects everything from IE5 to IE8 beta. The company is recommending a number of risk-mitigating steps, but it might be best to use a different browser until patches are available. If you haven't yet patched IE to protect against the XML exploit, visit Microsoft's December 2008 security advisory. This Web page, which began as an announcement of the Redmond company's planned patch, changes automatically to information about installing the patch as soon as the fix is released.
Songbird - Open Source Music Player
Songbird is an open-source customizable music player that's under active development.
We're working on creating a non-proprietary, cross platform, extensible tool that will help enable new ways to playback, manage, and discover music.
Songbird: Killer Add-ons Make Songbird So Much Better
Songbird's developers chose wisely when it came to the extensions it recommends installing when you first load Songbird. iPod Device Support, QuickTime Playback and Windows Media Playback give owners of protected files, and iPods, access to their tunes with few hitches. Shoutcast Radio and Last.fm integrate nicely as streaming players, and Concerts tells you whenever an artist you dig in your library is swinging by town to play a live gig. Last, but certainly not least, mashTape gives you all kinds of web-driven contextual content on your played artist, putting artist info, news, photos, and videos from a wide variety of popular sources—Flickr, YouTube, Wikipedia, Digg, etc.—in your bottom tray. All worthy of installation, and, in some cases, hard to imagine music browsing without.
Those familiar with Seeqpod's find-and-stream MP3 search engine can smile at its seamless Songbird integration. A search bar and results listing pops open in a new tab, and you can queue up over-the-net tracks or download them directly to your library or specific playlists. Downloads head into your standard Songbird downloads window, and, well, that's it—it just works, and it expands your library exponentially, assuming you're down with the kind of quasi-legality involved.
As a long-time iTunes user, this is the add-on your long-suffering editor is probably most excited about. The Exorcist adds two views to your media listing options, Ghost Tracks and Duplicate Tracks, that do exactly what you'd hope—list songs referenced in your library without a related media file, and list any songs that seem to be similar in file size or metadata. Better still, those views show you the full path of duplicate files, and offer buttons to just clear out all duplicates or find your missing tracks.
If a single play/pause button just doesn't do it for you, you can add a stop button that looks built-in with this tiny, helpful extension. Not the sexiest of extensions, for sure, but a good indicator of the Firefox-like potential to customize Songbird to whatever shape you want it in—once more add-ons make the list and get updated.
Tune Up: Your music collection is a mess, TuneUp fixes it
Best Of 2008: Most Popular Free Windows Downloads of 2008
Best Of 2008: Most Popular Free Mac Downloads of 2008
Best Of 2008: Most Popular Free Linux Downloads of 2008
Conroy and Trujillo break Mexican standoff over NBN? > Silicon Lust > Blogs > PC Authority
Sol Trujillo and his amigos at Telstra have been holding the country's technological future to ransom during the debate over who will control the next generation of Australia's internet infrastructure. Finally someone has the cojones to stand up to them.
Telstra's arrogance in filing an NBN proposal that it knew didn't meet the requirements was a strategic gamble that most people expected to pay off. Had Communications Minister, Senator Conroy conceded and accepted the proposal, it would have made a mockery of the process - giving Telstra a green light to walk all over the government.
Over the weekend Conroy delivered a rather rude shock to Sol by rejecting Telstra's bid. This would seem to put Telstra out of the race, leaving the field wide open for the five other bidders.
Google Flu Trends
It's been found that certain search terms are good indicators of flu activity. Google Flu Trends uses aggregated Google search data to estimate flu activity in US states up to two weeks faster than traditional systems
Macworld 2009 rumour mill: Windkintosh? > News > PC Authority
One rumour that seemingly won't die is the idea of a Mac OS X Netbook PC.
Apple's remaining mum, but that hasn't stopped the Hackintosh community from "porting" OS X to a variety of Netbooks, albeit with limited functionality -- most notably, a lack of Wireless functionality due to the absence of suitable drivers.
Asking a company to provide OS X drivers for their netbooks has, up until now, been met with silence, and probably a little quaking on the vendor side as they wait for the heavy footsteps of Apple's army of lawyers.
It seems, however, that Realtek, who provide the WiFi chip found in the MSI Wind U100, are dipping their toes into the legally iffy world of the Hackintosh. Forum users at MSIWind.Net asked politely for drivers, and after a lot of patience, Beta drivers were provided.
There's still a few catches; aside from the obvious legal issues, the drivers get WiFi functionality working, but not via Airport. Instead, what you end up with looks like a Bluetooth connection to OS X, which could be interesting if you wanted to pair with a mobile phone as well.
Macworld 2009: Apple says it's the last hurrah > News > PC Authority
come Macworld in January 2009, where we're hoping to see the likes of Snow Leopard on display, Jobs will not be gracing the stage. In news bound to send dismay into the hearts of the Apple faithful, Apple says the Macworld keynote - usually where Jobs takes the glory - will this time be delivered by Philip Schiller, Apple's senior worldwide marketing vice president (that's the shortened version).
That's not all. Apple says the January 2009 event will be Apple's "last year" at Macworld, an event which began in 1985.
Yahoo: Yahoo Mail to Get Third-Party Applications
The beta version of Yahoo Mail is getting third-party applications like Xoopit, WordPress, Flixster, and Flickr—and other Yahoo products are also seeing upgrades, TechCrunch reports.
In what at first appears to be an answer to Gmail Labs, Yahoo Mail is getting third-party apps that let you do things like attach one of your Flickr images to a new messages easily. More interestingly, the new "social" Yahoo Mail will be able to prioritize your incoming email by the people with whom you have an established relationship. TechCrunch writes:
When you view your inbox, you can choose to view messages from just your “connections”, letting you filter out all of the email that ostensibly means less to you. Contacts (which includes everyone in your address book) are different than connections, which are suggested by Yahoo’s algorithm and explicitly identified by users. Invitations to connect are either generated by Yahoo’s algorithm or sent manually by your contacts. Connections appear to be like “friendships” on social networks like MySpace and Facebook, but Yahoo is insisting that the relationships will be used in a variety of ways not found on traditional social networks (such as this mail filtering).
Wikipedia: Wikipedia Officially Launches Mobile Version
Popular user-edited online encyclopedia Wikipedia has finally released a mobile-friendly version of the web site at mobile.wikipedia.org.
The site offers a trimmed down version of Wikipedia proper, supports 14 languages, and even has a mysterious Spoken Wikipedia setting that—though currently not enabled, may presumably one day read Wikipedia articles to you.
Gartner Identifies Top Ten Disruptive Technologies for 2008 to 2012 | eHomeUpgrade
Social networking technologies, web mashups, multicore and hybrid processors and cloud computing are amongst the ten most disruptive technologies that will shape the information technology (IT) landscape over the next five years, according to research and advisory firm Gartner, Inc.
2008's top ten most-searched tech terms : Christopher Null : Yahoo! Tech
Some are surprises, some not so much. Either way: Here are the top 10 terms for 2008, as dictated by you.
10. Garmin - The GPS maker (with a 56% market share) considerably outclassed searches for "GPS." Competitor Tom Tom was the #13 search term.
9. iPod - Now seven years old, ye olde iPod is still a perennial top search on the web.
8. PS3 - The PlayStation 3 is crawling into its own this year, with more games, new models, and an improved online experience.
7. Skype - Though growth is slowing, interest in the leading provider of VOIP calls continues to be high.
6. BlackBerry - With the new BlackBerry Bold and the upcoming BlackBerry Storm, interest in the venerable RIM smart phone continues to surge.
5. PSP - Surprise: The PSP outranks both the PS3 and the Nintendo DS when it comes to the sheer volume of web searches.
4. Xbox 360 - Another game console on the list, no big shock. The Xbox continues its popularity this year thanks to some big price cuts, awesome games, and its upcoming new dashboard.
3. Wii - No mystery on this one. Wiimania continues its run in 2008. "Wii Fit" alone was the #12 search term of the year.
2. iPhone - Have you heard of this device? Apparently Apple has some sort of mobile telephone product out now. Sounds interesting! Must research this.
1. Digital Camera - Check this out! Never mind your iPods, your iPhones, and your gaggle of video game consoles, it's the humble, generic "digital camera" that was the top tech search term this year to date
Top 10 Best Gadgets of 2008 - Breakthrough Awards - Year's Best Toys - Popular Mechanics - which includes:
Microsoft Photosynth -This remarkable software, which can be downloaded for free, analyzes dozens (or hundreds) of photos taken of a location or subject—the Eiffel Tower, say, or a room in a museum. It looks for overlapping points in the images, then arranges the snapshots into a browsable 3D model. The result is a fresh way to organize and share photography—opening up new possibilities for a 180-year-old art form.
Spore - Few video games have built up as much anticipatory buzz as Spore, and it’s not just the game’s pedigree (it was designed by Will Wright, the mastermind behind SimCity and The Sims) or its grand scope (players guide the evolution of a universe). It’s the technology. Spore doesn’t rely on stock characters stored in a library of animations. Instead, the software uses sophisticated logic to allow players’ creations to interact spontaneously.
Amazon Kindle - Like previous e-book
readers, the Amazon Kindle relies on an easy-to-read E Ink display that
needs no backlight and draws power only when loading a new page. (It
can handle thousands of pages between charges.) The Kindle’s key
innovation—the one that blazes the way for digital paper products—is
its inclusion of a high-speed EVDO antenna and a deal with Sprint that
allow users to download books quickly, from nearly anywhere.
Livescribe Pulse Smartpen - Smart pens, which
digitize handwriting for later manipulation on a PC, have been more
like novelties than productivity tools. Not this one. The Livescribe
Pulse smart pen uses an integrated microphone and a revolutionary
method to record and retrieve audio. The user taps his or her
handwritten notes to get the pen to play the appropriate audio.
Potenko PCG1 Power Generator - The Potenco PCG1
pull-cord generator creates electricity for portable gadgets with far
greater efficiency than hand-cranked devices. The PCG1 is the geek-chic
version of a generator for the developing world. It weighs 14 ounces,
has both an internal NiMh battery and a mini-USB output jack and can
convert 2 minutes of effort into 40 minutes of cellphone talk time.
Intel Atom Processor - In addition to being a marvel of miniaturization (47 million transistors on a single 26 x 26 mm chip), the Atom processor is brilliantly efficient, with a power specification ranging from below 1 watt to 2.5 watts. Chips such as the Atom, made possible by a new Intel manufacturing process, can bring computer-level power to highly portable devices—further blurring the distinction between cellphones and computers.