Tech Insider

Thursday, February 17, 2005

.IN Domains Available

The recently launched .IN country code internet domain name Registry services set up by the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) has opened the real-time registration for the general public from today. The official Internet domain .IN for the country will now be available to anyone who wants it. Today, within an hour of opening, nearly 24,000 domain names were registered successfully. Tens of thousands of registrations are expected to be registered within the first few days. .IN domain name registry received over 4000 applications from registered Indian trademark holders during the Sunrise period from January 1st-21st 2005, including applications from among the top 100 brands in India and worldwide.

.IN Registry has been created by NIXI promoted by the Department of Information Technology (DIT), as a ‘not-for-profit’ company in association with the Internet Service Providers Association of India. The registry has formulated new policies for the registration and administration of .IN domain names. These include the .IN Sunrise Policy’ and the .IN Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (INDRP)’. With a view to make .IN domain name registrations easier, faster and more transparent so as to make the internet available to more Indian population and thus reflect India’s global dominance in the field of Information Technology the above policies were framed.

Source: The Domain Times Net

Updated MyDoom Targets Google...Again

Another variant of the MyDoom worm, which spreads by sending copies of itself using its own mail engine and harvesting potential e-mail targets from search engines such as Google and Yahoo, has started spreading quickly.

Last summer, a MyDoom variant pumped so many queries into Google that the search engine was unavailable or very slow for large periods of time. The same variant of MyDoom also succeeded in knocking a number of smaller search engines--including Lycos and Altavista--off the Web completely.

Antivirus firm Sophos said the latest MyDoom variant searches an infected computer's hard disk for e-mail addresses and then reverts to an Internet search. Interestingly, the worm tries to search the Internet for e-mail addresses in the infected computer's domain--effectively targeting all users from a specific company or service provider.

According to a Sophos advisory, the worm "will send a query to the search engine using domain names from e-mail addresses found on the hard disk and then examine the query results, searching for more addresses."

Sean Richmond, senior technical consultant at Sophos in Australia and New Zealand, said that the latest variant was first detected early Thursday in that region and that as long as people have updated their virus definitions it shouldn't cause much of a problem.

"We saw a spate of samples come through over the last day into our lab. By now a lot of companies are already blocking dodgy zip files and quite a few of the infected e-mails are automatically blocked as spam. It is spreading but everyone (including alternative antivirus companies) are on top of things," Richmond said.

Sophos said the worm will send 45 percent of its queries to Google, 22.5 percent to Lycos, 20 percent to Yahoo and 12.5 percent to Altavista.

Antivirus firms Sophos, Computer Associates and Symantec all agree that the worm is spreading quickly but is relatively simple to remove using their latest antivirus definitions.

Source: CNET News

Intel Builds First Continuous Laser With Silicon

Researchers from Intel Corp. have created the first continuous laser beam using silicon components, a development the chip maker called a major scientific breakthrough that could herald significant advances in communications and medicine.

In a paper to be published on Thursday in the journal Nature, Intel's Photonics Technology Laboratory reported a way to overcome the primary hurdle to using silicon as a medium for laser light, an effect in which electrons freed by the energy of passing photons absorb the light as it passes through.

Researchers at the world's largest maker of microchips overcame that problem -- called two-photon absorption -- by using a technique from the world of semiconductors: it created positive and negative regions around the path of the laser light, which "vacuum" away electrons and provide a clear road for the laser.

A continuous laser beam generated through silicon, which is transparent to infrared light, could overcome cost and size limitations in current lasers used in surgery and communications, which are made with more exotic and expensive materials, Intel said.

Bahram Jalali, a professor of electrical engineering at the University of California in Los Angeles who has also done work with silicon lasers, said Intel's laser holds promise as the basis for defense applications, as in infrared jamming devices to defend against heat-seeking missiles.

He added, however, that Intel's device, technically called a silicon Raman laser, would not make a good replacement for other, more common laser applications.

"It is important to understand that the silicon Raman laser is not a replacement for existing diode lasers, such as the ones used in DVD players and telecom equipment," Jalali said. "Instead, it is a device that extends their operating range to longer wavelengths."

Mario Paniccia, the director of the photonics lab, said the device could have medical applications in the years ahead, replacing large lasers used for surgery that cost as much as $50,000 each with far less expensive and smaller devices.

Paniccia said Intel is aiming to create products from its work in silicon photonics by the end of the decade.

Last February, Intel reported on a way to use the silicon building blocks of computer chips to switch light on and off at high speeds. The silicon modulator took in laser light and pulsed it onto fiber-optic cables at very high speeds.

Source: Reuters

Microsoft Recalls Xbox Power Cords

REDMOND, Wash. — Feb. 17, 2005 — As a precautionary measure and out of concern for consumer safety, Microsoft Corp. today announced that it will voluntarily replace the power cords on 14.1 million Xbox consoles worldwide.

The replacement power cords are designed to protect consumers and their Xbox consoles from rare electrical component failures that can pose a fire hazard. Fewer than one in 10,000 consoles have experienced these component failures, and, in almost all instances, any damage caused by these failures was contained within the console itself or limited to the tip of the power cord at the back of the console.

However, in 30 consoles worldwide, these failures are reported to have caused minor injury or minor property damage.

In seven instances, customers reported sustaining a minor burn to their hand. In 23 instances, customers reported smoke damage, or minor damage to a carpet or entertainment center.

In all regions except Continental Europe, Xbox consoles manufactured before Oct. 23, 2003, require a replacement power cord. In Continental Europe, consoles manufactured before Jan. 13, 2004, require a replacement power cord.

“This is a preventative step we’re choosing to take despite the rarity of these incidents,” said Robbie Bach, senior vice president of the Home & Entertainment Division at Microsoft. “We regret the inconvenience, but believe offering consumers a free replacement is the responsible thing to do.”

To order a replacement cord, consumers should go to http://www.xbox.com and click on the Power Cord Replacement for Xbox link. Replacement cords will arrive two to four weeks after the order is placed. While waiting for the new cord to arrive, consumers should turn off their Xbox consoles when not in use.

Source: TeamXbox

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Microsoft To Introduce IE 7.0

Microsoft Corp. will release a new version of Internet Explorer, the world's most popular Internet browsing software, with new, built-in security features, Chairman Bill Gates said on Tuesday.

In a speech at a major security conference here, Gates said Internet Explorer 7.0, with new anti-spyware features, will be released for preliminary testing this summer.

The move comes three years after Microsoft, the world's biggest software company, launched a major initiative to improve the reliability and security of its software, which runs on about 90 percent of all personal computers.

Source: Reuters

RipGuard Aims To Stop DVD Piracy

Content protection software maker Macrovision announced Tuesday a software solution that could help curb the problem of illegal copying of DVDs.

The software, called RipGuard, plugs up a hole created by the popular DeCSS software. DeCSS allows the user to break the already present copy protection and make near-perfect copies of the discs for uploading to P2P networks or re-burned onto recordable DVDs.

Macrovision said no additional hardware or software is required on the players, as the technology is built into the disc. While protecting the content digitally, it will also protect it from analog copying (ACP) as well.

"Macrovision RipGuard DVD is designed to dramatically reduce DVD ripping and the resulting supply of illegal P2P content," said Steve Weinstein, general manager of Macrovision's Entertainment Technologies Group.

"Ultimately, we see RipGuard DVD and the ACP framework evolving beyond anti-piracy, and towards enablement of legitimate on-line transactions, interoperability in tomorrow’s digital home, and the upcoming high definition formats."

The feature is expected to be widely available in the second quarter of 2005.

Source: BetaNews