Daily News Brief: Apple Says, 'Hack Us? No, Hack You!'


Unlocked iPhones May Break

If you update them, that is. News spread like wildfire when iPhoneSimFree.com released their free software unlocking iPhones for use with any GSM network, but Apple warns they may hack back . Apple claims that the unauthorized programs " cause irreparable damage to the iPhone's software ," rendering the phone permanently inoperable after a future update. Hackers beware.

Upgrade Vista to XP!

Well, technically that's a downgrade, but some users are more than happy to make the switch back, and now they can , so long as they own Vista Business or Ultimate. Said owners have always had the right to switch back to XP, it just has never been easy to do. But in June, Microsoft started allowing OEMs with Vista-activated machines to order XP discs for inclusion with new systems. Just in time too; starting in January 31, 2008, Microsoft will no longer provide XP to OEMs as a main OS option.

Intel Cuts Coming

And we're not talking about price cuts. Instead, Intel will cut worldwide IT staff by 10 percent in a move to remain ' agile ' and ' efficient ' in a ' very competitive environment ,' according to Intel spokesperson Chuck Mulloy. Just like the Bobs had to do in Office Space , Intel will assess the skills of its employees, score them, and redeploy the ones that don't pass muster, in which they'll be given two months to find a new position, or be cut off with severance. Intel has cut more than 11,000 employees in the past two years.

FTC Tells Work-at-Home Company to Stuff It

Or more precisely, to stop stuffing it. The FTC filed a complaint back in September 2006 against Group C Marketing (doing business as HGB Publications) over their work-at-home schemes advertised on the net and in newspapers. For a $40 registration fee, Group C promised to provide all necessary materials to start an envelope stuffing business, and a lucrative one at that, claiming customers could " make $7 for each and every envelope you secure, stuff, and mail. " Predictably, the materials would never come. A U.S.court stamped Group C with a $287,500 verdict against them.

Facebook Part 1: Sex Solicitation

Following in MySpace's footsteps, Facebook finds themselves as a venue for teenage sex solicitation, and the New York Attorney General has taken notice . State investigators set up profiles posing as 12, 13, and 14-year olds and quickly found themselves receiving sexual offers from other Facebook members. After Facebook failed to respond to complaints about the solicitation, the Attorney General sent them a subpoena to turn over documents as part of their investigation into ' significant defects ' over safety.

Facebook Part 2: Drawing the Attention of Microsoft

Microsoft has shown interest in Facebook too, but not in the creepy way described above. Early speculation had MS possibly buying Facebook for $6 billion, but recent updates now have them in talks to acquire a 5% stake in the company, a move worth somewhere between $300 and $500 million. Word is that Google may also be a potential suitor.

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