Daily News Brief: iPhone Killer on the Horizon?


Verizon's Voyager Takes on iPhone

While Apple continues to alienate a portion of its customer-base with premature price cuts and bricked iPhones , some competitors are seeing opportunity. Enter Verizon, who today unveiled the LG Voyager . Featuring a similar aesthetic design, the Voyager operates on a faster network (3G), comes with a full keypad, and support for MP3, WMA, and unprotected AAC files. Enter ' can you hear me now ' joke here.

Too Attached to Robots?

You've heard of the Roomba vacuum cleaner, and if you've been around anyone that's owned one, you may have heard the iRobot Corp. creation referred to as a member of the family. In a study involving emotional design , Ph.D. student Ja Young Sung found that people are naming their Roombas, traveling with them, and even introducing them to their parents. Some also arbitrarily assigned a gender, referring to the device as he . But before you too get too cozy with your lifelike appliances, we must caution that not all robots are deserving of our affection - just ask Old Glory Insurance...

Evan Almighty Encourages Online Shopping

Blu-ray and HD-DVD continue to look for ways to get a leg up on each other, and today Universal Studios announced that the HD-DVD Evan Almighty will be the first disc to include an online shopping feature . The move highlights the ability of all Toshiba HD-DVD players to utilize a broadband internet connection, a feat not found on all Blu-ray. Evan Almighty will contain a simple web browser, giving viewers access to Universal's online store with products related to the movie. It's anyone's guess which will be the first romantic comedy to connect to FTD.

Adobe Previews Online Photoshop Express

Last night Adobe systems showed of their online version of Photoshop (Photoshop Express) at the Max 2007 developer conferences. The Flash-based image editor aimed at consumers (not professionals) runs inside a web browser, giving users the ability to remove red-eye with a single click. You can also preview images with various effects, view a timeline of thumbnail images cataloguing all the changes made, selectively change colors, and other impressive features for a web based app. Still no word yet on when Photoshop Express will be made available to the public.

Malware Writers Hath No Shame!

We already knew this, and spreading malware in email purported to have been written by the Dalai Lama only furthers the claim. Taking advantage of the violent protests in Myanmar, security firm Sophos alerted the public to a new scam making the rounds. The malicious email contains a Word document seemingly written by the Dalai Lama in support of pro-democratic demonstrations, but really contains malware, opening a back door and making the PC vulnerable to attack. The dirty attachment only works on machines with Word installed.

CoolWebSearch Gets Man Fired?

It might have! David Farr, a hospital respiratory therapist, was fired for having pornographic bookmarks in his favorites, despite his claims in a lawsuit (ultimately dismissed) that malware put them there. Is it inconceivable? The widespread CoolWebSearch malware is capable of doing just what he alleges, with some reports estimating 5 million infected sites. A computer forensics specialist backed Farr's claims, but the court refused to listen. There's a lesson to be learned here - surf safely, and take anti-malware measures into your own hands; your job could depend on it.

Around the web