Obama may have sold the idea of hope and change to the American populace, but can his name sell a low-power PC? Little known Taiwanese company Seed seems to think so, who was spotted selling what it's calling the 'Obama PC,' otherwise known as a nettop, and a pretty basic one at that.
Built around the mini-ITX form factor, the Obama PC comes configured with an Intel Atom 230 processor nestled into Intel's 945GC chipset, 2GB of memory, a 500GB hard drive, DVD burner, four rear-mounted USB 2.0 ports, two PS/2 ports, a parallel port, a serial port, a D-sub connector, and a 10/100Mb Ethernet port. It also adds another two USB 2.0 ports on the front, a 3.5-inch drive bay, and an internal PCI expansion slot.
The presidential PC sells for NT$7,999, which converts to about $242 in U.S. currency. No word on whether or not Seed plans to import a version for sale in the U.S. If it does, look for Biden-branded peripherals to accompany it.
After Obama’s website, black hats have now managed to sow the seeds of deceit in Google video search results. Security firm Trend Micro has discovered that that about 400,000 queries trigger Google Video search results that “have a single redirection point, and one that eventually leads to malware download and execution.” The black hats have been able to manipulate search results to their advantage using simple SEO techniques. For this purpose, they have reserved several domains and populated them with keywords.
According to Trend Micro, the malware executable, dubbed WORM_AQPLAY.A, proliferates using removable and network drives. The malware executable is disguised as an Adobe Flash installer. The malware only prompts the user to download the malicious Flash installer when he reaches one of the malefic video websites being run by the black hats.
Online scammers have contrived an ingenuous way to ride Obama’s rampant wave of popularity. According to Websense Security Labs, certain unscrupulous elements have registered several accounts on my.barackobama.com, the social network on Obama’s website that affords all standard social networking features to users, including personal profiles, groups and blogs.
The charlatans created various accounts on the website and planted a hideous Youtube image with the message, “click here to see movie.” Users who click on the image mistaking it for a Youtube video are redirected instead to a website, which resembles Youtube, but appears to be fraught with pornographic content.
However, when a user proceeds to view one of the videos the website asks the user to download a missing video codec. In its stead is downloaded a Trojan. Further proof of Obama's widespread popularity.
It looks as though the United States will not only get its first Chief Technology Officer (CTO), but according to the Agenda for Homeland Security, the Obama administration also plans to hire a new national cyber advisor. The report, which was released on Wednesday, lists several goals for combating terrorism, including ways to protect information networks.
Chief among the goals of protecting information networks is to "declare the cyber infrastructure a strategic asset and establish the position of national cyber advisor who will report directly to the president and will be responsible for coordinating federal agency efforts and development of national cyber policy."
Other related goals listed in the report include initiating a safe computing R&D effort, protect the IT infrastructure, prevent corporate cyber-espionage, develop a cyber crime strategy to minimize the opportunities for criminal profit, and mandate standards for securing personal data and require companies to disclose personal information data breaches.
We'd accuse Intel of trying to smoodge its way to the top, except that the No. 1 chip maker is already there and doesn't appear poised to relinquish its position. But Intel CTO Justin R. Rattner has reached out to the incoming Obama administration's newly created CTO with an open letter asking that technology in education, environment, heatlhcare, and internet broadband be prioritized.
If you attended CES this year, you may have been among the thousands who participated in a related survey, in which Intel asked respondents what they felt should be the top priorities for the first ever U.S. CTO. The survey results played a role Rattner's letter, in which he asks the new CTO to double NSF and DOE research budgets, enact a multi-year extension of the R&D tax credit, establish a national policy around green technology, give incentives for ISPs to deploy affordable broadband nationwide, create a new healthcare network system that would connect doctors, hospitals, labs, and patients by 2012, and more.
Read the full letter here (PDF), along with Rattner's blog entry on the subject here. Original survey can be found here (PDF).
There are numerous websites that allow you to download Youtube videos – and videos hosted on other sites – directly to your desktop. All of them have capitalized on the lack of a downloading feature on Youtube. However, they might just have to conceive a superb contingency plan as Youtube has jeopardized their very existence by inaugurating an indigenous download feature.
The feature is currently only available on President Obama’s Youtube channel as Google appears to be testing waters. You can check it out at this link.
Vivek Kundra is a strong contender as he has relevant experience. He is currently the CTO of the government of Washington, D.C. Indian-born Kundra spent a fair amount of his childhood in Tanzania before his parents brought him to Maryland at the age of 11.
Cisco’s CTO, Padmasree Warrior, is the other candidate. She has also served as a chief technology officer at Motorola. Warrior was also born in India and studied at the much vaunted Indian Institute of Technology. “President-elect Obama and his team fully understand the importance of digital infrastructure to further our technology leadership as a nation”, she told BusinessWeek.
President-elect Barack Obama has yet to officially take office, but the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has already begun briefing him with its political wish list, which is available for all to see. New transition team policies means that the Obama transition team is publicizing its meetings with interest groups and making all materials provided by those groups available on the change.gov website.
In the one-page MPAA document, Canada and Spain are singled out for "priority trade policy attention," and a call is made for more pressure on other countries to curb camcording in theaters, which the MPAA claims "remains the major source of pirated motion pictures." But the most interesting part of the document is a section titled Fighting Internet Piracy.
"One of the MPAA's top priorities is attacking internet piracy, through vigorous investigation and enforcement worldwide, as well as working with governmens to ensure that their laws provide adequate remedies to stop internet piracyand are in full compliance with the WIPO Treaties," the MPAA writes.
The MPAA goes on to point out recent efforts by the governments of France and the UK as having useful models, which is a reference to the controversial 'three-strikes' rule (officially dubbed 'graduated response') the music industry has been pushing in Europe, according to ArsTechnica.