We'd be remiss to claim that the tide is turning in the war against spam, but that doesn't stop us from getting excited at seeing the scumbags responsible suffer setbacks. Such was the case last month when the FTC said it had shut down one of the largest global spam networks allegedly responsible for sending billions of unsolicited emails. Now, less than one month later, a web hosting firm believed to be responsible for hosting roughly 75 percent of the world's spam has gone offline.
With servers housed in a 30-story office tower in downtown San Jose, California, hosting service McColo Corp. was shut down when two internet providers, Global Crossing and Hurricane Electric, cut off service after receiving reports about McColo's activities. Following the termination of service, security companies noticed an immediate drop in spam volumes, with email security firm IronPort claiming spam levels fell by about 66 percent for the 24 hour period ending Tuesday. Unfortunately, the drop isn't expected to last.
"We're seeing a slow recovery," said Nilesh Bhandari, product manager with IronPort. "We fully expect this to recover completely, and to go into the highest ever spam period during the upcoming holiday season."
Even notebooks and PCs that earn Maximum PC's coveted Kick Ass award leave room for improvement. Take Gateway's stellar P-7811FX gaming notebook, for instance. Somehow, Gateway managed to cram a bevy of high componentry into a package that's priced way below what gamers are accustomed to paying for pixel pushing laptops. But while the 9800M GTS and 4GB of DDR3 RAM are noteworthy high points, the integrated speakers and poor placement of the optical drive's eject button are both less than ideal. More SATA ports would make for welcome additions, too.
We all have different ideas as to what's important when it comes to desktop and mobile PCs, but we're ultimately left at the mercy of the manufacturer. Think you can do better? In a joint effort between Asus and Intel, your ideas can be heard and shared, and might even materialize on an actual shipping product.
That's the concept behind WePC.com, a new site by Asus and Intel that encourages visitors to share ideas and even create what they would consider to be a Dream PC. After selecting from three different categories -- Gamer PC, Notebook, and Netbook -- you can describe your idea(s) and name your creation, and even upload an image of what you're envisioning. Selecting the Dream PC option gives you even more options, including the ability to post a YouTube video, and greater control over the specifics, like what ports should be included, whether a large hard drive or an SSD is more important, and much more.
Once published, other community members can vote on your creation and leave comments. And if intriguing or popular enough, Asus might even build it. With Intel inside, of course.
What do you envision? Hit the jump and tell us all about it.
Flickr's rolled out a new home page design that's intended to make it easier to see what's happening with your Flickr account and on Flickr in general.
Here's what's new:
The Your Photostream section now shows your five most recent uploads
Your Photostream also has a toggle to show recent activity (such as comments from friends, your replies, and pictures selected as favorites). Don't want any more comments on a particular item? Click its Mute button.
Click More Recent Activity to see other activity and change activity settings.
The Your Contacts section now shows more photos.
The Your Groups section now shows the most recent photos from your groups.
Want to reduce page clutter? Click the double arrow icon next to a section title to close it, or click it again to open it.
There's now a new Explore module on the home page that displays the latest activities.
The latest entry at the Flickr Blog and the latest Flickr Tip occupy the right margin of the page, along with more ways to use your photos.
Haven't logged in for awhile? I think you'll like the changes. Join us after the jump and let us know if you agree - or not.
Come December, directory assistance will hit the web in a big way, and it has nothing to do with the online yellow pages. Instead, ICANN has approved the creation of a new domain name, .tel, which will serve to offer a one-stop surfing destination to look up contact information on what it hopes will eventually include every individual and corporate entity.
ICANN says that .tel sites are stored within the DNS systems so that information can be "quickly accessed on any device from a game console to a PC to a mobile phone." Regardless of the vehicle, navigators could, for example, head over to WillSmithMPC.tel to gain access to a wealth of contact information, including address, phone, Facebook URL, IM, Twitter, and whatever else the MPC editor-in-chief chose to share. Companies can purchase a domain name too, meaning you could visit MaximumPC.tel to see who's on staff and other contact information for your favorite magazine.
The new Telnic-owned domains will go on sale this December with initial registrations reserved for trademark owners. General availability opens up to public on March 24, 2009. Pricing yet to be announced.
Last week GoDaddy began selling top-level .me domains for the first time ever, and it didn't take long for thousands of registrants to pounce on the newly available naming scheme. The frenzy started immediately after opening registration and according to GoDaddy, in the first 24 hours it "registered more than 20,000 .me names, making it the most successful new domain launch" in the company's history.
As previously reported, the launch wasn't without its technical difficulties as GoDaddy found its servers temporarily overwhelmed, resulting in a few customers purchasing domain names that already belonged to someone else. Those customers were refunded, but still left without a domain name. Perhaps you're one of them, and if so, here's a list of domain names that have not yet been taken:
Have an idea for a better one that's still available? Share it below!
Now open to the general public, GoDaddy has begun selling top-level .me domains. As expected, response so far has been tremendous, even more so than GoDaddy anticipated. Mashable reports that several people are claiming to have registered Aweso.me, representing an apparent glitch from the massive amount of orders being put in during the digital domain gold rush phase. GoDaddy is aware of problem, saying:
"We knew the .ME Open Registration response would be tremendous, but it went beyond even what we had expected. As a result, we experienced some system issues in our communication with the registry.
As soon as we became aware of the issue we bagan taking steps to correct it. It is now resolved.
For our customers, if we did not successfully register the domain name requested they will receive a full refund. "
The new domains run $20/yr with a 2-year minimum purchase, and they're going fast. It's too late to register John, Paul, or Mary.me, along with many other common names, but if you're quick you can still snag HoorayFor.Me, which is what you might be heard saying if you manage to find any good ones that are still left.
Tom, Dave, Norm, and Andy get together to bring you a dose of tech news to listen to as you head out to celebrate the 4th of July. This week, Dave dresses up as Uncle Sam and discusses Microsoft's PC gaming strategy while Norm steps away from the Maximum PC pie-eating contest to discuss the upcoming iPhone launch.
Do you have a tech question? A comment? A tale of technological triumph? Just need to get something off your chest? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our 24-hour No BS Podcast hotline at 877.404.1337 x1337--operators are standing by.
On our leanest podcast ever, Tom, Will, Norm, and Andy put on their best suits to go over the fancy features of the new Maximum PC website. Norm recaps his visit to a recent Games for Windows press event, and shares details about the upcoming Ghostbusters and Call of Duty: World at War PC games. No listener Q&A this week, but listeners are challenged to come up with nicknames for our two new interns. A photo of these young nerdlings can be found after the jump. All this and more on this week's No BS Podcast!
Why hello there. Fancy bumping into you here. I’m Norman, Maximum PC’s newly minted Online Editor, though you might remember me from such roles as Norm the Intern at PC Gamer magazine. Along with our esteemed Editor-In-Chief Will Smith, I’d like to welcome you to the new Maximum PC website. We’ve been working on the website re-launch for the past few months, and we’re thrilled to finally be able to share it with you.
But before you jump in, I want to take this opportunity to spotlight some of the fancy new features of the site, including a few that you’ve been requesting for a long time. Read on for more!