MySpace and Facebook users now have bigger worries than whether Wordscraper will stay online: two new worms, known as the Koobface family, are attacking Windows users of these popular social networking (or "Notworking" sites, as our friends at The Inquirer call them). These new worms pose a threat to the peace of mind of people like Zac Koobface (a real Facebook user, by the way).
Kapersky Labs was the first to detect these worms: Net-Worm.Win32.Koobface.a (targets MySpace) and Net-Worm.Win32.Koobface.b (targets Facebook). McAfee refers to both worms as W32/Koobface.worm, while Symantec uses the terms W32.Koobface.A and W32.Koobface.B.
Both worms send comments or messages to other users of the service. The messages or comments contain alleged links to humorous YouTube files (such as "Paris Hilton Tosses Dwarf On The Street"). When the user clicks on the link, the link redirects to a website that displays an error message claiming the user needs an updated codec to enable the Adobe Flash player to play the video. The alleged Flash player update (codecsetup.exe) contain the worm.
When the Koobface.A worm runs, it configures itself to run automatically when the system starts, checks for MySpace cookies, and if it finds them, modifies the user's profile by adding links to malicious sites that contain the worm. To learn more about Koobface.A and Koobface.B, check the McAfee and Symantec links earlier in this article.
If you use Kapersky, McAfee, or Symantec antivirus, the latest virus definitions will detect and stop these worms. If you use other antivirus or anti-malware programs, check for updates daily - and don't click on funny video links from other MySpace or Facebook users. The results just aren't very funny.
Been bugged by these or other social-networking worms? Tell us your story after the jump!
Having squashed a last-minute bug found in the Mac OS X version, Mozilla has released the first preview of Firefox 3.1. Code namd "Shiretoko" after a national park on Japan's northern-most island of Hokkaido, the Alpha 1 build includes many of the features Mozilla hopes to add to the update before its final release ships in late 2008 or early 2009. These include improvements to the Smart Location Bar and better tab switching.
Pressing ctrl-tab in the Alpha 1 build switches users between current and last-viewed tabs instead of navigating through each one sequentially, similar to the alt-tab application switching in Windows (or command-tab for those of you grooving on a Mac). Users will also be able to see thumbnail previews of the pages in each tab. Surfers not wanting to get their hands dirty with an Alpha build can get this functionality now with the Ctrl-Tab extension.
Mozilla is also developing the Gecko 1.9.1 layout engine, which makes its debut in Firefox 3.1 Alpha 1. For this reason, expect sketchy compatibility when attempting to render some web pages.
If you choose to give the new build a whirl, be sure and let us know what you think below!
When Vista launched over a year ago we had many compelling reasons not to upgrade. But as time progressed and Microsoft silently addressed our woes, it seems clear; the Vista of today could be somewhat misjudged. That doesn’t make it perfect however, and Microsoft has owned up to this by releasing a 14 page guide with tried and tested tweaks that improve overall performance and boost notebook battery life. This free and easy to follow PDF guide walks you through native tools built into the OS which allow you to optimize Vista’s performance.The contents are especially helpful if you are new to Vista, having just come from XP, but even Vista veterans are bound to find a few things of note. If you manage to make your way through the Microsoft guide and are still looking for more, a host of other tweaks and tips can be found in both our online archives and Maximum PCs March 2008 print issue.
Yahoo isn't the only one facing the threat of a proxy battle. Kavan Singh, a 26-year-old entrepreneur who owns a chain of Cold Stone Creamery ice cream stores, wants to freeze Chris Gorog out of his position as Napster 2.0's CEO, which would end his uninspired reign.
Gorog, the former CEO of Roxio, struck a deal to scoop up the once renowned P2P service for just $5 million in 2002, turned it into a legit paid music subscription service, and promised investors an influx of millions of customers. But instead of music listeners turning out in droves, today only about 760,000 subscribers pay a monthly fee to listen to its library of 6 million songs. Since the relaunch 3.5 years ago, stock has plummeted 69 percent, and the company noted a $16 million loss for this fiscal year. Now Singh wants Gorog to step aside.
Along with two other investors, Singh will fight for a board seat at the company's September 18 annual meeting. All three of them blame Gorog and mismanaged marketing for the company's failure to compete, noting that people still associate Napster with illegal activities. "When you tell people they should get Napster, they say, 'What are you trying to do? Get me arrested?'", complains Thomas Sailors, one of the investors running for a board seat.
Whether the ice cream man and his entourage prove successful remains to be seen, but will it even matter, or does Napster have a shot at turning its fortunes around?
By now, everyone's aware that Intel has the fastest chips on the market, and with Nehalem getting closer to release, the chip maker's position doesn't look to change anytime soon. But what you don't know is that Intel also has the faster name. Confused? You're not the only one.
Before clarifying, let's first look at how manufacturers label their processors. Each chip contains a processor-specific character string detailing the manufacturer, make, model, and available features. The two common ones you're probably familiar with include GenuineIntel and AuthenticAMD, neither of which can be changed. That's not the case with VIA's Nano processor (CentaurHauls) and it's here where things get interesting.
Hit the jump to see what happens in PCMark05 just by changing a processor's CPUID.
Tired of all the drama surrounding the future of Yahoo? You're not the only one. Not a week goes by without a new twist emerging in what's to become of the would-be search giant, and billionaire investor T. Boone Pickens has had enough. Aside from having one of the coolest names ever, Pickens also owned 10 million Yahoo shares, all of which he sold at a loss.
Pickens picked up the stock back in May in anticipation that activist Carl Icahn would wage a proxy contest to force Yahoo's board into signing on the dotted line with Microsoft. Tired of waiting, Pickens unloaded all his shares, but not without taking a parting short at Yahoo management.
"I think that Yahoo management was pathetic," Pickens told the San Francisco Chronicle.
It's unclear exactly how much money Pickens lost in the ordeal, but Yahoo stock was selling around $27 per share in late May and has since dropped to around $20 per share. Talk about a costly way to make a point.
For many geeks, Newegg has become the de facto standard for shopping online for computer parts, and those of us living in the U.S. have had to endure the moans and groans from our brethren north of the border lamenting having to order PC peripherals elsewhere. Those cries will soon end as Newegg readies its Canadian website.
Having established itself as the "second-largest online-only retailer in the U.S.," Newegg will look to duplicate its success up north taking on the likes of NCIX.com and TigerDirect.ca, but the company isn't saying whether it plans to open warehouses in Canada or will simply ship across the border. Nor is it known exactly when Newegg.ca will officially open for business, only that it will take place sometime in 2008, and presumably sooner rather than later. In the meantime, when not chewing on delicious bacon or awaiting free health care, Canadians are encouraged to sign up for Newegg Canada's newsletter to "be the first to know about pre-launch sweepstakes, giveaways, and events."
Believe it or not, your browser might know more about you than even your spouse. Whether you use Firefox, Internet Explorer, or any of the several alternative browsers, a peek in your browsing history reveals what games you're playing, where you shop, what you shop for, where you booked your upcoming vacation, and it even knows what turns you on. But up until now, your browser had no way of knowing whether you're a male for female. Not anymore.
Try it out for yourself and post your results below.
Paypal and relative newcomer Google Checkout will both face off against a new contender in the online payment arena as Amazon jumps into the ring with a service of its own. Called Checkout by Amazon, the new service gives online retailers the option of letting Amazon manage their payments, along with some compelling reason for letting them do so.
Surfers who already have an account registered with Amazon (and who doesn't?) will be able to pay for goods at sites using Checkout by Amazon using billing and shipping details already on file with the mega e-tailer. Sites using the service can also offer customers the same '1-Click ordering' as Amazon, order tracking and management, Amazon's purchase protection policy, and other nuances associated with shopping directly at Amazon.
Learn about fees and another payment service being launched after the jump.
The results of Microsoft's Project Mojave, in which Microsoft demoed Windows Vista under a code name for 120 Vista skeptics in the San Francisco area, are now avaiable online, the Windows Vista blog reported today, and also explained some test details:
The focus group took place over three days in San Francisco and was conducted earlier this month.
All participants were either Mac, Linux, or users of versions of Windows that came before Windows Vista.
Respondents were chosen from the focus group organizer's database, called at random, but then selected based on having a low perception of Vista (<5 rating on a scale of 1-10).
The participants were given a demo by a trained retail salesperson - geared towards the experiences they seemed most interested in following a series of interviews. While the retail salesperson drove the demo, it was geared by the interests and direction of the participant.
We did not use some geeked out or custom built PC. We used an HP Pavilion DV2500. It had 2GB of RAM and was running an Intel Core 2 Duo CPU T7500 @ 2.20GHz. The OS was a 32 bit version of Windows Vista Ultimate.
Of the 120 respondents* polled, on a scale of 1:10 where 10 was the highest rating, the average pre-rating for Windows Vista was 4.4. After they saw the demo, respondents rated Mojave an average of 8.5.
*84% of respondents use Windows XP; 22% use MacOS; 14% use versions of Windows before XP; 1% use Linux.
To see the interviews for yourself, head over to the Mojave Experiment website.
To learn more about the history of hidden-camera marketing campaigns, and to find out who might have suggested it first, see us after the jump.