Yikes! Google, the online monolith of all things, well, online, has made it incredibly easy for spammers to find out your real name. That means instead of seeing "Dear Sir" at the beginning of male organ enlargement solicitations, pill peddlers and every other unsavory seller can more easiy address you by name. Of course, if you're in the market for male miracle growth, then perhaps that's not such a bad thing.
In any event, a SecuriTeam blog outlines all the gritty details on how the exploit works, and to rub even more egg on Google's face, the blog chose to uncover the identity of admin at gmail dot com for its short tutorial. The bug works by entering a gmail address under the 'share this calendar' tab, adding them, and then saving. While the true identity isn't revealed at first, navigating back to the page is all it takes to see the person's real name. We haven't seen an exploit this stupidly simple since John Halderman discovered how to circumvent music CD copy protection just by holding down the shift key.
Oh, and feel to drop Drew a line. Not only did he give permission to post his Gmail info, but he did it with the full expectation that he'll find true love from a reader of these news posts.
This time last year, most of us would have predicted that Blu-ray and HD-DVD would still be going at it, but even with a victor now declared in the high definition format war, digital downloads and streaming content are ruling the roost, just as Michael Bay prophesized (minus the corporate conspiracy theory). Hoping to become king of the digital hill, Amazon.com is introducing a new online store of TV shows and movies.
What's that you say, Unbox isn't new? That's right, but this isn't Unbox. Amazon Video on Demand departs from the company's first attempt at offering a digital video download service, and this time around, customers will not be required to download special software to the watch programs they buy. And in another departure from Unbox, the new service will extend support beyond just Windows PCs and TiVo set-top boxes.
Find out what else Amazon Video on Demand brings to the table and when it will be available after the jump.
Social networking sites are about to get a lot more chatty. Meebo, the Web-based instant messaging company, said it is taking its IM technology to partner sites this fall. When members sign on to compatible social-media sites, they'll be able to load up their buddy list, while also being able to detach the buddy list window. And when surfing away from one social site to another, users can still chat with their site-specific friends by migrating buddy lists into the Meebo client. It's all part of an effort Meebo is calling Community IM, and so far, sites said to be on board include:
According to ComScore, the above list gives Meebo access to 55 million users worldwide, and co-founder and CEO Seth Sternberg hopes to have even more partners jump on board by the time the service launches. Ad revenue will be shared, and Meebo claims its small, targeted ads receive much stronger "click through" rates than those found on other social networking sites like Facebook.
With a development team of just 40 strong, is Meebo being overly ambitious, or are they another success story in the making?
Flip someone the bird and they'll know just what you're telling them. But wave your hand in front of your monitor all you want, and no matter how many times you've watched Obi-Wan use the Force, you're just not going to manipulate your PC. At least not yet.
Toshiba's Qosmio G55-Q802 looks to the change the way you interact with your PC by reading hand signals. Make a fist and move it around to control the mouse pointer, or flip your thumb up like Fonzie to select an object. Force-push won't work, but raising an open palm will tell the system to stop or resume video playback, giving you hands-free media control.
Built around the Centrino 2 platform, an Intel processor performs most of the tasks on the G55, but to read hand signals the laptop will use a quad-core HD processor powered by the same Cell processor found in Playstation 3 consoles. The Cell also lets the PC scan videos and index every new face it finds.
If operating systems had an obituary section, it would be quickly filling up this summer. First Windows XP kicks the bucket (sort of), and effective November 1st, 2008, OEMs will no longer be able to license Windows for Workgroups 3.11 in the embedded channel. Believe it or not, the announcement will come as a disappointment to those who planned to purchase the 16-bit OS. While Win 3.11 has been long gone in the standard (retail/OEM) channel, the old code has continued to be used for specialized applications, like cash registers, train schedule displays, and other lower-horsepower platforms.
The November deadline provides a timely opportunity to give a gag geek gift this Christmas. Pick up a Win 3.11 license while you still can, and toss it in a stocking along with Windows 3.11 for Dummies. Hey, it beats a fruitcake!
You've seen the commercial and already know what brown can do for you, but you'll be red with rage if you fall for a new scam based on an old trick. On its website, UPS has posted a bulletin alerting customers that a fraudulent email claiming to be from UPS is making the rounds. The email implores recipients to open an attachment reportedly containing a waybill for the shipment to be picked up, but the only thing being picked up by doing so is a nasty virus.
Maximum PC readers know full well to leave attachments alone, but if you're a frequent UPS customer, these types of scams can catch you off guard, particularly since UPS does, on occasion, send out official notifications that may include attachments. If in doubt, UPS is asking its customers to contact customerservice at ups dot com.
Pingdom AB, a Swedish-based website monitoring firm, recently studied the uptime of the update sites for the three most popular desktop operating systems, Microsoft, Apple, and Ubuntu. During the second quarter of 2008 (April-June), Pingdom reports (2) that Windows Update was up 100% of the time, compared to Apple Software Update's 99.9% uptime, and Ubuntu Archive's 98.64% availability. During the period, Apple's update service could not be contacted for a total of 2 hours, 34 minutes, while Ubuntu's update service could not be contacted for a total of 1 day, 5 hours, and 45 minutes.
It sounds like a clear win for Redmond, but a closer look at how update sites work suggest the story isn't so simple. For more, join us after the jump.
Microsoft has long offered hardware compatibility information for different versions of Windows, including Windows Vista. Remember the Hardware Compatibility List (HCL)? Until now, though, Microsoft has dropped the ball on making software compatibility easy to determine. With a renewed emphasis on marketing and customer satisfaction this summer, Microsoft has now created an easy-to-use one-stop shop for determining which hardware and software products will work with Windows Vista, the Windows Vista Compatibility Center.
For a quick tour of the WVCC, and to learn how you can make it even better, see us after the jump.
During a keynote at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2008, Microsoft CEO Kevin Turner went on record claiming Vista "is more secure today than Apple Leopard, or XP, or Linux, or open source." Surprisingly, Turner's right, at least when looking over a report (PDF) from Microsoft's own security division comparing the number of fixed and unfixed vulnerabilities of several operating systems. So is Vista (and by association, Microsoft) getting a bad rap?
Arstechnica says no, and points out "exploited vulnerabilities are something that needs a little bit more emphasis, and so do infection numbers." Security company PC Tools (makers of ThreatFire, reviewed in the February 2008 issue of Maximum PC, page 26) found that up to 70 percent of Vista home PCs are infected with malware, and while Microsoft might not agree with PC Tools' findings, its no secret that Mac OS X and Linux systems are targeted less frequently than Windows. Microsoft evangelist Michael Kleef claims end users are ultimately to blame for the higher infection rate, and not the OS, but when it comes out that one of Vista's main security features was designed to annoy, does the fault really lie with the end user?
There was much hype surrounding Microsoft's DirectX 10 API before its release, and since its debut, we've seen a handful of games take advantage of the new instruction sets. But there still lacks that killer game that blows every DX9 title out of the water and many gamers still resent the decision to tie DX10 exclusively with Vista, leaving the XP faithful out in the cold. And for those that made the upgrade? Microsoft's incremental DX10.1 update came as a slap in the face to anyone who upgraded both their OS and videocard in the hopes of future-proofing their system. Only ATI's 3xxx and 4xxx series support the minor update, which might not be so minor after all.
Soon making the DX10 and DX10.1 controversies old news, TGDaily reports Microsoft will unveil the next major update -- DirectX 11 -- at this year's annual XNA Gamefest scheduled to take place on July 22 and 23 in Seattle. Little is known about DX11, except that Microsoft plans to make it available for both Windows Vista and Windows 7.
With the dust yet to settle on DX10, are gamers looking forward to DX11?