On January 31, you may have thought the entire internet had fallen prey to what would have ranked as the fastest spreading worm in the history of the web. That's because for about an hour on Saturday morning, all Google search results were flagged with a warning saying "This site may harm your computer," including Google.com. Clicking a marked site would bring up yet another warning.
So what exactly happened? Well, it wasn't a worm, and the internet wasn't under attack (no more than usual, anyway). Instead, Google said it ultimately boiled down to human error.
"Unfortunately (and here's the human error), the URL of '/' was mistakenly checked in as a value to the file and '/' expands to all URLs," Google explained on its blog. "Fortunately, our on-call site reliability team found the problem quickly and reverted the file. Since we push these updates in a staggered and rolling fashion, the errors began appearing between 6:27 a.m. and 6:40 a.m. and began disappearing between 7:10 and 7:25 a.m., so the duration of the problem for any particular user was approximately 40 minutes."
Google initially said it gets its list of malicious URLs from StopBadware.org, which StopBadware.org said isn't true. After several updates, Google's final statement says it "works with a non-profit called StopBadware.org to come up with criteria for maintaining this list," but that fault untimately fell on Google.
According to the Korea Communications Commission, there are currently plans in place that will enhance the country’s broadband speeds to 1Gbps by the year 2012. For a frame of reference, that’s 200 times as fast as the average 5Mbps DSL connection here in the United States.
In addition to the wired infrastructure, Korea is hoping to upgrade their wireless broadband to at least 10Mbps. The KCC is encouraging the WiBro standard as a way to boost their own speeds to ten times the current rate.
This growth comes as a big part of the Korean IT framework stimulus boost, which will cost a planned $24.6 billion and create 120,000 jobs. Let’s see if the planned upgrades here at home will allow us to keep up with such ambitious endeavors!
It looks like Facebook is finally planning to capitalize on all that precious information that its 150 million users put on their profiles by creating one of the world’s largest market research databases.
“I had tons of people saying 'this could be so incredible for our business'. It takes a very long time to do a focus group, and businesses often don't have the luxury of time. I think they liked the instant responses,” stated Randi Zuckerberg, Mark’s sister and Facebook’s global markets director, regarding the possible monetization of the social networking site.
Some experts say that this move comes in the wake of a double whammy of economic troubles brought on by their failing advertising revenue and the ever-growing cost of electronic data storage.
AMD can use any help it can get, and for awhile, the chip maker looked like it was going to get it from a 3.6GHz Phenom II X4 quad-core processor. Not only would that represent the fastest-clocked quad-core by either AMD or Intel, but it would also be the fastest-clocked processor regardless of cores.
German website News-AMD recently said AMD would release the speedy 45nm chip in Q2 2009, but it appears the site was mistaken. According to TomsHardware, the site went offline due to "incorrect interpretation," and is now back online with an updated release schedule. Rather than Q2 2009, the site says a 3.6GHz Phenom II X4 is likely by the end of the decade, which means potentially waiting until 2010.
In the meantime, AMD's Phenom II X4 950 (3.1GHz) is still expected to debut in Q2 2009 with support for socket AM3. The new chip will support DDR3-1333 memory, come with a 4GHz HyperTransport interface speed, boast 8MB of cache, and have a 125W thermal envelope.
Forget about the mythical $100 laptop, India's $10 laptop project not only serious undercuts the former price point, but it supposedly exists. The low-cost portable PC represents the efforts of the Indian government's ministry of science and ministry of technology, and a prototype is expected to be unveiled tomorrow in Tirupati, India.
Despite the impending release, specifications still haven't been announced. However, some reports say the $10 laptop will come with 2GB of memory, WiFi connectivity, storage expansion options, and consume just 2W of power.
How it all translates to a single Alexander Hamilton greenback is a mystery, or even the current pre-production cost, which sits at about double. "At this stage, the price is working out to be $20 but with mass production it is bound to come down," R P Agarwal, secretary, higher education said.
Netflix continues to enjoy immense popularity as a subscription-based movie rental and streaming video service, a business model which Netflix CEO Reed Hastings previously said would stay the same going forward.
"We don't plan to enter the pay-per-view segment, where Apple, Amazon, Sony, and others focus, or the ad-supported segment, where Hulu, YouTube, and other compete," Hastings said in July 2008.
Maybe success has gotten to Netflix's head. Since Hastings' statement, Netflix has made major gains to its streaming service, which is now found on Microsoft's Xbox 360 console, offered through a standalone Roku player, integrated into select Blu-ray players, and even is available on some TiVo units. More homes than ever now have easy access to Netflix's streaming catalog, and a new customer survey seems to suggest that Hastings and company might be reconsidering Netflix's position as a subscription-only business. One of the questions being asked is whether customers would be willing to pay an additional $10 per month to stream "HBO original series and movies."
It's unclear how quickly Netflix would make new episodes of, say, Big Love available for viewing after first appearing on HBO, or whether new episodes would be available at the same time. But what is clear is that Netflix has become too large to ignore other business models. Even if survey respondents shoot down the idea of a $10/month HBO add-on, one has to wonder how long it will be before additional services find their way onto Netflix.
Would you pay a premium for HBO content through your Netflix account? Hit the jump and sound off.
Thought Google's Android platform was only good for smartphones? No. 1 chipmaker Intel thinks differently, says VentureBeat. Apparently Intel, who already dominates the netbook scene with its Atom processor line, will begin mass producing Android-based netbooks, which could end up on the market as early as this year.
Like everyone in the tech industry, Intel ended 2008 with a whimper, at least in terms of revenue and profits. The chip maker's net income fell 88 percent to $234 million compared to a year prior, and sales for Q4 2008 were 23 percent lower than for the same quarter in 2007. But an exploding netbook market has helped Intel weather the storm, and netbook sales don't look to be slowing down any time soon.
While Linux has been gaining popularity on the desktop front, the open-source OS has fared better on netbooks. Android, which is based on Linux, could prove to be a viable alternative to both Windows and Linux thanks to its built-in functionality, and it only looks to get more popular as more handset manufacturers begin to implement the platform. By the time Intel is expected released Android-based netbooks (2010 is the most likely scenario), Google's Android could potentially have built up a following, potentially making it more attractive to netbook buyers than Linux and less expensive than Windows-based ultraportables.
Rumors that Dell would release a smartphone have been swirling for some time, and the OEM system builder did little to dispel that notion last summer when it said "we're not ready to publicly disclose our plans there...we're kind of working on that."
According to AlleyInsider.com, who claims to be receiving tips from someone "close to Dell," the OEM will offiically enter the smartphone market on September 9, 2009. The tipster says the new gadget is being called the MePhone, at least internally, and that the focus is being put on "customization." If the rumor turns out to be true, then it would appear Dell feels confident it can compete with Apple's iPhone.
Other details remain a mystery, including what software platform Dell would use, though Wired.com argues that when Dell enters the smartphone market, it will likely use the Windows Mobile platform due to the company's strong relationship with Microsft.
It seems like just yesterday that Microsoft reluctantly introduced us to the world of User Account Control (UAC). Many disgruntled reviewers claimed that the UAC present in Windows Vista was too intrusive. It caused a lot of frustration when trying to install programs that needed administrator credentials. Apple even made a commercial that illustrated how people felt about the constant nagging of UAC in Windows Vista.
Fast forward to Windows 7 Beta 1, Microsoft now gives full control over the number of prompts you receive. The problem is any malware can defeat UAC by sending a few Visual Basic scripts to activate the slider and turn off UAC. Once UAC is off, the computer can be restarted and the malware can be launched with full administrator credentials and expose the computer to more malware and exploits.
The Windows 7 beta fish surfaced to face the public for the first time on January 10th 2009. Since its release we have been both excited and terrified with what Microsoft has in store for us. A few naysayers aside, few will argue that the beta is very stable, and is an impressive offering. But is it ready for release?
Well as of February 1st 2009, 2,108 of you thought so! A fan of the Leo Laporte podcasting network took a cue from the host and decided to launch an online petition to try and convince Microsoft that Windows 7 is ready. In a recent podcast both the host Leo Laporte, and co-host Paul Thurrott commented on the petition to which their names were used as advocates, and they nervously took a step back. They both claimed to be enthusiastic about the future of Windows, but admitted that nobody wants Windows 7 to ship before its ready.
A quick scan of the comments from previous Windows 7 discussions would seem to suggest that this is likely to be a heavily debated petition. The vast majority of readers seem to be leaving positive feedback on the beta, but some incompatibilities clearly still remain.
Do you think the Windows 7 beta is good enough to launch? Hit the jump and let us know what you think.