Earlier this week Microsoft was slapped with a $388 million verdict in a long-running patent infringement case against Uniloc.
The lawsuit claims that Microsoft’s means for activating products (such as Windows XP, Office XP and Windows Server 2003) infringed on a patent that Uniloc already owns, but Microsoft claims that they will appeal this verdict.
“We are very disappointed in the jury verdict,” wrote Microsoft spokesman Jack Evans. “We believe that we do not infringe, that the patent is invalid and that this award of damages is legally and factually unsupported. We will ask the court to overturn the verdict.”
If you've been worrying about computer security for awhile, you might remember when macro viruses in Microsoft Word and Excel files were at the top of the exploit list. These file formats, along with the omnipresent Adobe Reader PDF format, are once again among the biggest threat vectors being exploited by today's malware, according to a new report from the Microsoft Malware Protection Center. Fittingly, the full report and a condensed key findings version are available in either PDF or Microsoft's own XPS formats. These reports cover the July-December 2008 period.
Some key findings include:
Scareware (which Microsoft calls "rogue security software") is on the rise, including the latest versions of our old friend Antivirus XP.
A slight reduction in unique vulnerability disclosures from 2007, but the High (most serious) category was larger in the second half of 2008 than in the first half of the year or the second half of 2007.
Applications continue to be the biggest target (86.7%, with browsers at 8.8%, and operating systems at only 4.5%)
When the iPod first boomed in popularity there were companies lining up around the block to sell accessories designed for the digital music player, and now it’s the netbook’s turn. The first generation of netbook-oriented accessories officially launched this week, and there’s little doubt that they’ll be the last to jump aboard this gravy train.
Kensington announced five products aimed at users of the tiny portables this week, and while the tiny wired and wireless mice ($14.99 and $24.99 respectively) won’t turn any heads, other items such as the power adapter (with a built in USB port for some extra charging power) do show off some solid insight ($49.99). And, if you’re concerned about your netbook’s safety or looks, you can snag the security lock ($24.99) or the sleeve ($14.99).
You can get all of these starting today off of Kensington’s website, or you can wait around until they end up on store shelves within a couple weeks.
While several companies have announced 512GB SSDs, Super Talent is living up to their name and shipping out the first of their massive SSDs starting today.
Super Talent is now offering a new series of MasterDrive RX SSDs, three of the models featuring Multi-Level Cell (MLC) chips, and two models with faster, and more reliable Single-Level Cell (SLC) chips. The one we’re worried about (the 512GB) comes with the MLC chips, and sports a sequential read speed of 230 MB/sec and a sequential write speed of 160MB/sec.
If you’ve got some money to spend on storage, you can pick up one of these drives now for a cool $1,500! Just be ready to explain to your wife why you sold her car.
Streetlights didn't stop working, satellites never fell from orbit, and the internet didn't spontaneously combust. So what exactly did the Conficker.c worm manage to accomplish? Up till now, the answer is 'not much,' but Trend Micro warns the worm has started making its move.
It's been just over a week since Conficker.c was supposed to turn machines against man in an epic battle not even Will Smith (the actor, not the Editor-in-Chief) would be able to defeat, and while we can probably put such related fears to rest, Trend Micro security researchers say machines already infected with the worm have begun receiving a new payload through P2P. The payload is being detected as WORM_DOWNAD.E.
"Basically the component it's downloading via peer-to-peer is just a dropper -- so it drops yet another component, which we are in the process of finalizing analysis on now," Trend Micro researcher Paul Ferguson said in a conversation with eWEEK. "It looks like it has some rootkit capabilities, but beyond that right now I can't go into any additional detail, I don't have complete information in front of me."
Conficker.c received much media attention prior to April 1st, when the worm was expected to wreak all kinds of havoc. But April Fool's Day has come and gone without much movement from the worm, which either means the threat was grossly overblown, or its writers are waiting for the dust to settle.
We've already posted one of the coolest case mods you'll ever see (check it out here), and moving to the complete opposite end of the spectrum (who are we kidding, this one's not even on the spectrum), is the tackiest mouse you'll never own. Or at least we hope you never do.
The Gold Bullion Wireless Mouse has so much wrong with it, it's tough knowing where to start. Should we point out that it's not real gold? How about we start by talking about the horrific rectangular design which, while meant to resemble a gold bullion, screams in the face of ergonomics and usability? Maybe we should point out the lack of additional buttons beyond the standard right and left click. Or we could go for the obvious and discuss how absurdly tacky it is, right down to its description as a "great big bling thing!" Screw it, you're on your own in deciding where to start faulting this peripheral.
Of absolutely no interest to anyone, anywhere, the Gold Bullion Wireless Mouse is available for pre-order through www.iwantoneofthose.com (how's that for irony?) for around $35.
Call it spring cleaning or just the natural progression of things. Either way, it's out with the old and in with the new, says Intel, who updated its product portfolio this week. To make room for its Nehalem core-based Xeons, the chip maker informed its customers it is phasing out both 65nm Xeon processors built around Conroe, and its newer 45nm chips with a Wolfdale core.
Specifically, the company is taking its axe to the Xeon 3085, 3075, 3065, X3350, and X3320. Final shipments for these chips will take place in January 2010, with final orders being accepted up until October 9, 2009.
By getting rid of the its Core 2-based Xeons, Intel is making room for Nehalem-based Xeon chips, the first of which was introduced last week, 17 new chips in all.
The formation of the consolidated Taiwan Memory Company (TMC) faces a major setback today, as both Micron Technology and Nanya Technology, along with their joint venture Inotera memories, have pulled out of discussions to be part of the new group, DigiTimes reports.
For Micron's part, the company wasn't comfortable with the risk of its tecnology IP potentially leaking out if multiple patent holders began working under TMC. Micron stressed that its IP portfolio for specialty DRAM is more advanced than Elpida's, who is one of the participants.
Facing the worst DRAM market in 15 years, the Taiwanese government earlier this year announced the formation of the new DRAM company, TMC. The point of the new company was to consolidate memory companies and rescue its ailing DRAM makers. The government-led project is still in talks with various memory makers, including Winbond, who just yesterday confirmed it met with decision makers for TMC.
Micron, Nanya, and Inotera said they will continue to develop and improve their own partnership in preparation for competition from the new memory company.
If you have kids, make sure they're out of the room before looking any further. That is, unless you want to devote the next 18 days to building a kick-ass case mod that will appeal to just about any age. According to EnglishRussia.com, that's how long it took "this Russian guy" to build his Wall-E inspired case mod.
After watching the movie, the Russian modder thought to himself, "I want to build such a thing and hold my computer stuff in it." And that he did, using Swiss precision homemade heavy metal.
This ranks as one of the coolest case mods we've ever seen, and even better, the modder offered up a worklog so you can replicate the design at home. See you in 18 days.
AMD has just released new Catalyst 9.4 drivers for ATI videocard owners. In keeping with the promise the company previously made, Catalyst 9.4 offers unified support for Windows 7, XP, and Vista.
Highlighted in the 9.4 release is the new ATI OverDrive auto-tuning application. Designed for the ATI Radeon HD 4000 series, the new OverDrive module claims to "accurately determine the best overclocked engine and memory values for ATI OverDrive supported ATI Radeon graphics accelerators." AMD cautions it will not warranty busted videocards that give up the ghost as a result of using the utility, which further highlights why it's so cool XFX, who will have your back, now sells ATI-branded cards.
Catalyst 9.4 resolves a number if issues covering all supported operating systems. Among the resolutions:
World of Warcraft no longer flickers when Shadow is set to medium/high in a CrossFire configuration (Vista)
Resolutions above 1024 x 768 will now full screen properly for specific HDMI displays (Vista)
Overlay Theater Mode display no longer corrupt after enabling 3D screen saver (XP)
Display now redraws correctly in City of Villains after changing graphics settings (Windows 7)
No more jitter or flicker caused by WinDVD9 HD playback (Windows 7)