AOL Time Warner and Microsoft End a Bitter RivalryMicrosoft agreed to pay AOL Time Warner $750 million in a legal settlement yesterday that ends one of the most bitter rivalries in modern corporate history and commits the two companies to a sweeping program of business cooperation.
Video games boost visual skills: Playing video games could be good for your vision. A new study suggests that action games might help to rehabilitate visually impaired patients or train military personnel. Male undergraduates who played driving or shoot-em-up games such as Grand Theft Auto and Medal of Honor several times a week for at least six months beat non-gamers in lab vision tests, found Shawn Green and Daphne Bavelier of the University of Rochester in New York state. Game-players react to fast-moving objects more efficiently, explains Bavelier, and can track up to five objects at a time - 30% more than non-players. "They can process more information more quickly over time," she says. These skills might help people to drive more safely, Bavelier speculates. They may also enable pilots and air traffic controllers to monitor their video display units more effectively.
Online communities get real: Weblogs, e-mail and instant messaging are enabling people to maintain relationships and pass information in unexpected ways, say researchers. [...] New phenomena such as weblogs have allowed people to share their interest and passions with a wider audience but often provide a quite mundane and honest view of life. "Increasingly technologies allow people to find out about others in the real world and keep in touch with their day-to-day lives," said the report's author Will Davies.
Enter the Matrix games sells a million: Atari is claiming that Enter The Matrix has already sold a million units in the USA and Europe after only a week on sale, representing 25 per cent of the four million units which the company shipped to retail so far.
Most workers must remember six passwords or more: A recent SearchSecurity.com poll found that 77% of respondents had six or more passwords to remember for their jobs. About 23% had five or fewer passwords. But 20% had 15 or more passwords for their jobs. More than 200 took part in the online survey.
Search Privacy: An Issue? Relax. Yes, there are privacy issues when you do a search at Google. These are concerns at other search engines, too. Fear that you, personally, will be tracked isn't realistic for the vast majority of users. What exactly does Google know about you when you come to search? You needn't be worried - for the moment.
Anacom lança consulta pública sobre transposição de leis europeias: A Anacom (Autoridade Nacional das Comunicações) vai lançar uma consulta pública antes do final do mês sobre a transposição para a legislação portuguesa das novas directivas comunitárias sobre concorrência electrónica incluídas na chamada "Revisão 99". A consulta, ontem anunciada pelo director Mário Freitas, irá decorrer durante quatro semanas e destina-se a recolher as opiniões dos agentes de mercado sobre as opções já tomadas pela Anacom em relação ao processo de transposição, em matérias como a definição de mercados relevantes e avaliação do grau de concorrência nas telecomunicações em Portugal.
PGP Encryption Proves Powerful: Italian police have seized at least two Psion personal digital assistants from members of the Red Brigades terrorist organization. But the major investigative breakthrough they were hoping for as a result of the information contained on the devices has failed to materialize--thwarted by encryption software used by the left-wing revolutionaries. Failure to crack the code, despite the reported assistance of U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation computer experts, puts a spotlight on the controversy over the wide availability of powerful encryption tools. [...] The software separating the investigators from a potentially invaluable mine of information about the shadowy terrorist group, which destabilized Italy during the 1970s and 1980s and revived its practice of political assassination four years ago after a decade of quiescence, was PGP (Pretty Good Privacy), the Rome daily La Repubblica reported. So far the system has defied all efforts to penetrate it, the paper said.
Parents fear perils of media, poll shows: An overwhelming majority of parents believe that unsuitable TV, movies, video games and contemporary music lead to violent, anti-social behavior and sex at younger ages, according to a national survey released Wednesday. The survey of 1,000 parents by Common Sense Media, a new San Francisco group, also found that those parents want more information about what their kids are listening to and watching.
Do You Think The INTERNET Is Complex? According to recent surveys and projections by CyberAtlas, the averaged results of two different studies puts the 2002 worldwide Internet population at 618 million users, which is projected to rise to 827 million users in 2004 (up from 27.5 million users in 1994. According to the CIA World Fact Book, there are now approximately 12,000 ISPs (Internet Service Providers) providing access to the Internet, worldwide.
From PlayStation to Supercomputer for $50,000: As perhaps the clearest evidence yet of the computing power of sophisticated but inexpensive video-game consoles, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has assembled a supercomputer from an army of Sony PlayStation 2's.
AIP acusa telemóveis de concertação de preços: A Associação Industrial Portuguesa (AIP) está preocupada com o aumento das tarifas no sector das telecomunicações, que considera uma acção concertada das três operadoras móveis. Na nota mensal da direcção da AIP sobre a conjuntura, a associação diz que vê "com preocupação a evolução no sector das telecomunicações, designadamente aquilo que parece ser um aumento concertado das tarifas das três operadoras". "Nesta ordem de razões, a AIP não vê com bons olhos novas consolidações ao nível dos operadores (quer na rede fixa quer na rede móvel)", pode ler-se no documento. [Não é a isto que se chama "cartelização"?...]
Disposable DVDs Go to the Dumps: Environmentalists are steamed about one movie studio's latest attempt to market home movies to the public. On Friday, Flexplay and Buena Vista Home Entertainment, a division of Disney, announced they will sell DVDs of popular movies that, once opened, can be viewed for 48 hours, then tossed in the trash.
E porque recebi hoje um igualzinho (não, não o abri...): Palyh Worm Continues Its Assault: Any e-mail arriving from an address like 'firstname.lastname@example.org' containing an attachment should look like a huge billboard reading 'I am a virus' to every computer user
Italia en alerta por "fraude celular": Las autoridades italianas advirtieron sobre el potencial uso fraudulento de los teléfonos celulares de tercera generación en las elecciones municipales y provinciales que se celebrarán el 25 de mayo. Se teme que la mafia intente recurrir a lo último en tecnología de comunicación móvil para procurar influir en el resultado de la votación. Los nuevos aparatos pueden transmitir video en directo, por lo que hay temor de que algunos electores sean presionados para que voten por un candidato en particular y que además certifiquen "en vivo" sus actos dentro del puesto de votación.
Broadband Growth Seen Slowing: A new study shows the high-octane pace of broadband adoption in the United States could be shifting into a lower gear. For the most part, America's most experienced Internet users already have signed up for home broadband service. And among the remaining Web junkies who haven't, the chief reason isn't a lack of interest, but the lack of availability in their neighborhoods.
Extent of UK snooping revealed: Officials in the UK are routinely demanding huge quantities of information about what people do online and who they call, say privacy experts. Police and other officials are making around a million requests for access to data held by net and telephone companies each year, according to figures compiled from the government, legal experts and the internet industry. [...] But a Home Office spokesman disputed the figures, telling BBC News Online it estimated that the number of requests were half that suggested.
U.S. Agency Cracks Down on Internet Crime: More than 130 people and $17 million have been seized nationwide in operations by the FBI and other agencies to stop cybercrime. The Justice Department dubbed the effort "Operation E-con," a collection of separate investigations over the past five months targeting investment scams, sales of stolen software, online banking fraud -- even a purported Russian marriage service. [...] Officials estimated the collective losses across more than 90 investigations at $176 million, affecting 89,000 victims.
Matrix Sequel Has Hacker Cred: The average American moviegoer taking in the Matrix Reloaded this weekend will likely be wowed by the elaborate action sequences and dazzling special effects. But hackers who've seen the blockbuster are crediting it with a more subtle cinematic milestone: it's the first major motion picture to accurately portray a hack. That's right: Trinity uses a 'sploit.
Internet is dying: What's dying is the idea that the Internet would be a tool of universal liberation, and the argument that "freedom" in itself is a justification for this information pollution. It's probably reached a tipping point: the signal to noise ratio is now too low.
The Other Kind of Tracks: Every time you use your computer, especially if you are on the Internet, you are creating numerous records of your activities that can be tapped by another person without much technical skill. For innocent reasons, both the Windows and Mac operating systems, as well as their core applications, create all sorts of logs, trails and lists of activities you might consider private.
What can Fizzer teach us? The fact Fizzer targeted KaZaA bears out the fears of the anti-virus community who have identified file-sharing services and instant messaging as two areas where viruses look set to boom as virus writers attempt to get back in touch with end users.
How Microsoft Warded Off Rival: The Microsoft campaign against Linux raises questions about how much its aggressive, take-no-prisoners corporate culture has changed, despite having gone through a lengthy, reputation-tarnishing court battle in the United States that resulted in Microsoft's being found to have repeatedly violated antitrust laws.
Parents Support Kids Playing Video Games: new research showed most parents view their children's game playing as positive and nearly all monitor what they buy. Parents say they are with their children when games are purchased nearly 90 percent of the time, according to the survey conducted on behalf of the Interactive Digital Software Association.
Banda larga chumbada no Parlamento: O projecto de lei do Bloco de Esquerda (BE) sobre acesso à Internet em banda larga (cabo ou ADSL) em todo o país a um preço baixo deverá ser chumbado hoje na votação na especialidade no Parlamento. O porta-voz do BE, Daniel Oliveira, disse à Lusa que lamenta que o Governo encare a questão da banda larga apenas como um "acesso à Internet". "Algumas indústrias de ponta não podem funcionar sem banda larga, requisito fundamental para a transmissão de grandes quantidades de informação, por isso fogem do interior do país", disse.
[act.:] Microsoft Reverses Position: Internet Toilet No Hoax After All Microsoft: Internet potty just a hoax: "This iLoo release came out of the U.K. office and was not a Microsoft-sanctioned communication, and we apologize for any confusion or offense it may have caused," Microsoft spokeswoman Bridgitt Arnold said late last night. Did Microsoft "borrow" the iLoo concept?: Andrew Cubitt claims that Microsoft "borrowed" his concept of surf while you sit a fair while after he'd perfected his own device – which also has the same name – the iLoo.
Banks suffer increased hack attacks: Hack attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated, with over a third of banks and financial services companies reporting a security breach in the last year, according to a new survey. Hacking 2003: The new agenda: today we're seeing a far more dangerous hacker attack--the targeted attack. Targeted attacks are carried out by highly skilled hackers motivated by financial gain and armed with the expertise to do serious damage.
Sony to release handheld game player: The PSP will have a screen capable of showing 3D images, stereo sound, USB 2.0 connectivity and a custom processor built on cutting-edge 90-nanometer chipmaking technology. The device will also use a new media format. The UMD disc is an optical disc about half the size of a DVD or CD and capable of holding 1.8GB of data.
Portugal smart enough to attract Microsoft phone software: Portugal has become the second European market to introduce so-called ‘smart phones’, a clever marketing appellation that describes mobiles using Microsoft’s Windows CE 3.0 software. The project with Microsoft is a joint initiative by state energy company Galpenergia and TMN, Portugal Telecom’s mobile subsidiary. It follows Orange launching the device in France late last year.
Log on and enter the Matrix: With the push of a button, the computer game Enter The Matrix was launched in Sydney last night, marking the final marketing frenzy for one of this year's most anticipated films. The game is the first of its kind to be completely integrated with a film. It was written by Matrix creators Andy and Larry Wachowski, features the film's stars and was made in Sydney while The Matrix Reloaded and the final movie in the series, The Matrix Revolutions, were being filmed.
Irish schools stop truants with text messages: Two Irish schools are testing a new scheme using modern mobile-phone technology to take the temptation out of playing truant. Under the scheme, a database records the names of absent students each day and automatically sends out a text message to parents notifying them if their child missed roll-call.
Xbox Live update at E3: Rumours abound that Microsoft is set to announce a major update to its Xbox Live kit at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). Microsoft is keeping mum, but has admitted to a few "groundbreaking announcements" at the most important games show of the year.
A dotcom revival? A few surviving internet stocks are even enjoying a second boom [...] Have investors finally found the internet’s real pot of gold? Perhaps, but they would do well to remember what happened after the railway fever of the 19th century: the industry had to endure three busts before investors made any serious money.
South Korean Group Sues Microsoft Over Slammer: In a sign of users' increasing frustration with the security shortcomings of many software applications, a civic group in South Korea has made good on their threat to file a lawsuit against Microsoft Corp.'s Korean subsidiary, a Korean ISP and the country's Information Ministry. The suit is the direct result of the havoc caused by the SQL Slammer worm in January.
Radio ID chips to come with kill switch: Manufacturers and a key industry group expect to introduce a kill switch for controversial radio frequency identification tags before the inventory-tracking chips are shipped in products to retail shelves.
Meet the man who invented video games: Long before the days of PlayStation and Xbox, there was the Odyssey. In 1972, Sanders Associates (and, by default, [Ralph] Baer) were working with Maganavox to create the first in-home gaming console. The Odyssey sold 100,000 units at $100 each that year.