|Friday, 18 February 2005, 7:40 am
Tags: News, Technology
I‘m hopping a plane to Orlando this morning for the PMA conference. I’ll be covering digital photography announcements there for DigitalCameraInfo.com. Watch for my video pieces. Meanwhile, here are today’s top tech stories.
- Microsoft is planning to give away its new anti-spyware program, cleverly named Microsoft AntiSpyware. The beta is free right now, and according to Bill Gates at this week’s RSA security conference in San Francisco, it’s going to stay that way. Unfortunately, it only works for XP and Windows 2000. Gates also announced a new anti-virus product by year end and an update to Internet Explorer for Windows XP SP2. IE7 will go beta this summer with improved phishing protection.
- Meanwhile, Microsoft is recalling 14.1 million Xbox power cords, saying that there’s a fire risk. The recall applies to Xboxes manufactured before Oct. 23, 2003. I’ll live dangerously.
- Former US cybersecurity and counterterrorism advisor, Richard Clarke, also at RSA, when asked his opinion of the new Microsoft security products replied, “Given their record in the security area, I don’t know why anybody would buy from them.”
- Panelists speaking at RSA said that cryptography is good at protecting the content of messages, but can’t be counted on to protect content for very long. , Carter Laren, security architect at Cryptographic Research noted,
“Anyone designing content protection should design for failure and if it fails update it.”
- The next two stories underscore Laren’s point. The SHA-1 hash algorithm, used for digital signatures (I use it to sign all my eamil via PGP), has apparently been cracked.
- According to the LA Times, Apple and Napster are taking potshots at their respective digital rights management technologies. Steve Jobs sent recording company executives an email Tuesday morning pointing out that Napster’s new all-you-can-eat music service, Napster-To-Go had been cracked. Napster CEO Chris Gorog replied with an email Tuesday afternoon that linked to a site offering a crack for the iTunes Music Store’s DRM. Gorog wins this round. All protected music is susceptible to the Napster-To-Go crack – it’s essentially recording the analog output as you listen to the song. iTunes FairPlay has been cracked fair and square by DVD Jon and software to strip out the copy protection is widely available.
- The New York Times is buying About.com for $410 million – that’s 23 time earnings.
- The creators of the TCP/IP protocol that powers the Internet won the computer industry’s Nobel Prize. Vint Cerf and Robert Kahn were given the ACM Turing Award and a $100,000 prize.
- The European Parliament has rejected software patents and called on national parliaments to debate the subject for another year to come up with a better proposal. The EC now decides whether to accept Parliament’s recommendation.
Listen in Friday at 7:45a Pacific for my weekly news commentary on KFI 640 AM in Los Angeles. Tune in Saturday at 7:40a Eastern for my weekly visit with John Donabie on 1010 CFRB Toronto. And, of course, listen to my show live from Orlando this Saturday and Sunday, 11a to 2p Pacific on KFI, Los Angeles.