Jun 30, 2009 | 5
The Chinese government is retreating from a controversial requirement that every PC sold in the country be equipped with Internet filtering software.
On the eve of a July 1 deadline for compliance, the country's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) today delayed implementation indefinitely to give computer-makers more time to comply, the Xinhua News Agency reports.
Computer makers had protested that installing the software, called Green Dam Youth-Escort, might expose them to liability if the Chinese government uses the software to invade its citizens' privacy. The U.S. government sent a letter to Chinese officials complaining that computer makers were given virtually no notice of the mandate ahead of time, possibly violating World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. Others complained the software could be used by the Chinese government to censor political material—not just pornography.
Jun 18, 2009 | 3
Resistance is mounting to a controversial move by the Chinese government to require Internet filtering software be installed on every computer sold in the country starting next month. A letter sent by 19 tech and business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Semiconductor Industry Association, to China's minister of Industry and Information Technology criticizes the plan and urges the Chinese government to "reconsider implementing the requirements," the Wall Street Journal reports.
Called Green Dam-Youth Escort, the software would be used to censor pornography say officials, but others fear it will also be used to block Web sites with political content, according to the New York Times.
Jan 13, 2009 | 3
A new report warns that your computer software is probably less secure than you think. The SysAdmin, Audit, Network, Security (SANS Institute), a cooperative research and education organization in Bethesda, Md., that also provides computer security training, Monday released a reporting outlining the top 25 most dangerous errors that programmers make that may lead to security breaches and open the door to cyber crime and espionage.
Nonprogrammers probably won't glean much from the list, given that the errors listed have techy titles such as, "Improper Input Validation" and "Cleartext Transmission of Sensitive Information." Regardless of whether you understand what they mean, these problems affect much of the software that you use and potentially expose sensitive personal information to hackers.
Nov 6, 2008 | 1
It sounds like campaign propaganda, but President-elect Barack Obama is a Trojan horse.
Obama’s name and purported links to his Election Night acceptance speech have proliferated in malicious software spreading around the World Wide Web since yesterday morning, Internet security firms report.
One spam message, subject line “Obama Wouldn’t Be First Black President,” directs readers to a link said to show his Tuesday speech. To watch, the user has to download a "new" flash player, adobe_flash9.exe. F-Secure Weblog warns that the “player” is really a virus out to steal confidential information on your computer and upload it to a server in Ukraine.
Oct 22, 2008 | 1
Computer users are learning the hard way that Microsoft is serious about cracking down on pirated copies of its Windows operating system and Office software. Several dozen people in China recently turned on their PCs to discover that their personalized screen wallpaper had been replaced by blank black walls, the Wall Street Journal's China Journal reports. The reason, according to the Journal: the company's Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) program detected pirated software on the computers and painted the screen backgrounds black to inform users that they might be using counterfeit or illegitimate software. (FYI: The desktop background can be reset in the usual way, but it will change back black hourly until authentic Microsoft software is installed.)
Sep 9, 2008
The Tech Museum of Innovation today named 25 laureates as winners of its 2008 Tech Award for using technology to "benefit humanity and spark global change." The awards are broken down into five categories (education, equality, environment, economic development and health); Tech Awards executive director Lee Wilkerson says that in November one winner in each category will receive a $50,000 cash prize during an awards ceremony in San Jose, Calif.
This year's education awards (started in 2000) recognize a technology in India that records classroom lessons and distributes the videos to areas of the country where there are few or no schools; a program that chronicles Arctic expeditions live via the Web; a Web site that delivers art lessons through interactive video conferencing; a site where lesson plans can be shared worldwide; and software that enables a PC to render two-dimensional images written using a special light pen on the computer screen into 3D images in real-time. [see picture]
Aug 27, 2008 | 2
Computer viruses—the scourge of technology on Earth—have now become a problem in space, too. NASA has confirmed that the malevolent programs have also posed problems in computers astronauts bring with them on missions, the latest occurring when laptops infected with the Gammima.AG virus were ferried to the International Space Station (ISS) last month. The possible source, according to SpaceRef.com: a software download, a personal flash card or USB storage device. The site also reports that some laptops used in the ISS lack virus protection and detection software.
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