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Archive for June, 2021

Beware of the porn virus

The Nixem-E virus, the one that has been spread via e-mails promissing some pornography in the attached files, is meant to do its harm on 3 February. Users have been urged to scan their computers before that date, otherwise they might become victims of the destructive effects of the virus. Nixem-E is set to delete Word, Powerpoint, Acrobat and Excel files from infected machines on 3 February. The virus reports every fresh infection back to an associated website which displays the total via a counter. Late last week the counter was reporting millions of infections, but detective work by security firm Lurhq found that many of these reports were bogus. However, Lurhq reported that more than 300,000 machines are known to have fallen victim to Nyxem-E.

iTunes at Uni

Apple has created the iTunes U, which offers free audio and video files related to American universities, like lectures and interviews. So far Apple has associated with six American institutions, to be able to offer the new content. It’s down to the universities to decide whether the files can be accessed by anyone or only by people related to the institution

“Grand Theft Auto” faces lawsuit

The city of Los Angeles has sued Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. for selling pornographic video games to children with its best-selling game "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas," which last year was found to have hidden sex scenes. The game publisher was accused on Thursday of failing to disclose the pornographic content to get the game onto shelves of major retailers that do not carry games rated "Adults Only 18+". The company is accused of having deceived consumers by first claiming that hackers had modified the original version of the games, then announcing a week later that the sex scenes were written into the original game code. The lawsuit demands that Take-Two and Rockstar Games, the subsidiary behind "Grand Theft Auto," one of the best-selling in video game franchises history, stop marketing the games to children, pay fines and return $10 million in profits. Last summer, the video game ratings board slapped a restrictive "adult" rating on "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" because of explicit sex scenes, known as "Hot Coffee," that allow players to engage in virtual sex acts.

Next DirectX to force Standard Precision

Apparently Microsoft?s DirectX team plans to drop partial precision capabilities in the next version of DirectX, not sure if that’s 9.0L or 10. This means both ATI and Nvidia will finally be forced to render using 32 bit floating-point precision, which in turn means many of the unscrupulous tactics used by both to gain performance advantages are now gone ? I can guarantee ATI are smiling right now? Dropping to different levels of floating-point precision has been a favourite trick of both ATI and Nvidia for quite some years, allowing higher frame rates in important benchmarks – Nvidia arguably being the ?king? of these shady practices. Partial precision can be used to limit the bit precision of pixel shader processes on the fly. Optimisations can then be achieved by switching to 24 or even 16 bit precision for better performance albeit at a price to image quality if compared against true 32bit floating-point rendering, which apparently ATI now use anyway with there latest cards. With DirectX 9 the use of partial precision was left to the game or graphics driver, now this ability will be stopped, leaving in it?s place 32 bit floating-point rendering only. All this boils down to better image quality for us all, and no more false marketing.. With Microsoft putting an end to this, both Nvidia and ATI will now have to compete on a level playing field, with some of the major issues of Nvidia Vs ATI image quality now destined to become a distant memory, and I for one ...

Virus spreads with the help of Kama Sutra

Porn curious might be the main victims of the virus Nyxem.d, also known as VB.bi ou Blackmal.E@mm. It has been distributed via e-mails that are meant to have images of the Kama Sutra. By clicking on an attached file that is meant to be a film or video, the user ends up installing a code that disables all security programs and self-sends the virus to all e-mail addressed found in the computer. The Kama Sutra e-mails have been spread with many different subjects, such as "Hot Movie", "Arab sex dsc-00465.jpg", "Fw: SeX.mpg", "Fwd: Crazy illegal Sex!", "give me a kiss" and "The Best Videoclip Ever". Users have first been warned about this virus by Graham Cluley, specialist from SophosLabs.

German Wikipedia banned

The content of the German version of the on-line enciclopedy Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.de) was banned on Thursday after a judicial desicion. The German justice decided to banish the site’s content based on a lawsuite issued by the family of a hacker known as "Tron", who became famous due to the uncertain circumstances of his death – he was found hanged in a park in 1998. His parents sued the Wikipedia Foundation because the site revealed Tron’s real identity. Tron was interested in defeating computer security mechanisms and broke, amongst other things, the security of the German phonecard by producing working clones. He was later sentenced to 15 months in jail for the theft of a public phone, but the sentence was suspended on probation. User that access the site will find a note informing that the content is unavailable due to a judicial decision, but it is still possible to find information in Germany when going to the main website and clicking on the option "deutsch".

Disney to widen online TV shows

Walt Disney has declared to have sold more than 1.5 million episodes of shows such as Lost and Desperate Housewives via online music and video store iTunes. The programmes are currently available to US households only and cost $1.99 (?1.13) per episode. Other companies worldwide are also working to make their programs available online. In recent weeks US network CBS announced it was making shows like CSI and Star Trek available to buy online via Google. In the UK the BBC is currently trialling a service to offer TV programmes online for up to seven days after they have broadcast. ITV has also announced it is looking at delivering content.

Sony’s Blu-ray PC may reach the UK in March

Sony’s Blu-ray high capacity optical disc system should be available in the UK as early as March as part of a desktop PC package. The VGC-RC204 features a Blu-ray recorder that can archive up to 25GB of data on one disc.Sony is expecting the ?1800 PC to appeal mainly to video editors. The PC supports a 600GB hard drive and is accompanied by Sony’s MR100 wireless media receiver, which streams audio video and images to other screens and devices. Recordable Blu-ray discs will go on sale next month, with Sony estimating that they will retail for around ?10. The recorder isn’t compatible with the 50GB double-sided discs. A laptop with integrated Blu-ray drive will be available later in 2006.

Quanta expects increase in sales for 2006

Taiwan’s Quanta Computer Inc., the world’s biggest contract manufacturer of laptop computers, forecast on Friday 30-40 percent sales growth in 2006 due to higher laptop, server and LCD TV shipments. "We will be way over T$500 billion in 2006," Chief Operating Officer Michael Wang told reporters. He said Quanta had about T$400 billion in sales in 2005. "Our notebooks, servers and LCD TVs all had very good growth," he said, but he added that Quanta’s cellphone business did not perform as well because part of its management team was restructured.

Google defies US over search data

Google is resisting efforts by the US Department of Justice to force it to hand over data?regarding what people search for. Google was asked for information on the types of query submitted over a week, and the websites included in its index to help The?DOJ to determine how often pornography shows up in online searches. It says the order will not violate personal privacy, but Google says it is too broad and threatens trade secrets. However, it is more likely (knowing this administration) that this is?simply a?toe in the water request to see what will happen. If Google loose, you’ll see more requests like this until we all accept it’s ok for the government to know everything about us, and throw us in prison without a lawyer because we used the word terrorist on?AIM one night.

PC virus completes 20 years

Today, 19 January is the 20th anniversary for the appearance of the first PC virus. Brain, a boot sector virus, was let loose in January 1986 and spread via infected floppy disks. This virus?is thought?to have originated in Pakistan and?at the time there were suspicions that it was created as a way to promote a company called Brain Computer Services, as its name and address would appear inside of the virus. The "original" Brain was considered fairly harmless, as its major effect was a change of the volume label. Only one harmful variant has been reported, which attacked on May 5, 1992. Nowadays Brain is extinct.

cs_militia released on Counter-Strike

A new update to Counter-Strike: Source and the Source Engine have been released just recently which brings the much anticipated HDR capable?map cs_militia to the map list. The specific changes include: New Map Added cs_militia with High Dynamic Range (HDR) lighting Counter-Strike: Source Fixed player name crash exploit Fixed rare visibility issue near portals such as doorways and windows Fixed a bug that occasionally resulted in doors becoming stuck closed Fixed animation issue with shotgun reloads interrupting fire animations Fixed bug where footsteps sometimes sounded for crouched players on stairs or slopes (they no longer do) Fixed buy menu locking up if keypad Enter is bound to "buymenu" Detail props sway in the breeze now Underwater observers no longer play drowning damage sounds Hostage changes Hostages can open doors and step up onto ledges/stairs now Hostages and Bots obey NAV_MESH_NO_HOSTAGES Source Engine Added FCVAR_CHEAT to some cvars in the materials system

Microsoft selling PCs in Brazil

In an effort to penetrate the low earning consumers of Brazil, Microsoft has teamed up with local retail magazine Luiza to offer a PC using a ?pre-paid? model, also know as rent-to-own. It works like this – customers buy pre-paid cards to rent the PC, but once the rental fees equal the purchase price, the buyer takes ownership of the system. A rather effective way to get people who can?t actually afford a PC to buy a PC, if you ask me.

AGEIA Continues To Gain PhysX Support

AGEIA, the company famous for launching the world’s first PPU, or the physics processing unit, has announced that it has established partnerships with two more industry leaders in game development – Emergent Game Technologies and Destineer Studios. Emergent are responsible for games such as Sid Meier?s Civilization 4, Sid Meier?s Pirates and Dark Age of Camelot, so it’s a big contract for AGEIA. Destineer has completely replaced there physics engine with AGEIA’s (gotta feel sorry for the guys who coded that!). FOr more information visit AGEIA

Feds after Google data

The Bush administration on Wednesday asked a federal judge to order Google to turn over a vast amount of information from its closely guarded databases.The government afirms they need Google data to determine how often pornography shows up in online searches. The move is part of a government effort to revive an Internet child protection law struck down two years ago by the U.S. Supreme Court. The law was meant to punish online pornography sites that make their content accessible to minors. In court papers filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Justice Department lawyers revealed that Google has refused to comply with a subpoena issued last year for the records, which include a request for 1 million random Web addresses and records of all Google searches from any one-week period. Google opposes releasing the information on a variety of grounds, saying it would violate the privacy rights of its users and reveal company trade secrets, according to court documents. The case worries privacy advocates, given the vast amount of information Google and other search engines know about their users. “This is exactly the kind of case that privacy advocates have long feared,” said Ray Everett-Church, a South Bay privacy consultant. “The idea that these massive databases are being thrown open to anyone with a court document is the worst-case scenario. If they lose this fight, consumers will think twice about letting Google deep into their lives.”

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