Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tech News - A Round Up Of The Latest News.

With new software releases and advances happening so rapidly in the Web, I thought it will be a good idea to start a new category on technological news to keep up with the rapid changes. I hope readers will find this informative and useful. Here is a round up of what is hot :

1. Google Opens Its Social Networking Sites To Developers
Google recently opened its social networking site, Orkut, to third party developers by making available a tool kit for writing user applications, an initiative called OpenSocial. Echoes of what Facebook is doing but Google is going one extra step by making its software interface workable on other social networking sites like Friendster, LinkedIn, Ning and Plaxo.
Great news for developers because this allows them to develop applications that can be used across the various social networking sites thus making it more efficient and productive. Google is playing catch up with Facebook who already have this facility which has attracted over 21 million users and the accompanying advertisers.

2. MySpace Opens Up
With increasing competition for users, online social network MySpace will finally open its code to outside developers. MySpace CEO Chris Dewolfe has announced that he is seeking to create a far more lucrative environment for outside developers than currently exist on Facebook, by providing advertising opportunities for independent application developers.

After witnessing the effects of Facebook's open invitation to developers, which resulted in more than 6,000 independent applications for its sites, MySpace plans to give developers control over advertising that runs on the webpages they create to host new services.

3. Google's New OS For Mobile Phones
Google recently announced that it was going to build software for mobile gizmos. Called Android, the software is expected give Microsoft's Windows Mobile and the Nokia-backed Symbian software, common on smart phones now, a run for the money. To push Android's adoption by users, Google also tied up with 33 partners through the Open Handset Alliance, which includes phone maker HTC and German cell phone maker T-mobile. Will Google's entry in the mobile phone market and more choices in devices for users be a good thing? We will have to wait and see.
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4. PDF Files Contains Malicious Code
A warning, released last week by IT security firm F-Secure, indicated that pdf files are not as secured as once thought. According to F-Secure it has recently seen tens of thousands of such malicious pdf files being spammed via mass e-mail messages. When such files are viewed on vulnerable machines, PCs get infected. The malicious files exploit a recently discovered frailty in Adobe Acrobat and Internet Explorer 7 and downloads vicious malware from a server in Malaysia with the aim of setting up a network of zombie machines.

The malicious e-mail contains subject headings like "Your credit report" and "Personal financial statement" and has no content in the main body except for the pdf attachment. Adobe has advised users to upgrade to Adobe Reader 8.1.1 or Acrobat 8.1.1 as it affects versions 8.1. My advice is to arm your PC with the necessary firewalls, anti-virus and anti-spyware software and get them updated regularly and not to open suspicious e-mails.

5. Internet Mapped Out
An attempt was made recently by the University of Southern California's Information Science Institute (ISI) to create a map of the Internet. Over two months, ISI computers sent queries to about 2.8 billion numeric Internet Protocol addresses that identify individual computers on the Web. Replies came from about 187 million of the IP addresses and researchers used that data to map out where computers exist on the Internet. At one dot per address using a regular printer and with only a portion of replies, the resulting map was about 2.7m by 2.7m.

The map will help show how densely populated the Internet is and could help the researchers study the spread of computer viruses.

*Related posts :
- Free firewalls, anti-virus and anti-spyware programs.
- Google's free web services.