The Rootkits of All Evil
If you think spyware and viruses are bad now, just wait till you see what nastiness
can come from "kernel rootkits," Microsoft warns. Rootkits have long
been used to quietly track your computing actions, but they can usually be discovered
by decent anti-spyware programs.
Kernel rootkits, by modifying the very core of your machine, are far tougher
for anti-virus, anti-spyware and IDS software to detect. This is clearly a trend
the entire industry has to fight, and as owner of the kernel, Microsoft has
a key role to play.
for more information from Microsoft researchers.
Apple Is Making Microsoft Look Good
In recent years, Apple dealers have been getting increasing testy with the 'tude
of Jobs and company. Flush with the success of the iPod, Apple has been making
its company-owned stores increasingly upscale, as if it's selling Jaguars and
Prada instead of plain old personal computers and digital music players. And
these stuck-up stores have been squeezing out shops that have supported Apple
for over a decade.
Apparently, this wasn't hostile enough, as Apple is now being sued for undercutting
its dealers, stocking its own stores first, using confidential dealer information
to benefit Apple-owned stores and more.
If I had 5 percent desktop market share, I'd treat every dealer like a king,
but then again, I am not nearly as brilliant as Steve Jobs.
Paris' Phone Bares All
Paris Hilton is always, it seems, on TV, on her fancy mobile phone -- or both!
Not that I follow this great talent all that closely, but every time the camera
pans over during a Knicks' game, she's looking at her T-Mobile, rather than
a Vin Baker free throw.
With that phone out so much, it's really no surprise that someone was able
to hack in. (How many times did this braniac key in her password on live TV,
I'm sure Bill Gates breathed a sigh of relief to find that the Sidekick isn't
a Windows SmartPhone, and that his number wasn't on her unit.
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While few feel bad for all the celebs, like Eminem, who had their numbers and
addresses exposed thanks to the Hilton hack, it does point out that IT has to
protect everything these days -- if your CEO's cell phone is compromised, you'll
be the one holding the bag.
Sausage and Spim
Just as hackers are targeting new devices such as Paris Hilton's Sidekick, spammers
are going beyond basic e-mail and targeting instant messaging, a new form of
spam called spim.
One spimmer, 18-year-old Anthony Greco, had a pretty high opinion of himself.
After sending over a million spims for porn and cheap mortgages to MySpace.com
customers, he made an offer the online networking service couldn't refuse --
MySpace could either sign an exclusive deal blessing Gredo's spim, or he'd teach
the world how to send the junk to the company's customers.
MySpace president Tom Anderson kindly invited the lad to Los Angeles to discuss
the deal further -- where authorities slapped cuffs on poor Tony.
I Want My IPTV
Microsoft has long wanted to rule the living room, and each year at CES it pushes
its vision of Windows as the center of the entertainment universe. This year's
show was no exception -- unfortunately, the demo crashed and burned before Bill
Gates' wide and embarrassed eyes. Hey, it's Windows, ain't it?
But Microsoft never gives up where money and market share are truly at stake,
and Microsoft hopes that television of the future will run over IP and use its
software. The latest step in the direction is a recent deal with Alcatel to
an IPTV system based on Alcatel network gear, which broadband providers
can use to offer video services.
Because it is IP, there's quite a bit of flexibility, and the provider can
blend regular programming, video on demand, Internet, voice, e-mail -- whatever.
The potential new services are great, but I'm more interested in price competition.
Paying a thousand dollars a year for a bunch of "Highway to Heaven"
reruns isn't my idea of a bargain.
Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.