IT News: 'Crackberry' Gets Webster Stamp of Approval

Plus, researchers track a new trend in spamming; Microsoft spearheads the Math Partnership initiative; new products.

Editors at the Webster's New World College Dictionary have designated "crackberry" -- referring to those addictive BlackBerries and the people who love them -- the 2006 Word-of-the-Year, winning despite strong showings by "Pluto" and "netroots." Chosen for its flexibility (it can describe both the device and the user) and its pithy encapsulation of the wireless-loving Thumb Generation, "crackberry" has already gone on to spawn the derivative term "crackberry prayer," which refers to the hunched, reverential-looking pose a person takes on while using said crackberry.

These Spammers Sure Get Around
Notice an increase in .tk or .st links in your inbox lately? That's probably a result of what McAfee's anti-spam researchers are calling "spam island-hopping," a new method among spammers for sneaking past spam filters. Instead of using well-known domain names that spam filters can easily recognize -- like .com or .info -- more and more spammers are using lesser-known domain names from small island countries like Tokelau (.tk) and Sao Tome and Principe (.st). Other island escapes popular among spammers are the Cocos Islands (.cc), the American Samoa (.as) and the Isle of Man (.im).

Microsoft Helps Schools Do the Math
Six million dollars over three years. That's how much Microsoft Senior Vice President Brad Smith says the company will commit to a new initiative called Math Partnership, which will focus on improving the overall math curriculum in Puget Sound-area middle schools. Citing the importance of math skills in increasing America's global competitiveness -- not to mention a person's employment stock -- Smith announced that the company will partner with eight local school districts to provide their teachers with preparedness workshops, and their students with classroom tools like the MS Math program.

New Products: Windows Embedded CE 6.0, Atheros WLAN Software, More
Developers can now download a 180-day trial of Windows Embedded CE 6.0 through Microsoft's Shared Source program, which gives developers access to the company's source codes with no obligation. Windows Embedded CE 6.0 features capacity for 32,000 simultaneous processes and 2GB of virtual memory address space per process, new cell core data and voice components, and support from companies worldwide. Developers can download Windows Embedded CE 6.0 for a free 180-day trial, and won't have to buy licenses until their devices ship.

And for devices that do use the Windows CE 6.0 operating system, there's Atheros' line of Radio-on-Chip for Mobile products, now Microsoft-approved to provide CE 6.0 users with 802.11 connectivity. These products include the AR6001GL and AR6001XL WLAN solutions, which offer fast-roaming capabilities and power-saving features, like a low-power sleep mode and self-contained drivers that remove the burden of network maintenance tasks from the host processor, the company says.

There’s a new memory profiling tool for Microsoft .NET apps, courtesy of JetBrains s.r.o. Using snapshots of memory, the JetBrains dotTrace 2.0 lets you catch memory leaks in .NET apps, as well as compare two heap snapshots taken at different times in a profiling session. A free 10-day trial download of dotTrace 2.0 is now available through the JetBrains site, or you can purchase the product online for $499 per user license.

ATTO Technology Inc. is claiming an industry first with its new ExpressSAS RAID adapters, which the company says are the only SAS RAID adapters to have hardware RAID 6 and RAID 60 support. The adapters also have user-selectable port configuration options and fault-tolerant features like battery backup and online capacity expansion. Compatible with Mac OS X, Windows and Linux platforms, the ExpressSAS RAID controllers are currently available for customer evaluation, with a general release date expected in the first quarter of 2007. A single unit will retail at $1,095.

DataCore Software's Virtual Infrastructure Foundation now comes with SANmotion data migration capabilities, letting anyone with a PC server and Ethernet LAN move live data disks over an IP SAN to other Windows systems. Now available for $948, the SANmelody Virtual Infrastructure Foundation has as much as 3 terabytes of storage space, and has an auto-grow capacity feature that the company says will help maximize disk space.

About the Author

Gladys Rama (@GladysRama3) is the editorial director of Converge360.


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