John Lister

Fri
11
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Scrabble Battle Heats Up on Facebook

Scrabble is finally coming to Facebook. If that surprises you because you thought it was already there, Electronic Arts (EA) lawyers would probably like to call you as a witness. As we reported back in January , the popular Scrabulous feature on ... Facebook is entirely unofficial. Like most Facebook add-ons, it's run independently -- in this case, by two Indian brothers. They are estimated to make around $25,000 a month selling adverts which appear beside the game. Given the obvious legal difficulties involved in profiting from another firm's game in this way, the pair specifically avoid the ... (view more)

Fri
11
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft Security Update Goes Badly

Users of some firewall software, including the popular Zone Alarm, have found Microsoft's latest security update works a little too well: it effectively blocks their Internet access completely. The offending update fixes a pretty serious flaw in ... Windows which would have allowed hackers to redirect network traffic. However, it's proved incompatible with the entire ZoneAlarm series of software, leaving its users unable to access websites, instant messaging, email or any other Internet services. (Source: channelregister.co.uk ) ZoneAlarm has published three possible solutions. The first is to ... (view more)

Thu
10
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Judges Watching You Watching YouTube

The 'Security vs Privacy' debate is raging again after a court recently ordered Google to hand its entire YouTube records over to Viacom. The order, from the US District Court in Southern New York, comes as part of an ongoing billion dollar lawsuit ... that the media giant (which owns MTV and Nickelodeon among others) filed over copyrighted material on the video site. The suit claims that Viacom has lost revenue thanks to the infringement, while Google has boosted its advertising take. The heart of the case is Google's position that it doesn't -- and practically couldn't -- vet clips that users ... (view more)

Wed
09
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft Announces Subscription-based Office

Microsoft has officially confirmed its plan to offer the Office package to the public on a subscription basis. It follows the testing programme, codenamed Albany, which we reported in April . The scheme, renamed Microsoft Equipt, launches in the ... middle of July. Surprisingly, the deal will initially only be available at Circuit City stores. However, Microsoft says it's not an exclusive agreement and they may distribute it through other routes later on. (Source: betanews.com ) The package will cost $70 a year, which is about what analysts tagged as a fair price in comparison to the prices for ... (view more)

Wed
09
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

US & UK Get iPhone Fever, Canada Sceptical

The new 3G iPhone is set for a roaring start in the United States and Britain, but Canadian consumers appear sceptical after the recent announcement of a phone plan they deem unfair. The device launches on Friday at 8am in AT&T stores (unlike ... the original phone which was held back till 6pm on its launch last year). The time switch is because the new phone must be activated in-store rather than at home. As this process could take up to 20 minutes per customer, long lines should inevitably build up. Thus, AT&T wants to spread sales across the day; a new policy is designed to make it harder for ... (view more)

Tue
08
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Flash No Longer Invisible To Search Engines

Adobe has unveiled changes which will allow both Google and Yahoo to search content contained within Flash presentations. Flash is a system used to produce audio-visual content for websites, such as short movies and animations, in a way that looks ... the same on all machines. It usually involves much smaller file sizes than traditional video formats such as Windows Media. Designers can also incorporate interactive content in Flash such as games and quizzes. However, one major flaw for website owners has always been the fact that Flash content is searchable in the same way as regular website ... (view more)

Mon
07
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

RealNetworks Could Be Real Challenger To iTunes

A music service run by MTV and the creators of RealPlayer is launching a digital download store that could be the most credible challenger yet to Apple's iTunes store. Rhapsody America offers five million songs in MP3 format and mirrors the iTunes ... pricing structure of 99c per track and $9.99 per album. But unlike iTunes, the songs are available without the shackles of Digital Rights Management. That's a restriction designed to fight piracy by limiting or preventing users from copying the file to multiple computers or handheld devices. Rhapsody has signed deals with all four major record ... (view more)

Fri
04
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

IBM Bids To Save World's Chocolate

IBM's latest work, the Chocolate Genome Project, isn't a wacky codename for a new game: it's a genuine attempt to uncover the DNA of the cocoa bean. The firm is teaming up with confectionary giant Mars and the US Department of Agriculture to track ... the genetic coding which makes up the bean used for chocolate production. The idea is to learn enough to isolate variants of the bean which can survive the growing problems of dry climates, fungi and insect attacks which have driven prices up by half in the past year, threatening many farmers' livelihoods. Around 6.5 million farmers depend on cocoa ... (view more)

Fri
04
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Who Could Hack Web Regulators?

A Turkish hacking group has vandalised the websites of those groups that run the Internet's address system. Sites belonging to the Internet Assigned Numbers Agency (IANA) and its parent organisation the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and ... Numbers (ICANN) both fell victim to the hackers. ICANN and IANA manage the routing system which allows web users to type in a domain name (such as www.infopackets.com ) rather than having to know the specific IP address (a string of numbers which identifies a particular computer) where the website is physically located. Their sites briefly redirected ... (view more)

Thu
03
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Public Not Bothered By Secret Video Game Hanky-Panky

Lawyers may have kicked up a stink over explicit scenes in a previous edition of Grand Theft Auto (GTA), but the game-playing public doesn't seem particularly concerned. This week, lawyers revealed that just 2,676 people filed claims; that may sound ... like a large number, but it's a tiny proportion of the 21.5 million people who'd bought the game at last count -- particularly as the settlement pretty much guaranteed free money for anyone who could be bothered feigning offence. It's all particularly interesting news given the popularity of this most recent release of GTA, Grand Theft Auto 4. ... (view more)

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