Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Oracle Claims Victory Over EC; Says Sun Will Sell Clouds- from sys-con.com

Oracle Claims Victory Over EC; Says Sun Will Sell Clouds

Oracle Keynote at Cloud Expo

Cloud Computing Expo - Oracle expects the European Commission to wave its acquisition of Sun through next month MySQL and all without any annoying conditions.

Oracle president Safra Catz, who’s been wrestling with the EC, said so when the company posted its fiscal second-quarter results Thursday, another reason Oracle’s going to have a Merry Christmas.

Catz took a bunch of Oracle users to an EC hearing a week ago to buttress the company’s claims that the EC had put words in users’ mouths to support the theory of harm it manufactured to try to stop Oracle from getting MySQL.

Oracle Named Exclusive Diamond Sponsor of Cloud Expo 2010

The meeting was backed by a write-in campaign from hundreds of users as well as a letter from the US Senate and a public statement from the Justice Department.

A grateful Catz said, “I want to thank all of our customers for the overwhelming support they have given us during this process.”

After further discussions with the agency over the weekend Oracle Monday made a few relatively non-restrictive promises regarding MySQL so the EC could leave the stage with its dignity intact. It still has until January 27. It will be curious to see it takes that long.

Oracle’s CEO Larry Ellison, who blamed the EC’s foot-dragging for Sun losing $100 million a month to rivals said he expects “Sun to rapidly improve both its market share and margins once this merger closes,” claiming that “Sun’s new Sparc Solaris system and Sun’s new Exadata database machine both run the Oracle database faster than IBM’s fastest computer.”

Ellison reckons the Exadata-style business is the future of computing and worth billions of dollars.

During a conference call Ellison said Sun had no talent for selling high-volume, low-margin x86 machines and would leave that business to Dell and HP. Instead it will focus on the high-performance end peddling SMP machines and private clouds based on both Sun Solaris operating system and Oracle’s Unbreakable Linux and complete with integrated storage and networking.

Oracle’s Q2 beat the Street and the numbers hint that enterprise spending might be coming back into fashion again.

Oracle earned $1.46 billion, or 29 cents a share, up 15%, on revenues up 4% to $5.9 billion, pushing past the $5.69 billion expected. On a non-GAAP basis it realized 39 cents a share, three cents better than expected.

New software license revenues were up 2% to $1.7 billion, versus the $1.54 billion expected. Software updates and support revenues were up 14% to $3.2 billion.

The company’s operating income was up 10% to $2.2 billion and operating margin was up 200 basis points to 37%. Operating cash flow on a trailing 12-month basis was $8.7 billion, up 7%.

In a prepared statement, CFO Jeff Epstein said, “We delivered results which were substantially better than we expected on both the top and bottom line, growing non-GAAP operating margins by 280 basis points to 49%, the highest Q2 non-GAAP operating margin in our history.”

Oracle claimed it took market share from SAP in every region around the world for the fourth consecutive quarter. President Charles Phillips said that in constant currency, “our applications business grew 1% in the Americas and 2% in Asia Pacific versus a negative 35% and negative 34% respectively for SAP.”

Catz said Sun, for all its losses, is still expected to bring Oracle $1.5 billion in operating income. Leaving Sun out – Oracle will redo its predictions next month – she forecast software license revenues to grow this quarter somewhere between minus 1% to up 9% and revenue to be up 3%-6% with non-GAAP ESP of 36 cents-38 cents

© 2008 SYS-CON Media Inc.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

In 2 years very fast WIFI

The future of WiFi: gigabit speeds and beyond

Now that 802.11n has been officially ratified, attention is turning to the next big thing in wireless networking: gigabit WiFi. Ars explores the future of WiFi and how it may give gigabit Ethernet a run for its money.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Oracle Announces Oracle® Rapid Planning

Oracle Announces Oracle® Rapid Planning

New Value Chain Planning Product Promotes Real-Time Decision-Making

Redwood Shores, Calif. – November 16, 2009

News Facts

To improve companies’ ability to quickly adapt to unplanned supply chain events, Oracle today announced the availability of Oracle® Rapid Planning.
With Oracle Rapid Planning, customers will benefit from real-time, event driven planning and simulation that delivers quick, predictive and actionable intelligence, enabling planners to react quickly to changes.
Complementary to the existing suite of Oracle Value Chain Planning applications, Oracle Rapid Planning features out-of-the-box integration with the Oracle E-Business Suite and Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne. It also supports integration with ERP systems such as SAP or other legacy systems. This enables customers to leverage their existing IT investments, lower installation costs and maximize value.

Oracle Rapid Planning Drives Real-Time, Profitable Supply Chain Decisions

Companies must react quickly to events such as a sudden increase in demand, an urgent engineering change, an unexpected production shortfall or a supplier quality issue. Oracle Rapid Planning enables customers to benefit from:
Improved Planning Speed and Flexibility
Fast, event-driven, simultaneous material and capacity planning enables quick decision-making.
Rapid incremental simulation and embedded analytics enables user-driven “what-if” scenario analysis and plan performance evaluation and comparison.
Mass edit and manipulation of items, bills, routings, resources, capacity, supply and demand data promotes quick, user-driven “what if” capabilities, without requiring changing data in the ERP system.
Increased Planner Productivity
Next generation productivity enhancing spreadsheet style user interface supports configurable workspaces, filters and saved queries, and simultaneous analysis of exceptions, supply chain pegging, performance indicators and material and resource requirements.
Comprehensive Modeling Capabilities
Comprehensive configurable exception management increases planners’ productivity and response by focusing on the most important problem first.
Comprehensive supply chain constraint modeling and decision automation with support for alternates (resources, process, facilities, ship methods, components), substitution, lead times, order modifiers, and priority-based ranking enables improved plan quality.
Standards-based Solution
Standards-based technology enables scalability and lower cost deployment.

Friday, November 13, 2009

A nice Blog in Hebrew about Social Network Marketing

Lipaz Mooskat
http://lipazmooskat.blogspot.com I discovered today and Hebrew Readers will like.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

IBM launched the IBM Cloud Academy

IBM today launched the IBM Cloud Academy, a global forum for educators, researchers and information technology (IT) personnel from the education industry to pursue cloud computing initiatives, develop skills and share best practices for reducing operating costs while improving quality and access to education

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dvir Reznik on Talking Innovation at IBM

From Dvir:

  • "Do smarter people make smarter search engines?
  • Is it all about context?
  • Shouldn't non-techies be able to create online applications?"

Saturday, October 10, 2009

USB stick converts PC to thin client

October 07, 2009 Thin Client News www.thinclient.org

Customers simply plug the Converter into a PC and boot from it. The Igel firmware is automatically installed on the hard drive and a converted PC can then be managed as a thin client.

Continue reading "USB stick converts PC to thin client"

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Opera 10 Since 1st September

New in Opera 10

Exclusive Opera Turbo compression boosts slow connection speeds

Innovative visual tabs displays Web sites in thumbnails
Intuitive, sleek design
Easy-to-personalize Speed Dial visual bookmarks
Everything built-in, no need for extensions
It's free!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Free Software Foundation Attack MS Windows 7

Windows 7 Sins: The case against Microsoft and proprietary software

from windows7sins.org by FSF

The new version of Microsoft's Windows operating system, Windows 7, has the same problem that Vista, XP, and all previous versions have had -- it's proprietary software. Users are not permitted to share or modify the Windows software, or examine how it works inside.

The fact that Windows 7 is proprietary means that Microsoft asserts legal control over its users through a combination of copyrights, contracts, and patents. Microsoft uses this power to abuse computer users. At windows7sins.org, the Free Software Foundation lists seven examples of abuse committed by Microsoft.

1. Poisoning education: Today, most children whose education involves computers are being taught to use one company's product: Microsoft's. Microsoft spends large sums on lobbyists and marketing to corrupt educational departments. An education using the power of computers should be a means to freedom and empowerment, not an avenue for one corporation to instill its monopoly.

2. Invading privacy: Microsoft uses software with backward names like Windows Genuine Advantage to inspect the contents of users' hard drives. The licensing agreement users are required to accept before using Windows warns that Microsoft claims the right to do this without warning.

3. Monopoly behavior: Nearly every computer purchased has Windows pre-installed -- but not by choice. Microsoft dictates requirements to hardware vendors, who will not offer PCs without Windows installed on them, despite many people asking for them. Even computers available with other operating systems like GNU/Linux pre-installed often had Windows on them first.

4. Lock-in: Microsoft regularly attempts to force updates on its users, by removing support for older versions of Windows and Office, and by inflating hardware requirements. For many people, this means having to throw away working computers just because they don't meet the unnecessary requirements for the new Windows versions.

5. Abusing standards: Microsoft has attempted to block free standardization of document formats, because standards like OpenDocument Format would threaten the control they have now over users via proprietary Word formats. They have engaged in underhanded behavior, including bribing officials, in an attempt to stop such efforts.

6. Enforcing Digital Restrictions Management (DRM): With Windows Media Player, Microsoft works in collusion with the big media companies to build restrictions on copying and playing media into their operating system. For example, at the request of NBC, Microsoft was able to prevent Windows users from recording television shows that they have the legal right to record.

7. Threatening user security: Windows has a long history of security vulnerabilities, enabling the spread of viruses and allowing remote users to take over people's computers for use in spam-sending botnets. Because the software is secret, all users are dependent on Microsoft to fix these problems -- but Microsoft has its own security interests at heart, not those of its users.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Examine the patent that made selling Microsoft Word a crime

August 12th, 2009

Examine the patent that made selling Microsoft Word a crime

Microsoft is barred from selling any Microsoft Word products that can open XML files (.xml, .docx and .docm), according to a U.S. District Court ruling in favor of i4i, a small Canadian company that sued the software giant for patent infringement.
from zdnet http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=22595
PS. I thought XML is a Open Standard?!
Please Comment

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Microsoft sees size as search answer in Yahoo deal

From AP and Yahoo News,

Microsoft sees size as search answer in Yahoo deal

REDMOND, Wash. -
By JESSICA MINTZ, AP Technology Writer - Mon Aug 3, 2009 4:48PM EDT

Microsoft is hoping that a long-term partnership with rival Yahoo will give it the size and insight it needs to bring in more traffic, more advertisers and ultimately more revenue.

By handling Yahoo Inc.'s searches along with its own, Microsoft Corp. can learn more quickly what works and what doesn't. A smarter search engine might draw more Internet users, and more advertisers could follow, driving up prices.

Size, though, may wind up being far from the magic bullet that Microsoft is counting on in forging a 10-year partnership to power all Yahoo searches.

Search leader Google Inc. has had a head start in technical development, and Microsoft already has had plenty of search queries to analyze — yet it remains stuck at No. 3. Adding more data might not make a difference.

"They have lots of scale. They have lots of traffic. Even being the third-place player, they have huge amounts of data to understand their own relevancy," said Danny Sullivan, editor of the search news site Searchengineland.com. "I just don't know why they keep putting that argument out."

The deal still needs regulatory review on such issues as whether it will promote or hinder competition and how the two companies will share the personal data collected in searches.

If approved, Microsoft's technology will process Yahoo's searches behind the scenes. The only nod to Microsoft will appear — with credit placed at the bottom of the page — when a user gets results from a Web search.

In exchange, Microsoft will keep 12 percent of the ad revenue those searches generate. That's a better deal for Yahoo than most agreements of this sort, though the terms go up for review halfway through the deal.

Microsoft has yet to turn a profit on its search and advertising business despite having invested billions.

The software maker's stockholders so far have been guardedly positive about the deal, perhaps because it did not require a $9 billion upfront payment to Yahoo, a condition of a similar deal proposed last year. If Microsoft can't use this partnership to improve its search finances, though, they will eventually run out of patience.

Microsoft expects to spend up to $700 million to get the arrangement up and running, something that could take two years to fully deploy worldwide. It may spend up to $200 million within the next 12 months alone.

But the company believes it's worth it.

With the partnership, Microsoft will funnel Yahoo's nearly 3 billion monthly Web searches. Add that to the 1 billion Microsoft gets on its own, and the software maker will quadruple the queries it processes, allowing its search engine to gain even more insight into how to improve the experience.

Every move a search user makes is fed back into the system, so when the next person comes along with a similar problem, the search engine is a little bit smarter about solving it. For example, if five people in a row click on the fifth link on the results page for "Seattle Space Needle," the search engine — a sophisticated computer program — might try moving that link up to the top.

When search results give people what they're looking for right away, they're more likely to come back. It's a case of the sum totaling more than its parts: The deal is about more than simply combining search traffic from the two sites.

More people doing more searching on Microsoft-powered sites should then attract more companies wanting to peddle their products through short text ads next to search results. Some may not have bothered advertising on Microsoft and Yahoo separately, because as separate sites their audiences were too small to make up for the hassle of recreating Google search ad campaigns on a second and even a third system. Those advertisers may be enticed by the convenience and reach of this partnership, or by the idea of having a solid second place to spend their ad dollars to keep Google in check.

A bigger number of ads in the hopper gives Microsoft's technology a better chance of plucking out one that entices someone to click. The more times Microsoft watches someone click an ad — or not — the better its formula becomes for making the right match.

And because search ads are sold auction-style, more advertisers vying for those spots should drive up prices, ultimately helping Microsoft eke out a bit more from every ad it sells.

Right now, Microsoft estimates that Google gets 7 cents in ad revenue for every search, while Yahoo gets 4.3 cents and Microsoft gets 3.9 cents, according to a PowerPoint slide Microsoft mistakenly posted online.

Once Microsoft is handling Yahoo's searches, Microsoft predicts revenue per search for both companies will rise to 5 cents. Subtracting the commission Microsoft will pay Yahoo, Microsoft expects to start making a "decent" return of $400 million.

"The number of searchers is a vital driver of success," said Tim Cadogan, CEO of online advertising company OpenX and a former senior vice president in Yahoo's advertising division. "Being able to get nearly 30 percent catapults Microsoft from a tougher position to a more viable place from which they can build."

And build it must. Google gets about two-thirds of U.S. search queries, according to comScore Inc. Yahoo handled about a fifth of U.S. searches in June, and Microsoft fielded less than half of that. The partnership would bring the two companies' combined share to nearly 30 percent, still less than half of Google's total.

Staying a distant second to Google will leave Microsoft perpetually playing catch-up while Google keeps getting better. In other words, there are almost never enough data.

And that assumes size is all that's holding Microsoft back, a premise that Gartner analyst Andrew Frank described as "an overly simplistic view of Google's accomplishments."

Google had a head start on Microsoft and Yahoo in fine-tuning its search advertising system based on what works and what doesn't, making note of everything from the number of ads on a search results page to their exact size, placement, spacing and color.

When someone does a Web search, Google does more than simply spit out an ad that matches the keyword. Google weighs many factors to figure out how likely a user will click on an ad. An oft-clicked ad on a common search might be shown first, even if it brings in less revenue than a less popular but more lucrative one.

Microsoft has smart computer scientists working full-time on the same puzzle, but Google's lead is formidable, and Microsoft's devotion to search pales compared with cash cows like Office and Windows.

Ultimately, the Redmond, Wash.-based software maker may have to settle for something less tangible.

Google has been making incursions onto Microsoft's home turf, the software that makes computers run and helps people get their work done. By stepping up its game in search, Microsoft may ultimately force Google to focus on its core search engine rather than its fledgling software business, including a recently announced Chrome operating system that could challenge Windows.

Microsoft may be able to claim victory even if it cannot turn size into dramatic search revenue growth.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

IBM Survey Claims Linux Desktops Easier to Deploy Than Expected

IBM is waving around a study that it commissioned from Freeform Dynamics showing that Linux desktops go down better if the right group of users is targeted for deployment such as those who have moderate and predictable use of e-mail and office tools like transaction workers and general professional workers, folks who "aren't emotional" about their desktop.

The study confirmed that adoption of Linux on the desktop is driven primarily by cost reduction. Those surveyed indicated that both Windows and Linux can be adequately secured - it's just cheaper to secure a Linux desktop and maintain it that way.

IBM's VP of Linux and open source Bob Sutor claims Windows shops are going to have to evaluate the cost of migrating to Microsoft's next desktop and see that the Linux desktop as a PC investment will actually save money during this downturn.

"We see the recession fueling open source on the desktop," he said.

The research was done online in the UK, U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Western Europe and the Nordics and 90% of the study's respondents had direct experience with desktop Linux deployment in their business.

Thanks to : http://linux.sys-con.com/node/974706

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Facebook Boosts Security After Dual Phishing Attacks

Facebook Boosts Security After Dual Phishing Attacks

Facebook has brought in some soldiers to fight the war against malware and phishing scams on the social-networking site. After two different malware attacks this week, Facebook announced it would begin using San Francisco-based MarkMonitor's antifraud services as an additional layer of protection against attacks.

"Our deep commitment to the safety of our users requires a strong proactive security strategy, best-of-breed technology, and active engagement with industry leaders," said Ryan McGeehan, threat analyst at Facebook. "MarkMonitor demonstrated that it understood the complexity of the phishing issue we were facing, so it was a natural next step for us to bolster our own security systems with their anti-malware solution."

Users Victimized

This week some of Facebook's 200 million users were victims of phishing attacks. One attack took control of users' accounts, sending messages to their friends telling them to check out a specific Web site, fbstar.com. The other incident pointed victims to fbaction.net.

Andy Cutler, a partner in Cutler and Company, was not aware his account had been under the control of a hacker until he received several e-mail and text messages alerting him that his account been phished.

"The first thing I did for survival was to go into my Facebook account and change my password," Cutler said. "I just figured if someone hacked my account, I was not going to tear down the page but to change my password, and I did post a notice on Facebook saying I had been phished and apologized."

Cutler's hacker did some damage by sending a total of 19 different messages averaging 20 different people per message. For Cutler it could have been a communications disaster, as he has 495 friends in his Facebook account.

Trust Breached

While the attack didn't cause any major problems to Cutler and his friends, it did hurt Facebook's reputation.

"I tell you what it did do for me -- it put Facebook in a different light for me than other social-network tools," Cutler said. "I'm pretty active in Twitter and Facebook has been a way to keep up with people in my networks, but I have to say I was disappointed in Facebook that this can get through their security system."

Aarin Morrow of Denver thought she was pretty tech-savvy until she became a victim of the fbaction.net attack.

"What happened is a friend of mine was a victim the day before with fbaction.net and I'm very computer tech-savvy and still clicked on it and stupidly logged in," Morrow said. "I said this is weird and e-mailed my friend and asked about the link, and he said he didn't send it."

Morrow became a victim again the next day with the fbstar.com attack. A total of 45 of Morrow's Facebook friends received the message "Look at This," pointing the friends to the fbstar.com Web site.

"What is unfortunate about this is that MySpace got spammed with stuff like this and Facebook never had those problems, but no one is exempt from having this issue happening," she said. "In the future I will be more cautious."

Obligation To Users

"I think FB has an obligation to its users to say please don't fall for this scam," Cutler said. "By allowing the system to be hacked, it created a catch-22 for them. People now have negative feelings toward the company and it impacts the way people view them and their communication because they don't know if they can trust their communication."

This isn't the first time Facebook has had to deal with malware issues. In February, users were dealing with another scam where hackers took control of users' accounts and sent out messages to their friends asking for financial help after being robbed. In some cases, Facebook had to disable the accounts and users had to create new accounts.

"The meteoric success of Facebook makes it a natural target for malware attacks that seek to capitalize on their trusted and recognizable brand," said Frederick Felman, chief marketing officer of MarkMonitor.

"The MarkMonitor technology and 24/7 security operations center are key to helping Facebook fight phishing and malware," said Te Smith, a spokesperson for MarkMonitor.

When MarkMonitor verifies a malicious site, it updates phish-site block lists for its network of popular browsers, security vendors, and e-mail providers. Then it takes down the malicious site to get it off the Internet.

Monday, May 18, 2009

News From Symbio and Argus- Secure Thin Clients.

Argus Systems and Symbio Technologies Deliver the Ultimate MLS Server Security Solution

May 13, 2009--Symbio Technologies (www.symbio-technologies.com), provider of state of the art Stateless Computing Solutions and Argus Systems Group (www.argus-systems.com), provider of Multi-Level (MLS) Operating Systems and Services, today announced their full collaboration to provide MLS server-centric stateless computing solutions. Utilizing Symbio's Stateless Thin Client and Boot Stick solutions, and Argus's PitBull MLS solutions for Solaris 10, users may now work in a totally secure MLS environment, while retaining high security levels at the client side.

The combined solution provides the ultimate package of MLS server security, providing ironclad security at, to, and from the server as well as reducing risk at the client access end points. Attempts at malicious use or access of confidential or secret information is further mitigated by the use of Symbio's stateless solutions, leaving no viable information at the end points where it can be compromised, while Argus's PitBull for Solaris 10 provides the MLS server protection.

Customers will be able to connect to highly secure systems using a number of methods. Existing computing infrastructure such as any desktop computer, laptop, or netbook can be utilized via the Symbio Boot Stick to provide secure Virtual Network Connections (VNC) to the PitBull Protected MLS server. Additionally, thin client desktop solutions from Symbio can be implemented using the same technology. VNC connections can also be accepted by the PitBull protected server via wireless connections. This provides the security of remaining stateless at the client side, protected by Argus's MLS PitBull, all while being fully mobile and without the hassle of being physically connected to the network.

Additionally, customers will be able to retain the highest levels of data security at the source and at the end points, while embracing the future of server-centric computing and the green initiative. The solution provides reduction in total cost of ownership (TCO) through reduced power requirements at the client side, and the reduction of associated infrastructure and maintenance costs of having full systems at the client side. Full leveraging of the combined Symbio and Argus solution will greatly increase information data security, and reduce the costs of maintaining the IT infrastructure.

Argus Systems Group will be at the DoDIIS Worldwide Conference 2009 in Orlando, Florida providing a full working demonstration of the combined capabilities of Symbio's stateless solutions, and Argus's ironclad MLS server security. Come to booth #941 for a demonstration and to get specifics on this exciting new technology.

About Symbio Technologies

Symbio Technologies is a leading developer and marketer of security-centric stateless computing which reduces the complexity and cost of deploying and maintaining networks. Symbio's products are available worldwide through a network of distributors, value-added resellers and integrators in Australia, Canada, Chile, Egypt, Mexico, Pakistan, South Africa, and the U.K., as well as throughout the U.S.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Smarter Planet- Special Mid-Market

Smarter Planet for the Mid-Market with IBM and Chana Systems

Something meaningful is happening today. The world is getting flatter, smaller and smarter. And, as an IBM Business Partner, you are part of this revolution - and the solutions. Through you, companies can work smarter and uncover new value in technology - especially in the mid-market, where opportunity is greatest.
IBM Smarter Planet IBM.com/smarterplanet

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Works with Linux. Thanks to jerusalemonline. Good Things Under the SUN

Thanks to jerusalemonline.com we can watch tv2 News Round Up in English and as you can see it works on Linux, Not like some MS only Websites.

SUN bought up happily by Oracle and not by IBM.
Hope our customers will use Linux SUN Oracle IBM with our help.
To Prepare for Tomorrows Business.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ehud Tenenbaum at it again???

Israeli hacker suspected of $10m theft

Ehud Tenenbaum, a notorious Israeli hacker arrested in Canada last year in relation to the theft of around $1.5 million, is now suspected of breaking into the systems of four US institutions as part of a global "cashout" conspiracy that resulted in the loss of at least $10 million.

In 1998 Tenenbaum gained notoriety as "The Analyzer" after being arrested following hacks on computer systems used by the Pentagon, Nasa, the Israeli parliament and Hamas.

In August he made the news again as one of four gang members arrested by Canadian police for allegedly stealing C$2 million by hacking the database of a Calgary-based business and loading money onto pre-paid cards.

The gang allegedly compromised the company's computer system and loaded money onto the pre-paid debit cards before withdrawing the cash at ATMs in Canada and several other countries.

He was granted bail by a Canadian court but was detained after US authorities asked for him to be kept in jail while they worked on extradition.

Details of the US allegations have now emerged after Wired magazine obtained an affidavit filed by officials with the Canadian court handling Tenenbaum's extradition case.

According to the affidavit, in January and February 2008 a US Secret Service investigation into a computer hacking "conspiracy" against banks and other firms, uncovered attacks on the systems of Texas-based OmniAmerican Credit Union and pre-paid card distributor Global Cash Card.

The attacker allegedly gained access using a SQL injection before stealing credit and debit card numbers that were then used to withdraw more than $1 million from ATMs around the world.

In April and May 2008, authorities investigated further SQL injection attacks on 1st Source Bank in Indiana, and pre-paid debit card processor Symmetrex, which resulted in losses of over $3 million.

The Secret Service traced the attacks to servers in Virginia acting as a routing point for systems at Dutch Web hosting company LeaseWeb.

Authorities in the Netherlands were asked to track and intercept traffic from three servers, resulting in the discovery of communications thought to be between Tenenbaum - using the e-mail address Analyzer22@hotmail.com - and other known criminals discussing the four hacks as well as moves against "many other" financial institutions.

According to the affidavit, in an MSN instant messenger conversation, on 18 April 2008, Tenenbaum revealed that he was responsible for hacking into the network of Global Cash Card, adding "yesterday I rechecked [Global Cash Card] they are still blocking everything. so we cant hack them again."

He also exchanged over 150 compromised card numbers stolen from Symmetrex.

On 20 April, the affidavit says he received updates on a "cashout" operation, where accomplices used stolen card data to withdraw money from ATMs in the US, Russia, Turkey and Canada, among others.

"Tenenbaum stated that after paying his cashers, he earned approximately "350 - 400," which, based on this investigation, most likely refers to 350,000 to 400,000 dollars or euros," says the affidavit.

Authorities say identifying Tenenbaum as Analyzer22@hotmail.com was surprisingly easy - he used his real name and date of birth to register for the account.

In addition, someone using an IP address registered to Internet Labs Secure, where he was a director, accessed the hotmail account. The address was also used to access the network of Global Cash Card and check and increase the balances of compromised accounts.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

IBM Gets into Thin Clients with Wyse

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As part of the Virtualized Infrastructure Access (VIA) initiative, IBM will resell Wyse Technology thin client devices and software. IBM and Wyse are looking to replace conventional desktop and notebook PCs in certain settings, putting IBM back in the PC business.

In a slim way, IBM is getting back into the personal computing business through a new partnership with Wyse Technology, the market leading provider of thin client systems. Under a new alliance, IBM will resell direct and through partners Wyse thin client technology in service-oriented engagements.

IBM has been focused on building out its Virtualized Infrastructure Access (VIA) initiative, a series of solutions designed to optimize and enable data center driven application delivery and simplified systems management.

Wyse’s desktop and notebook thin client technology fills a critical gap in IBM’s VIA strategy by providing both the software layer and hardware devices for arm business users with thin client computing, streaming applications and virtualized desktop environments.

“IBM is responding to customers’ wishes to deploy thin client technologies, but can afford the data center deployment on something like the Citrix model,” says Jeff McNaught, chief marketing and security officer at Wyse.

In addition to reselling Wyse products, IBM will work with Wyse to develop thin client solutions, application streaming applications and new client hardware that extend the usability and value of thin client architecture.

Resource Library:

Wyse’s thin client operating system and technology provides a useful layer that extends the life of legacy systems while capturing the benefits of thin client economies, says Jan Jackman, vice president of global end users services at IBM Global Technology Services. Virtualization is consolidating and optimizing the data center, but many of the existing applications require modification before they can be streamed to desktops and end points. Wyse’s technology can stream legacy apps, giving users valuable time to make changes to their applications.

“Thirty years of applications have been written for a fat client and they can’t be rewritten overnight,” she says. “Application stream allows for the use of the current applications while legacy apps are rewritten for a SOA [service oriented architecture],” Jackman says.

Over the past 12 months, thin client computing has gained interest among business technology consumers looking to decrease their costs in physical devices, endpoint management and power. Thin clients have a TCO savings of 20 percent to 40 percent on reduced electrical consumption. Additionally, management is simplified and reduced since all maintenance happens in the data center and images are standardized.

Security is an added benefit to thin clients, particularly in financial institutions and health care environments, where privacy and data integrity is enhanced by the lack of disc-drives and USB ports on the thin client end point.

“A lot of clients don’t have the technical capacity and would like to buy computing as a service,” Jackman says. “As this trend evolves and more services move to the cloud, the virtualized client will take on greater interest.”

Ironically, IBM’s partnership with Wyse will pit it against its former PC business unit now owned by Lenovo. IBM and Wyse say their VIA solutions will look to replace PCs in certain environments, such as call centers and banks. While thin clients are experiencing a bit of a renaissance, PC manufacturers are experiencing steep declines in PC sales – both desktop and notebooks – as business consumers extend the life of existing clients. Analyst firm Gartner predicts PC sales will decline nearly 12 percent this year.

“You probably could argue that with the promotion of the desktop thin client model, especially since the beginning of the year, so you have to ask where the thin client market overlaps with the conventional PC market,” says Charles King, an analyst at Pund-IT.

While IBM is targeting PC users with its thin client solutions, it rejects the notion that it’s competing directly with PC manufacturers such as Lenovo.

“We sold the PC business because it’s a commodity business and our desires to move toward business in services and applications,” Jackman says. “The Web has changed everything to be more services oriented.”

She adds, “This isn’t going to replace every PC, but it will replace PC deployments in certain user groups and build out from there.”

Wyse is a leader in thin client devices and software. It competes directly and indirectly with Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Sun Microsystems and Lenovo.

“A lot of the vendors believe thin clients is the place to be over the next 12 to 24 months, so they’re looking to embrace it,” King says

IBM will sell Wyse products and jointly developed thin client solutions through its direct sales force as well as channel reseller partners.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

French Police Save Millions With Ubuntu, OpenOffice

A recent report has revealed that France's national police force has saved an estimated 50 million euros since 2004 by adopting open source software and migrating a portion of the organization's workstations to Ubuntu Linux. They plan to roll out the Linux distro to all 90,000 of their workstations by 2015.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

When job seekers invade Facebook. Social Networking.

When job seekers invade Facebook

summary of article on: http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com

The increasing popularity of online social networking is changing not only the way people manage their careers but social networking itself.

MARCH 2009 • Soumitra Dutta and Matthew Fraser

As the downturn continues, millions of corporate managers—gripped by the job jitters—are rushing to join online social networks in a scramble to build their social capital. The popularity of sites such as LinkedIn is soaring: less than a year ago the site had little brand profile and was seen mostly as a venue for corporate suits trolling for professional contacts while plotting their next career move. Facebook, by contrast, has largely attracted individuals seeking a compelling site for fun social networking.

Today LinkedIn’s year-on-year growth is up nearly 200 percent in the United States and it now has more than 35 million members—many of whom were formerly employed within the hard-hit financial sector. And it’s just one of the many sites to which recession-struck managers are flocking: Xing (based in Germany), with its 7 million members and special Lehman Brothers alumni section, and Meet the Boss (based in the United Kingdom), which restricts membership to C-level financial types, are also experiencing burgeoning membership levels.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Red Hat Moves to Expand Server Virtualization Interoperability

Red Hat Moves to Expand Server Virtualization Interoperability

Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Microsoft Windows Server to be validated and supported on the companies' corresponding virtualization platforms

RALEIGH, N.C. - February 16, 2009 - Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that, in response to strong customer demand, it has signed reciprocal agreements with Microsoft Corporation to enable increased interoperability for the companies' virtualization platforms. Each company will join the other's virtualization validation/certification program and will provide coordinated technical support for their mutual server virtualization customers. The reciprocal validations will allow customers to deploy heterogeneous, virtualized Red Hat and Microsoft solutions with confidence.

"The world of IT today is a mixture of virtualized and non-virtualized environments. Red Hat is looking to help our customers extend more rapidly into virtualized environments, including mixed Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Windows Server environments," said Mike Evans, vice president, Corporate Development at Red Hat. "Red Hat listened when our customers asked us to provide interoperability between our respective guest and host virtualization solutions. We are excited to announce these agreements today as the result of our collaboration with Microsoft."

With the efforts being undertaken today through this announcement, Red Hat and Microsoft customers will have the ability to run Microsoft Windows Server and Red Hat Enterprise Linux virtual servers on either host environment with configurations that will be tested and supported by both virtualization and operating system leaders.

The key components of the reciprocal agreements are:

  • Red Hat will validate Windows Server guests to be supported on Red Hat Enterprise virtualization technologies.
  • Microsoft will validate Red Hat Enterprise Linux server guests to be supported on Windows Server Hyper-V and Microsoft Hyper-V Server.
  • Once each company completes testing, customers with valid support agreements will receive coordinated technical support for running Windows Server operating system virtualized on Red Hat Enterprise virtualization, and for running Red Hat Enterprise Linux virtualized on Windows Server Hyper-V and Microsoft Hyper-V Server.

"Customers are rapidly adopting Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V and in doing so are interested in support for running more operating systems on Hyper-V in their virtualized environment, including those from Red Hat," said Mike Neil, general manager of Virtualization Strategy at Microsoft. "We welcome Red Hat's participation in our Server Virtualization Validation Program and look forward to ongoing collaboration with them to bring the benefits of coordinated technical support to our customers for their heterogeneous IT environments."

"Physical hardware doesn't care what operating system is installed on top of it, and virtual hardware provided by a hypervisor should be no different," said Gary Chen, Research Manager, Enterprise Virtualization Software at IDC. "Most customers run heterogeneous networks and having interoperability between these two major platforms will make virtualizing these environments much easier for enterprise customers. IDC research shows that Windows and Red Hat Enterprise Linux are two of the main operating environments deployed by enterprises, accounting for 80% of the x86 operating systems running on hypervisors. It is great to see two of the big platform vendors put aside their competitive differences and put the customer first."

The agreements establish coordinated technical support for Microsoft and Red Hat's mutual customers using server virtualization, and the activities included in these agreements do not require the sharing of IP. Therefore, the agreements do not include any patent or open source licensing rights, and additionally contain no financial clauses, other than industry-standard certification/validation testing fees.

Validations for Red Hat and Microsoft server virtualization solutions included in the reciprocal certification and support agreements are underway today, with the first results expected later this year.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Dangerous Worm on Windows

January 22, 2009

Downadup/Conficker worm

We saw a large amount of infections from the Downadup worm last month. This worm is also known as Conficker or Kido and is able to spread very quickly because it uses 3 effective ways to propogate:

  • Exploits a Windows vulnerability MS08-067. The patch was released a long time ago but there are still a lot of unpatched computers.
  • Exploiting network shares with weak or no passwords. The worm contains a list of common passwords - a good reason to use strong passwords.
  • Copies itself to removable media, usually USB sticks. Using the AutoRun function (creates autorun.inf file)

The first versions of Downadup were seen at the start of December 08 and until now we have observed more than 300 different variants. All known variants are detected and healed by AVG. Besides spreading, the worm can also download other malware and can redirect legitimate URLs access to various other malicious webpages.

We strongly recommend that you install all of the latest security patches for your version of Windows.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Oracle on saving costs with linux

" Cut Costs Now
With decreasing budgets and increasing demands, IT professionals are under constant pressure to do more with less. And as an open source operating system, Linux is an attractive enterprise choice for several reasons-portability across a variety of commodity hardware architectures, an active community of contributors, and zero license cost."

Sunday, January 11, 2009

US Security Experts Fear 'Cybergeddon'

US Security Experts Fear 'Cybergeddon'
Agence France Presse (01/07/09)

Shawn Henry, cyber division assistant director at the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), says that beyond weapons of mass destruction, cyberattacks pose the greatest threat to the United States. U.S. experts warn of a "cybergeddon" in which an advanced society that has most of its major infrastructure systems linked to or completely controlled by computers is sabotaged by hackers. Henry says terrorist groups are working to create a virtual 9/11 that would inflict the same kind of damage to the U.S. as the 9/11 attacks did. Last year, Russian hackers allegedly launched a major offensive against Internet networks in Estonia and Georgia, and Palestinian sympathizers have coordinated attacks against hundreds of Israeli Web sites over the past few days. "We're seeing that the folks on the cutting edge of this tend to be the bad guys," says the FBI's Donald Codling. "It's extraordinarily difficult for us to catch them." The FBI's Christopher Painter says cyberattacks are particularly dangerous because the threat is largely invisible and not always taken seriously as a result. "It's hard to get your head around the threat," Painter says. "We often discover a company has been attacked and we tell them that and they don't know."

Information Technology and Gaza Operation

Media Matters: Cloudy skies over Gaza :Jpost

Chanasys: Technology not the Same in Gaza Conflict compared to 2006 Lebanon 2

From the Jerusalem Post

Jan. 8, 2009 Media Matters: Cloudy skies over Gaza
Ruthie Blum Leibowitz , THE JERUSALEM POST

As missiles from Gaza continue to bombard the South, the entire country is being blitzed by another airborne force: the news. This is as natural as it is necessary.

Operation Cast Lead is the story - the only one, other than the weather report, that anyone is really interested in right now. Proof of this lies in Channel 10's decision to take the hit, Survivor - the second season of which began with a bang, so to speak - off the air "until further notice."

This future date could be, say, when there's a cease-fire, or another reason for reality shows to resume receiving higher ratings than reality itself. You know, the point at which the parents of combat soldiers, whose cellphones are confiscated before they enter the battle zone, no longer need to rely on reports from the field to feel connected to their sons. That this connection is a bit of an illusion, since crews have been reporting from the home front, not from inside Gaza, makes little difference. As one worried father put it this week, "I'm like a junkie who can't tear myself away from the TV, even though it tells me nothing of my boy's actual whereabouts or condition."

He is not alone in his addiction. And the media are dutifully supplying the national drug.

So much for why the news barrage is natural. Why it is necessary goes even deeper.

The media have become a chief branch of society, government and even of the IDF, whichever way you slice the pie chart.

This is not to say that the press is controlled by any of the above. On the contrary, if anyone has been calling the shots in recent years it's been the "watchdogs of democracy." Well, they and their rival for influence on politicians - the polls.

There is no getting around the fact that the media have become central players in all dramas-of-state, whether that state is democratic (in which case the production is improvised) or totalitarian (in which case it is staged).

Nor can anyone deny that modern technology is as responsible for the phenomenon as it is manipulated by it. When amateurs and professionals alike have access to digital equipment and the Web, photos, footage and ongoing commentary fly around cyberspace as freely as Kassams, Grads and Katyushas do over Sderot, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Beersheba and Nahariya, to name but a few of the locales within Hamas and Hizbullah rocket range.

As a result, a country like Israel, which has been under physical and ideological assault since its establishment, is in a constant quantitative and qualitative information predicament. And never is this predicament more apparent than when the country is engaged in an actual war.

Quantitatively, Israel is at an information-dissemination disadvantage by virtue of its small size and that of the sum of its supporters worldwide. This is not new, nor is it the main problem. Public diplomacy on the part of people unwilling to lie in order to convey a message simply has to be heavier on the brains than on the brawn. It's a challenge, to be sure, but one that is as accepted as it is assumed.

It's the qualitative predicament that presents the larger quandary. As a democracy with a free press - and a foreign one greeted with a welcome mat and red-carpet treatment - Israel is like an open book. This means that it has many editors and even more critics.

We wouldn't have it any other way. But neither would those who don't have its best interests at heart.

HERE IS where the army enters an arena that we in the media normally would view as our sacred space, never to be invaded. Under any other circumstances, the curtailing of our freedom of expression would be construed as a ground invasion into our sovereign territory.

Indeed, even under the current circumstances, correspondents and editors often are chagrined when the Military Censor's Office exercises its might. At best, we feel inconvenienced by being coerced into submitting our work to a body viewed by many of us as anachronistic in the age of the Internet. It seems silly to remove certain details from an article or a broadcast, when the very same ones are being revealed elsewhere for all to see. Even more ridiculous: An item that is given the heads-up one day by the censor's office might be nixed the next, depending on the staff member whose shift it is.

Still, we also recognize and respect its task: to prevent the leakage of information that could endanger individuals, jeopardize national security or - no less important - cause emotional pain to families of fallen soldiers or civilians. It is for this reason that, in spite of our bitching and moaning, we uphold the written law as we would an unspoken code of honor.

This wasn't always our behavior. During the Second Lebanon War, clashes between journalists and the censor erupted over coverage of troop movements and casualties. There was a lack of coordination and rumors ran wild. There were even cases of parents learning that their sons had been wounded or even killed through TV channels, rather than military ones.

Among other lessons supposedly learned from the failures of that war was the importance of caution and restraint where exposing details of military operations is concerned. This is why extra care is being taken by reporters not to reveal the exact location of missile hits, for example - a rule the censor insists is golden, as is keeping quiet about which missiles turned out to be duds, which fell into the sea and which struck strategic targets or IDF bases. According to guidelines released by the censor's office at the start of Operation Cast Lead at the end of December, the purpose of the above is to prevent the "other side" from being able to adjust its rocket launchings, based on details of their landings.

KEEPING A haze over the precise goings-on of the operation may be responsible journalistic practice, but it creates a different kind of difficulty for members of the press, particularly those on screen. Which brings us back to the original point.

Filling up hours upon hours of airtime with the news everyone so craves these days is no easy feat when much of that news is censored. This has led to the phenomenon of there being more punditry provided than actual reportage. One can't help but feel sorry for the likes of Channel 1's Yoav Limor and Yinon Magal - for instance - standing in the cold, on camera, with a vague, dark Gaza skyline in the background, trying to blah-blah their way intelligently through entire broadcasts.

Then there are the endless interviews in the studio with ex-generals and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome experts, Mideast analysts - and regular appearances by the Home Front Command's Col. Gil Shenhar, reiterating procedures for the public follow prior to, during and after an attack.

This should only be our worst problem in the upcoming days.

Chanasys: Do Google on Generation Facebook by Mona Eltahawy

I call it Overcoming the FaceBook War.

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