Sunday, March 29, 2009

Chinese Operating "Ghost Net" Spying Network

Paranoia runs deep apparently... from the New York Times...

In a report provided to the newspaper, a team from the Munk Center for International Studies in Toronto said at least 1,295 computers in 103 countries had been breached in less than two years by the spy system, which it dubbed GhostNet.

Embassies, foreign ministries, government offices and the Dalai Lama's Tibetan exile centers in India, Brussels, London and New York were among those infiltrated, said the researchers, who have detected computer espionage in the past.

They found no evidence U.S. government offices were breached.

The researchers concluded that computers based almost exclusively in China were responsible for the intrusions, although they stopped short of saying the Chinese government was involved in the system, which they described as still active.

"We're a bit more careful about it, knowing the nuance of what happens in the subterranean realms," saidRonald Deibert, a member of the Munk research group, based at the University of Toronto.

"This could well be the CIA or the Russians. It's a murky realm that we're lifting the lid on."

A spokesman for the Chinese Consulate in New York dismissed the idea China was involved. "These are old stories and they are nonsense," the spokesman, Wenqi Gao, told the Times. "The Chinese government is opposed to and strictly forbids any cybercrime."

The Toronto researchers began their sleuthing after a request from the office of the Dalai Lama, the exiledTibetan spiritual leader, to examine its computers for signs of malicious software, or malware.

The network they found possessed remarkable "Big Brother-style" capabilities, allowing it, among other things, to turn on the camera and audio-recording functions of infected computers for potential in-room monitoring, the report said.

The system was focused on the governments of South Asian and Southeast Asian nations as well as on the Dalai Lama, the researchers said, adding that computers at the Indian Embassy in Washington were infiltrated and a NATO computer monitored.

The report will be published in Information Warfare Monitor, an online publication linked to the Munk Center.

At the same time, two computer researchers at Cambridge University in Britain who worked on the part of the investigation related to the Tibetans are releasing an independent report, the Times said.

They do fault China and warned that other hackers could adopt similar tactics, the Times added.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Finally, Some iPod Video Integration

March 23, 2009

Thomas Mennecke
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Last month, the Vuze team teased the BitTorrent community with the idea of bringing video content to a variety of video screen through devices such as iPhones, iPods and consoles. Today, the 'top secret' project is now live. The updated Vuze now brings the option of streaming video to a select number of gaming consoles and also has iTunes support.

Public demand called for some type of video integration with the iPhone and iPod - by an overwhelming margin. This Vuze update also addresses this, although perhaps not exactly how everyone expected. Vuze can accept just about any video source, such as an AVI file, and convert it into a compatible iPhone/iPod format. A way to stream video to the iPhone would've been a neat trick.

The updated Vuze can also stream video to the PS3 or xBox 360. Disappointingly, video streaming is not available for the Wii - but we hope it will soon.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Ultimate iPhone Ap?

Where's the closest restroom?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Apple Tax?

Steve Ballmer of Microsoft claims you're paying $500 just for an Apple logo... hmm...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The DTV Transition, Continued

They held up the DTV transition for this?

The FCC March 13 laid out the rules broadcasters must follow as they conclude the transition from analog to digital TV transmission June 12.

The new rules were made necessary six days before the original DTV transition deadline, which Congress postponed Feb. 11 out of concern that portions of the off-air reception community remained completely unprepared for the switch.

The FCC’s new Report and Order addresses the remaining obligations of broadcasters related to analog service termination, DTV consumer education and other issues.

The termination obligations of stations include:

  • Stations have to file a binding notice of proposed analog termination by March 17.
    Generally, stations cannot terminate analog before April 16.
    Noncommercial, educational stations may terminate before April 16, but not before March 27, if they certify they are experiencing significant financial hardship.
    Airing viewer notification for 30 days prior to transition for stations terminating before June 12, and the commission is requiring information about service loss from stations predicted to lose more than 2 percent of their analog viewers.
    Major network affiliates terminating before June 12 may only do so if at least 90 percent of their analog viewers will receive continuing analog coverage until the June analog shutoff from another major network affiliate.
Among the DTV consumer education requirements are:

  • As of April 1, if the commission’s Signal Loss Report predicts that 2 percent or more of a station’s audience in its Grade B analog service contour won’t receive digital service, that station must air notices about the predicted service loss, in addition to the station’s other existing consumer education requirements.
    As of April 1, all stations must inform viewers about using antennas as well as information about a station’s change from the VHF to UHF bands.
    As of April 1, all stations must explain to viewers as pare of their consumer education campaigns that it is important to periodically use the rescan function of their DTVs and converter boxes.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

iPhone Prototypes for Sale?


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Day Late and a Dollar Short?

Where these folks asleep at the wheel or what?

Sports, Entertainment Groups Take FCC To Court Over 'White Spaces'

ESPN, Sports Leagues, Theater Owners Petition Second Circuit Court Of Appeals In New York
John Eggerton -- Multichannel News, 3/3/2009 4:38:04 PM MT

As expected, ESPN, the major pro sports leagues, and on and off-Broadway theater owners and producers have also taken the FCC to court over its decision to allow unlicensed devices to use the so-called "white spaces" between DTV channels.

That spectrum is also home to the wireless microphones used extensively by sports and theater producers, who, like broadcasters, worry that the new devices will interfere with their games and plays. According to a copy of the petition to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, the groups argue that the commission exceeded its authority, and that its order permitting their use was "arbitrary, capricious," an "abuse of discretion," unsupported by substantial evidence or otherwise contrary to law."

They want the court to vacate the decision as unlawful.

The National Association of Broadcasters and the Association for Multiple Service Television filed a similar suit in the D.C. Circuit.

The FCC will initially allow hybrid devices that use both geo-location and spectrum sensing, but will put numerous conditions on approval of devices that rely only on sensing technologies, including power limits, requiring extensive testing, a certification process, public comment on that process, and a separate FCC decision to approve proposed devices. Among those petitioning the court were the NFL, NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball, NCAA, and News Corp.