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Hardware

Submission + - Demystifying UEFI, the overdue BIOS replacement

An anonymous reader writes: After more than 30 years of unerring and yet surprising supremacy, BIOS is taking its final bows. Taking its place is UEFI, a specification that begun its life as the Intel Boot Initiative way back in 1998 when BIOS’s antiquated limitations were hampering systems built with Intel’s Itanium processors. UEFI, as the article explains, is a complete re-imagining of a computer boot environment, and as such it has almost no similarities to the PC BIOS that it replaces.
Security

Submission + - EFF System To Warn Of Certificate Breaches (infoworld.com)

snydeq writes: "With its distributed SSL Observatory, the Electronic Frontier Foundation hopes to detect compromised certificate authorities and warn users about attacks, InfoWorld reports. 'The EEF, along with developers at the Tor Project and consulting firm iSec Partners, has updated its existing HTTPS Everywhere program with the ability to anonymously report every certificate encountered. The group will analyze the data so that it can detect any rogue certificates — and by extension, compromised authorities — its users encounter, says Peter Eckersley, technology projects director for the EFF.'"
Microsoft

Submission + - More on Xbox TV; Verizon Chimes In (itworld.com)

itwbennett writes: "There are still a lot of questions about Microsoft's planned Xbox TV service, says ITworld blogger Peter Smith, like whether the entire service will work through IP. 'Or will Microsoft be selling some kind of add-on attachment for the 360 that'll accept a coax cable feed?' But a forum post from Verizon's Bobbi Henson offers a few clues, while also holding to their we-don't-comment-on-rumors position. Here are the highlights:

'While we don’t comment on speculation of this kind, we do have a very strong point of view on the future of entertainment to offer you today.... We’re in the business of breaking down old technology boundaries to create a borderless world where work, play and home become one virtual reality. No matter where you are, you can reach out and touch the people, the information and the entertainment you love, any time, on all your favorite devices.... Because FiOS TV is such a powerful, interactive, cloud-based service, it is a natural match for devices like game consoles, and we've demonstrated our ability to blend FiOS with gaming systems at events like the Consumer Electronics Show.... We’re not announcing any new products today, but stay tuned for the future!

"

Submission + - Supporting Employee-Owned Smartphones (computerworld.com)

JohnBert writes: "Despite the increasing use of smartphones at work, more than one-third of companies still don't provide any support for personal phones or outright prohibit their use at the office. The reported data found that while 26% of the companies don't provide support for personal mobile phones and smartphones, another 10% prohibited use of personal devices, for a total of 36%.

Some companies have developed long sets of policies for when and how to support personal devices used by workers. The most progressive companies are investing in mobile device management software, available from many vendors, to track employee devices and the applications used on them. This software also has the ability to wipe sensitive data off a lost device.

Forrester said in a new research note that increasing numbers of employee-owned devices and questions of supporting them are "crippling" existing mobile strategies. The effect has led companies to rethink their strategies and to begin supporting both company-owned devices and those owned by employees."

Security

Submission + - Microsoft dumps partner for fake support call scam (sophos.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft has broken its relationship with one of its Gold Partners, after it discovered that the partner was involved in a scam involving bogus tech support calls.

India-based Comantra is said to have cold-called computer users in the UK, Australia, Canada and elsewhere, claiming to offer assistance in cleaning up virus infections.

The calls used scare tactics to talk users into opening the Event Viewer on Windows, where a seemingly dangerous list of errors would be seen. This "evidence" was used to trick innocent users into believing they had a malware infection, and for Comantra to gain the users' confidence.

Duped users would then give permission for the support company to have remote access to their PC, and hand over their credit card details for a "fix".

Security firm Sophos says that internet users have been complaining about Comantra's activities for over 18 months, and it has taken a long time for Microsoft to take action.

Comantra's website still retains the Gold Certified Partner logo, although their details have been removed from Microsoft's database of approved partners.

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