dhiren writes: "South African mobile services provider Grapevine Interactive has been awarded a provisional patent for its world-first Secure SMS service which eliminates the problem of standard text messages being open to interception or viewing by unauthorised persons. There is no need to download any software or to specially-configure one's handset because Secure SMS uses standard cellphone functionality available on the majority of cellphones. When an organisation sends a secure message, the recipient receives a notification message and selects the link in the message. This takes them to a secure screen that requires them to enter a PIN in order to view their message."
dhiren writes: "Secunia on Wednesday announced that their authenticated internal vulnerability scanner, the Corporate Software Inspector (CSI) 4.0, has been integrated with Microsoft Windows Server Update Service (WSUS) and System Centre Configuration Manager (SCCM). This will hopefully pave the way for other vendors to also make use of Windows' existing patching infrastructure and eliminate the need for the multitude of custom updater applications and services that clutter most systems today."
dhiren writes: "Chinese cinemas have been ordered to stop showing Avatar for apparently political reasons. "Many commentators in China found a political resonance in the film's story of the Na'vi's battle to protect their land and culture from outsiders, comparing them to Chinese citizens fighting to protect their property from the government and developers." The movie is also being blamed for triggering the fatal stroke of a viewer in Taipei. "Kuo, who suffered from hypertension, was unconscious when he arrived at the Nan Men General Hospital and a scan showed that his brain was haemorrhaging". "Kuo died 11 day later from the brain haemorrhage, and the China Times newspaper said it was the first death linked to watching James Cameron's science-fiction epic "Avatar".""
beuges writes: "Microsoft have announced over the weekend that it would allow computer manufacturers to receive copies of XP until the end of May 2009, shortly before Windows 7 is expected to hit the market. This should allow users to skip Vista entirely and move straight to 7, which has been receiving cautiously favourable reviews of pre-release and leaked alphas."
beuges writes: "Is Windows Vista really as bad as everyone says it is? "Spurred by an e-mail from someone deep in the marketing ranks, Microsoft last week traveled to San Francisco, rounding up Windows XP users who had negative impressions of Vista. The subjects were put on video, asked about their Vista impressions, and then shown a "new" operating system, code-named Mojave. More than 90 percent gave positive feedback on what they saw. Then they were told that "Mojave" was actually Windows Vista."
The Mojave campaign aims at countering Apple's anti-Vista marketing as well as generally changing the public's perception of the operating system.
"The need for the campaign is clear. Apple has been making inroads, as well as headlines with its anti-Vista push. Although Microsoft dominates in corporations and in overseas markets, Apple has been grabbing a significant share of the consumer market in the U.S., pushing its overall domestic share as high as 8.5 percent last quarter, a significant rise from even a year ago.""
beuges writes: "General Motors researchers are working on a high-tech windshield that users lasers and infra-red sensors to identify and enhance important objects for older drivers with vision problems. "For example, during a foggy drive, a laser projects a blue line onto the windshield that follows the edge of the road. Or if infrared sensors detect a person or animal in the driver's path during a night drive, its outline is projected on the windshield to highlight its location." And it's not only older drivers that will benefit — "Some features would be helpful to drivers of all ages. If a driver is speeding, a pink box frames an approaching speed limit sign to draw the driver's attention."
The 65 and older population in the US will nearly double in about 20 years, meaning more people will be struggling to see the road like they used to."
beuges writes: "Associated Press is reporting that Microsoft will make full versions of their development tools available to students.
"The Redmond-based software maker said late Monday it will let students download Visual Studio Professional Edition, a software development environment; Expression Studio, which includes graphic design and Web site and hybrid Web-desktop programming tools; and XNA Game Studio 2.0, a video game development program.
Gates said students will want to try Microsoft's tools because they're more powerful than the open-source combination of Linux-based operating systems, the Apache Web server, the MySQL database and the PHP scripting language used to make complex Web sites.
But Gates said giving away Microsoft software isn't intended to turn students against open source software entirely. Rather, he hopes it will just add one more tool to their belt.""
beuges writes: "German astronomers have discovered a "giant baby" planet in deep space which they say has a mass 10 times as dense as Jupiter but is a scant 10 million years old — a newborn by cosmic standards. The newly formed planet orbiting a young star offers the first observational evidence for the long-held theory that planets form early, within the first 10 million years of a parent star's life, according to a new study.
The new planet's star, known as TW Hydrae, is 180 light-years from Earth in the constellation Hydra. Although TW Hydrae is our galactic neighbour, the young planet it hosts is too small and distant to be seen with modern instruments."
beuges writes: "Russia and the United States, the world's great space powers, celebrated the eve of the first satellite launch 50 years ago with a pact to use Russian technology on Nasa missions to seek water on the moon and Mars.
Nasa engineers want to use their Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission to the moon in October 2008 to check what resources are there to support a permanent manned station planned for the following decade. "The (Russian) Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector (LEND) instrument allows us to be able to locate very specific sites where water may exist."
Just over a year later, Nasa will despatch the Mars Science Laboratory, an unmanned mission which will land on the Red Planet in 2010 and spend two years analysing its surface. The same Russian technology will be used on that mission to hunt for signs of water."