Showing posts from August, 2009

Bare Metal Hypervisors

August 24, 2009 (Network World eEdition) - The phrase “bare-metal client hypervisor” is a mouthful, but one IT execs ought to get used to saying in the coming years. As the name suggests, this type of hypervisor sits directly on top of hardware--desktop computers, laptops, perhaps even smartphones one day--running independently from the operating system.

Download a copy of Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008.

“This is exciting technology,” says Chris Wolf, a senior analyst with Burton Group. “It provides enterprises with a tremendous amount of flexibility.” One desktop, multiple VMs One reason for his enthusiasm, Wolf says, is the ability to run multiple virtual machines (VM) on top of a bare-metal client hypervisor. A user machine takes on a whole new personality under this type of architecture. On a desktop computer outfitted with a client hypervisor, for example, you might find corporate-sanctioned and supported operating system and applications running on a locked-down VM. Personal applic…

What is Legal?

Many of my students and colleagues are confused over what they can and cannot do with software, DVD's, mp3's, etc. The legal issues involved are complex and what constitutes "fair use" is often not clear. At my university, we of course always abide by the license agreements which are usually better spelled out for organizations. However, it is harder, I believe, for the individual user to know "right from wrong." The following is excerpted from the August 25, 2009 issue of WinXP News #393...

There are lots of "tips" out there that tell you how to get around copy protection technologies on digital music and software. Just recently another popular Windows newsletter printed "an easy way to stretch the Windows 7 thirty day free trial period to 120 days." I was forwarded a question from a reader about this article, asking "Is this legal?" Few weeks go by that I don't get inquiries from readers, friends and family members who are…

Download Michael Vick and Brett Favre

August 21, 2009 (AP) - It's been a busy week in professional football, with a couple of big, controversial stars — Brett Favre and Michael Vick — joining NFL rosters. No worries, though, for John Madden, because both men are already set to take the field in "Madden NFL 10."

Fans who bought "Madden" when it came out Aug. 14 can download both players thanks to roster updates posted by publisher EA Sports.

Madden, who retired this year from broadcasting NFL games for NBC, is still keeping busy working with EA Sports. "I talk to a lot of people who play the video game," he says. "Sometimes we think it's just kids, but kids who started playing at 16 are now 40." And NFL rookies, "guys 22, 23, they're all video-game players," he says. "Fans aren't given enough credit," Madden says. "They know a lot more than fans 25 years ago."

Chevy Volt

August 11, 2009 (AP) – General Motors Corp. said Tuesday its Chevrolet Volt rechargeable electric car should get 230 miles per gallon (98 kilometers per liter) of gasoline in city driving, more than four times the current champion, the Toyota Prius.

The Volt is powered by an electric motor and a battery pack with a 40-mile (65-kilometer) range. After that, a small internal combustion engine kicks in to generate electricity for a total range of 300 miles (480 kilometers). The battery pack can be recharged from a standard home outlet.

GM is marketing the 230-mile (370-kilometer) figure following early tests using draft guidelines from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for calculating the mileage of extended range electric vehicles.

The EPA guidelines, developed with guidance from automakers, figure that cars like the Volt will travel more on straight electricity in the city than on the highway. If a person drives the Volt less than 40 miles (65 kilometers), in theory they could go w…

Spam Worse Than Ever

August 3, 2009 (Networkworld) - Spam, often linked to phishing attacks or fraud, now constitutes 92% of all e-mail, according to McAfee’s “Threat Reports Second Quarter 2009” released Wednesday, while another firm in the spam-stopping business, MX Logic, sees that figure as even higher: a whopping 94.6% of all e-mail sent. The McAfee report states, “June produced the highest amount of spam we have ever seen, beating the previous high month, October 2008, by more than 20%.” Both security firms see “pharmaceutical spam,” at almost 90% of all spam, as the single largest type of spam in terms of content, with one in particular, known as Canadian Pharmacy, the undisputed dominant force.

Criminals sending spam rely on hijacked “zombie” machines that have been taken over by malware, and the number of zombies around the world is said to be rising by an estimated 150,000 every day. “In the U.S. alone, there are 2.1 million new zombies, up 33% from the last period,” the McAfee report states. McA…

Twitter Attack

August 6, 2009 (AP) - A hacker attack Thursday shut down the fast-growing messaging service Twitter, and Facebook also said it was looking into possible site problems.

Twitter said in its status blog Thursday that it was "defending against a denial-of-service attack," in which hackers command scores of computers to a single site at the same time, preventing legitimate traffic from getting through.

For Twitter users, the outage meant no tweeting about lunch plans, the weather or the fact that Twitter is down.The Twitter outage began at about 9 a.m. ET, said Ken Godskind, chief strategy officer at Web performance monitoring company AlertSite.

The site still had lingering access problems midday (local time), though both Twitter and Facebook seemed to be functioning at least intermittently, giving cubicle-bound social media addicts a collective sigh of relief.

Allison Koski, a public-relations manager in Manhattan, said she felt "completely lost" without Twitter.


Defcon 17

August 4, 2009 (CNet) - At a hacker conference no one is safe. When I first went to Defcon in 1995, the halls were mobbed with teenagers and attendees seemed more concerned with freeing Kevin Mitnick and seeing strippers than hacking each others' computers.

Jump forward to Defcon 17 this year, which was held over the weekend in Las Vegas, things certainly have changed. The attendees are older and wiser and employed, most of the feds aren't in stealth mode, and even the most savvy of hackers is justifiably paranoid.

"Welcome to the hacker world," said Defcon founder Jeff Moss.

The evolving demographic of Defcon attendees shows that the hacker community, like all of us, is aging. But it's also a reflection of how the threat landscape has changed. Web site defacements have given way to much more serious risks like financial fraud and unaddressed critical infrastructure weaknesses.

It's a cornucopia of phishing e-mails, cross-site scripting attacks that poke holes i…

Leading Edge Research

August 1, 2009 - Twenty-five of the most important IT related university research projects from Bob Brown's "Alpha Doggs" column in Networkworld. Most of it has practical application and we may see the results in five to ten years. Very interesting. Read about it here.