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NEWS, ETC.
December 2004

Thursday, 30 December

Symantec: Phel Trojan horse attacks on Windows XP. Symantec is warning users of a newly discovered Trojan horse named Phel -- an anagram of the word help -- that attacks Windows XP.

eBay Drops Microsoft Passport. E-commerce giant eBay is dropping Microsoft's Passport, dealing a blow to the touted identity-management technology.

Commodore Brand Comes Home. The venerable and once-proud Commodore computer brand has been sold by its Dutch owners to a Beverly Hills, Calif.-based digital content distributor.

Oracle Takes Control. Oracle took control of PeopleSoft after acquiring 75 percent of its rival's stock, putting the $10.3 billion software buyout on track to be completed in early January.

Tsunami Death Toll Tops 116,000

M81 and M82: GALEX Full Field

Giant Telescope Will Keep an Eye on Planets in Other Solar Systems

Tuesday, 28 December

Speed the Feed. The wireless space will begin to gain the speed its needs to truly make the home digitally connected in 2005.

NT's Retirement Opens Windows for Linux. Friday's demise of general support for Microsoft's Windows NT 4.0 may give alternate operating systems, such as Linux, a temporary opportunity.

JVC Develops BD/DVD Disk. Hoping to ease the transition from DVD to Blu-ray Disc, JVC has developed a Blu-ray/ DVD Combo ROM Disc.

Warez Raids Net First Conviction For Software Piracy. A 26-year-old college student faces 15 years in prison as the first person convicted of software piracy stemming from April's international raids dubbed "Operation Fastlink.

Vonage to Offer Free Calls for Troops Through 2005. The company joins other telecoms who have donated calls to military personnel.

Toshiba To Stop Making Plasma TVs. Next summer, it will begin full-scale production of surface conduction electron emitter display television sets, which it jointly developed with Canon.

Abit is "Financially Fine." Statement: we feel good.

Whew! Asteroid Won't Hit Earth in 2029, Scientists Now Say

Earthquake Rattled Earth Orbit

Chemists Report New Superheavy Elements

NASA Rolls Out Improved Rocket Fuel Tank

Monday, 27 December

Multiple Windows Flaws Found. Antivirus company Symantec is warning its customers about a number of critical holes in Microsoft's Windows operating system.

Santy.E Worm Poses Threat to Sites Badly Coded in PHP. Protecting sites may require recoding them.

Survey: IT Salaries Down Last Year. An IEEE-USA survey of IT professionals reported a 1.5% decrease in median income from 2002 to 2003.

Web Offer Too Good to be True? Read Fine Print. The e-mail messages are tantalizing: "Join now and receive a free IBM laptop." "Your complimentary iPod with free shipping is waiting."

Asia Quake Death Toll Tops 23,000

Asteroid Risk in 2029 Sparks ‘Yellow Alert’

Amazon.com Tops Record for One-Day Sales

Thursday, 23 December

UV-ray Offers 500GB Disc. Pioneer has found a way to make optical discs with a capacity of 500GB... more than 100 times the capacity of a standard DVD disc

Sprucing-up Open Source's GPL Foundation. Modernization is coming to the General Public License, a legal framework that supports a large part of the free and open-source software movements...

Netgear Adapter Handles Dual 108-Mbit Wireless Streams. Like past WLAN designs, this USB adapter is developed around Atheros' WLAN chipset.

Sony Says Not Leaving US Plasma TV Market. Sony said it had no plans to abandon the market for plasma-screen television sets in the United States in the near term.

Dell Picks Winston-Salem for Third U.S. Plant

Wednesday, 22 December

Microsoft's Stock Tumbles. Shares tumbled in early trading today after an EU court upheld product curbs and a record fine levied by the EU's executive commission against the company.

SCO Reports Deeper Loss, Shrinking Revenue. SCO financial losses spurred by dwindling software and licensing revenue.

Worldwide Chip Sales Up 23 Percent In 2004

Heavy-lift Rocket's Debut a Partial Success

Aging Universe May Still Be Spawning Massive Galaxies

Tuesday, 21 December

Broadband Use Surpasses Dial-Up in U.S. Broadband use at home has surpassed dial-up in the United States, reaching 53 percent of residential Web users in October.

Worst Spyware Queues-up. Beware of CoolWebSearch, a program that can change Microsoft Internet Explorer's security settings and wreak havoc on computers.

Gartner: Don't Use Google Desktop In Enterprise. A flaw in Google Desktop Search drew a repeated warning from research analysts about the danger of using first-generation local search tools from the likes of Google, Microsoft, and others.

Suppliers Worried About Abit’s Financial Situation. Abit's bankers may freeze its assets.

Sony Reportedly Seeks to Exit Plasma Display Market. Sony is considering an exit from the plasma display market to focus on flat-panel liquid crystal displays.

Undercooked Turkeys Can Harbour Superbugs

Monday, 20 December

ATI Ships More than 5 Million Chips for High Definition TVs and Set-top Boxes in 2004. ATI commands an estimated 85% market share for demodulators and 40% market share for MPEG decoders.

WD’s New 'Cool' Family of Hard Drives Now Shipping. Western Digital announced that its WD Caviar family of hard drives, now available in capacities up to 320 GB, has been enhanced to significantly reduce operating temperatures.

World's First 3 Generation-Compatible HD DVD Drive. NEC announced that it has completed the development of technology capable of playing back HD DVDs, DVDs, and CDs with a single optical head.

Diamonds a Chip's New Best Friend? Only a few are singing about them yet, but it could turn out that diamonds are a computer's best friend.

Google Desktop Search Bug Fixed. Researchers at Rice University make public a bug in Google Desktop Search that could let hackers secretly search the contents of a user's hard drive.

Update: Firefighters Dispatched to Fairchild Wafer Fab Site. A delivery truck from BOC Gases experienced an explosion and fire at approximately 7:00 a.m on Friday (Dec. 17) while making a delivery at Fairchild Semiconductor's plant on Western Avenue, South Portland, Maine.

New IE Hole Could Perfect Phishing Scams. A newly reported security problem in Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer Web browser allows attackers to create a fake Web site that looks exactly like a genuine site.

Wal-Mart, Linspire Team On Low-Budget Laptop. Basing a laptop on open source operating system and applications software, Wal-Mart and Linspire said they have broken the $500 price barrier with their $498 Balance laptop.

Intel CPUs Put Pressure on Capacitors, Claim

Titan Surmised

Earth Enjoying A Breeze from the Stars

Snowball Fight in Saturn's Rings

Friday, 17 December

Digital Camera Sales Sailing. Digital camera sales worldwide will reach $24 billion in 2004 and are expected to hit $31 billion in 2009.

Microsoft May Charge Extra For Antispyware. Microsoft disclosed plans Thursday to offer frustrated users of its Windows software new tools within 30 days to remove spyware programs secretly running on computers.

Zafi.D Infects 1 in 10 E-mails. The Zafi.D worm -- a virus that spreads through innocuous-looking holiday greeting messages -- infected about 10 percent of all e-mail traffic at one point this week.

Hacker in Lowe's Case Sentenced to Nine Years. Two Michigan men were sentenced to serve time in federal prison for conspiring to hack into the IT systems of Lowe's Companies Inc. and stealing customer credit card information.

Industry Shows Signs of Strength. U.S. systems output strong in November while components output weak but improving.

Cap Equip Spending to Drop 15 Percent in 2005. Semiconductor capital equipment spending is set to increase 61 percent in this year, but spending next year is projected to decline 15 percent.

Samsung SDI Develops 102-inch Plasma Display

Wednesday, 15 December

Sprint Acquires Nextel In $35 Billion Deal. Telecommunications giant Sprint is acquiring Nextel Communications in a $35 billion deal that would create the nation's third-largest wireless telephone service provider.

Toshiba, NEC Move Forward with High-Density MRAM. Toshiba and NEC aim to realize a 256MBit MRAM using magnetic tunneling junction with 250nm design rules in the near future.

Google Wins in Trademark Suit with Geico. Google scored a big legal win when a federal judge ruled that its use of trademarks in keyword advertising is legal.

Microsoft Issues 5 Important Security Bulletins. For its "Patch Tuesday" this month, Microsoft delivered five security bulletins for what it called "important" security flaws, including one publicly known flaw in the Windows Internet Naming Service (WINS).

New Toshiba Hard Drive Uses Perpendicular Technology. Toshiba has developed a 1.8-inch hard disk drive that achieves 40-Gbyte capacity by employing perpendicular recording technology for the first time.

Is it a Yo-Yo? Is it a Hockey Puck? No, it's a Hard Drive!

Tuesday, 14 December

New Zafi-D Worm Spreads Christmas Fear. The latest variant in the Zafi worm family has hit the Wild, disguising itself as a Christmas greeting.

Firefox Passes 10 Million Mark - Eyes 10%. The Firefox open-source Web browser has been downloaded 10 million times since being released in November.

Google to Index Major Libraries. Google is working with the libraries of Harvard, Stanford, the University of Michigan, and the University of Oxford as well as The New York Public Library to digitally scan books from their collections so that users worldwide can search them.

Atheros Debuts Single-chip 802.11g Access Point

Tech Developing Efficient Organic Solar Cell

Monday, 13 December

Evolving Chip Industry Being Reshaped by New Forces. As the PC moves from technology driver to a commodity business, new forces like consumer electronics and rising energy costs are reshaping the global semiconductor industry.

PeopleSoft Fight Ends With a Phone Call. Oracle's 18-month hostile takeover battle for PeopleSoft came to an end on Friday evening with a single phone call.

AMD, IBM Announce Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology Breakthrough. AMD and IBM the first companies to introduce strained silicon that works with silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology...

The Geminid Meteor Shower Peaks Tonight

Work Begins on Magellan Giant Telescope

Friday, 10 December

Penn State Tells 80,000 Students to Chuck IE. A public university with an enrollment of over 80,000 puts the kibosh on Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

New File System Has Long Road to Windows. Microsoft's long-planned new file system is likely still many years away from being a part of the company's server operating system.

DDR2 Prices Drop as Inventory Swells. Prices for DDR2 chips have recently fallen to US$5.50 per chip from US$6.50-7.00 a month ago due to excess inventory, according to sources.

IBM Could Lose PC Customers to Dell, HP. IBM's deal to sell its PC business to Lenovo could prompt a lot of current IBM PC users to switch when its time to purchase replacement computers.

Top 10 "Most Unwanted" Spyware Named. Anti-spyware vendor Webroot uses its relationship with Internet service provider EarthLink to tally the most prevalent spyware.

AMD Cuts Power On 90nm Opteron Processors. AMD managed to reduce the maximum thermal output of its newly released 90 nanometer Opteron server processors by 25 percent compared to the previous generation.

New Energy Experiment: Half-ton Levitating Ring

Thursday, 9 December

Tech 2005: What's New and What's Next. The products you use are about to get smarter, faster, smaller, cheaper, and more colorful.

A Look Back at the IBM PC. Big Blue's first commercial success in PCs redefined the workplace, and the world, 23 years ago. "Is it IBM compatible?" is history.

New GNOME Version is Available for Linux Users. A new version of GNOME desktop interface is now available for download.

Disney to Support Blu-ray Disc Format

Cellphone Sniffs-out Dirty Bombs

Wednesday, 8 December

IBM Sells PC Business to Lenovo. Big Blue makes its exit from the desktop but keeps a stake in Lenovo.

New DVD Format Being Marketed. One layer of the new disk is in standard DVD format, while the other layer will be in the HD DVD format.

Siemens Transmits Data at 1-Gbit/s Over Wireless Link. Siemens claims to have set a world record after transmitting data at 1-Gbit/s in real time over an OFDM-based mobile link.

Trojan Program Poses as Anti-spam Screensaver. Disguised as a computer screensaver aimed at cutting spammer's profits, the trojan "spyware" steals user passwords and email addresses.

Most Browsers Buggy, Even IE In XP SP2. A European security vendor warns that most browsers sport a bug that hackers can exploit to spoof a Web site and trick users into trusting bogus pop-up windows.

Is an Internet Phone Right for You? VoIP services are cropping up all over the place. We answer your questions about this new breed of phone services.

AMD Semprons to Migrate to 754 Pins Only. Slower Semprons from 2600+ through 2005.

Vest-pocket Beamer

Robotic Hubble Rescue Mission Uncertain

In the Center of the Heart Nebula

Tuesday, 7 December

IBM PC Biz Sale Could Mean Opportunity for AMD. Doors could swing open for the number two chipmaker, one firm believes.

Athlon XP Reaches End of Its Existence
. Rock steady gone and the Sempr0n takin' over.

WiMAX to be 'Clear Winner' in Broadband Wireless. "In fact, the business case for WiMAX, in particular, is close to that for wireline DSL, which makes it an excellent broadband technology alternative."

Thunderbird 1.0 takes on Outlook Express, Eudora. Weeks after the launch of its Firefox 1.0 Web browser, the Mozilla Foundation on Tuesday is set to release version 1.0 of its Thunderbird e-mail client.

2004 to Record 24% Growth. This $226 billion revenue year was particularly good to memory chipmakers, with some of them doubling their revenues...

HDTV on the Cheap

Cool Stuff

Two-thirds of School-age Children Have an Imaginary Companion by Age 7.

Sleep Deprivation Tied to Shifts in Hunger Hormones

Monday, 6 December

BellSouth Prepares Network Upgrade for Video. BellSouth, the No. 3 U.S. local telephone company, plans to upgrade its network to offer video services and speedier Internet access to about 80 percent of its customers by 2009, industry sources say.

Dell Cuts Prices On Corporate Hardware. Dell dropped prices on select servers, workstations, desktops and laptops aimed at corporate customers, saying it was passing along lower component costs to buyers.

Improved Power Management Planned for Opteron. Computers built with AMD's Opteron processor soon will be able to take advantage of the same power management technology the company has already built into its laptop and desktop microchips.

IBM Extends Chip Performance with Germanium Layering. IBM demonstrated a technique that triples the performance of a standard semiconductor transistor with a process that is compatible with conventional CMOS technology.

Nvidia's Nforce 5 Details Enlarged and Expanded. DDR2 667 support, FSB 1066, four S-ATA II.

Friday, 3 December

IBM Set to Unveil Deal to Sell PC Business to Lenovo. IBM is expected to announce next week that it has reached an agreement in principle to sell its $11.5 billion PC business to China-based PC giant Lenovo.

IDC: IT spending to grow 6% in 2005. In its annual predictions for the upcoming year, IDC predicted worldwide IT spending would grow 6.1% in 2005.

Thursday, 2 December

Half of U.S. IT Operations Jobs to Vanish in 20 Years. Gartner researchers believe that as many as 50% of the IT operational jobs in the U.S. could disappear over the next two decades because of coming improvements in data center technologies.

Intel Tech Can Troubleshoot PCs Remotely. Computer makers will be able to remotely troubleshoot PCs in consumers' homes, if they adopt Intel's upcoming Active Management Technology (AMT).

Flat-panel TVs Can't Topple Tubes. Consumers scrambling for sexy new flat-panel televisions may want to tune in to this less-publicized feature of the trendy boxes: They don't deliver pictures as clearly as traditional tube TVs do.

Infineon Execs Plead Guilty in DRAM Case. Four executives of German semiconductor supplier Infineon have agreed to plead guilty to participating in a conspiracy to fix the prices of memory chips.

'Wireless Philadelphia' Sparks Concern. Philadelphia's controversial plan to create low-cost wireless Internet service is fueling a debate among Wi-Fi technology firms over business models.

New Wi-Fi Nearly Doubles Speed. Belkin's Pre-N wireless networking line also dramatically improves range--even for 802.11b and 802.11g gear.

Microsoft Issues Out-of-Cycle Explorer Patch. Wide adoption of the latest Explorer patch may be hindered because it requires more effort than the typical Windows update.

Microsoft Files Suits Against Smut Spammers. Microsoft is again using the courts to pursue individuals allegedly responsible for spam e-mail campaigns, this time going after those who send out unsolicited and sexually explicit e-mail.

MP3 Goes Surround-sound. Consumer electronics giant Thomson SA said that the MP3 compressed digital audio format has been extended with the creation of a multi-channel variant intended to offer "surround sound" capability.

Nutrient Decline in Garden Crops Over Past 50 Years

November 2004

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Copyright, Disclaimer, and Trademark Information Copyright © 1996-2006 Larry F. Byard.  All rights reserved. This material or parts thereof may not be copied, published, put on the Internet, rewritten, or redistributed without explicit, written permission from the author.