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December 2006

Friday, 29 December

Hackers Spam 'Happy New Year' Worm. Security experts warn against opening New Year-related messages to ward off this fast-moving worm, which disables Windows firewall and several security programs.

Five Predictions for 2007. It’s all about money.

Microsoft Claims Vista's Aero Interface Doesn't Slow PCs

A Sardine Will Drop in Maine

Genetically Modified Pigs Glow in the Dark

Newest Pacemakers Run Battery-Free

Thursday, 28 December

Internet Access Recovers in Asia After Earthquakes. Two days after a pair of powerful earthquakes hit southern Taiwan, damaging undersea telecommunications cables, Asia's Internet and telecom infrastructure showed signs of recovery.

CAN-SPAM Law Big Disappointment. Nearing its third anniversary, the law hasn't slowed the rising tide of junk e-mail.

Wii Flies Higher than PS3. Christmas sleigher.

After Month, No Rush to Vista. Analysts point out that even some of Microsoft's products still don't run on new OS.

Net Sales Show Big Holiday Gains. Online sales grew by about 25 percent, eclipsing about 3 percent growth for overall holiday retail sales.

Moon Over Andromeda

Wednesday, 27 December

Apple Execs Faked Stock Option Documents. Federal prosecutors are looking closely at Apple stock option administration documents that were apparently falsified.

CPU Buyer's Guide. Master the processor/PC upgrade cycle with this comprehensive guide to the current crop of desktop CPUs, specifications and prices.

Ads Coming to Verizon Cell Phones. Starting next year, Verizon Wireless will be allowing placement of banner ads on its news, weather, sports and other information sites viewed on its mobiles.

Organic Electronics Market to Reach US$19.7 Billion by 2012. The market for products such as OLEDs (organic light-emitting diodes) and other electronic products will grow from US$1.4 billion in 2007 to US$19.7 billion by 2012 and then go on to reach US$34.4 billion in revenues by 2014.

Planet-finding Telescope Blasts-off

Pond Scum Bubbles-up as Energy Alternative

Tuesday, 26 December

Sharp to Expand LCD Production Earlier than Planned. Rising demand for flat-panel televisions around the world is pushing Sharp Corp. to bring forward a planned expansion of display production.

Google Now the #2 Most Visited Website in the World

The Mathematics of Cloaking

Friday, 22 December

FCC Clears Way for Phone Companies to Offer TV. Commission concluded that the current operation of the franchising process constitutes an unreasonable barrier to entry that impedes the cable competition and broadband deployment.

First Exploit Of Windows Vista Spotted. Proof-of-concept code for an unpatched vulnerability in all supported versions of Windows, including Vista, has gone public.

Samsung Semi Prez Heads to Slammer. The president of Samsung Semiconductor is set to serve 10 months in prison and pay a $250,000 fine for his participation in the industry-wide DRAM price-fixing scandal.

Hurt by Intel, AMD Cuts Prices. Hurt by competitive pressures from Intel, Advanced Micro Devices has cut its product prices in the channels...

Microsoft Extends Xbox 360 Warranty to 1 Year. With holiday shoppers in mind, Redmond matches the warranty lengths of rival consoles from Sony and Nintendo. Why wasn't it one year in the first place?

Toshiba's Long-awaited SED TV a No-show. Toshiba's SED TV a no-show at the Consumer Electronics Show in January after all.

Photons Trapped by Trick of the Light. Optical buffers that use a cunning trick to send light loopy could lead to a new generation of powerful microchips

Sony BMG Settles Rootkit Case with 39 States. Record label to pay $4.25 million a year after acknowledging that it secretly installed antipiracy software on music CDs.

NASA Skips Early Shuttle Landing in Florida

Thursday, 21 December

Holiday OInline Sales Surge to $20.6B. ComScore Networks ups its Web-spending forecast after latest data shows consumers boosted their buying activity in the final run-up to Christmas.

10 Predictions for Rich Internet Applications in 2007. Rich media is going to be in high demand and companies are going to see the economic benefits of building better Web experiences.

Solid-State PCs: Computing's Next Horizon. The trend toward solid-state PCs is being driven, in part, by security concerns and a push to converge operating systems toward Unix/Linux platforms.

Nanotube Coating Promises Ice-free Windscreens

Cosmic Glows Universe`s Oldest Objects

Wednesday, 20 December

Two in Three Retail PCs are Notebooks. Black Friday showed consumers are largely fed up with desktops, and more data reveals the laptop preference has grown.

PC Sales Growth Bottoms-out in US. PC sales growth in the U.S. sputtered to a halt in the third quarter of 2006, showing zero increase compared to last year, as vendors turned to strong overseas markets to generate revenue.

Mozilla Patches 10 Firefox Bugs. Mozilla patched 10 Firefox vulnerabilities late Tuesday, seven of them marked "critical," but left a password-spilling bug unresolved.

The Death of the VCR

Space Station Solar Array Finally Folded

Monday, 18 December

Matsushita Says It Will Ship A Safe Lithium-Ion Battery. Panasonic's parent company, Matsushita, said that its battery subsidiary has developed a new "mass-production" system that produces safe lithium ion batteries.

Prices for 42-inch LCD TVs to Drop. Prices for 42-inch LCD TVs are likely to drop to US$999 by the end of 2007 in North America, according to LCD TV makers.

A Short Circuit for Cellular E911. Can first responders find you in an emergency? Don't count on it just yet, despite years of work by wireless providers.

Hackers to Hook-up with 'the Mob' in '07. The beefed-up online crime cooperative will buy, sell, and trade ready-made cyber-attack toolkits and exploits using zero-day vulnerabilities, predict analysts at Websense, a Web security company.

Linksys Lays Claim to iPhone Name. When it arrives, Apple's mobile phone product probably will not be named the "iPhone," as many in the industry expected.

NEC Desktops Have Caught Fire in Japan. Two NEC desktop computers in Japan have caught fire since late last year and NEC is now offering to replace faulty power units at the root of the problem.

Red Light Debut for Exotic 'Metamaterial'

Google Partners With NASA

Lockheed Martin's F-35 Takes Flight

Friday, 15 December

Microsoft Turns Up The Heat On Windows 2000 Users. Companies that rely on Windows 2000 face tough, end-of-lifecycle choices as Microsoft pushes upgrades to Windows Vista, 2003, and Longhorn Server.

Vista Flaw Could Haunt Microsoft. Microsoft wants a bigger piece of Oracle and IBM's database business, but an oversight in its new operating system could cost the company plenty.

Nintendo to Replace 3.2 Million Wii Straps. In an effort to duck criticism that its remote controllers can fly across the room when wrist straps break, Nintendo is offering free replacements for that part of its new Wii video gaming console.

Prices for LCD TV to Drop 30-40% Throughout 2007. Although the global LCD TV market is expected to grow more significantly in 2007.

Good-bye Cable TV, Hello Fiber. FiOS TV is loosening cable's hammerlock on the digital television service market—and that's a good thing.

Google Gets Into Domain Biz. Search giant will resell web site addresses.

Yahoo Fixes Messenger Flaw

How Do Multiple-Star Systems Form?

Scientists Use Vortex Generators for Underwater Vehicle

Thursday, 14 December

Open Source PS3? Hackers think they know how to improve the PS3—install Linux.

Sony Sticks to PS3 Shipment Target. Sony is sticking to its target of shipping 2 million PlayStation 3 consoles by the end of the calendar year.

Nintendo Sold 325,000 Wiis at European Launch. Nintendo’s Wii made its way across the pond to Europe, and sold 325,000 units in the first two days of availability.

Google Launches Patent Search. The service covers 7 million patents granted by the USPTO since the 1790s

Boeing stolen laptop held ID data on 382,000. Former Boeing employees, some retirees could be at risk of ID theft.

Third Exploit for Word Released. Proof of concept code is posted on the Milw0rm.com Web site for all hackers to see.

Gartner Predicts Vista to be Last Major Windows. The era of monolithic deployments of software releases is nearing an end...

New Oil-Gas Drilling Technology Tested

Wednesday, 13 December

Conflicting Reports on iTunes Sales Declines. A New York Times story cited a report which inferred that since the ratio of iTunes songs sold per iPod sold has been steadily rising, a disconnect could be occurring between the two products in a changing portable media market.

Microsoft Fixes IE, Windows Media Player Flaws. Seven security patches fix seven bugs -- but none for the two Word flaws exploited during the past week.

Gartner: Global Chip Sales Rise In '06. Global sales of microchips rose 11.3 percent to $261.4 billion in 2006, driven by demand for DRAM memory chips and devices used in mobile phones.

Microsoft Turns the Robots Loose. Software giant takes the wraps off its first commercial operating system for robots, with ambitions of taking a central role in a broader robotics industry.

New South Pole Station Nearly Complete

Tuesday, 12 December

Second Gen Toshiba HD DVD Players Shipping. The HD-A2 goes a long way to solving the problems of its predecessor but 1080p support is still missing.

LCD Price-Fixing Probe Spreads. Shares of South Korean LCD panel maker LG.Philips LCD Co. Ltd. fell sharply to a record low on Tuesday as a three-country probe into price fixing claims spread to more screen producers.

Prices for 32-inch Panels to Fall Below $300. Prices for 32-inch panels may fall below US$300 to US$290 in the third quarter of 2007, with quotes for 40-inch panels to also drop to nearly US$500 during the period.

Semi Industry Bracing for Slowdown. A number of heavy-hitters in the semiconductor industry are downgrading expectations.

UCLA Break-in Puts Data on 800,000 at Risk. For more than a year, an intruder has been accessing private information on students and staff, among others, the university says.

Vista's 'Bounce' to Add 100,000 U.S. Tech Jobs. Along with the new work, an IDC report said the total job impact of Vista will be in the 1.8 million range in 2007, with most carryovers from earlier Windows versions.

Windows Development Chief: 'I would buy a Mac if I didn't work for Microsoft.' Windows development chief James Allchin wrote in a 2004 e-mail to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates that his company had "lost sight" of customer needs and said he would buy a Mac if he worked elsewhere.

Apple vs. Dell Price War

Why a Hydrogen Economy Doesn't Make Sense

Back to the Moon! But Why?

Report: North Pole Ice-free by 2040

Monday, 11 December

Word Hit by New Zero-day Flaw. A second security flaw has been discovered in Microsoft Word in less than a week. Even worse, it's being exploited.

VARs Might Not Like This Trip Down Memory Lane. A hardware crunch is hovering like a cloud over the PC space, as Microsoft's forthcoming Vista operating system is demanding historic levels of memory— and memory pricing increases may be looming on the horizon.

Broadcom HDTV-on-a-Ship Promises Simpler System. Broadcom rolled out a "television-on-a-chip" that the company calls the first digital HDTV silicon solution to support full 1,080-progressive display resolution.

Blu-ray Shows Promise. First impression of the Sony BWU-100A.

World's Fastest Transistor Approaches Goal of Terahertz Device. Scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have again broken their own speed record for the world’s fastest transistor.

IBM: “Flash” In The Pan? Big Blue’s researchers say they’ve developed a new type of memory smaller and faster than flash.

Missing the Boat on Multithreading? It's been 18 months since Intel introduced the first dual-core desktop processor, but only a handful of ISVs have written applications that exploit multicore architectures.

School Shuns Tech; Teaches Fountain Pen

Mid-Atlantic Commercial Spaceport Ready for Liftoff

Peak of Geminid Meteor Shower Set to Dazzle

Friday, 8 December

Blu-ray DVD Drive No Bonus for Some PS3 Buyers. Blu-ray included in PS3 to help boost format over rival HD DVD, but some gamers irritated that it raises console's price.

Wii Sales Soar; PS3 Sales Stumble. November sales data gives Nintendo a 2-1 sales advantage over Sony.

Return Of The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide. 80 of the hottest, weirdest, and most exciting tech gadgets to give (or get) this holiday season.

GM Plug-in Hybrid to Deliver 70MPG

Space Shuttle Discovery Launch Scrubbed, New Attempt on Saturday

Thursday, 7 December

Living with (or without) Internet Explorer 7.0. Early adopters are discovering that IE7 has compatibility problems with many Web sites and Web applications. Here's how to use IE6 as a backup or to uninstall IE7 completely.

Group Says BPL Pollutes Spectrum. Amateur radio league charges FCC is disseminating biased data on broadband over power lines.

Nvidia Unveils nForceR 680a SLI MCP. Nvidia introduced its new nForce 680a SLI media and communications processor (MCP), designed specifically for the new AMD Quad FX Platform with Dual Socket Direct Connect Architecture.

Solar Cell Breakthrough! With funding from the Department of Energy, Boeing-Spectrolab has managed to create a solar cell with 40.7% sunlight-to-energy conversion efficiency. Solar Cell Breaks Efficiency Record.

Spam Choking the Internet Again. The latest spam figures confirm what many internet users already suspect –spam is increasing as senders find new ways to avoid filtering systems.

The Hot Spot Security Fable. There are instances in which hackers can grab a user's personal data.

Half of American Business PCs Can't Run Vista. A new study finds that about half of the average business PCs in North America are unable to meet the minimum requirements for Windows Vista.

The Outskirts of M77

Wednesday, 6 December

Carriers Make Another Big Broadband Bet. Telecom carriers are poised to invest hundreds of billions of dollars in faster broadband Internet connections.

Study: Cell Phones Don't Raise Cancer Risk. Short-term, long-term use shows no links to increased risk of tumors, according to study of cell users in Denmark.

MS Warns of New Word Attack. Unpatched bug can be exploited to corrupt the PC's memory and allow attackers to run unauthorized software.

Buffalo Rolls Out HD DVD Drive for PCs. $320

Game Console Sales Numbers

Glue Problems Could Gum-up Shuttle Launch

Flu Virus Shows a Twist in the Tail

Spirit Rover on Mars Imaged from Orbit

Black Hole Sucking Up Nearby Star, in Bootes Constellation

Japan Scientists Find Gene Linked to Heavy Smoking

Tuesday, 5 December

China Passes Japan in R&D Spending. China now spends more on research and development than Japan, but still only invests a little over a third as much as the U.S.

Washington Settles First Spyware Suit. One down, several hundred thousand to go.

Nine Great GPS Gadgets for Holiday Giving. Today's hottest GPS devices come packed with more than electronic road maps that provide turn-by-turn voice directions.

Ready for 100-Gigabit Ethernet? High-speed networking is on track to get a whole lot faster as the IEEE standards body has sanctioned 100-Gigabit Ethernet as the next frontier.

AMD Launches 65-nanometer Chips. Chips will consume about 30 percent less energy than the same ones produced on the 90-nanometer process.

Shuttle Set to Fly Thursday

Southern Ocean Could Slow Global Warming

Monday, 4 December

CMOS Image Sensors Aim for True Machine Vision. New CMOS imager chips are emerging that directly sense depth--3D pixel-by-pixel--enabling machine vision to realize its goal of perceiving objects, and reacting appropriately.

Laptop Sales Hot Enough to Make-up for Desktop Slump. Desktop PC sales were down on Black Friday, but huge gains in notebook sales more than made up for it.

Tesla to License Battery Technology, Launch New All-Electric Sedan

Friday, 1 December

Romanian Charged with Hacking in U.S. A Romanian national was indicted on charges of hacking into more than 150 U.S. government computers, causing disruptions that cost NASA, the Energy Department and the Navy nearly $1.5 million.

Justice Dept. Subpoenas AMD, Nvidia. Companies say they'll comply with agency's probe into potential antitrust violations regarding graphics processors.

AMD Quad FX Slaughtered by Intel CPU. George Ou: All the reviews are in for AMD's new "4×4" Quad FX dual CPU platform and it loses nearly every single real-world benchmark to a single Intel CPU.

No U.S. Hurricane Strikes This Year, as Season Ends

In the Arms of NGC 1097

November 2006

2006

Prior Years

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.