New Media Technologies – 10 Articles
1. The article is about computer viruses, and the fact that it has been discovered that there are now over 1,000,000 different viruses.
Symantec released a bi-annual Internet security report
The majority of viruses were created in the last 12 months
Malware can even fool anti-virus programmes to fool them into thinking that the virus is not actually a virus.
In the second half of 2007, Symantec discovered 499,811 new malicious code threats
They discovered that almost two thirds of all malicious code threats currently detected were discovered in 2007
The vast majority of the viruses are made to target computers running Microsoft Windows
Some viruses stay on the computer, then start to work once a certain website is visited
Some groups involved in hi tech crime employ others to make malicious software
The fact the people employed have to be paid, makes the criminals want to make more money out of people using viruses.
The combination of the factors generates lots of new, more malicious viruses
“The combination of these factors results in a high volume of new malicious code samples that threaten users online.”
The latest edition of the Symantec report covers the second half of 2007 during which time the security firm detected 499,811 new malicious code threats. This figure was up 136% on the first six months of 2007.
Throughout 2007 Symantec detected more than 711,912 novel threats which brings the total number of malicious programs that the security firm’s anti-virus programs detect to 1,122,311.
2. The article is about people seeking information about suicide, but some web pages could be encouraging it.
Researchers used search engines to find “Pro suicide” pages
3 of the most frequent sites were all “Pro suicide”
Mental health campaigners called for the sites to be banned, and said that they prayed on vulnerable people
In some countries, these sites are banned. But they aren’t in the UK
To be prosecuted for assisting suicide, the individual needs to know about and assist in the suicide
19% of the sites found were dedicated suicide sites
12 hits that were found were message boards talking about methods of suicide
The only way that they are blocked is by the internet service provider, and by web filters
The sites can influence people to commit suicide
The ISP’s said that they will only take websites down if they were illegal
The 1961 Suicide Act says it is illegal to aid, abet, counsel, procure or incite someone to kill themselves.
In total, 90 hits (19%) were for dedicated suicide sites, half of which were judged to be encouraging, promoting, or facilitating suicide.
Lead research Lucy Biddle said that because of the law, self-regulation by internet providers and the use of filtering software by parents were the main methods used to try to prevent the use of pro-suicide sites.
3. Hackers are able to see people’s information through the old scripting of certain websites.
Website creators can leave their websites open to the risk of hackers
Many of the loop holes in the code have been known about for a decade
The poor practices are being very easily exploited by hackers
According to Symantec, the number of sites being attacked in this way doubled in the second half of 2007
The bug ridden code is being used to attack visitors of entirely innocent websites
The attack that a hacker carries out on these sites is called cross site scripting, known as XSS.
XSS vulnerability, could allow hackers to steal a person’s information that is stored on the site.
More and more attackers are looking for these vulnerable sites as the code is easy to script
There has been 11.253 reported sites that are vulnerable to the XSS script
The problem started over 8 years ago
Many of the loopholes left in the code created for websites have been known about for almost a decade say the security researchers.
Kevin Hogan, director of security operations at Symantec, said the bug-ridden web code was putting visitors to many entirely innocent sites at risk.
Mr Hogan said more and more attackers were looking for websites that were vulnerable to these scripting attacks because they required little work to mount.
4. European politicians have turned down attempts to have internet pirate’s internet connections shut off.
European Politicians have voted down calls to throw file sharers off of the net.
The idea to cut off persistent pirates was part of a wide ranging report
The idea was turned down as it conflicted with civil liberties and human rights
It puts MEPS at odds with governments planning tough action against pirates
They should try to strike a balance between the interests of rights holders and their customers
The amendment was added to the so called Bono Report
The amendment called them to avoid having ideas that conflict with people’s civil and human rights.
A large discussion will be taking place in months to come to address issues of copyright theft online
The vote has no legal force, and leaves governments to be able to take their own anti-piracy measures
In 2007, France announced its intent to make internet service providers anti piracy watch dogs
European politicians have voted down calls to throw suspected file-sharers off the net.
“The vote shows that MEPs want to strike a balance between the interests of rights holders and those of consumers, and that big measures like cutting off internet access shouldn’t be used,” said a spokeswoman for the European Parliament after the vote.
The amendment called on the EC and its member nations to “avoid adopting measures conflicting with civil liberties and human rights and with the principles of proportionality, effectiveness and dissuasiveness, such as the interruption of internet access.”
5. Handheld gadgets storing thousands of hours of film footage could soon be a reality thanks to IBM scientists.
Researchers are working on a technology called race track memory
It uses tiny magnetic boundaries to store the data
The capacity of MP3’s could increase by 100%
IBM say the technology is still 7 to 8 years away from public use
Currently most desktop computers use flash memory and hard drives
Racetrack memory could produce a storage medium that is cheap, durable and fast
It is now possible to create racetrack memory
It gets its name because the data races around the wire coiled inside
Many modern computers already use spintronics devices
This could mean that a portable mp3 could hold 500,000 songs
Researchers for the computer giant are working on a technology known as racetrack memory which uses tiny magnetic boundaries to store data.
Hard drives are cheap but their moving parts mean they are not very durable. They are also slow in that they typically take a few milliseconds to find and fetch data.
The tiny amount of power needed to exploit these fields means racetrack memory generates far less heat than existing devices.
6. This article is about how facebook, the social networking site is growing in popularity, and how the BBC think that it will inevitably be in the news in 2008. It also writes about Robert Scoble, who broke the rules of the site, but got away with it because he was a famous blogger on the site.
Facebook will be in the news in 2008
Has been upsetting its users with new sevices
Can find fake profiles easily
In 2007, it became the social site of choice for journalists, politicians, and bloggers that see myspace as the site for kids
Robert Scoble broke the rules of this site, got away with it because he was a famous blogger on the site.
People critisised Facebook for suspending his account
Scoble was made more famous for standing up for people’s right to use thier “own” data
Issue helped underline the problems with data ownership on the internet
The culture clash is a role reversal, where adults are “growing up” in a child oriented place
Adults going online for the first time are entering a world that has been shaped by the younger generation
“And it could even avoid falling victim to one of the frauds that are likely to be perpetrated against users of all social network sites. “
”However Scoble is an A-list blogger so when he wrote about his suspension it generated a storm of comment. “
”And Facebook has backed away from another PR embarrassment, although not without some loss of face since it is unlikely that an unknown accountant from Basingstoke would have been allowed to return after such an egregious breach of the site’s rules. “
7. Bill Thompson is looking into weather Apple should face the EU court of first instance, the same way Microsoft has.
Microsoft was humiliated at the EU court of first instance, when all its appeals were ruled against
Microsoft abused its monopoly power
They put an embedded windows media player in XP and Vista
Both rulings will have significant implications for other cases before the commission
Apple managed to get Acres of coverage for the Iphone
Apple do not allow personal ringtones on the iPhone
Many of the Apple products are locked in a totally apple controlled universe
The new generation of iPods cannot output video throughout un-certified products
But now Apple has added a new feature to the iTunes database, a special number which is calculated from your list of files using a process only Apple knows.
It will not stop people adding non-DRM files they have downloaded from the internet to their library. All it will do is stop the third party players working and force anyone with an iPod to use iTunes.
Microsoft was humiliated by the European Union’s Court of First Instance on Monday when it rejected almost all elements of the software giant’s appeal against the 2004 rulings made by the competition commissioner.
The best example of this is Apple, which managed to get acres of coverage for the UK launch of the iPhone, despite the many ways in which the device is closed, locked down and restricted.
The recent launch of the new range of iPods, including the video Nano and the iPod Touch, has shown just how far Apple is willing to go to make life difficult for its users in order to shore up its dominant position in the market for music players and downloads.
8. After weeks of first fighting talk and then stony silence, Yahoo has at long last made a move to escape the takeover clutches of Microsoft.
Yahoo has at long last made a move to escape the takeover clutches of Microsoft.
The company has announced a two-week experiment during which it will show search-driven Google adverts
Some analysts have described Yahoo’s manoeuvring as a “really clever move”.
Excited investors rewarded the company with a 7% rise in its share price.
If anything, these moves are proof positive that Yahoo is standing with the back against the firewall of its internet servers.
When Yahoo rejected Microsoft’s $44.6bn takeover bid, it did so arguing that the offer seriously undervalued its earnings potential.
Advertisers don’t seem to have taken a lot of notice.
Even Google’s ad clicks have fallen recently, but that appears to be the result of a deliberate move.
The number of ads on each search results page has been reduced
Too many adverts are not quite relevant to the search. Offering adverts that better fit the search should result in happier searchers and higher conversion rates
The company has announced a two-week experiment during which it will show search-driven Google adverts alongside the search results of Yahoo’s website.
When Yahoo rejected Microsoft’s $44.6bn takeover bid (now worth a tad less following the stockmarket gyrations), it did so arguing that the offer seriously undervalued its earnings potential.
In reality, though, Yahoo has simply failed to deliver. A year ago the company launched with great fanfare “Panama”, the latest version of its search marketing service. Advertisers don’t seem to have taken a lot of notice. Yahoo’s former arch rival Google continued to extend its lead in the lucrative market for search advertising.
9. Researchers have built the world’s smallest transistor – one atom thick and 10 atoms wide – out of a material that could one day replace silicon.
Researchers have built the worlds smallest transistor
A material has been found that could replace graphite
Graphene, a 2D material, was discovered 4 years ago
Graphene has been called a ‘Super Material’ because of all of its
Graphene is made of a thin layer of graphite, which is so thin it is transparent.
Graphene has a better advantage over silicon, as it can conduct electricity faster and further
Graphene is superior to silicon by order of magnitude
Companies like Intel have a roadmap to reduce the size of the silicon wafer.
Circuits could be reduced to 10 nanometres
Many researchers are working on creating large wafers of Graphene
Graphene is a single layer of graphite, which is found in the humble pencil.
Graphene has been hailed as a super material because it has many potential applications. It is a flat molecule, with only the thickness of an atom, and both very stable and robust.
Companies like Intel have a roadmap to reduce the size of circuits on the silicon wafer, down to about 10 nanometres – 10,000 times smaller than the width of a single human hair.
10. Tough action is required by US regulators to protect the principles that have made the net so successful, a leading digital rights lawyer has said.
Some people are unhappy with the way web firms handle data during busy times
They believe the FCC should keep all internet traffic flowing equally
They had a 7 hour meeting to discuss these issues
One of the principles that guided the foundation of the net was that all traffic must flow equally through it
Comcast has been managing traffic by stopping its 13m customers from using peer to peer networks
The FFC are investigating Comcast, to see if they deserve a fine for their actions
Comcast are now changing their policy
2 Democrats on the FFC board said that they needed to introduce more rules
2 Republicans on the board said they could be in danger of over burdening net firms with more rules
The chairman said net policies were strong enough, but needed to be properly enforced.
He said the Federal Communications Committee (FCC) should act to keep all net traffic flowing equally.
The seven-hour public meeting was held at Stanford University and featured presentations from Prof Lessing, songwriters, network administrators and net engineers.
The meeting was called by the FCC in reaction to the news that US net firm Comcast had been exposed as managing traffic by stopping some of its 13m customers uploading files to BitTorrent and other peer-to-peer networks.