Posted tagged ‘AOL’

Conficker Wakes Up

April 9, 2009

According to Trend Micro, the Conficker worm is finally doing something–updating via peer-to-peer between infected computers and dropping a mystery payload on infected computers.

It seems that the worm is infiltrating computers in a staggered manner instead of all at once as was expected back on April 1.

From CNN:

Researchers were analyzing the code of the software that is being dropped onto infected computers but suspect that it is a keystroke logger or some other program designed to steal sensitive data off the machine, said David Perry, global director of security education at Trend Micro.

The software appeared to be a .sys component hiding behind a rootkit, which is software that is designed to hide the fact that a computer has been compromised, according to Trend Micro. The software is heavily encrypted, which makes code analysis difficult, the researchers said.

The worm also tries to connect to MySpace.com, MSN.com, eBay.com, CNN.com and AOL.com as a way to test that the computer has Internet connectivity, deletes all traces of itself in the host machine, and is set to shut down on May 3, according to the TrendLabs Malware Blog.

Because infected computers are receiving the new component in a staggered manner rather than all at once there should be no disruption to the Web sites the computers visit, said Paul Ferguson, advanced threats researcher for Trend Micro.

“After May 3, it shuts down and won’t do any replication,” Perry said. However, infected computers could still be remotely controlled to do something else, he added.

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Facebook Dethrones MySpace as World’s Top Social Networking Site

January 26, 2009

Facebook grew 127 percent in the past year to 222 million visitors in December, and now ranks as the top social networking site worldwide.

I have to admit that I still like MySpace better, but only because I like the customization that you have available on MySpace that is not available on Facebook.

From BizJournals:

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Facebook Inc. is also the seventh most popular Internet property in the world, according to ComScore, which reported that the worldwide Internet audience above the age of 15 crossed 1 billion last month.

The most popular destinations in December were Mountain View, Wash.-based Google Inc. sites, with 777.9 million visitors, followed by Microsoft Corp., Sunnyvale-based Yahoo Inc., AOL, Wikimedia, and San Jose-based Ebay Inc.

Fox Interactive Media, owner of MySpace, which was surpassed by Facebook in April, came in 10th with 172.8 million visitors. The Asia-Pacific region accounted for the highest share of global Internet users at 41 percent, followed by Europe, with 28 percent, North America, with 18 percent share, Latin-America, with 7 percent, and the Middle East and Africa with 5 percent. China represented the largest online audience, with 180 million Internet users, or almost 18 percent of the total worldwide audience, followed by the U.S. with 16.2 percent, Japan with 6 percent, Germany with 3.7 percent and the U.K. with 3.6 percent.

Nokia Moves Closer to an Open Source Platform

December 3, 2008

Nokia has taken a critical step toward creating an open-source wireless environment, terming the closing of its deal to Symbian a “fundamental step” in creating the Symbian Foundation. The Symbian Foundation is a cross-industry collaboration that will use Symbian’s open software to rival Google’s Android and the LiMo Foundation’s own Linux operating systems.

From InformationWeek:

At Nokia World on Tuesday, the cell phone manufacturer announced upgrades to its maps and messaging services. Nokia Maps, the company’s mobile mapping and navigation service, has been integrated more with the online Ovi service. It now enables users to preplan trips on a desktop computer and synchronize with their cell phones.

Nokia is adding high-resolution aerial images, 3-D landmarks, and instant access to some traffic information and event guides. Pedestrian navigation also has been improved. The company said the higher map quality is because of its $8.1 billion acquisition of Navteq. “Nokia has clearly increased the usability of Maps, and now with the integration of Ovi services, the functionality of this service can also be seen,” said Michael Halbherr, VP of Nokia’s location-based experiences, in a statement. “Enabling Nokia Maps the ability to synchronize my favorite places between my mobile and PC becomes the main reason for anyone to switch from other personal navigation devices to Nokia Maps.”

With the launch of Nokia Messaging, the company is beefing up the messaging capabilities of its most popular handsets. The service will push e-mail from Web-based providers, like Gmail, Yahoo Mail, AOL Mail, and Windows Live Hotmail, and ISP-based accounts to the majority of Nokia devices. Once the application is installed, the company said, setting up accounts will only require users to enter their e-mail addresses and passwords.

From Beta News:

In announcing today that it’s closed a deal to buy Symbian Ltd, mobile phone maker Nokia called the completion of the acquisition a “fundamental step” in creating the Symbian Foundation, a multi-vendor group that will bolster the Symbian OS to take on Android and the LiMo Foundation’s emerging OS as a mobile open source environment.

Beyond Nokia, the foundation has members that include wireless carriers AT&T, Vodafone, and Japanese-based NTT DoCoMo, in addition to phone and chip makers such as Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, and Texas Instruments.

The group plans to fuse together the three disparate user interface layers of the Symbian OS — UIQ, NTT DoCoMo’s MOAP, and Nokia’s own S60 — into a common framework.

“The platform will offer the means to build a complete mobile device while providing the tools to differentiate devices through tailoring of the user experience, applications and services. This will enable device manufacturers to create unique devices, based on a consistent and common platform, providing fuel and scale for the innovation of others,” according to a Foundation white paper.

The new framework — coupled with the underlying, upgraded Symbian OS — will then be licensed to the open source community under the Eclipse Public License (EPL).

Former AOL Chief Executive Looking to Buy Yahoo?

December 3, 2008

According to reports, former AOL chief executive Jonathan Miller is talking to investors about raising money to purchase all or part of Yahoo.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Miller, who ran AOL from 2002 to 2006, has been sounding out private-equity investors and sovereign-wealth funds for months, and it is unclear where the talks stand, these people say.

Mr. Miller believes he can fashion a deal that would be worth about $20 to $22 a share to Yahoo shareholders, these people say, which would involve raising about $28 billion to $30 billion to purchase the entire company.

Some large Yahoo shareholders and board members were not aware of the talks Tuesday, suggesting Mr. Miller’s discussions are informal. Mr. Miller did not respond to requests for comment, and a spokeswoman for his investment firm declined to comment. A Yahoo spokesman declined comment.

Other people close to Yahoo expressed skepticism that Mr. Miller would succeed in lining up investors. Given banks’ reluctance to lend money right now, financing a deal of this size would be extremely difficult, even from deep-pocketed sovereign-wealth funds.

An investment in Yahoo would also be risky amid the current slump in advertising and during the company’s search for a new chief executive. Sovereign investors have lost money on many large investments in the past year and may be reluctant to make a bet on a company with Yahoo’s challenges.

It is unclear whether Microsoft Corp., which has indicated it is still open to doing a search deal with Yahoo, would be involved. A Microsoft spokesman declined to comment.

From CNN Money:

Yahoo’s fate is becoming more convoluted every day. Just two days after the Times of London reported that talks between Microsoft and Yahoo were back on, the the Wall Street Journal says former AOL chief executive Jonathan Miller is trying to raise money from private equity and sovereign wealth investors to buy the struggling Internet company.

Shares of Yahoo spiked 11% to $12.50 in mid-day trading on the news that Miller wants to raise between $28 billion to $30 billion to buy the company at $20-$22 a share.

Calls to Miller’s office were not returned.

Some are skeptical that Miller will be able to succeed. Wrote Standard & Poor’s Internet analyst Scott Kessler in a note, “We think YHOO is attractively valued, but that Miller would have difficulty raising this amount of capital, given the state of the global economy, of capital markets, and of YHOO itself.”

Miller has close ties with Yahoo and activist investor Carl Icahn. Miller was nominated to Yahoo’s board last August as part of a settlement which gave Icahn three seats. However, Miller withdrew because former employer Time Warner (which also owns Fortune) would not waive a non-compete clause. Miller, who runs venture firm Velocity Interactive Group, was a consultant to Microsoft and Yahoo during their negotiations earlier this year.

Yahoo To Layoff Up to 1,500 Workers

October 22, 2008

Times are tough all over right now. Even some of the Silicon Valley’s giants are not immune to a struggling economy. Battered by plunging profits and a rough economic outlook, Yahoo announced yesterday that it will layoff at least 10% of its staff,  amounting to up to 1,500 jobs. I guess none of them will be buying the new Android phone today.

From the New York Times:

Yahoo said Tuesday that it would lay off at least 10 percent of its 15,000 workers as it tries to bring down its expenses. It said reduced marketing budgets had taken a bite out of its online advertising business, sending its net income for the third quarter tumbling by 64 percent.

The company also lowered its revenue projections for the remainder of the year and said it was too early to make forecasts for 2009.

The results come as strategic moves that Yahoo has been considering, including a search advertising partnership with its rival Google and a merger with Time Warner’s AOL unit, have gotten bogged down, leaving the company with few options but to cut expenses, analysts said.

“They just have to batten down the hatches, lighten the load and ride this thing out,” said Jeffrey Lindsay, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Company.

“Hopefully,” he added, “they will make it to the other side with their cash intact, presumably as a smaller and more efficient organization.”

From CNNMoney:

Yahoo had 15,200 employees at the end of the third quarter. The much-anticipated round of layoffs comes on the heels of another 1,000 job cuts in late January.

“We have been disciplined about balancing investments with cost management all year, and have now set in motion initiatives to reduce costs and enhance productivity,” said Yahoo co-founder and CEO Jerry Yang in a written statement.

“The steps we are taking this quarter should deliver both near-term benefits to operating cash flow, and substantially enhance the nimbleness and flexibility with which we compete over the long term,” he added.

In a conference call after the results were announced, Yang said the company was working to reduce costs in other ways than just slashing jobs, including relocating offices and consolidating real estate. “We are identifying ways we can operate more efficiently,” he said.

From USA Today:

The Silicon Valley company announced the latest round of cuts against a backdrop of poor third-quarter results and a grim economic forecast. The company’s profit tumbled 64%, to $54 million, or 4 cents per share, from $151 million, or 11 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

It is Yahoo’s second significant round of layoffs this year. In January, the troubled Internet giant laid off 1,000 workers, but the cuts have done little to assuage investor confidence.

Trailer Choir Featured on AOL Today

September 11, 2008

I’ve been writing about these guys since I saw them open for Toby Keith and Montgomery Gentry earlier this summer. Check out the video for “Off The Hillbilly Hook” on AOL today. Gotta love em!

Phoenix Rises: New Zebrahead CD Released

August 8, 2008

Although it has not been long since their last album (Broadcast to the World) came out, Zebrahead is back with the release of “Phoenix”, in stores now. The new album is quite different from the all out party which was “Playmate of the Year” and others. But that is not a bad thing in the least. I have yet to find a Zebrahead album that I don’t like. True, there may be individual songs that are not as good as others, but Zebrahead tends to fill a CD with passion. This is what makes the band so much fun to listen to (and to see live, please see the tour listing below for dates near your city).

Hawthorne Theater, Portland, Oregon

We with Matty from Zebrahead: Hawthorne Theater, Portland, Oregon

“Phoenix” starts fast and just keeps on going! Songs like “Just the Tip”, “Hell Yeah”, “Mental Health”, “Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right, But Three Rights Make a Left”, “The Juggernauts” and “Sorry, But Your Friends Are Hot” are just a few of the top tracks on the new CD which includes 16 songs this time around.

“Phoenix is on sale this week on BestBuy.com for just $7.99 and that includes free shipping. As a bonus, the CD comes with a free DVD. FYE is also selling the album for just $9.99 and the first 100 purchases will come with a free autographed booklet.

More Zebrahead from the Hawthorne Theater

More Zebrahead from the Hawthorne Theater

Zebrahead has outdone themselves again with this album. They will be embarking on a US tour next week before heading off to Europe in support of Simple Plan.

Here’s a listing of tour dates for the “Phoenix” tour, coming soon:
Aug 15 2008 House of Blues – ALL AGES – San Diego, California
Aug 16 2008 House of Blues – ALL AGES – Anaheim, California
Aug 18 2008 THE SETS – ALL AGES – Tempe, Arizona
Aug 20 2008 MESA THEATRE – ALL AGES – GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado
Aug 21 2008 Aggie Theatre – Fort Collins, Colorado
Aug 23 2008 THE RAVE BAR – ALL AGES – MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin
Aug 24 2008 PEABODY’S – ALL AGES – CLEVELAND, Ohio
Aug 26 2008 CROCODILE ROCK – ALL AGES- ALLENTOWN,Pennsylvania
Aug 27 2008 BLENDER THEATRE at GRAMERCY – ALL AGES- NEW YORK, New York
Aug 28 2008 THE STONE PONY – ALL AGES – ASBURY PARK, New Jersey
Aug 29 2008 Tinks – Scranton, Pennsylvania
Aug 30 2008 THE MAGIC STICK – ALL AGES – DETROIT, Michigan
Aug 31 2008 DIESEL – ALL AGES – PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania
Sep 2 2008 THE INTERSECTION – ALL AGES – GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan
Sep 3 2008 REGGIE’S – ALL AGES – CHICAGO, Illinois
Sep 4 2008 Pop’s – Sauget (St.
Louis), Illinois
Sep 5 2008 THE SLOW DOWN – ALL AGES – OMAHA, Nebraska
Sep 6 2008 THE BLUEBIRD – ALL AGES – DENVER, Colorado
Sep 7 2008 Black Sheep – Colorado Springs, Colorado
Sep 8 2008 CLUB BOOM VA – ALL AGES – SALT LAKE CITY(Ogden), UT, Utah
Sep 9 2008 THE BIG EASY – ALL AGES – BOISE, Idaho
Sep 10 2008 ICON – ALL AGES – Pocatello, Idaho
Sep 11 2008 THE BOULEVARD – ALL AGES – SPOKANE, Washington
Sep 12 2008 EL CORAZON – ALL AGES – Seattle, Washington
Sep 13 2008 HAWTHORNE THEATRE – ALL AGES – Portland, Oregon
Sep 15 2008 BOARDWALK – ALL AGES – SACRAMENTO, California
Sep 16 2008 TBA
Sep 17 2008 KARMA LOUNGE – ALL AGES – VENTURA, California
Sep 18 2008 THE KNITTING FACTORY – ALL AGES – LOS ANGELES, California