Hundreds of websites based on WordPress 3.2.1 have been compromised so that surfers directed to the WordPress-built sites via email links are exposed to the Phoenix exploit kit, M86 Security warns.
In order to lure users to compromised pages, the attacker has spammed out thousands of malicious emails querying an unfamiliar bill and asking recipients to click on a link. (Web security firm Websense separately warned of this spam run late last week.) Read more...
The Cabinet Office has revealed "concern" over whether the public sector's IT is up to the job of supporting more transparency, from responses to last year's open data consultation.
The consultation, which closed in October, drew more than 400 responses from industry, government and other interested parties. The Cabinet Office asked for feedback on issues including how best to gather and make use of data held by the public sector, how to encourage the private sector to make use of it, and how to bolster individuals' rights to access their own data held by public sector, known as an 'enhanced right to data'.
Questions were raised by the respondents over whether current public sector IT is up to the task of supporting the enhanced right to data and whether organisations are sufficiently skilled. Read more...
The woman, Jennifer Wedel, was polite and direct but tenacious in getting the president to reveal some of his views about the H-1B program whe she asked: "Why does the government continue to issue and extend H-1b visas when there are tons of Americans just like my husband with no job?" Her husband is a semiconductor engineer.
Weddel succeeded in getting Obama to acknowledge that there should be limits to the H-1B program.
The visa "should be reserved only for those companies that say they cannot find somebody in that particular field," Obama said.
The H-1B program is also heavily used by offshore outsourcing companies that transfer IT work overseas. See: The top 10 H-1B visa users in the U.S. Read more...
Amazon said flooding in Thailand and economic problems in Europe weighed on its financial results for the fourth quarter but it also said it was pleased with the results, which disappointed investors.
Some observers were likely also disappointed that Amazon didn't disclose unit sales figures for its popular Kindle e-readers. It said only that during the last nine weeks of 2011, Kindle unit sales, including the Fire tablet, increased 177 percent compared to the same period in 2010.
Some analysts believe Amazon makes very little money on the sale of Kindles, hoping to make money instead on e-book sales. Read more...
SeaMicro on Tuesday announced a microserver that incorporates 256 Xeon processor cores to enable faster delivery of data for Internet-based activities such as social media or search.
The SM10000-XE server is a 10U rack server with 64 quad-core Intel E3-1260L processors that run at a clock speed of 2.4GHz. The server is designed to provide faster response to Internet queries by speeding dynamic Web applications and tasks such as extraction of information from databases.
The new server is an upgrade from SeaMicro's SM10000-64HD, which launched last year with 384 dual-core Atom low-power netbook chips. The new server's Xeon processors have "heavyweight" cores that can deliver a better performance than Atom cores, said Andrew Feldman [CQ], CEO of SeaMicro. Read more...
Tech vendors looking to bounce back from the recession might consider investing a few more dollars in improving customer service. According to a survey of IT professionals, most tech companies are offering merely an adequate customer service experience. Yet IT shops tend to steer their limited budget dollars toward vendors that offer not just the best products, but also the best customer service experiences. Even as large enterprise providers consolidate, IT still has clout -- and is using it.
The new report from Temkin Group found that only Microsoft's business application division, Microsoft's server division, Cisco, and IBM SPSS earned rankings of Excellent for customer experience they provided (a score of 71 percent of higher). Twenty companies came away with Okay ratings (a range of 61 percent to 70, including Intel, Oracle, Apple, EMC, Dell, Citrix, and Red Hat); 36 were slapped with Poor (51 percent through 60, including Salesforce.com, McAfee, Adobe, and Symantec) or Very Poor customer-experience ratings (including Capgemini, Fujitsu, Novell, ACS, Software AG, Hitachi, Alcatel-Lucent, and Open Text ). Read more...
Firefox 10, sixth in the line of updates that have been rolling off the development line every six weeks since mid-2011, fixed half a dozen flaws rated "critical," Mozilla's highest threat ranking, and another two labeled "high."
One of the notable vulnerabilities addressed in Firefox 10 could open users to cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks because the browser did not properly run a security check when calling untrusted scripting objects, said Mozilla.
"The fix enables the Script Security Manager (SSM) to force security checks on all frame scripts," an accompanying advisory noted. Read more...
Apple chief Tim Cook, making his first high-profile hire since taking the helm of the world's largest technology company, lured the well-regarded industry executive to fill a critical post once held by Ron Johnson, another outsider who left Target Corp to join Apple in 2000.
Johnson resigned from Apple last November to join retailer J.C. Penney Co Inc as chief executive. Read more...
Like a quarterback on the run, many of you may be scrambling this week in order to buy a new HDTV for the big game. But before you head out and shop, take a look at these five tips to help ensure a successful purchase.
Don't just shop based on price alone
Yes, there will be great deals, but some of those deals will be on older technology that retailers want to get rid of. One of the telltale signs is the device's refresh rating. If it is 60Hz then pass on it (pun intended). You want at least 120Hz as this helps reduce motion blur (and if the TV is for the big game, you definitely don't want blur).
Sound is underrated
Just like my quarterback Joe Flacco of the Ravens, sound is important.
TVs are thinner than ever and their speakers produce tiny sound. Some speakers are rear-facing, meaning they aren't even pointed in your direction. A beautiful TV with ugly sound just doesn't give you the full experience.
Some of you will be connecting your TV to a surround sound system and that's great, but if you are on a budget or if this is a second TV and you want great sound, then invest in a soundbar. These can range from $99 and up. They combine several speakers into one easy to connect device that can produce much fuller sound for your TV. My recommended brand is ZVOX Audio. Their virtual surround sound speaker cabinets are made of wood — not plastic like many others. This means you get even that much more quality sound.
Do your homework
TV shopping can be a drain, so shop around online first and read a few reviews on TVs you are interested in. After that, take a trip to your local big box stores and also stop by your local TV specialty stores. Look for TVs that are CEDIA certified. For example Gramophone devices are CEDIA certified and they have very knowledgeable TV experts who've been in the business for years. I speak to those experts all the time and am always impressed. The biggest myth with the specialty stores is cost. You'll be surprised many times they can match the price of big box stores.
Ports, Ports, Ports!
Before you buy, make sure you take inventory of how many devices you'll want to connect to the TV now and in the near future. Remember, you'll need to connect things like your cable box, DVD player, gaming consoles or surround sound system. As a general rule of thumb you want to buy a TV that has at least 3 HDMI ports.
To worry about refresh speed or not?
A TV's refresh rate, measured in hertz (Hz), is supposed to help reduce motion blur on your screen to an extent.
In theory, the higher the refresh rate, the less of a blur you can see. Marketers say that for fast action sports and movies, a high refresh rate is ideal. But in practice, the source video you'll be watching is frequently shot at 60Hz, so in some cases a 120Hz refresh rate gives the video a dreamy, almost too real quality. My wife doesn't like this, so we turn that feature off.
You'll see alot of marketing about this detail. True videophiles will say it's bologna, but marketers say otherwise. I'm in the middle, sometimes I like the look of 120Hz, other times I don't. But if you are buying a TV for the longterm than I would recommend checking into the 120Hz refresh rate. It's not a deal-breaker by any means, but it's something you should consider.
Budget for those HDMI cables. You can find some good ones at decent prices, like the ones from AudioQuest. If you are on a tight budget and are just looking to get by then check out the cable prices at Monoprice.com.
Hope these tips help you out! What did I miss that you think others should be aware of? Think of yourself as the coach helping others make it past the goal line successfully! (I tried to close without a football reference, but couldn't help myself.)