Tico Byte


November, 2010


Hello Members,


The next meeting of the Computer Club of Costa Rica will be this coming Saturday, Nov. 20th, at 9am at the Pan American School in Belen per usual.  We hope to finalize the Christmas party arrangements in addition to the usual club business.  Come and join in with your like minded friends and neighbors.


On with the Byte:


Item 1. Scareware abounds  (But we are smarter than this . . . right?)


According to the latest research by GetSafeOnline.org, the UK’s national internet security initiative, a rising number of organised criminal gangs are tricking security-conscious internet-users into purchasing anti-virus software to access their bank details.


Posing as legitimate IT helpdesks, these fraudsters target internet users concerned about protecting their computers. By offering free virus checks, they normally tell consumers that their machines are infected and offer fake security software protection – usually costing around £30 – which is actually malicious software in disguise.


Article: http://www.eweekeurope.co.uk/news/web-users-prone-to-fake-av-2-13384


Item 2.  Facebook mail


Facebook launched a next-generation online messaging service on Monday that includes facebook.comemail

 addresses in a move seen as a shot across the bow of Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft.



"The idea was that we would take conversations across all different mediums and weave them together," said Facebook director of engineering Andrew Bosworth. "The system is definitely not email." Bosworth — known as Boz — said that the service was modeled after chat. That said, as part of the service, Facebook is offering all users their own @facebook.com email address. In essence, the company is integrating email with an on-Facebook real-time messaging setup. The system is built on Hbase, the Hadoop-y open source incarnation of Google's BigTable distributed database.



Facebook was widely expected to launch a new email service this morning, but what the company announced was much broader than email — CEO Mark Zuckerberg said it is a single “social inbox” for every kind of communication that people use online or from their mobile phones, including email, SMS, instant messaging and Facebook chat messages. Zuckerberg said that the company has tried to build what he called a “modern messaging system” that is lightweight and easy to use, and offers a number of features that blend the usability of email and the benefits of other systems such as Facebook chat, instant messaging and SMS.



At Facebook’s messaging event today, Mark Zuckerberg revealed a few staggering statistics about the social network’s messaging platform. Zuckerberg said that 350 million members (out of over500 million members) are using Facebook’s messaging system. So more than half of Facebook’s users are using its messaging platform. He added that more than 4 billion messages are sent every day, and that number of growing at an alarming rate. Included in this stat are messages and instant messages using Chat. Zuckerberg said that the vast majority of messaging on the platform are one to one messages between two people.



Item 3.  Pigeon beats broadband


Just over a year ago, we learned about unhappy users of the South African ISP Telkom in Durban. Some IT workers decided figured that it'd be faster to send a pigeon with a USB stick to the data's destination rather than doing an FTP upload. It was a demonstration of how slow the ISP was, and now the same stunt has been pulled off in England to illustrate a similar point.



Item 4.  Which country is the leader in spam production?


In the third quarter, spam of all types represented an average of 82.3 percent of all email traffic and malicious spam surged to a record high of 4.6 percent of all email, according to a report from security software vendor Kaspersky Lab. The more than doubling of spam emails containing malicious attachments from 1.9 percent last quarter to 4.6 percent this time around was mainly due to the closure of the SpamIt partner program in September that was and has been responsible for delivering "enormous volumes" of pharmaceutical spam this year, Kaspersky Lab researchers said in the report.

Read the answer here: http://www.esecurityplanet.com/features/article.php/3913116/Malicious-Spam-Traffic-Hits-Record-High-in-3Q.htm

Item 5.  (No way!)  Apple is number one danger to Internet freedom, says Columbia professor

The man who coined the term "net neutrality" now says that Apple is the company that most endangers the freedom of the Internet. Columbia law professor Tim Wu also tells the New York Times that he expects that danger to outlive Steve Jobs' tenure at Apple.


As I discuss in the book, Steve Jobs has the charisma, vision and instincts of every great information emperor. The man who helped create the personal computer 40 years ago is probably the leading candidate to help exterminate it. His vision has an undeniable appeal, but he wants too much control.



Item 6.  Whadda ya get when you join Apple with Oracle?


The jokes about two evils joining up are easily made, but I'll try to refrain. Apple recently marked its Java implementation as deprecated. Well, we now know why: Apple and Oracle have announced that Apple will contribute to the OpenJDK project, effectively meaning that Java for Mac OS X will be developed by the OpenJDK community. Why do I have this image in my head?  Apple has always developed its own version of Java for Mac OS X, but the company is now handing over development to the OpenJDK project. Apple will supply key components for a Java SE 7 implementation on Mac OS X, including a 32bit and 64bit HotSpot-based Java virtual machine, class libraries, a networking stack, and the foundation for a new graphical client. The OpenJDK community will then be able to access and contribute to the project.



Item 7.  Finally, we find out that people who didn’t know what a browser was were right to never figure it out. You might have heard a company called RockMelt announced a browser last week, even calling it a “social browser.” The product got a lot of attention, thanks in part to its funding from Marc Andreessen’s VC firm funding it (even though that should never be the story). Big deal. Browsers don’t matter.



Item 8.  Meego

NOT WANTING to be left out in the cold, AMD has signed up to help the Linux based operating system Meego get off the ground. Originally announced as a joint collaboration between Nokia and Intel, Meego has gained support from AMD, which has said it will join The Linux Foundation's Meego project to provide engineering expertise. It hopes that joining the consortium will help set the technical foundations for Meego.



CHIPMAKER AND SOFTWARE HOUSE Intel has shown off its incarnation of Meego 1.0 at the Intel Developer Forum held in Beijing. The mobile operating system is a collaboration between Nokia and Intel that wasfirst

 announced at this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The two firms combined Intel's Moblin and Nokia's Maemo to form the open source, Linux based Meego. The devices on show at IDF cover a number of markets and show off the capabilities of Meego to provide streamlined interoperation between devices loaded with the operating system.



Item 9.  Don’t be late

Remember to be on time for the next meeting of your PC Club this Saturday at 9.