Original URL: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/11/02/weekly_0211/

Mac users get a new OS, and a Trojan for good measure

To subscribe to The Register's weekly newsletter - seven days of IT in a single hit - click here

By Lucy Sherriff

Posted in Business, 2nd November 2007 13:46 GMT

Before we begin with the round up of this week's news, can we politely direct your attention to the eSymposium we're hosting? It will take you on a journey from the desktop to the data centre, and is to be hosted by our lovely (and very clean shaven) US editor Ashlee Vance. You might like to sign up.

Elsewhere, news happened.

New spots, please

Yes, the arrival of Leopard, the new version of OS X. Apparently, it didn't work perfectly, and plenty of users ended up with a Blue Screen of Death. No word from MS on whether or not it's launching a suit based on Apple going for a look and feel users more commonly associate with Microsoft.

And if that wasn't enough to upset the faithful, it later emerged that the spotty cat is not keen on the latest version of Java. Probably not enough protein in the coffee, or something like that. Hasn't hurt sales, though.


Yes, this week ICANNers got together in LA to chinwag about all things internetty. Of course, this year is Vint Cerf's swan song as chairman of the ICANN board of directors.

We couldn't pass up the opportunity to talk to the "father of the internet" about the future of the internet and of ICANN itself.

Conference-goers also found time to chat about Russian internet use, and President Putin's rather stifling preference for the Kremlin viewpoint. Seems he likes the Chinese way of blogging.

Top level domains are still worth covering, as are ICANN's plans to reform Whois.

One-click patent suffers from performance anxiety

This is the story of the performance artist who took down Amazon's infamous One-Click patent (Amazon can still argue its case, so put that champagne away). He says he did it because he was bored in New Zealand. He also noted that much of the data he used to support his case came from an archiving service owned by - you guessed it - Amazon.

Well, it isn't called Faceless-book, is it...

Yet more bad security news for Facebookers. According to Valleywag, Facebook employees can see which profiles you've been snooping. Repeat after us: if it is on the internet, it ain't private.

Time, gentlemen, please

The clocks went back in Blighty this week. Or they did in most places. Not in Gatwick airport they didn't. Airport management blamed it all on a "computer glitch" in the system that was supposed to automatically adjust clocks for the end of British Summer Time.

According to reports it "inexplicably failed to do so". We doubt the ensuing chaos changed the character of many people's journeys, however. Airports are the new seventh circle of hell, after all.

Hoist the Jolly Roger

The man at the centre of the investigation into now-defunct link-hosting site TV_Links has told his local paper he's no criminal mastermind. David Rock, a 26-year-old computer engineer from Cheltenham, said he didn't think what he was doing was illegal.

Exploiting email, one natural disaster at a time

The California wildfire disaster, like so many other tragedies, has become the subject of an online scam. Websense says scams have already sprung up to help relieve naive netizens of the cash they want to donate to the people of California.

If the history of incidents like the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster and Hurricane Katrina is anything to go by, our security boffin speculates, fire-themed malware is likely to follow.

Who needs email?

Spam scams might be clogging your inbox, but it is still the real world which is more likely to part the proverbial fool from his bank account details.

According to a US consumer survey released this week by the Federal Trade Commission, print advertising beat out the internet as the most common means for spreading fraudulent pitches. The survey found that direct mail, flyers, and ads in newspapers and magazines were used to hawk fraudulent schemes for 27 per cent of reported incidents, compared with 22 per cent for websites and email.

Safe as houses (unlocked ones, with no windows)

UK mobile workers are often "left to their own devices" when it comes to security, according to a new survey.

A survey by YouGov of 1,200 British workers who use PCs in the office found that over a third (35 per cent) say responsibility for IT security is left up to the individual employee when they are outside the workplace.

Security self-harmers

Some of the most prevalent "hacking tools" are those which users unwittingly install themselves, according to stats from anti-virus firm Trend Micro. Trend Micro warns that, for example, key generator programs designed to unlawfully activate Nero CD burning software from a trial mode into a paid mode are often packaged with a range of malware. Nice.

Bad to the bone

Halloween provides inspiration to malware writers, as promises of a dancing skeleton for the desktop lure punters to download nasty code. Just say "no" to reanimated corpses, even digital ones.

Dirty Macs

Miscreants have released a sophisticated Trojan into the wild that targets Mac users, according to Intego, a company that markets security software that runs on OS X.

The malicious Trojan, dubbed OSX.RSPlug.A, is making the rounds on several porn websites. Triple X hunters are asked to download a special codec that will allow them to view video. Bad move: it isn't a gateway to pornotopia, but a nasty Trojan that hides on your machine waiting for its chance to make mischief.

Is this your lawsuit?

Sun Microsystems has slapped Network Appliance with another lawsuit, as relations between the two vendors continue to deteriorate at speed.

Just last week, Sun revealed a countersuit to NetApp's September lawsuit against Sun. NetApp thinks Sun's Zettabyte File System (ZFS) infringes its patents, while Sun contends that most of NetApp's major products infringe its intellectual property. Tch. Didn't Big Bird say it is good to share?

Yet more legal wrangling is afoot between HP and Acer. Yes, more patent lawsuits. The latest lawsuit, which was filed on 30 October in a US District Court in Wisconsin as well as with the International Trade Commission, relates to alleged patent mischief with Acer PCs, servers, and peripheral devices. The two firms have been trading punches for the best part of a year in the row over alleged patent technology infringements. No one looks like throwing in the towel anytime soon.

We still don't know if the GPL holds legal water after a test case in the US was settled out of court.

Gold standards patently obvious

America's computing industry is lining up behind Buffalo Technology to support its appeal against a US import ban of its 802.11a and 802.11g kit. The firm was slapped with an import ban after patent holder CSIRO lost patience with negotiations to license patented technology that forms part of an almost-finished industry standard.

No changing the rules

GlaxoSmithKline secured an injunction to halt proposed new patent rules coming into effect in the US. The idea was to streamline processes, clear backlog, and encourage clarity from applicants. We can see why this would be a bad idea.

My division is greener than yours

Now that virtualisation (did we mention the eSymposium we're hosting?) is promising to lead to massive consolidation of servers and make data centres all nice and green, storage is next on the list of IT's environmental bad guys. Bad, naughty.

Social networks: not just for the kids

OAP über-brand Saga this week launched a social network aimed at the over-50s. The site has been in beta for four months, and so far boasts 13,000 members. It's "a new online community where you create a whole new social network of friends and easily stay in touch from the comfort of your home". There's nothing to stop under-50s registering, should they be so inclined.

Lenovo drops IBM from ThinkPads

Lenovo, the desktop maker formerly known as IBM, is celebrating a solid set of quarterly results by announcing it will drop the IBM brand two years early. The Chinese company bought rights to IBM's ThinkPad brand when it bought the firm's personal computing business. ThinkPad stays but now as Lenovo not IBM.

Revenue for the quarter ended 30 September was up 20 per cent to $4.4bn and profit before tax and restructuring costs was $125m, up from $45m last year.

Red faces all round Ofcom

The European Commission has publicly questioned whether the UK's top telecoms regulator has any idea what he's talking about when it comes to telecoms regulation (you kind of have to hope so, really, don't you?).

The handbags were drawn after Ofcom boss Ed Richards wrote a letter to the Financial Times, arguing against a central European telecoms regulator. We can only assume the eurocrats thought he meant them...

Shopping in good company: who is buying whom?

Acquisition-happy accounts software firm Sage has gobbled up UK-based finance and HR software supplier KCS Global Holdings for £20m. The cash-only deal is the latest in a series of buy-outs made by Newcastle-based Sage, which is the only British software firm listed on the FTSE 100.

Meanwhile, Oracle let its $17 per share offer for BEA lapse. Activist investor Carl Icahn has demanded the middleware firm put the offer to shareholders anyway.

Icahn, BEA's biggest shareholder, said in an open letter: "I am sure that the BEA board would agree with me that it would be desirable not to have to put BEA through a disruptive proxy fight, a possible consent solicitation and a lawsuit." Round one to Icahn. You're buying the popcorn.

Consolidating pink slippage

Alcatel-Lucent boss Pat Russo shuffled the executive deckchairs and axed 4,000 workers this week as the networking group lurched into the red for the third quarter. Russo appointed Hubert de Pesquidoux CFO, announcing Jean-Pascal Beaufret was leaving to pursue other opportunities.

Global expansion for shrinking BBC

Just as the BBC is slashing jobs at home, its commercial tentacle is ramping up efforts to squeeze money from its programming and web content abroad. As well as 30 new channels in overseas territories, BBC Worldwide is planning an advertising-backed version of its on-demand internet service iPlayer, the Guardian reports.

Putting your money where your chat isn't

El Reg's own Andrew Orlowski considers just how great a business opportunity Skype isn't. VoIP is dead, long live VoIP?

And finally...

We'll just mention the Czech wolfman, before moving swiftly on to direct your attention to our ongoing programme of redefining the universe. This week, meet Norris, Hilton, and Jub. And they say The Register hasn't got standards... ®