Craig Newell

Hackers Strike Again

Law enforcement officials and security experts scrambled to
keep up with a new slew of hacker attacks on prominent Web sites today.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation scheduled a 2 p.m. press
conference to discuss the series of computer attacks that have
temporarily blocked access in recent days to websites including
Yahoo, eBay, Amazon, and The latest sites to fall
victim to the attacks today include ZDNet, and E-Trade, the online

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Microsoft E-mails Skin Artists For Help

Microsoft e-mailed several WinAmp skin developers late last week for their help with a yet-to-be announced product involving bitmap based skinning. The message reveals Microsoft is looking for skin artists who want to work as contractors for a future project, which may be related to a previously reported project which involves an extensible window manager for future versions of Windows.

The e-mail, from Microsoft Program Manager Steve Falcon, reads, "Microsoft is looking for skin artists to work on a contract basis on an unannounced product. The product is unrelated to WinAMP but supports bitmap-based skinning. Your name was selected at random from published WinAMP skin designers. If you are interested, please reply with your name, address, phone number, availability, and links to skins or your other graphic designportfolio. If all goes well, I will contact you to discuss the project, your interest it, logistics, terms, and compensation, etc. Since the product we are working on is unannounced, I can't tell more about it without a confidential disclosure agreement. But I can tell you it's very COOL! Please forward to other good skin designers you know."

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Online Software Catches On

Jim Obsitnik was unusually tethered to his home PC. Without it, even
wasn't quite the same.

On business trips, after a rousing evening run, the 30-year-old software
salesman had no way to log his miles and times on his Excel spreadsheet.

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ActiveWindows Forced To Alter Site By Microsoft

Established software news site ActiveWindows has been forced to change its name to ActiveWin after attorneys for Microsoft Corp. contacted the site and forced them to remove all Microsoft trademarks from the site. ActiveWin had been named ActiveWindows for almost two years until Microsoft required the changes.

Site administrators at ActiveWin speculated that their site may have been referred to the Microsoft legal department after a beta coordinator at Microsoft accused the site of posting screen shots of Microsoft’s Millennium beta, a charge that ActiveWin denies.

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Microsoft to Create Extensible Window Manager

Microsoft has solicited job offers for a software design engineer who would help develop a new extensible window manager for the successor to Windows 2000. A new window manager would integrate "skinning" right into the OS to enable a complete interface customization, similar to UNIX X11 window managers like Enlightenment. Microsoft's Jobs Web site reads, "It will be the foundation for a new generation of Window Managers, which will allow easily extensible UI look, feel and behavior. This component will also enable the operating system to support different Window Managers, which could evolve independently from the operating system itself." Full story to follow pending comment from Microsoft Corp.

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32-bit AOL For Windows NT/2000 Test

AOL is testing a specially modified version of its AOL 5.0 software which supports a Remote Access Server based connectivity module, allowing 32-bit support for Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000. In the past, Windows NT users have had to use the less powerful 16-bit version of AOL software. The special version of AOL is available only to AOL members who participate in the connectivity beta test of the new Dial-Up Networking module. If you're interested in participating, go to Keyword: BETA on AOL. You must have an AOL account to participate.

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Studios, Broadcasters In Line To Sue

Shortly after the National Football League
and the National Basketball Association filed a copyright-infringement
lawsuit against a Canadian Webcaster today, Hollywood movie
studios and three of the country's largest television networks piled
on with their own litigation.

The lawsuits, all filed in a Pittsburgh, Pa., District Court, aim
to put the lid on, the Toronto, Ontario-based Web site
that has been relaying off-the-air television signals across the

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New York Judge Blocks Linux DVD Unscrambler

New York – A federal judge in New York has granted a request for a temporary injunction filed by eight film studios against three web site operators who posted software that allows users of the Linux operating system to unscramble and view DVDs on their computers.

New York Judge Louis Kaplan allowed the injunction after the studios sued to block distribution of the software. The defense is being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, both of which say the first amendment of the programmers is being violated by this lawsuit. No trial date has been set for the matter.

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iSky To Offer High-Speed Internet Via Satellite

Some big players in the media business have invested
$50 million in a little-known startup that is developing a satellite
system to deliver high-speed Internet service anywhere via a
roof-mounted dish the size of a pizza.

iSky Inc. is working on a $750 million plan to have two Loral
satellites in orbit by the end of next year. The satellites would be
able to receive and send e-mail and Internet content at high speed
without cable or phone lines.

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Real Media to Host Eudora Ads

Internet advertising firm Real Media will be the host of ads appearing in the new advertiser supported version of Eudora, the e-mail client made by Qualcomm Inc. Real Media will be the selling agent for ads appearing in the free, sponsored version of the Eudora client. The retail, ad-free version of Eudora sells for about $30. A beta of the new version is available for download at

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Windows 2000 Sends Strong Encryption Worldwide

Redmond, Wash. – Windows 2000 will be the first OS to ship with built-in 128-bit encryption internationally under the new U.S. government regulations, Microsoft Corp. revealed today.

In the past, international Windows users who wanted 128-bit encryption had to buy additional software. Now, customers can use 128-bit encryption right out of the box.

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NSA Awards Secure Linux Contract

The National Security Agency has awarded the contract to develop a secure Linux operating system to Secure Computing Corporation. Secure Computing will use its patented Type Enforcement technology to develop the special Linux platform. The NSA chose Secure Computing’s Type Enforcement system to ensure important and sensitive U.S. intelligence information cannot be intercepted or accessed without authorization.

"The NSA has been a long standing customer and partner of Secure Computing," said Chris Filo, vice president and general manager of the Advanced Technology Division at Secure Computing. "Working with the NSA allows Secure to continue to advance the state of the art in security technologies that is required to enable safe, secure operating environments within the Department of Defense (DoD), while at the same time, providing the basis for our future commercial products."

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Microsoft Previews MSN Calendar

Microsoft has released a beta version of its Web based MSN Calendar service. The fully featured service tracks appointments, tasks, e-mail reminders, and notes in a web based interface that can be viewed or changed from any computer with Web access.

The Calendar also features a "printer friendly" view so that users can print out their daily schedule and task lists. As with all MSN services, the Calendar uses the popular Passport service to login. When asked whether the MSN Calendar would synchronize with personal information management software such as Microsoft Outlook, a Microsoft spokesperson told BetaNews, "We are looking at synchronization but have nothing to announce at this time." Microsoft representatives also stated that many new features are planned for MSN Calendar before the final release.

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All eBay Bids for Y2K Domains Phony

The Internet domain is still for sale, now
that its owners have determined that only pranksters participated
in an auction that ran the price of the address up to $10 million.

Cliff Kurtzman, president and chief executive officer of Tenagra
Corp., the Houston-based Internet marketing company that owns the
domain along with Canadian Y2K guru Peter de Jager, said today that
he will now focus on attracting private offers for the Year-2000-
friendly Internet moniker.

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Military To Beef Up Cyber-Warfare Capabilities

The day when the US Military uses hackers -
rather than 2,000-pound explosive devices - to disrupt an adversary's
technical capabilities may not be far off, Air Force General and US Space
Command Commander-in Chief Richard Myers said at a press conference

Cyber-attacks on enemy sensitive computer systems are increasingly
becoming "one more arrow in the quiver" of US military leaders, Myers

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