David Worthington

Philly Preps Tech for Live 8 Onslaught

Philadelphia's Benjamin Franklin Parkway will soon play host to an estimated one million spectators attending this weekend's Live 8 concert, setting the stage for a possible logistical nightmare for cellular providers. To avert a potential overload of its system, Verizon Wireless has upgraded its network capacity by nearly 40 percent.

Verizon has worked around the clock to shore up its permanent cell sites and is deploying a mobile transmission site called a "COLT" (Cell on Light Truck) near the main stage. The COLT weighs in at nearly 25,000 pounds, carries two mobile 50-foot cellular antennas and is backed up by an emergency generator. For comparison, Philadelphia's population within the city limits was estimated to be just over 1.5 million in 2000.

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VoIP Faces Major Test at Live 8 London

Voice over IP communications is about to face trial by fire. Avaya Business Partner Siptel has been chosen to provide mission critical communications for attendees at London's high profile Live 8 music event. In preparation for the event, Avaya has laid 10 kilometers of cable, 250 communications extensions and a bevy of wireless access points across Hyde Park's 12 acres.

The system will handle an estimated 25,000 telephone calls and will offer advanced services such as conferencing, voice mail, Interactive Response and Automated Attendant Services. Avaya Extension to Cellular will allow bridged calls from landlines to the cellular phones of Live 8 VIPS.

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Microsoft Issues IE Security Advisory

Microsoft has issued a security advisory in anticipation of investigating a bulletin published by security firm SEC Consult, which overviews a flaw that may instantaneously crash Internet Explorer.

The advisory has been issued by Microsoft as part of a new program that alerts customers about emerging security threats that have been disclosed by third parties.

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AOL Prepares Standalone E-mail Client

America Online is developing a standalone e-mail application that can be accessed independently of its client software. AOL has designed the software to provide its members with more open e-mail access and a customized way to access their AOL e-mail on their PC.

The "AOL Mail Client" sports a new look and feel from the classic AOL e-mail component found in its client software with a three-paned tabbed interface, better handling of attachments and more management options to sort and group e-mail. AOL Mail is based on entirely new code; however, AOL's existing spam filters do carry over.

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AOL Releases Third AIM 'Triton' Beta

America Online has released a third beta of its next-generation "Triton" instant messaging client. The build is an incremental improvement that fixes bugs and adds new functionality.

As first reported by BetaNews, Triton has been rewritten from the ground up as a replacement for the existing AIM 5.9 series client and a platform for AOL's next generation broadband communication services.

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Google Indexing Subscription Content

BetaNews has learned that Google is testing a premium service that will open up mainstream access to the "Deep Web," allowing webmasters with restricted or subscription content to let in Google and provide the masses with free previews.

The service is being tested server-side with a small number of sites that are under strict confidentiality agreements.

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AOL Tests Video Search with Web Player

In an extension of its strategy to build an audience on the open Web, America Online has rolled out a stealth release of its new Video Search product and an accompanying inline video player, BetaNews has learned.

AOL Video Search corrals together SingingFish's index of more than 1.5 million video assets from its partners and the Web with AOL's vault of on-demand content and independent RSS feeds.

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Microsoft Slims Down Windows Updates

From here on out, downloads from Microsoft Update and Automatic Updates will seem just a little bit faster. That is because Microsoft has released a non-security "critical" Windows update that places a permanent copy of the Package Installer for Windows on an end user's computer.

As a result, the footprint of downloads is made significantly smaller.

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'Cell' Processor Breaks Out of Gaming

For the first time, a vendor outside of the gaming industry has signed on to use the "Cell" processor architecture. Massachusetts based Mercury Computer Systems will integrate Cell into defense and life sciences products in collaboration with engineers from IBM's Engineering and Technology Services group.

IBM, Toshiba and Sony jointly developed Cell for placement in next-generation computing applications and consumer electronics. The processor has reached clock speeds exceeding 4GHz and will be used to power Sony's upcoming PlayStation 3 gaming console.

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Yahoo Socializes Search with 'My Web'

Yahoo has released a beta version of My Web 2.0, a so-called "social search" engine that accepts contributions from its users. My Web layers editorial content on top of standard search results to make it easier for users to find what it is they are looking for.

Perhaps inspired by the success of Wikipedia, social search content is fleshed out by members of "trusted communities" that tag Web pages with their own comments and insights to share their knowledge of the Web with other community members.

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Windows 2000 Update Rollup Released

Two days before it ends mainstream support of the OS, Microsoft has provided its Windows 2000 customers with a parting gift: the long-awaited post Service Pack 4 Update Rollup. The Update Rollup contains every security related fix issued since SP4, along with several non-security related sustained support updates.

The rollup was announced last November and underwent beta testing starting January 2005 until its recent release to manufacturing. A public release was originally projected to arrive in April.

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Microsoft Cleans Up AJAX with 'Atlas'

BetaNews has learned that Microsoft is preparing an object oriented JavaScript framework for AJAX developers code-named "Atlas." The first Atlas bits will arrive at PDC 2005 in September following the 2.0 release of ASP.NET, and provide developers with new options for creating Avalon enabled browser applications.

Microsoft has supported components of AJAX, or Asynchronous JavaScript and XML, within Internet Explorer dating back to its adoption of JScript, DHTML and XMLHTTP. But, development using the AJAX approach has consisted of intensive scripting and what Microsoft deems as cobbling together of complementary technologies.

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palmOne Unveils GPS Navigator

palmOne has introduced a GPS (global positioning system) navigation accessory for its Treo 650 and LifeDrive products, transforming the devices into portable navigation units that may be mounted on an automobile dashboard or taken anywhere else where a user wishes to be. The palmOne GPS Navigator offers up mapping and directions functionality with a real-time, nationwide traffic flow analysis feature that has beaten rival Microsoft to the market.

Units are powered by Navigator 5 software developed by TomTom -- a manufacturer of portable car navigation systems -- and atlas map data is provided by Tele Atlas.

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Microsoft Tools Aids Shared Computers

Microsoft has released a toolkit for Windows XP designed for administrators with little or no IT experience that operate shared computers in public places.

The Microsoft Shared Computer Toolkit combines software tools with best practice documentation, enabling administrators to restrict system resources with the correct user policies, prevent programs from making unauthorized changes to the computers' hard disks and simplify the end user experience by eliminating unnecessary programs and interface elements.

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Google Adds Video Playback to Search

Google on Monday officially launched its video search and added playback from directly within the Web browser. Google Video Viewer is a browser plug-in for Firefox and Internet Explorer designed to play video captures from more than 20 TV stations that are partnered with Google.

The player is based upon the work of the Video LAN open source project. The Video LAN Client is cross-platform supporting Linux, Mac OS X, BSD and BeOS. However, Google Video Viewer only works with Microsoft Windows.

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