David Worthington

Sun Opens Source Code to Java Tech

In an effort to jumpstart Java, Sun Microsystems is open sourcing several
of its Java Enterprise technologies. Sun will release the source code to
Java Application Server Edition 9.0 and Java Enterprise Server Bus (Java
ESB).

Sun will also release over 135,000 lines of code to promote the
development of what it hopes will be a new wave of new Java-based
enterprise applications.

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Audible Aims to Turn Podcasting into Business Model

Audible has begun to use Really Simple Syndication (RSS) to podcast spoken word periodical programming over the Web. Beginning today, audio programming from sources such as the New York Times, This American Life, Wall Street Journal and BBC News Hour may be downloaded by Audible customers and content partners.

With RSS, customers can subscribe to feeds and use compatible RSS software to synchronize content with their portal media devices. RSS is an XML-based Internet publishing standard commonly used to inform subscribers when new content is available and that content can be downloaded and aggregated by RSS-aware applications.

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Microsoft to Embed RSS in IE, Windows

Microsoft is attempting to bring RSS to the masses by making the emerging technology even simpler and closely tying it Windows and Internet Explorer.

Friday, at the Gnomedex conference in Seattle, Microsoft announced platform level support for Really Simple Syndication (RSS) in Longhorn with end user facing facilities intended to make it easier to discover RSS feeds and support for simple list extensions.

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Microsoft Refreshes AntiSpyware Beta

Microsoft has quietly released a refreshed build of its AntiSpyware software. Build 613 provides better documentation about unwanted software, fixes bugs that make it difficult to read alert messages and reduces the likelihood that its Winsock LSP removal mechanism will trigger unintended network disruptions.

Microsoft's AntiSpyware is based on technology the Redmond company acquired from GIANT. The acquisition is part of an ongoing effort to secure the Windows operating system in the aftermath of many high profile exploits.

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Microsoft to Embrace RSS in IE7

Microsoft is deepening its commitment to the Really Simple Syndication (RSS) Web publishing standard and, according to a prominent blogger, will detail the level of its commitment on Friday at the Gnomedex conference in Seattle.

RSS, a standard used by bloggers and content providers to notify subscribers of new or updated content, is said to be of great interest to Microsoft.

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eBay Pushes Open Source Development

eBay is attempting to greenhouse the development of applications built on its Web services using the allure of open source. At its 2005 Developers Conference, eBay announced its Community Codebase program to provide developers with a place to collaborate and unleash their creative energies on open source projects.

To see its developers off to a good start, eBay has seeded the site with sample code including a proof-of-concept TiVo application that allows TiVo users to bid and search for items in eBay auctions. Other seeded code projects are an Eclipse plug-in and an eBay themed Firefox toolbar.

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IBM Leads, Intel Gains in Supercomputer Ranking

Wednesday, at the 20th International Supercomputing Conference (ISC2005) in Heidelberg, Germany, the 25th edition of the TOP500 list of the world's fastest supercomputers was released. IBM tops the list with 51.8 percent of systems, followed by Hewlett-Packard at 26.2 percent, with SGI trailing at 5 percent.

Aside from the customary breakdown of market share, the listing has revealed rapid technological progress in the sector, the growth of the supercomputing market in Asia outside of Japan, and charts the rise of Intel hardware in the space.

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Tool Provided to Block Windows Server 2003 SP1

Microsoft is allowing IT administrators to buy some more time before they must forcibly upgrade Windows Server 2003 to Service Pack 1. A special toolkit is available that will temporarily disable the delivery of the service pack via the automatic update service and Windows Update.

The SP1 upgrade will take place on July 26, 2005 for those without the toolkit installed.

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Phishing Exploit Affects Major Browsers

Sometimes the argument over which browser is most secure is a moot point. Tuesday, Secunia Research posted an advisory on a secuirty flaw that affects all major Web browsers. The firm demonstrated how even a link to a 'trusted' Web site may not be as harmless as it may seem.

In its advisory, Secunia detailed how malicious users can exploit a vulnerability found in JavaScript to craft dialog boxes that pop up in front of the user's browser after the user navigates to a trusted Web site. This method can be used to obtain personally identifiable information, called phishing, by making it seem as if the dialog box was loaded by the target Web site.

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MS Readies Web-Based Communicator

Microsoft is extending Office Communicator 2005 to the Web beginning with a private beta of a Web-based client that is expected to enter testing on July 15th. The online client will increase the portability of Communicator, which is the successor to Windows Messenger.

Communicator merges real-time communications, voice, video, telephony and Web conferencing capabilities into Office by integrating with Live Communications Server much in the same way that Outlook plugs into Exchange. The Web-based client is said to be similar to Microsoft's Outlook Web Access service, and is named "Office Communicator Web Access."

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AOL Preps Image Makeover on AOL.com

America Online, acknowledging that its subscriber base is declining, is relying on its Web presence to re-brand itself and dislodge customers' mental associations that it is nothing more than an ISP.

In an effort to earn a new reputation as a leading Internet destination, AOL will open up to a wider audience on the Web through AOL.com. The portal will re-launch in beta form on Tuesday, offering visitors free Web mail, exclusive audio and video content, and access to a number of AOL services previously available only to subscribers.

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MSN Launches Local Search Beta

Microsoft's MSN business unit has planted local roots. Monday, MSN announced a beta of an Internet search service that corrals local business and residential listings together with maps and satellite images.

MSN Local Search follows rivals America Online, Google and Yahoo as the latest purveyor of geographic based Web searches, providing nearby business information, in addition to the local weather and other home-brewed happenings.

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Microsoft Patches Three 'Critical' Flaws

Patch Tuesday has arrived, officially introducing three "Critical," four "Important" and three "Moderate" rated security bulletins from Microsoft. Eight of the bulletins pertain to Windows with the remaining vulnerabilities affecting Exchange, ISA Server and Windows Services for Unix.

The three bulletins that are labeled as being Critical, the most severe designation, detail vulnerabilities that allow malicious users to take complete control over Windows.

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Sun's Solaris Makes Open Source Debut

As expected, Sun Microsystems has taken the lid off of OpenSolaris. Sun is celebrating by blogging the event with special launch day content. Once it is fully released, Solaris will have contributed over 5 million lines of code and 1,600 associated patents to the open source community.

Marking the occasion in his blog, Stephen Harpster, Director of Open Source Software at Sun Microsystems, wrote, "There were people that believed we would never do it. There were people that attacked our license. There were people who thought we were out to take over Linux. There were all wrong."

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McAfee Aims to Prevent Linux Attacks

McAfee is looking to help protect against what it calls a dramatic increase of attacks on Linux systems. The company's Entercept intrusion prevention system -- already available for Windows and Solaris -- uses a combination of behavioral rules, signatures and a firewall to protect IT infrastructure from attack.

The security software maker ported the Entercept server agent to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 because of what it considers to be a rapid rate of adoption for the open source platform. McAfee says that as Linux is more broadly installed, attacks against it have increased with more exploits targeting Web-facing Linux applications.

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