Court allows posting of DVD code

Court allows posting of DVD code

DeCSS, the code used to descramble DVDs, cannot be barred from publication, a California appeals court ruled recently. The code, whose initials stand for De-Contents Scramble System, the name of the encryption mechanism used to keep the contents of DVDs from being copied, had been barred from publication as part of a case brought by the DVD Copy Control Association (DVDCCA).

The DVDCCA’s case is a separate one from the more well-known, but already decided, New York State case that pitted 2600: the Hacker Quarterly against the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). In that case, DeCSS was ruled to be illegal as it violated the anti-circumvention provision of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

More women adopting technology

Technology is increasingly a topic of interest and involvement for women, according to recent findings by TechTV. In its most recent U.S. viewer polls, the 24-hour technology channel found that female viewers have increased by over 10 per cent in the past six months, now representing almost 30 per cent of the channel’s viewers.

TechTV Canada General Manager Alison Clayton attributes the rise in female viewers to several different factors, the most prominent being the approach that TechTV takes to technology programming. While TechTV’s daytime programming is focused on breaking news and technology developments for people in the technology industry, its primetime programming caters to a much broader audience. Primetime programming includes everything from how-to shows to programs on technology’s impact on social issues, crime and music.

Hotmail accounts now expire in 30 days

Users of Microsoft Corp.’s Hotmail e-mail service who don’t sign in at least once every 30 days will find their account deactivated, the company confirmed recently. Previously a Hotmail account was set to expire after 45 days. The change came into effect in the U.S. on Nov. 1 and will be implemented worldwide starting next month, said Abdeluheb Choho, a spokesman for Microsoft’s MSN in the Netherlands.

On de-activation, all personal items including e-mail messages and address books are deleted and incoming messages are no longer accepted. After de-activation a user has 90 days to reactivate the account before the e-mail address is removed from the system, Choho said.

Pirated XP sneaks onto shelves in Asia

Pirated copies of Windows XP have found their way into the Hong Kong market. The two-disked “released to manufacturer” version of the software lined the shelves in shops at several computer malls in Hong Kong and was on sale for about HK$70 (US$9) each.

Fake copies of the newly released Microsoft Corp. software were advertised openly and shopkeepers strategically positioned Windows XP CDs on shelves at eye-level. They assured interested customers that the CDs were from the “original” master disks and said that the software would work without any need for activation. Most of the pirated copies were of Windows XP Professional Edition, although beta copies of the Home Edition were also available.

Windows XP hacked

Software firm, BitArt Labs, has slammed antipiracy features incorporated in Windows XP, claiming the software was cracked within hours of the product’s recent launch. BitArts’ security expert John Safa said a 4KB crack file is freely available from online hacker or Warez pirate software sites. The download supposedly allows people to completely bypass the registration and activation process needed to use XP.

But Microsoft Corp. denies the allegations, saying that the software doing the rounds are copies of corporate, site-wide licence editions. “There are no cracked copies out there and we are not aware of any so-called cracks in XP,” said Duncan Reid, security expert at Microsoft. “What’s available are purposely pirated copies created from leaked corporate volume licensing keys. They have not been generated from product cracks.”

New device looks to stop DoS attacks at the source

Looking to move the fight against Denial of Service attacks away from attack targets and back to their source, Cs3 Inc. recently announced the release of its Reverse Firewall network device.

The Reverse Firewall sits between the Internet and the network it’s protecting and limits the flow of outbound information from the network in order to prevent systems from being used for Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, said Krishnamurthy Narayanaswamy, Cs3 co-founder and chief technical officer. The device is able to do this by using Cs3’s “fair service scheduling” technology which distributes available bandwidth equally across all outbound connections, rather than allowing just one connection to hog it all as an attack traffic would, he said.

IBM, Microsoft unveil XML-based Web standard

IBM Corp. and Microsoft Corp. recently proposed an XML-based Web standard, the Web Services Inspection (WS-I) specification, which will describe what services a business offers and how users can access those services.

The WS-I specification allows the components of one application to be used by other applications in different locations via the Web and a set of underlying protocols, in this case XML.

Intel: Pentium 4 to 3GHz in 2002

Chip giant Intel Corp. will take its flagship Pentium 4 desktop processors to speeds reaching 3GHz by the end of next year, a company spokesperson said recently.

Pentium 4 processors hitting the 3GHz mark have already been demonstrated at recent developer’s conferences hosted by the Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip maker, but Intel’s goal is to bring the speedy chips to market before 2003.

The onset of smaller 0.13-micron engineering technology from Intel has played a significant role in accelerating the clock speeds of Intel processors. Intel last month opened a new 0.13-micron processor manufacturing facility in Chandler, Arizona.