Sun’s flawed tests delay Java certification

Some Java application server vendors say they have been hampered by hundreds of flaws in test programs that Sun Microsystems Inc. provides to ensure products use Java correctly and work with each other.

Some vendors gripe about wasting weeks struggling with unexpected bugs, while others report only minor problems. The products being tested form the foundation of enterprise Web commerce sites. Sun engineers patched an unknown number of the almost 6,000 test programs, and 771 went on an “exclusion list,” meaning vendors don’t have to run these tests to win the coveted “Java-compatible” certification for their application servers. While the problem has ruffled feathers, vendors and industry experts say it should not hurt product rollouts.

Infoseek Germany rolls out face-searching service

Infoseek Germany, an Internet search engine, is implementing a visual search feature which can locate faces of particular people. The service implements image detection and recognition technology developed by Cobion GmbH, said Infoseek service provider WSI Webseek Infoservice GmbH & Co. KG., in a statement.

Users can, for example, type in the name of a celebrity and locate images of the person’s face, the companies said. The search engine offers a star directory that automatically scans the Web and catalogues new images of movie and music personalities. Users can also locate images of people associated with a certain keyword, for example, a search for “Armani” and “people” returns images of models wearing fashion designer Armani’s designs, the companies said.

IBM announces new security algorithm

IBM Corp. has developed a new network security algorithm, which the company claims will reduce the time it takes to perform certain security-related tasks by up to 50 per cent. The algorithm is capable of performing encryption and authentication functions in one step, reducing some workload on networks and attached devices.

IBM hopes the algorithm will be used for securing Internet protocols, storage-area networks, fibre-optic networks and e-business applications. The National Institute of Standards and Technology will determine whether to recommend the algorithm for securing communications.