At Home in trouble

At Home Corp., a high-speed cable partner with Rogers, Cogeco and Shaw, will be in jeopardy if it can’t maintain its NASDAQ stock exchange listing, according to auditor’s statements the company filed to U.S. securities regulators. In a report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, auditors said there is “substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern.”

Alison Bowman, spokesperson for the Redwood City, Calif.-based company, said recently that At Home is working with its cable partners in Canada and other locations to ensure that no customer service is interrupted. Shaw relies on At Home for about 510,000 customers and Rogers has about 380,000 At Home customers in Canada. Officials from Cogeco, which doesn’t rely as heavily on At Home with only 85,000 Ontario customers and no Quebec customers, say that while they are not worried about the service, they are prepared.

Toronto Star’s archive to be online this fall

Cold North Wind Inc. will digitize the entire microfilmed archive of The Toronto Star. The page archive will present The Toronto Star from its original issue on November 3, 1892, and will be fully searchable by word or phrase. The archive will be a resource for librarians, researchers and genealogists, as well as teachers, students and the general public.

The archive includes local, national, and international events from the original pages of The Toronto Star. The archive, which contains over 2.3 million page images, encompasses over 30,000 editions of The Toronto Star. Users of the database will be able to search by millions of unique terms and phrases that have been indexed in the Optical Character Recognition process. The Star expects the page archive to be available to the public later this fall.

Scientists to present controversial paper

After being quelled by the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) organization and the Recording Industry Association of America Inc. (RIAA) earlier this year, a research paper on how to crack digital music encryption will be presented at the USENIX Security Conference in Washington D.C.

The paper, written by Princeton University professor Edward Felten and his research team, was previously withdrawn from another conference last April after Felten came under pressure from the SDMI and the RIAA. The groups claimed that by presenting the findings, the team would be in violation of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Felten and his team filed suit in June against the SDMI, the RIAA, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and Verance Corp., a company that made one of the watermarks Felten’s team cracked, requesting First Amendment protection to present the research without fear of reprisal.

Microsoft dumps Office 2000 suite

Confusion reigns over Microsoft Corp.’s changes to the upgrade cycles of its Office suite, with claims the software giant failed to notify resellers that modifications to availability and pricing would occur.

Microsoft has discontinued versions of Office 2000, following the launch of Office XP in June. Changes will also be made to the upgrade paths of the software from October. Microsoft’s product marketing manager Mark Linton said the discontinuation of Office 2000 follows previous strategies, and that Microsoft went to great effort to make the channel aware of changes to upgrade paths. Distributors were given 30 days notice of the changes so that old stock could be returned, he said.

Do search engines tell the truth?

Some online search engines are yielding results that are less than you expect. The most prominent findings may surface not because they’re the best fit, but because the subjects wrote the biggest cheques to the search engine providers, industry participants acknowledged.

So-called paid inclusion and paid placement are a reality in some form at most of the big-name search engines, said many speakers at the Search Engine Strategies conference in San Francisco recently. With paid placement, the Web site pays to place links to its pages near the top of relevant search results. Such practices are widely acknowledged but typically not publicized, conference attendees noted.

DoS attacks a wake-up call for Australia’s banks

Internet banking in Australia faces an uphill battle to win market share unless defences against denial-of-service attacks and distributed denial-of-service attacks are put in place.

Accusing the business community of a “delayed reaction” to DoS attacks as an evolving threat, the local manager of Top Layer Networks Inc., David Britt, said that unless new solutions are implemented, banks will not be able to cope with high-volume, connection-based attacks. Speaking at a network security roundtable recently, Britt said inadequate resources make it impossible to differentiate legitimate or malicious traffic in real time.

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