US tops world

You know those annoying spam e-mails you get on a daily basis? Well, don’t blame overseas Internet users for them. The world’s leader in spam emails is none other than the United States of America, contributing an astonishing 21 per cent of global spam. Other countries on the list include: China, (including Hong Kong) at 13.4 per cent, France at 6.3 per cent (a tie with South Korea) and new entry Israel at 1.8 per cent rounded out the list.

Microsoft to offer video downloads to Xbox 360
Microsoft Corp. will launch a new service this month that allows customers to download movies and television programs through their Xbox 360 gaming consoles. The company has signed deals that allow it to sell or rent an initial 1,000 hours of programming from CBS Broadcasting Inc., Viacom Inc.’s MTV Networks and Paramount Pictures, Turner Broadcasting System Inc., Zuffa LLC’s Ultimate Fighting Championship and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Inc. Customers will be able to delete the TV programs they buy and then download them again an unlimited number of times. Movies will be available for rental and can be stored on the Xbox for up to 14 days, but once the movie starts playing the customer will have 24 hours in which to view it. The service will be available to Xbox Live subscribers from Nov. 22 from Microsoft’s Xbox Live Marketplace. The content available will include the TV shows “CSI,” “Survivor,” “South Park” and remastered “Star Trek” episodes, and the movies “Nacho Libre,” “The Matrix” and “Superman Returns.”

Wikipedia hijacked by malware
Malware writers have used a Wikipedia article and special storage features to attempt to plant malicious code on unsuspecting users’ systems, the online encyclopedia’s organizers have confirmed. The incident took advantage of Wikipedia’s policy of openness, which allows anyone to create and modify articles. The attackers created a Wikipedia page that promised a Windows security update for a supposedly new version of the Lovesan/W32.Blaster worm, and pointed to an external site with the seemingly authentic domain Wikipedia editors quickly identified and deleted the article, according to a report from German news organization Heise. However, the attackers had used a Wikipedia feature that archives all previous versions of articles when changes have been made. The malicious page thus continued to exist in the archive, and the attackers were able to point to it in mass emails, according to Heise.

Australian smartcard stores shopping lists, MP3s
Australian Human Services Minister Joe Hockey has stated Australians could pick and choose whatever personal information they want on the proposed smartcard, so long as the government retains two-thirds of the storage capacity. In a National Press Club address this month Hockey stated one-third of the capacity on the chip will be offered to Australians to store whatever information they like. Hockey stated consumers could even choose to store shopping lists on the smartcard. Hockey also outlined the Access Card and Consumer Privacy Taskforce, chaired by Professor Allan Fels, would accept submissions concerning the proposal over the next month. Hockey confirmed the government would buy off-the-shelf technology as infrastructure for the smartcard and the procurement process will be explained to interested parties by the end of the year.

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