It’s tech news time.
Roquefort cheese was created in a cave on this day in 1070. The first hot air balloon was launched in 1783 by the Montgolfier brothers. Henry Ford drove his first auto through the streets of Detroit in 1896. The US Senate passed the 19th amendment, giving women the right to vote, in 1919.
Happy 25th birthday to Visicalc.
- There were 959 new viruses introduced last month, the most since December 2001. According to anti-virus vendor Sophos, Sasser was the number one virus in May and there are now 90,000 PC viruses in circulation. A similar worm, Korgo, is “aggressively stealing” credit card numbers and passwords. Both Sasser and Korgo take advantage of a Windows security flaw that was discovered in April. Updated versions of XP are not vulnerable to the exploit.
- How low can you go? A new computer virus is targeted at children. Netsky.P has been spreading over file sharing sites by posing as a new Harry Potter game.
- Survey says: online porn sites get three times the traffic of Google and other Internet search engines. Or as USA Today puts it, ogle beats Google. Hitwise, a company that monitors web traffic says adult sites receive 18.8% of all web visits, entertainment 8%, business and finance 7.4%, shopping and classifieds 7%, and search engines and directories a mere 5.5%.
- The Silicon Valley Toxics coalition says dust from your computer may be making you sick. Electronic components in computers, TVs, hair dryers and other devices are routinely coated with flame retardants known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs. The chemicals cause reproductive and neurological damage in animals.
- Intel says it will be releasing eight new Pentium 4 processors this year. Five of the eight will launch this month with Intel’s new Grantsdale and Alderwood chipsets that support PCI Express and DDR2. The other three processors will be announced in Q3 and will incorporate 64-bit extensions to the P4. Top clock speeds for all eight: 3.6 GHz.
- The US Patent Office is at it again, awarding a patent to Microsoft for a “time-based hardware button for application launch… in a limited resource computing device.” In English, Microsoft has patented using a double-click to open a program on PDAs.
- It’s not your fault. According to Wired News, Windows XP routinely drops Wi-Fi connections for no apparent reason. Microsoft says, “We don’t have data that suggests Windows XP drops wireless connections more than any other system.”
- Toshiba will ship a 60 GB version of the tiny hard drive used in Apple’s iPod this fall. The current iPod tops out at 40 GB.
- Now we know what Uncle Paul did with Comcast’s money. SpaceShipOne, the world’s first privately funded rocket plane to leave the Earth’s atmosphere takes off later this month. The project is designed to demonstrate the viability of commercial space flight. Fellow billionaires Jeff Bezos of Amazon, and Larry Page and Sergei Brin of Google, are also funding their own private space initiatives.