Tuesday’s Threat Assessment

All the news that's fit to rant aboutI‘m in Canada to get my flu shot, but the news must go on.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas hits stores today. Expect a drop in real life carjacking as thugs try out the virtual stuff. Rockstar expects to sell 4.5 million units this week alone.

Apple’s big press conference is today. Presumably they’ll announce the new U2 iPod.

The shootout at the OK Corral occurred on this day in 1881. Pan Am made the first commercial transatlantic jet crossing, New York to Paris, in 1958. Doonesbury debuted in 1970.

  1. Three anti-spyware bills are working their way through Congress, and the FTC has achieved its first victory in its lawsuit against Spamford Wallace. On Thursday the US District Court granted a temporary restraining order against Wallace prohibiting him from exploiting Internet vulnerabilities to place spyware on computers. Wallace was given 24 hours to pull his software from the web.
  2. PalmOne has officially announced the release of the Treo 650. Sprint has cornered the market on the hot phone through sometime next year. Sprint says the phone will be available by mid-November and cost around $500. Wi-Fi support will not be available at first, but PalmOne does expect to make a Wi-Fi card for the phone eventually.
  3. Microsoft says it will compete with Google in the desktop search arena, as well. The company plans to release its own desktop search program before the end of the year.
  4. Meanwhile Google shares were up another 15% on Friday, topping $180/share at one point. Thanks to a strong earnings report on Thursday, two analysts are saying it’s worth over $200.
  5. Maybe there’s good reason. According to a new survey by MSN Search, when men want advice they turn to search engines first. 50% of the men surveyed say they Google first, one-third say they ask family members, only one in four say they ask their wives first. One man in three has searched for his name online; only one in five women has done so.
  6. An AOL survey shows that 20% of home computers are infected with viruses. 80% are infected with spyware. Infected machines had an average of 93 different spyware programs on them. Technical experts from AOL and the National Cyber Security Alliance examined 329 computers in the survey. More than 70% of owners falsely thought they were protected from online threats.
  7. AOL is giving its seal of approval to a reworked Microsoft anti-spam proposal. The technology, known as Sender ID, was rejected by the IETF last month because it was encumbered by Microsoft patents. The patent has been restated but it’s not clear whether open source advocates will accept the new proposal.
  8. The DOJ has given its go ahead for Cingular’s acquisition of AT&T Wireless. The merger awaits FCC approval now. The merger will give Cingular 47.6 million subscribers, making it the number one wireless carrier.
  9. A fake Red Hat security alert is making the rounds. The alert, targeting users of Fedora, encourages users to download a “patch” which is actually a Trojan horse. Red Hat says don’t install updates unless they’re digitally signed by the company.
  10. The tech industry received a big tax break on Friday. President Bush signed a bill offering $136 billion in corporate tax relief, including a reduction from 35% to %5.25 in the tax rate on foreign profits for US multinationals. The breaks have been criticized for encouraging offshoring of jobs, but the US tech industry lobbied heavily for them saying they needed the money for additional R&D and investment. Senator Feinstein’s amendment requiring companies to spend their tax windfall in the US was rejected.

Listen in Tuesday at 6:45a Pacific for my weekly news commentary on KGO 810 AM in San Francisco.

12 Replies to “Tuesday’s Threat Assessment”

  1. wow I guess President Bush really needs the Tech Lobby. That would have been an awesome veto, it would have brought alot of votes from real working class people. Now the Tech Compaines can outsource jobs to India. Figures.

  2. Commenting on the news:
    #1: I like how the guy’s name is SPAMford Wallace. 😛
    #3: Microsoft already HAS a desktop searching application. Start -> Search.
    #6: AOL only surveyed 330 computers. That’s like Family Feud surveying only one person.
    #10: Everybody likes lower taxes!

  3. I got my shot early this year just in case, and because Ontario is the only place in North America where you can get a FREE flu shot – universal health care you have to love it. Here is the page for last year’s site but it is still the same this flu season:http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/public/program/pubhealth/flu/flu_03/flu_mn.html
    The Lansing State journal also states that:
    “Ontario is reserving them only for Canadian residents and U.S. residents who either work or attend school in the province.”
    So this means you Leo, take advantage of the Canadian system, so stay healthy! 🙂

  4. Vince, I’d recommend keeping IE for three reasons: Windows Update, Office Update, and viewing issues (some sites just don’t look/act right in Firefox!)

  5. Leo,
    Hope your flu shot goes better than mine did. I have had terrible reactions since I got it last Tuesday. Now I have near pneumonia.
    Take care of yourself.
    annette

  6. Leo or anyone, I need to remove XP IE forever! Can you gows tell me how! I love Firefox and if I cannot remove I am going to Apple! I want it gone! Dead-spyware, adware, active X-I am done!

  7. The biggest problem we are facing today you ever have heard is the influenza virus, one of the most dangerous diseases that have ever plagued this earth. The flu virus makes its yearly visit during rainy season and some would even say this is the month of sickening. Let’s face the facts, bad things happen and usually unexpectedly. Regardless of your age and how strong you are sudden illness can happen to anyone. The presents evidence that the pace of flu virus disease may be even worse than scientists were recently predicting, and challenges us to act with a sense of “generational mission”. People need to understand how serious it is. Frequently washing your hands is an easy, inexpensive way to prevent the spread of disease and illness, such as the flu virus. If you didn’t know that, WASH YOUR HANDS! About 226,000 people are hospitalized every year, and nearly 36,000 people die each year on behalf of the flu virus. Unfortunately, preventing and treating the flu can be costly. Health experts suggest getting an annual flu shot. You can typically get flu shots for $20-$30, but if you have a family of five, those $30 shots add up quickly. If you end up getting the flu, treatment can be expensive too, especially if it requires a hospital visit. Needless to say, flu season can take a toll on your body and your budget. This is a friendly reminder that a payday cash loan can help cover medical bills. Oh, and don’t forget to wash your hands!Click to read more on Personal Loans

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