April 13, 2007 10:34 AM PDT
Week in review: The gold in being green
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Word of the flaws comes on the day that Microsoft issued five security bulletins as part of its monthly patch cycle, usually timed to fall on what is known as Patch Tuesday--the second Tuesday of the month. The company is still dealing with the aftermath of an emergency patch released last week.
Cybercrooks have found that they can take advantage of Microsoft's security update cycle by timing new attacks right before or just after Patch Tuesday.
Games aren't always fun
World of Warcraft players got a shock this week when they learned that for months, hackers--most likely in China and Russia, according to security watchers--have been surreptitiously installing keylogging software on WoW players' Windows computers, hijacking their accounts and selling off their often-valuable in-game assets.
The exploit works when unsuspecting WoW players visit any number of Web sites infected by the hackers with keylogging software. When the players visit the sites--which are often unrelated to WoW but frequented by players--the software is quietly installed on their computers, allowing the hackers to spy on keystrokes and steal players' WoW passwords.
Some fantasy baseball players also felt that they got ripped off after a system error at ESPN.com essentially voided the first week of the season for fantasy team managers. After several days of not allowing managers to make changes to rosters or waiver moves, as well as not showing live scoring changes, the site is offering full refunds to fantasy baseball players who signed up for its premium service.
In a solution it described as "extreme," ESPN said it would revert all teams to their opening-day rosters, set those rosters as the starting roster for all games played to date, and retroactively base the scoring on those rosters. The site also said it would void all transactions.
You can forget about getting your hands on a PlayStation 3 for less than $600. Sony is axing the 20GB version of the PS3, the low-end model. The PS3 was initially launched last November amid quite a bit of fanfare. Sony was asking $499 for the 20GB and $599 for the 60GB.
Around the Web
Social-networking giant MySpace.com blocked Photobucket videos and photo slide shows from being uploaded to its pages. MySpace said Photobucket had violated MySpace's terms by encouraging users to post advertisements in their videos. MySpace forbids third-party vendors from advertising on its site.
CBS unveiled a video distribution network that will allow users to share clips and full-length content for free. The broadcaster announced partnerships with a variety of online properties and video-sharing sites, including Brightcove, Joost, Veoh Networks, Sling Media, AOL, Microsoft and CNET Networks (publisher of News.com).
There will be a rotating list of CBS shows, such as CSI, Late Show with David Letterman, Survivor and CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, as well as some sports programming, available for sharing and viewing. All content will be supported by ads.
Meanwhile, some U.S. senators want to make operators of Web sites with racy content properly label their sites and register in a national directory. If they don't, they'll be fined, according to a Senate proposal representing the latest effort among politicians to crack down on Internet sex.
The proposal, which the senators describe as a discussion draft, relies on the idea of embedding a new tag--such as L18--in all Web pages that the government deems unsuitable for minors. Then future Web browsers used by minors could be configured to reject L18-labeled Web pages.
Also of note
Vonage announced that Michael Snyder has stepped down as the company's chief executive and that it would make roughly $140 million in spending cuts over the next several months as it eliminates jobs and reduces its marketing budget...In a push to get the iPhone out on time, Apple has been forced to delay the release of the next version of Mac OS X until October...The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has teamed up with Google Earth to create a way of visualizing and better understanding the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan.
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