Orthodox Jews launch 'kosher' search engine

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Religiously devout Jews barred by rabbis from surfing the Internet may now "Koogle" it on a new "kosher" search engine, the site manager said on Sunday.

Yossi Altman said Koogle, a play on the names of a Jewish noodle pudding and the ubiquitous Google, appears to meet the standards of Orthodox rabbis, who restrict use of the Web to ensure followers avoid viewing sexually explicit material.

The site, at www.koogle.co.il, omits religiously objectionable material, such as most photographs of women which Orthodox rabbis view as immodest, Altman said.

Its links to Israeli news and shopping sites also filter out items most ultra-Orthodox Israelis are forbidden by rabbis to have in their homes, such a television sets.

"This is a kosher alternative for ultra-Orthodox Jews so that they may surf the Internet," Altman said by telephone.

The site was developed in part at the encouragement of rabbis who sought a solution to the needs of ultra-Orthodox Jews to browse the Web particularly for vital services, he said.

Nothing can be posted on the Jewish Sabbath, when religious law bans all types of work and business, Altman said. "If you try to buy something on the Sabbath, it gets stuck and won't let you."

:source: News source: reuters.com

China's Filtering Software Contains Pirated Code

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The "Green Dam" filtering software that the Chinese government is reportedly requiring for all PCs sold there contains pirated code, a U.S. software manufacturer claimed Friday.

Solid Oak Software, the developer of CyberSitter, claims that the look and feel of the GUI used by Green Dam mimics the style of CyberSitter. But more damning, chief executive Brian Milburn said, was the fact that the Green Dam code uses DLLs identified with the CyberSitter name, and even makes calls back to Solid Oak's servers for updates.

Green Dam is a piece of filtering software that will reportedly be required for all PCs sold inside China. The software is already available in China, although the restrictions go into place on July 1, according to The New York Times.

According to a study by the University of Michigan, the Green Dam software works to identify images, text, and URLs and compares them to a filter, which blocks the offending work. The researchers took the publicly available software and reverse-engineered it, using standard methods. Inside, the study's author, assistant professor of electrical engineering J. Alex Halderman, found evidence that the software uses blacklists compiled by CyberSitter, dating back to 2006. An encrypted news bulletin, which dates back to 2004, was also accidentally included, Halderman wrote.

:source: News source: pcmag.com

Second Google Android Phone Unveiled

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Google's Android is going mainstream.

The G1, the first phone to run the search giant's mobile platform, has been a magnet for tech-savvy people, consumers more than 1 million handsets since October 2008. Now wireless operator T-Mobile wants Google's second Android phone, which will be available later this summer, to attract a broader audience and sell even more briskly.

To reach the rank and file, T-Mobile is retraining its staff and commissioning new applications for the phone. It also created a new brand, called myTouch, to highlight the ways users can personalize the device. "We know we'll get tech-oriented folks, but our real focus is the [general] consumer," says Sajal Sahay, T-Mobile USA's director of product marketing. The phone will go on sale in August for $199 with a two-year contract.

The changes begin with the name: It will be the T-Mobile myTouch 3G with Google or myTouch 3G for short. The idea, says Sahay, is to promote the idea of a phone "made by you, for you," since people are more likely to bond with gadgets they can customize.

:source: News source: forbes.com

Microsoft issues record 31 patches

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Microsoft Corp. last week issued 10 security updates that patched a record 31 vulnerabilities -- 18 marked "critical" -- in Windows, Internet Explorer, Excel, Word and other applications.

The bugs are the largest number that Microsoft has patched in a single month since the company began its regular update program in 2003. The previous record of patches for 28 flaws was set last December.

"This is a very broad bunch," said Wolfgang Kandek, chief technology officer at security company Qualys Inc.

"You've got work [to do] everywhere -- servers and workstations, and even Macs if you have them. It's not getting any better. The number of vulnerabilities [Microsoft discloses] continues to grow," he added.

Of the 10 bulletins, six patched some part of the Windows operating system, three patched an application or component in the Office suite, and one fixed several flaws in IE.

Eighteen of the 31 bugs carried Microsoft's most serious label in its four-step ranking, while 11 were tagged as "important," the next-lowest level, and two were judged "moderate."

Andrew Storms, director of security operations at nCircle Network Security Inc., suggested that users first patch the IE bugs.

:source: News source: computerworld.com

Apple's $30 apology for iPhone activation delays?

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iPhone 3G S users are still experiencing delays activating their new smartphones, but Apple apparently wants to make it up to users.

Apple began notifying affected customers via e-mail on Sunday that they may experience additional delays for another two days due to "system issues" and "high activation volumes," according to readers in various blogs who claim to have received the e-mail. The problems began immediately after the new iPhone's launch Friday.

As a way of apology for the delays, the same e-mail said Apple plans to offer customers a $30 credit iTunes Store credit for "the inconvenience this delay has caused."

Here's the entire text of the e-mail:

Dear Apple Customer,

Thank you for your recent Apple Store order. We appreciate your patience and apologize for the inconvenience caused by the delay in your iPhone activation.

We are still resolving the issue that was encountered while activating your iPhone with AT&T. Unfortunately, due to system issues and continued high activation volumes, this could take us up to an additional 48 hours to complete.

On Monday, you'll receive an email from Apple with an iTunes Store credit in the amount of $30. We hope you will enjoy this gift and accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience this delay has caused.

Thank you for choosing Apple.

Sincerely,
Apple Online Store Team

:source: News source: news.cnet.com

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