Archive for the ‘microsoft’ Tag
Imagine buying your SIM-free mobile phone from a local electronics store and logging into your Google or Apple account as soon as you turn the phone on for the first time. Then imagine having the phone ready to use for voice calls with a phone number provided to you by Google Talk or Skype, and ready to access email, YouTube or Facebook.
That same phone automatically hooks to your home Wi-Fi or any of the available 3G, WiMax or LTE networks without you even knowing (or caring) which specific network its running on at the moment. No longer do you have to belong to a specific carrier — your phone automatically picks the strongest and cheapest network option at any given time. Your network access, along with voice, app/in-app purchases and everything else are provided to you by the mobile platform provider. The carriers are only there to run network infrastructure and sell bandwidth to two to three mobile platform providers.
Let’s face it, the only two things that still connect carriers to consumers are the voice number and billing for the network access. SIM card technology is rudimentary — you can easily conduct user authentication using a simple login, just like Apple does on iPods when you want to buy apps or songs from the iTunes store.
Looking into the future, even the phone number itself will disappear. Why bother with all these numbers when you can just place a call directly to anybody’s Facebook profile?
This future is inevitable, and the changes are coming very soon. With mobile platform providers running the show today, carriers simply have no way of stopping the process. Not having any control over the platform vendors — for instance, via a consortium that would centrally license Android or other mobile platforms to equalize the balance of power between the platform provider and the carriers/OEMs — they will eventually give up on their ambitions to control the user. Just read the Google/Motorola/Skyhook story to see how it happens.
It only takes one carrier to crack and start selling bandwidth to Google, Microsoft or Apple; all other carriers will simply have no choice but to follow. It’s like the prisoners’ dilemma from economic textbooks: If both prisoners don’t talk, both win. But if separated and one is promised a way out (or an easier sentence) and he talks first, then game theory suggests the winning strategy for each prisoner is to talk. In other words, one of them will crack. They are nowhere close to being united enough to stand together, even in the short to mid-term. Look how effortlessly Apple, then everyone else, took over their app distribution businesses — something that only five years ago would have been totally unthinkable.
Most likely, these first-to-crack carriers will be tier-two low-cost carriers outside the U.S., possibly acquired by, but likely just partnering with, the big platform players. Those carriers will have a high incentive to enter such partnerships, as their networks are already optimized for low costs (lean, efficient cost structure without heavy marketing, support, premium services overheads, better network logistics, etc.). Short to mid-term, the strategy will be against tier-one carriers, who have a high marketing/operations cost burden. The UK actually looks like a very logical place to start, especially when some UK carriers have already been experimenting with Skype phones, which were successful to the degree that price-sensitive younger audiences actually started to carry Skype phones as their second device.
It will probably be a while before most users fully switch to non-carrier-provided voice/network services — maybe five to seven years — but it’s only a matter of time, as the new model is so much more compelling to the consumer. Signing up for multiple phone numbers as easily as opening email accounts, getting the best and the cheapest network at any given time in any spot (finally, no more service drops!), free and unlimited voice/video on WiFi networks, cheap roaming even when overseas on a local service, and so many more benefits are poised to take off.
Once this happens, carriers fall into a very undesirable position. Network access becomes an absolute commodity, much more so than in the case of landline ISPs. The latter at least have relatively high switching costs, while a mobile phone is already connected to every network available in its physical location. This means carriers compete head to head over who sells the cheapest bandwidth to Google, Apple or Microsoft, and only those most economically fit with the strongest network logistics survive in the game. This time, the brand, handset subsidies or any other marketing tricks are of no help — it’s all about economics.
What’s really interesting is what could happen with next-generation networks. As carriers see their margins disappear almost entirely and the profits shift to mobile platforms, operators won’t accumulate enough profits to be able to invest in next-generation networks. Nor does the marginalized economics of the network business promise them high ROI. Mobile platforms do the opposite: By that time, they’ll have accumulated profits for all the value-added services, so they’ll have both the money to invest and the strong economic incentive to do so. This will also be very lucrative to mobile platforms politically, as owning services end to end, from cloud to network to devices, enables a whole new level of control and market power.
by Ilja Laurs is CEO at GetJar
You should be alert during next few days.
Don’t open any message with an attachment entitled “POSTCARD FROM HALLMARK”, regardless of who sent it to you. It is a virus which opens A POSTCARD IMAGE, which ‘burns’ the whole hard disc “C” drive of your computer.
It has been classified by Microsoft as the most destructive virus ever. This virus was discovered by McAfee yesterday, and there is no repair yet for this kind of virus. This virus simply destroys the zero sector of the Hard Disc.
It was apparently checked by Norton Anti-Virus, and they are gearing up for this virus!
Conficker has gone on to become one of the most widespread internet worms in recent years.
The conficker computer worm, also known as downup, downandup and Kido first surfaced in 2008 but as of January 17, various reports declare that 6.5 million computers have already been infected by this virus. It also states that 3 in 10 windows PC are vulnerable to conficker attacks.
It could be the biggest April Fool’s joke ever played on the internet, or it could be one of the worst days ever for computers connected to the network. Security experts can’t work out whether the Conficker virus will wreak havoc on Wednesday , or just let the day pass quietly.
Experts have worked out that from midnight on 1 April, the Conficker program will start scanning thousands of websites for a new set of instructions telling it what to do next. The infected machines thus comprise one of the biggest “botnets” – a network of “robot” computers – in internet history. And if they were all given a target, such as simultaneously sending search queries to Google or trying to connect to a gambling site, they could knock it offline through the sheer volume of connections – a “denial of service”. Victims usually discover that they have been locked out of their computers or have very slow-running internet connections.
Careful study of infected machines has revealed that from midnight on Wednesday they will seek new instructions from a randomly generated list of thousands of websites that changes every day. Just one needs to be under the virus writers’ control to turn Conficker into a newly configured botnet – making the task of catching the exact site a search for a needle in a computing haystack.
Experts admit that they have little idea of where Conficker might be headed next. “It’s a brave man who puts his neck out like that,” said Graham Cluley, an analyst with internet security company Sophos. “For what it’s worth, we have never seen earlier versions of the Conficker worm downloading a malicious payload.”
It is also rumoured that Conficker may not activate immediately, preferring to lie in wait before receiving further orders to avoid scrutiny. The main purpose of Conficker is to provide the authors with a secure binary updating service that effectively allows them instant control of millions of PCs worldwide.
The identity of its creator remains unknown, despite Microsoft offering a bounty of $250,000 (£176,000) for the information. Usual methods of unpacking the virus code to examine its workings have been thwarted because the authors have encrypted it, using algorithms that render it almost uncrackable.
- Users being locked out of directory
- Access to admin shares denied
- Scheduled tasks being created
- Access to security related web sites is blocked.
Method of Infection –
- This worm exploits the MS08-067 Microsoft Windows Server Service vulnerability in order to propagate.
- Machines should be patched and rebooted to protect against this worm re-infecting the system after cleaning.
- Upon detection of this worm the system should be rebooted to clean memory correctly. May require more that one reboot.
- Scheduled tasks have been seen to be created on the system to re-activate the worm.
- Autorun.inf files have been seen to be used to re-activate the worm.
- Users infected by W32/Conficker.worm should perform an On Demand Scan to remove remnants of the worm in memory using the latest DATs.
- Upon detection of W32/Conficker!mem and REBOOT, the W32/Conficker.worm malware components will be removed.
More information – http://vil.nai.com/vil/content/v_153464.htm
But beware of the other malware and virus creeping into your system by means of fraudulent software claiming to be an anti-dote to Conrficker. Microsoft is behind it and will do an appropriate press release for it. So trust only well known names for the cure.
The Microsoft Future Pro Photographers Photography Contest is the most lucrative contest of its kind and provides a unique opportunity for college and university student photographers from around the world to showcase their artistic talent and photographic style.
Microsoft is committed to carrying the art of digital photography forward by encouraging new and emerging talent at the student level to learn, utilize, and implement state-of-the-art equipment, software, and techniques to produce the finest images possible.
For student photographers, this is an opportunity to Kick Start Your Career as a future professional photographer.
The exciting prize packages include a Grand Prize of US$20,000 cash and a digital workflow prize package.
There will also be three First Place winners in the following categories:
Nature & Landscape; People & Portraits; and Sports & Photojournalism
who will each win US$3000 cash and a digital workflow prize package as well.
The submission period is March 1st through April 30th, 2009. The opportunity of a lifetime is just a click away!
All you college students and budding photographers, grab your camera and start hunting for the ‘moments’.
Unemployment has hit a 25-year high, the Dow is at a 12-year low, and it’s impossible to go 10 minutes without hearing the term “Great Depression.”
These are times when you need to squeeze much more than 100% of your dollar. So for all those who are looking to make any purchases online, the MSN Toolbar and its new “cashback-offer-detecting mechanism” may be just what the financial advisor ordered. This development ties into the established Live Search cashback program. Use Google, Yahoo, or Live to search for products – or even run queries through Craigslist – and according to a post on the official Live Search blog, “the toolbar will gleam an icon if there is cashback available for the item you searched for.”
Click on the shiny bit, and you’ll be taken to a page featuring the cashback offer. The idea is that you won’t miss a single opportunity to receive a discount and make you a happy customer. And at the same time, of course, Microsoft gets a little bit of space on your computer screen and earns a warm spot in your heart.
Mircosoft will soon launch, Laura, the virtual personal assistant for those of us who cannot afford a human one.
Laura appears as your secretary on the screen. You can speak to her and ask her to handle basic tasks like booking appointments for meetings or scheduling a flight. What is amazing, however, is Laura’s ability to make sophisticated decisions about the people in front of her, judging things like their attire, whether they seem impatient, their importance and their preferred times for appointments.
Instead of being a relatively dumb terminal, Laura represents a nuanced attempt to recreate the finer aspects of a relationship that can develop between an executive and an assistant over the course of many years. “What we’re after is common sense about etiquette and what people want,” said Eric Horvitz, a researcher at Microsoft who specialises in machine learning.
Microsoft wants to put a Laura on the desk of every person who has ever dreamed of having a personal aide.
Laura requires a topof-the-line chip with eight processor cores to handle all of the artificial intelligence and graphics work needed to give the system a somewhat lifelike appearance and function. Such a chip would normally sit inside a server in a company’s data centre. Intel is working to bring similar levels of processing power down to tiny chips that can fit into just about any device.
So all those ladies thinking of a future as the PA of the top boss, beware of competetion from the likes of Laura.
A Mircosoft Tech Support Centre in Rural India!!!
With the spread of computers in India, this can become a reality very soon.