Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!

Thanks to all of you, who have the occassion to read the blog. I really appreciate it, and I hope that it helps you keep up with the dizzying pace of tech, as I have hoped to do myself.

I wish each and every one of you a prosperous new year, and don't let 2005 hit you in the ass. :-)

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Web Sites Established to Help Fund Patricia Santangelo Defense

Ray Beckerman writes over on "The Recording Industry vs. The People" blog:

We have been advised by Jon Newton of that two web sites have been established for making contributions via PayPal to Patricia Santangelo, to assist in her legal defense: and

See article at

Let's Be Careful Out There: New WMF Exploit Released


On New Year's eve the defenders got a 'nice' present from the full disclosure community.

The source code claims to be made by the folks at metasploit and xfocus, together with a anonymous source.

The exploit generates files:

  • with a random size;
  • no .wmf extension, (.jpg), but could be any other image extension actually;
  • a random piece of junk in front of the bad call; carefully crafted to be larger than the MTU on an ethernet network;
  • a number of possible calls to run the exploit are listed in the source;
  • a random trailer

From a number of scans we did through virustotal, we can safely conclude there is currently no anti-virus signature working for it. Similarly it is very unlikely any of the current IDS signatures work for it.

'Underneath Their Robes' Blogger Leaves U.S. Attorney's Office

An AP newswire article, via Yahoo! News, reports that:

A young federal prosecutor who was revealed as the author of a spicy blog about the judiciary is leaving the inner circle. David Lat, who had been the anonymous writer of "Underneath Their Robes," left his job as an assistant U.S. attorney in Newark.

Lat, 30, sent an e-mail Friday to fellow staff at the U.S. attorney's office, telling them that it was his last day. He said he would soon be going to work in Washington.

Update: Notifies Customers of Data Privacy Breach


I recieved an e-mail from a customer this morning (Thanks, Jeff!) who explains that:

And the tape has been found at the same DHL depot.

A letter dated Dec 16 2005 "We are writing to let you know that a computer tape containing information about you and your mortgage account with ABN AMRO Mortgage Group, Inc. has been lost while being transported by DHL courier service to a credit reporting company".

A follow-up dated Dec 22 2005 "I am happy to tell you that this tape has been found in the same DHL facility from which it was last tracked. DHL told us that the package was found without the original airbill"


Brain Krebs writes in The Washington Post:

Many times after we run a story, Security Fix readers write in to tell us about related incidents. This morning I received an e-mail from a Virginia woman who was recently notified by her mortgage company that it had somehow lost track of a backup tape containing the names, account information, payment history and Social Security numbers of more than 2 million customers.

The company -- Troy, Mich.-based ABN-AMRO Mortgage -- said the tape was lost while being transported by a DHL courier en route to credit reporting company Experian.

Dilbert: Consortium Approval Review Board

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Bush Signs Five-Week Extension on Patriot Act


President Bush Friday signed legislation extending key provisions of the anti-terrorism USA Patriot Act until Feb. 3, despite earlier objecting to anything short of a permanent renewal.

Bush had strongly pushed for a permanent renewal before the provisions expired at year-end, but Congress passed a temporary extension to allow more time to consider civil liberties protections.

ICANN: Time to Renew .coop, .museum, and .aero

John Levine writes over on CircleID:

Way back in 2000-2001, ICANN approved a handful of new top level domains, and entered into agreements with their promoters. Three of the sponsored domains, are coming up for renewal next year, so they’ve sent in their renewal proposals.

A sponsored domain is one that restricts who can register to members of a particular community, in this case respectively co-ops, museums, and the airline industry. Let’s take a look and see how they’re doing.

More here. fix...

Via Enjoy!

An Alternative Method of Fixing the WMF Vulnerability

Image source: F-Secure

Mikko writes over on the F-Secure "News from the Lab" Blog:

Here's an alternative way to fix the WMF vulnerability.

Ilfak Guilfanov has published a temporary fix which does not remove any functionality from the system (all pictures and thumbnails continue to work normally).

The fix works by injecting itself to all processes loading USER32.DLL. It patches the Escape() function in GDI32.DLL, revoking WMF's SETABORT escape sequence that is the root of the problem.

Now, we wouldn't normally blog about a security patch that is not coming from the original vendor. But Ilfak Guilfanov isn't just anybody. He's the main author of IDA (Interactive Disassembler Pro) and is arguably one of the best low-level Windows experts in the world.

Patents Rejected for BlackBerry

Via The New York Times.

Research in Motion, the maker of the BlackBerry wireless e-mail device, said yesterday that the United States Patent and Trademark Office had issued preliminary rejections of two wireless e-mail patents owned by NTP, the holding company that had won a patent infringement lawsuit against it.

Both patents were also rejected in earlier rulings.

User Friendly: Punctuating 2005


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Victims Told, in Error, Ohio Inmates Were Freed Due to Computer Glitch

An AP newswire article, via USA Today, reports that:

The automated telephone call shook Karla Edwards so badly she couldn't compose herself. On the other end of the phone, a message was telling her the man who was in prison for her sister's slaying had been released.

"I came unglued," Edwards said. "I can't even tell you how bad it was, I couldn't even talk."

Sobbing, she called the sheriff's deputy who investigated her sister's 1998 killing. He started making calls of his own, and hours later, there was another startling discovery: It wasn't true.

Thousands of Ohio crime victims or their family members received calls from a computer notification system Friday mistakenly telling them inmates had been released, a state prisons spokesman said.

Communist Rebels Destroy Another Mobile Phone Tower in Philippines

An AFP newswire article, via Yahoo! News, reports that:

Communist guerrillas have burned a Globe Telecom cellular phone tower on the Philippine island of Mindoro, the 23rd attack on the company's facilities in the past six months, the military has announced.

About 20 members of the communist New People's Army (NPA) attacked the Globe Telecom site in Magsaysay town late Friday, burning it down. There were no casualties.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Update: The New Apple iMeat?


Boing Boing to the rescue! With an update.

An investigation found that a former [Walmart] employee apparently tampered with a shipment of iPods and put the meat into several packages. The former employee now faces tampering charges, Local 6 News reported.


Via ABC News.

Rachel Cambra couldn't wait to see the look on her 14-year-old son's face when he opened a very special present on Christmas morning.

The Mililani, Hawaii, woman had saved up to surprise her son with what he wanted most for the holiday, a new Apple iPod with video.

Surprised he was, and so was Cambra. When her son opened the box for the high-tech toy, he discovered the iPod that should have been there wasn't. It had apparently been replaced with some kind of mystery meat.

Database Hack Exposes Police Financial Data

Brian Krebs writes in The Washington Post:, a company that manufacturers the plastic and metal name tags that police officers around the country wear on their uniforms, had its customer database hacked recently, exposing credit card and other personal data for a number of police departments.

A woman who answered the phone at ReevesNamepins confirmed that the company had recently experienced a security breach, but declined to provide further details and referred inquiries to the company's CEO, who could not be immediately reached for comment.

Illinois Attorney General Targeting Sony BMG?

Brian Krebs writes in The Washington Post:

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said Friday she is investigating whether Sony BMG violated privacy and consumer protection laws, noting that her office has requested information from the company regarding anti-piracy software it included on music CDs that experts have shown exposes Microsoft Windows users to security holes and computer viruses.

Madigan is the latest attorney general to target Sony BMG for the anti-piracy debacle. Last month, Texas AG Greg Abbott sued Sony BMG, saying its invasive software -- which installs on Windows PCs when users merely listen to one of the affected CDs -- violates Texas anti-spyware laws. New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and Massachusetts AG Tom Reilly have launched similar investigations. In addition, a number of state and federal class action suits have been filed against Sony BMG.

US-CERT: 5,198 Software Flaws in 2005

Brian Krebs writes in The Washington Post:

Security researchers uncovered a record 5,198 vulnerabilities in software products this year, nearly 38 percent more than the number of flaws found in 2004, according to statistics published by US-CERT, a cyber security information-sharing collaboration between the Department of Homeland Security and the CERT Coordination Center at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

According to US-CERT, researchers found 812 flaws in the Windows operating system, 2,328 problems in various versions of the Unix/Linux operating systems (Mac included). An additional 2,058 flaws affected multiple operating systems. There may well have been more than 5,198 flaws discovered this year; these were only the ones reported to US-CERT.

Waxy:, Gone for Good?

Hey! What's up with this?

Andy "Waxy" Baio writes over on, one of the most important and influential webzines, appears to be offline permanently, replaced by a porn search portal.

The strangest part is that the domain continues to belong to Lycos, with Hotwired acting as the nameservers. If you query for the domain, it returns, an IP address of a Verio server currently hosting over 36,000 domains. The server is owned by a company called, which seems to be hosting nothing but affiliate search portals.

More here. Will Continue to Track Users

An AP newswire article by Anick Jesdanun, via The Globe and Mail, reports that:

The White House said Friday its Web site would keep using Internet tracking technologies, deciding that they aren't prohibited after all under 2003 federal privacy guidelines.

The White House's site uses what's known as a Web bug [actually, a cookie -ferg] — a tiny graphic image that's virtually invisible — to keep track anonymously of who's visiting and when. The bug is sent by a server maintained by an outside contractor, WebTrends Inc., and lets the traffic-analysis company know that another person has visited a specific page on the site.

GlobeTel Gets $600M Russia Job

Via Red Herring.

GlobeTel Communications shares jumped nearly 70 percent on Friday after the company said it will install wireless networks across 30 Russian cities under a contract worth $600 million.

The contract reflects the growing number of citywide wireless networks being built by companies in both industrialized and developing countries.

The Pembroke Pines, Florida-based company said it reached a binding agreement with Internafta, a Moscow-based oil and natural gas trading company.

China Tracking Porn Purchases

Via Red Herring.

Censorship experts said Friday that China will likely be unsuccessful in finding pornographic web sites by monitoring payments made through mobile phones, but they cautioned it could lead to overzealous censorship of individuals.

Customer payments of “fairly high” amounts will be flagged for further investigation as possible porn purchases, Zhao Shiqiang, a director at China’s Bureau of Public Security, said at a press conference. If the government sees that the site receiving the payment is purveying illegal content, officials will shut it down.

The plan is the latest attempt by the Chinese government to combine Internet censorship with mobile phone monitoring in order to crack down on what it considers “unhealthy” content of a political or sexual nature.

Times Square Ball to Get LED Makeover

The Times Square New Year's Eve ball is raised during a test drop
in New York on Friday. This will be the last year the crystal ball is
illuminated exclusively with incandescent lighting.

Image source: Shannon Stapleton / Reuters / MSNBC

A Forbes article by Danit Lidor, via MSNBC, reports that:

At the stroke of midnight on Saturday, close to a billion people will count backward from ten to one, and then it's out with the old and in with the new. But this year, the beloved Times Square New Year's Eve ball is changing, too.

When the brightly illuminated crystal ball slides down the flagpole high atop the One Times Square building in New York City, it will mark the last time the ball is lit exclusively with incandescent lighting. So say good-bye to all those bulbs.

Woman Says Intruder Left Porn on her Computer


An AP newswire article, via MSNBC, reports that:

A woman in California called police to report that an intruder broke into her home and added pornography to her computer.

The woman in Fremont said she woke up and was startled to see a stranger typing away on her computer.

Police say the intruder fled, but left behind an altered screen saver that featured erotic images.

VeriChip Planning IPO

Via Red Herring.

VeriChip, a company that makes implantable microchips for humans, on Friday filed for a $45.8-million IPO underwritten by a banker carrying one of the chips.

The company, which sells a first-of-its-kind radio frequency identification (RFID) tag for implantation, said the underwriters will be the investment banks Merriman Curhan Ford and Kaufman Brothers.

In a publicity stunt last September, the chief executive of Merriman Curhan Ford, Jon Merriman, was publicly “chipped” by being injected with the rice-sized tag.

At the time, Mr. Merriman said the chip was an answer to his “increasing paranoia of having the specific provisions in his living will executed” in a worst-case scenario. Mr. Merriman does not have any serious medical conditions.

China 3G Tests May Trigger Technology Standards War

A UPI newsbrief, via, reports that:

Analysys International said in a news release that recent testing of a relatively immature 3G technology in Shanghai was a signal that one of the world's key wireless markets is adopting standards that don't match those favored by overseas equipment producers.

The Shanghai trials run by ZTE and China Telecom were based on TD-SCDMA technology rather than the WCDMA and CDMA2000 technologies used by many international manufacturers. The move theoretically gives Chinese manufacturers a leg up on the competition.

Canadian Foreign Minister Attacked in Montréal Subway

An AFP newswire article, via Yahoo! News, reports that:

Canadian Foreign Minister Pierre Pettigrew was mugged at a Montréal subway station by a man who tried to steal his mobile phone, officials told AFP.

Pettigrew, who was not accompanied by his bodyguard, was attacked while he spoke on his cellular phone as he entered a station in the city's west end just before 5:00 pm (2200 GMT) late Wednesday, police said. He was pushed, but he was not injured.

Toon: The Bush World and The Real World

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Web Services Thrive, But Outages Outrage Users

A Reuters newswire article by Adam Pasick, via Yahoo! News, reports that:

Web sites that share blogs, bookmarks and photos exploded in popularity in 2005, but in recent weeks a number of major outages left users stranded and frustrated.

The new breed of Web site includes blogging services such as TypePad, the photo site Flickr, the shared bookmark site and many others. They are sometimes known collectively as "Web 2.0": hosted online, relying heavily on users' submissions, and frequently updated and tweaked by their owners.

Justice Dept. to Probe Leak of Spy Program


The U.S. Justice Department has launched an investigation to see who disclosed details about a secret domestic eavesdropping operation, department officials said Friday.

“We are opening an investigation into the unauthorized disclosure of classified materials related to the NSA,” one official said, referring to the National Security Agency.

President Bush earlier this month said that he presumed such an investigation was under way. The program, which authorized telecommunications surveillance without a court order, was disclosed by The New York Times, which attributed its information to sources.

China Shuts 598 Sites for Online Smut

An AP newswire article, via Yahoo! News, reports that:

Chinese police have closed 598 Web sites in a crackdown on pornography, but online gambling and fraud are growing, state media said Friday.

The latest crackdown, launched in March, led to 25 arrests, the China Daily Newspaper said, citing figures from the Ministry of Public Security. That figure was low compared with more than 500 people arrested in a nationwide crackdown last year.

Interesting CNN Poll: Google the Goliath of the Web

Via CNN.

The search engine Google is the most significant development in the 15-year history of the World Wide Web, according to a poll of users.

Nearly 18,000 users voted in the three-week online survey, part of Spark's look at the Web's defining moments since Tim Berners-Lee launched the multimedia branch of the Internet in 1990.

Dilbert: Office Printer Tricks

Click for larger image.'s Top 10 News Stories of 2005

Sean O'Neill writes on

These stories were the ones you clicked on the most – a stimulating mix of mystery, brain work, climate change, weaponry and sex.

1. 13 things that do not make sense

Our most clicked story of 2005. The placebo effect, cold fusion, dark energy, the “wow” signal and bizarre homeopathy results – these were just a few of the mysteries that fascinated you.

2. Pentagon reveals rejected chemical weapons

The chemical “sex-bomb” designed to make enemy soldiers sexually irresistible to each other, thus destroying an enemy’s morale.

3. 11 steps to a better brain

Like a personal trainer for the brain, without the strain. We expect the IQ of our readers to be much greater now than at the start of 2005.

4. US military sets laser PHASRs to stun

The PHASR is an impressive looking beast, larger than Captain Kirk’s trusted phaser, but the risk of blinding innocent bystanders shrouded this prototype weapon in controversy.

5. Details of US microwave-weapon tests revealed

The US military raised temperatures further in 2005 by trying their new microwave weapons on a test crowd - with mixed results.

6. Failing ocean current raises fears of mini ice age

In a year dominated by climate-change fear and greenhouse gas emissions targets, the news of a 30% reduction in the warm currents that carry water north from the Gulf Stream sounded a loud note of alarm.

7. Antarctic ice sheet is an 'awakened giant’

A slumbering giant, the massive west Antarctic ice sheet, previously assumed to be stable, started to collapse noticeably in 2005, adding extra heat to the climate debate.

8. Bionic suit offers wearers super-strength

Many kids dream of growing into a bionic adult, able to perform superhuman deeds. This dream moved one mechanical step closer to reality this year.

9. Out-of-this-world sex could jeopardise missions

Sex and romantic entanglements among astronauts could derail missions to Mars, said a top-level panel of US researchers. Their recommendation for NASA – more study of the issue.

10. Centrifugal weapon could deliver stealth firepower

Another weapon, this time a gun that spits out ball bearings after spinning them to extreme speeds – and there's a video of the beast in action.

Rates Technology Sues Google for $5B

Via Red Herring.

Rates Technology, a little-known patent-holding company based in Smithtown, New York, said it will seek $5 billion from Google for damages based on unpaid royalties from a patent infringement lawsuit RTI filed against Google in New York.

RTI is suing Google in U.S. District Court in New York’s Eastern District for infringement of patent 5,425,085, which governs the routing of VoIP calls in Google Talk, a VoIP and instant-messaging application.

RTI is also suing Google based on another patent, 5,519,769, which relates to inventions for minimizing the cost of telephone calls. The company is seeking an injunction against Google for all commercial activity pertaining to Google Talk.

User Friendly: What a Year


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Orascom Bid Wins 51% of Nigerian Telecom

Via The International Herald Tribune.

Orascom Telecom of Egypt won the bidding Thursday for a 51 percent stake in the Nigerian state telecommunications company, Nitel.

Orascom, which offered $256.5 million, and Newtel, a Nigerian company, were the only two bidders after four others dropped out.

Justice Department Reveals Social Security Numbers

Props to Bruce Schneier for pointing out this article on his blog (Thanks, Bruce).

Larry Greenemeier writes in InformationWeek:

The federal government is responsible for issuing Social Security numbers, but it may not be doing enough to protect these critically personal pieces of information on its own Web sites. Acting on a tip, InformationWeek was able to access Web pages that include the names and Social Security numbers of people involved in Justice Department-related legal actions. It's a discomforting discovery at a time when identity theft and fraud are on the rise.

One document on the Justice Department Executive Office for Immigration Review's site listed the name and Social Security number of a woman involved in a 2003 immigration-review case. Another document from 2002 listed the name and Social Security number of a man who was being prosecuted for committing insurance fraud. Other searches of the Justice Department's site yielded more Social Security numbers and identifying information.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Analysts Fret as Adware Makers Leverage WMF Flaw

David Morgenstern writes in eWeek:

Exploits of the WMF (Windows Metafile Format) flaw continued on Thursday as advertising networks took advantage of the vulnerability to spread their "products."

Several security lists and Weblogs warned that the Exfol adware network was presenting coded WMF images on rotating banner ads.

Researchers said that sites running pop-up advertisements from the network will infect viewers with vulnerable systems.

Google Year-End 2005 Zeitgeist

Via Google.

It turns out that looking at the aggregation of billions of search queries people type into Google reveals something about our curiosity, our thirst for news, and perhaps even our desires.

Considering all that has occurred in 2005, we thought it would be interesting to study just a few of the significant events, and names that make this a memorable year. (We’ll leave it to the historians to determine which ones are lasting and which ephemeral.) We hope you enjoy this selective view of our collective year.

CSC Grabs $575M in Government Cntracts Since Oct. 1

Grant Gross writes in InfoWorld:

Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC) has won up to $575 million worth of U.S. government contracts since Oct. 1, the company announced Thursday.

CSC, the reported target of an acquisition earlier this year, has signed 96 federal government contacts and subcontracts in the last quarter of 2005, the company's fiscal third quarter, CSC said. The contract lengths range from one month to five years.

Intel to Unveil New Branding Strategy

An AP newswire article by Matthew Fordahl, via Yahoo! News, reports that:

Intel Corp. is launching a new corporate and brand identity that will include a reworked company logo, a change in its ubiquitous "Intel Inside" stickers and a shift away from the Pentium name for its microprocessors.

The changes, which will be formally announced Tuesday, come as the world's largest chip maker tries to market itself less as a chip outfit and more as a provider of platforms such as Centrino for notebook computers or the soon-to-be-released Viiv technology for entertainment PCs.

NPR: Biggest Tech Blunders of 2005

Via NPR.

Day to Day, December 29, 2005 · Farai Chideya talks with Day to Day technology contributor Xeni Jardin about the worst tech blunders of 2005. Major tech companies, including Yahoo, Sony and Apple, all made controversial moves that surprised consumers.

China: PC Manufacturers Punished For Adopting Pirated Operating Systems


HP, Shenzhou, Tsinghua Tongfang and Acer have been identified as computer manufacturers in China who have illegally placed pirated copies of operating systems on their products.

The Beijing Municipal Department of Industry and Commerce, the Beijing Copyright Bureau and Beijing's Municipal Public Security Bureau have jointly identified 12 types of computer products of the four PC makers that have been installed with pirated systems.

U.S. to Probe Contractor's Web Tracking on

Althou if you are on the funsec mailing list, you would have already heard about this, since Richard Smith disclosed this information to the participants of the mailing list earlier this week. :-)

An AP newswire article by Anick Jesdanun, via Yahoo! News, reports that:

Unbeknownst to the Bush administration, an outside contractor has been using Internet tracking technologies that may be prohibited to analyze usage and traffic patterns at the White House's Web site, an official said Thursday.

David Almacy, the White House's Internet director, promised an investigation into whether the practice is consistent with a 2003 policy from the White House's Office of Management and Budget banning the use of most such technologies at government sites.

Microsoft Employees Rage As IE Ship Sinks

Via eMail Battles.

No way to build a market: No more Mac users. No more Dell users in the UK. HP's shipping Netscape. Internet Explorer 7 is the ultimate "me too" knock off. And nobody's madder than Microsoft employees and fans.

Wow. Worth a read -- a great collection of rants by Microsoft employees who are pissed off that their employer has been so derelict in keping IE in the game.

Scotland Finishes National Broadband Expansion

A UPI newsbrief, via, reports that:

An ambitious project to expand broadband access throughout Scotland has been completed, officials announced Friday.

The British Broadcasting Corp. said that 378 telephone exchanges located in remote and rural areas were upgraded to broadband over the last eight months as part of the Scottish Executive's overall broadband initiative.

Savvis Launches Federal Spinoff

Michael Hardy writes on

Savvis, a global provider of information technology utility services, is creating a separate company to concentrate on the federal government market. Called Savvis Federal Systems (SFS), the company’s headquarters is in Herndon, Va.

SFS will offer the full range of Savvis services through a General Services Administration schedule contract. The services include hosting, networking, digital content services, managed security services and professional services. SFS' initial emphasis will be on earning subcontracts to an array of prime contractors.

Couple Sues RIAA Attorneys in Michigan Case

Ray Beckerman writes in "The Recording Industry vs. The People" blog:

In Motown v. Nelson, pending in federal court in Port Huron, Michigan (Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division), the defendants -- Mr. and Mrs. Nelson -- have made a motion for attorneys fees against the RIAA attorneys, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1927 for unreasonable and vexatious litigation and improperly interfering and/or obtaining false testimony from a prospective witness.

More here.

AT&T Rumored to be Considering Bid for EchoStar

Paul R. La Monica writes on CNN/Money:

Rumors have made the rounds lately that AT&T (formerly known as SBC) may be interested in acquiring EchoStar, the nation's second largest satellite TV firm. Shares of EchoStar have gained more than 11 percent since mid-November.

Spokespeople for the two companies would not comment on the speculation. But some analysts say a deal makes sense.

Chinese Hacked Japanese Asahi Shimbun Web Site

Frustratingly scarce on details, a UPI newsbrief, via, reports that:

Chinese computer programmers may have hacked into the Web site of a Japanese daily, according to local media Thursday.

Parts of the online edition of Asahi Shimbun were tampered with via a computer server based in China, according to Japanese police reports.

Parts of the online edition of Asahi Shimbun were tampered with via a computer server based in China, according to Japanese police reports.

The Buzz is Building Ahead of CES 2006

A Forbes article by Rachel Rosmarin, via MSNBC, reports that:

While most people are still sleeping off the effects of their New Year's Eve debauchery, more than 130,000 industry gearheads and 2,500 hopeful exhibitors will flock to Sin City for the annual Consumer Electronics Show. CES is a buzz-filled mecca, where the latest and greatest electronic wares are hyped by small startups and global conglomerates alike.

With more than 1.6 million square feet of space crammed with wires, chips, plastic, booth babes and various attention-grabbing gimmicks, the show is a true circus. No, not Circus Circus, but still the biggest show in town. In fact, the show floor has expanded this year to encompass not only the entire Las Vegas Convention Center but also the Las Vegas Sand's Sands Expo near the Venetian.

U.S. Says It Didn't Target Muslims For Radiation Monitoring

Mary Beth Sheridan writes in The Washington Post:

Faced with angry complaints, U.S. officials defended an anti-terrorism program yesterday that secretly tested radiation levels around the country -- including at more than 100 Muslim sites in the Washington area -- and insisted that no one was targeted because of his or her faith.

One official knowledgeable about the program explained that Muslim sites were included because al Qaeda terrorists were considered likely to gravitate to Muslim neighborhoods or mosques while in the United States.

Pentagon Calls Its 'Pro-U.S.' Websites Legal

Mark Mazzetti writes in The LA Times:

U.S. military websites that pay journalists to write articles and commentary supporting military activities in Europe and Africa do not violate U.S. law or Pentagon policies, a review by the Pentagon's chief investigator has concluded. But a senior Defense Department official said this week that the websites could still be shut down to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

The Pentagon inspector general's inquiry concludes that two websites targeting audiences in the Balkans and in the Maghreb region of northern Africa are consistent with U.S. laws prohibiting covert propaganda, are properly identified as U.S.-government products and are maintained in close coordination with U.S. embassies abroad, according to a previously undisclosed summary of the report's findings.

H5N1 News: China Confirms 7th Case of Human Bird Flu

A Reuters newswire article, via MSNBC, reports that:

China confirmed its seventh human infection — and third human death — from bird flu on Thursday, after health officials revealed a 41-year-old factory worker died from the disease over a week ago.

The victim, a woman surnamed Zhou, lived in Sanming City in eastern China’s Fujian province, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

She showed symptoms of fever and pneumonia on Dec. 6 and was hospitalized two days later, Xinhua said, citing China’s Ministry of Health.

Judge Uholds $230M Award Against Nokia

Nancy Gohring writes in InfoWorld:

Nokia Corp. should pay InterDigital Communications Corp. over US$230 million, according to a ruling by a New York judge, InterDigital said on Wednesday. The ruling confirms a decision made by a court of arbitration in June.

In 2003, the companies sought binding arbitration through the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce after they disagreed over how to interpret a licensing agreement regarding InterDigital patents used by Nokia. Earlier this year, the arbitration court decided that Nokia owed InterDigital over $230 million.

Dutch Firm Signs JPEG License Agreement With Forgent

Via The Austin Business Journal.

Austin software and intellectual company Forgent Networks Inc. has completed another patent license agreement covering its JPEG-related patent.

Forgent and its Compression Labs subsidiary signed an agreement with Océ North America, a subsidiary of Netherlands-based Océ NV. Océ provides digital document management technology and services.

Gunman's Attack Unnerves Bangalore Outsourcing Industry

John Ribeiro writes in InfoWorld:

An attack by a gunman late Wednesday at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore, India has sent shockwaves through the city's large outsourcing industry.

One person was killed and four injured in the gunfire on the campus of IISc, one of India's most prestigious educational institutes. They were part of a large group of scientists and professors that were coming out of a conference held in the auditorium of the IISc, when the gunman attacked.

Bangalore police have so far said that they cannot definitely confirm that the attack was by terrorists. But the police have put the city on high alert and asked outsourcing companies to strengthen security.

NIST Updates Cryptography Manual

Rob Thormeyer writes on

The National Institute of Standards and Technology released a revised cryptography manual that gives federal cybersecurity officials guidance on how to encrypt and protect sensitive data.

NIST issued the revised Special Publication 800-21-1 [.pdf] — first released in 1999 — to help government organizations as they comply with the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002, which requires agencies, among other things, to certify and accredit their IT systems.

China: Datang Mobile Gets Huge Loan To Finance TD-SCDMA


Li Sanlin, a spokesperson from Datang Telecom, has told local media that Datang just received a RMB300 million bank loan from the China Development Bank, the largest single bank loan ever offered by the bank.

China Development Bank says that the combined RMB800 million loan is provided to Datang to help it with its self-developed projects, particularly TD-SCDMA.

Verizon Wireless Makes $290M Enhancement to Texas Network

Via The Austin Business Journal.

Wireless network provider Verizon Wireless is making an investment in the state of Texas.

The Verizon Wireless upgrades include adding and updating cell sites and other technology to improve call quality, increase coverage areas, and allow for a variety of advanced services such as wireless broadband computing, text and video messaging and other applications.

China to Require Cell Phone Users to Register

A Reuters newswire article, via MSNBC, reports that:

China will require all mobile phone subscribers to register using their real names next year, in a bid to curb rampant spam and growing fraud conducted over mobile services, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The much talked-about move is mainly aimed at users of prepaid cellphone accounts, which can be opened easily by anyone with cash and a handset. These accounts have no monthly fee, but instead are "charged up" using prepaid cards and used until the credit runs out.

Interland Changing Its Name to

Via Netcraft.

Interland will change its name to, the company said today as it closed on the acquisition of the domain's owner, hosting provider Web Internet LLC. The name change will take place in the first half of 2006, Interland said, calling the decision "a strategic move designed to clearly align the company with its branded line of business."

The move illustrates the growing importance of branding in mass-market web hosting. As the web's largest hosting companies pursue small business customers, Interland has fallen significantly behind better-known competitors. Interland currently hosts 463K hostnames, down 57K from August, while Go Daddy (+600K hostnames) and Yahoo (+200K) have had huge gains in the same period.

Netcraft: More than 450 Phishing Attacks Used SSL in 2005

Via Netcraft.

In its first year, the Netcraft Toolbar Community has identified more than 450 confirmed phishing URLs using "https" urls to present a secure connection using the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). The number of phishing attacks using SSL is significant for several reasons.

Anti-phishing education initiatives have often urged Internet users to look for the SSL "golden lock" as an indicator of a site's legitimacy. Although phishers have been using SSL in attacks for more than a year, the trend seems to have drawn relatively little notice from users and the technology press.

How the RIAA Litigation Process Works

Ray Beckerman writes on 'The Recording Industry vs. The People" blog:

At the core of the RIAA lawsuit process, is its initial lawsuit against a group of "John Does".

Here is how it works:

A lawsuit is brought against a group of "John Does". The location of the lawsuit is where the corporate headquarters of the internet service provider (ISP) is located.

All the RIAA knows about the people it is suing is that they are the people who paid for an internet access acount for a particular dynamic IP address.

The "John Does" may live -- and usually do live -- hundreds or thousands of miles away, and are not even aware that they have been sued.

The case may drag on for months or even years, with the RIAA being the only party that has lawyers in court to talk to the judges and other judicial personnel.

More here.

Microsoft Security Advisory: WMF Vulnerability in Graphics Rendering Engine

Via Microsoft.

Microsoft is investigating new public reports of a possible vulnerability in Windows. Microsoft will continue to investigate the public reports to help provide additional guidance for customers.

Microsoft is aware of the public release of detailed exploit code that could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code in the security context of the logged-on user, when such user is visiting a Web site that contains a specially crafted Windows Metafile (WMF) image. An attacker would have no way to force users to visit a malicious Web site. Instead, an attacker would have to persuade them to visit the Web site, typically by getting them to click a link that takes them to the attacker's Web site.

Site Claims $3.5M Damages From Spam Blacklist

Brian McWilliams writes over on the Spam Kings blog:

Richard M. Scoville, editor of a site called the Free Speech Store, is suing the operators of the Abusive Hosts Block List (AHBL) for $3.525 million.

On December 17, Scoville got a Texas county court to issue a temporary restraining order, forcing the AHBL to remove his site's IP address ( - Road Runner Commercial) from its anti-spam blocklist until the case is litigated.

UK: Text Messages Warn Offenders to Pay Fines

Via The BBC.

Text messages saying 'pay up or get locked up' could soon be used in England and Wales to get offenders to settle unpaid court fines.

The scheme could be introduced nationally following a successful pilot project in Staffordshire.

Some 150 texts were sent, with three quarters of recipients then paying up.

Preliminary Settlement Filed in Sony BMG Suit

Nate Mook writes in BetaNews:

Lawyers in a class action lawsuit filed against Sony BMG, First 4 Internet and SunnComm last month have submitted a preliminary settlement, which calls for Sony to stop manufacturing CDs with XCP and MediaMax DRM, provide replacement discs, and make cash payments to affected customers.

Lawsuits were filed on November 14 in New York and other states by Girard Gibs and Kamber & Associates, and class action status was granted December 1. The cases claimed that Sony's digital rights management, which attempts to stop computer users from copying a CD's audio tracks to a hard drive, is invasive and damaging to computer systems.

Hackers Rebel Against Spy Cams

Ann Harrison writes in Wired News:

When the Austrian government passed a law this year allowing police to install closed-circuit surveillance cameras in public spaces without a court order, the Austrian civil liberties group Quintessenz vowed to watch the watchers.

Members of the organization worked out a way to intercept the camera images with an inexpensive, 1-GHz satellite receiver. The signal could then be descrambled using hardware designed to enhance copy-protected video as it's transferred from DVD to VHS tape.

The Quintessenz activists then began figuring out how to blind the cameras with balloons, lasers and infrared devices.

What Men, Women Want on the Web

A Reuters newswire article, via CNN, reports that:

Internet users share many common interests, but men are heavier consumers of news, stocks, sports and pornography, while more women look for health and religious guidance, a broad survey of U.S. Web usage has found.

The study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project to be released on Thursday finds men are slightly more intense users of the Web. Men log on more frequently and spend more time online. More men also have access to quick broadband connections than do women.

Man Pleads Guilty to Botnet Denial-of-Service Attacks

An AP newswire article, via Yahoo! News, reports that:

A man pleaded guilty to infecting about 20,000 computers with a worm and using them to launch denial of service attacks against eBay Inc. and other online businesses in 2003.

Anthony Scott Clark, 21, of Beaverton, Ore., entered the plea Tuesday in U.S. District Court in San Jose. He faces 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, three years probation and other penalties, the U.S. attorney's office said Wednesday.

NBA to Digitize Decades of Game Footage

An AP newswire article by Anick Jesdanun, via Yahoo! News, reports that:

The National Basketball Association has embarked on a digital archival project that will eventually make nearly 60 years of game footage available for fans to watch or mix into their own highlights packages.

Since 1996, courtside statisticians have been assigning time codes to plays so they can be matched to taped broadcast footage. That coding will make it easy for computers to search for, say, all the 3-point attempts by Michael Jordan with less than 2 minutes of play in a game where a team leads by five points or less.

NSA Web Site Places 'Cookies' on Computers

An AP newswire article by Anick Jesdanun, via Yahoo! News, reports that:

The National Security Agency's Internet site has been placing files on visitors' computers that can track their Web surfing activity despite strict federal rules banning most of them.

These files, known as "cookies," disappeared after a privacy activist complained and The Associated Press made inquiries this week, and agency officials acknowledged Wednesday they had made a mistake. Nonetheless, the issue raises questions about privacy at a spy agency already on the defensive amid reports of a secretive eavesdropping program in the United States.

Move to New Airwaves to Cost U.S. Government $936M

Jeremy Pelofsky writes for Reuters:

Moving the U.S. Defense Department and 11 other government agencies' wireless communications to new airwaves will cost almost $936 million, according to a government estimate released on Wednesday.

The Federal Communications Commission plans to auction 90 Megahertz of airwaves potentially next year, including the government frequencies, and wireless companies are expected to bid for them so they can offer new and improved services, like video and high-speed Internet access known as broadband.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

CableLabs Considering VoIP Peering Responses

Via Red Herring.

CableLabs, the joint research and development arm of the cable community, said Wednesday it had collected 30 responses to its request for information from the vendor and service provider communities for its planned VoIP-peering project.

CableLabs, based in Louisville, Colorado, issued the RFI in late November with a deadline for responses in mid-December. The company has been reviewing its responses but would not offer any details on what specific information it had received from the vendor community.

Covad Drops Lawsuit Against Verizon

An AP newswire article by Matthew Fordahl, via, reports that:

Shares of Covad Communications Group Inc. jumped nearly 51 percent Wednesday after the high-speed Internet access company announced it resolved an antitrust lawsuit and other disputes with Verizon Communications Inc.

As part of the deal, Covad expanded its line-sharing agreement with Verizon, allowing it to offer its Digital Subscriber Line services over lines sold by Verizon voice resellers. It also announced a line-sharing agreement with MCI, which is being acquired by Verizon.

Terms of the settlement, which resolved all legal issues between the companies, were not disclosed.

Defense Lawyers in Terror Cases Plan Challenges Over Spy Efforts

Eric Lichtblau and James Risen write in The New York Times:

Defense lawyers in some of the country's biggest terrorism cases say they plan to bring legal challenges to determine whether the National Security Agency used illegal wiretaps against several dozen Muslim men tied to Al Qaeda.

The lawyers said in interviews that they wanted to learn whether the men were monitored by the agency and, if so, whether the government withheld critical information or misled judges and defense lawyers about how and why the men were singled out.

Microsoft, Softbank in Japanese VoIP Deal

Stephen Shankland writes in C|Net News:

Microsoft, Softbank BB and Japan Telecom announced a partnership Wednesday to develop communication services that combine Internet telephony, e-mail, Internet access, instant messaging and other services.

The companies said they plan to begin trials of the integrated services in the spring of 2006 and eventually offer them to business customers.

WSIS: Who Owns the Internet 2006?

Via Red Herring.

Early in 2006, the international community will revisit a long-simmering issue that was slated for discussion, and perhaps even a solution, in 2005, but was neither discussed nor solved.

So important was the issue of political governance of the Internet that it became the focal point of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), a forum with the laudable goal of seeking ways to bring the benefits of the Internet to developing countries.

The world press headed for Tunis, Tunisia, ready for a showdown between the United States, which much of the rest of the world believes to have far too much control of the Internet, and the rest of the world.

The showdown did not materialize. The political and business communities gathered in Tunis were taken aback by the strength of the U.S. resolve to retain the status quo. A temporary ceasefire was called in the heated war for political control of the Internet, and an Internet Governance Forum (IGF) was formed.

FBI Highlights Technology Recruitment

Wilson P. Dizard III writes in

The FBI today unveiled a campaign to hire a large number of IT professionals to operate and maintain the bureau’s global systems.

According to an FBI statement, the bureau is recruiting computer scientists, engineers, IT specialists and project managers at salaries ranging from $35,452 to $135,136, with potential recruitment bonuses. The FBI has adopted special procedures to hire staff quickly, with interviews beginning in January.

The bureau said it is seeking expertise in:

  • Systems engineering
  • Data Warehousing
  • Federated search technology
  • Data engineering
  • Service-oriented architecture
  • Application engineering
  • Portal technology

The bureau urged applicants to apply online at

User Friendly: The Gift That Keeps On Giving


Click for larger image.

New WMF 0-Day Exploit

Mike writes over on the F-Secure "News from the Lab" Blog:

There's a new zero-day vulnerability related to Windows' image rendering - namely WMF files (Windows Metafiles). Trojan downloaders, available from unionseek[DOT]com, have been actively exploiting this vulnerability. Right now, fully patched Windows XP SP2 machines machines are vulnerable, with no known patch.

The exploit is currently being used to distribute the following threats:

  • Trojan-Downloader.Win32.Agent.abs
  • Trojan-Dropper.Win32.Small.zp
  • Trojan.Win32.Small.ev.

Some of these install hoax anti-malware programs the likes of Avgold.

Trump, 'Penis Patch' in List of Top 2005 Junk Mail

A Reuters newswire article, via Yahoo! News, reports that:

Ads mentioning real estate tycoon Donald Trump and those hawking "Penis Patch" body enhancements were among the top 10 junk e-mails in 2005, according to America Online.

Noticeably absent? Porn.

"Porn is passe when it comes to spam," Nicholas Graham, an AOL spokesman said.

Sexually suggestive e-mails took another tumble this year after slipping in popularity last year.

North, South Korea Establish Limited Phone Links

An AP newswire article, via Yahoo! News, reports that:

The two Koreas established limited commercial telephone links across their heavily armed border on Wednesday for the first time in their 60 years of division, officials said.

The cross-border phone service is exclusively for South Korean businesses operating in an industrial zone in the North Korean border city of Kaesong, 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Seoul.

Marriott Discloses Missing Data Files

Michael S. Rosenwald writes in The Washington Post:

Marriott International Inc.'s time-share division said yesterday that it is missing backup computer tapes containing credit card account information and the Social Security numbers of about 206,000 time-share owners and customers, as well as employees of the company.

Officials at Marriott Vacation Club International said it is not clear whether the tapes, missing since mid-November, were stolen from the company's Orlando headquarters or whether they were simply lost.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Jupitermedia Acquires Animation Factory for $9.35M

Tim Gray writes on

Jupitermedia said Tuesday it acquired Animation Factory, a stock digital image company, for $9.35 million in cash and debt from VA Software Corp.

Jupitermedia, owner of, said the move expands its images businesses range of offerings and "solidifies Jupiterimages' position as the dominating company providing images by paid online subscription. Gets Christmas Wish: New 1-Day Sales Record

Via CNN/Money.

Strong online holiday sales helped get what it wanted for Christmas this year: a new single-day sales record.

The 2005 holiday season delivered a single-day record with the retailer's tracking service, dubbed the "Delight-O-Meter," tracking more than 3.6 million items ordered, or 41 items per second, on Dec. 12th.

Bluediving: Bluetooth Penetration Testing

Interesting bits -- released at 22C3.

Bluediving: Bluetooth pentesting suite. Implements attacks like Bluebug, BlueSnarf, BlueSnarf++, BlueSmack and features like bluetooth address spoofing.

Bluetooth users beware!

Google Faces Patent Infringement Lawsuit Over Google Talk

Thanks to Om Malik for pointing out this article.

Gary Price writes over on

While doing some research, I've learned that Google is being sued for patent infringement over the VoIP portion of the Google Talk program.

The patent infringement lawsuit was filed by Rates Technology in the Eastern District of New York.

The suit includes two causes of action for patent infringement against Google.

Blue Security Joe-Jobbed?

Via eMail Battles.

Some trickster is trying to hit a spammer (Robert Soloway) and an anti-spammer (Blue Security) with a single stone.

Someone recently placed an order at the web site of spammer-for-hire Robert Soloway. Using a stolen credit card, the unidentified person signed up for Soloway's $149 "Custom Broadcast Emailing to 2,500,000 People" service. The trickster, who claimed to be with Blue Security, wanted Soloway to broadcast a message with the subject line "Do away with unsolicited ads" and the following message body:

Learn how to wipe out unsolicited advertisement snders. Our active approach allows for eye for eye justice. We poison the databases of those who send out these unsolicited ads in order to cause them to run afoul of the law and cost them money in wasted billing efforts, phone calls, etc.

Soloway faxed me a copy of the order last week, and I passed it along to Blue Security. The people at Blue were, as you might expect, a bit miffed at this apparent attempt to give them a black eye. But this isn't the first time that's happened.

Dilbert: Reboot Yourself

Click for larger image.

BT's $17 Billion Dollar Network Renewal

Sean Michael Kerner writes on

Just in time for the Holidays, Britain's BT (formerly known as British Telecom) has inked deals with four of its partners for a US $17 billion dollar network overhaul.

Ciena, Huawei, Lucent and Siemens are the first four of an expected eight preferred vendors to sign deals with BT. BT's 21st Century Network (21CN), will see BT's entire network transformed over the next five years into an end-to-end IP network for voice and data.

Browser Wars: Network Managers Flee IE

Image source: eMail Battles

Via eMail Battles.

Remember the beating Internet Explorer gave Netscape? All but chased 'em right out of the browser business. Microsoft's weapons of choice: Free and bundled.

In retrospect, those weapons bit Microsoft on the backside, triggering US & EU anti-trust investigations, which in turn, have led to non-stop government diddling by countries large and small.

Meanwhile, Netscape responded by spinning off its skunkworks, Mozilla, which then released Firefox, a free browser bristling with anti-IE armament: Addictive multi-tabbing, unlimited extendability (with vibrant community support), and a huge security advantage, best summed up by, "Exploits that work on IE probably won't work on Firefox."

iPass to Acquire Rival GoRemote for $76.5M

Carmen Nobel writes in eWeek:

Remote Internet access service provider iPass last week announced plans to acquire its rival GoRemote Internet Communications for $76.5 million in cash.

iPass officials said the deal will help the company serve telecommuters and home-office workers, who make up much of GoRemote's customer base. Currently, iPass primarily serves business travelers.

Cricket Communications Targeting Austin in 2006

Via The Austin Business Journal.

Cricket Communications will launch a slate of wireless products and services in Austin in 2006.

Kristin Atkins, spokeswoman for San Diego-based Cricket, declined to provide any more details about the company's plans in Texas, but says service will also be available in other Texas cities, such as Houston, San Antonio and Killeen.

Wired: Worst Tech Moments 2005

Kevin Poulsen writes in Wired News:

It was the year corporate and university data spills just kept coming, and the Supreme Court decided technology companies can be held responsible for the bad behavior of their users. Big firms lined up to help repressive governments; governments helped themselves to private phone calls and e-mail. A medical miracle transformed, overnight, into heartbreaking scandal.

On balance the tech world's triumphs far outweighed its failures in 2005. But those who don't write top-10 lists about the passing year are doomed to repeat its mistakes. So here's our pick for the year's nastiest moments in technology.

Fake 'MSN Messenger 8' Trojan

Mikko writes over on the F-Secure "News from the Lab" Blog:

There is no MSN Messenger 8 yet. Not in public beta anyway.

However, there's a new virus going around pretending to be "MSN Messenger 8 Working BETA".

There's two ways to catch it. First, by downloading it from a fake site where it has been supposedly "leaked":

If you download and run BETA8WEBINSTALL.EXE from that site, you won't get a new chat client. Instead, your existing MSN Messenger will start to send download links to everyone in your contact list. It also connects your machine to a botnet server.

The download link always contains the recipients' email address. For example, if you'd have a friend with email address, he would get a download link like

We've just added detection for this one as Virkel.F.

RIAA Pressures Russia Over Piracy

Ed Oswald writes on BetaNews:

The RIAA last week applauded the U.S. Senate's passage of legislation that would put more pressure on the Russian government to curb widespread piracy within the country. A similar measure passed the U.S. House in mid-November.

Furthermore, Russia risks losing acceptance into the World Trade Organization and to receive trade benefits from the United States if it does not comply, the legislation reads.

Nortel to Acquire Tasman Networks for $99.5M

Jeremy Kirk writes in InfoWorld:

Nortel Networks Corp. announced Tuesday it will acquire Tasman Networks Inc., a provider of enterprise-level routers, for US$99.5 million.

The cash deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2006, Nortel said in a news release. Tasman, founded in 1997, is based in San Jose, California, and makes low-cost, standards-based WAN (wide area network) routers and other network gear.

User Friendly: Dead Presidents


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Go Daddy Wrangling with ABC Censors Over 2006 Super Bowl Ad

Via Netcraft.

Go Daddy would like to advertise in the upcoming Super Bowl game, but has not been able to get any of its ads approved, according to CEO Bob Parsons. The domain registrar's controversial ad in the 2005 Super Bowl generated enormous media coverage and web traffic, and kicked off a year of huge growth for the company.

"We still don’t know if we are going to advertise in next year’s Super Bowl," Parsons wrote in his weblog. "We’ve been busy working to get an ad approved by the censors at ABC and really haven’t had any luck." ABC is broadcasting this year's game, which is being held Feb. 5 in Detroit. A 30-second advertisement is expected to cost $2.4 million, the same as for last year's game, which was aired by Fox.

Go Daddy's investment in 2005 Super Bowl ads was part of a larger media campaign to extend its brand awareness beyond the web hosting community. The company's decision to focus on the Super Bowl was initially questioned by some, given the historic connection between Super Bowl ads and dot-com excess. Go Daddy's ad featured busty model Candice Michelle and gained huge attention when NFL executives pressured Fox to cancel a scheduled second showing. Minutes after the game's conclusion, Parsons used his personal weblog to break the news of the ad's cancellation, and the buzz quickly spread across the web and into the mainstream media.

Los Alamos Blogger to Shut Down Site

Stephen Shankland writes in the C|Net Science Blog:

A blogger whose Internet site became a forum for Los Alamos National Laboratory employees to vent about management problems said he's shutting the site down a half year from now.

Doug Roberts, who retired from LANL in 2005 after working at the New Mexico laboratory for 20 years, said Monday he'll shut down his LANL: The Real Story site on July 1. Roberts launched the site Dec. 28, 2004, as a place to publish letters critical of lab management that the lab's internal newsletter refused.

The blog drew national media attention as an aggregation of often anonymous complaints about lab director George "Pete" Nanos, who resigned in May. Since then, attention has shifted to other management concerns.