IBM to try broadband over power lines

IBM is resurrecting the idea of broadband supplied through power lines by partnering with International Broadband Electric Communications to provide service in rural US communities. The company is targeting areas that aren’t serviced by major ISPs by enlisting electricity cooperatives to install Broadband over Power Lines (BPL) equipment on their lines. According to The Associated Press, devices would be clamped every half-mile on the lines to relay data, and customers could plug a modem into a wall outlet to get an Internet connection. However, similar attempts to provide broadband were beset by technological problems and complaints by amateur radio operators who said the technology interfered with their signals. (The Associated Press)

Software fixes virtual configuration problems

A start-up called Replicate Technologies is aiming to reduce downtime in virtual environments by introducing software that fixes configurations errors and reduces faults. The software, Replicate Datacenter Analyzer (RDA), installs on an ESX server and integrates with VMWare Infrastructure 3 environments, then sends out software probes to collect data for IT managers. “We can be so detailed about the nature of the problem that the IT organization can cut back on determining where the root of the problem is and who is responsible for fixing it,” chief operating officer Rich Miller said. (Network World)

ICANN to revoke registrar’s credentials

ICANN announced that it will terminate registrar EstDomains’ credentials effective 24 November because the company was involved in credit card fraud, money laundering, and forgery through Web sites it hosted. EstDomains manages roughly 281,000 domain names, and ICANN published a Request for Information to find a different registrar to manage them. (The Register

Medical institutions partner on network surgery

A group of universities is testing technology that would let surgeons collaborate from multiple hospitals by videoconference, using the networking consortium Internet2. The technology uses a 30-Mbit-per-second video stream, which is broadcast with Microsoft’s Conference XP system. In previous networking attempts, video quality was too poor for physicians to perform delicate surgeries. The University of Puerto Rico, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, University of Michigan, National Library of Medicine, and Rochester Institute of Technology were involved in the project. (Science Daily)

Spam reduced after host is shut down

McColo, a Web hosting company based in San Jose, Calif., had multiple Internet connections severed by its ISPs following an investigation by the Washington Post that revealed the company’s connection to major spam activity. According to security experts, worldwide spam dropped by two-thirds following the shutdown. But they also predicted spam volume to recover as spammers move to new homes. (Washington Post)

E-waste tracked to China town

In a 60 Minutes report that aired in the US on Monday, a container filled with CRT screens from discarded computer monitors was tracked from recycling company Executive Recycling in Englewood, Colo., to Guiyu, China, described in the report as “a sort of Chernobyl of electronic waste.” According to the report, the town is dangerously polluted because of unsafe recycling, including high levels of cancer-causing  dioxins. Executive Recycling chief executive officer Brandon Richter denied that the e-waste was filled at the company’s facility. (CBS News)

SQL injection attacks not easy to kill

A wave of SQL injection attacks that began last week has proven resilient, sometimes infecting Web sites a second time, Dark Reading reported. A Kaspersky Lab researcher said that removing malicious links from targeted Web sites isn’t enough to stop the problem because the attackers will infect the sites again. The attacks appear to originate through  DRM-protected SQL injection toolkits sold primarily in China. Security company Websense said that attackers had infected 1,200 Web sites in Europe, the US, and Asia as of Monday. (Dark Reading)

Virtualization materializes for mobile phones

VMware is expanding virtualization into the smart phone market with the introduction of its Mobile Virtualization Platform (MVP), which it says will reduce development time and enable consumers to have two profiles on one device. According to the company, MVP is a thin layer of software that can be embedded on a mobile phone, decoupling applications and data from the underlying hardware. Vendors can use the technology to develop a software stack with their operating systems and install it on a variety of devices. (Information Week)

Jaguar becomes fastest supercomputer

The Cray XT Jaguar supercomputer is now the fastest in the world for unclassified scientific research, according to scientists. The US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee recently upgraded the machine to handle 1.64 petaflops; one petaflop is equivalent to one quadrillion mathematical computations per second. The Associated Press reported that the only supercomputer faster than the Jaguar is devoted to classified research on nuclear weapons at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. (Information Week)

AVG misidentifies critical Windows file as Trojan

AVG Technologies’ antivirus software update identified a critical Windows XP file as a Trojan horse last weekend, causing some computers to fail to reboot. The company acknowledged the problem on its support Web site, provided details to help customers affected by the problem, and updated its signatures. The false alarm, which occurred in the free and regular versions of AVG 8.0 and AVG 7.5, identified “user32.dll” as a Trojan and recommended that the file be quarantined. According to some reports, the problem only affected Dutch, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish versions of Windows XP. (Computerworld)

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