Category Archives: Computers and Internet

YouTube to Introduce High-Resolution Videos

YouTube co-founder Steve Chen, speaking at the NewTeeVee Live conference today, confirmed that high-quality YouTube video streams are coming soon. Although YouTube’s goal, he said, is to make the site’s vast library of content available to everyone, and that requires a fairly low-bitrate stream, the service is testing a player that detects the speed of the viewer’s Net connection and serves up higher-quality video if viewers want it.

Why wouldn’t they? Because the need to buffer the video before it starts playing will change the experience. Hence the experiment, rather than just a rapid rollout of this technology. On stage, he said the current resolution of YouTube videos has been "good enough" for the site untill now.

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‘Virtual theft’ leads to arrest

A Dutch teenager has been arrested for allegedly stealing virtual furniture from "rooms" in Habbo Hotel, a 3D social networking website.

The 17-year-old is accused of stealing 4,000 euros (£2,840) worth of virtual furniture, bought with real money.

Five 15-year-olds have also been questioned by police, who were contacted by the website’s owners.

The six teenagers are suspected of moving the stolen furniture into their own Habbo rooms.

A spokesman for Sulake, the company that operates Habbo Hotel, said: "The accused lured victims into handing over their Habbo passwords by creating fake Habbo websites.

"In Habbo, as in many other virtual worlds, scamming for other people’s personal information such as user names has been problematic for quite a while.

"We have had much of this scamming going on in many countries but this is the first case where the police have taken legal action."

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Social networkers warned of risk

A quarter of the 11 million Britons who use social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook may be leaving themselves open to identity fraud.

Get Safe Online, a government-backed campaign group, is warning against posting personal details online.

Its research also showed eight million people leave home wireless networks unprotected against intruders.

And more than half of the over-65s polled use a single password for every website they visit, the group said.

The group is advising older internet users to change their passwords more often.

‘Rich pickings’

Tony Neate, managing director of, said a date of birth and address details were enough for someone to set up a credit card in another name.

"Although some of these details may seem harmless, they actually provide rich pickings for criminals," he said.

Cabinet Office minister Gillian Merron said the risks can be easily fixed and did not mean people should stop using social networking sites and wireless networks.

News source: BBC Technology News

YouTube Introduces Multi-Video Uploading

YouTube is a website for people to communicate more efficiently with video by sharing, commenting on, and viewing videos. The site was originally started as a personal video sharing service, and has rapidly grown into the leading video entertainment destination on the Internet, helping to pave the way for social networking to evolve into the many catacombs that is has indeed become, and the newest YouTube feature is setting a higher standard in video sharing.

YouTube’s Multi-Video Uploader allows members to upload videos that are up to 1 gigabyte in size, compared to the previous limit of 100 megabytes. But note, a video must still be no longer than 10 minutes. And of course the main purpose behind this feature: the ability to upload many videos at once. So why is YouTube doing this? It is speculated that Youtube is trying to compete with another social networking video site (Vimeo), which announced it will now support high definition videos.

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Firefox 3 Getting A Visual Makeover

Software isn’t just about functionality anymore, users want brains and beauty. And beauty, as we know, is in the eye of the beholder, which is why the team behind Firefox 3 plans to ditch the unified cross-platform look of the browser in favor of a sexier look tailored to specific operating systems. Rather than a single look across all platforms, which is the way Firefox currently ships, Firefox 3 will feature different skins for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Mac OS X and various Linux distributions. Alex Faaborg, Mozilla’s interface designer, posted a note on his blog yesterday about the divergent themes coming for Firefox 3. Echoing the sentiments of many a Mac Firefox user, Faaborg writes, “personally I think a unified cross platform UI results in applications that at best feel foreign everywhere, and at worst don’t even feel like real applications.”

With both Windows Vista and the upcoming OS X Leopard, there is an increasing focus on sexy visual appeal, and fitting in with the unique visual design each platform has clearly become an integral part of building software. Some might argue that this comes at the expense of new features, but the trend shows no signs of abating. Applications that don’t fit the design of an OS stand out like a sore thumb and users shy away from them.“The Web browser is an incredibly central piece of the user’s operating system, and we don’t want the user’s initial reaction to be that they have modified their computer to add some type of strange, foreign application,” Faaborg writes. “Mozilla’s user experience team literally wants to do a better job of visually integrating with Windows than IE, and a better job of visually integrating with OS X than Safari. I don’t know if we will be able to pull that off, but that’s the goal.”

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New Zunes to take on Apple’s iPod

Microsoft has launched three new models of its Zune digital media player in an effort to compete with Apple’s iPod.

The players – which come in 4GB, 8GB and 80GB models – have wi-fi so users can automatically download music, photos, and video from their computer.

Microsoft is also launching a social networking site dubbed Zune Social to allow users to display and share music.

Last year Microsoft sold 1.2 million Zunes compared to 100 million iPods shifted since its launch in 2001.

The new players go on sale in the US in mid-November. There are no details yet as to when they will be released in Europe.

They will be priced at $149 (£73), for the 4GB player, $199 (£97) for the 8GB player and $249 (£122) for the 80GB player.

It comes with a familiar circular touch-sensitive navigation button.

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Battle to beat fake Ebay e-mails

Fake Ebay and Paypal e-mails which are used to con users out of money are being targeted by a secure mail system.

The online auction site and web pay service are working with Yahoo to use the firm’s anti-phishing technology.

The firms are supporting the emerging standard known as domain keys, which block fake e-mails by validating the sender with a digital signature.

Spammers hide their identity by using a false, or spoofed, address in the millions of messages they send out.

The technology, called the DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), will be available to millions of Yahoo Mail users worldwide in the coming weeks.

"It is a big step forward for consumers in defence against the bad guys," John Kremer, vice president of Yahoo Mail, told Reuters news agency.

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Microsoft loses anti-trust appeal

Microsoft has lost its appeal against a record 497m euro (£343m; $690m) fine imposed by the European Commission in a long-running competition dispute.

The European Court of First Instance upheld the ruling that Microsoft had abused its dominant market position.

A probe concluded in 2004 that Microsoft was guilty of freezing out rivals in server software and products such as media players.

Microsoft has two months to appeal at the European Court of Justice.

"The Court of First Instance essentially upholds the Commission’s decision finding that Microsoft abused its dominant position," the court’s statement said.

Microsoft’s top lawyer said it was important now for the company to comply with EU competition law, but that it had not yet decided on its next legal steps.

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Bank’s U-turn on student charges

A student campaign using the social networking website Facebook has forced an international bank into a U-turn over charges.

HSBC is to abandon plans to scrap interest-free overdrafts for students leaving university this summer.

Thousands of students on Facebook had threatened to boycott the bank. The National Union of Students said this made all the difference to the protest.

The HSBC bank said it was not too big to listen to its customers.

Many students said they had joined the bank in the belief that they could take advantage of such a free overdraft to tide them over between leaving university and starting work, the NUS said.

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UK hacker loses extradition fight

A British man has lost his High Court fight against extradition to the US for allegedly carrying out the "biggest military computer hack of all time".
Glasgow-born Gary McKinnon, of north London, is accused of gaining access to 97 US military and Nasa computers.

Home Secretary John Reid granted the US request to extradite him for trial.

At the High Court in London, his lawyers argued the 41-year-old had been subjected to "improper threats" and the move would breach his human rights.

His lawyers had argued that, if extradited, he would face an unknown length of time in pre-trial detention, with no likelihood of bail.

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