Sunday, December 7, 2008

Amir Khan wins world lightweight boxing title

Amir Khan clinched the vacant WBA international lightweight title on Saturday with a second-round stoppage of Ireland's Oisin Fagan.

Referee Mickey Vann stepped in to end proceedings after one minute and 37 seconds of the round.

The victory was Khan's 19th in 20 fights and restored the 2004 Olympic silver medallist's reputation which had been so badly damaged by his 54-second loss to Colombia's Breidis Prescott in September.

That was the sixth time the 21-year-old had been knocked down and raised doubts over his ability to challenge for a major belt.

Earlier, Welshman Enzo Maccarinelli made an explosive heavyweight debut when a series of vicious body shots blasted Mathew Ellis into submission in the second round.

Maccarinelli's planned WBO world cruiserweight title clash with Francisco Alvarez fell through when the Puerto Rican failed a medical but Ellis stepped in on Friday.

Audley Harrison's world title aspirations were left in tatters after Belfast taxi driver Martin Rogan edged their heavyweight clash with a points decision over the 2000 Olympic gold medallist.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Share the (photographic) wealth! Now you can share your orkut photos with whoever you want

It seems like pretty much everyone knows at least one person who loves photography. The orkut team is no different– Navneet, one of the orkut engineers, is absolutely obsessed with taking pictures. Whenever we leave the office, he immediately whips out his camera and starts snapping photos of everything in sight. (I once caught him taking a close-up picture of my left foot– needless to say, I was not pleased.) All of these photos are of course uploaded to orkut, where he invites his orkut friends to compliment him on his artistic prowess. Like any budding artiste, however, our Navneet is constantly seeking exposure to a wider audience. To help Navneet share his "gift" with the world, and to help all of the rest of us stay connected with our friends who don't have orkut accounts, we're excited to announce a new photo sharing feature on orkut. Now you can share your orkut photos with all of your friends who have email addresses, whether they use orkut or not.

Here's how it works:

When you create an album, go to the "share with" drop down menu and choose "only selected friends". In addition to being able to enter the names of your friends on orkut who you want to share photos with, now you can include the email addresses of all of your friends who aren't on orkut as well.

If you decide that you want to share or stop sharing an album that you've already uploaded, just click on the blue "Share Album" button to add/remove whichever friends you want from your "Currently Shared List."

All of the non-orkut friends that you've included in the list will be emailed a special URL bringing them to your photo album. As this is a limited-access orkut page, your non-orkut friends will not be able to view your profile or any other part of orkut unless they join the site.

Keep in mind that non-orkut friends who receive the link to your orkut photo albums can (and, if your photos are interesting enough, probably will) forward it on to other people who may also want to check your photos out. The only way to ensure absolute privacy over your photos is to restrict your album to specific orkut friends, as we showed you in the last blog post.

So, whether you want to share your graduation glamour shots with all of your friends and relatives (even the ones who've never used orkut), or have photos from the party that you threw last weekend that you'd rather limit to just a few people, photo albums on orkut now give you the ability to choose.

As Navneet can attest to, sharing photos is too much fun to limit just to orkut users. So get out there and start inviting all of your friends, family, and coworkers to join in the experience with you!

Source Orkut Blog.

Two Pakistanis in last eight at international women tennis

Two Pakistani players among eight have entered into the quarter-finals in the second leg of the ITF Pakistan Women Futures Tennis Tournament here at the PTF Tennis Complex on Monday.

They are Sarah Mahboob and Meheq Khokhar, who have joined six others - Dipti Srivastava, Prerana Partahap, Treta Bhattacharyya, Jung Yoon Shin, Arthi Venkataraman and Prathad Prathana.

Pakistan’s top player Sarah Mahboob defeated Saba Aziz of Lahore in straight set 6-4, 6-0 while Meheq Khokhar beat Mehreen Izhar of Lahore in straight sets 6-1, 3-1.

The best ccontest of the day was seen between Prerana Prathap of India and Ushna Suhail of Pakistan.

The three-hour long encounter was finally won by Prerana 7 6 (2), 4-6, 6-4.

The other three set good match of the day was won by Venkataraman against Anushree. The match lasted two hrs and 30 minutes.

In the Doubles, Kim Hae Sung and Shung Yoon Shin of South Korea, Prerana Prathap and Prathana Prathap (India) and Arthi Venkataraman and Archana Venkararaman (India) moved into the second round of Women’s Doubles event by winning their respective matches.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Apple suggests Mac users install antivirus software

In what appears to be a first, Apple is recommending that Mac users install antivirus software.

But don't read this as an admission that the Mac operating system is suddenly insecure. It's more a recognition that Mac users are vulnerable to Web application exploits, which have replaced operating system vulnerabilities as the bigger threat to computer users.

Apple quietly signaled its shift with an item titled "Mac OS: Antivirus utilities" posted on its Support Web site November 21:

"Apple encourages the widespread use of multiple antivirus utilities so that virus programmers have more than one application to circumvent, thus making the whole virus writing process more difficult."

The item offers three software suggestions: Intego VirusBarrier X5 and Symantec Norton Anti-Virus 11 for Macintosh, both available from the Apple Online Store, and McAfee VirusScan for Mac.

Brian Krebs, who first reported on the Apple antivirus recommendation Monday in his Security Fix blog at The Washington Post, said an Apple store employee told him he didn't need antivirus software when he purchased a MacBook three months ago.

For years, Apple has enjoyed a period free from concern over viruses, while Windows has been blasted with viruses that were written to make the biggest impact by targeting the dominant OS platform.

Microsoft's software patch releases are watched closely by the entire industry. The company overhauled its own software development practices and constantly urges Windows users to install and update antivirus and other security software.

Meanwhile, Apple's message has been that Mac users are immune to viruses, as evidenced by this television ad.

It's unclear exactly what prompted this move at Apple. Apple representatives did not immediately respond to e-mails seeking comment on Monday.

Dave Marcus, director of security research and communications at McAfee, said Apple was reacting to the realities of the market, where Mac users are finding they are not immune to Trojans and other Web-based malware that malicious hackers write to steal data from computers.

"Apple is realizing that malware these days is targeting data, and valuable data exists just as much on an OS platform that is a Mac as it does on an OS platform that is Windows,"

he said.

Threats to applications are rising while exploits of operating system weaknesses are declining. Operating system vulnerabilities representing about 6 percent of disclosed vulnerabilities while more than 90 percent of vulnerabilities were found in applications, according to a Microsoft security report from last month.

Trojans that are secretly dropped on a computer from a malicious Web site are the most prevalent malware threat. In April, Microsoft reported a big spike--a 300 percent increase year-over-year--in the number and proportion of Trojan droppers that its Malware Protection Center detected and removed.

"The malware we see today is Trojans, password-stealing Trojans,"

Marcus said.

"They are little apps that are dropped onto the machine to do something. They don't infect files and copy themselves. They are looking for specific information and they send that information somewhere else."

Trojans, which often masquerade as legitimate applications like video players, exploit vulnerabilities in the application code or take advantage of a weakness in the browser, and thus can be equally threatening to Windows and Mac platforms, he said.

Although Windows is the more popular target, even for Trojans, there have been Trojans that target the Mac, including one that targeted porn surfers last year and one this summer called "AppleScript.THT."

Meanwhile, the biggest targets for application vulnerability exploits are Office and Internet Explorer, according to Marcus.

McAfee's antivirus software protects against viruses that target the operating system as well as Trojans and other malware that exploit weaknesses in the applications, "regardless of what type of way in it is using, via the browser, Word or Firefox," he said. (Marcus, however, didn't agree with Apple's advice to run multiple antivirus products on one computer, saying they would fight for resources and could run into conflicts.)

A Symantec spokesperson provided this statement when asked for comment:

"Symantec has long encouraged consumers to use a security solution, regardless of the platform, especially with the rise in platform-agnostic threats like malicious Web sites and online scams."

The changing threat landscape from one where attackers try to worm their way onto victim PCs through holes in the operating system to one where more attacks are coming at computers through the applications and browser should change the nature of the Mac versus PC security debate.

No platform can claim to be safe now.

"At the end of the day, they're (Apple is) advising people to be safe and take precautions,"

Marcus said.

"That's a prudent thing to tell people in Web 2.0 world."

Google reveals Chrome extensions plan

Google has published its plan to build into Chrome what is arguably its most requested feature: the ability to accept extensions that can customize how the open-source Web browser operates.

And guess what? Google's dependence on advertising notwithstanding, one of the extension examples the company points to is the ability to block advertisements.

The Chrome extensions document, spotlighted Saturday by Google programmer Aaron Boodman, doesn't include a timeline, but it does shed light on why the project is a priority for Chromium, the open-source project behind Chrome.

"Chromium can't be everything to all people,"

according to the document.

"User-created extensions have been proposed to solve these problems: the addition of features that have specific or limited appeal; users coming from other browsers who are used to certain extensions that they can't live without; bundling partners who would like to add features to Chromium specific to their bundle."

When Google launched Chrome three months ago, it promised a Chrome extensions framework. Extensions are a popular feature of Chrome's most likely rival, Mozilla's Firefox, and one very popular extension is AdBlock Plus.

And AdBlock makes a specific appearance on the list of extension uses that Google said it would like to support eventually:

• Bookmarking/navigation tools: Delicious Toolbar, StumbleUpon, Web-based history, new tab page clipboard accelerators.

• Content enhancements: Skype extension (clickable phone numbers), RealPlayer extension (save video), Autolink (generic microformat data--addresses, phone numbers, etc.)

• Content filtering: AdBlock, Flashblock, privacy control, parental control

• Download helpers: video helpers, download accelerators, DownThemAll, FlashGot

• Features: ForecastFox, FoxyTunes, Web Of Trust, GooglePreview, BugMeNot

Demand for extensions is real.

In an unscientific CNET News poll about why people don't use Chrome, about 19 percent pointed to the lack of an extensions feature. And on Google's issue tracking site for Chromium, a Chrome extensions feature is the top-requested item.

"Of all the Firefox plug-ins, this is the one essential one,"

said Firefox user Ole Eichhorn.

"Chrome is faster until you factor in all the cruft that gets downloaded as ads, then it isn't faster anymore. When Chrome supports AdBlock, it will be the winner, but until it does, Firefox is the only choice."

In its document, Google described some of its goals for Chrome extensions. The extensions should silently update, just like Chrome does. They should be isolated for security reasons and only get access to resources it's entitled to use. Installation should be easy, taking only two clicks.

They should permit rich user interface options--rich enough to implement some parts of Chrome as extensions, Google said. Among the interface options should be "toolbars, sidebars, content scripts (for Greasemonkey-like functionality), and content filtering (for parental filters, malware filters, or AdBlock-like functionality)," Google said. Some interfaces will require the user to grant specific permissions, such as "access to the history database" or "access to," Google said.

Google will play a major role in extensions, providing a central service that can be used to issue updates and to blacklist "malicious or harmful extensions" so the browser won't use them.

"It's likely in the future we may want to provide a consumer front-end which would allow users to more easily find the most popular, highest quality and trustworthy extensions,"

Google also said.