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Security

8x8 Patent Reissued

February 14, 2008

8x8 the parent of Packet8 has been reissued a patent 6,483,532 entitled, "Video-Assisted Audio Signal Processing System and Method."

The patent relates to an arrangement for controlling audio signal transmissions for a communications system that includes a microphone and a video camera.  The reissued patent is dated February 12, 2008 and contains eleven new claims which strengthen the company's intellectual property rights related to this invention.

The company has been awarded over 71 patents so far in the fields of voice, storage and video. This portfolio probably did not seem so important a few years back but today it is crucial to have as we have found that telcos are beginning to wield their patents as weapons and smaller companies like VoIP Inc. are using them as a way to generate revenue.

Patents are like sports. The best defense seems to be a good offense.

Blogged via wireless handheld







Senate Approves Surveillance Measure

February 13, 2008

Earlier today the U.S. Senate defeated an Amendment to strike the provisions providing immunity from civil liability to electronic communication service providers for certain assistance provided to the Government.

The White House-backed surveillance measure, which grants legal immunity to companies alleged to have helped the government's warrantless spy program, passed the Senate yesterday. Now the battle shifts to the House of Representatives, where the House bill passed last year doesn't include a provision to immunize phone companies. The law that currently governs government surveillance is set to expire at the end of this week.

New VoIP Security Problem

February 12, 2008

Tom Keating alerted to me a new phone hack which is for now targeting SNOM IP phones.

The big hack involves the ability of some VoIP phones to make phone calls from the Web interface using a simple web POST request. The Snom 32x supports this feature which along with some security vulnerabilities is what GNUCitizen exploited to have some real fun, like ya know, making an outbound call using a spoofed CallerID.

Hackers will need the IP address of the phone being targeted to launch the attack, but using a simple scanner they can use a cross-site scripting attack to hack the phone’s built-in management interface.

Illegal stuff a hacker can do:
  •  Steal the phone history from the logs including any other details attached to the calls via XHR.
  •  Poison the address book with a persistent XSS - the name is encoded correctly but not the phone number.







What Caused the Blackberry Outage

February 12, 2008

UK Threatens to turn off Web Access

February 12, 2008

Social Networking Decline

February 12, 2008

While social networks are still massive and generally doing well, there are more more reports of people getting fed up with such networks because they get too many friend requests and are not happy with the new advertising methods the sites use to generate revenue.

For example sharing a person's buying behavior is not making users of such services happy.

Today, the Wall Street Journal has an article that Bill Gates has stopped using FaceBook. The sad fact is that Microsoft has invested in the company.

While I have complained in the past about getting a few friend requests a day on such networks, Gates receives 8,000 each day. This is absolutely astounding and explains why he would want to leave the service.

The article also goes into the fact that you cannot ever delete your information on some of these networks.

Certainly, all this bad press can't be good for the likes of MySpace and FaceBook and could signal a broader trend that the world has lost interest in such sites.









Mobile World Congress Key Terms

February 10, 2008

As you may know, Mobile World Congress kicks off this week and to get the ball rolling the event has put out some of the key terms you will be hearing more about this week. I have posted them here with their definitions in case you need to brush up on your acronyms.

Also be sure to check out the Mobile World Congress News Page to stay up to date on the show.

3G

3G, or third-generation, is loosely defined as offering high data speeds, always-on data access and greater voice capacity, enabling operators to offer customers fast internet access, live, streaming video and other multimedia or "converged" applications over a wireless network. There are several 3G technology standards.





Is AT&T a Runaway Winner?

February 6, 2008

Is AT&T going to win the IP services wars? I get the feeling they are really doing a fine job in this regard and will only do better over time. Jon Arnold agrees and in a  recent article he talks about how well AT&T is doing but also explains how in the new world of Internet Protocol communications, there will be mistakes and successes along the way.

He discusses, events that took place at ITEXPO and explores standalone versus bundled services while mentioning Verizon, Covad, XO, 8x8, Cbeyond and many others. There is good insight here and this article is worth a read.

Here is an excerpt:

Moving further along the spectrum, however, these two pieces begin to diverge, and the incumbent carrier must share the pie with competitors and over-the-top operators.






Undersea Cable Cuts

February 5, 2008

The iTunes PIA

January 29, 2008

So a while back... I don't even know when, I somehow downloaded Quicktime. It was back in the days when Apple was the company we all felt sorry for. Perhaps a decade or so ago.
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