Show of 2-2-2008

  • Profiles in IT: David Filo and Jerry Yang
    • David Filo and Jerry Yang were co-founders of Yahoo.
    • Yahoo is an acronym for Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle.
    • This is another company borne out of the entrepreneurial tradition of Stanford.
    • Jerry Yang
      • Jerry Yang was born in 1966 in Taiwan with the given name Yang Chih-Yuan
      • His father died when he was two.
      • His mother was professor of language and drama.
      • The family moved to San Jose, CA in 1976
      • He changed his name to Jerry Yang to become sound more American.
      • He received both a Bachelors and Masters Degree from Stanford in 1990
      • He enrolled in the Stanford PhD program in engineering.
    • David Filo
      • David Filo was born in 1966 in Wisconsin.
      • He family moved to Moss Bluff, Louisiana when he was six.
      • He was the second youngest of six children.
      • He received a Bachelor’s Degree from Tulane University in 1988 and a Masters Degree from Stanford in 1990.
      • He then enrolled in the Stanford PhD program in engineering.
    • They were both bored with designing chips and circuits in their EE program.
    • They began categorizing web sites as a way to keep track of sites useful (cool) the they found on the Internet.
    • In April 1994, they co-created a website called Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web.
    • This website was later renamed Yahoo.
    • Yang and Filo insist they selected the name because they liked the general definition of a yahoo: "rude, unsophisticated, uncouth".
    • Yahoo became very popular,
    • Yang and Filo realized the business potential and co-founded Yahoo! Inc. in April 1995.
    • They took a leave of absence and postponed their doctoral programs indefinitely.
    • Yahoo went public in 1996.
    • Yahoo! started off as a web portal with a web directory to providing an extensive range of products and services for online activities.
    • It is now one of the leading internet brands and has the most trafficked network on the internet.
    • Until the company recently decided to switch to PHP from Filo’s Server Program, written in C.
    • Both Jerry and David have a net worth that exceed $2 billion.
    • Jerry Yang is serving as Yahoo CEO
    • The company has recently been eclipsed by Google in the online advertising business and its stock has been slumping.
  • Microsoft Offers to Buy Yahoo
    • Microsoft Corp. announced on February 1st that it has made a proposal to the Yahoo! Inc Board of Directors to acquire all the outstanding shares of Yahoo! common stock for per share consideration of $31 representing a total equity value of approximately $44.6 billion.
    • Microsoft’s proposal would allow the Yahoo! shareholders to elect to receive cash or a fixed number of shares of Microsoft common stock, with the total consideration payable to Yahoo! shareholders consisting of one-half cash and one-half Microsoft common stock.
    • The offer represents a 62 percent premium above the closing price of Yahoo! common stock on Jan. 31, 2008."
    • Whether Yahoo! accepts the offer, or enters into negotiations, remains to be seen.
    • The deal is primarily focused on the bringing together of Microsoft and Yahoo!’s advertising platforms, but the other services that form part of Yahoo! certainly add another dimension to the deal.
  • Netscape Navigator is Dead
    • After 13 years, AOL has finally decided to discontinue any further development and technical support for Netscape Navigator, the first commercial browser on the internet.
    • The support would be ON till 1st Feb ?08. AOL, the owners of Netscape have decided to develop Netscape as an advertising business instead of the development and maintenance of the software.
    • The software would be available for use, but there would be no further security or software updates.
    • The small pool of users who still use Netscape are advised to download and use Mozilla FireFox instead.
    • The decline of Netscape navigator started in 2002, when Microsoft saw a huge potential in the Web Browser market and started giving out Internet Explore, as a bundled package with the Windows Operating System.
    • Netscape initially developed on a platform called as Mosaic, the internet very first browser, that could display both images and text at the same time.
    • It went through various updates, and the latest version was Netscape 9.0.
    • However the present Netscape version was just a skin of Netscape on the Firefox platform.
  • Undersea Fiber Optic Cables Cut
    • A ship that tried to anchor off the coast of Egypt in bad weather on January 30, 2008 severed to undersea fiber optic cables
    • The severed cable has left the Middle East and India struggling to communicate with the rest of the world.
      • The fibre optic wires in question – called Flag Europe-Asia and Sea-Me-We 4 – are some of the most vital information pipelines between Europe and the east.
      • The latter, which runs in an uninterrupted line from western Europe to Singapore, had only recently been opened after a mammoth £500m, three-year installation project.
      • Between them, the two lines are responsible for around 75% of all connectivity in the Middle East and south Asia.
    • According to reports, 75 million people with only limited access.
    • Since then phone and internet traffic has been severely reduced across a huge swath of the region, slashed by as much as 70% in countries including India, Egypt and Dubai.
    • While tens of millions have been directly affected, the impact of the blackout has spread far wider, with economies across Asia and the Middle East struggling to cope.
    • Governments have also become directly involved, with the Egyptian communications ministry imploring surfers to stay offline so business traffic can take priority.
    • But as backroom staff at businesses across the globe scrambled to reroute their traffic or switch on backup satellite systems, experts said the incident highlighted the fragility of a global communications network we take for granted.
    • A third fiber optic cable was cut on Friday, February 1st.
      • This cable runs through the Suez to Sri Lanka
      • The cable, known as Falcon, delivers services to countries in the Mediterranean and Gulf region.
    • Traffic was rerouted to another cable in the UK and US.
  • Website of the Week: Sysinternal Suite
    • Web Address: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/
    • This is part of the Microsoft Tech Net
    • The Sysinternals web site was created in 1996 by Mark Russinovich and Bryce Cogswell to host their advanced system utilities and technical information.
    • Microsoft acquired Sysinternals in July, 2006.
    • Sysinternals utilities can help you manage, troubleshoot and diagnose your Windows systems and applications.
      • File and Disk Utilities for viewing and monitoring file and disk access and usage.
      • Networking Utilities that range from connection monitors to resource security analyzers.
      • Process Utilities for looking under the hood to see what processes are doing and the resources they are consuming.
      • Security Utilities include security configuration and management utilities, including rootkit and spyware hunting programs.
      • System Information Utilities for looking at system resource usage and configuration
      • Miscellaneous Utilities include a collection of diverse utilities that includes a screen saver, presentation aid, and debugging tool.
    • The Sysinternals Troubleshooting Utilities have been rolled up into a single 8MB file that can be downloaded from MS.
  • Networked Nation: Broadband in America 2007
    • The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today released the report, ?Networked Nation: Broadband in America, 2007.
    • It highlights the dramatic growth of broadband in the United States.
    • According to the report , as of December 2006, broadband service was available in 99 percent of the nation’s zip codes, encompassing 99 percent of the nation’s population.
    • The total number of broadband lines in the United States has grown from almost 6.8 million lines in December 2000 to 82.5 million in December 2006, according to the report.
    • By December 2006, 91.5 percent of ZIP codes had three or more competing service providers and more than 50 percent of the nation’s ZIP codes had six or more competitors.
    • Competition in the broadband marketplace is intense and growing, and this competition is helping to drive down prices and increase the quality and variety of services for consumers.
    • With the dramatic increase in broadband availability over the past few years, consumers now have a myriad of choices.
    • For a copy of the report, go to www.ntia.doc.gov.
  • 2008 Open Source Year
    • People and businesses everywhere are finally recognizing Open Source software’s potential for cost savings and ease of use.
    • Open Source software means that the programmers of the software have made the software source code "open" to other programmers to contribute, change or improve upon.
    • The software is then distributed to the end user(s) for free. That is a simplified definition, but the at the heart of Open Source is the Open Source Initiative, which makes clear that it isn’t enough to share the source code, you must also give the contributing programmers the right to use your code.
    • Web sites everywhere have popped up over the last few years to help people find Open Source solutions to their software needs. Open Source solutions to popular proprietary brands like Microsoft Office, such as Open Office and Neo Office, have continued to appear on user computers all around the world.
    • Recently the Netherlands adopted Open Source technology as the preferred software for their government to use. For a government to deem Open Source an acceptable and cost effective alternative to proprietary software is a huge step in making Open Source practices more mainstream.
    • Brands such as Adobe that operate under an licensing status and a high cost structure could find themselves slipping as Open Source solutions like Splashup become more and more mainstream.
    • Users that prefer the perceived comfort zone found in boxed proprietary software will ensure that the proprietary software always has a place on shelves, however small it becomes, but a revolution is coming in how people find and use software.
    • The Open Source movement will have a great impact on proprietary brands, causing them to rethink their price structures and the inflexible product code distribution.
  • SANS Top Ten Cyber Security Menaces for 2008
    • Source: http://www.sans.org/2008menaces/
    • Increasingly Sophisticated Web Site Attacks That Exploit Browser Vulnerabilities – Especially On Trusted Web Sites
    • Increasing Sophistication And Effectiveness In Botnets
    • Cyber Espionage Efforts By Well Resourced Organizations Looking To Extract Large Amounts Of Data – Particularly Using Targeted Phishing
    • Mobile Phone Threats, Especially Against iPhones And Android-Based Phones; Plus VOIP
    • Insider Attacks
    • Advanced Identity Theft from Persistent Bots
    • Increasingly Malicious Spyware
    • Web Application Security Exploits
    • Increasingly Sophisticated Social Engineering Including Blending Phishing with VOIP and Event Phishing
    • Supply Chain Attacks Infecting Consumer Devices (USB Thumb Drives, GPS Systems, Photo Frames, etc.)