Wednesday, January 25, 2006

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Free phone calls AND free VoIP-In phone numbers all around the world

Opera Adds Free Phone Browser

Norwegian browser developer Opera Software introduced a free version of its mobile phone browser Tuesday, moving further away from its core business of desktop browsers and intensifying the company’s focus on the cell phone market where it has been growing rapidly.

The Opera Mini, as it’s called, previously came installed on certain models of smart phones from Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, and Kyocera. But the new version can be downloaded to almost any Java-based mobile phone, according to the Oslo-based company.

Hacker faces up to 25 years in prison

hacker in Los Angeles faces up to 25 years in prison for allegedly creating and spreading malicious code and making money from it.

Jeanson James Ancheta pleaded guilty to four felony charges in compromising a series of computers with a botnet, reports IDG News Service.

Botnet is a collection of software robots, or bots, which run autonomously.

A botnet`s originator can control the group remotely.

New Sounah Blog Launched

Chaaban , Fatima Blog , Amro Blog , Nada Blog , Kassem Blog , Saberah Blog , Ghinwa’s Blog , TaMoOrA Blog , Rayan's Blog , Rawde Blog , Tahirah Blog , Muslim Youth , Amouneh Blog

Internet Users Thinking Twice Before a Search

a former telecommunications engineer who lives in Oakland, Calif., was looking at BBC News online last week when she came across an item about a British politician who had resigned over a reported affair with a "rent boy."

It was the first time Ms. Hanson had seen the term, so, in search of a definition, she typed it into Google. As Ms. Hanson scrolled through the results, she saw that several of the sites were available only to people over 18. She suddenly had a frightening thought. Would Google have to inform the government that she was looking for a rent boy - a young male prostitute? !!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Sharon شارون

نقلت الاذاعة الاسرائيلية العامة عن مصادر طبية قولها اليوم الجمعة 13-1-2006م ان الوضع الصحي لرئيس الوزراء الاسرائيلي ارييل شارون الذي لا يزال في غيبوبة منذ تسعة ايام, "مقلق جدا".

وقالت الاذاعة ان "الوضع مقلق, مقلق جدا, لا بل مخيف", مشيرة الى ان "ساعة الحقيقة تقترب مع وقف اعطائه ادوية التخدير".
وتابعت المصادر "اذا لم يكن هناك اي مؤشر تحسن حتى الآن, فالامر يتطلب معجزة ليفيق شارون من غيبوبته العميقة ويعود الى وضع شبه طبيعي".

وقالت الاذاعة "بحسب التحليلات التي اجراها الاطباء, فانه كلما مر الوقت وبقي في غيبوبة من دون اي مؤشر استفاقة ومن دون ان يفتح عينيه وان يتعرف على اي شيء, فان فرص رجل في سن شارون بالاستفاقة والتصرف بشكل طبيعي ضعيفة جدا".

وتعرض شارون (77 عاما) في الرابع من يناير/ كانون الثاني لنزيف دماغي حاد خضع بعده لجراحة مطولة ثم ادخل غيبوبة عميقة بدأ الاطباء يوقظونه منها تدريجيا منذ الاثنين.

University sorry over cloning scandal

South Korea's top university has apologized for the scandal over Hwang Woo-suk's faked stem cell research, calling it a blemish on the country that embraced him as a national hero.

"I, as the president of the university, sincerely apologize to the public," Chung Un-chan, the head of the state-run Seoul National University, told a nationally televised news conference.
He called Hwang's fraud "an unwashable blemish on the whole scientific community as well as our country" and a "criminal act in academia."

The apology came a day after a university investigative panel confirmed that Hwang faked all of his human stem cell research, including his landmark 2004 claim in the journal Science that he cloned a human embryo and extracted stem cells from it. Chung said he would seek punishment for Hwang and other researchers on his team.

"I will deal with the situation strictly," he said.

The South Korean government has said it will withdraw Hwang's "top scientist" title - an honor created especially for him in the wake of his purported breakthroughs.

Hwang's research had raised hopes for using stem cells to develop new treatments of diseases from Alzheimer's to diabetes

The Arab-Israeli wars

Viewed as a “catastrophe” by the Arab world, the first Arab-Israeli war is seen by the Israelis as their war of independence.

On 14 May 1948, Britain relinquished its mandate over Palestine following a UN resolution from the previous year that called for the partitioning of the territory between the Arabs and the Jews.

Britain had emerged from the Second World war exhausted and war-weary and lacking the funds to maintain control of its colonial possessions.

1948: The first war betweenIsrael and Arab forcesThe partition plan was accepted by the Zionist settlers who declared Israel as an independent state. Many settlers were refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe, along with others who had fought against Germany in the Second World war.

All Arab countries, including Palestine, rejected the plan and declared their determination to destroy any creation of Israel in the heart of Arab land.

Faced by unanimous opposition, Britain refused to implement it and set 15 May as the date for ending its mandate. On the same day regular troops from Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq entered Palestine in support of the local Palestinian Arabs.

The Israelis, fighting for the existence of their new state against a poorly coordinated Arab front, proved the stronger force.

Abdel Halim Khaddam to form exile government

The former Syrian vice-president, a fierce critic of Bashar al-Assad, the president, says he is forming a government in exile and believes that al-Assad will be forced from power this year.


Abdel-Halim Khaddam, who now lives in Paris, told Germany's weekly Der Spiegel magazine on Saturday that al-Assad was facing growing pressure from economic problems at home and the international investigation into the killing of Rafiq al-Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister.

Khaddam, who accuses al-Assad of ordering al-Hariri's murder, said: "His fall has already begun. I don't think his regime will last out this year."

The former vice-president, for 30 years a confidant of al-Assad's late father, Hafez al-Assad, left the government in June.

He has been accused of treason and expelled from the ruling Baath Party after a series of verbal attacks on the president.

Khaddam told the Associated Press earlier this month he wanted political change in Syria, saying the Damascus government had outlived its time and was unlikely to survive much longer.

Asked whether he supported regime change in Syria, Khaddam replied: "Yes." He also said that he had no personal interest in leading the drive to remove al-Assad.

Intel inside Apple too

Apple Computer Inc's shift to Intel Corp microprocessors has come earlier than expected, with CEO Steve Jobs unveiling an updated iMac computer based on the world's largest semiconductor company's new two-brained chip.

The switch to Intel was first announced in June, when Apple said it expected to begin making the transition by the middle of 2006.

But on Tuesday, Apple CEO Steve Jobs was joined onstage by Intel CEO Paul Otellini, who was wearing a bunny suit, to make the announcement.

"With (the) Mac OS X (operating system) plus Intel's latest dual-core processor under the hood, the new iMac delivers performance that will knock our customers' socks off," said Jobs.

For years, Apple shunned Intel, which has provided chips that power a majority of the world's PCs, along with Windows software from Microsoft Corp. In the late 1990s, Apple even ran TV ads with a Pentium II glued to a snail.

Saddam trial chief judge to quit

Rizgar Amin, the chief judge in the trial of Saddam Hussein, plans to step down, a source close to the judge has said.

"He wants to withdraw," the source said on Friday. "He will oversee the next sitting and then announce his reasons for withdrawing."

Amin's next hearing is on 24 January.

Asked why the Kurdish judge, based in the northern city of Sulaimaniya, wanted to pull out of a trial that has made his face familiar around the world during long days of television coverage, he would say only: "It is too difficult."

The killing of two defence lawyers has already highlighted problems with the process in a country mired in a virtual civil war that pits Saddam's fellow minority Sunni Arabs against a US-backed government run by Shia and ethnic Kurds intent on hanging a man they say massacred their peoples.

Kidnapping and murder have become commonplace and human rights groups have questioned the wisdom of pushing ahead with a trial in Baghdad rather than an international process in The Hague or elsewhere.

Nuclear Iran: A matter of time

It is not a matter of if Iran will have the bomb - it is a matter of when. With that in mind, the US needs to re-examine its current policy towards Iran.

Iran's motive for becoming a nuclear power is not purely political.

Its desire to become the next nuclear power stems from a strong sense of nationalism and an equally strong distrust of US intentions. Since Iran's revolution, the US has predicted that secular Iranians would eventually reclaim their country from the mullahs.

Well, we are still waiting and the latest election actually brought an even more radical leader to Iran's presidency.

Even more telling is that secular Iranians are as adamant as radicals about their country having every right to nuclear technology.

This same nationalistic pride is also fuelling Iran's ambition to become a regional power. Now place yourself in Iran's shoes.

The US is occupying Iraq to your west, rebuilding Afghanistan to your east, and headquarters its Fifth Naval Fleet to your south.

Friday, January 13, 2006

ZAWAHIRI MAY BE DEAD: REPORTS

Pakistani military sources told American ABC television that five of those killed were "high level Al-Qaeda figures", and their bodies are undergoing forensic tests for identification.

They said Zawahiri, who is considered Al-Qaeda's second most senior figure after Osama bin Laden, may have been one of the victims. Zawahiri has been known to stay at houses in the village of Mamud, in the tribal zones of eastern Pakistan.

NBC television cited US defence sources who said the strike targeted Zawahiri, who has been indicted in the United States for his role in 1998 attacks on US embassies in Africa.

Residents in the village reported the attack earlier, and said 18 people were killed. But the US Defence Department has denied the US military carried out any attacks in the area.

"There is no reason to believe the US military is conducting operations there," said Lieutenant Colonel Todd Vician.

But the CIA is also known to conduct operations along the Pakistan- Afghanistan border in the hunt for bin Laden and his deputies. A medical doctor, Zawahiri has become Al-Qaeda's most senior spokesman in videos released in recent months, with bin Laden keeping a low profile.

He appeared in a new video released last week, leading some to believe that he has become the group's effective leader.

At least 18 people, including women and children, died as missiles struck the village of Mamund in Pakistan's northeastern Bajur tribal region bordering Afghanistan, residents said earlier.

Villagers said the missiles destroyed three houses, leaving five women, five children and eight men dead. Pakistan has deployed around 70,000 soldiers into the tribal areas in efforts to flush out Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters who fled Afghanistan after the US-led invasion in late 2001, who are believed to be hiding out in the region. The US placed a US$25 million bounty for Zawahiri after the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington

According to a report, "Shoppers choose Google"

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Online shoppers picked Google Inc. as their search engine of choice this December while making their holiday Web purchases, according to a report issued on Wednesday.

Internet measurement firm Hitwise found that 11.1 percent of all December shopping-related visits originated with Google, a 28 percent jump over last year.

But online auction giant eBay Inc was the biggest driver of traffic to shopping sites, generating more than 13 percent of retail traffic.


Search engines Yahoo! Search and Microsoft Corp.'s MSN Search drove 4.05 percent and 0.79 percent of retail visits, respectively.

BlackBerry will support Google's mapping and instant-messaging programs

NEW YORK (AP) -- BlackBerry e-mail devices will soon support the Google Talk instant-messaging and Google Local mapping programs, the handheld maker said Thursday, extending the Internet titan's push to put its services on mobile devices.

Financial details for the deal between Canada-based BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd. and search-engine leader Google Inc. were not disclosed.

Google Talk, due for launch before midyear, will not be the only instant-messaging service available on a BlackBerry. RIM itself offers BlackBerry Messenger for users of the device to chat, and certain carriers also offer some rival services. T-Mobile USA, a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG, offers the AIM and ICQ services from the America Online unit of Time Warner Inc. on BlackBerry devices, as well as Yahoo Messenger from Yahoo Inc.

The BlackBerry version of the popular Google Local service will let users view maps and satellite images, find local businesses, and get driving directions on their handsets. The Google Talk service requires a Gmail e-mail account. Both applications will be free, subject to any data-service charges from the wireless service provider.

Last week, Motorola Inc. said it will soon begin selling Web-enabled cell phones that feature easy access to Google's search engine by clicking on a button on the phone's keypad. Google is also the default search engine on Palm Inc.'s new Treo 700w smartphone.

Shares of California-based Google was off 2 cents at $471.61 in Thursday morning's Nasdaq trading. Shares of Ontario-based RIM were up 97 cents at $72.15.

file-sharing going legit

Over the last four months, several Napster heirs have shut down and others are contemplating what they once couldn't abide -- doing business by the entertainment industry's rules to survive.

"We can take a look at another four years of legal battles and spending millions of dollars on both sides, (but) is that where I want to spend the next four years of my life?" said Weiss, 53.

"It's better to focus the company's energy on creating new technologies."

StreamCast hasn't shut down Morpheus, but the company recently approached the entertainment industry to pursue talks about settling a lawsuit against the company, according to court documents.

Wayne Rosso, who built a reputation criticizing the recording industry as head of Grokster Ltd., is also pursuing a decidedly more cordial relationship with music labels as he prepares to launch a copyright-friendly file-sharing service.

"It's pretty clear who won," Rosso said.

"We always knew that this free trading of all this copyright material couldn't go on. It just wouldn't work."

Windows users pushed Microsoft to release patch

For more than a week, criminal hackers have been exploiting the flaw in some Windows graphics files, known as Windows Meta File, or WMF.


"While we would always like to have more time, we are confident in the quality of the update," wrote Mike Nash, corporate vice president for security at Microsoft in the Microsoft Security Response Center Blog.


"While there is no imminent threat, a number of customers are seeing exploit traffic hitting their AV (anti-virus), IDS (intrusion detection system) and IPS (intrusion prevention systems).


Until the patch release Thursday, the software giant had planned to make the fix available along with all its other security updates for this month on Tuesday, January 10.


There is a link to the fix on the Microsoft home page, which should protect Windows users from being infected with the malicious code.


Customers who use the "automatic updates" function will receive the patch automatically and do not need to take further action.


About 90 percent of computer users worldwide use some form of the Windows operating system.

Students prefer online courses

At least 2.3 million people took some kind of online course in 2004, according to a recent survey by The Sloan Consortium, an online education group, and two-thirds of colleges offering "face-to-face" courses also offer online ones.

But what were once two distinct types of classes are looking more and more alike -- and often dipping into the same pool of students.

At some schools, online courses -- originally intended for nontraditional students living far from campus -- have proved surprisingly popular with on-campus students.

A recent study by South Dakota's Board of Regents found 42 percent of the students enrolled in its distance-education courses weren't so distant: they were located on campus at the university that was hosting the online course.

Numbers vary depending on the policies of particular colleges, but other schools also have students mixing and matching online and "face-to-face" credits. Motives range from lifestyle to accommodating a job schedule to getting into high-demand courses.

Baby, you can drive my iPod

For automakers, this seamless integration comes at a cost. Apple exerts tight control over accessories for its music player through its "Made for iPod" licensing program. Dashboard integration with the iPod requires the ability to plug into the iPod's special dock connector -- and that, in turn, requires a license from Apple.

"Made for iPod" may be quite lucrative for Apple, with accessory makers reportedly paying 10 percent of the wholesale price of their wares for a license. Some observers have dubbed the license charge an "iPod tax." Apple has said that the license helps reassure accessory makers that the technical specs of the iPod dock won't change, rendering their products obsolete. In any event, Steve Jobs & co. could end up with a considerable revenue stream: Phil Magney, principal analyst at Telematics Research Group, estimates that 400,000 iPod-specific car audio accessories were sold in 2005 -- worth between $750 million and $1.5 billion at wholesale -- and he expects the market to grow to 6.8 million units by 2010.

How does Steve Jobs manage to have such influence over the proud auto chieftains of Detroit, Stuttgart, and Tokyo?

First of all, there's the runaway success of the iPod, with 42 million sold to date and 14 million sold in just the past three months. Sheer numbers have made the iPod a must-have auto accessory, and the iPod tax a small price to pay.

Telematics Research Group forecasts that by 2011, 28 million autos in the U.S. and 73 million autos worldwide will have iPod integration, up from just under a million last year.