A Good Reason To Go Full-Time SSL For Gmail

A tool that automatically steals IDs of non-encrypted sessions and breaks into Google Mail accounts has been presented at the Defcon hackers’ conference in Las Vegas.

Last week Google introduced a new feature in Gmail that allows users to permanently switch on SSL and use it for every action involving Gmail, and not only, authentication. Users who did not turn it on now have a serious reason to do so as Mike Perry, the reverse engineer from San Francisco who developed the tool is planning to release it in two weeks.

When you log in to Gmail the website sends a cookie (a text file) containing your session ID to the browser. This file makes it possible for the website to know that you are authenticated and keep you logged in for two weeks, unless you manually hit the sign out button. When you hit sign out this cookie is cleared.

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Intel Releases USB 3.0 Specs

Intel has provided chipset makers with a draft specification for a USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller Interface (XHCI), making good a promise it made a couple of months ago.

You might have thought that was the job of the chipset makers, but Intel's taken on the task itself to ensure, it hopes, the rapid roll-out of USB 3.0 - aka SuperSpeed USB. To that end, it's making the draft spec available under a licence that requires no royalties to be paid.

USB 3.0 is set to deliver
data-transfer speeds of up to 5Gb/s, initially over tweaked connectors and wiring and, later, over optical links.

XP Still Killing Vista in Sales

Microsoft Distorts Vista Sales Figures

While Microsoft excitedly tries to sway public opinion by touting that Windows Vista License sales top 180 Million units, Hewlett-Packard (HP) was busy smacking Microsoft down -- reportedly shipping PCs with a Vista Business license but with Windows XP pre-loaded in the majority of business computers sold since the June 30 Windows XP execution date established by Microsoft -- casting a lot of doubt over how many copies of Vista have actually been sold.

In other words, Microsoft counts a sale for Windows Vista even though the computer manufacturer actually sold Windows XP. It's kind of ironic when you realize how desperate Microsoft has become to gain public acceptance for the dying operating system. Dell and other computer manufacturers are reportedly also shipping computers 'downgraded' to Windows XP.

Microsoft has told HP they won't be able to do that after January 2009, but HP is already discussing how to push that deadline back with Microsoft. Feedback from HP customers reveals that they hadn't had the time to do full compatibility testing of all their business applications with Vista and the high time and monetary costs of rebuilding system images wasn't worth it, especially in this economy.

Blu-Ray Bites The Dust Too

In other news, consumers do not want Blu-ray, says a research firm. A consumer survey done by ABI Research revealed that over half of the 1000 respondents had 'other priorities,' to buying a Blu-ray player, saying that they had no plans to purchase one; a further 23% are likely to buy, but not until sometime in 2009.

ABI Research principal analyst Steve Wilson said that there wasn't much value proposition seen in a Blu-ray player or in content "Consumers were happy to embrace standard DVD when that format arrived because the improvement in quality over VHS videotapes was dramatic. Standard DVD didn't require the purchase of a new TV either.

In contrast, while half of the respondents to our survey rated Blu-ray's quality as 'much better' than standard DVD, another 40% termed it only 'somewhat better,' and most are very satisfied with the performance of their current DVD players." Another reason cited was that a Blu-ray investment also dictates an HDTV purchase, something consumers are reluctant to do.

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