'Open Cloud Manifesto' is a manifesto that lays out a number of principles for open cloud computing, reportedly setup by a group of Web service providers, IBM inclusive. However, the biggest names in the field, say they aren't signing on. Microsoft and Amazon in a blog post clearly opted out of the group.

Amazon said in a statement, Friday night: "Ideas on openness and standards have been talked about for years in Web services. And we do believe standards will continue to evolve in the cloud-computing space. But what we've heard from customers thus far, customers who are really committed to using the cloud, is that the best way to illustrate openness and customer flexibility is by what you actually provide and deliver for them."

While, Microsoft on its part, objected to the fact that it was shown the document just last weekend, not allowed to make changes, and given just 48 hours to decide whether to sign. In the blog post, Microsoft's Steven Martin commented, "What we heard was that there was no desire to discuss, much less implement, enhancements to the document, despite the fact that we have learned through direct experience. Very recently, we were privately shown a copy of the document, warned that it was a secret, and told that it must be signed 'as is,' without modifications or additional input."

Martin wrote that "it appears to us that one company, or just a few companies, would prefer to control the evolution of cloud computing, as opposed to reaching a consensus across key stakeholders (including cloud users) through an 'open' process."

Reuven Cohen, a notable proponent announced in the Google Group Post, that the first version of the manifesto which will be published Monday, March 30th with a goal of being ratified by the greater cloud community.

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Security firms warn that the popularity of social networking makes it a preferred target for Hackers seeking vital individual data. ‘It ‘s been a pretty bad week for Social networking in general,’ said Rik Ferguson, senior security advisor at Trend Micro.

Facebook has been hit by five separate issues in the early week of the month. By creating fake messages padded with details of Facebook members, hackers are capitalizing on the trust and social links that drive the networks. The rogue applications on Facebook tries to steal saleable information from the profiles of those who open it. One malicious application tried to trick members into adding it by claiming that their contacts were having problems looking at their profile. If the application is added, it spam itself to every Facebook friend the member has.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at anti-virus software developers SOPHOS, in a Blog post stated, ‘ that one of the problems of social networking sites, Facebook in particular, is that it allows anybody to write applications and such third party apps are not vetted for, before they are released to the public. It’s a growing trend, though surprisingly, it took so long before social networking sites are targeted.

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Browsers War Heated Up With New Releases

Posted by Unknown | March 21, 2009 |

The launch of Internet Explorer 8, By Microsoft, with Google's release of a new beta version of Chrome, and the debut of Mozilla's Fennec, the mobile version of Firefox heated up the browsers war this week. Google's and Mozilla's latest browsers make copious use of JavaScript to gain a speed advantage, but that selling point could turn on them. More scripting makes it easier for someone to execute a cross-site scripting attack, one of the more popular ways of hijacking a computer. With IE8, Microsoft takes a different route to speed, which may give it a security edge, for a change.

Security has been the bane of Internet Explorer in the past -- and now, thanks to their penchant for Javascript, it may become the bane of Chrome and Firefox. The perceived fear is that the increased speed of the new browsers that depend on heavier user of JavaScript will only make things easier for hackers.

Although IE8's security promise has already been marred to an extent -- it was hacked the day before its official rollout -- it may escape the potentially serious fallout from using JavaScript. IE8 was cracked at the 10th annual CanSecWest conference in Vancouver, Canada, Wednesday by a hacker who identified himself only as "Nils." To be fair, the first browser to go down at the hacking contest at CanSecWest was Apple's Safari.

One of the new features in Internet Explorer 8 is a cross-site scripting filter, which will help protect users and systems, Microsoft says.

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Privacy Controls Now Available For Facebook Users

Posted by Unknown | March 18, 2009 |

According to a blog post on Monday by Mark Slee, an engineer at Facebook, Facebook is giving its users greater control over just how private they want their profile, updates, photos and videos. "One of the top priorities at Facebook is offering privacy controls that let you choose exactly what you share with whom," said Mark Slee. "Starting today, you can choose to make your profile and any of your content available to everyone on Facebook. None of your existing privacy settings have changed. This is an additional setting for those of you who wish to share with a broader audience.

Facebook fired a shot across Twitter earlier this month with the announcement that its public profiles have been updated to allow users to share personal information with an unlimited number of friends. And the new Facebook setup also will enable businesses, organizations or even celebrities to blast out information to customers, members or fans.

This latest change enable users to now edit their privacy page and change the setting to "everyone" if they want to open their content up to the public. Facebook will now be able to see any part of the profile opened by the user for public viewing.

However, some special rules remain in place about who can see your profile if you are a minor, people generally won't need to be friends with you or share a common network in order to view your content.

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Twitter's OAuth Now Open To All Developers

Posted by Unknown | March 17, 2009 |


OAuth is an open standard for online authentication. It enables a user who stores information such as a password on a particular Web site to then authorize yet another site to access that data, whereas the user's identity is never shared with that site.

It allows developers to create third party apps that can access a user’s account information without requiring them to hand over their log-in credentials. Before now, Twitter applications have required users to enter their usernames and passwords.

Twitter's OAuth interface is now open to all developers, enabling more secure access to the service via its application programming interface from third-party Web sites according to an announcement by Twitter's API leader, Alex Payne.

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Facebook has introduced a new public profiles for celebrities and organizations in a redesigned Homepage. According to a post on Facebook Official Blog, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO - explained that the changes were necessary as the need to find relevant and recent information has grown. However, the move is seen by many as an attempt to compete with the real-time messaging offered by Twitter.

"The new home page will let you see everything that's shared by your friends and connections as it happens," Zuckerberg explained. Also noted are changes in the grammatical restructuring of Facebook status messages. Previously, Facebook user status messages had to begin with the user's name. Users had no choice but to make themselves the subject of their messages, a stricture that contributed to the site's association with frivolous activities.

Unlike Twitter, users can follow what other Twitter users say without forcing the followed person to reciprocate. Whereas, FaceBook still imposes a two-way friendship model, where both parties need to agree to be friends.

The revised Facebook Pages, offers public profiles designed for famous people and organizations, making them more like individual profiles, with a comment Wall and status updates. Among the public figures with Facebook Pages are U.S. President Barack Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, singer Britney Spears, and cyclist Lance Armstrong.

The redesigned Facebook is billed for launch next week, albeit, the preview has been made available.

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Yahoo Introduces New Search Products

Posted by Unknown | March 01, 2009 |

Yahoo in a quest to boost the value of its ads display and search inventory has introduced new ads products – which promises better targeting by taking into account users previous web activities.

According to Yahoo Executives, the ads display business can now show users more appropriate ads by taking into consideration where they ‘ve recently surfed or searched. For instance, the new search targeting allows brands to serve ads to users who have recently conducted searches for particular keywords – thereby boosting the relevancy of such ads significantly by taking into account users self-stated interest.

Similarly, Yahoo ‘s enhanced re-targeting product delivers personalized ads to users who have recently visited specific content or e-commerce site.
Yahoo Officials believe this new product takes classic behavioural targeting to the next level by delivering ads messages that showcase highly specific offer-driven ads.

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