Saturday, April 21, 2007

Bits And Pieces

According to a survey by and America Online, the average U.S. worker wastes 1.86 hours per eight-hour workday -- and we're not talking about lunch breaks. This is actually down 11% from last year.

What does it mean? Well, it might bode well for our American economy if workers are putting their noses to the grindstone more. But it might bode poorly for companies that profit from employees goofing off, such as eBay and Time Warner's America Online. Travel-related companies, such as frequently beleaguered airlines, might want to look into offering traveling accommodations for a new class of customer: garden gnomes.

A garden gnome named Edgar mysteriously disappeared from its perch in Fulton, Mo., in May, only to return this month, accompanied by a packet of 56 photos of Edgar in Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Arizona, and elsewhere. His voyage evokes an advertising campaign by Travelocity and demonstrates how motivating some ads can be.

American corporations, beware of the lottery! Sure, it's destructive to individuals and their families when thousands of dollars are pinned to exponentially dismal odds. But it's dangerous to business, too. Consider the Sargento cheese company of Wisconsin. Recently, some 100 of its employees won a $209 million Powerball jackpot. Any or all of them might walk away from their jobs now, at any moment. This kind of occurrence could wipe out some small businesses.

Job training is a critical component of business success. According to the Weekly World News, a 19-year-old soda jerk misunderstood his job title -- he threatened to put an ice cream store out of business by insulting and ignoring customers and serving them lousy milkshakes. After the owner intervened, the teen explained, "It was a misunderstanding. I thought soda jerk meant that I was supposed to be rude to the customers. I figured it was all a show to entertain them."


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

MySpace to enable members to sell music

By ALEX VEIGA, AP Business Writer will soon enable members of the popular online social networking hub to sell downloads of their original music directly through MySpace Web pages, company executives said.

The initiative, which is still in a test phase, has the potential to turn millions of computer users, many of them independent or aspiring artists already using the site to build a fan following, into online music retailers.

Los Angeles-based MySpace was expected to formally announce the venture and its partnership with San Francisco-based Snocap Inc., which developed the technology, on Tuesday.

Chris DeWolfe, MySpace's chief executive, said the online music venture is a logical progression for the Internet portal, given changing trends in the music industry that have made it more affordable for bands to make quality recordings and make them available online.

"A band in Iowa can now reach out to fans in Los Angeles," DeWolfe said Friday. "Now they have a great way to reach out to 6 million fans. Now they can actually sell their music on MySpace in an area where their fans congregate in a very contextual manner."

MySpace says it hosts Web pages for more than 3 million recording artists, from groups as big as U2 to newly minted garage bands. They often post up to four songs at a time on their MySpace sites that visitors can listen to, but not download or buy without leaving the site, if at all.

The new Snocap-powered feature will enable bands to outfit their MySpace site with an interface through which computer users may browse the bands' songs and buy them in the copy-protection free MP3 format, MySpace said.

The bands will be able to set the price for each track, with MySpace and Snocap taking a cut of the sale. And their fans or friends on MySpace will also be able to place the online music storefront on their pages, potentially widening exposure for the bands.

MySpace and Snocap officials declined to say what percentage of each transaction goes to the companies.

"The distribution fee is small, it's evolving and we're continuing to structure it as we go," said Rusty Rueff, Snocap's chief executive. "What we're trying to do right now is keep the costs as low as we can."

To get their music ready for sale, bands will have to upload their songs to Snocap's online music database. Once cleared by the company — a process to ensure someone isn't trying to sell music to which they don't own the copyrights — the tracks are available for purchase, Snocap said.

The online music feature is expected to be widely available in the United States by the end of the year, DeWolfe said.

Phil Leigh, an analyst with Inside Digital Media, said the marriage of social networking on MySpace with online retail should make a powerful combination for bands.

"There have been bands that have gotten onto MySpace that are not signed to any labels and have created quite a buzz," Leigh said. "This is the next logical step, to start selling."

A handful of bands have been testing the MySpace online music feature for several weeks.

One is The Format, an indie rock band from Phoenix, Ariz., that boasts more than 99,000 "friends" on their MySpace page.

Terry McBride, chief executive of Canadian label Nettwerk Records, which manages the band and handles their marketing and promotion, said having fans help sell the band's music is the wave of the future.

"We have a strong belief the next major retailer in music is the consumer themselves," McBride said. "This is a step in the right direction."

Nouvelle �tude - a obtenu d'aimer des enfants pour obtenir des femmes
Lyrics To My Favorite Song

Monday, April 16, 2007

Surfcontrol just found another spoofware that exploits Google Toolbar

Ok, boys and girls, this just hit the newswire, but it's very important news for your PC wellbeing (and yours too). Apparently Surfcontrol just found another spoofware that exploits Google Toolbar:

Scammers have set up an exact copy of the download page for Google's Toolbar plug-in in an attempt to lure users to download a Trojan backdoor.

Reported by security outfit Surfcontrol, some versions of the scam even spoof the correct Google Toolbar web address for Internet Explorer, using Google's own redirection service in an attempt to hide the real, non-Google address.

The Trojan itself--W32.Ranky.FW--is designed to turn the PC into a bot zombie, and is spread using the conventional technique of asking recipients of a spam e-mail to follow an embedded link.

According to Surfcontrol, the version detected by the company fails because of poor programming of defective compilation, but it remains a proof-of-concept in how to attack users using a simple combination of convincing elements.

Outwardly simple, the scam has a clever combination of tricks. Although using parts of established Web sites is standard in phishing scams, it is relatively unusual to go to the length of reproducing en entire page precisely, in combination with a convincingly-spoofed web address.

The fact that the spammed e-mail appears to come from Google could convince recipients to follow the link.

Assuming that a re-engineered version appears--highly likely--once infected, users will notice nothing untoward, although their PCs will have become part of a bot-controlled network.

Google has been attacked in similar way before. Last September, scammers faked the Google search page itself in order to aid the spread of a worm.

More recently, a Trojan attacked the company's adsense advertisements, replacing them, in-browser, with fake ones on any PC infected with the malware.

2007 Anti Cheap Discount Software Virus