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Tech Roundup: TCP/IP and iPhone Security Vulnerabilities, Internet Radio Temporary Resuscitation, Microsoft to Build European Research Centers, and More

Researchers claim new networking vulnerability -- A couple of researchers are claiming that they've discovered flaws in TCP/IP protocol stacks that hackers could use to unleash new denial of service (DoS) attacks on Internet-connected computers. The results supposedly could range from crashing a device to forcing the administrator to reboot the computer, even after the attack was over. The researchers haven't released any details, so there's that lingering question of whether they are right or not. However, they supposedly come across as knowledgeable and, unhappily, no TCP/IP implementation seems to be invulnerable and switching to IP v6 is also useless. And I thought it took a dot-oh version of an operating system to accomplish that level of mischief. [Source: Ars Technica]

Internet radio gets another shot -- There's a reprieve, at least temporarily, for web radio services as the Senate joined the House to pass the Webcaster Settlement Act. The law, if signed by the president, will allow the online stations to renegotiate royalty rates for the music they play. Of course, it was the federal government, in the form of the Copyright Review Board, which originally hiked the fees to a level that caused companies like Pandora.com and Live365.com to complain that they'd be put out of business. The webcasters have until Feb. 15, 2009 to negotiate new rates with SoundExchange, the organization that collects the royalties and distributes them to the record labels. Rock on. [Source: New York Times]

Microsoft to build European research centers -- Microsoft says that it will build search technology labs in the U.K., France, and Germany, employing several hundred people. CEO Steve Ballmer isn't saying how much the company is investing, but it's bound to be less, and might create more good will, than getting into monopolistic practice tousles with the EU and paying humongous fines. Hailed as a vote of confidence in Europe's economy, it's also hard to forget that as the dollar strengthens and economic malaise seems to spread across the Continent that it might end up being cheaper than hiring extra help back home. [Source: New York Times]

Researcher points out iPhone email security flaws -- Security researcher Aviv Raff says that he's found two email security problems on Apple's iPhone. One is automatic downloads of images in an email because users cannot configure the email system to blog images from non-trusted sources. The other occurs when reading emails in HTML mode. A message with an embedded URL could have a link that is actually different from the listed URL. This is true for any email program, and what you do is hover the cursor over the link to see the real intended address. But the iPhone's screen is small enough that it can truncate the real URL, and neither the email program nor browser has an anti-phishing filter. Raff says that he told Apple a couple of months ago and they said they were working on fixes, but haven't come out with anything. Maybe someone put the Apple developers under one of the company's infamous NDAs and they couldn't take any action, lest they accidentally inform the public. [Source: InfoWorld]

IBM launches Cognos 8 v4 -- IBM has announced the latest version of Cognos business intelligence software. The company says that the new package makes it easier for business users to find and use information, whether at a desktop or on a supported mobile device. There is also a facility to let organizations get a better view of their financial performance, which makes us think that much of Wall Street is simply not going to have the heart, or stomach, to look at the moment. [Source: Company press release]

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