Upgrade Flash Now: 90 Percent of Windows Hosts Vulnerable

If you’re a heavy Internet surfer and are using Windows, you are probably vulnerable to a bunch of vulnerabilities in Adobe’s Flash Player without knowing it. A new version of the popular software has been just released, fixing seven flaws said to allow remote executable code to be run on a Windows system.

From Infoworld here:

Adobe has upgraded its Flash Player to fix seven vulnerabilities in its software widely used for interactive Web pages and banner advertisements.

Adobe classifies the patches as “critical” and advises people upgrade to the latest version, All of the vulnerabilities could allow a hacker to execute code on a machine.

One of the vulnerabilities allowed Shane Macaulay to win a laptop in the PWN 2 OWN hacking contest at last month’s CanSecWest conference in Vancouver.

Macaulay, a researcher with the Security Objectives consultancy, used the Flash flaw to break into a machine running Windows Vista. He later said 90 percent of computers worldwide were vulnerable.

Exploiting vulnerabilities in Flash software has become an increasingly popular vector for hackers to compromise machines for two reasons. Most Web browsers have the Flash Player installed, and malicious banner advertisements — which can achieve wide distribution on Web sites pulling ads from a network — can take advantage of those vulnerabilities.

As the article points out, the real danger of these flaws comes from malicious websites hosting banner ads that run when you open a web page. Such ads could auto-execute against the flaws and install malware on your system. Note that using an alternate web browser won’t protect you against this threat.

As a blogger, I see lots of the blog spam by these attackers. Sure, they are just text and links in blog comments, but the real intent of those comments is to drive up page ranking in Google. This way the attackers can poison Google search results to trick you into visiting a webpage that hosts their malicious flash crap. That is one of the reasons why YOU need McAfee SiteAdvisor on your box to validate that those search results are actually good.

Van Der Led WM2 cellphone looks Darth Vader-like

Van Der Led WM2 Cellphone

Wow, you have to admit this thing is darn sexy… in kind of an evil way. In fact, I think it would fit Darth Vader’s outfit perfectly! The Van Der Led WM2 is a watch / cellphone hybrid that features a 1.3-inch, 260k color touchscreen, 1 GB of internal memory, and a 1.3 MP digital camera. The device supports Bluetooth connectivity, and apart from acting as a watch and a cellphone, it can be used as a media player as well. This little piece of mobile technology can be yours for only €300 (About $470). Hurry up and get yours now before the Galactic Empire decides to put their hands on the entire stock!

[Via Engadget]

When April Fool’s Jokes Infiltrate Wikipedia

By Patrick Biz
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

A lot of people are saying that Wikipedia is loaded with errors, and for good reason. Wikipedia contributors aren’t forced to verify their sources before posting anything, but if they were, it would greatly improve the quality of the online encyclopedia. Here’s a very good example of such a dumb error:

On March 31st, blogger Patrick Curl from There’s a Blog in my Soup, published an April Fool’s prank saying ProBlogger Darren Rowse is filling for bankruptcy. For those who don’t know Darren, he’s the man behind ProBlogger, one of the biggest blogs in the blog-and-make-money online niche. Darren has more than 45,000 RSS subscribers!

Guess what happened next? Someone who read the prank went to Wikipedia and updated Darren Rowse’s page, reporting the man is going bankrupt (see the very last line)! The information has no references, but still, it is still there as I am typing this post. If it’s gone by the time you read this, just check out the page history and look for the March 31st version @ 17:01.

Guys, it should be illegal to post April Fool’s jokes on March 31st ;-)

Must watch: 18 minutes with an agile mind

When American Astronomer Clifford Stoll speaks, you can’t really help yourself but listen. He may look and sound like a total nutcase, but take the time to listen to what he has to say, you’ll be glad you did. For the next 18 minutes, you’ll be listening to Mr. Clifford as he talks about things such as the atmosphere of Jupiter, computers in classrooms, KGB hackers, and many, many other things. Asking a men such as him to stay focused on a single subject would be pure folly, because as he says: “Once I do something, I want to do something else.” Enjoy the presentation!

New Segway RMP looks awesome, moves unnaturally

The new Segway RMP is a robotic concept vehicle that uses the same parts as a regular segway – it just uses twice as much of them. It can carry up to 400 lbs and can move smoothly in any direction from a central point, thanks to a set of very strange wheels. Wait until you see this thing in action… it actually looks a bit creepy.

Since the RMP is still a concept device, it’s not available for purchase yet, but we’ve heard that it might run for around $50,000, compared to about $4,500 for a regular segway model.

[via Make]

Fully automated restaurant gets previewed, no tipping required

I don’t know exactly why, but Germans have the reputation of having absolutely no sense of humor. Just ask Mark, our resident German contributor, he’ll tell you so. So if you’re planning to visit Germany during your next vacation and want to experience German gastronomy, don’t expect to get a smile from employees when going to the restaurant. However, if this really bothers you, you could always visit this cool automated Robo-Restaurant we’ve writen about in the past.

The last article we did only had a picture, but recently, a BBC news crew went to have a look at this unique concept and filmed the whole ordering process, from selecting what you want from the menu, to having your meal delivered to you via a rail system. Hit the more link below for the video preview.

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New Iron Man trailer: Run before you can walk

Since I saw the first Iron Man trailer a few months ago, I’ve been feeling like a little boy getting behind the wheel of his dad’s car for the first time. Ok, in this case, the comparison may be just a bit exaggerated, but you understand the feeling, right? Preview after preview, Paramount has successfully been able to build up the hype surrounding the movie, and today, they’ve done it again with a new trailer named “Run before you can walk.” Check it out below, and let us know what you think in the comments!

“Live Long and Prosper….Hello…Anyone there?”

By Mark O’Neill

There’s an interesting discussion over at Universe Today about whether we would be told by governments if aliens were to contact us via SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence).

Maybe I’ve watched too many science-fiction movies but I’ve always had the impression that if an alien race were to pop in for a chat, we would know about it pretty much right away. I mean, look at that movie with Mel Gibson when he found an alien in his kitchen. Try covering that one up!

But Universe Today raises an interesting question – if an alien species were to contact Earth, would governments choose to tell us or would they keep it secret for the sake of their economies and political agendas? Would an alien message unite the world or cause absolute mayhem?

In this day and age of technology, can an alien transmission really be kept secret or can anyone with a transmitter pick it up?