Sandy is a disaster, but these photos are ridiculous

As almost everyone knows, Hurricane Sandy is bearing down on the East Coast, and when all is said and done, its likely to leave a wide, expensive, and potentially fatal path of destruction in its wake. Yet despite a massive number of legitimate photos of the storm being uploaded to every social network you can think of -- including 10 a second to Instagram -- a number of sensational photos seem to be dominating the conversation.

The photos show incredible images like the eye of the hurricane floating over the top of the Statue of Liberty. Or of a very … Read more

Wikipedia now totally free to mobile users in the Middle East

A full 25 million mobile users in the Middle East can now use Wikipedia without worrying about data charges.

The Wikimedia Foundation and Saudi Telecom (STC) have teamed up to offer the free access through a program known as Wikipedia Zero. The goal behind this initiative is to help people in developing countries more easily get information through Wikipedia. Many users in these countries surf the Internet via mobile devices, so the Wikimedia Foundation tries to work with local carriers to eliminate data charges and other obstacles.

The foundation has given high priority to Arabic-language countries but has reached out … Read more

A who's who of Mideast-targeted malware

What's up with all the malware aimed at the Middle East?

For the second time in two weeks a virus outbreak has been reported at an energy company in that region. Qatari liquified natural gas producer RasGas said its corporate network and Web site were down after getting hit by a virus on Monday. Earlier this week the Saudi Aramco oil company confirmed that its network was hit by a virus two weeks ago, shutting down 30,000 workstations. Neither company identified the virus, but in at least one of the cases it is believed to be malware known … Read more

Entrepreneur sees tech startup potential in Arab world

In a region plagued by religious tensions and violent political strife, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Nima Adelkhani sees economic opportunity.

Through Progress in Technology Middle East, a company that launches today, Adelkhani plans to connect startups in the Arab world with the American technology industry's movers and shakers, part of a larger plan to help a fledgling ecosystem grow and foster stability in the area.

But let's be clear -- Adelkhani doesn't see any of the 27 businesses he is working with as charity cases. These are ideas that bring him goosebumps because he believes they are original … Read more

Flame can sabotage computers by deleting files, says Symantec

The infamous Flame virus can delete files from a computer and is likely the cause of a cyberattack against Iran in April, according to new findings.

Flame was originally identified for its ability to steal data and capture information from keystrokes, PC displays, and audio conversations.

But a new component of Flame uncovered by security firm Symantec gives its operators the power to delete important files from compromised computer systems, Symantec researcher Vikram Thakur revealed yesterday.

Such power means that the virus can disrupt critical software and "completely disable operating systems," Reuters reported based on Thakur's findings.… Read more

Flame virus could attack other nations

The Flame virus recently found in Iran could be used to infect other countries, according to the International Telecommunications Union.

As the United Nations agency charged with helping members protect their data networks, the ITU plans to issue a warning about the danger of Flame.

"This is the most serious (cyber) warning we have ever put out," Marco Obiso, cyber security coordinator for the ITU, told Reuters. The warning will paint the virus as a "dangerous espionage tool that could potentially be used to attack critical infrastructure," Reuters added.

Flame was recently identified as a culprit … Read more

A new polish for Chromebook and Chromebox

In today's show, we test Google's new operating system, chirp goodbye to Nextel, and pay our Russian bills with green pigs:

The reviews are out for Samsung's new Chromebook and Chromebox, running on the newly updated Chrome OS. And the bottom line is that it's better than the last version, but still not all that impressive. (Especially since the Chromebook has limited capabilities and costs more than a tablet.)

The Nextel network will officially be killed-off in June of 2013, and Sprint is pushing Nextel customers to use Sprint Direct Connect devices.

There's a new … Read more

Massive targeted cyber-attack in Middle East uncovered

A complex targeted virus has been discovered stealing data in the Middle East, security researchers announced today.

The malware -- dubbed Flame -- has been operation since 2010 and appears to be state-sponsored, Kaspersky Labs said today, but it was not sure of its origins. Flame is designed to steal information about targeted systems and stored files as well as computer display contents and audio conversations.

"The complexity and functionality of the newly discovered malicious program exceed those of all other cyber menaces known to date," Kaspersky Labs said in statement announcing the malware's discovery.

The virus … Read more

Facebook to inaugurate new office in Dubai

Facebook plans to open its first Middle East office in Dubai next week, according to the Associated Press. This United Arab Emirates city is considered the Silicon Valley of the region and so it makes sense that the social network would put its Persian Gulf hub here.

With 80 percent of users outside the U.S. and Canada and more than 70 languages being used on the social network, Facebook has a massive global presence. Besides several offices throughout the U.S., the company also has 18 international offices, from Auckland to Hyderabad to Tokyo. Its international headquarters are in … Read more

RIM plans to open its first Middle East retail store in Dubai

With slumping sales in the West, Research In Motion has plans to go to the East. The BlackBerry maker is in the process of opening retail stores throughout the Middle East starting in Dubai, according to Bloomberg.

"We're getting the first one up and running and then we'll be looking at other cities across the Middle East -- Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar," Sandeep Saihgal, the managing director of RIM's Middle East business, told Bloomberg in an interview earlier this week.

The Dubai store in the United Arab Emirates will be the flagship shop and Bloomberg … Read more