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Kaspersky update hoses Internet access for Windows XP users

Windows XP users who run certain Kaspersky antivirus software may find themselves offline after downloading a new update.

Released yesterday, the update causes Windows XP computers to lose their connection to the Internet.

IT administrators who use Kaspersky Endpoint Security at their organizations chimed into the Kaspersky forum yesterday and today complaining of connectivity problems. One person who manages around 12,000 computers with KES installed noted a slew of calls to the help desk from users knocked offline.

Some IT admins said they were able to restore Internet access by shutting down the monitoring of certain ports or disabling … Read more

Yahoo Chief Marissa Mayer gives birth to baby boy

Yahoo's Marissa Mayer brought a baby boy into the world last night, according to a tweet by her husband, Zachary Bogue.

"Baby boy Bogue born last night," announced the proud father. "Mom (@marissamayer) and baby are doing great -- we couldn't be more excited!"

Mayer had tweeted news of her pregnancy in mid-July, shortly after being appointed as Yahoo's new CEO. She revealed to Fortune Magazine that she spilled the beans to the company's board of directors in June and that no concerns were raised.

Mayer is also eyeing a short and … Read more

Comcast reportedly prepping a 305Mbps Internet service

Watch out, Verizon. Comcast may be making a play for Fios customers with the lure of faster download speeds.

The cable carrier is reportedly prepping a 305Mbps downstream service slated to reach markets currently covered by Verizon's Fios high-speed service by year's end.

Citing a "reliable source," Web site Broadband Reports said that Comcast streamed a live event to employees this week detailing future plans for its Xfinity service. Besides discussing the Olympics and more Spanish language programs, the carrier's president and CEO Neil Smit dropped hints about a faster service "soon" to … Read more

Will you sign the Declaration of Internet Freedom?

Do you believe the Internet needs protection against censorship and other threats? If so, then you may want to join in on the new Declaration of Internet Freedom.

Launched by a large coalition of privacy groups, Web sites, and individuals, the Declaration of Internet Freedom is the start of a process striving to keep the Internet free and open. The organizations and people who kicked off this process are looking for other Internet users to discuss the ideas, share their own thoughts, and sign the declaration.

"We've seen how the Internet has been under attack from various directions, … Read more

Comcast expands Internet access for more poor families

Comcast is ramping up its Internet Essentials program to cover more low-income families and students eager to get online.

Launched last September, the program provides cheap Internet access, low-cost computers, and literacy training to poor families and their school-age children.

Families who have at least one child getting a free lunch through the government's National School Lunch Program (NSLP) have been able to receive 1.5-megabit-per-second broadband Internet for only $9.95 a month, compared with the $41 that Comcast typically charges.

Detailing the program in a blog post this week, Comcast noted several accomplishments, such as promoting the … Read more

Vint Cerf: Internet access isn't a human right

Although some countries around the world argue that Internet access is a fundamental right, one of the "fathers of the Internet," Vint Cerf, doesn't see it that way.

"Technology is an enabler of rights, not a right itself," Cerf, who is also a Google's chief Internet evangelist, wrote yesterday in an editorial in The New York Times. "There is a high bar for something to be considered a human right. Loosely put, it must be among the things we as humans need in order to lead healthy, meaningful lives, like freedom from torture … Read more

2011 ends with almost 6 billion mobile phone subscriptions

The number of mobile phone subscriptions has reached 5.9 billion, an impressive figure in a world of 7 billion people.

Surveying the mobile and online landscape in 2011 for a year-end report (PDF), the International Telecommunications Union found that mobile phone subscriptions have now penetrated 87 percent of the entire world and 79 percent of all developing countries.

Among all those mobile phone users, mobile broadband subscriptions number almost 1.2 billion. Such subscriptions have jumped 45 percent each year for the past four year and now outnumber fixed broadband subscriptions by 2 to 1.

To push forward with … Read more

Mobile devices bigger time suckers than papers, magazines

Mobile devices have surpassed magazines and newspapers in grabbing our time each day, says a new study from market researcher eMarketer.

On average, U.S. consumers now spend around an hour every day with their mobile phones, a 30 percent rise from last year.

In contrast, people are spending only 44 minutes a day reading newspapers and magazines, a small drop from last year. But the results stemming back from 2008 show a sharp rise for mobile devices and a steady decline for print publications.

Despite the popularity of mobile devices, people are still spending much more time watching TV … Read more

VC funding: Don't believe the WSJ's naysayers

If you read the Wall Street Journal, you could be forgiven for thinking that the venture-capital market is starting to crack at the seams. It's a striking premise, all right. Just one problem: it's wrong.

Earlier today, the WSJ reported that argued startups are now having more trouble raising cash than in the not-so distant past. The Journal pointed to Naval Ravikant, an entrepreneur and operator of AngelList, a site that lets nascent companies ask VCs for capital, who said that even though 50 to 100 startups are applying for funding each day, "only one to two … Read more

Amuse shelter cats with online remote-control toys

I'm writing this article with a large rescue cat draped across my keyboard (yes, it's hard to type). Not every feline is as fortunate to have a home.

Animal shelters have tried out kitty Webcams to boost adoption rates. AprioriControl is raising the bar with iPet Companion, interactive online kitten playrooms that put viewers in control of feathery, flighty, and fluffy cat toys.

The kitty playrooms are currently up and running at shelters in Idaho, Iowa, and Oregon. I stopped off at the site for the Clinton Humane Society in Iowa where kittens named Dori, Nemo, Marlin, and Bruce rolled, tumbled, and attacked the remote-control toys.

Each shelter determines certain play hours. You may end up in a short queue when you drop by to play with the furry critters. The toys are attached to motors. Push the button on your browser to make them dance and whirl.

When it's your turn, you also control the direction of the Webcam. A live chat box lets you join in all the ooing and cooing from other users. You'll see gems like: "they r sooo cute lookit the kittys look it look it." It's easy to turn into a pile of text-speak mush when you're watching kittens play.… Read more