• United States
by Staff Writers

Recording industry warns net owners

Feb 24, 20034 mins
Enterprise Applications

Plus: Departing Microsoft exec praises open source; Google buys Pyra; Domino security flaws explained; Asia will have more developers than North America.

The Record Industry Association of America, in conjunction with the Motion Picture Association of America, last week mailed a brochure to the Fortune 1000 companies that warns them to prevent copyright abuses on their computers and networks or face consequences. The guide suggests that companies should advise employees against unauthorized copying of music and videos, because doing so puts employers in legal jeopardy. RIAA noted that companies can face stiff fines for violations. For example, Integrated Information Systems paid a $1 million settlement last April when employees were found to be accessing and distributing music files on the company server.

Microsoft must embrace the diversity of open source software or face oblivion, David Stutz, a departing Microsoft executive, wrote in his farewell letter to the company when he retired last month. Stutz, a respected technical thinker at Microsoft, sees networked software as the future for computing. “If Microsoft is unable to innovate quickly enough or to adapt to embrace network-based integration, the threat that it faces is the erosion of the economic value of software being caused by the open source software movement,” Stutz wrote in the letter that he posted on his Web site.

“Useful software written above the level of the single device will command high margins for a long time to come. Stop looking over your shoulder and invent something!” he wrote to Microsoft. “If the PC is all that the future holds, then growth prospects are bleak.” Microsoft said in a statement that it “agrees with much of the vision Dave [Stutz] has for the future.” However, the company added that it believes “breakthrough innovations will come mostly from commercial software companies such as Microsoft.”

Search powerhouse Google has acquired Pyra Labs, the company behind Weblog site Blogger, giving it a boost in Web content and services. The acquisition, which was disclosed in a posting on the Blogger site, also will let Google leapfrog into the burgeoning Weblog market, which has been gaining steam as increasing numbers of ‘Net users discover the ease of use and flexibility of online publishing. Weblogs are Web pages consisting of short, frequently updated posts, much like a diary. Four-year-old Pyra Labs, which is in San Francisco, has managed to make a significant foothold in Weblogging – also known as “blogging” – growing its base of registered users to more than 1 million. The basic service is free, although the company does have a premium version. Terms of the deal were not announced.

Three security flaws could let attackers run malicious code on machines running IBM’s Lotus Domino or iNotes software. Next Generation Security Software, a consulting company in Sutton, England, disclosed the flaws last week. Using a vulnerability in the iNotes messaging software, a remote attacker could gain control of a Domino server by providing an overly long value in a request for Web-based mail services. A second vulnerability affects the Domino 6 application server software. Using the flaw, an attacker could create a buffer overrun by supplying false and excessively long host names in a request for a document or view that is stored in a Lotus database. After triggering the overrun, attackers could execute their own code under the account running the Domino Web Service process, gaining control of the Domino server. A third vulnerability, found in an ActiveX client control used by the iNotes software, allows an attacker to execute malicious code on a remote machine that is attempting to use iNotes Web-based messaging features. The vulnerabilities, which were found in Release 6.0 of Lotus Notes and Domino, have been patched by IBM in the 6.0.1 maintenance release.

The region with the highest number of developers in the world soon will be changing, according to IDC. While North America claimed this top spot in 2001, IDC is predicting that by 2005, Asia-Pacific will have the most people employed in the field. Over the next five years, the growth in this region – particularly in China and India – is expected to be much greater than in North America.