'Badtrans' worm tracks keyboard strokes
Anti-virus companies are warning of a computer worm that records keyboard activity and could allow malicious hackers to steal passwords or credit card numbers that are typed into an infected machine. The worm, called "Badtrans," arrives in an e-mail that may contain the text "Take a look to the attachment" and will contain an attachment that is 13,312 bytes in length, according to McAfee.com. The worm is configured to run on some computers even if the recipient does not double-click on the attachment. The worm attempts to send out copies of itself through Microsoft e-mail programs, and it installs a "Trojan" program that tracks keystrokes. McAfee.com and Symantec.com both have Badtrans listed as high-risk.
Yahoo plans video e-mail service
Struggling Web portal Yahoo is looking to video e-mail for one way to make some extra money. The Sunnyvale, Calif., firm has signed a deal with Spotlife Inc. to provide technology allowing Yahoo e-mail users to send a video clip without having to attach a file to the message. The service will be free, but Yahoo is hoping it will generate solid advertising revenue. Users will upload video clips no longer than 30 seconds to Spotlife's servers, which then will compress and store the videos. E-mail recipients will get a link instead of an attachment, and they will be able to watch the clips in a special Spotlife viewer.
Some tech workers leave the biz behind
Career counselors in Silicon Valley estimate that as many as one-third of the current crop of displaced high-tech workers is likely to ditch the industry altogether, reports the San Jose Mercury-News. Patti Wilson, a Los Gatos, Calif., career counselor told the newspaper: "They're not willing to do the 24/7 rat race that they were doing before. People are stepping back from that." The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have played a role, counselors said, and people want to ensure they will have more fulfillment outside of work. "Coming out with a little bit better software product is not what they were thinking about in making a contribution to their community," said Paul Greenblatt, a career counselor in Palo Alto, Calif.
Clearance sales thrive online
The Web has become a favorite place for companies to sell their returned, refurbished, damaged or overstocked merchandise, according to The New York Times. Because there are fewer middlemen, retailers are recouping more on clearance goods than they were a decade ago. At least one site has built its business on reselling the stuff that neither a retailer or a customer wants anymore. ReturnBuy.com's warehouse in South Caroline accepts returned products on behalf of manufacturers and sells them on consignment in online auctions. Company co-founder Jeffrey Rogers told the Times: "No one wants these goods back. It's a marketing, sales and logistics problem all rolled into one."
British gallery goes for blips and bleeps
London's Barbican Gallery is preparing a show that will trace the 40 years of video game history and examine the links and differences between gaming in Japan, Europe and the United States. The exhibition, titled "Game On," will run from May through September. The 250 expected exhibits will feature game prototypes, original artwork and specially commissioned pieces of art. The gallery's resident curator, Conrad Bodman, told the BBC that the exhibition would "explain crucial developments in hardware technology, from the primitive, colossal computers of the early 60s to the (Nintendo) GameCube."
Education industry has rosy online outlook
Enrollment in online college courses is jumping, and the education industry is taking notice, according to Business Week. The University of Maryland University College, the University of Phoenix Online and the U.S. Army are some of the success stories. UMUC saw its enrollment in online courses rise to 63,000 in the past academic year, an increase of 50 percent. The for-profit University of Phoenix saw its revenues increase to $181 million for the fiscal year that ended Aug. 31, with profits hitting $32 million. The Army's eArmyU, meanwhile, has enrolled more than 10,000 soldiers since its inception in January. Participants receive a free laptop computer, a printer and 100 percent of their tuition costs. The Army expects enrollment to increase to 80,000 by 2005, according to Business Week.
AOL hits 32 million mark
America Online said Monday that total worldwide subscribers to its AOL service have passed the 32 million mark. The company, a unit of AOL Time Warner, credited the increase to the release of its new version 7.0 software, which has been downloaded about 7 million times. America Online said AOL users average about 70 minutes online daily. The company also offers a discount Internet access service through Compuserve.
Spacey loses case in pursuit of domain name
Actor Kevin Spacey is the latest celebrity to take a domain-name dispute to court, but the star of "K-Pax," "The Usual Suspects" and other films didn't get much support from a California federal judge. District Judge Gary A. Feess ruled that Spacey cannot take ownership of www.kevinspacey.com without purchasing it unless he sues in a Canadian court. The domain name's current owner is a Canadian, Jeffrey Burgar, who has had disputes with other celebrities, including Celine Dion, Jodie Foster and Mariah Carey. In his suit, Spacey called Burgar "an infamous cybersquatter" and said the site was being used for commercial purposes. Under U.S. federal law, a domain that uses a person's name cannot be sold for profit, but the owner does not need permission from the person in order to use the domain. The kevinspacey.com site currently is labeled "unauthorized" and contains a copy of the court decision.
(Compiled by Joe Warminsky in Washington.)