Monday, April 30, 2012

1 World Trade Center Becomes the Tallest Building In NYC


darthcamaro writes "On 9/11, terrorists took the lives of thousands of Americans — and removed a pair of icons from the New York City skyline. For the last 10+ years, The Empire State Building was the tallest building in NYC, but that changed today. 'Poking into the sky, the first column of the 100th floor of 1 World Trade Center will bring the tower to a height of 1,271 feet, making it 21 feet higher than the Empire State Building.'"

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Posted via email from Tony Burkhart

Geraldine Mock - First female to fly globe solo to get statue in Ohio |

First female to fly globe solo to get statue in Ohio | Zanesville Times Recorder |

COLUMBUS -- A group is raising money to create a bronze, life-sized statue of the Ohioan who was the first woman to fly solo around the world.

Newark native Geraldine Mock's historic flight ended in Columbus 48 years ago, and supporters plan to honor her with the statue at a history center in her hometown.

Mock told The Columbus Dispatch she's surprised by the plan. She said she thinks of statues as being more "for generals or Lincoln," not generally for women.

The 86-year-old Mock now lives in Quincy, Fla., but her sister Susan Reid remains in Newark and thinks people had largely forgotten about Mock's accomplishment.

Reid said supporters have raised about half of the $45,000 needed for the project.

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Here it is… #MadeInTheUSA #MadeInAmerica - Flint and Tinder: Premium Men's Underwear by Jake Bronstein — Kickstarter

By yours today and help back an American Entrepreneur and the US economy. Show love for your country and package :)

Flint and Tinder: Premium Men's Underwear

About this project

Flint and Tinder is ...

1. Highest quality ingredients for SUPERIOR COMFORT and DURABILITY

2. 100% Made in America - SUPPORTS USA ECONOMY

3. Fairly priced

... help support by making this your next pair of underwear today.

Hey Kickstarter,

Thanks for checking out my project.

It’s been a wild ride, starting with my noticing that all of the underwear currently on sale at major department stores comes from other countries… and the vast majority is made with poor materials.

Before I knew it – and without much prior-knowledge – I was trying to find a US factory to make the superior product I had in mind. So far, so good. 

I've got the designs, sourced the fabrics and findings, and found a factory that needs this product as much as I need them... I just need $30,000 to get it going. 

Please support at whatever level you're comfortable with. We'll pay you back with some really fantastic underwear, crafted for comfort with super-high quality materials you’re going to love. If you’ve got the time though, be sure to read the info below as well, it’s wordy but worth it.

Ready for the best bit? Beyond this opening order, for every 1000 pair we sell per month, 1 full-time job is literally added back to the assembly line. Amazing, right?

Thanks for your support. - Jake





A few questions you're likely to ask... 

What makes this underwear better than the other stuff out there? 

We started with the highest quality materials for an unbelievable level of comfort, then spared no expense making sure the construction was built to last.

The goal is that, from the minute you first put them on through a lifetime of washing, you can feel the difference. That they were made in America should be the icing on the cake.

PIMA cotton vs SUPIMA cotton; What’s the difference there? 

PIMA cotton is some of the finest cotton on earth. It has extremely long, silky fibers that when properly spun produce a breathable, soft yet durable yarn. But garments labeled PIMA are known to have as little as 5% PIMA, with the remainder of the fibers coming from lesser, easier to produce cotton strains.

SUPIMA is a trademarked term referring only to American gown PIMA cotton. Using this term requires a license in which the governing body, which closely monitors and licenses every step of the process, certifies that 100% of the cotton used is SUPIMA.

Lets talk design... 

Yes, lets. We started by incorporating every feature you’d find on the most expensive pairs of underwear. With each prototype, we stripped away a little bit more, until we were left with a perfectly balanced garment; Simple in design, rugged in construction, refined in our selection of top-notch materials.

Where does the underwear I’m wearing right now come from? 

Hard to say without looking at your tag (even a single brand often manufactures in several different countries). Of the underwear available on shelves in Manhattan, here’s what some of their tags say:
2(x)Ist — Thailand
A/X — Peru
Adidas — Indonesia
American Eagle Outfitters — Macao
Banana Republic — Indonesia
Boss Orange — Egypt
Brooks Brothers — Thailand
BVD — El Salvador
Calvin Klein — Vietnam
Clayborne — Pakistan
David Beckham/H&M — Cambodia
Diesel — China
Emporio Armani — Thailand
Fruit of the Loom — Vietnam
Gap — Indonesia
Hanes — India
Hugo Boss — China
Izod — China
J. Crew — China
Jockey — India
Joe Boxer — China
Kenneth Cole — Thailand
Old Navy — India
Pact — Turkey
Polo / Ralph Lauren — El Salvador
Stafford — Thailand
Tommy Hilfiger — Indonesia
Under Armor — Cambodia
Uniqulo — China
Wrangler — China
etc. etc. etc. Only one comes from the US– American Apparel, but it’s poor quality, not hugely comfortable and falls apart in the dryer over time.

Will buying Flint and Tinder create American jobs? 

You bet your ass it will! And not in some vague way either…

The factory I'm working with is family owned and operated. It’s over 100 years old. Just before the recession hit, they moved into a larger facility and invested in some of the capital improvements shown in the video (solar power etc.).

At that time they had 300+ employees and were hoping to double or triple in size. When we started this project however, with the economy in free-fall, they were down to just 90.

They’ve agreed to learn to make this new, high-end brand of American-made underwear. Here’s the fun part though: For ever 1000 pair we sell per month, 1 full-time job has to be added back to the assembly line. Hopefully, with your support, it will help them keep the doors open.

Wait, how can you make a product here in the US (where labor costs are higher), using better materials, and still charge a competitive price?

Great question. It’s hard, but not impossible.

1—Flint and Tinder will sell direct to consumers through our own website. This will avoid the 100% mark-up most stores add to products.

 2—The next stop is wholesale, but with almost no mark-up on our end, making the final retail price about the same as what we sell them for online. Why would we sell our product in a way that lets stores profit while hardly making anything on the deal ourselves? Simple: It’s going to allow us to create an American alternative that sits on shelves right next to it’s foreign-born competitors at a competitive price. Doing this supports our manufacturing partners (as they’ll get to make more underwear), but it’s also good marketing since many customers  like touching products in a retail environment that they later order from the web (meaning we’ll get to sell more underwear online too).

Tony Burkhart

The Mozilla project is a global community of people who believe that openness, innovation, and opportunity are key to the continued health of the Internet.

Posted via email from Tony Burkhart

Sunday, April 29, 2012

This quarterback won't be drafted, and that's just fine -

This is the best football career story I've heard in a long time, and how I think 80% of them should go. Good on him!

This quarterback won't be drafted, and that's just fine

It's NFL draft weekend, yet Southern California's top draft-eligible quarterback will be one of the few fans not watching the marathon ESPN broadcast.

He and his four roommates can't afford cable television.

"I guess I'm not all that curious," Azusa Pacific's John van den Raadt says with a grin.

It's NFL draft weekend, a celebration of football bling, giant players walking across glittering stages in fancy suits, yet this area's best senior quarterback won't be dressing the part.

He doesn't own a suit. He doesn't even own a sports jacket. He shows up for this interview looking the part of a hotshot quarterback with a black Nike T-shirt and black Nike shorts — until you ask about his Nike deal.

"My deal is I bought the shirt for $6 and the shorts for $10 at an outlet store," he says.

No, he's not being drafted. No, he's not even ranked in the top 500 draft-eligible players in the country. Every draft geek is spending the weekend talking about the importance of picking quarterbacks, yet nobody seems to have any idea about this guy, who is the two-time national NAIA Independent offensive player of the year.

So why is John van den Raadt so darn happy?

"I never wish I was in those other players' shoes," he says. "I'm on a different journey."

On the weekend when the NFL goes about its annual decadent business making millionaires out of college kids who haven't been inside a college classroom in months, perhaps it's refreshing to remember that most student-athletes are, indeed, on a different journey.

John van den Raadt is not going to the NFL armed with a million-dollar contract; he's going to a life armed with a valuable degree and the invaluable perspective that four years of collegiate sports can bring.

"Adversity, sacrifice, getting up at 6 a.m. for workouts that I hated, all those things have made me a better person, and that's made Azusa football worth it," he says.

For the last four years, van den Raadt has not missed a snap while starting 40 consecutive games in an environment that, to him, was every bit as exciting as the one felt by Matt Barkley at USC. On TV this weekend, all of that will seem worth little as the 6-foot-3, 210-pound quarterback will go undrafted and seemingly unwanted.

Don't buy it. Van den Raadt isn't buying it. As with most college athletes, his payoff has not been in the destination, but in that journey.

"You know that NCAA ad campaign that focuses on all the student-athletes who are going pro in something other than sports? That's John," says Gary Pine, Azusa athletic director. "He might not play quarterback in the NFL, but his time at Azusa has prepared him to make a big impact on the world in other areas, and we're proud to be associated with him."

Van den Raadt feels he's already been impressively drafted, four years ago by Azusa, the school giving him about a half scholarship even though he had been a varsity quarterback for only one season at Jurupa Valley High in Mira Loma.

"Throw in some academic scholarship money and not much of my education came out of my own pocket, and you can't beat that," he says.

Van den Raadt feels he's already been wanted, by a football team that embraced him — even though he was so nervous when he was summoned to the field for his first college appearance that he ran out without his helmet.

"This has been the most fun experience of my life," he says. "You can't put a price on that."

Van den Raadt not only finished as the school's career passing leader with 6,639 yards, but also as its third-leading rusher with 2,696 rushing yards. After his final college game, he was offered a chance to attend one of those training centers where seniors hone their skills for the upcoming draft evaluations. But it meant missing school, so he declined.

"This is all about getting my degree," he says. "Nothing is more valuable than that."

You know how these top drafted players head to their new teams while proclaiming they are on a mission? After graduating in May with a degree in math and physics, van den Raadt is going on a real mission, leading a church group to the Dominican Republic to run a sports clinic. When he returns, he will either begin working on his teaching credential or a master's degree in architecture.

"Not everybody is made to be a millionaire," he says. "What I learned as an Azusa football player has prepared me for life, and that's rich enough."

OK, so John van den Raadt wasn't on national TV Thursday night, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell didn't hug him. So maybe somebody else should.

Posted via email from Tony Burkhart

Zanesville teen Emily Vanasdale recognized for her computing, academic skills | Zanesville Times Recorder

Stories like this give me faith in the next generation. It's inspiring to hear about intelligent, motivated children. Ones like Emily Vanasdale, that put their minds towards productive, positive goals and are determined to succeed are the ones who will blaze the path for other women in tech. 

Zanesville teen recognized for computing, academic skills | Zanesville Times Recorder |

ZANESVILLE -- If a virtual keyboard is in the future, Emily Vanasdale can't wait to see it being invented.

Or she might be the inventor herself.

Ever since she can remember, the 17-year-old Zanesville girl has had a keen interest in computers and how they work. At 3, she started experimenting with an old Mac, and by 11 she created her own website with games. The boom in technology has kept her busy in recent years thinking up new games and programs, and her hours in front of the computer have served her well.

Today, Vanasdale will be recognized as an Ohio winner of the National Center for Women and Information Technology Award for Aspirations in Computing at TechColumbus.

"I was one out of 10 (Ohio) girls awarded last year, and one of 15 this year," she said. "It recognizes me for accomplishments in areas like academics, technology and computing, volunteer work, etc. I'm both nervous and excited (about the ceremony), but I also feel empowered by my accomplishments. It's an honor, and I appreciate it."

NCWIT is a nonprofit coalition of more than 200 prominent corporations, academic institutions, government agencies and other nonprofits working to improve U.S. innovation, competitiveness and work-force sustainability by increasing women's participation in information technology. NCWIT's work spans kindergarten through 12th grade and higher education through industry and academic careers.

Leading up to her NCWIT recognitions, Vanasdale has successfully created games and applications that earned rave reviews. Her most recent project was an Android app for the Restoration that featured information about the event and links to bands' and speakers' pages.

She also produced winning games for Muskingum University's Games By Teens Contest. The contest began in 2009. Vanasdale took top-three spots each consecutive year -- second place in 2009 with "Running to Freedom," second place in 2010 with "Running to Freedom 2," and first place in 2011 with "Skylar Keyes and the Nazi Loot." They can be downloaded at

"They're all puzzle games suitable for all ages, and they have educational information," she said. "This is something I want to continue doing. I enjoy programming. I envision what I want to accomplish, get a picture of it, and put the puzzles together. I get ideas from school, movies, anywhere."

Demonstrating "Skylar Keyes," Vanasdale said the player needs to figure out the answer to each level to unlock the secret cave where Nazi loot is stored. The missing letters around the border form the answer, and the answer is also one of the items in each scene.

"She's a storyteller," her mother, Jessica Vanasdale, said. "She makes everything educational and family-friendly."

Family is an important thing to Emily. She picked up her passion for technology from her father, Jason Vanasdale. She said he owned a wireless business when it started taking off in Ohio and built computers from scratch.

She is homeschooled, and sets up shop in her "office area" in the family's basement. She'd also like to stay close to home as she goes on to pursue programming in higher education.

Technology is in Vanasdale's blood, and this is only the beginning of what she hopes will be a long, enriching experience.

"I've applied to Muskingum University, Mount Vernon (Nazarene University), and Ohio University Zanesville," she said. "I want to stay close to my family. After college I'd like to be a stay-at-home mom with a manageable business."

Emily and Jessica said they appreciate the doors that are being opened for women in the realm of technology. They also enjoy seeing the variety of girls recognized at the NCWIT awards and hearing their stories and perspectives. Emily is also passionate about promoting the program and exploration of technological possibilities to her peers.

"I encourage girls to get involved with it," she said. "Some don't get involved because they're afraid of sexism, but they need to fight it. Take a swing at it. There's a great future in technology, if it's used right."

Posted via email from Tony Burkhart

House burns during Palmer Fest street festival in Athens | The Columbus Dispatch

Must be a point of pride for OU grads. This thing gets more dangerous each year... and it's always centered around fire. WTF?! Chill out dudes. Party and hang, but skip the scorched earth mentality. You won't have a place to party, if you burn it all to the ground.

House burns during street festival in Athens

By  Wesley Lowery

FOR THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH Saturday April 28, 2012 10:11 PM

Greg Roberts The (Ohio University) Post

A reveler at Palmer Fest near Ohio University is helped after being overcome by smoke from a house fire.

ATHENS, Ohio — What could be the last year of Ohio University’s notorious Palmer Fest block party ended in flames when a house on Palmer Street caught fire tonight and emergency personnel cleared the street.

A witness said someone threw a cigarette through the basement window of 11 Palmer St. and the house began to burn around 7 p.m. Fire crews put out the blaze, then police moved in to clear the street where OU students and others were gathered for the street party that has taken place each spring for the past 21 years.

Residents of the house declined to discuss the fire. Firefighters said no one was injured.

Police in riot gear told revelers to “Get inside, or go!” By a little after 8 p.m., the street was cleared. Officers said anyone found outside would be subject to arrest.

The annual street fest is one of many weekly block parties held in Athens each spring and gained notoriety after it ended in riots in both 2009 and 2010. Partiers burned couches and chairs and pelted police with glass bottles during the party both years.

In what police deemed an “uneventful” party last year, more than 100 people were arrested for various offenses. Athens officials say final arrest totals for tonight’s party will not be available until Monday.

The street fests draw thousands of college students from around the state because they take place after many of Ohio’s semester schools have finished their spring classes. Ohio University will shift to semesters next year and classes will end earlier, so this might be the final year for the notorious spring fests.

“I’m extremely grateful that no one was injured by this fire, and I certainly commend the efforts of the police and safety crews that worked to put it out,” said OU Dean of Students Ryan Lombardi. “We’re trying to offer any support we can to the residents of the home in terms of emergency housing or anything they need. Our primary concern is the safety of our students.”

Posted via email from Tony Burkhart

Friday, April 27, 2012

Smirnoff whipped cream flavored vodka? I don't know about that…


Has anybody tried this yet? If so, what did you think?

Posted via email from Tony Burkhart

Calle Gustafsson Safari extension Exposer - failed install - The developer's server appears to be busy


Tony Burkhart

The Mozilla project is a global community of people who believe that openness, innovation, and opportunity are key to the continued health of the Internet.

Posted via email from Tony Burkhart

Vision to add flights to Myrtle Beach from Rickenbacker Airport | The Columbus Dispatch

Vision to add flights to Myrtle Beach

Frequent visitors to Myrtle Beach can breathe a sigh of relief, as Rickenbacker Airport has found an airline to serve the popular golf and beach destination.

Vision Airlines announced yesterday plans to fly from Rickenbacker to the South Carolina resort city starting June 1. These twice-a-week flights will continue through Oct. 29.

The news comes a little more than a month after Direct Air canceled its plans for seasonal Rickenbacker-to-Myrtle Beach flights scheduled to start May 23. The airline soon filed for bankruptcy and remains grounded.

“Our dialogue with Vision goes back a few years and precedes Direct Air,” said David Whitaker, vice president of business development for the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, which oversees Rickenbacker and Port Columbus.

“These conversations intensified after Direct Air (canceled its flights) and Vision saw a developed market, and it worked out very well.”

The Vision flights will be on Mondays and Fridays. The first leg, from Myrtle Beach, will depart at 7:30 a.m. and arrive at Rickenbacker at 8:55 a.m. Flights will depart from Rickenbacker at 9:40 a.m. and arrive in Myrtle Beach at 11:05 a.m. The airline will use 136-seat Boeing 737 airplanes.

Vision also announced yesterday similar service from Cincinnati; Cleveland; Toledo; Indianapolis; Louisville, Ky.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Springfield, Ill.

“We partnered with the Myrtle Beach airport to pick these cities,” said Vision spokeswoman Gini Strobel. “We looked for markets that needed affordable, nonstop service.”

Ticket prices range from $109 to $189 each way, Strobel said. Baggage fees are $15 each way for the first bag and $20 for the second if booked in advance, or $25 for the first bag and $30 for the second if paid at the airport.

The airport authority offers financial incentives to attract new carriers and routes at Port Columbus and Rickenbacker. It will waive about $18,000 in fees and provide Vision with $50,000 for marketing the flights this year.

That investment could pay big financial dividends. Whitaker said the Vision flights could enable Rickenbacker to top the 10,000 outbound-passenger mark this year, which would allow it to qualify for $1 million in federal funding for capital improvements instead of $150,000.

“It’s still a long shot and depends on picking up another market in Florida after the Vision flights end,” Whitaker said, adding he has had discussions with Vision about adding Florida routes.

Direct Air had announced flights from Rickenbacker to Lakeland, Fla., that were to have started on June 17.

“It’s possible, but we don’t have any news about new routes,” Strobel said of a Rickenbacker-to-Florida route. “Right now, we’re focusing on these new Myrtle Beach routes.”

Posted via email from Tony Burkhart

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

that's a great price to pay… but you think they'd give you free shipping! #VanGogh


Tony Burkhart

The Mozilla project is a global community of people who believe that openness, innovation, and opportunity are key to the continued health of the Internet.

Posted via email from Tony Burkhart

E-Mail, Source Code From VMWare Bubbles Up From Compromised Chinese Firm | threatpost

Whew... At least there aren't many user of this product. D'oh!!!

Seriously, this is getting bad. What's happened to the security structure in software companies?! This sucks. For them, for users and everything that may fall out because of this. 

E-Mail, Source Code From VMWare Bubbles Up From Compromised Chinese Firm

In what looks like the IT equivalent of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster, purloined data and documents, including source code belonging to the U.S. software firm VMWare, continue to bubble up from the networks of a variety of compromised Chinese firms, according to "Hardcore Charlie," an anonymous hacker who has claimed responsibility for the hacks.

In a statement on the VMWare Web site, Ian Mulholland, Director of VMWare's Security Response Center, said the company acknowledged that a source code file for its ESX product had been leaked online. In a phone interview, Mulholland told Threatpost the company was monitoring the situation and conducting an investigation into the incident.

"The fact that the source code may have been publicly shared does not necessarily mean that there is any increased risk to VMware customers," VMware said in a statement.

Editor's Pick

VMWare's ESX is a product that is used to virtualize computing environments. The leaked documents include a source code file that VMWare has shared with its industry partners and internal company e-mail messages. He said that VMWare doesn't yet know the source of the leak, nor can it rule out a breach of its own source code repository. Subsequent releases from "Hardcore Charlie" - who claims to have downloaded some 300 Megabytes of VMWare source code -  may make the provenance of the documents clearer, he said.

Leaked VMWare CommunicationsLeaked VMWare Communications

The leaked documents include what appear to be internal VMWare communications, pasted onto CEIEC letterhead and with official looking stamps. One email exchange, dated June 5, 2003 is from Jeffrey Sheldon to an internal VMWare listserv and has the subject "code review:untruncating segments. The e-mail exchanges are likely communications that were manually added into the company's source code repository to provide context for developers, Mulholland told Threatpost

The release of source code and developer commentary is the latest in an odd string of document leaks that are tied back to attacks on CEIEC, the China Electronics Import & Export Corporation in March. That breach is linked to a compromise of Web based e-mail accounts at the e-mail hosting company, according to the hacker known as "Hardcore Charlie," who communicated with Threatpost via IRC (Internet Relay Chat.) After stealing encrypted account credentials to hundreds of thousands of accounts, Hardcore Charlie said he sought the help of another hacker, who uses the handle @YamaTough, to crack the cryptographic hashes used to secure the credentials. With the cracked credentials in hand, he said he and fellow hackers began looking for accounts of interest. One they stumbled upon was apparently used by a CEIEC subsidiary in India and contained the credentials for a range of VPN (Virtual Private Network) accounts that linked into CEIEC's main corporate network.

In all, the hack of provided access to a slew of firms in the ASIAPAC region, in addition to CEIEC. Those include China North Industries Corporation (Norinco) WanBao Mining Ltd, Ivanho and PetroVietnam, he told Threatpost. In all, the hackers claim to have collected more than a Terabyte of data from the companies, with more added every day, Hardcore Charlie told Threatpost.

"We are still sorting it out and still have access to the companies," he said. 

Its unclear how the compromised firms got access to the documents. CEIEC has been described as an import/export company with deep ties to the Chinese government and Ministry of Foreign Trade. The company now functions as a primary contractor on many overseas projects, which may give it access to a wide range of business partners, according to published reports such as this. Hardcore Charlie said that the company has cut off access to its main network. However, the group retains a foothold on the networks of other firms and continues to collect a dog's dinner of leaked documents, including countless shipping documents from the U.S. Military operation in Afghanistan - many of recent vintage - Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and Adobe PDFs with subjects like "ITVs Need To Be Recharged," "WZG Gry Carrier Updated Report," and "WZG I_Tracker Updates." Most of the documents are not classified and provide dry details of U.S. Military transports within Afghanistan. During an IRC chat with Threatpost, Hardcore Charlie claimed to have received one such document, forwarded from a server operated by Wanbao Mining Co. It is unclear how the document got from the U.S. Military's unclassified network (NIPR Net) to the Wanbao server.

In an e-mail statement to Threatpost on April 11, a spokesman for the U.S. Cyber Command said it is aware of the media reports about the leaks, but "doesn't discuss operational matters - perceived or otherwise" as a matter of policy.

Richard Bejtlich, the Chief Security Officer at security firm Mandiant and author of the TaoSecurity blog, said the jumbled collection of documents don't tell a coherent story or suggest any organized data collection activity. "When its all jumbled like that, I wonder if they're sitting on a TOR exit node and just assembling what comes out and calling it a dossier," he told Threatpost in a phone interview. The transport documents are not typical of the kind of information that is being stolen from U.S. systems by China, but Bejtlich said that their presence in the hands of Chinese companies and Hardcore Charlie is cause for concern. "I would bet people are taking this seriously, but maybe not as seriously as other kinds of breaches."

He said the military, as well as the companies involved should take steps to verify that the leaked documents are authentic, and not forgeries. After that, they should investigate the source of the leaks: whether there are compromised systems at their source, or broken "business processes" in which human error or malicious insiders are the source of the data leaks. He said that direct company-to-company spying by Chinese firms would be a new development. "Most of what we see can be traced to one of 20 groups," he said.

VMWare declined to say whether it had contacted law enforcement, saying only that it was leveraging all "external and internal" resources to look into the alleged leak. The company said it takes the threat seriously and would continue to provide updates on that investigation through its Security Response Center.


Editor's Note: This story was updated to correct a reference to the Twitter handle of the hacker YamaTough. The original story referred to that hacker as "Rama Tough."  4/25/2012

Commenting on this Article will be automatically closed on July 24, 2012.

Posted via email from Tony Burkhart

Kaspersky Confirms New Mac Trojan Used for Targeted Attacks | SecurityWeek.Com

Now… Everything changes. Targeted attacks for Macintosh operating system, is the beginning :-)

Kaspersky Confirms New Mac Trojan Used for Targeted Attacks

Researchers at Kaspersky Lab have confirmed that a new variant of malware targeting Macs is a directed attack. Called SabPub, the Trojan allows the attackers full control over the system, and unlike Flashback - the other Mac malware dominating the headlines - this one seems to have a distinct reason for living.

Kaspersky calls the SabPub discovery proof that it is an APT. I, along with many others in the industry, am not a fan of the term mostly because its roots are in marketing and not security. However, at the heart of the term is the notion that someone is deliberately attacking an organization’s network or assets, and they’re doing so with little to no resistance. In this case, that’s exactly what SabPub is doing.

SabPub's infection levels are low, something that marks it as a possible directed attack, Kaspersky says. It spreads via Microsoft Word documents, and leverages the same Java vulnerability used by Flashback in order to gain a foothold on the computer. Once it is installed on a Mac, it will connect to a C&C and wait for instructions. On a whim, Kaspersky installed SabPub on a test system and let it run.

“The attackers seized control of the infected system and started analyzing it. They sent commands to view the contents of root and home folders and even downloaded some of the fake documents stored in the system. This analysis was most likely performed manually, and not using some automated system, which is unlikely in the widespread “mass-market” malware. Therefore, it can be confirmed that this backdoor is an example of an Advanced Persistent Threat in active use,” the Russian security firm explained in a statement.

“The contents of one of the SabPub-related documents contained direct references to the Tibetan community. Meanwhile, the obvious connection between SabPub and another targeted attack for Windows-based machines known as LuckyCat points to diverse and widespread criminal activity with the same origin.”

It’s important to remember that this latest Mac threat isn’t Mac alone. Windows users are just as vulnerable to it depending on their system setup and personal computing habits.

“The SabPub backdoor once again reveals that not a single software environment is invulnerable,” Kaspersky’s Chief Security Expert, Alexander Gostev, said.

For more information, SecurityWeek’s Brian Prince covered Kaspersky’s earlier SabPub research last week. You can read that article here. In related news, Symantec has also discovered a variant of SabPub. Their analysis is here.

Previous Columns by Steve Ragan:

<div class="disqus-noscript">View the discussion thread.</div>

Posted via email from Tony Burkhart

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ikea's Biggest Product Launch In Years: A TV, Sound System, And Blu-ray Player | Co.Design: business + innovation + design

Ikea’s Biggest Product Launch In Years: A TV, Sound System, And Blu-ray Player

Ikea’s first television comes with the furniture built in. We talk to the designer behind the company’s bold foray into consumer electronics.

Last week, Ikea shared a plan much bigger than a new veneer. It was the Uppleva, their first foray into consumer electronics (if you don’t count all those lamps and discount batteries). The Uppleva is a Scandinavian home-theater cabinet with a twist: A 40-inch TV, sound system and Blu-ray player are built in with discreet wiring, all controlled with a single bundled remote.

Uppleva will work similarly to other Ikea products. Buyers will go to a store, customize their furniture, and assemble it at home. Different finishes will be available, and shoppers will even be able to decide between a straight, angled, or swiveling neck on the TV, which will be available in a “limited but meaningful” amount of sizing options beyond 40 inches. The cabinetry itself will require a screwdriver, glue, and patience, but the electronics--manufactured by TCL--come fully assembled, minus facade. No soldering irons required.

It’s a good idea. Electronics are only becoming more integrated into the home, and televisions are ugly commoditized products. Still why is Ikea doing this now? We asked Francis Cayouette, lead designer of Uppleva, to find out.

“As you know in the '50s and the '60s it was quite normal to see a TV or a radio built into a cabinet, probably because it was easier to bring the technology into homes,” Cayouette tells Co.Design. “Then the electronics came out of the box to become products on their own, expressing more and more the performance and the technical features with fancy and sometimes over exaggerated details. This probably due to the fact that the electronics are normally sold on a shelf, competing side by side for their technical and hi-fi design features.”

But now “technology is so much a part of our everyday life that we don’t need to see it as a separate technical product,” he says. “The electronics don’t need to look technical anymore.”

Whereas most electronics bathe themselves in blinding LEDs, Uppleva opts for clean lines and plenty of white space. It’s even less technical and more furniture-like than Dieter Rams’s classic, appliance-like electronics from the '60s--you know, minus the unignorable 40-inch television staring you right in the face.

“The feedback we got is that people consider their TV as a piece of furniture. Why does it need to look like a spaceship then? It just doesn’t fit in most people’s home!” writes Cayouette. This problem with
“spaceship” design doesn’t just apply to the exterior, but all the way to a TV’s UI. So Cayouette worked closely with TCL in Ikea-izing the experience. “For instance, Ikea uses a lot of pictograms on their packaging. I wanted to bring this here and create a very clean and simple interface.”

If Uppleva is priced for the masses--and Cayouette indicates that it is--the product will be a runaway success. How many of us furnish a new living room, complete with a new television when we move? How many of us love everything about our home theater but the ugly stand and the tangle of cables excreting from its back? And what showroom can sell us on a chic, uncomplicated lifestyle better than Ikea’s?

Don’t be surprised if Uppleva influences a renaissance in cabineted TVs after it’s released abroad this June, with competitors from powerful retailers like Target, or even style-oriented electronics manufacturers like Samsung. (Best Buy could transform into a furniture store overnight.) And Cayouette agrees. “Considering the enormous interest, I wouldn’t be surprised to see other manufacturers follow this route in the future,” he writes.

And we wouldn’t be surprised if we start seeing a whole lot more electronic options in Ikea products soon.

Posted via email from Tony Burkhart

Flashback Cleanup Still Underway—Approximately 140,000 Infections | Symantec Connect Community

great to hear this being proactively squashed!

Flashback Cleanup Still Underway—Approximately 140,000 Infections

Today’s blog is a quick follow up to the OSX.Flashback.K issue. The statistics from our sinkhole are showing declining numbers on a daily basis. However, we had originally believed that we would have seen a greater decline in infections at this point in time, but this has proven not to be the case. Currently, it appears that the number of infected computers has tapered off, but remains around the 140,000 mark.

As there have been tools released by Symantec and other vendors in the past few days concerning this threat, the infection numbers should have seen a dramatic decrease by now. If you suspect that your Mac has been infected with OSX.Flashback.K, it is recommended to install the latest patches, ensure that your antivirus is up to date with the latest signatures, and to use the free Norton Flashback Detection and Removal Tool.


Please note, the sinkhole domain was unavailable on April 12th

Command-and-control (C&C) servers

Further analysis on the domain name generator (DNG) algorithm has revealed that Flashback does not limit itself to using “.com” as the top level domain (TLD).

It chooses from the following five TLDs:

  • .com
  • .in
  • .info
  • .kz
  • .net

The graphic below lists the upcoming C&C servers that are to be contacted by OSX.Flashback.K over the coming week.



The recent Oracle Java SE Remote Java Runtime Environment Denial Of Service Vulnerability (CVE-2012-0507) used to distribute the Flashback Trojan has now also been seen to be distributing another Mac threat: OSX.Sabpab.

OSX.Sabpab has also been seen in targeted attacks distributed with malicious Word documents exploiting the Microsoft Word Record Parsing Buffer Overflow Vulnerability (CVE-2009-0565).

Again, it is paramount that you have the latest antivirus signatures installed and have applied the latest available patches for both the operating system and third-party applications.

Payload C&C server

The Flashback payload is considerably larger than the initial stage downloading component. Analysis is ongoing; however, one of the new features of the Trojan is that it can now retrieve updated C&C locations through Twitter posts by searching for specific hashtags generated by the OSX.Flashback.K hashtag algorithm.

Removal tool

Please visit our website for more information about this threat and how to protect your computers from harm at A free detection and removal tool for the OSX.Flashback.K issue, “Norton Flashback Detection and Removal Tool”, is freely available for download.

Update [April 20, 2012]

A recent Dr. Web blog post reveals our sinkholes are receiving limited infection counts for OSX.Flashback.K.

Our current statistics for the last 24 hours indicate 185,000 universally unique identifiers (UUIDs) have been logged by our sinkhole.

A sinkhole registered at IP address is causing Flashback connections to hang as it never closes the TCP handshake, in effect preventing Flashback from hitting subsequent domains.

Tony Burkhart

The Mozilla project is a global community of people who believe that openness, innovation, and opportunity are key to the continued health of the Internet.

Posted via email from Tony Burkhart

Monday, April 23, 2012

Why I Won’t Sign Your NDA - great article from JPL Consulting

A great read, for anyone who's been backed into a corner with an NDA, from random "meet you for the first time, with the best idea ever" people that truly have dreams of grandeur in relation to their "game changer" and have never executed on anything. Time to wake up :)

Programmer for Hire

Home > Essays > Why I Won’t Sign Your NDA

The other day I got to chatting with a lovely woman who reached out after reading my blog.  She was interested in talking about an idea she had, how she might get it off the ground, and if I might be a good fit into the process in some capacity or another.

“I saw what you did with Spotlight Denver, and I’ve got an idea that could revolutionize the whole deal-of-the-day industry.” is how she broached the subject.

It’s always a treat to chat with folks who have taken a shine to me from my online persona alone, and taking 20 minutes to offer up whatever perspective and insight I can is a welcome break from programming.  I was happy to lend an ear and wax entrepreneurial.

It wasn’t long into the conversation when she mentioned she would soon have a lawyer draw up a Non-Disclosure Agreement regarding the project, at which point I had to interject.

“Ah, let me stop you right there for a sec and let you know this up front: I will almost never sign an NDA.”

She was curious as to why.  This is the explanation I gave her, spread over a couple of distinct but interrelated concepts.

There’s Nothing New Under the Sun

Between a first-time web entrepreneur and one who’s been for years working on many ventures, there is a huge gap in perspective regarding the importance, rarity, and uniqueness of ideas.  Namely if you have this one great idea and that’s your ticket into entrepreneurship, you’re apt to overlook (or simply be unaware of) how interconnected and overlapping innovations are, and correspondingly unable (or unwilling) to see traces of your idea in and around stuff that’s already out there.

This perspective gap is most easy to recognize when someone alludes to their confidential idea as being like [existing web thing] for [some other niche].

“It’s like twitter, but for construction field workers”, “It’s like Yelp, but you only see reviews of people you know, like your Facebook friends”, “It’s like AirBNB, but for wife-swapping.”

Even a revolutionary take on the deal-of-the-day industry as alluded to by my new friend has, by virtue of being rooted in an established business model, an upper bound on its originality (to say nothing of the likelihood that the million-dollar marketing or biz-dev teams of Groupon, Living Social, etc. have already had and/or explored similar ones).

Ideas are Plentiful, Good Execution is Scarce

It’s a well documented phenomenon how idea-havin’ first timers just need a programmer to bring their vision to life, as though the idea is somehow half the battle (or 90%, as folks like me often get offered sweat equity deals–10% seems to be a popular number).  But if you’ve ever tried to bring even one venture to market, you know perhaps all too well that ideas are just the starting point, and take by far the least work, time, and capital.

Gary Vaynerchuk said it perhaps best in his talk at the 2011 Big Omaha: “ideas are shit, execution’s the game”.  Watch it.

It’s Not a Good Sign

Say I’m just first meeting you to discuss your idea.  If you prize your idea so much (in relation to everything else it will take in order to make it succeed) that you feel the need to put in legal protections from me, it’s a tell that you don’t have much going for you in this endeavor.

How do I know this?  Because if confidentiality matters to you when talking high-level particulars (meaning anything shy of at least a 10 page business plan), either one of two scenarios apply.

Either (A) you’ll be blown out of the water in the open market soon after you release (this is the case in which the idea really is all it takes, which implies stronger incumbents will easily be able to catch up), or (B) you are vastly underestimating what it takes to execute successfully.

Scenario A rarely ever happens (if ever), but is understandably often feared by those with the newcomer’s perspective described above.  Scenario B is much more common, and should make the thought of tethering oneself to broad and vague legal obligations even less desirable.

Your NDA Treads Heavily Upon My Right to Work

Overlap in innovations and concepts found among disparate parts of the web is ubiquitous.  Any agreement that I sign to not disclose or use information shared with me in a casual engagement opens up a whole world of potentially contentious confusion about what is or isn’t okay for me to do in the future.

In an ecosystem where ideas are borrowed and remixed constantly, an NDA is a poor man’s patent that can be levied only against the signer.  Never mind the existence of clear competitors: the confusion of whether or not any “secret sauce” information was shared is enough to entertain lengthy and costly litigation.

I had a fellow make a bid to buy my CoachAccountable business not long ago.  Great guy, but when I ultimately decided to decline his offer he resorted to legal threats that I better not use any of the ideas we talked about, and expressed regret that he hadn’t had me sign an NDA.

In reality, if had he offered one up I simply would’ve declined.  Signing one could have compromised my ability to build upon my business or sell it to the next suitor, and by corollary, compromised my negotiating position in the sale.  It would have been the poor man’s patent in action.

NDAs Have Their Place

Are there some situations where NDAs are appropriate?  You betcha.  They are appropriate when there exists something both significant and tangible to disclose, representing more than just whatever popped into your head in the shower.  The 10 page business plan alluded to above makes a reasonable cutoff, necessary but probably not sufficient.

The importance of having something significant and tangible is that it’s something you can point to and say “there, THAT’S what is confidential”.  Without it, the reach of an NDA is too vague and undefinable. An NDA that is not highly specific nor describes boundaries to what it applies is not worth signing: sloppy legalese at best, a malicious trap at worst.

An NDA should also be dependent upon the signer being compensated in some non-trivial way, as in a condition of being hired or part of terms of a sale.  Requiring one prior to that is highly suspect, and signing one, I say, is highly inappropriate.

So that’s why I won’t sign your NDA.  It’s not because I don’t like you, it’s not because I want to steal your ideas, it’s not because what you’re up to isn’t important.

It’s because the ideas you are likely to share with me over coffee or in a phone conversation are otherwise plentiful, worthless in isolation, and, to some degree, completely unoriginal and already known to the world.

View the discussion on Hacker News


Tony Burkhart

The Mozilla project is a global community of people who believe that openness, innovation, and opportunity are key to the continued health of the Internet.

Posted via email from Tony Burkhart

mmmule - anyone use it in the Central or Columbus Ohio area yet? If so, what did you think of it?

Just heard about the service last week and I can't find any use case scenario's from Ohio. Any feedback related to Mmmule at all would be appreciated :)

Tony Burkhart

The Mozilla project is a global community of people who believe that openness, innovation, and opportunity are key to the continued health of the Internet.

Posted via email from Tony Burkhart

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Listening to @SGgrc and @LeoLaporte on Security Now while golfing this morning

Looks like the worst is past us. Time to get a round of golf in!

UFC 145 play by play and live results by @MMAJunkie

ATLANTA - is on scene and reporting live from tonight's UFC 145 event.

The event, which features a long-awaited heavyweight-title fight between champion Jon Jones and ex-titleholder Rashad Evans, takes place at Atlanta's Phillips Arena. 

Follow along with our round-by-round updates and official results
beginning at approximately 6:45 p.m. ET (3:45 p.m. PT) for
the preliminary card and 10 p.m. ET for the main card.    

Tony Burkhart

The Mozilla project is a global community of people who believe that openness, innovation, and opportunity are key to the continued health of the Internet.

Posted via email from Tony Burkhart

Thursday, April 19, 2012

No Reservations – Remote Access Trojan Pilfers Credit Cards from Hotels | Trusteer

smart engineering. hotel systems are notoriously insecure and wide open. i hope they shut this down with patches and updates to PoS systems quickly.


Our intelligence center researchers recently uncovered a fraud “package” being sold in underground forums that uses a remote access Trojan to steal credit card information from a hotel point of sale (PoS) application. This scheme, which is focused on the hospitality industry, illustrates how criminals are planting malware on enterprise machines to collect financial information instead of targeting end users devices.

In this particular scenario, a remote access Trojan program is used to infect hotel front desk computers. The malware is able to steal credit card and other customer information by capturing screenshots from the PoS application. According the seller, the Trojan is guaranteed not to be detected by anti-virus programs.

No reservations

This fraud package is being offered for $280. The purchase price includes instructions on how to set-up the Trojan. The sellers even offer advice on how to use telephone social engineering techniques via VoIP software to trick front desk managers into installing the Trojan.

To prove the effectiveness of the fraud package, the seller uses a screenshot (above) taken by the remote access Trojan from the PoS system at one of the world’s largest hotel chains. The screenshot shows the PoS application populated with customer information gathered at check-in.

As we have mentioned in recent posts, criminals are increasingly expanding the focus of their attacks from online banking targets to enterprises. One of the reasons for this shift is that enterprise devices can yield high value digital assets when compromised.

Tony Burkhart

The Mozilla project is a global community of people who believe that openness, innovation, and opportunity are key to the continued health of the Internet.

Posted via email from Tony Burkhart

Starting today, you can print to any FedEx Office® location in the US through Google Cloud Print.

that's pretty dang handy. I will be trying this out on my Nexus S 4G, which is now running ICS

Delivering Cloud Printing to More Places

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 | 10:00 AM

Have you ever needed to print something out in a pinch? Well, so have we, which is why we’ve been working hard to bring Google Cloud Print to even more places, making it easier to print when and where you need it the most.

Starting today, you can print to any FedEx Office® location in the US through Google Cloud Print. Simply choose “Print to FedEx Office” in the Cloud Print dialog, and you’ll receive a retrieval code that you can use at any FedEx Office® Print & Go self-service device at more than 1,800 FedEx Office stores across the nation. So if you're on a business trip to California, you can submit a report for your colleague in New York to print out at the neighborhood FedEx Office.

We’re also happy to add Canon to the list of companies offering printers that are Google Cloud Print Ready. Now you can choose from a variety of printers from Canon, Epson, Kodak and HP that make it easy to print from anywhere.

Finally, we’ve made it possible to send documents to your phone or tablet running Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich through Google Cloud Print. Once you install Chrome for Android Beta and sign in, your Android device will appear as a destination in the Cloud Print dialog. After choosing your Android device, a PDF copy of your document will open in Chrome for Android Beta. Next time you need to print something to take on the go, save some paper and “print” it to your Android device instead!

Posted by Paolo Ferraris, Software Engineer and Printer Extraordinaire

Tony Burkhart

The Mozilla project is a global community of people who believe that openness, innovation, and opportunity are key to the continued health of the Internet.

Posted via email from Tony Burkhart

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Apple iPhone Will Fail in a Late, Defensive Move: Matthew Lynn - Bloomberg January 2007

I wonder exactly how dumb Matthew Lynn and Charles Golvin feel now. There are always negative Nancy's, but these two Nancy's were WAY off the mark, just trying to make their point, by dumping on Apple. 5 years... that's all it took for Apple to FAIL ... the rest of the market ~ you big dummies.

Thanks to Rick for pointing me towards this beauty of an article from Bloomberg Jan 2007.

Apple iPhone Will Fail in a Late, Defensive Move: Matthew Lynn

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Few products have been launched with such a blizzard of publicity as Apple Inc.'s iPhone.

To its many fans, Apple is more of a religious cult than a company. An iToaster that downloads music while toasting bread would probably get the same kind of worldwide attention.

Don't let that fool you into thinking that it matters. The big competitors in the mobile-phone industry such as Nokia Oyj and Motorola Inc. won't be whispering nervously into their clamshells over a new threat to their business.

The iPhone is nothing more than a luxury bauble that will appeal to a few gadget freaks. In terms of its impact on the industry, the iPhone is less relevant.

If column inches and airtime guaranteed commercial success, Apple would already have a global hit on its hands. For the past week, it has been impossible to open a newspaper or look at a Web site without reading something about the shiny new phone.

Certainly, it looks like a nice piece of equipment. The iPhone combines Apple's iPod music and video player with a mobile phone as well as having wireless Internet access for e-mail. Instead of lugging around a phone for making calls, an MP3 player for listening to music, and a Blackberry for checking your e- mail, you can do all three on one device. Even better, you only need one charger.

It will be released in the U.S. in June, with a rollout to the rest of the world later, and will cost $499 to $599, depending on how much storage space you want. How many might they sell? Ten million in 2008, according to Apple Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs.

Three Reasons

Not everyone is sold on the idea.

``The iPhone will not substantially alter the fundamental structure and challenges of the mobile industry,'' Charles Golvin, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc., said in a report this month.

There are three reasons that Apple is unlikely to make much of an impact on this market -- and why it is too early to start dumping your Nokia shares.

First, Apple is late to this party. The company didn't invent the personal computer or MP3 player, but it was among the pioneers of both products. Yet there is no shortage of phones out there. There are already big companies that dominate the space, all of whom will defend their turf. That means Apple will have to fight hard for every sale.

Next, the mobile-phone industry depends on cooperation with the big networks. Phones -- the high-end ones in particular --are usually sold with a network contract. The provider subsidizes the handset in the U.K. and hopes to recoup its money with ridiculously expensive charges for calls and data. Yet Apple has never been good at working with other companies. If it knew how to do that, it would be Microsoft Corp.

Network Opposition

On top of that, its rivals will be pulling out all the stops to prevent the networks offering iPhones. Sure, a big operator such as Vodafone Group Plc would like an exclusive deal to sell the iPhone in, say, the U.K. market. Against that, how much does it want to annoy Nokia -- and what kind of incentives will Nokia be offering not to go with the Apple product? There will be lots of tough conversations between companies that know each other well. Apple will find it hard to win those negotiations.

Lastly, the iPhone is a defensive product. It is mainly designed to protect the iPod, which is coming under attack from mobile manufacturers adding music players to their handsets. Yet defensive products don't usually work -- consumers are interested in new things, not reheated versions of old things. Likewise, who is it pitched at? The price and the e-mail features make it look like a business product. But Apple is a consumer company. Will your accounts department stump up for a fancy new handset just so you can listen to Eminem on your way to a business meeting?

Fresh Competition

In many ways, that is a shame. The mobile-phone industry is becoming a cozy cartel between the network operators and a limited range of manufacturers. It could certainly use a fresh blast of competition from an industry outsider.

It may come -- but probably from an entrepreneurial start-up somewhere. How about phones with fewer gadgets but better at making calls? Or with never-ending batteries? Or chargers that don't weigh three times as much as the phone?

It won't come from the iPhone. Apple will sell a few to its fans, but the iPhone won't make a long-term mark on the industry.

(Matthew Lynn is a Bloomberg News columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.)

To contact the writer of this column: Matthew Lynn in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this column: James Greiff at

Tony Burkhart

The Mozilla project is a global community of people who believe that openness, innovation, and opportunity are key to the continued health of the Internet.

Posted via email from Tony Burkhart

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Dozen Free Online Computer Science Courses

Boeing Preparing an Ultra-Secure Smartphone - Slashdot

Boeing Preparing an Ultra-Secure Smartphone

Security Technology
Posted by samzenpus on Sunday April 15, @12:50PM
from the secret-security-phone dept.
bobwrit writes in with a story about Boeing's new secure government phones project. "Earlier this week, it was revealed that aerospace firm Boeing was working on a high security mobile device for the various intelligence departments. This device will most likely be released later this year, and at a lower price point than other mobile phones targeted at the same communities. Typically, phones in this range cost about 15,000-20,000 per phone, and use custom hardware and software to get the job done. This phone will most likely use Android as it's main operating system of choice, which lowers the cost per phone, since Boeing's developers don't have to write their own operating system from scratch."

Posted via email from Tony Burkhart

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mastodon in all the Rocking metal

Opeth here. Now. Live

Opeth baby!!! Yeah. Rock!

White suggests UFC could create regional fight circuits and champions

Agee, agree, agree. More is better! Articles
STOCKHOLM - The way Dana White sees it, the organization needs more events, not fewer.

As the UFC president hits a grueling part of a ridiculously busy 2012 fight schedule, White sees a need to add even more shows to the lineup.

As White told, it's the only way to keep a consistent presence in key international markets while also giving new fighters - specifically those on the new international editions of "The Ultimate Fighter" reality series - a place to cut their teeth.

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JavaScript is required to use LastPass… who'd a thunk it?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sprint replacing Nextel network relic with LTE in 2014

Praise everything related to new technology!!! What other mobile technology does business use that was brand new in 2001... anyone? Is anyone out there? Hold on, let me "Nextel" you, or get ya on the "two way"... better yet, let's communicate via morse code. Anyone still running Windows Server 2000 for "mobile mail"? How about Blackberry's... anyone still use those?

GigaOM — Tech News, Analysis and Trends

For the last year Sprint has been talking up how it would replace its old Nextel iDEN systems with a shiny new LTE network, but until today it hadn’t revealed when. On Thursday, Sprint network operations president Steve Elfman provided that critical detail– 2014 — FierceWireless reported.

Speaking at an event at Sprint’s corporate HQ in Overland Park, Kan., Elfman said that the 800 MHz spectrum the iDEN network uses has already been named an official LTE band by the 4G standards powers, and Sprint fully expects to get Federal Communications Commission approval shortly to use the frequencies for 4G, according to Fierce. The only thing left for it to do is to shut down the old Nextel network.

iDEN is ideal for the walkie-talkie-style push-to-talk services that made Nextel so popular circa mid-2000, but it’s awful for delivering data services, which is the direction the wireless industry is charging toward with wild abandon. So Sprint’s answer is to move its push-to-talk over to its LTE CDMA data networks, shut down iDEN and harvest its frequencies for more LTE networks.

The process has already begun. Sprint has started scrapping iDEN base stations and towers in many markets, basically weeding out extra capacity as it continues to shed Nextel customers. It’s even begun posting site-by-site maps of the sunsetting process.

The major take-down work won’t begin until 2013, at which point Sprint will begin a wholesale conversion of its iDEN push-to-talk customers to CDMA and LTE, and start shutting down the Nextel service in whole cities. And as it revealed Thursday, in 2014 it will begin filling up those dormant 800 MHz airwaves with LTE.

Sprint won’t get an enormous amount of capacity out of the Nextel band. It owns an average of 18 MHz nationwide, plus the odd configuration of the band may mean it won’t be use all of its frequencies for LTE. But any bit will help. The LTE network Sprint is deploying this summer over its PCS frequencies measure only 10 MHz in width, compared to the 20 MHz used by Verizon and most of AT&Ts’ 4G systems.

Plus, Ma Bell and Big Red have a lot of unencumbered spectrum to expand their 4G networks into, while Sprint will be forced to cannibalize its CDMA systems to get more LTE capacity. But Sprint is counting on getting a big boost in 2013 when its current mobile broadband provider, Clearwire, hopes to turn on its own LTE network, supplying Sprint with reams of cheap bandwidth. The only drawback with that plan is that Clearwire, so far, only plans to launch LTE in its current limited WiMAX footprint.

Sprint has revealed only a few of its LTE launch markets, but blog Sprint 4G Rollout Updates has gained access to plenty of proprietary information about the full extent of Sprint’s Network Vision plans and has even identified the first 47 cities scheduled to receive the 4G upgrade this year.

Image courtesy Flickr user radialmonster

Related research and analysis from GigaOM Pro:
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