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October 4, 2012

Technology News Briefs – Oct. 4, 2012

Google Issues Cyberattack Warning

Thousands of Google users this week will receive a warning in their Gmail inbox or on their Google home page or Chrome browser.

Google first warned about potential cyberattacks in June. As of Oct. 3, however, the search engine has discovered thousands of attacks — far more than anticipated.

In June, Google posted a warning: “We believe state-sponsored attackers may be attempting to compromise your account or computer.”

In the past three months, Google has gathered new intelligence about attack methods and the groups deploying them, Mike Wiacek, a manager on Google’s information security team, told the New York Times.

He said the company was using that information to warn “tens of thousands of new users” that they may have been targets.

HP stock dives 11 percent

Hewlett-Packard Co’s shares plummeted 11 percent to a nine-year low Oct. 3 after the biggest quarterly loss in the computer maker’s history.

Chief Executive Officer Meg Whitman warned of a sharp and unpredicted slide in earnings next year, with profits likely to dip in every business division except software.

Whitman, who took on the role of CEO after her unsuccessful bid to become the governor of California last year, said HP’s recovery wouldn’t be evident until 2014, when investments begin to pay off.

Analysts say HP is under pressure to increase its credibility on Wall Street while fighting degenerating margins in a highly-competitive PC market, cutting IT spending, and preparing for thousands of layoffs.

ANA Blasts Microsoft

Microsoft is under fire for its decision to enable the Do Not Track feature in a standard installation of Internet Explorer 10.

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA), which represents the American advertising industry, is asking the company to reverse its decision.

“We believe that if Microsoft moves forward with this default setting, it will undercut the effectiveness of our members’ advertising and, as a result, drastically damage the online experience by reducing the Internet content and offerings that such advertising supports,” reads a letter published on the ANA website.

“This result will harm consumers, hurt competition, and undermine American innovation and leadership in the Internet economy.

“Microsoft’s announcement has been uniformly met with outrage, opposition, and declarations that Microsoft’s action is wrong.”

The letter, penned by the Board of Directors, describes Microsoft’s decision as “shocking.” The board includes bigwigs from several conglomerates: Ford, Toyota, Coca-Cola, General Mills, Wal-Mart and Proctor and Gamble to name a few.

Google Adds Tech Support for Chrome, App Customers

 Google is adding phone and e-mail support for its Chrome and apps customers.

Google Apps for business, education and government customers can now contact Google to receive support on Chrome installation, functionality, security, browser policy settings and Google Apps interoperability for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

Google said it would respond to “P1 priority support requests” (defined as “Service Unusable in Production”) within an hour. Other support requests will be answered within one business day or less.