Briefs: September 26, 2005


Financial terms of the deal, which is expected to close in October, were not released. Symantec plans to offer stand-alone products that use WholeSecurity&s technology, as well as incorporate it into Symantec security software suites.

The purchase will help Symantec expand its arsenal of tools to fight changing threats by looking for signs of suspicious behavior and by the traditional method of checking files against a list, or signatures, of known threats, according to Enrique Salem, senior vice president of Symantec security products and solutions.

WholeSecurity&s technology also can be used to defend against attacks before signatures can be released, Salem said. “It complements what we already have in our portfolio and makes it so we don&t have to provide signatures to this technology,” he said. “A lot of the new attacks are targeted at individuals or corporations, and so the notion of trying to write a signature for each one of these attacks doesn&t make sense anymore.”

Mozilla&s Thunderbird e-mail client for Linux suffers from the same serious vulnerability as the company&s Firefox browser, a security firm said last week. The difference: Thunderbird has not been patched.

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Secunia, a Danish vulnerability-tracking vendor, rated the bug—which, like the one disclosed Tuesday in the Linux edition of Firefox—relates to how the software processes URLs—as “extremely critical.”

The bug is in Thunderbird&s parsing of URLs supplied on the command line, if, for instance, a user is tricked into clicking on a “mailto:” link within a browser, which uses Thunderbird as its default e-mail client (as Firefox does). Any Linux commands enclosed in backticks are executed.

Palm OS developer PalmSource, which is in the process of being acquired, reported last week that revenue and the number of mobile devices using the platform declined in its first quarter. The company also reported a loss.

PalmSource reported revenue of $15.8 million for its first quarter, compared with $18.2 million for the same quarter a year ago. The company lost $2 million for the quarter, compared with a loss of $200,000 in the year-ago quarter, when using generally accepted accounting procedures (GAAP). However, using non-GAAP, the company had net income of $200,000, compared with $800,000 a year ago, PalmSource said.

The company said 1.2 million mobile devices using the Palm OS were shipped during the quarter. Of those, about 44 percent were smartphones, with the rest being PDAs. About 1.4 million Palm OS units shipped in the same quarter last year, PalmSource said.

Interestingly, though, only 21 percent of the Palm OS devices shipped in the year-ago quarter were smartphones, the company reported.

PalmSource is being acquired by Japan&s Access Co. Ltd. It previously had announced a corporate restructuring and that it plans to port the Palm OS to Linux.

The U.S. technology industry added 190,000 jobs between January 2004 and June 2005, upping the total to 5.72 million, an industry trade group reported last week.

The 3.4 percent increase confirmed for the American Electronics Association that the high-tech industry has recovered from the bursting of the dot-com bubble four years ago, according to William Archey, AEA president and CEO.

The AEA prepared its report with data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The numbers showed a steady increase in tech jobs in the last six-, 12- and 18-month time spans, the group said.

Broken down by sector, technology manufacturers added 21,800 net jobs in the United States for a total of 1.36 million, a 1.6 percent increase and the first growth in employment since 2000.

Tech service providers added 167,000 jobs for a total of 4.36 million, a 4 percent rise. Within this sector, engineering and tech services added the most jobs, 100,800; followed by software services with 75,600. Only communications services experienced a decline, losing 9,400 jobs.

Topio, a developer of software for data replication and recovery, recently unveiled its first solution provider program. The company is moving from a focus on technology partners to do more with channel partners, according to Chris Hyrne, vice president of marketing.

Topio is recruiting solution providers for its data-recovery solution, which allows a business to be up and running within minutes of a disaster, regardless of the customer&s storage hardware or software, Hyrne said. The new program gives solution providers the ability to sell disaster recovery as a service and provides co-op funds. Solution providers can be certified within three days, Hyrne said.

3Com this week is expanding its wireless portfolio with a new WLAN switch and access point aimed at branch offices. The new WXR100 Remote Office Wireless LAN Switch provides centralized management for up to three access points. It includes support for Power over Ethernet as well as quality of service features. The switch, available now, can be drop-shipped to branch offices or remote sites and carries a list price of $999. 3Com is also launching Wireless LAN Managed Access Point 3750, a dual-radio AP that simultaneously supports the IEEE&s 802.11a and 802.11b/g standards. It also includes security features based on the Advanced Encryption Standard. The AP is available now for a list price of $499.

Last week, 3Com reported a loss of $42 million, or 11 cents per share, for the first fiscal quarter of 2006, compared with a loss of $35.5 million for the same quarter a year ago. Revenue grew 9 percent to $177.6 million, up from $162.3 million.

Laura Blackmer, formerly Hewlett-Packard&s vice president of U.S. SMB sales, has been named vice president of U.S. commercial channel sales for HP&s Imaging and Printing Group (IPG). Blackmer, a 17-year HP veteran, replaces William Sheldon, who is taking early retirement. Blackmer will report to Rich Raimondi, vice president and general manager, U.S. commercial business IPG.

Blackmer previously worked for Kevin Gilroy, HP&s senior vice president and general manager of worldwide SMB business operations, who will leave the company Sept. 30. The SMB marketing group was eliminated as part of HP&s plan to move sales and marketing functions from its disbanded Customer Solutions Group back into individual product business groups.