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AME Info, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, technology briefs
[January 15, 2013]

AME Info, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, technology briefs

Jan 15, 2013 (AME Info - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- UBS ESTIMATES SURFACE TABLETS Q4 SALES AT 1M: Swiss global financial services firm UBS has estimated sales of Microsoft's Surface RT tablets to have reached just one million in the fourth quarter, down from a prior forecast of two million, Cnet has reported. "Surface RT is a consumer device with [fourth-quarter] sales suffering from the difficult iPad compare and narrow distribution," UBS analyst Brent Thill wrote in an investors note. Thill, however, has higher expectations for Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet, which is slated to hit the market later this month. Calling the Surface Pro "more promising," Thill sees it as an alternative to the iPad among enterprises users. For Microsoft's fiscal 2013, which ends this June, the analyst estimates Surface sales of 2.5 million units, while for fiscal 2014, he's eyeing sales as high eight million.

DELL IN BUYOUT TALKS: Dell Inc., the PC maker that lost almost a third of its value last year, is in buyout talks with private-equity firms, Bloomberg has reported, citing two people with knowledge of the matter. The discussions are preliminary and could fall apart because firms may not be able to line up the needed financing or resolve how to exit the investment in the future, the people said. The computer maker had a market value of $18.9bn as of January 11. Dell lost the top spot to HP in 2006, and more recently has struggled to contend with new competitors, including Apple, in the consumer market.

ORACLE RELEASES JAVA PATCH, BUT BUGS REMAIN: Oracle has released an emergency update to its Java software for surfing the web on Sunday, but security experts said the update fails to protect PCs from attack by hackers intent on committing cybercrimes, Reuters has reported. The company said on its security blog on Sunday that its update fixed two vulnerabilities in the version of Java 7 for web browsers. However, Adam Gowdiak, a researcher with Poland's Security Explorations who has discovered several bugs in the software over the past year, said that the update from Oracle leaves unfixed several critical security flaws. "We don't dare to tell users that it's safe to enable Java again," said Gowdiak.

ORACLE TO RELEASE JAVA PATCH ON TUESDAY: Oracle has announced it is working on an update to address a flaw in its Java software, PC World has reported. The patch, which will fix 86 vulnerabilities in Java 7, will be released on Tuesday, the firm said. The US department of Homeland Security said last week computer users should disable the programme in web browsers because hackers were using a zero-day vulnerability to attack computer systems. The problem, which affects Oracle Java 7 update 10 and earlier, can allow an untrusted Java applet to escalate its privileges, without requiring code signing.

GLOBAL PC SALES DOWN 6.4 percent IN Q4 2012: IDC has said global PC sales declined at the end of 2012, despite the holiday shopping season and the release of new Windows operating software for machines, Times of Oman has reported. Worldwide PC shipments totalled 89.8 million units in the fourth quarter of 2012, finishing 6.4 percent lower than the same period the prior year, said IDC. "Consumers as well as PC vendors and distribution channels continued to be diverted from PC sales by ongoing demand for tablets and smartphones," the firm said.

JAVA VULNERABILITY DISCOVERED: The US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) has said a new vulnerability has been discovered in the widely used Java software that could give attackers access to your computer, Cnet has reported. The group issued an alert saying that Java 7 Update 10 and earlier versions of the software contain an unspecified vulnerability that can allow a remote, unauthenticated attacker to execute arbitrary code. The attack can be induced if someone visits a web site that's been set up with malicious code to take advantage of the hole.

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