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Conficker passes quietly

An expected activation of the Conficker.c worm at midnight on April 1 passed without incident, despite sensationalized fears that the Internet itself might be affected, but security researchers said users aren’t out of the woods yet. Conficker.c was programmed to establish a link from infected host computers with command-and-control servers at midnight GMT on April 1. To reach these control servers, Conficker.c generates a list of 50,000 domain names and then selects 500 domain names to contact. That process has started, researchers said. While infected computers have started reaching out to command servers as expected, nothing untoward has happened. This may just mean the people who control Conficker are biding their time, waiting for researchers and IT managers to relax their guard and assume the worst is over.

HP considers Android for netbooks

Hewlett-Packard confirmed Tuesday that it is testing Google’s Android operating system as a possible alternative to Windows in some of its netbook computers. Analysts said the move would allow HP to develop a low-cost netbook optimized for wireless networks that provides access to Web-based services such as Google Docs, but others questioned whether the Google software is ready for such a task. HP stressed that it was still only testing Android, an OS based on the open-source Linux kernel. It has assigned engineers to the task but has made no decision yet whether to offer Android in products.

AMD announces low-power chips

Advanced Micro Devices on Tuesday said it would release “very low-power” Shanghai processors within three months, a move that could intensify its ongoing chip battle with rival Intel.  The new quad-core Opteron EE chips will deliver similar performance while drawing significantly less power than its predecessors, a company spokeswoman said. AMD’s server processors draws a minimum of about 50 watts of power. The Opteron EE server chips could become available in the next three months. The chips will be manufactured using a 45-nanometer manufacturing process and will be part of the Opteron processor family codenamed Shanghai.

Wikia Search closes

Wikia Search, Jimmy Wales’ long-shot attempt at disrupting Google’s search-engine dominance, is closing. Wales, the Wikipedia founder, made the announcement in his blog, saying that Wikia Search, which launched in January 2008, failed to earn the expected levels of popularity. He said if the economy was better he would have continued funding Wikia Search, but given the current outlook decided to pull the plug instead.

…And those are the top stories from the IDG Global IT News Update, brought to you by the IDG News Service. I’m Sumner Lemon in Singapore. Join us again later for more news from the world of technology.

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