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Cisco buys Starent Networks for $2.9 billion

Cisco Tuesday announced its second multibillion dollar deal this month: a definitive agreement to acquire Starent Networks, a provider of IP-based mobile infrastructure for carriers, for about $2.9 billion. The buyout comes on the heels of Cisco’s roughly $3 billion buyout of videoconferencing leader Tandberg announced Oct. 1. Starent makes products that manage access from 2.5G, 3G, and 4G wireless networks to a mobile operator’s packet core network. Starent’s products are deployed in 3G, Wi-Fi and WiMAX networks. Cisco has a significant investment in WiMAX, bought Navini Networks in 2007 for $330 million, and winning a supply contract with Clearwire earlier this year.

Microsoft bug more srious than originally thought

One of the 34 bugs Microsoft patched on Tuesday is more serious than it first appeared. Two hours after initially reporting in its security bulletin that it was unaware of attacks exploiting a multimedia flaw in the Windows Media Runtime software, Microsoft revised its assessment. The software vendor now says that its initial bulletin was wrong and it has in fact seen “limited attacks trying to use the reported vulnerability.” The flaw lies in the way the Windows Media Runtime software processes certain types of ASF (or Advanced Systems Format) files, used by streaming media. Microsoft rates the issue as critical for Windows 2000, XP, Vista and Windows Server users.

Google to help fight hackers

In an effort to promote the “general health of the Web,” Google will send Webmasters snippets of malicious code in the hopes infected Web sites can be cleaned up faster. The new information will appear as part of Google’s Webmaster Tools, a suite of tools that provide data about a Web site, such as site visits. Increasingly, cybercriminals seek to hack legitimate Web pages and plant malicious software since it may be a long time before those sites are cleaned up or detected as opposed to a newly created domain.

Intel’s revenues beat analyst predictions

Intel on Tuesday reported strong third-quarter earnings that beat analyst expectations and were buoyed by what the company called “momentum” in the economy. The chip maker reported third-quarter revenue of US$9.39 billion for the quarter that ended Sept. 26, beating the $9.04 billion estimated by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. Intel projected fourth-quarter revenue of $10.1 billion “plus or minus $400 million,” while analysts are projecting Intel’s revenue to be $9.5 billion in the fourth quarter.

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