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Greenpeace slams electronics vendors for toxic inaction

Four of the biggest names in the electronics industry have missed an important goal for phasing out toxic chemicals from their products, according to environmental group Greenpeace.

Samsung, Dell, Lenovo and LG Electronics had all pledged to rid their products of PVC and brominated flame retardants by the end of 2009, but have now delayed this until 2011 or beyond.

The toxic chemicals have the potential to damage the environment and harm human health, and their elimination has been a major goal of Greenpeace’s quarterly Guide to Greener Electronics. The latest edition of the guide was published on Thursday and ranked Nokia top and Samsung in second place.

Juniper Networks has issued seven security advisories for its products, including a fix for a nasty bug that could be used to crash the company’s routers. The number-two router vendor isn’t releasing a public security advisory on any of the bugs — that information is available to registered customers only.

The worst bug was first identified early last year, but security experts only recently figured out how it could be exploited in Internet-based attacks, making it a much more critical issue. By sending a router a specially crafted packet, an attacker could cause it to crash and then reboot. All routers that use the JunOS operating system are affected, but any version of the OS built after Jan 28., 2009, includes the patch

Yahoo has signed up new partners for its Connected TV effort but also faces competition from other companies looking to bring movies and applications from the Internet to the TV.

Among the new entrants is DivX, which with its DivX TV software plans to stream movies and other content from the Web to devices including TVs, Blu-ray players and game consoles. LG has licensed the software. Also in the game is Vudu, which will embed its streaming movie service in TVs and Blu-ray players from Sanyo, Samsung, Sharp and Toshiba, in addition to products from existing partners LG, Mitsubishi and Vizio. A quarter of the HDTVs that ship this year will be capable of connecting to the Internet, analysts say.

Intel has showed the first smartphone based on its upcoming Moorestown platform for mobile devices. The GW990 smartphone will be made by LG Electronics and ship during the second half of the year. Moorestown is a chip platform with an Atom processor that Intel is targeting at smartphones and mobile Internet devices. The GW990 has a 5-inch screen that can play back 720p high-definition video. The screen supports multitouch input and includes a camera in the front and back. The phone runs Linux.

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

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