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Sun rises with new processor

After a year’s delay, Sun Microsystems’ 16-core “Rock” server chip is on track for delivery in the fall, the head of Sun’s systems business said Monday. The processor will have a new, multi-threaded design and double the core count from Sun’s fastest server processor today, the UltraSparc T2, which has eight cores. It will be targeted at enterprise servers that process data-intensive applications like databases. Sine didn’t provide an exact ship date but said the chip will be in servers by the Fall, suggesting a September to November timeframe. Rock was originally due for release in 2008, but Sun revealed last year that it had delayed the release until the second half of 2009.

Critical Windows fixes released

Microsoft has released software patches fixing a handful of critical bugs in the Windows kernel, as well as flaws in the Windows Directory Name System and SChannel security software. The software vendor rates the three Windows kernel bugs as critical because they could be used to create attack code that would run unauthorized software on a victim’s machine. The SChannel and DNS bugs are given the less-scary rating of “important” by Microsoft, meaning the company doesn’t think they’re as likely to be used to take over a PC. The Windows kernel update, should be the first one applied. That’s because it could allow an attacker to take complete control of your computer if you view a website, email, or document that contains an evil graphic or picture, analysts said. This update is rated critical for all versions of Windows.

Germany ratifies cyber-crime law

Germany has become the latest country to ratify the only international treaty concerning computer crime. The Council of Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime, which sets guidelines for laws and procedures for dealing with Internet crime, was adopted in 2001. Countries can sign the treaty, which indicates their willingness to comply, and then can ratify it after their laws have been modified. So far, 47 countries have signed the treaty. Twenty-three of those have signed it but not ratified it. The Council of Europe was hoping that the number of ratifications would be around 40 by early this year, but progress has been slower than expected.

Google blocks iPhone application

Google will block an iPhone application that harnesses its Google Talk chat program to provide a free text-message service after too many users flocked to download it. The Infinite SMS app, which cost US$0.99 and let users send unlimited text messages from an iPod or iPhone, quickly became one of the 10 most-downloaded apps in the iPhone Store after its release last month, developer Inner Fence said in a statement on its Web site. But the company stopped sales of the app on Monday after Google notified it that the program would be blocked.

…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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