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PRNewswire: Microsoft Acquires One of Europe's Top Online Map Services

PRNewswire: Samsung Licenses Microsoft Technology for Wireless Digital Photo Frame

Daily Mailbox

Celebrity Faceplate Auction Launched, Get an Xbox 360 Faceplate Signed by a Star

PRNewswire: The Venus by LG Gets Dressed Up in Pink for Verizon Wireless

PRNewswire: Vulnerability Advisory: McAfee, Inc. Solutions Protect Against 11 Newly Disclosed Microsoft Vulnerabilities

PRNewswire: Mazda Furai Concept and 2009 RX-8 to Make World Debut at 2008 North American International Auto Show

PRNewswire: Microsoft Acquires One of Europe's Top Online Map Services

LONDON, Dec. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Microsoft Corp. has acquired Multimap, one of the United Kingdom's top 100 technology companies and one of the leading online mapping services in the world. The acquisition gives Microsoft a powerful new location and mapping technology to complement existing offerings such as Virtual Earth, Live Search, Windows Live services, MSN and the aQuantive advertising platform, with future integration potential for a range of other Microsoft products and platforms. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"The addition of Multimap enhances Microsoft's position as a leading provider of mapping and location platform services," said Sharon Baylay, general manager of the Online Services Group at Microsoft. "This acquisition will play a significant role in the future growth of our search business and presents a huge opportunity to expand our platform business beyond the U.K. and globally. We are thrilled to welcome Multimap onboard."

One of the best-known online mapping companies worldwide, Multimap provides a publicly available personal mapping service at http://www.multimap.com/, as well as a range of integrated business services.

"Partnering with Microsoft gives us a world of new opportunities to build our mapping services into new technologies and applications," said Jeff Kelisky, CEO of Multimap. "As one of the world's foremost technology brands, Microsoft is in a position to bring even more value to the Multimap service and give people everywhere new, exciting and fun ways to get from point A to point B."

Multimap will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft, as part of the Virtual Earth and Search teams in the Online Services Group. The acquisition is the latest in a series of moves as Microsoft seeks to expand its online services to deliver software, services, and premium content and applications to consumers and businesses.

Source: PRNewswire

PRNewswire: Samsung Licenses Microsoft Technology for Wireless Digital Photo Frame

REDMOND, Wash. and IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Samsung Electronics America Inc., a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Corporation, today announced the release of its new 8" Digital Photo Frame SPF-83V, based on technology developed by Microsoft Research, in time for the holiday season. With this innovative addition to their photo frame lineup, customers can enjoy photos wirelessly in their home and display photos from sharing sites such as Windows Live Spaces or from personal collections on their PC.

The frame works with the Windows Live Photo Gallery, which makes sharing photos with friends and family easy. Users can organize and upload individual photos or albums from their PC to Windows Live Spaces and the photos are ready for display on the frame.

Along with the technology licensed from Microsoft Research, the Samsung frame communicates with Windows Media Player and open standards such as RSS. The product is a result of a long-standing collaboration between Microsoft Corp. and Samsung Electronics, including a patent cross-licensing agreement signed by the two companies in April 2007.

"Offering our customers next-generation products that bring them closer to family and friends is important to us," said Christopher Franey, vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing at Samsung Electronics America, Information Technology Division. "Our latest digital photo frames, based on cutting-edge technology from the Microsoft Research labs, are easy to use and are one of the few offerings in the marketplace that offer a 'network' approach to digital photo sharing. This is a great example of our ongoing collaboration with Microsoft, and we are confident that the resulting product will be received extremely well."

"Working with industry leaders such as Samsung to allow them to deploy Microsoft's innovative technologies and bring great products and services to customers more rapidly is what our intellectual property licensing efforts are all about," said Louis Carbonneau, general manager of Intellectual Property Licensing at Microsoft. "This is just one example of how our dedication to open innovation can lead to greater collaboration between two technology industry leaders and to great products -- right in time for the holidays."

Source: PRNewswire

Daily Mailbox

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Celebrity Faceplate Auction Launched, Get an Xbox 360 Faceplate Signed by a Star

'Tis the season for giving and there is no better time to get the ideal gift for the video game fanatic, pop culture or music junky on your list. Xbox Canada, a division of Microsoft Canada Co., is thrilled to announce Master Chief's Celebrity Faceplate Auction, a fundraising initiative in support of Children's Miracle Network. With the participation of some of the most popular artists in the entertainment industry from Canada and around the world, the Celebrity Faceplate Auction offers fans a chance to own a piece of Hollywood and video game memorabilia. Items up for grabs include faceplates for Xbox 360 signed by stars from music, film, sports and television as well as limited edition Halo 3-branded X-shaped Ibanez Xiphos guitars and an autographed Guitar Hero II guitar.

Visit this URL for full auction details and to bid on your favourite item.

Celebrity participants include Canadian punk princess Avril Lavigne, Fergie, Joss Stone and home grown rock sensation Finger Eleven. Some of the biggest names in Canadian sports and Television are also lending their support including two-time NBA All-Star Chris Bosh and style-guru and creative director on Canada's and America's Next Top Model Jay Manuel, and many more (see the full list below). From Thursday, December 6th to Sunday, December 16th all faceplates and limited edition Halo 3-branded Ibanez guitars will be up for auction on eBay and open to international bids.

"Children's Miracle Network greatly appreciates and relies on the support of organizations like Xbox Canada who, through various initiatives, help to raise funds in support of our programs," said John Hartman, Chief Operating Officer, Children's Miracle Network. "We'd like to thank members of the entertainment industry for their time and for bringing awareness to the work we do as well as Xbox Canada for their continued support."

The Master Chief Celebrity Faceplate Auction is an initiative created around the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system, which has a removable faceplate (or front cover) that can be switched to allow the console to reflect the personality of the owner or the decor of their house. This auction provides people with a unique opportunity to bring a one-of-a-kind faceplate signed their favourite celebrity into their own home. The limited edition Halo 3-branded Ibanez guitars and autographed Guitar Hero II guitar up for auction give Halo 3 and music fans a chance to own a unique piece of video game memorabilia.

"With the massive launch of Halo 3 in Canada and around the world, Master Chief has now taken his place alongside other great pop culture icons," said Ryan Bidan, Product Manager, Games, Xbox Canada. "The Halo 3 Celebrity Faceplate Auction is the perfect opportunity to pair Canada's love of video games and pop culture in support of the great work done by Children's Miracle Network and their 14 children's hospitals across Canada."


Avril Lavigne
Finger Eleven
Kardinal Offishall
The Used
Alexis on Fire
SUM 41
Black Eyed Peas
Sam Roberts
Joss Stone
Matt Flynn (Maroon 5)
Billy Talent
George Nozuka

Amber Tamblyn (Joan of Arcadia, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants)

Chris Bosh (Toronto Raptors)
Ray Emery (Ottawa Senators)

Jay Manuel (Canada's  & America's Next Top Model)
Nole Marin (Canada's Next Top Model)

Source: High Road Communications

PRNewswire: The Venus by LG Gets Dressed Up in Pink for Verizon Wireless

BASKING RIDGE, N.J., and SAN DIEGO, Dec. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Starting today, the fashion-forward Venus(TM) by LG becomes available in pink, exclusively from Verizon Wireless, the company with the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network. The perfect gift for the fashionista this holiday season, the Venus' sleek slider design now comes in a sparkly pink finish with the same sizzling mobile features available on the popular black Venus by LG.

The Venus features a 2.0 megapixel camera, VZ Navigator(SM) capability, a microSD(TM) memory slot that can support up to 8 GB of additional memory, and dual-screen displays, the lower with touch navigation. For music and video fans, the Venus by LG also offers access to V CAST Music, which gives customers access to more than 2.5 million songs that can be purchased and downloaded over-the-air to the phone; and V CAST Video, Verizon Wireless' multimedia service with news, sports and entertainment video clips, 3D games and more. Customers can even browse the Web or text message while listening to the music.

The Venus by LG is available in both pink and black for $199.99 after $50 mail-in rebate and two-year customer agreement. Customers can purchase the Venus at Verizon Wireless Communications Stores, including those in Circuit City, by calling 1-800-2 JOIN IN or by visiting www.verizonwireless.com.

Source: PRNewswire

PRNewswire: Vulnerability Advisory: McAfee, Inc. Solutions Protect Against 11 Newly Disclosed Microsoft Vulnerabilities

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Dec. 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- McAfee, Inc. (NYSE:MFE) today announced that it provides coverage for the 11 security vulnerabilities disclosed by Microsoft Corporation today. These vulnerabilities have been reviewed by McAfee(R) Avert(R) Labs, and based on their findings, McAfee recommends that users confirm the Microsoft product versioning outlined in the bulletins and update as recommended by Microsoft and McAfee. This includes deploying solutions to ensure protection against the vulnerabilities outlined in this advisory.

"Today's Microsoft patches emphasize the need for proactive browser protection and the risk of surfing the Web unprotected," said Dave Marcus, security research and communications manager, McAfee Avert Labs. "The vulnerability in the Windows Media File Format is another warning that media files are potentially unsafe and people should use caution when opening or playing media files."

Microsoft Vulnerabilities Overview:

  * MS07-063 - Vulnerability in SMBv2 Could Allow Remote Code Execution
  * MS07-064 - Vulnerabilities in DirectX Could Allow Remote Code Execution
  * MS07-065 - Vulnerability in Message Queuing Could Allow Remote Code
  * MS07-066 - Vulnerability in Windows Kernel Could Allow Elevation of
  * MS07-067 - Vulnerability in Macrovision Driver Could Allow Local
    Elevation of Privilege
  * MS07-068 - Vulnerability in Windows Media File Format Could Allow Remote
    Code Execution
  * MS07-069 - Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer

Today's seven security bulletins cover a total of 11 vulnerabilities. Three of the bulletins are rated critical by Microsoft due to their potential for remote code execution. The remaining four bulletins are deemed important, a notch lower on Microsoft's severity scale.

For additional information on today's vulnerabilities, including the McAfee Avert Labs Patch Tuesday webinar, as well as information on current threats, visit McAfee's Threat Center at http://www.mcafee.com/us/threat_center/default.asp. McAfee recommends users sign up to receive the McAfee Avert Labs Security Advisory, describing detailed McAfee product coverage on the set of vulnerabilities described in this document, as well as McAfee product coverage for other threats. To sign- up visit: http://www.mcafee.com/us/threat_center/securityadvisory/signup.aspx. More information on the vulnerabilities can also be found at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/current.aspx

Source: PRNewswire

PRNewswire: Mazda Furai Concept and 2009 RX-8 to Make World Debut at 2008 North American International Auto Show

HIROSHIMA, Japan, Dec. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Mazda Motor Corporation will showcase the world premieres of the Mazda Furai concept vehicle and the heavily revised 2009 Mazda RX-8 sports car at the 2008 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), to be held in Detroit from Sunday, January 13 through Sunday, January 27, 2008. On the heels of its show-stopping debut at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show in October, the Mazda Taiki concept vehicle also will make its North American debut, the first time it has been shown outside Japan.

Mazda Furai -- 'Sound of the wind'. Inspired by the fact that, on any given weekend, there are more Mazdas and Mazda-powered cars road-raced in the United States than any other brand, the Mazda Furai (Japanese for "sound of the wind" and pronounced "fu-rye") is the sort of car that could only come from a company that incorporates the "Soul of a Sports Car" into everything it builds, but with an eye toward the future and the environment through the use of 100% ethanol produced in partnership with British Petroleum (BP).

Furai takes Mazda's unique Nagare (Japanese for "flow") design language a step further as it is translated into a concept car based on an American Le Mans Series (ALMS) racing car. The car utilizes the Courage C65 chassis the company campaigned in the ALMS series only two seasons ago, and the 450-hp three-rotor rotary engine that distinguishes it from anything else on the track.

Says Franz von Holzhausen, Mazda's North American director of design, "Furai purposely blurs boundaries that have traditionally distinguished street cars from track cars. Historically, there has been a gap between single-purpose racecars and street-legal models -- commonly called supercars -- that emulate the real racers on the road. Furai bridges that gap like no car has ever done before."

Mazda's critically acclaimed Nagare design language describes the flow of water, air, people or things moving in one direction. Mazda Nagare is flow, with an insightful and spirited styling, which, in Mazda Furai, invokes a raw, unfettered desire to possess everything this car represents.

2009 Mazda RX-8. Sporting a freshened design, improved handing, acceleration, quality and features, the 2009 Mazda RX-8 continues to be a "Sports Car like no other," and shows that the rotary engine is still an important part of Mazda's future.

Since its launch in 2003, the Mazda RX-8 has been hailed as a genuine sports car, but with a totally new, four-door, four-seat format that delivers sports car values, passenger comfort and driving pleasure. Powered by the world's only mass-produced rotary engine, RX-8 is the spiritual successor to the 1967 Cosmo 110S, the world's first twin-rotor production car. With almost two-million rotary engines sold, and the company's legendary win at the 1991 24 Hours of Le Mans -- the only Japanese brand to ever win the endurance racing classic -- the rotary engine is the sole preserve of Mazda.

Mazda Taiki. Making its North American debut, the first time it has been shown outside of Japan where it was hailed as the "Concept of the Show" by a major enthusiast publication at this year's Tokyo Motor Show, Mazda is eager to show the Mazda Taiki alongside the all-new Mazda Furai.

While Taiki is significant as the fourth of the Nagare-inspired concepts in the series, it is also the third rotary-powered car that will be debuted on the Mazda stand. Mazda is committed to the current and future development and production of the rotary engine, as well as pursuing multiple fuel strategies under its Sustainable Zoom-Zoom plan.

The challenge to create "a design that visually expresses the flow of air" was inspired by the image of a pair of Hagoromo -- the flowing robes that enable a celestial maiden to fly in Japanese legend -- floating down from the sky.

Inspired by Japanese koinobori -- the decorative "climbing carp streamers" -- the notion of creating an Air-tube became the concept word for the interior design. In accordance, from the dashboard and seats down to the door trim, the interior space creates the dynamic sensation that the flow of the wind is being visually depicted.

Additionally, Mazda will have a special display of racecars on its stand during the press days, and the full lineup of production cars for consumers to sample for public days.

Headquartered in Irvine, California, Mazda North American Operations oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico through nearly 900 dealers. Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario, Canada, and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.

For more information on Mazda products, visit the online Mazda media center at http://www.mazdausamedia.com/

Source: PRNewswire

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