The group has coined the term 'badware' to describe spyware, adware, worms and viruses and other digital pests that install themselves on users' system without permission. It will operate from the Stopbadware.org website.
The site will act as a "neighbourhood watch" by evaluating downloadable applications and publishing independent assessments.
As part its efforts the group is collecting experiences from users who face issues with certain applications and will use the data as part of its research.
The project is funded by high-tech heavyweights including Google, Sun Microsystems and Lenovo. It's advisory board includes Google's Vint Cerf, the co-designer of the TCP/IP networking protocols, and Greg Papadopoulos, chief technology officer at Sun.
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This long-sought progenitor star was identified in an image captured by Hubble in 2007