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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

New Windows Vista security holes found

Security researchers have reported late last week that they have found six software bugs in the upcoming Windows Vista operating system. One of the bugs may allow users to enhance other user's privileges without permission allowing control of all of the operations of the computer. This also affects the older versions of Windows.

There are also Internet Explorer 7 bugs which could allow Vista users to become affected by malware simply by navigating to a malicious Web site.

Microsoft said it is closely monitoring the vulnerabilies.

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

More Firefox security holes

Mozilla has released a set of security updates for versions 1.5.x & 2.0.x of its Firefox Web browser and for the Thunderbird e-mail client and SeaMonkey, which includes a chat client and a tool to build Web sites.

Mozilla has labeled most of the updates critical while the security firm Secunia has rated them highly critical.

Mozilla owns only 10 percent of the browser market at most even though that share is growing. As it does, more and more hackers are turning their eyes toward Firefox to search for flaws.

Mozilla Vulnerabilites

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

IBM, Yahoo launch free enterprise search tool

IBM and Yahoo Inc. have developed a free entry level enterprise search application aimed at companies that haven't tried out enterprise search products because of cost and complexity concerns.

The software is called IBM OmniFind Yahoo Edition. It is designed to be simple to install and use and can index up to 500,000 documents from more than 200 file types.

It is designed to comptete with Google's Mini. The Mini is a hardware device loaded with Google search software that starts at $1,995 for 50,000 documents and tops.

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Saturday, December 16, 2006

New Photoshop Beta ready for testing

On December 15th a public beta of Photoshop Creative Suite 3 (CS3) will be made available for download on Adobe Labs. This new Photoshop release is the first version to run natively on Intel based Macintosh computer but the beta release will be compatible with both Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems.

Photoshop is one of the most widely used digital imaging software applications in the world.

The public beta of Photoshop will be made available for download free of charge as long as you have a valid registration and serial number from Photoshop CS2, Adobe Creative Suite 2, Adobe Creative Suite Production Studio, Adobe Design Bundle, Adobe Web Bundle or Adobe Video Bundle.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Microsoft getting into VOIP

Microsoft released Office Communications Server 2007 to about 2,500 IT professionals in a private beta. It is the first time Microsoft has offered software for making voice over IP part of integrated communications.

Microsoft may eventually look to provide the entire software infrastructure for VoIP and other communications offerings. For instance, by using Office Communications Server with Microsoft's Exchange Server messaging software and Outlook e-mail client, a user can respond to an e-mail received in Exchange with a VoIP call using Communications Server and Communicator.

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Microsoft getting into web design/graphics software

Microsoft plans to release its first suite of Web and graphic design software by mid 2007, putting it into competition with graphics king Adobe Systems, makers of such software titles as Photoshop and Illustrator.

The new software suite named Expression Studio, is expected to ship sometime in the second quarter. All four components will sell for a combined price of $599.

The suite will include Expression Web, a web design tool that is the successor to the discontinued FrontPage web design software. Expression Blend, an interactive design tool formerly known as Interactive Designer but with a new user interface. Expression Design, a layout and graphic design tool similar to Adobe Illustrator. And a copy of Visual Studio.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Myspace Attack is under what one computer security analyst calls an "amazingly virulent" attack caused by a worm that steals login credentials and spreads spam that promotes adware sites.

Close to a third of MySpace users were infected. is estimated to have at least 73 million registered users.

The worm exploits a weakness found around two weeks ago in MySpace and a feature within Apple's QuickTime multimedia player.

The exploit starts with a user who visits a MySpace profile infected with an embedded QuickTime movie. The movie loads JavaScript code that overlays a row of menu options on a MySpace profile with a bogus menu. If an option in the bogus menu is clicked, the user is directed to a fake login page hosted on another server where the person's login details are captured.

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Vista release getting closer

The new Windows Vista is getting ready to hit the store shelves soon. The consumer version wont be available until January 2007, but corporate customers will be able to start using the latest version of of Microsoft's latest operating system berfore then.

Microsoft says they spent $7 billion on R&D and will spend $500 million on marketing.

Vista will be prettier, easier to use and more secure. Early reviews speak of more eye candy and bells and whistles. Aero, the new graphical user interface, offers more animation and translucent windows. You will need a more powerful computer to run Vista and get the full benefits of its new features.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Parents say kids stay online too long

One in five American parents believe their kids are spending too much time on the Internet these days. 21% of adult Internet users with children believe the kids are online too long, compared with 11% in 2000.

47% of the adults say they have withheld Internet use as a form of punishment. Since 2000, researchers have seen Internet use grow to 78 percent, from 67 percent. Access at home increased to 68 percent, from 47 percent.

The study found nearly a quarter of online users,especially newcomers to the Internet say they spend less time reading.

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Security bug in Firefox 2.0

Attackers have found a new method of extracting information from users. So far it has been mostly affecting MySpace users. Its done by tricking the user's browser to send information to the attacker first and then its passed on to the actual server (such as MySpace) where it needs to go.

Firefox's Password Manager does not perform a thorough check before it decides to send across the password information. It also does not check whether it is sending the information to the same server that requested it.

Mozilla hopes to come out with a solution to the problem with the release of Firefox version or

As for now, the remedy is to disable the Save Passwords feature in your browser.
In Firefox go to Tools, Options then Security. Once there uncheck the box which says Remember Passwords for Sites.

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Second Life virtual world gets attacked by worm

Virtual world Second Life had to close down for a short time on Sunday after it was attacked by a worm called Grey Goo.

The self replicating worm planted spinning gold rings around the virtual world, which is inhabited by over a million users. As users interacted with the rings they replicated, it resulted in a slowdown on the servers.

Users complain that the virtual world becomes unusable once 15,000 people are logged on simultaneously (a fraction of the overall residents).

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Sprint to offer Microsoft Live Search on cellphones

Sprint plans to offer Windows Live Search on their cellphones to search location-based content from the Internet.

Sprint and Microsoft will share the revenue from advertisements placed alongside Windows Live search results and the two companies will work together to introduce new mobile phones services in the future.

The two companies say that future initiatives in the alliance will explore leveraging new Microsoft technologies in the development of a differentiated portfolio of rich and seamless information experiences for Sprint customers.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Courts fight back at spyware pusher

A federal court has shut down a Nevada company called ERG Ventures LLC. The Federal Trade Commission accused ERG with spreading spyware and adware on the Internet using the Media Motor program. Microsoft has also filed a lawsuit charging that a number of ERG Venture's affiliates used screensavers and other software to infect users PCs.

The malware installed by Media Motor changes browser home pages and adds toolbars that generate popup ads.

They didn't tell users about the numerous hidden programs that would be installed with the screen savers, and provided only an illusory option to stop installation.

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Hot new Nvidia graphics card

Nvidia unveiled a new computer graphics processor with more than double the power of its predecessor. The new microchip, called the GeForce 8800, has a retail price of $599 for the high end version.

Nvidia also said that for the first time it is releasing a set of software tools that will let programmers tap the chip to handle non graphics related tasks such as crunching data. which they hope to boost the appeal of its chips for non gaming uses that need to crunch huge amounts of data.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Dell delivers quad core processors

Dell is selling its servers and workstations with Intel\'s new Quad-Core Xeon processors on board. The servers will arrive first and the workstations will appear soon after.

There are two processor versions available, the 1.6 GHz and the 1.8 GHz with faster models coming out next year. Dell claimes the new server options offer up to 1.6 times the performance of equivalent dual core systems.

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Dell goes with AMD for desktop processors

Dell plans to launch a desktop for its business customers that is powered by an Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) processor.

Dell's OptiPlex 740 will offer users the choice of an Athlon 64 or Athlon 64 X2 AMD processor, which replaces the Intel Pentium used in the last generation computers. The new PC is expected to be Vista Capable as well.

AMD has had growing success in the server market to compete with Intel in recent months and hopes this will even the score.

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Friday, November 03, 2006

Google Gmail on your mobile device

Google has released an enhanced and downloadable version of Gmail for Mobile Devices. It is a free Java based application that allows users to access their Gmail from a mobile phone or PDA.

The interface looks like the web based Gmail, but the features that are optimized for handheld devices. It offers improved access times and ease of use due to technology that automatically pre-fetches e-mail messages.

Gmail is available only in the US at the moment, and is compatible with more than 300 cell phones. Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, and Cingular will carry the service

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Sony lightens up the notebook

Sony is going to be selling the world's lightest notebook computer in December in Japan, in a bid to boost its presence among business users.

Weighing 1.9 pounds, Sony,s type G Vaio computer will be the lightest laptop PC, and comes with a 12.1-inch LCD screen and will cost around $1,881.

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Microsoft cracking down on Office pirating

The Office Genuine Advantage is going final and about to be switched on for all, with no choice to opt out of the validation process as there has been during the beta testing phase.

As of October 27 last week, anyone using a pirated version of Office will no longer be able to download Office templates or other Office downloads. From January 2007, pirated Office users will no longer be able to check for and download Office updates.

If you are using an illegal copy of Office then you will not be able to perform updates and will have to run the risk that documents you receive from others do not contain threats that could damage your system.

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Friday, October 27, 2006

Web Browser Battle

Days after Microsoft released Internet Explorer 7, Mozilla released Firefox 2,its latest web browser that includes upgraded security features such as built in phishing protection and a new interface. It also has a new feature called session memory, which brings back the set of Web pages that were in use when it was last closed.

There have been claims of security flaws in the latest version of Firefox which Mozilla denies. One of the problems is related to a vulnerability that was patched in an earlier version of the browser.

With IE 7, security experts have found a weakness that could help crooks mask phishing scams which is the type of attack Microsoft designed the browser to defeat.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Microsoft offers Vista upgrade discounts

Microsoft says it will help holiday season computer buyers upgrade to its new Windows Vista operating system, in some cases paying 100% of the upgrade cost.

The upgrade assist program is meant to bolster PC sales during the critical holiday period despite the discouraging absence of the long delayed Vista.

Microsoft said the upgrade assistance program, covering both Windows Vista and Office, will cost it about $1.5 billion in sales in the current quarter.

Upgrading from Windows XP Home Edition to Vista Home Basic will cost $49, and upgrading from Windows XP Home Edition to Vista Home Premium will cost $79.

Microsoft said it is backing a similar upgrade program for people who buy computers preloaded with the current version of its business software, Office 2003, and want to upgrade.

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Friday, October 20, 2006

Apple gets picked on too

Apple computers have been praised for being relatively virus free. But as more people use Apple products, experts say they are becoming a target for cyber pranksters and criminals writing viruses and other forms of malware.

viruses targeting Apple's Macintosh personal computers are increasing. Oliver Friedrichs, director of security response at Symantec, a leading anti-virus software vendor, said 72 vulnerabilities were discovered in the Mac's OS X operating system in 2006, up from 19 in 2004.

The main reason for Apple's seemingly safe position is the stability of Mac OS X which is based on UNIX.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Some iPods shipped carrying Windows virus

Some of Apple's iPod digital music players shipped in the past month carry a computer virus, according to a posting on Apple's technical support Web site.

Since September 12th, less than 1% of Video iPods left its contract manufacturer carrying the virus RavMonE.exe, which affects computers running Microsoft Windows.

The infection came from Windows terminals on the production line.

Apple said the virus can be detected and removed using many popular anti-virus software programs.

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Google's online office suite is almost here

Google has come up with its own online Office suite by combining its Writely word processor with its Google Spreadhseets to form Google Docs & Spreadsheets.

Docs & Spreadsheets requires no download and works within a Web browser, with the ability to export documents into a number of offline formats. The service is completely free of charge

The new web offerings are not meant to compete with other software such as Microsoft Office. It is geared towards users that would not buy Office to begin with.

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Microsoft patches 26 flaws

Microsoft on Tuesday released 10 security updates that patched a record 26 vulnerabilities in Windows, Office, and .Net. More than half of the flaws were marked critical.

The total vulnerabilities set new records for Microsoft in its monthly patch process. The patched products include everything from Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer to Word and Excel and PowerPoint. Microsoft Office accounted for 62% of the bugs patched Tuesday and 86% of those marked critical.

The problem, according to Microsoft's notes on the vulnerability, is compounded by a lack of workarounds or factors that might minimize the threat. Microsoft had no workarounds to offer up other than to patch, and the only way to guarantee safety is to surf only trusted sites.

Users can obtain Tuesday's patches via Windows Automatic Update, from the Microsoft Update service, or through other Microsoft software and services such as Software Update Services (SUS).

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

PCI Express 2 coming soon

PCI Express lets users plug devices such as network adapters and video cards into computers for high speed data transfer. PCI Express 2.0 will incorporate changes such as a speed boost to double each serial line's data transfer rate from 2.5 gigabits per second to 5Gpbs.

PCI Express differs from conventional PCI in using a smaller number of high speed serial communication links rather than a larger number of parallel communication lines that send data synchronized in lockstep.

PCI Express Cable specification will let PCI devices be connected with standardized copper cables as long as 10 meters with data transfer speeds of 2.5Gbps per line which is suited for tasks such as adding an input output expansion module housing numerous network cards to a higher end server.

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Learn more about Video Cards

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Chinese Hackers Attack Commerce Department

The Commerce Department admitted that heavy attacks on its computers by hackers working through Chinese servers have forced the bureau responsible for granting export licenses to cut off Internet access for more over a month.

Hundreds of computers must be replaced to clean the agency of malicious code, including rootkits and spyware.

An attack against computers of the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) which is the branch of Commerce responsible for overseeing U.S. exports which have both commercial and military applications forced BIS to turn off Internet access in early September.

This is the second major attack originating in China that has been acknowledged by the federal government since July. With the most recent attack, the evidence points to state sponsored hacking.

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Friday, October 06, 2006

Vista taking a stance on piracy

The new Windows Vista will have anti piracy features built in such as the ability to cripple the operating system in computers found to be running unlicensed copies.

People running a version of Windows Vista that Microsoft believes is pirated will initially be denied access to some of the best new Vista features, including Windows Aero.

If a legal copy is not purchased within 30 days, Windows will curtail functions further by restricting users to just the Web browser for an hour at a time and not allowing users to be able to directly open documents from the computer desktop or run other programs like Outlook.

The company also said that it had added more sophisticated technology for monitoring whether a system is pirated.

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Sony battery recall

Sony will be recalling lithium ion laptop batteries this month. It was thought that the battery recall would involve other electronic devices besides batteries but turns out that it will only be laptop batteries.

Sony is working with the CPSC to identify the widest scope of batteries that it may recall. They are currently working together to identify what will be in the recall, the time frame of what was manufactured and sold.

Previous notebook battery recalls were issued by Dell and Apple Computer in August for specific laptop models containing Sony batteries, after it was discovered that some batteries were overheating or exploding, causing fires even when the machines were turned off.

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Microsoft still having Internet Explorer security problems

Microsoft is warning that it is investigating new public reports of a critical bug in Windows comes more than two months after sample code showing how to take advantage of the flaw was posted to the Web.

The flaw that Microsoft warned about is in an ActiveX control used by the Windows GUI software. It was first disclosed on July 18 as part of a project by hacker HD Moore to expose problems in Internet Explorer.

Microsoft has only patched 2 of Moore's discovered flaws. Microsoft engineers haven't even been able to investigate close to a third of the vulnerabilities, Moore said.

Moore handed Microsoft another 70 bugs that he had not publicly disclosed.

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Monday, September 25, 2006

Internet for everyone by 2020

Key technologists and futurists have agreed that a low cost Internet will be available to the vast majority of the world's population by the year 2020.

Experts say the digital communications infrastructure would expand massively by 2020. By then it would cover regions and populations currently left out of digital society. It would also stretch far beyond today's personal computers to encompass billions of devices in every walk of life.

46% of the experts also had serious reservations about the spread of the net, including the loss of personal privacy and the danger that humans could lose control of the technology they create.

More than half of respondents disagreed that English would become so dominant as the lingua franca of the internet that it would displace other languages.

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Anonymous Mozilla web browser

A group of computer security experts and human rights workers has released an anonymous, fully portable web browser based on Mozilla Firefox.

The Torpark browser comes pre configured and does not require installation. It can run off of a USB memory stick, and claims to leave no tracks behind on the browser or computer. The browser uses The Tor network to create an anonymous connection between the user and the websites being visited.

Normally when a user logs onto the internet, a IP address is assigned to manage the computer's identity. Each website the user visits can see and track the user's IP address. Hostile site owners and data thieves can monitor this interaction to correlate activity and pinpoint a user's identity.

The Tor network causes the IP address seen by the website to change every few minutes to make eavesdropping difficult and hide the requesting source.

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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Microsoft Zune Music Player

The new Zune music player will allow users to share music with each other. It is Microsoft's answer to Apple's iPod music player but shouldnt put a dent in iPod sales.

The first Zune player will be released in time for the holiday shopping season and hasa 30 GIG hard drive, come in three colors and feature a 3 inch color screen, which is a half inch bigger than the iPod.

Zune will play videos that users have stored on their computer depening on the format of the videos.

Microsoft hopes to build a community of musicians and fans who interact at the Zune Marketplace. At launch, Zune will include artist profiles, coming events, music suggestions and favorite playlists from musicians.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Google Earth Gets New Featured Content

Google is planning to deliver an update to its Google Earth application that features areas overlaid atop other areas in a map so users can learn about their significance.

One feature will include before and after imagery provided by the United Nations Environmental Program, shoing areas of extreme environmental degradation around the world allowing users to see how the Earth has changed in the past 30 years.

Google says the initial list of content providers will be expanded and updated automatically over time.

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Friday, September 08, 2006

Intel releases vPro desktops

Intel has introduced the Intel vPro technology, a package of hardware and software solutions that utilizes the Intel Core 2 Duo processors to enable businesses to get better value and higher levels of computing performance from their PCs.

The vPro technology features the second generation of Intel Active Management Technology (Intel AMT). The features offer increased manageability and better security for large and small businesses, as well as potential costs savings.

vPro-based PCs also feature the latest Intel graphics which meet the requirements of Windows Vista.

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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Windows Vista Pricing Released

Microsoft released the details of its plan to get Windows Vista Release Candidate 1 (RC1) into the hands of millions of new testers and released final pricing for its new operating system. The public test of RC1 will involve more than 5 million users and will increase the availability of Windows Vista to millions of new users.

The widespread testing of RC1 is being done to help Microsoft meet a January 2007 deadline for getting Windows Vista into the hands of consumers. The testing is expected to help Microsoft track down bugs and ensure that Vista works with as wide a range of hardware as possible.

Vista Prcing

Windows Vista Home Basic will have a suggested retail price for the full packaged product of $199, with a suggested upgrade retail price of $99.95.

Windows Vista Home Premium will have a suggested retail price for the full packaged product of $239, with a suggested upgrade retail price of $159.

Windows Vista Business, which includes a variety of tools and features for businesses, will have a suggested retail price for the full packaged product of $299, with a suggested upgrade retail price of $199.

Windows Vista Ultimate, which includes all the major features of Windows Vista Business and Windows Vista Home Premium, will have a suggested retail price for the full packaged product of $399. The suggested upgrade retail price for this version of Vista will be $259.

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Friday, September 01, 2006

TDK ships rewritable 50 GB Blu-ray media

TDK this week said it will begin shipping rewritable 50 GB Blu-ray discs. The company is already working on a 100 GB version and has plans for a 200 GB version capable of holding about 18 hours of high definition video.

The initial Blu-ray disc standard allows for 25 GB single-layer discs and 50 GB dual-layer discs. It is stable enough to achieve 6x recording speed on a 25 GB write once Blu-ray disc prototype.

TDK has also developed its own hard coating technology to protect the disc surface against common contaminants such as scratches and fingerprints.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

What you need to know about the new Windows Vista

With the latest version of Microsoft Windows coming out in 2007 you may be wondering what is so special about Windows Vista and why should I upgrade? Vista will offer many new features and improve on existing features that are part of Windows XP.

Improved Security
Vista includes Microsoft Defender to fight spyware and Internet Explorer 7 which includes a phishing filter and antispoofing technology, as well as Windows Firewall.

Improved Software Setup and Maintenance
Vista enables you to create and store images which are system software configurations that can be easily replicated on new computers.That means the average time to set up a new PC will be reduced, and upgrading software on existing PCs will be a even easier.

Windows Aero
The new graphical user interface is fast and looks very slick.

Different Windows Vista Versions
Microsoft will be offering multiple versions of Windows Vista: two versions for home use, a business and an enterprise version, and an ultimate edition.

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Monday, August 28, 2006

Should AOL 9.0 be considered Malware? is an organization that attempts to provide reliable information about the free software available on the Internet.

The group advises against installing the AOL 9.0 because of what it describes as deceptive installation practices, which includes making changes to other software without the user's permission, and failure to uninstall completely.

When installed, AOL 9.0 adds the AOL toolbar to Internet Explorer and the AOL Deskbar to the taskbar, which finds unacceptable. It also installs a number of additional programs such as QuickTime and RealPlayer without fully disclosing the installation to the user.

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Logitech super scrolling mice

How many feet does the average person spin a scroll wheel in one workday? 26 according to Logitech.

Logitech MX Revolution mouse and its laptop version, the VX Revolution have scroll wheels that can cover hundreds of pages in a single scroll and spin freely for up to seven seconds.

In a test, Logitech scrolled 10,000 lines in seven seconds in Microsoft Excel.

Each mouse also has a new one touch search feature. Clicking the one touch button will produce Internet search results for a word or phrase that has been highlighted by the mouse.

The mice are also Macintosh compatible.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Microsoft Goes After "Cybersquatters"

Microsoft announced that it has filed two lawsuits against alleged "cybersquatters" which are groups that intentionally register domain names similar to those of legitimate companies or other real sites to trick Web surfers into thinking they are associated with those sites and companies. They use such names as to trick people into thinking they are going to when they make a typo. They have thier fake website designed to look like the real website.

Since many ads are paid for based on how many times web surfers click on them, the sites with these deceptive domain names can derive large amounts of income from the significant amounts of Web traffic.

Microsoft filed suit against two individuals attempting to register more than 320 domain names that the firm says target the company.

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Monday, August 21, 2006

Yahoo Tests Antiphishing Service

Yahoo is testing a security service designed to prevent internet users from landing on sites that look like they are from Yahoo but instead are fake sites set up by scammers to carry out phishing scams.

The Yahoo service will let users know if they have entered a legitimate Yahoo sign in Web page, so as to prevent them from entering their Yahoo ID and password on a phishing site.

Phishing is where scammers set up legitimate looking Web sites from well known companies such as banks and stores, and then try to lure people to them so they can trick people into entering sensitive information such as passwords and credit card numbers.

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Windows Vista already has the bug

Microsoft has confirmed that two of the seven critical Windows patches released last week will also apply to Vista. That is better than having all seven apply to Vista but contradicts a suggestion by a Windows marketing manager a few months ago that Vista will make Patch Tuesday a thing of the past.

Vista is clear of the most serious flaw discovered recently, MS06-040, which was noted as serious by the Department of Homeland Security. The two security flaws which affect Vista are still in the critical class, which means that a remote attacker can gain control of a computer without the user having to initiate any action.

The two vulnerabilities which affect Vista are addressed by Microsoft security updates MS06-042, which plugs a hole in Internet Explorer, and MS06-051 which patches a vulnerability in the Windows Vista kernel itself.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Microsoft looking for future game designers

Microsoft announced that it will be giving away programming tools that will allow the next generation of game designers to develop games for PCs and the Xbox 360 game console.

Microsoft will release XNA Game Studio Express at the end of August as a trial with a full, free version available by December. "You have to make the tools available and cheap and easy to use. That's when the community really starts producing," said Chris Satchell, general manager of Microsoft's Game Developer Group.

Future game designers will be able to enter a creators club where they can share games with other developers and adapt them for the Xbox. Microsoft is working with 10 universities, which will integrate the software tools into their game design courses.

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Monday, August 14, 2006

Hackers Take Advantage of Windows Security Vulnerability

Hackers used bots to control AOL Instant Messenger if it was installed on computers that did not have the MS06-040 patch.The bot has been dubbed with several names including "Graweg," "Mocbot," "WGAReg," and "Cuebot." It uses an exploit that leverages a vulnerability in Windows Server service, which was patched by Microsoft in its security bulletin MS06-040

The bots were using Windows Genuine Advantage, Microsoft's anti-piracy program to disguise their malicious activity on infected computers.

The AIM control could be a potential vector to allow the controller to trick users into downloading and executing the bot from an external URL.

Microsoft repeated last week's recommendation, and urged all Windows 2000, XP, and Server 2003 users to patch as soon as possible.

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Get more information and the Patch

Friday, August 11, 2006

Apple's answer to Vista

Apple introduced Leopard on Monday which is their new operating system that should be available to the public early next year, about the same time that Microsoft is supposed to release its new operating system, Vista. Apple has rolled out four versions of its operating system since Microsoft released Windows XP in 2001.

The Mac Pro desktop will replace the PowerMac, and includes Intel's Quad Xeon chip. Apple hopes by switching to Intel chips that it will continue a surge in computer sales. By using the Intel chip architecture, Apple is able to offer consumers the ability to run both Apple and Windows operating systems on a Mac.

New features of Leopard will include Time Machine, an easy way to retrieve deleted files, applications, photos and other material and Spaces which will let users jump between applications with a simple keystroke or click.

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Sony introduces the Mylo personal communicator

The new Mylo (my life online) device offers features such as music playback and instant messaging and VoIP communications using services such as Google Talk, eBay's Skype, and Yahoo Messenger over a wireless.

"It is ideal for people who want to stay connected to their online friends and family, but not be weighed down by a PC or buffeted by charges for IM and texting on cell phones" says John Kodera at Sony Electronics.

Mylo comes with a QWERTY keyboard, HTML browser, 1 gigabyte of flash memory, built-in speaker and a 2.4 inch color LCD screen.

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

AOL accidentally releases members Web search information

America Online said it mistakenly released data about the search habits of more than 650,000 of its members. The good news is that the AOL users weren't personally identified in the data but the bad news is that they were tracked by anonymous user-ID numbers which could allow anyyone from law enforcement to identity thieves to analyze an individual's searches to get data such as names, addresses and other information that could provide hints to the users identities.

AOL researchers posted the data, which detailed more than 20 million queries made by users without authorization to a new AOL research Web site.

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Monday, August 07, 2006

Google helps to protect you from unsafe websites

Google has started to warn users if they are about to visit a webpage that could cause harm to their computer. A warning will pop up if you click on a link for page known to host spyware or other malicious programs.

The Stop Badware coalition identifies harmful sites which will be used by Google to give its warnings.

Users will not be stopped from going to these potentially harmful sites but will only be warned.

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Firefox Gaining Ground on Internet Explorer

Mozilla's Firefox web browser is increasingly gaining ground and stealing away market share from Microsoft's widely used Internet Explorer browser which comes included with Windows claiming an 11% market share.

Firefox's market share in July is 1.8 percent higher than its market share in January while Microsoft lost 1.7 percent of the market during the same timeframe.

Mozilla announced on Monday that its Firefox browser has been downloaded more than 200 million times.

Microsoft is currently working away on its upcoming browser, Internet Explorer 7. Its official release is expected before the end of the year.

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

House of Representatives Fails at Internet Safety

The House of Representatives passed some Internet safety legislation that could actually make the Internet a more dangerous place for children and teens instead of helping them.

The Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA) deletes the ability of schools and libraries to determine whether kids can constructively take advantage of social networking and other interactive services that are extremely popular among teens rather than "deleting" online predators.

The bill requires recipients of universal service support for schools and libraries to protect minors from commercial social networking websites and chat rooms. This in turn could force school and library officials to ban a wide range of sites, including and many news sites that allow for user feedback and interaction.

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Monday, July 31, 2006

Upgrading to Windows Vista may not be that easy

If you are planning on upgrading to Vista you will need to make sure it is possible first. Only certain versions of Windows can be upgraded and then you may not be able to upgrade to the version of Vista you want even if you can upgrade.

For example, Windows 2000 can't be upgraded at all and Windows XP Professional can be upgraded only to the Business and Ultimate editions of Vista.

Many people will be stuck formatting their systems in order to upgrade to Windows Vista and that’s assuming you can meet the hardware requirements. Microsoft is providing a beta version of its Upgrade Advisor tool that will evaluate whether your computer can run Windows Vista.

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Friday, July 28, 2006

Verizon prepares for its next generation of broadband

Verizon is taking steps to upgrade its network to the next generation of technology called gigabit passive optical network (GPON), which will quadruple the amount of bandwidth capacity available to homes.

This technology lets multiple homes or businesses in a neighborhood share fiber from a service provider's central office.

GPON allows Verizon to split 2.4Gbps of bandwidth downstream and 1.2Gbps of capacity upstream among 32 homes or busines eventually offering consumers up to 100Mbps downloas.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Microsoft tries to compete with iPod with their Zune Player

Microsoft's new Zune brand will deliver a family of hardware and software products to consumers.

The player will have Wi-Fi capabilities and use a hard drive to store music and may use wireless connectivity to share music with other Zune devices.

Until now Microsoft has largely relied on partners to make the players and software that use its Windows Media digital rights technology and tie into the Windows Media Player software built into its Windows operating system.

Apple has maintained a dominant share of both the music player and downloadable music businesses, selling more than 58 million iPods and more than a billion songs.

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Sunday, July 23, 2006

Myspace spyware infection

MySpace users who clicked on an ad for got a nasty surprize when the ad installed a file called exp.wmf which could install up to five adware programs.

Any user that was browsing with Internet Explorer and had not installed the latest Microsoft patches was vulnerable to this attack.

The ad was posted on MySpace, Webshots, and maybe Facebook, potentially installing the spyware on 1.07 million computers.

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Friday, July 21, 2006

Portable MP3 player may cause deafness

UK researchers found that regularly listening to loud music on MP3 players could make you deaf 30 years earlier than their parents.

Reports show that 14% of people listened to personal music players up to 28 hours a week.

One third of users surved had experienced ringing in their ears after listening to loud music which is a sign of hearing damage and the accumulation of short-term impairment eventually turned into long-term damage.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Microsoft buys Winternals

Microsoft stated Tuesday that it has bouught Winternals, the maker of Windows utility programs hoping to add technical talent to its operating system development team.

In buying Winternals, Microsoft is getting the company's free tools, its Sysinternals community website as well as several paid-for software products for businesses.

A key factor in Microsofts decsision to make the deal was to hire the company's two co-founders.

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Monday, July 17, 2006

Updated Build of MS Windows Vista Released

Microsoft released an build of Vista that improves its overall performance and makes specific tweaks recommended by beta testers and is now available to Windows Vista Technical Beta program participants.

It improves such things as setting up and controlling a user accounts and the Windows Media Center feature.

Microsoft is shooting for a final release of Windows Vista for business customers in November, with general availability of the OS on PCs in January 2007.

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Friday, July 14, 2006

Inel takes a performance lead over AMD with it new Core 2 Duo processors

Intel's latest offerings include the Core 2 Duo chip for desktop PCs, Montecito chip for high-end servers and Merom chip for mobile notebooks.

These new processors are more of a shift towards mobile computing for Intel.

AMD is developing a new multicore processor itself due to come out this year.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Microsoft allows you to prolong the life of your old PC

Microsoft has come up with software that allows older PCs to be turned into more modern and secure systems but takes away some of the individuality of the computer at the same time.

Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs gives old PCs some of the security benefits of XP, but turns them into thin clients, able to run only a few programs locally, with most software needing to run remotely from a server.

Windows Fundamentals is being made available as part of Microsoft's Software Assurance licensing program.

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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Firefox 2.0 Beta released

The latest version of the increasingly popular web browser will be released on July 11th.

Among the new features included in the browser will be an integrated spell checker and an anti phishing tool.

Firefox 2.0 should also work fine on Mac Mini and every Mac or Linux computer.

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Friday, July 07, 2006

July is the month of the Browser Bug

A well known hacker is planning to disclose the details of at least one browser bug every day in July as part of a project called the Month of Bugs which is designed to draw attention to unpatched security vulnerabilities.

This information is being disclosed to create awareness about the types of bugs that plague todays web browsers.

Software companies argue that it would be more responsible to alert the companies first so they have time to patch the software before hackers can develop exploits that take advantage of the flaws.

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Monday, July 03, 2006

Bugs delay new Microsoft Office 2007 launch

Office 2007 was to be released in October but will now be delayed but should still come out before the end of the year.

By not releasing it before Christmas it may have an impact on Office sales.

Over 2.5 million people are using the second test version of Office 2007 and Microsoft has decided to take extra time to fix some of the top features that aren't running as quickly as they should.

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Friday, June 30, 2006

Microsoft sued over its Genuine Advantage Tool

Microsoft is facing a class action suit over its Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) tool that gathers data on users computers to detect pirated copies of its Windows.

The WGA program collects hardware and software data and sends it to Microsoft. The stored information is then used to warn of possible piracy violations.

The suit against Microsoft contends the company mislead users in delivering WGA to computers, masking it under batches of monthly updates that often include critical security patches.

Microsoft has blocked downloads of free tools such as Windows Defender but has allowed security patches for computers suspected of running pirated software.

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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Google takes a stab at online payments

Google will launch a new service called Google Checkout which promises online sellers an easy way to add a checkout to their sites and can be used in addition to other options such as PayPal.

It will eliminate the need for consumers to resubmit data such as shipping and credit card information with each purchase.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Intel releases new Woodcrest processor

Intel released its newest dual core Xeon processor, code named Woodcrest and labeled the 5100 series in hopes to stay ahead of AMD.

The new processor is targeted at the server market with a design that focuses on power efficiency. The chip offers a 40 percent power reduction while providing performance improvements of up to 135%.

Woodcrest offersspeeds of up to 3.0 GHz and a 1333 MHz front side bus. The 5100 series Xeons will run between $209 to $851.

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Monday, June 26, 2006

Microsoft plans to take over the telecommunications world next

Microsoft is looking to combine desktop computers with office and mobile phones, a combination known as unified communications.

Microsoft's products will connect its Exchange Server e-mail system with Internet based PBX systems, as well as traditional systems and will make it possible to view voice mail within Outlooks inbox.

The programs will also perform sophisticated functions linking desktop and cellular phones to desktop and server computers.

Microsoft will have to compete with IBM and open source manufacturer Asterisk for this technology.

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Toshiba ready to launch the first HD DVD recorder

Toshiba has already debuted the world's first HD DVD player in March.

Toshiba is a leading proponent of HD DVD optical disk technology and they competing with the Blu-ray standard promoted by Sony.

The new player will cost you around $3,466.

At the core of drives are blue lasers, which have a shorter wavelength than the red lasers currently in use, enabling disks to store data at the higher densities needed for high-definition movies and TV.

The new Toshiba drive is capable of storing up to 130 hours of high def digital programs.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

IBM tests a 500 Ghz chip

IBM said it was able to achieve frequencies above 500 GHz by "cryogenically freezing" the chip.

Using liquid helium, they were able to cool the circuits to 451 degrees below zero Fahrenheit.

IBM said that silicon-germanium is likely to achieve even higher speeds, and may possibly to be able to reach 1 THz (1000 GHz) at room temperature.

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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Euorpean countries want iPod songs to play on other music players

Consumer agencies in Norway, Sweden and Denmark are pressuring Apple to open its iTunes Music Store so that its songs could be played on other portable music devices besides iPod.

The agencies could seek injunctions against Apple, banning iTunes from their markets.

A French National Assembly proposal would force Apple and others to share their copy protection technologies so that competitors could offer music players and online stores that are compatible with theirs.

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Friday, June 16, 2006

Bill Gates giving up chief software architect position

Bill Gates announced on Thursday that he will gradually relinquish his current role while remaining a full time employee for the next two years. After that he will become a part time employee and chairman.

Microsoft's Chief Technical Officer Ray Ozzie will assume the role of chief software architect right away.

Gates decided that wants to devote his attention to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which helps needy people around the world.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

New virus attacks Yahoo E-mail

There is a new virus called the Yamanner worm that exploits a Javascript vulnerability in Yahoo E-mail.

The Yamanner worm targets all versions of Yahoo Webmail except the latest beta version. Yahoo Mail users might be able to protect themselves by upgrading to the latest test version.

The worms sends itself to users with the subject header New Graphic Site. Once the mail is opened, the computer becomes infected and the worm spreads itself to other users on the Yahoo e-mail address list.

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Saturday, June 10, 2006

New Windows Vista Beta available for download

Microsoft had just released its first public trial version of its new Windows operating system, Vista to the public. It's called Windows Vista Beta 2 and you can download it and try it out.

It is one of six of the future releases of the latest version of Windows.

Only download this if you have a fast internet connection since it is 3 gigabytes in size. And if you are not good with computers including troubleshooting this may not be for you.

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Monday, June 05, 2006

Firefox web browser having security issues

Mozilla recently issued an update for their Firefox web browser to repair about a dozen security vulnerabilities in Version 1.5, bringing the total to 43 so far this year.

There is a new version of the web browser available for download that includes the fixes for the security issues of which some are considered critcal.

Firefox now has nearly 200 million users or about 10 percent of the browser market covered.

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Symantec will compete with Microsoft for consumers' security business

Symantec will offer its new Norton 360 security software to compete with Microsoft's Windows Live OneCare service.

Norton 360 will include antivirus, antispyware, antiphishing, and antikeylogger protection, as well as a firewall, PC tuneup utilities, backup, and Web site authentication tools.

Symantec says that the new Norton 360 will be released before the end of the company's fiscal year in March 31, 2007.

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Microsoft releases new Windows and Office Betas

The Beta 2 versions of Windows Vista and Office 2007 were released this week. People who are signed up for Microsoft's Customer Preview Program are eligible to test the software. Microsoft expects some two million people to participate in the tests.

There are still some glitches in the new software including screens not redrawing properly and some applications not running correctly. It may not be reliable enough for users to use on a daily basis yet.

It may take Microsoft up to 12 months after the release of Beta 2 to launch Vista.

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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Vista getting delayed...again

The new Microsoft Windows operating system most likely will be getting delayed again by at least three months.

It has been reported that the new Vista operating system is too complex to be able to meet Microsoft's targeted November release.

Microsoft disagrees and says its still on track to meet its current launch dates.

Once production finally starts, it usually takes between 6 and 8 weeks for Computer manufacturers to load the operating system onto new computers.

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Saturday, May 06, 2006

Microsoft teaming up with Yahoo to take on Google

Microsoft has held discussions to buy a stake in Internet media company Yahoo Inc. to compete against Google Inc. as pressure grows from shareholders to perform better against Google.

Microsoft could also sell its MSN online network to Yahoo and take a minority stake in the Yahoo Internet portal.

Microsoft had also been in talks with AOL to use its search technology, which would have given the software giant's fledgling paid-search business a big boost.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Microsoft cracks down on software piracy

Microsoft announced this week that it has begun to widen the scope of its Windows Genuine Advantage program to include checks for the authenticity of Microsoft Office software. The program is already in place for Microsoft Windows.

Since the its launch in 2005, Windows users have had the option to register for the WGA program if they wanted to receive automatic security updates and other free goodies from Microsoft's site.

Those who have not validated their software through WGA will not be able to download Internet Explorer 7 and Windows Defender, among other applications.

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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Blue Ray - the next generation optical disc format

The new Blue Ray format was developed to enable recording, rewriting and playback of high-definition video as well as storing large amounts of data. The format offers more than five times the storage capacity of traditional DVDs and can hold up to 25GB on a single layer disc and 50GB on a dual-layer disc.

The new format uses a blue violet laser which makes it possible to focus the laser spot with even greater precision. This allows data to be packed more tightly and stored in less space.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Seagate releases perpendicular storage drives

Seagate has announced its first 3.5-inch disk drives using perpendicular storage technology, which it hopes will break through the storage limitations that are beginning to impact hard-drive technology.

Seagate has been working for some time on perpendicular technology as a way of getting more capacity in a smaller space.

Perpendicular technology arranges the bits so that they are perpendicular to the plane of the disk. The result is that the bits are stacked more closely together, increasing density and allowing them to be accessed more quickly.

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Friday, April 14, 2006

New Windows Vista holds back on pirates and cheapskates

The newest version of Windows called Vista will be out soon and Microsoft is stepping up its attack on software piracy. If a copy of Vista does not pass the Genuine Windows test then the software disables a key feature in Vista called the Windows Aero user experience.

The Aero display also won't be available to those who buy Windows Vista Basic, the low-end consumer version of the operating system.

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Toshiba Showcasing First Notebook Computer with High Definition (HD) DVD

Toshiba is demonstrating an HD DVD-ROM drive which will be the first notebook computer to integrate an optical drive under the DVD Forums new HD DVD media standard.

The new laptop will allow consumers to be able to enjoy high-definition video content anywhere in the home or on the go with external power.

Pricing, availability and specific model number and configuration for the next-generation Qosmio with integrated HD DVD will be announced later in Q106.

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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Run Windows XP on your Mac

Apple has released software that allows Microsoft's Windows operating system and all the applications that use it to run on its new computers.

The software named Boot Camp works on all Apple Macintosh computers that use Intel processors.

The release of the software is available as a download from the Apple website.

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

MapQuest launches new mobile services

MpaQuest has announced two new products in the market, the MapQuest Navigator and Web based mobile services for web enabled cell phones.

The system will include a database of millions of restaurants, hotels, theaters etc which consumers can navigate to, direct dial to make reservations.

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Monday, April 03, 2006

New Windows Vista Delayed

New computers will contiune to be sold with Windows XP.

OEMs started using the stickers before the Windows Vista delay was announced in hopes to reach the Christmas computer buyers.

There will be several versions of Vista to choose from.

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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Spyware tries to exploit Microsoft & BBC

Internet criminals are spamming e-mail messages to trick people into visiting malicious websites that exploit an Internet Explorer security flaw.

They use a keylogger to monitor activity on various financial websites and then uploads captured information back to the attacker.

Microsoft has said it is working on a fix for the Internet Explorer. The update is currently scheduled for delivery for April 11.

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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Internet Explorer 7 Lawsuit

Microsoft is facing a patent infringement lawsuit suit filed by the University of California and Eolas Technologies Inc for its new Internet Explorer 7 web browser.

The patented technology enables a browser to call programs over the internet to display streaming audio and video, advanced graphics and other content within a single Web page.

A federal court ordered Microsoft to pay more than $520 million in damages for violating the UC-Eolas patent in 2003.

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