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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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