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Sunday, December 30, 2007

AOL Kills Netscape's Future

AOL on Friday stopped development of the Netscape browser, saying the respected brand that launched the commercial Internet in 1994 had little chance of ever regaining market share against Internet Explorer.

"While internal groups within AOL have invested a great deal of time and energy in attempting to revive Netscape Navigator, these efforts have not been successful in gaining market share from Microsoft's Internet Explorer," said Tom Drapeau, director of development.

While once commanding 90% of the browser market, Netscape Navigator now accounts for less than 1%, and AOL had no interest in spending what it would take to revive the brand. Instead, the company, which was once a subscriber-supported portal, preferred to spend its resources on its transition into an ad-supported Web business.

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Monday, December 24, 2007

US Army guarding its Windows with OSX

Following a report from 2005 by General Steve Boutelle, the Army's chief information officer, the new trend in the military is to have as many Macs around as possible, in order to keep information safe.

Lieutenant Colonel C.J. Wallington, a division chief in the Army's office of enterprise information systems, is convinced that Apple’s Macintosh platform, already renowned for its security and for the fact that it has generally been less of target for hackers than Windows, will protect the Army from intrusions.

There is the inherent security of the UNIX based Mac OSX and the fact that Apple’s smaller install base has generally deflected hackers, which contributes to the Army’s willingness to switch to Mac.

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Windows XP Service Pack 3 Release Candidate Out

Microsoft posted the release candidate of Windows XP Service Pack 3 to its download site but warns that SP3 isn't for everyone. XP SP3 will not be soon added to Windows Update. In fact, SP3 wouldn't be offered to users via Microsoft's update service before the service pack is finished next year.

Microsoft also says Windows XP SP3 does not bring significant portions of Windows Vista functionality to Windows XP. According to a Florida performance testing software developer, XP SP3 is not only 10% faster than XP SP2, but more than twice as fast as Vista SP1.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

FireWire speeds to increase dramatically

FireWire is used as a high speed data interface for linking devices such as external hard drives and camcorders to PCs.

The 1394 Trade Association announced the S3200 specification for FireWire. The specification builds upon the existing IEEE 1394b standard by boosting the maximum speed from 800 megabits per second to 3.2Gbps. The new S3200 specification can use the cables and connectors already in use for FireWire 800 products.

The association hopes to have the S3200 specification ratified by early February, and has used the speed boost to position FireWire as an alternative to other recent interfacing technologies.

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Intel introduces tiny hard drive

Intel wants to be the first name to come to mind when dealing with solid state drives. At a press briefing they introduced the Intel Z-P140 PATA SSD, which it claims is the tiniest SSD in the industry.

According to Intel, the Z-P140 PATA SSD is actually targeted for use in hand held mobile devices (think smart phones, GPS devices, and Ultra Mobile PCs). The drive, which measures 12 by 8 by 1.8 mm (HWD) and weighs 0.6 grams, is about the size of a penny.

It will initially be available in 2GB and 4GB capacities (expandable to 16GB by adding up to three additional SSDs). Intel says the drive will have a read throughput of 40MBps and a write throughput of 30MBps.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Vista SP1 to Include More Than 300 Hot Fixes

Microsoft has released a detailed roster of the contents of its service pack for Windows Vista, and the list includes more than 300 hot fixes covering everything from data protection to video performance. Microsoft plans to add more fixes and patches to Windows Vista SP1 before a final version is released to the public early next year.

Microsoft said some of the fixes detailed in the list are already available to the public as individual downloads, while others will only be released as part of the final version of Vista SP1.

Unfortunately for some Vista users especially those running custom business applications the service pack will not fix some application compatibility problems that affect the current version of Vista.

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Airlines offering wireless internet access

There are now at least four airlines with announced plans to experiment with in flight broadband connectivity. American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Virgin America and JetBlue are lining up to offer Wi-Fi to its in flight customers.

Such services could include Nationwide in flight broadband Internet access that extends from the coast to coast or satellite based 802.11b/g Wi-Fi connection for laptops, smart phones and PDAs. These airlines are currently testing or developing these systems and we may see them soon.

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Microsoft Releases New Windows Server 2008 and Vista SP1 Test versions

Microsoft on Wednesday released new test versions of Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista Service Pack which are scheduled to be released early next year.

Microsoft also revealed partner resources to prepare customers for the release of the server OS, which the company plans to release to manufacturing on Feb. 27, 2008. Vista SP1 is expected to be available around the same time, but in a 2 part release. Windows Server 2008 (RC1), the follow up to Release Candidate 0 in September can now be downloaded from Microsoft's Web site.

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Monday, December 03, 2007

Facebook Admits Ad Service Tracks Logged Off Users

Facebook has confirmed findings of a CA security researcher that the social-networking site's Beacon ad service is more intrusive and stealthy than previously acknowledged.

Facebook's controversial Beacon ad system tracks users' off-Facebook activities even if those users are logged off from the site.

Beacon is a major part of the Facebook Ads platform that Facebook introduced with much fanfare several weeks ago. Beacon tracks certain activities of Facebook users on more than 40 participating Web sites.

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