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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Windows 8 Details Leaked On Internet

Bloggers have uncovered what are claimed to be internal Microsoft slides detailing some of the features planned for the company's next computer operating system—Windows 8. The slides, which first popped over the weekend on the Italian blog Windowsette, are stamped "Microsoft Confidential" and "Under NDA".

If real, they would appear to show that Microsoft may be looking to mimic rival Apple's success in developing products that provides users with a more intuitive computing experience. The documents also indicate Microsoft is focusing on portability in Windows 8 from the ground up. They describe built in support for motion sensing accelerometers, ambient light sensors, GPS units, wireless networking, and cameras.

Microsoft also may be planning to mimic Apple in other ways, as another document supposedly reveals plans for a Windows "App Store."

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Rumor: Google to Challenge Facebook with "Google Me"

Is Google prepping to launch some kind of Facebook killing service? That's the rumor of the day, spawned by a brief Twitter update by Digg founder Kevin Rose. If true, it wouldn't be the first time that Google's launched a new high profile service to compete with an equally high-profile Web 2.0 entity. Remember Google Buzz?

So what, then, would the proposed "Google Me" really do? The only details thus far are sheer speculation. However, it appears that Google Me could fly in as an upgrade to the preexisting Google Profiles service that, itself, is almost like a mini biographical profile page.

Adding more fuel to the fire, the site All Facebook reported earlier this week that Open Graph friendly Web pages were now showing up in search results on the social media site. Open Graph connects Web elements to Facebook by allowing users to "like" elements of third party sites such as a movie on a retail platform which then becomes a part of one's social experience on the site.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

150 Million Copies of Windows 7 Sold

Microsoft announced that it has sold over 150 million Windows 7 licenses, and that the next generation of its Windows Live Essentials apps are now available as public betas. As a result, Windows 7 is now the fastest selling operating system in history; a copy sells every seven seconds.

Jamie Cannon, Microsoft's group product manager for Windows Live Essentials, said that Windows Live Essentials could be considered a "free upgrade to Windows."

Messenger in particular links Windows to the online world. It can connect with Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Microsoft's own Windows Live online services such as Hotmail and SkyDrive, along with dozens of third-party services like Flickr.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Google's Street View faces multi-state US probe

Connecticut will lead a multi-state investigation into Google's collection of wi-fi data. Google has admitted that its Street View cars "accidentally" collected data from unsecured wi-fi networks in 30 countries because of some rogue code in the software used by the service.

The US investigation will attempt to answer how that code ended up being used by Street View. It will ask the search giant who inserted the code and why, whether the data was extracted and why Google saved it.

Connecticut's Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has asked for copies of the company's internal procedures regarding Street View and for exact details of how and when Google learned that its cars were capturing sensitive data. Consumers have a right and a need to know what personal information - which could include e-mails, web browsing and passwords - Google may have collected and why. Google must come clean," he said.

Investigations are also on-going in Germany, Spain, Italy, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Microsoft Office 2010 Hits Stores

Office 2010 features updates to the familiar Word, Excel, and PowerPoint applications, plus free, online versions of those same apps. Office 2010 is available in the box, as a download, and also as preloaded software on new PCs. Computer buyers can purchase a key card at major retailers to activate the software on new systems.

The online version of the software, Office Web, includes Internet-based editions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Users in the U.S, UK, Canada and Ireland can now access Office Web applications through Microsoft's Windows Live SkyDrive portal. Office Web Apps are tailored specifically for the online environment. For instance, the Office Web version of PowerPoint does not include some of the desktop version's high-performance video editing tools.

The boxed, Professional edition of Office 2010 is priced at $499, while the download is $349. There's also significant price discrepancies between boxed and download delivery for other versions as well. For the Home & Student version, it's $149 vs $119. For Home & Business, it's $279 vs $199.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Windows XP SP2 users face end of Internet Explorer patches

Although Microsoft has told Windows XP SP2 users several times this year that it will retire the 2004 operating system on July 13, users may not realize that they will also not receive any Internet Explorer (IE) security updates after that date. Microsoft confirmed that users running Windows XP SP2 will receive no IE6, IE7 or IE8 patches after July 13.

"Customers will need to install [Windows] XP SP3 in order to leverage the extended support (which includes security updates), which will run through April 2014," a Microsoft spokeswoman said.

To continue to receive IE security updates, users must upgrade to Windows XP SP3, shift to a newer edition of Windows, or manually download the browser updates from Microsoft's site. The latter, however, is not supported.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

AT&T : security gap exposed Apple iPad e-mail addresses, IDs

AT&T has said that a security breach had exposed the e-mail addresses of Apple iPad users. They said that the problem had been fixed and that it would inform customers of the breach, which also exposed their iPad identification numbers used to autheticate a wireless user.

The hacker group that breached AT&T's network obtained the e-mail addresses of top level politicians, television reporters and business executives and 114,000 e-mail addresses were exposed.

“The issue has escalated to the highest levels of the company and was corrected by Tuesday; and we have essentially turned off the feature that provided the e-mail addresses,” AT&T said in a statement.

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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Security Advisory for Flash Player, Adobe Reader and Acrobat

A critical vulnerability exists in Adobe Flash Player and earlier versions for Windows, Macintosh, Linux and Solaris operating systems, and the authplay.dll component that ships with Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.x for Windows, Macintosh and UNIX operating systems. This vulnerability (CVE-2010-1297) could cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system. There are reports that this vulnerability is being actively exploited in the wild against both Adobe Flash Player, and Adobe Reader and Acrobat. This advisory will be updated once a schedule has been determined for releasing a fix.

Adobe Flash Player, 9.0.262, and earlier 10.0.x and 9.0.x versions for Windows, Macintosh, Linux and Solaris
Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.3.2 and earlier 9.x versions for Windows, Macintosh and UNIX

The Flash Player 10.1 Release Candidate available at does not appear to be vulnerable.
Adobe Reader and Acrobat 8.x are confirmed not vulnerable.

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Thursday, June 03, 2010

Customize Your Google Search Page

Google will now let users add personal photos to the background of the traditionally minimalist search page. In what is perhaps a transparent effort to out-feature Microsoft Bing, Google is ditching its boring white background and letting users upload their own photos. The Microsoft Bing search site features a different, Microsoft-chosen background picture every day.

Users are given three methods for customization--they can upload a photo from their computer, they can choose a photo from their Google-run Picasa photo album, or they can choose a photo from the public Picasa photo album. To change your Google background photo: click on the link in the lower left corner of the Google search page.

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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Quit Facebook Day flops

Just 34,100 of Facebook's more than 450 million members pledged to quit over privacy concerns. The low number is probably more a reflection of how hard it is to break the Facebook habit, rather than signifying acceptance of the simplified privacy controls introduced by the social network last week after much criticism, as Quit Facebook Day explains.

Facebook has weathered a series of privacy controversies in its short lifespan of just six years. The latest controversy kicked off in December with a privacy roll-back that meant users' profiles become public by default, whatever the previous settings.

In other Facebook news, last weekend became the third successive week to witness a run of hacker attacks.

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