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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Windows 8 Consumer Preview available for download

Microsoft just unveiled their latest version of the new Windows 8 operating system at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Even though its called a consumer preview, its actually more of a beta version. Within the first hour, Microsoft already had downloads from over 70 different countries.

Microsoft said there are more than 100,000 changes to the operating system since the last Developers Preview that came out last September. There are also a lot of new apps that were not available in the last release of the OS.

Windows 8 is geared towards PCs as well as tablets and smartphones. It offers the standard Windows desktop along with the Metro user interface designed for touch screens. Steven Sinofsky, president of Microsoft's Windows Division said that "We challenged ourselves to bring [together] the best of mobility and the best of PCs, without compromise."

It's still too early to have details about availability, pricing. The free Consumer Preview is now available in English, German, French, Japanese, and Standard Chinese. Microsoft says there will be ongoing updates to the OS and Preview apps along the way as it marches toward final release.

Download Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Symantec pcAnywhere vulnerability compromises 200,000 systems

pcAnywhere by Symantec is remote control software used to remotely control one computer from another and is used by thousands of home and business users. As many as 200,000 corporate systems may have been taken over by cyber criminals as a result of recently discovered vulnerabilities in the pcAnywhere software according to security firm Rapid7.

Of the Internet connected systems vulnerable to attack, as many as 2.5%, were point of sales (POS) systems that process credit cards and are tied into back end systems. Most of the exposed systems found by Rapid7 were in the United States, China and Canada.

The company recently advised pcAnywhere users to disable the software until it could issue an update to patch vulnerabilities discovered after the software's code was stolen by hacker group Anonymous.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Facebook hacker sentenced to 8 months in jail

A British student who stole sensitive information from Facebook’s internal network has received an 8 month prison sentence for his crime. The prosecutor in the case said was the gravest case of social media hacking to be brought before the country’s courts.

26 year old Glenn Mangham hacked into Facebook's computers from his home in the city of York and stole what is described as “invaluable” intellectual property which he downloaded on to an external hard drive.

Police said that Mangham didn’t manage to compromise any personal user data and that the breach had occurred “over a short period of time” in April of 2011. Police did no give any details about how Mangham was able to break into the Facebook computers.

The statement said that Facebook discovered the breach in May and alerted the FBI, who traced the source of the attack back to Britain. Facebook has spent $200,000 on this particular hacking crime.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Windows 8 Consumer Preview Date Confirmed

Microsoft has confirmed when they will release a trial version of its newest Windows operating system freely available to anyone who wants to download it and try it out for themselves. Microsoft will hold an event in Barcelona, Spain, on February 29th to launch the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. The date and location coincide with the World Mobile Congress.

The preview version will allow non-developer users to download and use the pre-release version of Windows 8. But since it's a pre-release version, it will likely will contain a few bugs and have features that aren't completely finished.

In September, Microsoft released the Windows 8 Developer Preview and some tools that programmers could use to build apps and get themselves familiar with Windows 8.

Windows 8 takes design elements taken from Windows Phone 7, including Metro themes and Live Tiles. Microsoft is counting on Windows 8 to make it a player in the tablet market.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Say goodbye to the Start button in Windows 8

It appears that the beloved Start button that we are all used to in previous versions of Windows will now be gone since Windows 8 will be designed to be used with PCs, tablets and smartphones. This was one of the first thing people noticed when they tried out the Developer Preview edition of Windows 8.

The Start button and Start Menu were introduced with Windows 95 and have become commonplace for most Windows users. Screenshots of an almost final Windows 8 Consumer Preview version have shown up on the internet recently and show a Super Bar without the Start button orb that comes with Windows 7.

An active hot corner has replaced the Start button\orb and can be described as a thumbnail like user interface that provides a way to access the Windows desktop and Start Screen regardless of touch or mouse input. PC users have complained that the new interface doesn't make it as easy to navigate when using a regular keyboard and mouse.