Windows Vista never was particularly speedy in most people's eyes. Whether it deserved the reputation or not, the word on the street was that Vista was both slow and bloated.
Given that, it's no wonder that improving performance was one of Microsoft's design goals with Windows 7. Many reviewers have said that the new operating system feels faster than Vista. In our extensive PC World Test Center evaluations comparing the two, we found an increase in speed, though the overall improvement wasn't dramatic.
Researchers are looking to change the face of cybersecurity by attacking internet worms before they infest networks and PCs. The idea is to take an offensive front by mimicking the behavior of ants, or rather, their ability to readily adapt to changing threats. The concept, called "swarm intelligence," enables "computer ants" to wander through computer networks looking for threats rather than remaining static, waiting for the offending intruder.
Google has released a Chrome Plug-in for Internet Explorer in an effort to please those still stuck using Explorer for one reason or another.
Plenty of people are still using Internet Explorer 6 because their place of work won't upgrade to the updated version of Microsoft's browser. With the introduction of Chrome Frame, Google is looking to help employees move on without forcing their bosses to do the same.
Regardless of which side you're on (though as a true computing enthusiast, you shouldn't be taking sides), you've heard the arguments back and forth on the which operating system is truly safer – Mac OS X or Windows.
It is of the opinion of Charlie Miller, a well known Mac security guru, that even Snow Leopard, the latest version of Mac OS X, isn't as safe as Windows.
One key point is that Snow Leopard still doesn't have ASLR, or address space layout randomization, which randomly arranges the position of key data making it harder for hackers to target for exploits.
In software your security track record is ideally judged by the products you release, not the products you are developing. Nonetheless, Microsoft is drawing flack over an unpatched vulnerability in the beta and Release Candidate versions of Windows 7; Windows Vista; and Windows Server 2008. With attacks incoming, Microsoft and security experts are urging testers to run a workaround to disable to exploitable component in the meantime. The entire mess, though, goes to demonstrate both the dangers and benefits of thorough software testing.
With its deepest Windows 7 discounts yet, Microsoft is targeting students who might otherwise chose Apple. The company has announced qualified college and university students can obtain Windows 7 for just $30 in the US and 30 pounds in the UK. Students in the US can pre-order their copies from September 17 and download with general availability on October 22, while UK students can begin pre-orders on September 22. Students in other countries can order from October 22, it's reported here.
A Microsoft Software Engineer has posted the results of tests the company performed to the upgrade time of Windows 7. Worst case scenario is that it will take a bit over 20 hours. But a clean 32-bit install on what Microsoft calls "high-end hardware" should take only 30 minutes.
The Mozilla team just released two new security updates for its popular web browser, Firefox 3.5.3 and Firefox 3.014. The updates are now available for Windows, Mac, and Linux users and fix several security issues as well as stability issues.
Specifically, the new update for Firefox 3.5x fixes crashes with evidence pointing to memory corruption. The team presumes that with enough effort, at least some of these bugs could be exploited to run arbitrary code.
Additionally, the default Windows font used to render the location-bar and other text fields was improperly displaying certain Unicode characters with tall line-height. An attacker could use this vulnerability to prevent a user from seeing the URL of a malicious site.
There are other security concerns addressed which can be found in the Security Advisories release notes.
Firefox 3.0.14 and Firefox 3.5.3 can be downloaded here.
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