Security experts are concerned about the potential impact of a new security hole affecting the Windows operating system. The potential exists to create a worm that would allow an attacker to take complete control of vulnerable systems without any user interaction--a jackpot for malware developers.
This past Tuesday was Microsoft's big patch release day for the month of September. Microsoft released a total of five new Security Bulletins, all of them rated Critical. Microsoft quickly followed the regularly scheduled patch release with a Security Advisory warning of the new unpatched flaw.
Microsoft already had its own open source (OSI-approved) licenses, its own open source project hosting site and now it's adding its own non-profit open source foundation. That's right, the company that is still banging the patent drum against open source now has its own 501(c)(6) open source foundation. Officially called the CodePlex Foundation, it's a separate effort from the CodePlex site and is aimed at helping to get more commercial developers involved in open source. Considering how they continue to attack Linux and open source, will anyone take them seriously?
The biggest danger to Windows 7 and Windows Vista isn't Mac OS X or Linux --- it's Windows XP, whose windows xp the aging operating system. But it looks as if XP may finally be on the way out, which is good news for Microsoft. Windows XP's share of the OS usage market fell 1.1 percentage points during August, tying its November 2008 record drop.
At the same time, Vista and Windows 7 use was up, Vista by 0.9 percent, and Windows 7 by 0.3 percent. Windows XP is still dominant, though, with 71.8 percent use, compared to 18.8 percent for Vista, and 1.2 percent for Windows 7. Mac OS X use has stalled, with 4.9 percent share.
For the first time in years, the PC market is starting to draw serious attention from Wall Street. Dell (DELL) shares surged after the company beat earnings expectations for the second quarter. The next day chip giant Intel (INTC) gave the sector another lift by raising its forecast for PC processor sales. Hopes are building among investors that the industry will see a revival in growth as Microsoft (MSFT) unveils its new operating system, Windows 7, on Oct. 22 to replace its troubled Windows Vista.
Earlier this month, software giant Microsoft was shocked when they lost a patent dispute to i4i and were told that the word processing application Word would be blocked from sales starting in October.
Microsoft has appealed the decision and today has gotten some backup support from the large computer manufacturers (and big Microsoft customers) HP and Dell.
The companies asked the judge in the case to reconsider the injunction, or at least delay it by 120 days.
While malware has long been an almost daily annoyance for Windows PCs, Mac users have become accustomed to not worrying about malicious software. Threats arise from time to time—in January of this year, for example, a Trojan horse made the rounds in pirated copies of Apple’s iWork software—but most Mac users these days are probably running without virus protection software. Apple’s encouraged that, too, by frequently touting the Mac’s resistance to malware in its advertising materials, especially when compared to Windows.
Mozilla’s Security team has disclosed a very interesting piece of research which suggests people refused to upgrade to the latest version of Firefox because they were afraid the browser would expose their, ahem, private collection of websites. In May, the company decided to have one last attempt at persuading the people on Firefox 2 to move up to Firefox 3, by hitting users of the old version with a pop-up that prompted them to upgrade. Those who declined were invited to fill out a questionnaire, asking them to reveal why they didn’t want the latest software. The number one reason for not upgrading was the new location bar, and the fact that it delved into people’s bookmark collections to suggest sites as they typed. No fewer than 25% of Firefox 3 refuseniks cited this as the reason they wouldn’t upgrade. In fact, almost all of the people who provided feedback had tried Firefox 3, didn’t like what they saw, and headed back to Firefox 2.
According to Kaspersky, the company will be promoting their products on TV and radio from today. Check out the TV commercial of Kaspersky with founder Eugene Kaspersky and Jackie Chan.
Any one who commutes in major cities knows the value of back roads when it comes to avoiding traffic on the highways during peak rush hour times. Google Maps just added a nifty feature that will show you live traffic conditions on arterial roads (non-highway roads) in selected cities. Google Maps will also show traffic patterns on main highways as well, helping you see what the least-trafficked route is for your commute.
Computers don't handle visual imagery with the same native ease with which they parse text or crunch numbers. Flickr was the first site to solve this problem with something called collaborative tagging. The idea is that if everyone is allowed to tag everyone else's uploaded photos, then a rough-and-ready categorization will naturally emerge from the wisdom of the crowd. It works because it has to — there aren't enough librarians in the world to look after Flickr's archive of 3 billion photos, much less file them away for future reference.
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