Microsoft Releases Longhorn Server Beta

Microsoft Corp. released to their beta testers Monday a build for both the Windows Vista client and for the Longhorn Server. Both the Longhorn Server and Vista client build number is 5270, testers said. Microsoft made the bits for both Windows builds available simultaneously for testers to download from the Microsoft Connect tester Web site.

Longhorn Server Beta Released

Now, the question is, will the final resulting server operating system be more stable than in the past?

PC Viruses – We May Not Be as Safe as We Think!

Security firm Ironport counted how long it took anti-virus firms to produce an antidote following the first appearance of a malicious program. It found that, on average, anti-virus firms took 17 hours to respond to new threats.

Virus Response Slow!

Ironport gathered its statistics from its monitoring system that looks at incoming and outgoing e-mail traffic for more than 100,000 organizations. Come on, guys… let’s get it together!

No IE for Macs!

Remember the “Soup Nazi?” “No soup for you!” Well, Microsoft is saying to Mac users, “No IE for you!” Microsoft plans to discontinue support for its Internet Explorer browser on Mac OS X at the end of this year.

Microsoft Drops IE for Mac

“While IE for Mac will continue to be available for another month after support ends, Microsoft is advising all users to move to ‘more recent browsing technology such as Apple’s Safari.’ The lack of support for IE is unlikely to be an issue for Apple users, most of whom already use alternatives. The only potential difficulty could lie with some sites that have been designed to work with IE only.”

So, another reason not to develop sites that cater to IE only. Get wit’ the program!

Google Antes Up 1 BILLION for AOL

1 BILLION for AOL?!?! And, only 5% of AOL, at that. I wouldn’t give you 1 penny for all of AOL, but that is just me!

Google Offers 1 Billion for 5% of AOL

Unquestionably, Google has the bucks to do this… but, I have to wonder, are they just doing it to bust Microsoft’s chops?

“Google has offered to pay $1 billion for a 5 percent stake in America Online, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday, effectively pushing Microsoft out of any negotiation with Time Warner. The news marks a major setback to Microsoft’s efforts to gain a more even footing with Google in the search industry.

If the rumors prove true, it would mean nearly a year’s worth of negotiations between Microsoft and AOL would have been for naught. Microsoft had endeavored to convince AOL to drop Google for MSN Search, as well as combine the sales and advertising departments of the two companies.”

Hamachi – Free Peer-to-Peer VPN Connections!

OK, I have long given you “Geek Software of the Week” recommendations… this may be Geek Software of the YEAR! VPN (or “Virtual Private Networks”) can be hard to configure, use and manage. Also some VPN configurations can be less secure than others. Now, we have a SIMPLE, FREE and VERY SECURE VPN for users to connect two (or more) computers (and therefore LANs) to one another even behind firewalls and NAT addressing schemes. It is multi-platform (Windows and Linux now, shortly for the Mac), and can be useful for “Road Warriors” in hotels that need to connect to a system behind a firewall safely. DEWD! This is SO cool!

Hamachi FREE VPN

Sign up for free now, and enjoy secure VPN computing! This totally rocks! Also, use Steve Gibson’s Super Secure Private Password creator to further secure this connection. That link is available here:

Gibson Research Private Password Generator

Dell Attempts Secret Open Source Trial?

Microsoft is evil. I have mentioned this fact before in this Blog. One of their evil ways is to strongarm vendors into an official “Microsoft only” software policy. “We only recommend Microsoft!”, a vendor must say in order to maintain good relations (not to mention special incentives and discounts) with the Evil Empire! So, is Dell Computer breaking with Microsoft, ever so slightly? There have been rumors in the past that Dell was going to offer desktop system with Linux pre-installed. (Horrors!) Could they now be testing pre-installing Firefox on their systems?

Dell Pre-installed Firefox on some U.K. Systems

We can only hope the rumor is true! After all, it would make sense from a customer service point of view. If Dell can install a secure Web Browser (Firefox) on their systems before they get into the hands of their customers, then they will have less issues later with Spyware and Ad-Ware infections to deal with. It is just economics, and good customer service. But will the Evil Empire retaliate? Stay tuned!

Should Anti-Spyware Companies Use Rootkits?

Spyware and Ad-Ware is evil. They are beginning, more and more, to use rootkit technology to help them hide their evil work as they infect computers. Should the ANTI-Spyware vendors “fight fire with fire?” That’s the question posed by this eWeek article:

Anti-Spyware Battles Rootkits with Rootkit Tactics

Aluria is one company trying to design programs to fight the evildoers. Rick Carlson, a vice president for sales and marketing at Aluria says, “We’re hooking into the OS and monitoring every read and write command given to the file system by the operating system.”

Aluria is responding to a new generation of spyware that uses kernel rootkit features to avoid detection. Must you become the enemy to defeat the enemy? A question that will be debated from here on out, I am sure!

Slowing Down, and Even Stopping LIGHT!

The speed of light is considered the one universal constant in the the universe. The speed of light in a vacuum is defined to be exactly 299,792,458 metres per second (or 1,079,252,848.8 km/h, which is approximately 186,282.397 miles per second, or 670,616,629.4 miles per hour). Whew! Exact, aren’t we? Anyway… what if you could slow it down? What if you could stop it? Well, a researcher (physicist Matt Sellars) has done it! Why? Imagine using pulses of light to transfer and store digital information as quantum bits, instead of bits of electric current as we do today. Dewd! We are talking mega-fast computers!

Slowing Down and Stopping Light!

“Quantum computers will one day exploit quantum mechanics to perform incredibly complex mathematical operations at high speed. And if the researchers can find a way to store the light pulses for a very long time, they will also have memory that operates on a quantum scale.” I can’t wait!

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