Windows Home Server Beta RC1 is out with a 30 day trial…
Download Windows Home Server RC1
“Microsoft’s latest iteration of Windows designed for linking together multiple computers in a home network and sharing media — has reached Release Candidate 1 status. A 30-day trial download is now available. Essentially, WHS is a retooled Windows Server 2003, with new services including one that pools multiple hard drive spaces together as an easier-to-manage partition, and browser-based management software whose ambitious goal is to be easy enough to be understood by the same guy who loses his remote under the couch every week. A final release is expected soon, with public availability set for ‘later this year.'”
It is getting dissed as being to “bloated” but then, so is iTunes for Windows… Apple writes clunky software for Windows systems, but then, it is still making “waves!” And, to be fair it is still Beta software!
Safari for Windows Downloads Top 1 Million In 48 Hours
“Apple today announced (via a news release) that more than 1 million copies of Safari for Windows were downloaded in the first 48 hours since the free public beta was made available on Monday. Many see Apple’s release of Safari for Windows as an opportunity for Apple further attract customers to the Mac, while also raising usage of its Safari web browser, which would theoretically require more website developers to ensure that their sites work properly with Safari. In related news, Apple today updated the Safari for Windows beta to 3.0.1, which patches some of the security flaws that were recently discovered in the software.”
Another Linux distro has fallen for Microsoft’s protection scheme, and this time it is my old favorite, Linspire! I was one of the original Linspire Insiders, and love the things that they have done with the distro… but, they have caved to the evil that is Microsoft.
Linspire, Microsoft in Linux-related deal
Linspire Inc. has announced an agreement to license voice-enabled instant messaging, Windows Media 10 CODECs, and TrueType font technologies from Microsoft for its Linux distribution. Additionally, Microsoft will offer protection to Linspire customers against possible violations of Microsoft patents by Linux. In his June 14 weekly Linspire Letter, Linspire CEO Kevin Carmony stated, ‘This agreement will offer several advantages to Linspire Linux users not found anywhere else, such as Windows Media 10 support, genuine Microsoft TrueType fonts, Microsoft patent coverage, improved interoperability with Microsoft Windows computers, and so on.’ Linspire has long made an effort to bundle proprietary CODECs, drivers, and software with its Linspire and Freespire Linux distributions, as a way to offer users a Linux OS that works with a wide range of popular multimedia formats and browser plug-ins, and can play DVDs out of the box. Another area of cooperation will be on technology for interoperability between documents stored in OpenXML and the Open Document Format, as in the Xandros/Microsoft agreement announced on June 5. Additionally, in a blow to search engine leader Google, Linspire will make Microsoft’s Live.com search engine the default Linspire 5.0 web search engine, ‘allowing Microsoft to bring Live Search to a broader set of users and providing leading search capabilities to Linspire customers,’ a Linspire news release said.”
Fortunately, this will not carry over to the excellent Freespire project. The travesty of including “Live Search” instead of Google cinches it. They have fully drunk the Kool-Aid. Linspire, I will miss you! Let’s all hope Ubuntu doesn’t cave! In fact, if all the major Linux vendors cave… they could end up “owning” Linux… in the ‘net sense of the word!
A black eye for NC! Turns out that you can’t declare energy independence from OPEC without incurring the wrath of Raleigh because you are not paying fuel taxes! What a crock!
A price to pay for alternative fuels
“Bob Teixeira decided it was time to take a stand against U.S. dependence on foreign oil. So last fall the Charlotte musician and guitar instructor spent $1,200 to convert his 1981 diesel Mercedes to run on vegetable oil. He bought soybean oil in 5-gallon jugs at Costco, spending about 30 percent more than diesel would cost. His reward, from a state that heavily promotes alternative fuels: a $1,000 fine last month for not paying motor fuel taxes. He’s been told to expect another $1,000 fine from the federal government. And to legally use veggie oil, state officials told him, he would have to first post a $2,500 bond. Teixeira is one of a growing number of fuel-it-yourselfers — backyard brewers who recycle restaurant grease or make moonshine for their car tanks. They do it to save money, reduce pollution or thumb their noses at oil sheiks. They’re also caught in a web of little-known state laws that can stifle energy independence. State Sen. Stan Bingham, R-Davidson, is known around Raleigh for his diesel Volkswagen fueled by used soybean oil. The car sports a ‘Goodbye, OPEC’ sign. ‘If somebody was going to go to this much trouble to drive around in a car that uses soybean oil, they ought to be exempt’ from state taxes, he said.”
Virtualization for the Mac from VMware? Yep! Now there is a VMware alternative to Parallels!
VMware Announces Mac Product Availability
“Attempting to move in on Parallels’ turf, VMware on Tuesday announced the pre-order for a previously announced product that allows users to run any x86 operating system simultaneously. A preorder special would give consumers the opportunity to purchase VMware Fusion for $39.99, some $40 cheaper than its rival. When the general availability of Fusion arrives in August, the price will be pegged at $79.99. Beta versions of the client have been downloaded over 200,000 times, the company said. The product marks the first time VMware has produced virtualization software for the Mac platform. Since Apple’s switch to Intel, and now its support for running Windows, many have begun to consider Macs as suitable platforms for virtualization applications. Also helping this along is a generally more acceptive environment for virtualization outside the enterprise.”
Patch Tuesday brought us several major security patches.
Microsoft Issues Patches for 15 Flaws
“Microsoft released six updates to address various issues across its products on Tuesday, including four which were rated critical, and three that affected Windows Vista. The first is an important fix that addresses two issues within Microsoft’s Visio product. The first is a remote code execution vulnerability in how the product handles a specially-crafted version number within a Visio file. The other revolves around an issue in how Visio handles parsing of packed objects. In either case, a user would have to open an attachment from an e-mail or visit a specially crafted website, the advisory states. Next comes a critical fix for issues within the Schannel security package which enables the SSL and TLS authentication protocols. Microsoft says that Windows 2000, XP and Server 2003 all have issues with how the OS validates server-sent digital signatures. Vista is the target of a flaw rated “moderate,” that could lead to information disclosure. According to the Microsoft advisory, non-privileged users could access local user information including administrative passwords which could then be used to gain complete access to the system.”
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Dr. Bill Podcast – 92 – (06/12/07)
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Dr. Bill plays “The Jedi Song” as the Geek Culture segment, and talks Star Wars with the Gamemaster! We have Tech News, the Belarc Advisor, Microsoft Mafia, Risky Search Engines, and was Bill Gates once right?
I am on vacation… and I have been out of town… OK, I still am! So, the podcast will be available tomorrow, late morning. Would I let you down? (OK, don’t answer that!)
Yep… this is, in fact, Dr. Bill saying that Bill Gates was RIGHT! However, he was right 16 years ago… about the patent issue that keeps coming up with Microsoft trying to destroy Open Source via patents!
A Patent Lie
“What a difference 16 years makes. Last month, the technology world was abuzz over an interview in Fortune magazine in which Bradford Smith, Microsoftâ€™s general counsel, accused users and developers of various free software products of patent infringement and demanded royalties. Indeed, in recent years, Mr. Smith has argued that patents are essential to technological breakthroughs in software. Microsoft sang a very different tune in 1991. In a memo to his senior executives, Bill Gates wrote, ‘If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of todayâ€™s ideas were invented, and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today.’ Mr. Gates worried that ‘some large company will patent some obvious thing’ and use the patent to ‘take as much of our profits as they want.’ Mr. Gates wrote his 1991 memo shortly after the courts began allowing patents on software in the 1980s. At the time Microsoft was a growing company challenging entrenched incumbents like I.B.M. and Novell. It had only eight patents to its name. Recognizing the threat to his company, Mr. Gates initiated an aggressive patenting program. Today Microsoft holds more than 6,000 patents.”
You search for something via a search engine, you click on the link, and you get infected by a virus! Ouch! It turns out that among web search engines, Yahoo is the riskiest to use!
McAfee: Yahoo search most ‘risky’
Out of the top five search engines, Yahoo returns the riskiest sites for users, according to security vendor McAfee.
“In research published on Monday by McAfee SiteAdvisor, 5.4 percent of Yahoo searches returned links to ‘risky’ internet sites. AOL was found to be the safest of the top five, with 2.9 percent of sites. According to McAfee SiteAdvisor, Yahoo returned the most results rated ‘red’ or ‘yellow’. ‘Red’ rated sites failed McAfee SiteAdvisor’s safety tests. ‘Examples are sites that distribute adware, send a high volume of spam, or make unauthorised changes to a user’s computer,’ said the report. Examples of ‘Yellow’ rated sites are those which send a high volume of ‘non-spammy’ email, display many pop-up ads, or prompt a user to change browser settings. According to McAfee, overall, on Yahoo, MSN, Ask.com, Google, and AOL, sponsored searches returned more risky results than ‘organic’ searches. Of sponsored searches, 6.9 percent returned risky content, compared with 2.9 percent of organic searches.”