Release of Windows XP, Service Pack 3 Still Not Clear

It will just be an amalgamation of fixes released since SP2, but it will be nice not to have to go through all of those when doing a new build… so I am looking forward to it!

Official XP SP3 release date still up in the air

“A Microsoft spokesperson declined this afternoon to confirm reports circulating on technology blogs today citing purportedly leaked documents as saying the online release date for Windows XP Service Pack 3 will be April 29. ‘We expect Windows XP SP3 to be available in 1H 2008, provided it meets our quality bar for release,’ stated the spokesperson, in response to BetaNews’ question about the specific date. The blog story appeared to indicate a large lag time between SP3’s release through the Microsoft Update service and the release through Automatic Updates, purportedly in June. Those dates would indicate a long period of time for initial installers to make sure drivers are in working order, similar to what ended up being required for Windows Vista SP1.”

The “Intelligently Designed Edition” of Dr. Bill Podcast #131

Dr. Bill Podcast – 131 – (04/12/08)
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Dr. Bill talks about the new Ben Stein movie “Expelled” and plays audio from the trailer… tech news, Geek Software of the Week: A Two for One Special! Ben fixes his own system!

I Double-Dog Dare You to Go Watch “Expelled!”

Expelled!Here’s a movie teaser for you… what if science, that claims to be open-minded to any hypothesis, black-listed one point of view? Impossible, you say? Watch Ben Stein’s new movie, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” and see it happen before your eyes! Watch the trailer for the movie at the link below:

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

“By it’s April 18th national release, EXPELLED producers know that a minimum of 900 US theaters will screen the satirical documentary, making it one of the widest documentary releases in US film history. Film distributor Rocky Mountain Pictures has estimated that 1,000 screens will be booked by opening day.”

Come on, I dare ya!

Vista is a Lame Duck!

Windows 7 is coming… why buy Vista? This is what I am hearing more and more. Now Gartner says so. I say, “Vista is dead… long live Ubuntu!”

Is Vista dead in the water?

“Analysts from Gartner said earlier this week that Windows is collapsing under its own weight. Talk in the blogosphere keeps pointing to a Windows 7 release date earlier than 2010. Is Vista already a lame duck? Certainly Microsoft wants to avoid another debacle on the scale of Windows Me, an operating system release that tilted more toward a mistake than an upgrade, and whose publicity turned into pushback from both customers and the press. However, two analysts from Gartner certainly didn’t help Vista much with their comments earlier this week. At an Emerging Trends conference in Las Vegas, Michael Silver and Neil MacDonald argued that Microsoft is collapsing under its own weight, and that Windows has become monolithic. Central to their point was the fact that Microsoft is leery to cut the cord, so to speak, on more than two decades of applications. Backwards compatibility remains something of an expectation with each new Windows release. At the same time, this support for the past has gotten them into trouble. ‘Security should have been enough of a reason for Microsoft to stop bringing these applications forward,’ Directions on Microsoft analyst Michael Cherry told BetaNews.”

Geek Software of the Week: Two For One Special!

AVG Anti-SpywareNormally, we give you one Geek Software of the Week pick… but this week, we follow the story of my son, Ben… the GameMaster himself… who was downloading files to update his M.U.G.E.N. software (a free and Open Source 2-D game.) He got a really nasty piece of spyware on his system that kept popping up a message that said he needed to buy a product to remove spyware. This was actually spyware itself! So, he came to me and said, “Fix it!” OK… OK… here’s some links… YOU fix it! And he did. Made his old man proud! So… here are the links:


AVG Free Anti-Spyware

So… if you run into similar problems… here’s your fix! AVG Anti-Spyware used to be called Ewido Anti-Spyware… but it is even better, and, to my mind, easier to use! Check it out!

One Million Virii in the Wild!

Dewd! This is bad! There are now over 1 million virii out there “in the wild!” Sigh!

Computer viruses hit one million

“The number of viruses, worms and trojans in circulation has topped the one million mark. The new high for malicious programs was revealed by security firm Symantec in the latest edition of its bi-annual Internet Security Threat Report. The vast majority of these programs have been created in the last twelve months, said Symantec. Cyber criminals pump out malware to fool anti-virus programs which look for characteristics they have already seen.”

HP Announces a “Low Cost” Laptop for Students

I am not sure if it is truly “low cost” enough… but it is cheaper than a typical laptop, I suppose.

HP enters the low-cost student PC market, but is $499 too much?

“Hewlett-Packard today announced a new low-priced $499 mini-notebook aimed at school students and business professionals wanting a small, low-cost system capable of withstanding the kinds of punishment that only a school can dish out. The HP 2133 Mini-Note is the latest effort by the world’s #1 PC maker to approach a market with still very little competition, though with very high growth potential. The base model will ship with the SUSE Linux operating system, 1.2 GHz VIA C7 processor, 8.9-in. WXGA screen, 802.11 Wi-Fi, and a Bluetooth option. It’s said to weigh somewhere in the neighborhood of two and one-half pounds. HP chose an aluminum shell and scratch resistant screen, and added a clear coating to help protect the keys and ensure system is less likely to be damaged if tossed around or dropped. HP expects the 2133 Mini-Note PC to be available later this month for $499. That price tag could limit the number of school districts that can afford the system, especially since the Mini-Note comes with an OS but does not have any bundled software. There’s no word yet as to volume discounts. An upgraded version for $599 will ship with Microsoft Windows Vista Business, 2 GB memory and a 6-cell battery, and will be available at the same time as the basic system.”

The “Talk Nerdy To Me Edition” of Dr. Bill Podcast #130

Dr. Bill Podcast – 130 – (04/05/08)
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Geek Culture: “Talk Nerdy to Me!” Geek Software of the Week: “Jetico Personal Firewall.” Lot’s of Tech News, and updates of past podcast stuff, and I do a small diatribe on global warming… by request of a listener!

9000 PCs in a Swiss School Will Switch From Windows to Ubuntu Linux

Yep… the good guys are on the march! I particularly like the school director’s comment (see below the link.)

Linux: 9000 PCs in Swiss schools will switch to Ubuntu only

“Beginning from next term, all computers at schools in the Swiss canton of Geneva will be switched to Ubuntu Linux only. Geneva newspaper Tribune de Geneve reports today that from September 2008 all computers at schools that currently are dual-boot MS Windows and Linux will have MS Windows removed and become FOSS (Free Open Source Software) only. Besides lower costs for the administration, students will also profit from the use of Ubuntu, as they then will be able to use the same applications at home without additional cost. Manuel Grandjean, director for the schools (Ecoles-Médias) IT services pointed out that the use of FOSS ‘…encourages participation and the democratization of knowledge and provides product independent competences…’. He also sees the use of FOSS as a ‘reinforcement of equal opportunities’ for students.”

16 Updates Are In The Pipeline for April’s “Patch Tuesday”

Well, it is time to “secure up” your Microsoft operating systems again… so, prepare to patch and reboot!

16 updates on tap for April Patch Tuesday

“An advance notification regarding Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday promises eight security updates to Windows, Office, and IE vulnerabilities and eight more non-security related updates for Windows Update and Windows Server Update Services. Five of the patches are rated as ‘Critical,’ the highest level of severity given to updates, and most of those patches affect Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. The remaining three updates are classified as ‘Important.’ These updates may require a restart. There will also be eight high priority but non-security related updates on Windows Update and Windows Server Update Service.”

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