Ouch! Greene is Leaving VMware…

VMware has ousted founder and CEO Diane Greene. Man. THAT must hurt! To be bounced from the company that you created! That is why I like being a sole proprietorship! Dr. Bill Bailey.NET is me, and I am Dr. Bill Bailey.NET… ain’t nobody bouncing me out! Not that anyone is interested in doing so!

VMware Ousts Chief Diane Greene, Cuts Sales Forecast

“July 8 (Bloomberg) — VMware Inc. ousted founder and Chief Executive Officer Diane Greene and said 2008 sales will trail its projections, sending the stock to the biggest drop in six months. VMware, the largest maker of software that lets computers run different operating systems, fell as much as 31 percent in New York trading. Sales will be ‘modestly below’ the previous goal of a 50 percent increase, VMware said today in a statement. Greene, 53, may have disagreed with officials at parent EMC Corp. over how much independence to give VMware, according to Stifel Nicolaus & Co. analyst Todd Weller in Baltimore. EMC sold a stake in the company last year, in the biggest initial public offering for a technology company since Google’s in 2004. ‘There were tensions between VMware and EMC,’ said Weller, who has a hold rating on the shares. ‘For VMware’s technology and products to thrive, they need strong partnerships with EMC’s competitors.’ VMware, based in Palo Alto, California, dropped $14.40, or 27 percent, to $38.79 at 2:18 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The decline was the largest since January. EMC fell $1.56, or 10 percent, to $13.58.”

Geek Software of the Week: TimeLeft!

TimeLeftTimeLeft is a very handy little utility. I found it while looking for a very specific solution to a silly problem. I have a little “apartment” style refrigerator in my office at work… and it doesn’t exactly cool that well… I call it my “Al Gore” refrigerator… it uses so little energy, it doesn’t even cool! Anyway, I like my drinks REALLY cold! So, I wanted to put my Diet Dr. Pepper in the freezer of the large refrigerator in our break room at work… but you don’t want to leave it is there TOO long! So, I needed a timer that would pop up on my computer and fuss at me to get my drink! Weird problem, huh? Anyway, this little freeware utility does the trick!

TimeLeft Web Site

“TimeLeft is a versatile desktop utility, which may be used as a countdown clock, reminder, clock, alarm clock, tray clock, stopwatch, timer, sticker, auction watch, work days/hours countdown clock and time synchronization utility. TimeLeft uses Winamp skins to show digits and text. The main feature of TimeLeft is a powerful customizable reminder, which can show a message, play music (any formats including mp3) or open a link, document, execute an application, turn off your monitor or shutdown your PC.”

TimeLeft reminder can alarm you at a specific moment of time or run periodically. It can also remind you before a specified event or keep on reminding after it. Reminder can show a message, play music or open a link/document, execute an application or shutdown your PC. Numerous other options are also available.

Replace Windows clock with skinnable TimeLeft clock. You will not go back to the standard Windows clock.

Clock displays time in different time zones. You can also set a time display format: 12 hours, military, show date, etc. Also you can replace standard Windows clock with TimeLeft clock.

Countdown is a small window that lives on your desktop and shows you every second left till some event.

Stopwatch measures interval of time. By default stopwatch measures time interval in hours, minutes and seconds.

Timer measures a time interval and signals its end. TimeLeft will remind you not to forget about meal cooking or watered backyard while you are working on your computer

Another TimeLeft feature is sticker – you can place an important note on your desktop. No need to stick around Post-it papers – you can organize all your notes with TimeLeft stickers.

Time Synchronization
TimeLeft is also capable of using atomic clock servers to adjust time on your computer. This feature allows you to use it as a time synchronization utility.

Auction Watch
Buying or selling anything online? You can easily watch and manage your online auctions (eBay and any other) using auction watch module.

Countdown For Web
You can place your countdown to a web-page using Export to Web module. Let all your visitors know how much time left till your special occasion!

Workdays countdown
TimeLeft countdown can track the amount of working days, hours, minutes and seconds till (or passed after) the specified event.

Floating Windows
Every instance of a countdown, clock, stopwatch, timer or sticker is a separate floating window, it can be placed anywhere on your desktop. You can make every floating window look just how you want it to look: change layout, color, font or select a Winamp skin; set semitransparent, choose size and more.

Every floating window may have its own size. For example, if countdown text is to small for you, you can simply enlarge a countdown floating window using your mouse.

AVG Fixes Version AVG V8’s “LinkScanner”

And, in the process, from my perspective, it also fixed Mozilla Firefox support for the “LinkScanner” feature.

Fix for free anti-virus generating fake traffic

“The freeware version of Antivirus software AVG 8 was released with a feature called LinkScanner at the end of May that was found to create massive amounts of fake traffic, enraging webmasters, and skewing site rankings. Today, AVG Technologies has at last pushed a solution. Peter Cameron, the Managing Director of AVG Australia/New Zealand, published a statement this weekend saying that the problem had been fixed. LinkScanner’s feature called SearchShield was intended to check search engine query results for malware by automatically “clicking” and downloading each indexed result. It would therefore be able to warn the user of security threats contained within links before actually navigating there. From the point of view of analytics software, the effect was the same as if the user clicked on a site, irrespective of whether he had actually visited it. Many sites reported inexplicably huge spikes in traffic because of this, and some complained LinkScanner had hit their sites so much, that great chunks of bandwidth were being consumed by what is essentially a spider. Several methods of eliminating this fake traffic from log files were devised, but many were still upset.”

“The Very Confusing July 4th Weekend Episode” of Dr. Bill Podcast #143

Dr. Bill Podcast – 143 – (07/05/08)
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Dr. Bill salutes the 4th of July! Tech News! Geek Software of the Week: IcoFX, No Geek Culture! (What?!?) And, some news on a site feature… lot’s of random stuff!

A New Study Confirms That Firefox is Safest

Something we already knew, of course, but it is nice to be validated! Firefox ranks as the safest browser to use to be safe on the Internet, while Internet Explorer is the riskiest browser to use. This is why I install it first when I build a new system. Go forth and be safe!

Firefox Users Most Secure on Internet, Study Reveals

“Mozilla Firefox fans might rest a little easier these days after a study released Tuesday revealed that its users are most secure on the Internet. The study ‘Understanding the Web browser threat: Examination of vulnerable online Web browser populations and the ‘insecurity iceberg,” was a collaborative effort conducted by researchers at The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Google and IBM (NYSE:IBM) Internet Security Services. The research offers a comprehensive analysis of Web browsers, particularly in the area of security. The study’s aim was to analyze Web browser preference and behavior for people using the Internet. Altogether, the study found that less than 60 percent (59.1) of people use up-to-date, fully patched Web browsers. Failure update browsers exponentially increases the chance for remote attacks executed by hackers, the study found. In recent years, the Web has become the vehicle for malicious attacks, which have enabled cyber criminals to execute code that shuts down a system or takes complete control of a user’s PC. Unlike years past, hackers now are creating new malware specifically to gain access to user’s personal and financial information, with the aim of committing identity theft or selling it on the black market.”

New Patch Tuesday Comes Up And Has Vista Fix

Vista reliability will be addressed in the patch that is coming out on this coming Patch Tuesday.

Next Patch Tuesday has few security updates, big Vista reliability fix

“In its monthly advance notice the weekend before the second Tuesday of the month, Microsoft said it will only be addressing four security issues this time around, two dealing with Windows. But a surprisingly big Vista bug fix is under way. If you think about it, the relative security of Windows Vista hasn’t been the subject of much debate recently. If there’s any problem consumers have with it, whether it’s born out of market perception or real-world experience, it’s a feeling that it’s not all that reliable. So perhaps it’s not such a bad thing that next week’s Patch Tuesday round of fixes from Microsoft will focus less on security — with only four issues in that category to be addressed there — and more on Vista’s overall reliability. A single performance update announced by Microsoft on June 24 will tackle some real-world problems that Vista users have been facing, according to automated feedback the company’s servers receive when Internet-connected Vista users crash. Here’s a little annoyance: Have you ever tried to delete a user account from Vista’s Control Panel, only to be responded to by your system sitting there in an endless loop, doing nothing? Then when you reboot, the account’s not gone? That’s one of the issues this performance update will address. And what is it about Vista, after you leave your computer on for an ‘extended period of time’ (A day? Two days?) makes it decide that Excel is no longer a valid application for you to run? How many times has this happened to you, to paraphrase a TV infomercial? That’s another bug Vista users should find gone, hopefully. There’s also interesting little problems such as certain builds of NVidia drivers that cause high-definition audio streams to sound like they’ve been fed through a chipper-shredder, and Windows Mail (the replacement for Outlook Express) triggering a crash when traffic monitoring is enabled through Windows, and e-mail security through ZoneAlarm is active at the same time. These are the little, everyday affairs that some people really look forward to seeing gone. Quite possibly, they impact more users than the average newly discovered vulnerability.”

Geek Software of the Week: IcoFX!

IcoFXThis week’s GSotW is awesome! Now you can capture images, or parts of images as icons for your desktop, edit, color, tweak, to your heart’s content! And, it is all FREE!

IcoFX Icon Editor

“IcoFX is an award winning freeware icon editor. It is an all-in-one solution for icon creation, extraction and editing. It is designed to work with Windows XP, Windows Vista and Macintosh icons supporting transparency. With a wealth of tools and more than 40 effects at your fingertips, there’s virtually no limit to the icons you can create. You can easily convert your favorite images into icons, or icons into images. IcoFX gives you the possibility to create icon libraries or change icons inside exe files. Create a favicon for your website or blog. Convert your Macintosh icons to Windows icons and vice versa. With IcoFX you can extract icons from other files, including Windows Vista and Macintosh files. You can easily work with multiple files using the batch processing capability of IcoFX.”

  • Support for Vista icon with PNG compression
  • Create icons for Windows 98 / ME / 2000 / XP / Vista
  • Support for Macintosh OS X icons
  • Convert Macintosh icons to Windows icons
  • Create icon libraries
  • Create favicon for websites or blogs
  • Easily convert images to icons
  • Add, change or delete icons inside exe files
  • Support for transparency (alpha channel)
  • Batch processing for import, export and extract
  • Multiple language support
  • More than 40 effects + custom filter
  • Resolutions up to 256×256
  • Data types: 2, 16, 256, True Color, True Color + Alpha
  • Extract icons from 32 bit exe and dll
  • Import and export images
  • Transparent, Brighten/Darken, Blur/Sharpen tools

Xandros is Buying Linspire

Competitor Xandros Linux is buying Linspire Linux! Wow! This is pretty amazing!

Linspire, the former Lindows, will become part of Xandros

“According to announcements this morning, enterprise Linux distributor Xandros will purchase consumer Linux maker Linspire, in a move that had been rumored for several weeks with little details coming from either company. According to Xandros, the deal was officially signed on June 19, but it appears both companies tried to slip the announcement under the rug. Linspire is a Linux operating system that closely mimics the basic Windows GUI and was most popular among low-cost Linux PC bundles offered in Wal-Mart and Fry’s. But with similar product offerings from Ubuntu and Mandriva Linux, the company has had a difficult time as of late competing with other Linux distributions. The same features that were designed to help lure users from Microsoft Windows to open source Linux are now available in the more popular competing Linux distributions. Though Xandros has lately positioned itself as a business Linux provider, its Linux distribution has, at one time or another, competed with Linspire and similar Linux flavors. It received the most publicity after being used in the low-cost Asus Eee PC notebook and similar product offerings. In the agreement, Xandros will receive all of Linspire’s assets related to Linspire, Lindows, Freespire, and Click ‘N Run, and will change its name and trademarks after the deal is completed. Xandros will continue to create and market the Linspire and Freespire operating systems with full vendor support, while there are no concrete plans to merge the Linspire products into the Xandros OS. Furthermore, Linspire’s CNR.com — a tool that allows users to run applications from other Linux platforms — will also continue to operate under its own brand name in the future. This portal for downloading software from other vendors, including Debian, OpenSuse, Fedora, and Ubuntu, helped originally make Linspire popular after it was released. New Linux users can easily find and install Linux software without the headaches and strong learning curve that typically plague first-time Linux users.”

As a Linspire “Insider” I also got this message from Linspire founder Michael Robertson:

“July 2nd, 2008

This week Xandros Inc. is buying Linspire. Xandros has done more than any company to put Linux in front of users by powering the innovative eee PC so I’m excited to see the Linspire, Freespire and CNR technology go to a worthy competitor. Linux is going through some healthy and necessary consolidation which will give resulting companies greater assets and size to deliver on larger initiatives so Linux can touch more people.

I started Linspire several years ago to bring desktop Linux to the mass market and some much needed competition for Microsoft. To accomplish this we made an easy to use Linux without the religious zeal and crazy terminology which spooked new users. Non-technical people could install it in about 5 minutes on common PC hardware and have it immediately be on the Internet, playing videos, music, etc. (The 5 minute install is still an impressive achievement – checkout freespire.org to witness it.)

One deficiency of Linux is that it’s difficult to find and install new software. To address this shortcoming, Linspire built CNR Technology which I’m more excited about than ever. CNR is a marketplace where users can browse for software programs (free and commercial), download and install with a single mouse click. More than 10,000,000 Linux software programs have been installed via CNR which now works for Ubuntu, Debian and other Linux versions. New systems like eee PC need CNR which is why Linspire marrying Xandros makes sense.

I’m proud of what we tried to accomplish at Linspire. We spent considerable money and supported important initiatives like Mozilla, KDE, Wineconf, Gaim (Pidgin), Nvu, Debian and more. Although there’s a loyal Linspire and Freespire audience there’s no denying we did not succeed in bringing Linux to the masses as we intended to do. Even with Ubuntu’s success, Linux on the desktop is still the domain of software engineers and technical people.

Over the last 2 years, I have come to know Xandros CEO Andreas Typaldos. He’s an impressive businessman with considerable success. Most impressively he came from the humblest of beginnings as a Greek immigrant unable to speak the language. Now he’s running Xandros. He’s shared with me his grand plan for Xandros — it’s ambitious and goes far beyond the operating system to applications and management. I’m confident that Andy will lead Xandros to success and that is why the sale of Linspire makes sense. I believe Xandros will maximize the value of Linspire’s brand, engineers and technology such as CNR.

–Michael Roberston”

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