12/17/2005

New Windows Vista Test Build Expected Next Week

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Tablet PC feature integration, more user-interface tweaks and parental control filters are all expected to be part of the December Community Technology Preview release. But Beta 2 is still months away, it seems.

Windows testers will get a new beta version of Windows Vista, dubbed the December Community Technology Preview beta build, just before next week’s holidays, according to tester scuttlebutt.

New to the December release, testers say, will be a number of features and user-interface tweaks. A new defrag module; tight integration of Windows Defender (the product formerly known as Windows Antispyware); and a functional parental-controls filter are all rumored to be in the December Vista build.

Source: Microsoft Watch

Panda Software’s Virus Yearbook of 2005

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Generally speaking, only malicious code that cause serious epidemics manage to attract media and public attention. Nevertheless, every day, many new examples appear with their own very specific traits. Panda Software presents a list of some of the more curious malicious code to have appeared during 2005.

  • Quick off the blocks. Downloader.AEE has the dubious honor of being the first threat detected in 2005 — we were still ringing in the New Year when it first emerged. Seems like the creators of this malicious code didn’t have a party to go to!
  • Casanova. Mydoom.AK, one of the many members of this infamous family of worms, uses a range of subjects and file names connected with Valentine’s Day… along with other more lurid bait.
  • The most ingenious. Assiral.A spreads in an email message very similar to the one used by LoveLetter. Just like in fashion, it looks like the classics will always make a comeback.
  • A frustrated reporter. It is difficult to know whether the creators of Crowt.A, a worm that spread in mail messages containing CNN headlines, wanted to cause as much damage as possible or simply keep us all up-to-speed on what was going on in the world. Fortunately, they didn’t achieve either.
  • The most annoying. Elitper.D wins hands down as it can prevent up to 90 applications from running, including Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, WinZip and WinRAR.
  • Soccer mad. Sober.V took advantage of soccer fans looking forward to next year’s World Cup in Germany. It tricks users by offering free tickets to the finals.

(more…)

Xbox 360 reaches out to mobiles

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Gamers could soon be able to receive alerts on their mobile phones when their friends are playing on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 games console.

The software giant is working on a system which would let players on its online gaming service, Xbox Live, send instant messages to a friend’s mobile.

Microsoft UK mobility business manager Jason Langridge told the BBC the system should be live within six months.

It is part of Microsoft’s strategy to connect its various online services.

Source: BBC

Online-advertising budgets to keep growing

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Online display and search ad spending is projected to grow at an annual rate of 10 percent over the next five years, according to a new study.

The automotive, media and financial-services industries are expected to lead the way in total advertising spending. The annual increase in automakers’ Web ad spending will be 24 percent, while the travel industry should see a 13 percent increase through 2010, indicated a JupiterResearch study released Thursday.

The research firm said advertising agencies and publishers who want to do well should be sensitive to each industrial sector’s needs. Marketers, for instance, want an integrated approach to their online and offline campaigns.

Source: News.com

IE7 Will Use Firefox’s RSS Icon

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft RSS team will adopt the icon used in Firefox for RSS. John Lilly and Chris Beard from Mozilla meat the IE team and all agreed that it’s in the user’s best interest to have one common icon to represent RSS and RSS-related features in a browser.

Microsoft will be using the icon in the IE7 command bar whenever a page has a feed associated with it, and also use it in other places in the browser whenever we need a visual to represent RSS and feeds.

Microsoft patch jams up IE

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Last Tuesday’s “critical” security fix for Internet Explorer is causing trouble for users who have been testing the new IE 7 browser.

Microsoft has received “scattered reports of users experiencing odd browser behavior” after installing the latest security update, Jeremy Dallman, project manager for Internet Explorer security at the company, wrote in a Friday posting to a corporate blog.

Three different problems have been reported: The browser could crash right after starting up; links may come up blank; or multiple windows may open when the browser is initiated, according to the posting.

“After investigating several of these reports, we have traced these issues to a common source,” Dallman wrote. The culprit is IE 7, the next version of Microsoft’s Web browser, which is in beta testing. The problems occur only if IE 7 is installed on a machine alongside IE6. That double-IE configuration is not supported by the fix, according to Dallman’s note.

Source: News.com

HP backs both rivals in DVD horse race

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Hewlett-Packard has announced it will support both contenders to be the next generation of DVDs, a change of tack that could raise the chances of an expensive format war.

The computer maker had previously been a staunch supporter of Sony-backed Blu-ray technology, which is competing with HD DVD to be the high-definition disc format adopted by gear makers and movie studios. However, Blu-ray backers last month rejected a call by HP to include several technical features in the disc specifications.

In response, the computer maker said Friday that it would continue to support Blu-ray, but would also join the Toshiba-led group working to promote HD DVD.

Source: News.com

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