7/3/2008

IE 8 to have antimalware protection

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

On Wednesday, Microsoft announced new security features within the upcoming release of Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2. The features are designed to combat the rising tide of drive-by downloads and malicious scripts contained within carefully crafted links embedded in e-mail and Web pages. Most of the new features require systems to be running Windows Vista SP1 or Windows XP SP3.

Perhaps the most anticipated addition is Internet Explorer’s new antimalware protection. Opera 9.5 and Firefox 3 both recently added antimalware protection. Safari has so far not announced plans for similar protection. Using mostly its own antimalware technology, Microsoft will block emerging threats by masking the entire IE 8 browser screen with a warning to users. The addition of malware protection to the existing antiphishing protection will be re-branded as the Microsoft SmartScreen filter.

IE 8 Beta 2 will have a Cross Site Scripting (XSS) filter, preventing scripts within a link from executing on the browser.

Adobe’s PDF becomes ISO standard

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Adobe Systems’ popular portable document format, or PDF as it’s more well-known, has become the latest International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard as of Wednesday morning.

Adobe has been the key developer and patent holder of the technology, and on Wednesday passed over the entire specification of version 1.7 to the Geneva-based ISO. This comes just a year and a half after Adobe made plans to open up by giving the specification to the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) which was to lay the groundwork for ISO certification.

The ISO has issued a press release about the new standard (named “ISO 32000-1:2008″), along with a quote from Adobe Chief Technology Officer Kevin Lynch about the move expanding the PDF universe. “As governments and organizations increasingly request open formats, maintenance of the PDF specification by an external and participatory organization will help continue to drive innovation and expand the rich PDF ecosystem that has evolved over the past 15 years,” Lynch said. It’s nearly verbatim with what he said back in the AIIM hand-off, but holds true to what typically happens when any file format is ISO certified. They’ll typically become more attractive to governments and large corporate customers.

Adobe unveils Reader 9 with Flash

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Adobe released on Tuesday the first Reader application to bake movies and animation into the Portable Document Format.

With Adobe Reader 9, users can play Flash movies, Shockwave animation, and other rich media content without needing to open a third-party player.

PDFs are reaching new levels of interactivity with this release. Past versions of the nearly ubiquitous and free application, by contrast, have enabled dynamic forms but served largely to open print-ready PDFs.

The update is supposed to load more quickly than version 8, addressing the gripes of many users who felt that Reader slowed down Web surfing.

Adobe has described this release as potentially leading to a one-size-fits-all media player. Acrobat 9, released in June at between $299 to $699, will embed video and animation within PDFs.

Mozilla’s Firefox 3 Sets Geeky World Record

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

It’s official: Mozilla has set possibly the geekiest world record ever with the release of Firefox 3.

The open-source company said Wednesday that the browser’s 8,002,530 downloads in its first 24 hours of release set a Guinness World Record for the most software downloads in that period of time.

Mozilla Vice President of Marketing Paul Kim thanked Firefox fans in a statement, calling them “instrumental in achieving this record.”

“Our community members came together and not only spread the word, but also took the initiative to help mobilize millions of people to demonstrate their belief that Firefox gives people the best possible online experience,” he said.

Google in deal with Brazil to fight child porn

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Internet search company Google signed an agreement with Brazilian public prosecutors on Wednesday to help combat child pornography on its social networking site Orkut, an accord that the company believes is the first of its kind internationally.

Under the agreement, Google will use filters to remove and prevent illegal content on Orkut, which has about half its users in Brazil. The company will also facilitate evidence gathering under judicial order in suspected crimes against children and teen-agers on Orkut without the need for international legal accords.

Google will also preserve for six months access logs of users being investigated for illegal conduct.

Microsoft to sell Office, OneCare for $70 a year

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft Corp. will begin selling its Office programs to consumers on a subscription basis starting mid-July, in a bid to reach thrifty PC buyers who would otherwise pass on productivity software.

The move may also set the stage for Microsoft to offer its consumer-oriented programs as “services” over the Web, by acclimating people now to the new pricing model such a shift could require.

The software bundle, which also includes Microsoft’s Live OneCare computer security software, will be sold at nearly 700 Circuit City stores for $70 per year.

Bryson Gordon, a group product manager for the Office group, said in an interview that the agreement with Circuit City Stores Inc. is not exclusive, and that the bundle will be available at other retailers and on PCs sold by the likes of Dell Inc. in the future.

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