2/13/2010

MS update gives some XP boxes the Blue Screen

Filed under: — Aviran

Applying the latest patches from Microsoft can cause Windows XP machines to crash with the infamous blue screen of death.

Updating systems with the MS10-015 bulletin, which addresses “important” vulnerabilities in Windows Kernel, can cause machines to lock up when restarted before falling into a never-ending reboot loop. The problem is far from isolated, judging by a growing thread on the topic on an official Windows support forum though it’s fortunately not commonplace either.

Restarting affected systems in Safe Mode reportedly doesn’t seem to help. Suggested fixes for the problem involve booting from a Windows CD or DVD and starting recovery console before uninstalling the MS10-015 update. Uninstalling all 11 of Tuesday’s Windows-related updates, as initially suggested by some users, now seems to be unnecessary.

Security firm Sunbelt advises users to hold off the MS10-015 update.

OpenOffice 3.2 Released

Filed under: — Aviran

OpenOffice 3.2 is available for download.

Improvements in the latest release of the open source office suite include faster start-ups, improved compatibility with other office programs, and several new features (with special attention to the Calc spreadsheet program.)

At the same time, the OpenOffice.org team is celebrating its tenth anniversary and a claimed total 300 million downloads of the office software since its initial launch. They say that just over a year since its launch, OpenOffice 3 has logged over one third of those downloads from the central server alone.

According to the OpenOffice team, 3.2’s Calc and Writer components have reduced their start-up time by 46 per cent from version 3.0.

Version 3.2 also boasts improved compliance with Open Document Format (ODF) 1.2 standards as well as the ability to open password-protected Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files.

Windows Activation (WGA) Coming To Windows 7

Filed under: — Aviran

In the coming days, Microsoft will be deploying a new update for Windows Activation Technologies, the set of built-in activation and validation components built into Windows 7. Called Windows Activation Technologies Update for Windows 7, this update will detect more than 70 known and potentially dangerous activation exploits.

Customers will get the patch gradually, with Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate and Enterprise users getting the update first.

In addition MS will make Windows Activation Technologies (WAT) available for download through its Microsoft.com/genuine website on 16 February. The Microsoft Download Center will get the update a day later, it said.

Murder scene removed from Google Street View

Filed under: — Aviran

Internet giant Google has removed a Windsor murder scene from its Street View function that showed the parking lot of a strip joint with yellow police tape and a pool of blood.

“Street View on Google Maps shows what you would see if you were walking down the street yourself, so sometimes that means we capture sensitive or objectionable imagery,” Google Canada spokeswoman Tamara Micner said in a written statement. “We worked quickly to remove this image after we were notified, and we’re very sorry if it caused any distress.”

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