Archive for March, 2006

Mini Microsoft Calling for New Leadership

In a blog called Mini-Microsoft a Microsoft employee calls for the current leadership to be fired for missing another fourth quarter with the recent delay of Windows Vista and Office 2007.

I was upset at missing the back-to-school market. Now we’re missing the holiday sales market. All of those laptops and PCs are going to have XP on it. What percentage will upgrade to Vista? Well, I guess that’s the little dream that I need to give up on. Vista’s deployment is going to come from people buying CPUs with the OS pre-installed, not dancing down the CompUSA aisle as they clutch that boxed version of Vista to their loving chest. So not only did we miss last year’s opportunity, we’re missing this year’s opportunity, too. With the convergence of high-tech media, this holiday season would have been an explosive nodal point to get Vista out for a compounded effect.

Yes it would have, and Microsoft is missing the boat with Vista, but, each of the machines they do sale, will still have Windows XP on them, or atleast, most will. The post said he had been waiting until it was released to get his new mega-big-iron PC. Saying, “I’m super-excited to get Vista Ultimate on that new PC and be able to hook Media Center up to my Xbox 360. And now I’ll wait.” See, I don’t understand this point, most people just buy a new pc when they need one, in the workplace, most businesses should have a policy set on how often they replace their pc’s, people like me who are geeks, look forward to playing with the new stuff, but most people don’t care. I don’t need Vista, my mom doesn’t need Vista, so, I won’t see Vista in final release form until I buy a new PC, or until Microsoft sends me a copy, hehe. I haven’t even played with any of the beta’s, XP has been great for me. So, delay Vista all you want, I won’t be buying a new PC for atleast another year anyway, and I certainly won’t be buying a copy of Vista off of the shelf.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - March 27, 2006 at 1:14 pm

Categories: Windows Vista, Windows XP   Tags: , ,

Microsoft has Delayed Office 2007 as Well as Vista

Microsoft just announced that they are delaying Office 2007 as well as Windows Vista, they will still offer it to volume license customers in October, and to retail and OEM manufacturers in January.

“We believe this will provide an easier experience for consumers and retailers alike,” a Microsoft representative said in an e-mail to CNET News.com.

Microsoft announced the Vista delay Tuesday. With the twin postponements, the PC industry’s holiday season is shaping up to be quite different than the one originally expected. Microsoft has said it doesn’t expect the Vista delay to dent PC sales in the fourth quarter, but analysts have largely disagreed.

Microsoft is making major changes to Office, which will feature all-new XML-based file formats, as well as a completely overhauled user interface, among other changes.

By pushing out the Office launch date, however, Microsoft will regain the ability to launch the two products in tandem. Microsoft had been planning a massive fourth-quarter launch for the products. Source: News.com

Not surprising, it seems most products from Microsoft are delayed atleast once. Doesn’t matter to me, I’ll check it out whenever it comes out.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - March 24, 2006 at 12:55 pm

Categories: Office News   Tags: , ,

DNS Reflector and Amplification Attacks

Using this newest attack form, DNS reflector and amplification attacks, cybercriminals can cripple servers on the internet far easier than they did before, because these DNS DDOS attacks reflect back more data than is sent, up to 73 times more data.

“DNS is now a major vector for DDOS,” Dan Kaminsky, a security researcher said, referring to distributed denial-of-service attacks. “The bar has been lowered. People with fewer resources can now launch potentially crippling attacks.”

Just as in any DDOS attack, the target system–which could be a victim’s Web server, name server or mail server–is inundated with a multitude of data coming from multiple systems on the Internet. The goal is to make the target unreachable online by flooding the data connection or by crashing it as it tries to handle the incoming data.

A single DNS query could trigger a response that is as much as 73 times larger than the request, according to a recent paper by Randal Vaughn, a professor of information systems at Baylor University, and Gadi Evron, the manager of the Computer Emergency Response Team at Israel’s ministry of finance.

“Relatively small DNS requests can be employed to cause significantly larger replies from a name server to the spoofed IP address,” Vaughn and Evron wrote. Source: News.com

This attack is a lot harder to detect, and does a lot more damage. But, there will probably always be somebody looking to do damage like this and there will always be some new way to do it. Business as usual on the net frontier.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - at 12:01 pm

Categories: Security, Tech News   Tags: ,

Longhorn Server Still on Track to Ship in 2007

The delayed release of the client version of Windows Vista will not affect the release of the server version.

The latest delay of Windows Vista has no impact on the ship date for Windows Server “Longhorn,” the server version of the operating system, according to Microsoft.

“The timing for the final release of Windows Server ‘Longhorn’ remains 2007,” a Microsoft representative said in a statement Tuesday. “Several broad test releases…are planned with the first being available to customers later this spring.”

Only time will tell I guess.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - March 21, 2006 at 11:51 pm

Categories: Longhorn Server   Tags:

Windows Vista Delayed, Again

Today Microsoft announced that Windows Vista will be delayed, and will probably not show up on new pc’s until the first of the year. The reason being they needed a few extra weeks and if they did so, it would hurt some manufacturers more that others, allowing some to launch this year, while others would not be able too.

The delay is the latest setback for Vista. Microsoft scaled back several key features of the operating system last year in order to try to ensure a 2006 release. The operating system, which has been in development for years, was delayed by, among other things, the fact that Microsoft had to put so much time and testing effort into Windows XP Service Pack 2, a largely security-oriented upgrade to the current version of Windows.

Allchin said that although PC makers were not universal in wanting the delay, there were concerns from some companies that they could not ensure a holiday quarter launch if Microsoft pushed back its development schedule even slightly.

Analysts have been warning that Microsoft’s schedule left little room for error if it was to make a fourth-quarter launch. Source: News.com

They don’t expect a slow down in fourth quarter sales though, and this will happen in the same earnings period anyway. They say they are trying to crank up the security levels, I’m sure you’ve seen some of the articles proclaiming that it will end anti spyware companies earnings. More of the same, in this article, News.com has a nice side bar with all of the delay announcements that have affect this release of Windows.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - at 11:47 pm

Categories: Windows Vista   Tags: ,

Is Your Registry Up to Snuff?

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - March 14, 2006 at 10:35 am

Categories: Reviews   Tags:

Alienware Growing or Selling Out?

Just read this article in Yahoo, about Alienware and their gaming pc’s called Alienware Racks Up Gamers, and Millions. It describes how they started out with just a little bit of money and the idea that gamers would pay more for high powered gaming pc’s. Apparently, they were correct, and since that time, other manufacturers, like Dell, have been upping the power of their gaming systems, the XPS, in a bid to do the same.

Banks had laughed at their concept of selling expensive PCs for video gamers at a time when other computer companies were cutting prices to grab more customers. The fact that the new company, Alienware, took its name from UFO lore didn’t help either.

Aguila and his friend, Nelson Gonzalez, had just $10,000 between them.

“I was there and all the walls were black … and the phones were sitting there and not ringing. And I’m thinking, ‘What did I do?’” said Aguila.

But 10 years later, Miami-based Alienware Corp. is widely acclaimed by video gamers and on track to hit $225 million in sales this year, up from $172 million in 2005. The success of the privately held company has lured others, including industry leader Dell Inc., to target the high-end market, too.

And now that they are a branching out into business workstations, some people are saying they are losing their focus, but how are they supposed to grow if they don’t add on to their business?

Alienware has branched out a bit by offering cheaper computers. It also has growing sales of workstations and servers not shaped like alien heads to corporate and government clients, such as Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Army.

Gaming PCs, however, still make up 80 percent of sales, Gonzalez said.

Still, that expansion has led some to complain that Alienware is losing its focus on its core, video game-playing customers.

“Especially in that audience, the notion of street cred plays a factor in what these consumers will buy. These niche players do run that risk. But at the same time these companies have to grow their business,” Shim said.

What do you all think? A friend of mine has one and it’s great, fast and pretty cool looking. I may replace my laptop with one in the future, but that probably won’t happen for a year or more, or I may go for battery life and a quieter laptop, my current one is pretty loud because of all lf the fans needed to cool it. Check out Alienware Exclusive Savings here.


1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - at 10:07 am

Categories: Alienware, Tech News   Tags:

Microsoft’s Next Tuesday Update

This week when Microsoft does it’s Tuesday patch update, it will contain fixes for two flaws, one deemed critical for Office and a windows patch marked as important.

On 14 March 2006 Microsoft is planning to release:

Security Updates

One Microsoft Security Bulletin affecting Microsoft Office. The highest Maximum Severity rating for this is Critical. These updates may require a restart. These updates will be detectable using the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer and the Enterprise Scanning Tool.

One Microsoft Security Bulletin affecting Microsoft Windows. The highest Maximum Severity rating for this is Important. These updates will not require a restart. These updates will be detectable using the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer.

Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool

Microsoft will release an updated version of the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool on Windows Update, Microsoft Update, Windows Server Update Services and the Download Center.

Note that this tool will NOT be distributed using Software Update Services (SUS).

Non-security High Priority updates on MU, WU, WSUS and SUS

Microsoft will not release any NON-SECURITY High-Priority Updates for Windows on Windows Update (WU) and Software Update Services (SUS).

Microsoft will release one NON-SECURITY High-Priority Updates on Microsoft Update (MU) and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).

From News.com:

Microsoft rates as critical any security threat that could allow a malicious Internet worm to spread without any action required on the part of the user. Problems deemed “important” could be exploited to compromise the confidentiality, integrity or availability of data, or the integrity or availability of processing resources, according to the company.

Microsoft’s notice did not specify which components of Windows or Office are being repaired with Tuesday’s patches or how many flaws the update will tackle. Security researchers with eEye Digital Security list one vulnerability on their Web site for which a fix is considered overdue.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - March 9, 2006 at 3:38 pm

Categories: Microsoft News, Office News   Tags: , ,

Internet Security Threat Report and How to Avoid Most Threats

Symantec has released the latest copy of their Internet Security Threat Report, and, not surprisingly, the nature of the threats are becoming more economical in nature. As more and more criminal activity moves to the web, it will just keep getting worse and worse, it’s too easy for people to take advantage of other people in today’s internet, I can make a fake email right now for paypal and spam it around the internet and probably have people’s login details the first day, and I’ve never, ever done anything like that before, that’s how easy it is. It’s way to easy to fashion a piece of spyware as well, distribute it through security holes and other bad websites across the web and be knocking down great money in no time.

The Symantec Internet Security Threat Report offers analysis and discussion of threat activity over a six-month period. It covers Internet attacks, vulnerabilities, malicious code, and future trends. The latest report, released March 7, is now available.

This volume of the Internet Security Threat Report offers an overview of threat activity that took place between July 1 and December 31, 2005. In this edition, the new threat landscape is shown to be increasingly dominated by attacks and malicious code that are used to commit cyber crime, criminal acts that incorporate a computer or Internet component. Attackers have moved away from large, multipurpose attacks on network perimeters and toward smaller, more focused attacks on client-side targets.

The threat landscape is coming to be dominated by emerging threats such as bot networks and customizable modular malicious code. Targeted attacks on Web applications and Web browsers are increasingly becoming the focal point for cyber criminals. Whereas traditional attack activity has been motivated by curiosity and a desire to show off technical virtuosity, many current threats are motivated by profit. They often attempt to perpetrate criminal acts, such as identity theft, extortion, and fraud, for financial gain.

Over the last six months of 2005, Symantec detected an average of 1,402 Denial of Service (DoS) attacks per day. This is an increase of 51 percent from the first half of 2005, when Symantec detected an average of 927 DoS attacks per day. Source: Symantec.

I wish I could teach everyone how to use the internet in one big session, but I’ll try to do as many here as I can.

1) Never, ever click on any links in your emails, like the ones you get from eBay and paypal, etc, always type it in the address bar in internet explorer or fire fox, or whatever browser you are using. It’s way to easy to make a fake email that looks like it came from paypal, you click on a link and try to login to a website that looks like paypal, and they have your paypal info right then and can start spending your money immediately.

2) You can see exactly where a link goes on any webpage, all you have to do is hold down the mouse button when you click on a link, and you can see where the link goes in the bottom of internet explorer, if you want to go there, simply release the button, if you don’t, keep the button held down and slide your mouse away from the link, and it will not cause the click to happen.

3) Nothing is free on the internet, it will cost you in some way. Most, not all, but most, free screensaver sites load some form of adware or spyware if it doesn’t cost you anything to purchase it. A lot of game sites, and celebrity sites will do the same thing, as they have to pay for all the bandwidth they are using.

4) When installing software, there is always a license agreement, read it. I know, I know, no one reads these things, but at least scan through them as they are supposed to list in it if they install any other software.

5) Do NOT forward anything that says forward to everyone or ten people or whatever. None of it works, none of it is true, it’s sole reason for existing is to waste bandwidth, and that is exactly what happens when you forward this latest email to everyone you know.

6) When posting on forums or wherever, do a search while you are there first, if it is a common question, the answers will already be there and no one will be calling you noob or newbie and telling you to search for the answer first.

7) Don’t believe everything you read, even the big news sites get things wrong some days, although they are usually the most trustworthy, just like this site. ;)

8) If you like a site, support it by buying stuff through their links, or donating if they have a donate button. It does cost money to run a website, and the more popular it is, the more expensive it is.

9) Always have an anti virus program and an anti spyware program, the ones I like are Panda for anti virus, that link is for their free online scan, and X-Cleaner for anti spyware.

10) If you use a peer to peer network to get music, movies, whatever, you will end up with loads of spyware and you may get caught and possibly fined by the RIAA, or whoever is trying to stop the file sharing now. You have been warned.

Of course, these are for newbie?s and non technical people, if you know anything about computers, then you probably already know these.

Symantec’s latest Internet Security Threat Report, to be issued on March 7, 2006, analyzes data collected from over 24,000 security devices deployed in over 180 countries. It covers the six-month period from July 1 ? December 31, 2005 and includes analysis of network-based attacks, a review of known vulnerabilities, highlights of Adware, Spyware, and malicious code, an analysis of Spam and Phishing data and a forward looking analysis in Future Watch.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - at 12:10 pm

Categories: Reviews, Spyware Info, Tech News, Virus Info   Tags: , , , , , , ,

Average Broadband User Costs Companies $1

Think about that for a second before I start telling you about the article I found this in, the average broadband internet user used 2 gigs a month and costs their carrier on average of $1 dollar a month. And this comes from BellSouth?s Chief Architect Henry Kafka, so it’s not just some bull shit spouted by somebody on a blog. Now, who here pays close to $1 dollar a month for broadband? Anyone? Bueller? My bill from Charter says I pay way more than $1 dollar a month for my broadband. Now, I realize they have infrastructure costs, repair costs, etc, but, if everyone is paying as much for broadband as I am, they should’ve covered those costs by now and be ready for the surge in demand. As a matter of fact, I’m on a cable broadband service, and if they didn’t start out knowing they were going to need more capacity EVERY month, or day even, then they need to find a new job.

?Over time, the migration from multicasting to video-on-demand and unicasting has a huge impact on what happens in the core of the network,? Kafka said. ?That changes the way we need to look at broadband.?

Today?s average residential broadband user consumes about 2 gigabytes of data per month, Kafka estimated, which costs the service provider about $1. As downloading feature films becomes more popular, they might consume an average of 9 gigabytes per month, costing carriers $4.50.

The average IPTV user will likely consume about 224 gigabytes per month, he added, at a monthly cost to carriers of $112, a giant leap from the less than $5 attributed to Internet use. If that content were high-definition video, the average user would be consuming more than 1 terabyte per month at a cost to carriers of $560 per month.

?Clearly that?s not what the average user is going to pay per month for their video service,? Kafka said. ?That?s why we need help.? Source: Telephony Online.

Ya, they need help all right, they need more people to help them carry all this cash to the bank, need to purchase a couple thousand new wheel barrels and hire some temp workers to move it all. Ridiculous. Even if the average user starts using that much more bandwidth, the price will go down, in cost per gigabyte of bandwidth, as they purchase more. I haven’t even checked out the IPTV stuff yet, but I sure will if it’s going to cost them that much more money, if I’m paying this much for it now, I’m going to use all I can, because you know they will “HAVE” to raise prices in the future.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - at 10:08 am

Categories: Ramblings, Tech News   Tags:

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