Archive for August, 2007

Windows XP and Vista Service Packs

Looks like Microsoft has released beta versions of the service packs for Windows Vista and Windows XP.

Shhhh! Pre-beta Vista SP1 is out there Over the past couple of days, there have been new reports of sightings of the pre-beta of Windows Vista Service Pack (SP) 1. The reported build number: 6001.16549 (longhorn_sp1beta1.070628-1825). I?ve been getting tips over the past couple of weeks from testers who said they had the promised pre-beta. The tipsters all were referencing different build numbers. My first guess was the secrecy-obsessed Windows Vista team might be providing different testers with different build numbers in order to trace leaks.

Windows XP SP3 Released To Small Group (Updated) In addition to the previously reported Windows Vista SP1 drop to testers, Microsoft has just recently (few days ago) dropped a copy of Windows XP Service Pack 3 in the lap of the same small group of testers. Coming in at less than 350MB, the service pack includes fixes for over 900 reported problems, some of which have already been resolved with post-Service Pack 2 hot fixes. For the hardcore build string collectors, this build is tagged 5.1.2600.3180 (xpsp.070718-2058).

They have included several screenshots of both service packs.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - August 8, 2007 at 4:32 am

Categories: Windows Vista, Windows XP   Tags: , ,

Microsoft Drops Pricing on Xbox 360

Microsoft has done what some said they would not do, and what some said they would do, how’s that for making sense, they have dropped the price on the Xbox 360 by $50. Better still, if you live in Canada, they are dropping the price of it by $100!

Microsoft Lowers Price of Xbox 360 by $100 in Canada Price drop coincides with release of “Madden NFL 08″ on Xbox 360, one of many titles that make up the greatest holiday lineup in video game history.

Microsoft trims Xbox 360 price by $50 Although rumors of the price cut had swirled since last week, Microsoft didn’t make the deal official until late yesterday. Even then, the company did not tout the $50 cut as much as highlight how long it resisted discounting the machine. “The fact that we have been able to keep our launch price longer than any other console while retaining our leadership position demonstrates that consumers believe in the value of Xbox 360,” said Mitch Koch, a vice president in the entertainment division’s sales and marketing group, in a statement.

Xbox 360 System update They also released an update to Xbox Live to allow you to use some wireless guitars that are coming out.

Madden NFL 08 Side-By-Side PS3 And Xbox 360 Comparison Game Videos compiled some footage of Madden NFL 08, which you all know by now has one distinct difference between the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions ? the PS3 version will run at 30 frames per second, while the 360 version will run at 60.

Halo 3 themed Xbox 360 Don’t forget about the Halo 3 themed [tag]Xbox 360[/tag] coming out in September.

360 Cores and Premiums with HDMI? An inside source spills the beans According to my source, Microsoft wants to cut through all their existing inventory of hardware. They will then quietly “soft launch” a new version of the Core and Premium hardware in late August or September that will include an HDMI port. It’s also expected that this new hardware will feature the 65nm process for the CPU and quieter DVD drives. The new hardware will ship in boxes very similar to what we saw on store shelves now, but there will be a small “call out” on the box so you know you’re getting a system with the HDMI connection.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - at 4:26 am

Categories: Xbox   Tags: , ,

Improve the Performance and Reliability of Windows Vista

Microsoft has released an update that fixes many problems with Windows Vista, such as memory management issues, memory leaks, long delays, long delay after resuming, and many other issues that users have let Microsoft know about either using the error reporting service or Microsoft customer support services. It says by installing this update you can get better performance and responsiveness from your machine.

This update resolves the following issues on a Windows Vista-based computer:

  • You experience a long delay when you try to exit the Photos screen saver.
  • A memory leak occurs when you use the Windows Energy screen saver.
  • If User Account Control is disabled on the computer, you cannot install a network printer successfully. This problem occurs if the network printer is hosted by a Windows XP-based or a Windows Server 2003-based computer.
  • When you write data to an AVI file by using the AVIStreamWrite function, the file header of the AVI file is corrupted.
  • When you copy or move a large file, the “estimated time remaining” takes a long time to be calculated and displayed.
  • After you resume the computer from hibernation, it takes a long time to display the logon screen.
  • When you synchronize an offline file to a server, the offline file is corrupted.
  • If you edit an image file that uses the RAW image format, data loss occurs in the image file. This problem occurs if the RAW image is from any of the following digital SLR camera models: Canon EOS 1D and the Canon EOS 1DS. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    932988 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/932988/) Files from a Canon EOD 1D or 1DS camera may be corrupted after you use Windows Photo Gallery, Windows Live Photo Gallery, or Windows Explorer to edit the file metadata in Windows Vista or in Windows XP Service Pack 2
  • After you resume the computer from hibernation, the computer loses its default gateway address.
  • Poor memory management performance occurs.

Source: An update is available that improves the performance and reliability of Windows Vista

Download the update for Windows Vista 32-bit versions here.

Download the update for Windows Vista 64 bit versions here.

I will post an update after I install it on my laptop and let you know if it helped me any.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - at 4:10 am

Categories: Windows Vista   Tags:

The Expert’s Guide to Implementing Microsoft Windows Vista

Scriptlogic is releasing an e-book to help you migrate to Windows Vista, it’s called The Expert’s Guide to Implementing Microsoft Windows Vista and it is free when you Register to download the 30-day trial of Desktop Authority now, and receive chapters 1-4 for free. Or, you may be able to register here to get it free, but haven’t tried it yet.

  • Provides information about new features and the background on the editions available
  • Highlights new and improved security features and impact on the IT professional
  • Outlines a plan on how to prepare for the migration to Vista
  • Teaches IT administrations how to minimize costs and user disruption when deploying Vista.

“Many IT administrators have already started to develop a Vista migration strategy and we wanted to arm them with the resources necessary to ensure a smooth and effective transition,” said Nick Cavalancia, vice president of Marketing, ScriptLogic Corporation. “Leveraging feedback and notes from an extensive customer base and Mr. Masson’s technical expertise, we were able to publish a guide that will help industry professionals take full advantage of the features included in Vista, one of the most anticipated OS launches from Microsoft in years.” Source: ScriptLogic Corporation Releases Free e-Book on Windows Vista Migration

The also have a whitepaper available, The Proactive Migration to Windows Vista,” detailing the best strategies for Microsoft Vista migration. Get it here.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - August 6, 2007 at 6:41 pm

Categories: Windows Vista, Windows XP   Tags: ,

Todays Tech August 4, 2007

New Wi-Fi network proves critical in Minneapolis bridge disaster A new Wi-Fi network in Minneapolis — only partially completed and just two months old — is nonetheless giving the city critical help in responding to this week’s collapse of the I-35W bridge. The network helped the city with communications, moving large mapping files to the recovery site, and is supporting wireless cameras that are being installed to help with recovery operations.

The city is deploying the Wi-Fi network via a contract with US Internet Corp. throughout its 60 square miles. While only part of it is now up and running, one of those areas is in the downtown area near the scene of the bridge collapse Wednesday evening.

Mozilla Says ?Ten Fucking Days? They said the recent rollouts were actually slower than they would have liked them to be, even though they were only a week and a half apart. Further, they said that they could roll out any critical patches within 10 days. Not one to let challenges go untested I called BS.

At this point Mike Shaver threw down the gauntlet. He gave me his business card with a hand written note on it, laying his claim on the line. The claim being – with responsible disclosure Mozilla can patch and deploy any critical severity holes within ?Ten Fucking Days?.

Dell XPS M1330: What’s Going On? Right now, we are focused on shipping as many systems as we can. Currently, we have worked through about 10% of our backlog and will focus on improving this going forward. Despite our best efforts, we may not be able to ship some orders before the original estimated ship date we gave you. In those cases, Dell will be contacting affected customers to let them know. Details will vary by region.

Average PC is a smorgasbord for a new MP3-eating Trojan A newly-uncovered worm called W32.Deletemusic does exactly what its name implies?it goes through a PC and deletes all MP3 files in sight. And that’s it. Simultaneously low-threat and highly annoying, the worm makes its way from computer to computer by spreading itself onto all attached drives of a given PC, including flash drives and removable media. If that media is then removed and inserted into another computer, it continues its music-eating rampage on the new host.

Hacking Conference Infiltrated by ‘Media Mole’ Trust nobody.

That’s what organizers of the 15th annual DefCon hacking conference are telling attendees Friday, after being tipped off that the TV news program Dateline NBC has sent a producer with a hidden camera to investigate the show.

Dateline Mole Allegedly at DefCon with Hidden Camera — Updated: Mole Caught on Tape DefCon security on Friday warned attendees at the annual hacker conference that Dateline NBC may have sent a mole with a hidden camera to the event to capture hackers admitting to crimes. DefCon says it was tipped off by their own mole at Dateline who sent them a pic of the undercover journalist who DefCon employees identified as producer Michelle Madigan.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - August 4, 2007 at 6:12 am

Categories: Tech News   Tags:

Wi-fi Hacking and Grabbing Your Cookies

Things just get worse and worse for mobile users who take advantage of cheap or free wireless hotspots, this attack involves the cookies that are used on websites to keep users information so they don’t have to login every time they go there, Gmail is a great example and one they used to demonstrate how easy it really is.

Prior to the demonstration, which involved the live hijacking of a Google mail account (GMail), many sites were thought to be safe because they encrypted the data swapped back and forth when people login.

However, Mr. Graham carried out his attack on the unencrypted cookies, tiny text files, many sites use to identify people that regularly return.

The tools created by Mr. Graham, called “Hamster” and “Ferret”, watch the traffic flowing in and out of public wi-fi hotspots and let attackers grab cookies as they are passed back to people logging in to their webmail or social network account.

Using the cookie an attacker could pose as a victim and enjoy almost the same level of access to an account as its rightful owner. Source: Warning of webmail wi-fi hijack

I will check out the tools myself and see how easy it is to do, I doubt they are available anywhere yet, but I have not searched for them. Hopefully, most sites that use cookies in this way will at least ask for a password should the hacker try to change your information, such as your password etc. If you have a VPN for your work, you should definitely connect to it before using any wireless hotspot, or any unsecured wireless network, as that will encrypt the data flowing and keep the hackers from being able to use it. When using Gmail, some extra protection can be had by starting at https://www.gmail.com as that is a secure connection, not 100% sure if it will completely block it as of yet, opinions are definitely varied.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - August 3, 2007 at 7:00 pm

Categories: Security, Wireless   Tags: , , ,

Microsoft Slashes Windows Vista Prices, in China

Microsoft has cut the price of Windows Vista in China by more than half in an effort to curb software piracy. Does this mean if we quit paying for it in the states, they will drop the prices here too? You know there is only one way to find out, and that is to do it, hehe, although I’m not condoning piracy at all, it just seems to me they could drop the price here some too, to make sure we don’t feel like we took one in the rear end after shelling out all of the money we did to buy it.

The Home Basic edition dropped from $201 (1,521 yuan) to $66, and the Home Premium package dropped from $238 to $118. The move was effective as of Wednesday.

The price cut is the company’s latest effort to tackle the rampant software piracy in China, according to The Wall Street Journal. The theory is that if legitimate software costs less, people will be less likely to turn to pirated versions. Source: Microsoft slashes Vista price in China

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - at 6:48 pm

Categories: Piracy, Windows Vista   Tags: