Using virus and malware-laden software used to just be a bad for one's productivity. As it turns out, it can also be a bad idea for one's career.
Michael Fiola, formerly an investigator with the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents, was charged with possession of child pornography. He lost his community's respect, many of his friends, and his family. His crime? He was given a Windows-based laptop that was riddled with vulnerabilities that were or became prey to malware.
An investigation showed he hadn't downloaded the pornography. His computer did:
When the DIA issued Fiola his Dell Latitude laptop in November 2006, it was so badly configured that it may well have already been hacked, said Tami Loehrs, a forensics investigator hired by Fiola's defense team. The Microsoft Systems Management Server software on the laptop was misconfigured and was not receiving critical software updates, and the laptop's Symantec antivirus software was either misconfigured or not working properly, she said.
"He was handed a ticking time bomb," she said.
In this case, it's called Windows. Or, more accurately, an IT department that inflicted a poorly implemented Windows environment on Mr. Fiola. Could this have happened with Linux or the Mac? Yes and maybe. Yes, because weak IT yields weak security. But maybe, because both of these Unix-based systems handle security much better than Windows traditionally has. But that's not really the point.… Read more
If you're looking for a smarter Start menu for Windows Vista, check out the subtly named Vista Start Menu. The program does away with Vista's translucent aero theme, making it opaque, and builds it out with several levels of features and customization. It prevents programs from jumping around, as is their wont sometimes in the standard menu, and it throws in a basic zoom feature accessible. It creates hot-key support for every item on the menu, clearly labeling folders and programs with numbers and letters.
Making cosmetic changes and surfacing directories is much easier with this app, too, … Read more
Hewlett-Packard's line of MediaSmart TVs includes the built-in ability to stream digital media from your home network and the Internet straight to their screens. But for the vast majority of us who don't own an HP TV, the company will soon have a second option: the MediaSmart Connect. The little black box connects to your home network (via its built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi or wired Ethernet) and streams a wide variety of digital audio, photo, and video files--including content from compatible Internet services (including Live365, Vongo, CinemaNow, and MovieLink).
The MediaSmart Connect should be able to pull digital … Read more
Fair use and the blogosphere; Yahoo, the story that just won't die; and the end of an era for Windows XP.Listen now: Download today's podcast
A decision by the Associated Press to set clear standards on how much of one of its dispatches may be reproduced on the Web has led to a blogosphere controversy. CNET News.com's Holly Jackson spoke with Drudge Retort owner Rogers Cadenhead. For another perspective, Charlie Cooper chatted with News.com's editor in chief, Dan Farber.
Believe it or not, there's more news on the Yahoo front. This time … Read more
While Windows XP will soon become scarcer on PCs and drop entirely from retail shelves, the fact of the matter is that the software is going to be a mainstay--particularly in businesses--for some time.
Microsoft can wave its magic wand and force PC makers to stop offering the operating system, but corporations have a lot more leeway. Microsoft's influence is considerably less when it comes to convincing businesses to upgrade or swaying developers to write Vista-specific programs.
Still, the end of XP sales by big-name computer makers is an important symbolic step for Microsoft as it tries to convince … Read more
Microsoft wants to take Windows in a new direction.
The software maker announced on Monday its plans for NavReady 2009, a customized version of Windows Embedded that's specifically designed to power in-car navigation systems. The software is based on Windows CE, the slimmed-down version of Windows that is used for Windows Mobile.
Some GPS makers, such as Mio, already use Windows CE, though Microsoft says it is adding support for several new features with this navigation-specific release. New features include support for Live Search, Bluetooth, and MSN Direct, which allows real-time traffic and gas prices. NavReady 2009 should start … Read more
And to think Microsoft used to be popular with the developer crowd...
Not anymore. A recent report from Evans Data shows fewer than one in 10 software developers writing applications for Windows Vista this year. Eight percent. This is perhaps made even worse by the corresponding data that shows 49 percent of developers writing applications for Windows XP.
Such appreciation for history is not likely to warm the cockles of Microsoft's heart, especially when Linux is getting lots of love from developers (13 percent writing apps for it this year and 15.5 percent in 2009). The Mac? I don't have any equivalent data via Evans Data. But the Mac OS has rocketed by 380 percent as a targeted development platform, Evans Data told Computerworld.
The numbers don't get much better for Vista in 2009: 24 percent (compared with 29 percent for XP). That's a big step up from 8 percent, but is it a sign of momentum to come or just a temporary stopgap while developers wait until Windows 7?
After a long-announced transition, June 30 marks the end of an era at Microsoft. Well, really it's the end of two eras.
Most people think of Bill Gates, of course, and I'll have plenty more to say about his impending shift to part-time work in the coming days. But another epoch is also really coming to an end--that of Windows XP.
As of June 30, large PC makers will no longer be able to sell Windows XP-based PCs, at least on mainstream notebooks and desktops. Retailers will also have only until their current supply is exhausted to sell … Read more
Brewster Kahle of Archive.org dropped by to chat with Brian about the group's effort to preserve Internet history and how they fought the FBI and won.
Watch the show on CNET TV.
Things we Crave
If you, like Fabio, are moving from a WordPress.com blog to a hosted WordPress blog of your own, here are some links for you. Official tutorial from WordPress on transferring between two blogs. The new XML IMport/Export. Migrating from wordpress.com to wordpress.org or self-hosting. … Read more