Microsoft on Tuesday released its December 2007 security bulletin, which includes seven updates: three are designated as critical by the software giant and four are deemed important.
On the Windows side is a cumulative update for Internet Explorer, plus patches for the Windows Kernel, DirectX, Macrovision Driver, and the Windows Media File format--the latter three suggest concern that criminal hackers are targeting media files for exploitation. There are no Microsoft Office updates this month. All Microsoft security patches for Windows and Office software are available via Microsoft Update or via the individual bulletins detailed below.
In homage to The Register, I had to let the title of this blog post illustrate the best of The Register, because its post on the new name for Microsoft's Internet Explorer was surprisingly devoid of the biting sarcasm that epitomizes its work. This was a "story" begging for sarcasm.
What story? Exactly. Bill Gates let it slip that Microsoft will be following up IE7 with (gasp!) IE8. Wow. Microsoft may not be creative with its technology, but its marketing is sha-ZAAM!
That's it. Move along. It will probably also let people browse web pages. You … Read more
Bill Gates confirmed that Microsoft will call its next browser Internet Explorer 8, though Microsoft isn't sharing much else, such as the obvious questions: When will it arrive and what features will it have?
The confirmation came during his speech at the "Mix and Mash" conference taking place this week in Redmond, Wash. In a posting on the IE blog, Microsoft general manager Dean Hachamovitch jokes about some of the names Microsoft ruled out, such as "IE 7+1" and "IEVIII."
But, seriously, folks don't care about the name. They care about … Read more
Navigating your hard drive using Windows Explorer is pretty straightforward. Double-clicking a directory like My Documents brings up a list of items you have in that folder. You're given a couple of options for how you view the contents of a folder, such as arranging by date or by name. You also can view your documents using icons or tiles. The Windows Explorer window shares some of the features of Internet Explorer as well, like Favorites and toolbars. Clearly, this is nothing new to anyone who has used a Windows machine, and like many of you, I have my own ideas of how it could be made better.
We can probably agree that the options available with Explorer are adequate for navigating your hard drive, but a little more information and flexibility would go a long way. I found a few programs that add much more to file navigation, such as tabbed and paned directories for drag-and-drop file transfers and document previews so you know what you're opening before you open it. These Windows Explorer replacements offer tons of information about your files at a glance, like expanded properties and sorting capabilities not available with the default Windows setup. Some also feature much more intuitive methods for moving files around.… Read more
Microsoft is at it again. Or, rather, Jeff Jones is. Jones is Microsoft's security strategy direction and is the one who periodically remixes history and data to declare that Windows is more secure than Linux. Now he's declaring [PDF] that Internet Explorer is much safer than Firefox.
However, as ZDNet's Ryan Naraine writes, Jones may be mis-analyzing the data:
...[T]here's one key thing missing from Jones's analysis - the auto-patching mechanism built into Firefox that gives Mozilla a clear advantage over Microsoft.
In effect, Firefox patches itself whenever Mozilla ships updates while immediate Internet Explorer updates depend entirely on the end-user using the Windows AU mechanism. Don't even get me started on the forgotten world of dial-up Windows users who never, ever apply patches.
That's one of the main reasons malware authors take aim at IE more than any other desktop application.… Read more
It's very rare that I pine for the Dark Ages of my Windows years. But occasionally I'll stumble across a poorly designed website (alas, they're all soccer sites and, hence, very important :-) that is Internet Explorer-only. I'm not sure how anyone manages to commit a crime like that anymore when Firefox has such a large market share, but anyway....
Well, today I stumbled across ies40x, a program that allows me to run Internet Explorer on my Mac without launching Parallels (virtual machine) or rebooting into Windows using Apple's Boot Camp.
Installation is apparently slightly … Read more
It's hard to like the Windows Task Manager. It's clunky, makes drilling into computer's processes nigh impossible, and offers little help into what's going on. Like most native Windows tasks, though, there are freeware replacements available. Today we're looking at three of them: Process Explorer, Security Process Explorer, and Process Manager 2 Lite, all of which have recently received updates.
When I bought a gaming PC for home use a little over a year ago, I bought a middle-of-the-road machine that had everything I needed with a little room to upgrade later on down the line. I got a 2.2GHz processor, a high-end (at the time) video card so I could play the latest games, 2 gigs of RAM (on the advice of a gamer friend), and I opted for a 120GB hard drive to save a little money.
At the time, it seemed like 120GB would be more than enough. After all, I can remember when a 1GB hard drive was the pinnacle of storage capacity--120GB ought to be able to hold anything right? Games these days generally take up a few gigs each so I thought I would never run out of space. I now know I was wrong. If you wait long enough, even the biggest hard drives will fill up.… Read more
Writing up a list of items for which I'm thankful is such a cliche at this time of year...that I can't pass up the opportunity to add my own contribution to the Thanksgiving fray. I have very little need for 3D turkey screensavers, but luckily, there are a few more valuable applications listed on CNET Download.com upon which I can bestow appropriate tribute.
In honor of Thanksgiving week, I've decided to serve up a heaping helpful of my nine "most useful" Windows utilities on the Download.com site. Now, notice that I didn'… Read more