Software giant Microsoft has sold 60 million licences and upgrades for its new Windows 8 operating system in the 10 weeks since its launch.
Tami Reller, chief financial officer of the Windows division, said at the Consumer Electronics Show that Windows 8 sales are growing in line with those of Windows 7, Microsoft's last operating system, launched in 2009.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the figure marks a solid, but unspectacular start for Microsoft's new flagship product, which has not managed to revive lagging personal computer sales, while new touch-screen Windows devices have not yet captured consumers' imaginations.
The latest Windows 8 figure means Microsoft sold around 20 million Windows 8 licences and upgrades since the end of November, when it announced 40 million sales in the first month on the market, the paper said. That puts sales broadly in line with Windows 7, which averaged 19.4 million sales per month in its first nine months on the market, when PC sales were running at a lower level than today, it added.
Inside a small bungalow on the street separating Kansas City, Kan., from its sister city in Missouri, a small group of entrepreneurs are working on their ideas for the next high-tech startup, tapping Google Inc.'s new superfast Internet connection that has turned the neighborhood into an unlikely settlement dubbed the "Silicon Prairie."
The home on State Line Road is one of several startup-friendly locations that have sprouted up in Kansas City in recent months. The catalyst is Google Fiber, the search-engine giant's fiber-optic network being tested in the Kansas City area that advertises speeds of up to a gigabyte per second — a rate that massively exceeds the average Internet speeds at homes hooked up with cable modems.
The advantage here for startups is simple: A fast Internet pipe makes it easier to handle large files and eliminates buffering problems that plague online video, live conferencing or other network-intensive tasks. Though the Kansas City location presents challenges for startups, including the ability to raise money outside the traditional Silicon Valley venture capital scene, entrepreneurs like Synthia Payne believe it's the place to be right now for up-and-coming tech companies.
Payne is one of those entrepreneurs hoping to launch her startup dream — an Internet subscription service for musicians who want to collaborate online — on the cheap. She shares the State Line Road house, known as the "Home for Hackers," with other startups under a deal that allows them to live rent-free while they develop their business plans.
A previously unknown and currently unpatched security hole in the latest version of the Java software framework is under attack online, according to security researchers and bloggers.
Attack code that exploits vulnerability in Java's browser plugin has been added to the Blackhole, Cool, Nuclear Pack, and Redkit exploit kits, according to the Malware Don't Need Coffee blog, prompting its author to say that the bug is being "massively exploited in the wild." Miscreants use these products to turn compromised websites into platforms for silently installing keyloggers and other types of malicious software on the computers of unsuspecting visitors. KrebsOnSecurity reporter Brian Krebs said the curators of both Blackhole and Nuclear Pack have taken to the underweb to boast of the addition to their wares. It's not yet clear how many websites have been outfitted with the exploits.
According to researchers at Alienvault Labs, the exploits work against fully patched installations of Java. Attack files are highly obfuscated and are most likely succeeding by bypassing security checks built in to the program. KrebsOnSecurity said the malware authors say the exploits work against all versions of Java 7.
Analysis from antivirus provider Kaspersky Lab indicates the exploits are already deployed on a variety of websites.
Microsoft said it will patch at least 14 vulnerabilities next week, including four in Internet Explorer (IE), making it three months in a row that the company has plugged holes in its browser.
Of the nine updates set for Aug. 14, five will be labeled "critical," the most serious of the four ratings Microsoft uses. The other four will be pegged "important," the next-lower threat ranking.
The big story for next week will be the one-two punch of patches for Exchange and SQL Server.
"Those are two of the three things that are most important to IT in enterprises," said Andrew Storms, director of security operations at nCircle Security. "Thank goodness SharePoint's not included. But Microsoft is hitting two out of three in just one month."
In the advanced notification of next week's updates, Microsoft outlined patches for Exchange, the email server software used by most companies, and SQL Server, the database that runs many corporations' internal and external processes, including powering websites and providing workers with everything from business intelligence to financial information.
Microsoft may have nixed its "Metro" branding for the new tile-based design in Windows 8 and Windows Phone, but the company appears to be split over its replacement naming. Earlier this week it was reported that references to "Metro-style applications" would become "Windows 8 applications," and that the "Metro user interface" would be switched to "Windows 8 user interface."
However, Microsoft employees have started using "Modern UI Style" to refer to the new Windows 8 Start Screen and "Modern UI" design in reference to Windows 8 apps. The software giant has used modern, immersive, fast, and fluid to describe its Windows 8 operating system previously - in the early stages of its development - but the common name was always Metro style.
Facebook has been accused of deceiving developers after it emerged that the social networking site did nothing to verify the security of applications it was paid tens of thousands of dollars to review, and which it assured users had been checked.
It is believed Facebook was paid up to $95,000 (£60,600) by developers whose applications were entered into its verified apps scheme.
The system gave a green tick of approval to apps that passed what Facebook described as its "test for trustworthy user experiences".
An investigation by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) revealed that Facebook took no steps to review the applications in its now-closed scheme. Facebook awarded the verified badge to 254 applications, according to the FTC.
Google has announced that it will soon penalize sites that are repeatedly accused of copyright infringement. But one site in particular doesn't need to worry: Google's own YouTube. It has a unique immunity against the forthcoming penalty.
The penalty - which SearchEngineLand dubbed the Emanuel Update - impacts Google's web search results. If someone has reported a web search listing as being a copyright violation, using the DMCA takedown mechanism, that's a strike against the entire site.
Accumulate enough strikes (how many, Google's not saying), and a publisher may find their entire site hit with a penalty. Every page, whether it was reported for copyright infringement or not, will have less chance of ranking well.
Microsoft isn't exactly known for its underground hacker culture, but a recent effort to give its employees more slack is generating some wild experiments.
In 2009, Microsoft came up with a concept called "The Garage." It's essentially Microsoft's answer to Google's famous "20% time" -- the longstanding Google initiative that lets its employees work on projects unrelated to their primary jobs in their spare time.
Microsoft's Garage does that too, only in a physical space. Last summer, Microsoft completed a redesign of one of its original buildings on campus -- Building 4, where Bill Gates' office used to be -- into a laid-back workshop where staff can tinker with things. It's open to anyone, anytime, and it's got everything from a hardware workshop to an actual working garage door.