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At least 14 updates coming for Microsoft Patch Tuesday

microsoftMicrosoft 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.

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Windows 8 Metro now called Modern UI

microsoftMicrosoft 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.

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Facebook accused of deceiving developers over security

facebookFacebook 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.

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The way Youtube avoids Google's Pirate Penalty

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.

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Microsoft Garage slogan is "Do epic s#!t!"

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.

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Twitter gets a performance upgrade

twitter Twitter has done a bit of work to improve the overall performance of their site. So you shouldn't see much more of their "fail whale".

Their upgrade moves rendering back to the Twitter servers which has allowed them to drop page load times to 1/5th of what they previously were.

The Twitter blog goes into further technical details on how they intend to speed up performance on the site. They also describe how they will remove the "hashbang" (#!) from twitter.com URLs.

While these improves are being rolled out there has been no word of when they will be fully implemented.

Source: Twitter.com Blog

Microsoft buys Netscape in $1 Million deal

microsoftHere's a deal that would have made many minds explode back in the 1990s: Microsoft is buying Netscape. Or at least, most of the important parts of the company that used to be synonymous with "Internet".

That's a side component of the $1 billion patent sale that AOL and Microsoft announced this morning. As part of the transaction, AOL announced that it was selling off "stock of an AOL subsidiary" at a loss, in a move that's supposed to reduce its overall tax bill.

AOL didn't disclose the name of that subsidiary in its press release, but a person familiar with the transaction has clued me in: It's Netscape.

Microsoft will buy the underlying patents for the old browser, but AOL will hang onto the brand, and the related Netscape businesses, which make up a grab-bag of stuff these days: An ISP, a URL, a brand name, etc.

All of which probably makes sense on someone's ledger books. But the transaction may still make a few heads spin, at least for people who remember Internet history and/or have access to Wikipedia.

Source: AllThingsD

HijackThis is now open-source software

Trend Micro Incorporated, a global cloud security leader, today announced the release of HijackThis as an open source application.

HijackThis - (see this Wikipedia article) - scans your computer to find settings changed by spyware, malware or other unwanted programs. HijackThis also generates an in-depth report to enable expert users to analyze and fix an infected computer. Several security communities use HijackThis log files to help users evaluate and eradicate infections. A common practice for novice users is to generate a HijackThis log file and submit it to one of the many forums devoted to HijackThis on the web. Experts at these forums provide information on which items are causing your problems and how to remove them safely from your computer.

The code, originally written in Visual Basic, is now officially available at http://sourceforge.net/projects/hjt/.

"This means that other people can build on a solid base to create or improve their own anti-malware tools," said Merijn Bellekom, the original creator of HijackThis.

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