Microsoft and Washington state are cracking down on scammers who bombard computer users with fake warning messages in hopes of selling them useless software.
The state's attorney general and lawyers from Microsoft's Internet Safety Enforcement team are expectd to announce today several lawsuits against so-called 'scareware' vendors, who are being charged under Washington state's Computer Spyware Act.
The vendors targeted by the lawsuits have not been named yet, but the Washington attorney general (AG) referred to them in a media alert sent out on Friday as "aggressive marketers of scareware - useless computer programs that bilk consumers by using pop-up ads to warn about nonexistent, yet urgent-sounding, computer flaws".
This is not the first time Microsoft and the Washington AG have teamed up to fight scareware. In 2005 they jointly sued Secure Computer, a security software company they accused of using fake error messages to scare users into buying its Spyware Cleaner software. Secure Computer eventually paid $1m to settle the charges.
Source: PC Advisor
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has admitted the company intentionally accepted some early compatibility problems to make sure Vista was as secure as possible. But he claims customer complaint figures show Vista is better than previous editions of Windows.
Ballmer spoke at an event hosted by the Churchill Club, which bills itself as “Silicon Valley’s premier business and technology forum”. Asked by a “long-time Windows user” why a firm the size of Microsoft can’t make its system more reliable, Ballmer fortunately avoided the crazed outburst of a recent installment of the 'I’m a PC' commercials.
Instead he explained that the early compatibility problems with Vista were a necessary trade-off to maximize security. He also pointed to the difficulties of producing a system such as Windows designed for multiple uses rather than a single-function device. And he laid out Microsoft’s goal as “a world of no reboots and user happiness.”
As Microsoft readies for the first widespread distribution of Windows 7 at two key conferences later this year, details of planned changes to the software continue to emerge. And while the issue of how much Windows 7 needs to be differentiated from Vista remains in the air, Microsoft has committed to making some interface changes that will firmly differentiate the new Windows from its predecessor.
One of the more obvious (and annoying) changes to the Start menu in Vista was burying the options for shutdown and restart in a tiny fly-out menu, while making the sleep button much more prominent. In the latest post on the Engineering Windows 7 blog, Microsoft core user experience program manager Chaitanya Sareen effectively admits that this plan backfired and confused users.
"We did encounter some challenges with the power options in Vista's Start Menu," Sareen wrote. "The goal was to bubble-up and advertise the sleep option so that customers enjoy a faster resume. However, we now know despite our good intentions, customers are opening that fly-out menu and selecting other options. We're looking into improving this experience." Hopefully, the experience improvements will include making sleep actually work reliably, especially on notebook PCs, as well as ensuring the other options are more visible (and keyboard-accessible).
CCleaner (Crap Cleaner) is a freeware system optimization and privacy tool. It removes unused files from your system - allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. CCleaner can also clean very quickly, usually taking about ten seconds to run.
Yes, both Paint and WordPad have finally received the royal treatment. Via permission given to me to remotely access build 6780 to play around a bit, Paint and WordPad both look great and have much-needed updates. I've got to work within the permissions granted to me by my source and unfortunately, screenshots don't fall within those permissions (yet), so you all will still have to wait to actually see this stuff. (Don't worry, there is a LOT of chatter about this build going around by people who have it.
I can't help but think the next week or two will be quite fruitful for the community in terms of information, screenshots, and perhaps the build even leaking if someone is brazen enough. Just beware the wrath of Sinofsky if any of you dare the latter of the aforementioned choices...) Something I have been given the liberty to do is give a very broad teaser explanation of Paint and WordPad in their current 6780 state, so here goes.
From a trusted Crispin Porter source, we've learned that the internet has jumped the gun and that the Microsoft Gates/Seinfeld ads have not been axed. It's true, Microsoft apparently asked the agency to focus on the new "I'm a PC" spots. And it's true, the agency has gotten plenty of "I don't know what this means" response in their measured statistics of the Gates/Seinfeld ads. But no one has pulled the plug on the dynamic duo just yet.
In fact, Crispin Porter has another completed spot featuring the lovable, affluent couple in the can, ready to air (even though it won't quite yet). And while the agency has prioritized development to the anti-Mac ads, there are still full plans to go ahead and produce more Seinfeld/Gates spots unless Microsoft were to pull the plug first (which, once again, they have not at this time).
It's good to know that in a time of economic uncertainty, Gates and Seinfeld haven't been laid off just yet.