One of these is a photograph taken by the Hubble space telescope on December 17, 2002, featuring the variable star V838 Monocerotis. The other is the same photograph overlaid with a familiar logo. Can you tell which is which?
Below is another photo of the same star, from the Wikipedia entry on V838 Monocerotis. If the above photo has been photoshopped to look more like the Firefox logo, the editing seems minimal: it's been rotated relative to the photo below, and some of the gas cloud may have been edited out around the "tail" of the fox.
If you've got a link to the original Hubble photo used above, let us know in the comments so we can compare. UPDATE: An eagle-eyed commenter, Wevah, spotted the original version of the Firefox-like nova photo on Wikipedia. It looks like the only modification was to rotate the image. It must be a sign from the stars!
With the release of a new feature pack for Visual C++ 2008, developers can now write applications that feature the Office 2007 appearance, a Microsoft senior executive announced this week.
At the same time, the company also discontinued support for its aging Visual Basic 6 integrated development environment, or IDE -- to the dismay of some die-hard users.
"I am pleased to announce that the Visual C++ 2008 Feature Pack has shipped," S. Somasegar, senior vice president of Microsoft's developer division, said on his blog this week.
"The Feature Pack provides several exciting features for C++ developers, such as a major update to MFC [Microsoft Foundation Classes] and an implementation of TR1 [Technical Report 1]," the post said.
A European Commission advisory body has suggested that search companies delete data collected about their users after six months -- a far cry from what most companies currently do.
The recommendation arrived in a 29-page "opinion" (PDF) published Friday by a European Commission body known as the Article 29 Working Party. Backed by privacy groups, it has been pressuring Internet companies on the search data front for months. The report focused on advertising-supported search engines, as opposed to search functions embedded in Web sites.
The Working Party's suggestions don't officially have the force of law yet, but they are expected to be adopted by the EC. The EC already adopted a broader set of data protection laws a decade ago, but this report was meant to address specifically how search engines, including those headquartered outside its borders, fit into that setup.
Have you had problems receiving e-mail from Gmail users recently? If so, you're one of thousands. Over the past month, major anti-spam vendors have had to apply scrutiny to Gmail in a way they haven't had to before, and the result is reduced delivery performance and sometimes outright blocking of Gmail. Some messaging hosts are being instructed to reject SMTP connections from Google. Ars Technica has independently confirmed this.
It all began when Google's bot-busting CAPTCHA for Gmail was defeated sometime in February. According to sources around the anti-spam industry, the result has been a marked increase in spam originating from Gmail SMTP servers. Some say the spam increase started even earlier, but all are in agreement on one thing: this is a serious problem.
After we learned of mail being greatly slowed by MessageLabs' corporate filtering service, we contacted them to see what's up. A support analyst with MessageLabs, a major provider of software-as-a-service anti-spam filtering, told Ars Technica that "some spammers have hacked into the Gmail captcha system, and were able to relay spams appearing to come from Googlemail's IP addresses. This has caused many IPs of theirs to appear to be sources of spam." For their customers, this means a decrease in performance. "We have a traffic-shaping system that throttles IPs that we believe to appear to be a source of spam. The result is that for the past couple of days we have been seeing issues like this with Gmail," the analyst concluded.
Source: Ars Technica
Back in February, we posted about the release of a couple of prerequisites for Windows Vista Service Pack 1. While several million customers installed the updates successfully, you may have read that a few customers experienced an endless reboot cycle while installing one of the prerequisites: KB937287, the Servicing Stack Update (SSU), which contains the Service Pack 1 installation program.
As posted last month on the Windows Vista blog, we suspended automatic distribution of the SSU while we investigated the problem. Over the past few weeks, we've learned a lot more about the problem and have taken steps to address the issue. Today, we'd like to let you know that we are resuming automatic distribution of the SSU tomorrow and provide more clarity on what happened.
To clear up any concerns for those of you who have already installed the update: There is no problem with the files that make up the Servicing Stack Update (KB937287); the problem some customers encountered was with the installation process for the update. That means if you already have the update installed, you do not need to uninstall it or install the rereleased version of the update.
Microsoft has announced that there will be a total of sixteen updates on the upcoming Patch Tuesday. Five of the updates are labeled as Critical and designed to address security vulnerabilities that could leave Windows or Explorer open to remote code execution. Three updates are labeled as "Important" and will resolve vulnerabilities that leave Windows open to spoofing and unauthorized user privilege elevation, and a vulnerability that could expose Microsoft Office to remote code execution. The remaining eight updates are labeled as high priority but non-security related updates on Windows Update and Windows Server Update Service.
The updates apply to Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Server 2008, as well as Explorer. Users will need to restart their systems after installing the updates. Users can determine if they need the updates by accessing the company's online Baseline Security Analyzer.
The company said it plans to host a Webcast on April 9 to address user questions about the updates. Microsoft has set up an online registration form for the event. Microsoft also said it plans to release an updated version of the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool next week. The tool is designed to check for and remove malware programs such as Blaster, Sasser, and MyDoom. Be sure to update this upcoming Patch Tuesday to keep your computer safe and secure.