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.
Today Microsoft announced the worldwide extension of the availability of Windows XP Home for an emerging, new class of mobile personal computers commonly known as ultra-low-cost PCs, or ULCPCs. Windows XP Home for ULCPCs will be available until the later of June 30, 2010, or one year after general availability of the next version of Windows.
Microsoft has heard from partners and customers that they want Windows broadly available for this new class of devices, because they want the familiarity, compatibility and support only available on the Windows platform. Extending the availability of Windows XP Home for this category reflects Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to deliver the right version of Windows for new device categories as they emerge.
PressPass sat down with Michael Dix, General Manager of Windows Client Product Management, to better understand how the company is working with its OEM partners to make Windows available for this new and growing class of computers.
Source: Microsoft Presspass
Be careful your product lives up to what you advertise it to be and be careful it does what you say it will do; that's the lesson that many tech companies are learning the hard way. Microsoft recently found that out as its facing an uphill battle to fight against a class lawsuit alleging it intentionally deceived using "Vista Capable" stickers to sell chipsets.
Now Apple is mired in a similar mess, based on some of its a bit exaggerated claims. Apple's bold advertising claim that its MacBooks support "millions of colors." The only problem -- MacBook LCD are only 6-bit TN models, only allowing for only 262,144 colors. A true 8-bit display would indeed support "millions of colors", 16,777,216 colors in fact. However, Apple opted to ditch the eight bit display in favor of a cheaper 6 bit one, despite the high cost of Macs.
Apple had already been sued once over the issue. A pair of MacBook owners, Fred Greaves and Dave Gately, filed a class action suit against Apple last May for the claim. Most lawyers at the time dismissed the case as frivolous. The case's own lawyers realized that they would not be able to obtain class action due to difficulty finding enough plaintiffs who bought the Macs singly on the "millions of colors" advertising, and thus pursued alternative legal action, adding to many observers cyncism on the seriousness of the suit. The suit became even more of a joke in the legal community when it buttressed its claims with discussion board threads from apple.com support and other online fora showing customers angry about the poor LCD quality.
Microsoft Corp has won a battle to have a key document format adopted as a global standard, improving its chances of winning government contracts and dealing a blow to supporters of a rival format.
The OpenDoc Society, which had argued Microsoft's Office Open XML (OOXML) format was unripe for ratification by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), published the results showing Microsoft's win on its Web site.
Microsoft welcomed the decision, which was leaked on Tuesday ahead of an official ISO statement expected on Wednesday, saying it created a "level playing field" for OOXML to compete with other standards.
Supporters of rival Open Document Format (ODF), which is already an ISO standard and widely used, said multiple formats defeated the purpose of having standards and that the result would help Microsoft tighten its grip on computer users.
Tom Robertson, Microsoft's head of interoperability and standards, said: "Open XML joins the ranks of PDF, HTML and ODF among the ranks of document formats. I think it makes it easier for governments to offer users choice."