Online and Security News Roundup, Memorial Day Edition


Helping IE8 Deal with IE7-Style Web Pages

Like it or not, the de facto HTML standard for web pages in recent years has been Microsoft's anything-but-standard dialect of HTML. Now that Redmond's browser is under attack from Firefox, Opera, and Safari, the next version of Internet Explorer will run in W3C standards mode by default. Sounds great - except that it's going to take a while to get all those billions of web pages to be redesigned to meet W3C standards instead of existing Microsoft 'standards.'

Now there are two workarounds:

  • You can use the Emulate IE7 button in IE8 to view pages written for Microsoft standards...or...
  • If you're a web designer, you can add a metatag to your existing web sites or individual pages that will force IE8 to display pages in IE7 mode. Get more information (and get the metatag code) by visiting KB952030 .

Who Runs Rich Internet Content Faster? Hint: It Starts with X and Ends in P

Rich Internet Application (RIA) frameworks like Flex and Flash (Adobe), Microsoft's Silverlight, and Java's Swing are becoming the preferred ways to build rich Internet websites. The Register reports that Apple's OS X is over 40% slower than Windows XP in rendering RIA and HTML-based websites on an Intel-based MacBook Pro, according to the new GUIMark benchmark. See the test results here , and try it for yourself here .

Rootkits Beware! Vista's UAC On Guard

PC World reports that Vista's User Account Control is good for much more than reminding you of your nagging relatives - it blocked the installation of every rootkit used in two tests of Windows XP and Vista-compatible security programs and online scanners.

Rootkit installation on the Vista boxes could be performed on the Vista systems only after UAC was disabled. Unfortunately, detecting rootkits after installation continues to be a major problem for the tested applications. See the article summarizing the results (PDF format) here .

So, if you're a Vista user, pay attention to those UAC prompts - and if you've disabled UAC, think twice, especially if your system's getting infected.

Bad Guys Beware! The (Grim) Reaper's Getting a GPS

You've probably heard the public service announcements that tell how an airline pilot flying for the Air Force Reserve can direct an MQ-1 Predator drone from 7,000 miles away. Now, the MQ-1 has a big brother, the MQ-9 Reaper. The Reaper cruises at three times the speed of its predecessor and carries 15 times the armament.

Soon, the MQ-9 will also carry even smarter weapons: a recent test of new GPS versus laser-guided weapons fired by the Reaper showed the GPS-guided weapons achieved direct hits , while the laser-guided weapon got close, but didn't get a direct hit.

Many thanks to those who guide these weapons and those who also fight in the air, on land and on the sea to keep PC geeks (and everyone else) safe this Memorial Day.

(US Flag clip art courtesy of )

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