It took quite a while for Microsoft to be fully convinced that its mobile OS is long due for an overhaul. Last month, although it did not quite deliver an overhaul, it took a small step toward bringing its mobile offering up to speed with the competition. It launched the Windows Marketplace for Mobile app store on October 6th, the very day it released Windows Mobile 6.5.
But the enhancement that should interest WinMo users the most is the ability to “browse and buy applications from the PC.” All applications bought from the Windows Marketplace for Mobile site will be delivered wirelessly to the user’s Windows phone. Microsoft will make the store accessible to Windows Mobile 6.0 and 6.1 customers later this month.
Bing for Mobile has received a nifty little upgrade from Microsoft. The Bing for Mobile site has been touch-optimized, so it now takes advantage of the touch-screen functionality of many smartphones. The upgrade builds on Windows Mobile 6.5, which makes touch-screen ability part of this smartphone operating system.
Right now it appears that Bing for Mobile, which can be accessed at m.bing.com, will work on a limited number of devices. Justin Jed at the bing community blog reports touch-screen ability is available on the iPhone, T-Mobile G1, VErizon Imagio, Samsung Omnia and the Apple iPhone. It also works with the Zune HD and the iPod Touch. Jed is promising support for new devices “over the next couple months.”
The updates, which include some runtime libraries to handle new technology, include improvements to: Windows ribbon and animation manager library; Windows graphics, imaging, and XPS library; Windows automation API; and Windows portable devices platform.
Clearly there is nothing that hackers won’t go after in the attempt to monkey about with your computer’s innards. Any opening, no matter how insignificant, needs to be closed before it can be exploited. With this in mind Mozilla today released an update to Firefox, upping its version to 3.5.4, that patches 16 weaknesses, eleven of which are critical.
If you’re still hanging out in Firefox 3 you’ve also got a security patch waiting for you. Version 3.0.15 was released, addressing nine problems, four of which Mozilla tagged as critical.
AutoRun was originally intended to help automatically start programs stored on optical media. However, once USB drives became popular, AutoRun also became a popular way to launch programs from hard disks and thumb drives by working with Windows' built-in AutoPlay functionality. Unfortunately, AutoRun's ability to provide instant launching for programs has also been widely exploited by malware such as the notorious Conficker/Downadup worm and others. Microsoft changed how AutoRun works in Windows 7 RC, but until now, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2003 have been wide open to USB-based AutoRun attacks. To find out how Redmond's reining in AutoRun, join us after the jump.
Is it really time for a new Team Fortress 2 update already? Yessiree, this new update’s as real as that last question was entirely rhetorical. But wait, Team Fortress 2 update, something’s different. Did you get a haircut? Buy a new outfit? Manifest yourself in the physical world so that you might be able to get a haircut or buy a new outfit? Nope! You’re just not serving as a vehicle for crummy class-related stuff anymore. You’re your own man!
Instead, this TF2 update seems to have given form the nod over function. Translation: New hats – and plenty of them. Day one of the update touts 18 new hats, including a Viking helmet and a fireman’s hat, among others.
A new community map rounds out the revelation du jour. Called Arena Offblast, the map’s a “fast-paced, high-altitude community map set in a top secret missile silo wedged into the top of a hollowed-out mountain.” You know, one of those stupidly dangerous places that only people with guns in their hands and chips on their shoulders seem to congregate around.
The teaser site also plays host to a number of hidden pages that – if you’re willing to dig them up – will give you a bit of dirt on the rest of the update’s content. If you’d rather not sully your hands with such menial labor, however, Shacknews found the bonus pages and put them on display.
So, any guesses as to what’s in the pipeline for the rest of the update? Personally, we’re hoping for the ability to don multiple hats at once. If our head’s going to be one giant target, we’ll at least make it a headache for our opponents to hit the part that actually kills us.
Yesterday Google released a brand new beta for their Chrome web browser, this time in the interest of ironing out kinks with some new features that they’ve added. Among the new features are an updated “New Tab,” the Omnibox, and the ability to beautify your browser by using colors, patterns and images.
The New Tab feature is being slightly tweaked by allowing you to move around your most visited sites by simply clicking and dragging, letting you show off just how not into Twitter you really are. You can even pin thumbnails to specific spots. The Omnibox (read: the address bar) is getting a facelift, and giving you Google search results and related history items whenever you type anything in.
Most notably though, the color changing feature will allow you to alter exactly how Chrome looks. Should you want to be reminded of fresh cut grass each time you browse the net, you may do so. Or if you want to have cute kittens gazing at you while you read the day’s news, you can do that as well, we’re not here to judge.
You can check out the beta here, but there’s no word as to when these updates will make their way to the official release.
Palm managed to re-enable iTunes sync on the Pre barely days after Apple had managed to block it using iTunes update 8.2.1. The said update had ephemerally pulled the plug on the ability of non-Apple devices to sync with iTunes by rejecting all Vendor IDs apart from Apple’s.
Palm soon responded with an ingenious solution, the legality of which may be probed in coming days. Palm chose the WebOs 1.1 update and some USB trickery to deliver its riposte. The WebOs 1.1 update changes the USB Vendor ID associated with the Palm Pre to the one assigned to Apple. This hoodwinks iTunes into treating the Pre just like a legitimate Apple device.
“Palm believes that openness and interoperability offer better experiences for users by allowing them the freedom to use the content they own without interference across devices and services, so on behalf of consumers, we have notified the USB Implementers Forum of what we believe is improper use of the Vendor ID number by another member.” Palm told AllThingsD.
Less than a month after release, Firefox 3.5 receives an incremental update bringing the most current stable version to 3.5.1. As might be expected, the 3.5.1 update addresses several security and stability issues, as well as an issue that was making Firefox take a long time to load on some Windows systems, Mozilla says.
"We strongly recommend that all Firefox 3.5 users upgrade to this release," Mozilla said in a statement. "If you already have Firefox 3.5, you will receive an automated update notification within 24 to 48 hours. This update can also be applied manually by selecting 'Check for Updates...' from the Help menu."
On a related note, Mozilla said it is no longer supporting supporting Firefox 2.0.0.x, which "contains known security vulnerabilities." So in other words, pretty much every Firefox user should go grab the latest update.
Google on Monday released an update to its Chrome browser, bringing the current version to 184.108.40.206. The update -- which Chrome users should have received automatically -- fixes a critical security issue and two other networking bugs, Google says.
Prior to the update, Chrome was vulnerable to a buffer overflow in certain responses from HTTP servers. When exploited, a hacker could not only crash the browser, but potentially run code with the privileges of the logged on user.
Far less dangerous are the pair of networking bugs squashed with the latest update. No longer will NTLM authentication to Squid proxies fail when trying to connect to HTTPS sites, and Chrome should no longer crash when loading some HTTPS sites.