The Linux community looks to get a big boost of support, as IBM announced at the LinuxWorld Conference & Expo it San Francisco that plans to work alongside several different Linux vendors to help offer middleware through a bevy of distributors. That's bad news for Microsoft, as IBM's new initiative will potentially give previously reluctant companies the confidence to make the switch.
"Linux has always been about choice," IBM inux Director Inna Kuznetsova said during a press conference. "We're providing a well-recognized alternative for the desktop."
Far from being a new flame, IBM has supported Linux and the open source movement for over a decade, and with distros like Ubuntu and SUSE becoming more user friendly, IBM sees the timing as ripe for a major push. The company has set a goal for 2009 to ship its software bundle to select Linux partners and PC makers, though it did not announce which specific PC partners would be involved.
In the world of PCs we have it pretty good. Hardware is pretty inexpensive for the performance across the board. It’s well developed and pretty amazing that you can take a conglomeration of parts drop Windows or Linux in it and have the thing work (usually). Overall this makes PCs cheap enough for the masses. Mac’s on the other hand tend to average almost double the cost of the PC average, according to a story by DailyTech:
“Macs have gone from an average price of $1,432 and $1,574, for desktops and laptops respectively in June '06 to $1,543 and $1,515 respectively in June '08. While much lower to start, PCs are now even lower in average sale price. The average PC notebook went from $877 to $700,”
I would have thought that the recent change in Mac using Intel hardware would have enabled them to lower their prices, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
It has always been comparing Apples to, well, PCs to compare the platforms. Apple controls its production from end to end. Microsoft’s approach is more of a middle of the road approach with its Windows Certified Logo program, and Linux of course goes for the gusto with a completely open approach. Each has it’s advantages and draw backs. What we are seeing now is the result of openness and demand. If Apple wants to catch up it means opening up and letting builders use their OS X on their systems. I can just imagine how that will affect their vaunted stability, even though OS X is Linux at heart with Mac clothing. It will level the playing field and Macs might actually capture a larger market share while reducing their prices.
What do you think? Will we see Apple open it’s OS to system builders?
MAPP provides advance notification to third-party security providers of vulnerabilities that are being addressed by Microsoft security updates, such as the ones rolled out each month on "Patch Tuesday." MAPP is designed to help stop exploits that are launched between the announcement of upcoming patches and the availability of patches. MAPP starts in October, according to eWeek.
Security providers can learn more about MAPP by downloading the fact sheet (MS Word 97-2003 format). For additional insight from a former military and government security specialist who now works for Microsoft, see Steve Adegbite's blog entry about MAPP.
The Microsoft Exploitability Index will provide ratings of how likely each vulnerability is to being successfully exploited. The index will rate each vulnerability at one of three levels:
Consistent exploit code likely
Inconsistent exploit code likely
Functioning exploit code unlikely
Microsoft's fact sheet suggests (MS Word 97-2003 format) that vulnerabilities with the "Consistent" rating should be treated as the most serious threats, followed by the others. To get more insight into the need for this index, see Microsoftie Mike Reavey's blog entry (Reavey is part of the Microsoft Security Response Center). The index will be included with each new security bulletin, also starting in October.
For your chance to sound off about Microsoft's newest security initiatives, see us after the jump.
Eweek says that Linux will outpace Windows in mobile internet device (MID) market by 2013? Is it any wonder? Netbooks are catching on as a great way to check email and surf the web in out of the way places without having to lug a notebook with you. The netbook credo is cheap, light and small. Mobile internet device market is expected to grow from the expected 305,000 units in 2008, to 39.6 million units in 2012.
MIDs are targeted at cloud computing, which involves checking email, IM, browsing, etc. They do not require Windows to get that done and you don’t need the one thing that Windows brings to the table, which is a large library of software.
Eweek also suggests that another form of MID; smartphones are a market that Linux is going to make inroads into as well. Mobile Linux providers LiMo, Maemo and Moblin are laying out the groundwork now so they can be out front when the market takes off. There are several new phones for LiMo that look really interesting and are sure to shake things up.
In the mobile market things are almost even amongst mobile operating systems. Linux would seem to have an advantage since it is highly flexible, configurable, and has a huge following for developing open source software to expand the usability of these devices.
Will you be picking up an MID for your next gadget, and will it be sporting Linux or maybe you already have one? Fill us in!
It doesn't matter if you seek solace in Creationism or prescribe to the theory of evolution, everyone should be equally stoked about what Nvidia's calling "Big Bang II." No, the graphics chip maker isn't gearing up to end the debate on man's existence, but even better, the company will improve man's quality of life with a new driver package that looks poised to earn its codename by bringing gamers at least one big, long overdue improvement.
Bang Part I
The biggest news associated with Nvidia's ForceWare Release 180 (R180) is the introduction of SLI multi-monitor support. Ever since Nvidia introduced SLI, the inability to run a second monitor while gaming has been a major complaint, and even more so as LCD displays have fallen in price. That finally looks to no longer be the case with the new driver release, and gamers will be able to frag opponents while simultaneously keeping an eye on their email inbox, incoming IMs, and everything else that would previously be blacked out on a second monitor.
Find out what else is bangin' with the new driver after the jump.
64-bit operating systems are certainly nothing new and when they first launched they weren’t even highly anticipated. Windows XP Professional x64 Edition only created a small amount of excitement and that died a quick death when the complaints about driver issues, Windows Explorer bugs in 64-bit mode, and 16-bit programs being unsupported started to roll in.
It was just too green to be of any real use to me, despite my 64-bit processor. I love to tinker with my PC, but I also want it to be stable and work well with lots of peripherals.
With the release of Service Pack 1 for Vista I decided to give it another try with my workstation and was pleasantly surprised, both by Vista (not the evil, vile monster it was at launch) and 64-bit computing. It seems that others are beginning to share that feeling.
Make the jump to see how many more Vista 64-bit OSs are hitting Windows Update
MySpace and Facebook users now have bigger worries than whether Wordscraper will stay online: two new worms, known as the Koobface family, are attacking Windows users of these popular social networking (or "Notworking" sites, as our friends at The Inquirer call them). These new worms pose a threat to the peace of mind of people like Zac Koobface (a real Facebook user, by the way).
Kapersky Labs was the first to detect these worms: Net-Worm.Win32.Koobface.a (targets MySpace) and Net-Worm.Win32.Koobface.b (targets Facebook). McAfee refers to both worms as W32/Koobface.worm, while Symantec uses the terms W32.Koobface.A and W32.Koobface.B.
Both worms send comments or messages to other users of the service. The messages or comments contain alleged links to humorous YouTube files (such as "Paris Hilton Tosses Dwarf On The Street"). When the user clicks on the link, the link redirects to a website that displays an error message claiming the user needs an updated codec to enable the Adobe Flash player to play the video. The alleged Flash player update (codecsetup.exe) contain the worm.
When the Koobface.A worm runs, it configures itself to run automatically when the system starts, checks for MySpace cookies, and if it finds them, modifies the user's profile by adding links to malicious sites that contain the worm. To learn more about Koobface.A and Koobface.B, check the McAfee and Symantec links earlier in this article.
If you use Kapersky, McAfee, or Symantec antivirus, the latest virus definitions will detect and stop these worms. If you use other antivirus or anti-malware programs, check for updates daily - and don't click on funny video links from other MySpace or Facebook users. The results just aren't very funny.
Been bugged by these or other social-networking worms? Tell us your story after the jump!
Having squashed a last-minute bug found in the Mac OS X version, Mozilla has released the first preview of Firefox 3.1. Code namd "Shiretoko" after a national park on Japan's northern-most island of Hokkaido, the Alpha 1 build includes many of the features Mozilla hopes to add to the update before its final release ships in late 2008 or early 2009. These include improvements to the Smart Location Bar and better tab switching.
Pressing ctrl-tab in the Alpha 1 build switches users between current and last-viewed tabs instead of navigating through each one sequentially, similar to the alt-tab application switching in Windows (or command-tab for those of you grooving on a Mac). Users will also be able to see thumbnail previews of the pages in each tab. Surfers not wanting to get their hands dirty with an Alpha build can get this functionality now with the Ctrl-Tab extension.
Mozilla is also developing the Gecko 1.9.1 layout engine, which makes its debut in Firefox 3.1 Alpha 1. For this reason, expect sketchy compatibility when attempting to render some web pages.
If you choose to give the new build a whirl, be sure and let us know what you think below!
When Vista launched over a year ago we had many compelling reasons not to upgrade. But as time progressed and Microsoft silently addressed our woes, it seems clear; the Vista of today could be somewhat misjudged. That doesn’t make it perfect however, and Microsoft has owned up to this by releasing a 14 page guide with tried and tested tweaks that improve overall performance and boost notebook battery life. This free and easy to follow PDF guide walks you through native tools built into the OS which allow you to optimize Vista’s performance.The contents are especially helpful if you are new to Vista, having just come from XP, but even Vista veterans are bound to find a few things of note. If you manage to make your way through the Microsoft guide and are still looking for more, a host of other tweaks and tips can be found in both our online archives and Maximum PCs March 2008 print issue.
Yahoo isn't the only one facing the threat of a proxy battle. Kavan Singh, a 26-year-old entrepreneur who owns a chain of Cold Stone Creamery ice cream stores, wants to freeze Chris Gorog out of his position as Napster 2.0's CEO, which would end his uninspired reign.
Gorog, the former CEO of Roxio, struck a deal to scoop up the once renowned P2P service for just $5 million in 2002, turned it into a legit paid music subscription service, and promised investors an influx of millions of customers. But instead of music listeners turning out in droves, today only about 760,000 subscribers pay a monthly fee to listen to its library of 6 million songs. Since the relaunch 3.5 years ago, stock has plummeted 69 percent, and the company noted a $16 million loss for this fiscal year. Now Singh wants Gorog to step aside.
Along with two other investors, Singh will fight for a board seat at the company's September 18 annual meeting. All three of them blame Gorog and mismanaged marketing for the company's failure to compete, noting that people still associate Napster with illegal activities. "When you tell people they should get Napster, they say, 'What are you trying to do? Get me arrested?'", complains Thomas Sailors, one of the investors running for a board seat.
Whether the ice cream man and his entourage prove successful remains to be seen, but will it even matter, or does Napster have a shot at turning its fortunes around?