There’s been some loose talk of Microsoft looking to release Service Pack 2 for Vista just as soon as they can. They’ve been reportedly rushing it so that there will be more incentive for people to buy Vista, instead of just waiting for Windows 7.
According to some inside sources, a release candidate for SP2 will be available in February 2009, with the final version scheduled for release to manufacturing in April 2009. When a version is labeled as RTM it’s not always available for download, but it has been put out in disc form, including OEMs.
Following suit with pervious service packs, it’s expected that Microsoft will release Vista’s SP2 in language waves. The previous service packs give us reason to believe that the English, German, Japanese, French and Spanish versions will be the first available, with Chinese, Korean and Brazilian Portuguese available not long after.
Ask three people what "Windows Live" is - and you might get more than three answers: "It's a social network" (Windows Live Spaces); "a photo organizing service" (Windows Live Photo Gallery); "an email client" (Windows Live Hotmail)...but no matter how many answers you get, you probably won't hear "a major search provider". Yes, despite Microsoft's lavishing of money, time, attention, and even offering cash back for searches, Windows Live Search is not a major contender in the search space currently dominated by Google and Yahoo.
Would a name change help? TechCrunch claims that a rebranding of Live Search as Kumo (Japanese for "cloud" or "spider") may be on tap for early 2009.
Will breaking Live Search away from the rest of the diverse Windows Live family with a new name help it prosper, or are you looking for better features? Join us after the jump for your chance to sound off.
If you’re a Gmail user and you’ve got a domain that’s registered through GoDaddy, you’ve been put in danger – from yourself.
A new security flaw in Gmail has caused a new exploit to run wild. The exploit essentially makes you to create a filter all on your own, allowing unwanted eyes to get access of your Gmail account.
In a nutshell, the exploit steals a cookie from you. Once this cookie has been swiped some malicious code creates a hidden iframe with a url that contains the variables required for Gmail to create a filter for your account. Once this is done, the hacker has free reign over your personal emails and whatever else you might associate with your Gmail account.
While this is clearly the shorthand version, be sure to check out the full rundown. If you’re one of the many that uses both Gmail and GoDaddy, we’d suggest that you take some time to check it out.
While fears of a recession are the on the minds of those looking to make an honest living, unscrupulous hackers are thriving in an underground economy worth billions of dollars. The revelation comes as part of new report released today by Symantec titled "Report on the Underground Economy."
The eye-opening report reflects activity on underground economy servers observed by Symantec between July 1st, 2007 and June 30th, 2008. During that time, Symantec claims to have witnessed 44,752 unique samples of sensitive information publicly posted on various servers. These samples, which represent 10 percent of the total distinct messages, serve as proof that the seller in question has the information they claim to have, as well as to show potential buyers the quality of goods they can expect to receive.
According to Symantec, credit card information reigns supreme and accounts for nearly a third of the total. Credit cards were seen selling for as little as $.10 to $25 per card, despite an average advertised limit of $4,000. When added up, Symantec calculated the total potential worth to be in the neighborhood of $5.3 billion.
But that number doesn't take into account stolen financial accounts, which makes up 20 percent of the total. Stolen bank accounts were seen seling for between $10 and $1,000 with the average balance hovering at nearly $40,000. By Symantec's math, that puts the total worth at $1.7 billion, or around $7 billion for credit cards and bank accounts combined.
A few weeks back Twitter and Facebook ended some big talks, where Facebook was looking to snatch up twitter for $500 million of its stock.
Sometime in mid-October Facebook had instigated talks with the San Francisco- based Twitter about possibly bringing them both together. And while the idea seemed great on paper (the world’s fastest growing microblogging site along with the obscenely popular social networking site), concerns of integration and cost were a large part of why the deal didn’t come to fruition.
Still, Twitter executives and board members felt that they should work on building their own revenues before they look at the possibility of a merger. Currently, they’ve got none.
What the future holds for Twitter, we don’t know. But in the meantime, we’ll continue to keep all of you updated on how we feel by using it.
Before the most recent version of Ubuntu (8.10, Intrepid Ibex) was even released, founder Mark Shuttleworth was already looking ahead by introducing The Jaunty Jackalope, or what will later be known as version 9.04. That was just over two months ago, and now eager Linux users can take a peek at what the upcoming release has in store by downloading the distro in Alpha 1 form.
In continuing to bring Linux to the mainstream, Shuttleworth listedsome specific goals it hopes to meet with Jaunty. Chief among them is improving the distro's boot time, both in standard cases and "when it is being tailored to a specific device." But speed isn't the only improvement he hopes to make in 9.04. The new distro will also look to have tighter integration between web services and desktop applications.
Ubuntu users hoping to get a first look at Jaunty Jackalope can download the Alpha 1 release now, although developer Colin Watson warns that the pre-release isn't intended for anyone needing a stable system.
"This is the very first roughly working set of images off the production line, and they haven't all been tested, so you should expect some bugs," Watson wrote in the release announcement. "Prominent among these are that some of the images are oversized and can only be tested using a DVD or a virtual machine, and that the desktop CD isn't ready yet!"
The next major Alpha release is scheduled for December 18th, followed by additional pre-releases until the final version debuts on April 23.
Asus is on target to ship between 300,000 and 400,000 handsets by the end of 2008, which isn't nearly as many as the company would have liked. Part of the lower than expected shipment numbers can be attributed to not having enough models to choose from. So far in 2008, Asus has launched just seven new smartphones, or only half as many as the company had hoped with its initial target of 13 to 15.
Going into 2009, Asus plans to make a bigger push into the smartphone market with at least 10 new models, almost all of which will support 3G and come with a touchscreen. Both the transition to 3G and developing handsets based on Google's Android platforms have prevented Asus from releasing as many models as it would have liked up to this point, but according to industry sources in Taiwan, Asus has strengthened its R&D to address both of these areas. If Asus meets its new goals for 2009, it could prove interesting as Asus and rival handset maker High Tech Computer (HTC) try to one-up each other with new devices.
AMD's first Phenom debut failed to live up to the pre-release hype, so the chip maker is gearing up to give it another go-round with Phenom II, otherwise known as Deneb. The official launch for Phenom's second act won't take place until January, 2009, but AMD recently invited several members of the press to its Austin, Texas headquarters to see the upcoming chip in action.
While there, attendees watched as AMD demoed Phenom II being overclocked on a variety of cooling solutions, including air, water, phase change refrigeration, and the mother of them all, Liquid Nitrogen. According to HotHardware, the Phenom II X4 danced around 4GHz at 1.55V on air with 32C temps, 4GHz+ at 1.6V on water with a 39C core temp, and over 4.4GHz in a Vapochill setup. But when doused with LN2, HotHardware says the Phenom II X4 on display ran stable at over 5GHz and booted (but not stable) at over 6GHz.
While few are equipped with or even care about LN2 cooling, breaching 4GHz on air with manageable temps bodes well for AMD's next chip release. If AMD's upcoming 45nm CPUs have the headroom to reach 4GHz and beyond, it might stand a chance next to Intel's recently released Core i7.
If you thought blue screens and other unexpected fatal system errors were annoying, how would you feel if your employer docked your paycheck every time you had to reboot your PC? This frightening practice appears to be a growing trend, one which has prompted several lawsuits by angered employees who are suddenly being itemized for the time they spend booting a PC.
According to The National Law Journal, several lawsuits have been filed in the past year in which employees claim they were not paid for the time they spent booting up and shutting down their PC at the start and end of each work day. And these aren't necessarily smaller companies looking to cut corners, either. Some of the accused include AT&T, UnitedHealth Group, and Cigna Corp.
"These are hourly employees who are not making much more than minimum wage,"said Mark Thierman, a Las Vegas-based lawyer who has experience filing computer-booting lawsuits. "There's a good half-hour a day that they're not being paid for. It adds up."
Thierman notes that even though booting up and shutting down a PC takes time, employees are still working, whether it be wading through paperwork or making phone calls. But management-side attorney Richard Rosenblatt sees it a different way. According to Rosenblatt, he's observed first hand employees engaging in non-work activities while waiting for their PC to boot.
"They go have a smoke, talk to friends, get coffee -- they're not working, and all they've done at that point is press a button to power up the computer, enter in a keyword," Rosenblatt said.
Are employers justified in docking pay based on startup and shutdown times? Hit the jump and sound off.
Back in July when Google first launched its own version of Second Life called Lively, Maximum PC blogger Chris Moody wondered about its long-term success and whether it would ultimately prove a pop hit or a flop. Just shy of six months later and we already have our answer.
"It has been a tough decision, but we want to ensure that we prioritize our resources and focus more on our core search, ads, and apps business," Google said on a blog post.
In other words, Google has decided to end its Lively experiment and will shut the service down at the end of the year. Those who worked on the project will be reassigned within the company, presumably on projects that won't share Lively's untimely demise.
So what exactly went wrong? Part of the problem can be attributed to what ArsTechnica describes as "an overall lack of polish." Spending some hands on time with the service, the news outlet noted frustratingly clunkly and erratic controls, poor camera movement, and actions such as hugs and choke holds missing their target. Or could it be that interest in virtual social worlds like Second Life and Lively are starting to wane?
Have a theory? Hit the jump and post your thoughts on Lively's demise.