Softpedia reports that pirated copies of Windows 7 will be provided with security updates, update rollups, and even service packs. What is Microsoft thinking? Is Redmond promoting piracy?
The idea of providing security and other updates to pirated copies as well as legit copies of Windows might seem crazy, but here's the reasoning, straight from Paul Cooke, director of Windows Client Enterprise Security:
Keeping a machine up to date is one of the first steps in helping ensure that they remain reliable, compatible, and safe from threats when they are online. Some of the most famous incidents of malicious software infection have come after security updates were publicly available from Microsoft - Blaster, Zotob, Conficker and Sasser, just to name a few. Rest assured that we at Microsoft are committed to making sure that security updates are available to all of our users to help ensure a safe online experience for everyone.
Note that Cooke is laying the blame for many recent security problems where it belongs: on users and companies who will not upgrade their software to block such threats. By continuing the recent policy of allowing users of non-genuine Windows to receive security updates, Microsoft is saying, in effect, 'don't blame us if unpatched systems are compromised.'
However, don't think that Redmond's turning a patched eye to either casual piracy or software counterfeiting. Pirated copies of Windows 7 won't be eligible for some of Microsoft's goodies, and Softpedia points out that counterfeit copies of Windows often come with a "free" bonus: malware.
For your chance to sound off on security for software pirates, join us after the jump.
You probably won't pull the global economy up by its bootstraps simply by upgrading your motherboard, but you will help reverse the downward sales trend mobo makers have had to contend with. According to a report by the Taiwanese Market Intelligence Institute (MIC), only 32 million motherboards were sold in the first quarter of 2009, a 16 percent drop from one year ago.
While sales in the US were down, the European market showed the most severe slowdown, according to the report. And it doesn't look to get any better in the second quarter of 2009.
"Markets in each region are entering the off-season, and channel inventory replenishment activities are slowing down," said Vincent Chang, MIC industry analyst. "market shipment momentum is thus weakening. Only several PC brands have continued to make procurements in April."
Chang went on to predict that year end sales figures, while still comparatively dismal, will fare a little better. He expects worldwide motherboard shipments to be in the 134 million range, or a 9 percent drop from 2008.
So there you have - tell your significant other you're only upgrading to Core i7 to help save mobo makers.
It's been nearly six months since Cooler Master impressed us with its HAF (High Air Flow) chassis, a full tower case we deemed worthy of a 9/KickAss award (get your recap right here). Its combination of effective and quiet cooling along with build and cable management options made it a joy to work in, and Cooler Master looks to duplicate those same qualities in a smaller, more compact mid-tower package.
Cooler Master says its HAF 922 supports up to seven case fans in all, three of which support 200mm fans that can be swapped for smaller 120mm units (the case will ship with three fans - a 200mm front intake with red LED, 200mm top exhaust, and and a 120mm rear exhaust). Despite being a mid-tower, Cooler Master also says the downsized HAF will still support liquid cooling with room for an internally installed radiator.
In the tale of the tape, the new enclosure will check in at 10 (W) x 19.7 (H) x 22.2 (D) inches and weight 19.2 pounds, compared to its 932 big brother, which checks in at 9.6 (W) x 22 (H) x 22.2 (D) inches and 29.1 pounds.
We're told the HAF 922 will start shipping on May 12 with an MSRP of $130.
Even if they won't say it publicly (and they aren't), Apple appears pretty juiced at the prospect of developing its own chips. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal Online, Apple has been hand-picking people from all over the semiconductor industry, which also includes engineers for creating multifunction chips for use in cellphones.
One such hire includes Raja Koduri, the former chief technology officer of the graphics group at AMD. Koduri started his new position this week, while other online job postings include a call for several chip-related positions, some of which are described as "verifying functionality correctness of a high performance chip design."
While Apple is keeping silent on the subject, the company's tight-lipped approach might be one of the reasons they're looking to develop their own chips. Citing people familiar with the situation, WSJO says Apple not only wants to beat its rivals to market with new features, but also wants to keep a lid on its technology plans with external chip suppliers.
Amazon this week announced some changes to its Personal Document Service, with the biggest one coming to its fee structure. Starting May 4th, no longer will it cost a dime for every document Kindle owners send to their eBook reader (via Whispernet, the Sprint-based EV-DO network that delivers books and user conent to the Kindle), where they're automatically converted for viewing. Instead, Amazon is switching to a consumption-based billing model and will charge 15 cents per megabyte, which will be rounded up to the next whole megabyte.
The other change is the addition of RTF and DOCX file formats. These will be added to the current supported file types, which includes DOC, HTML, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TXT, AZW, MOBI, and PRC. PDF documents are also somewhat supported, although Amazon warns that "Some complex PDF and DOCX files might not format correctly on your Kindle."
For those looking to avoid fees altogether, Amazon reiterated that users can still send their personal documents as an email attachment to "name"@free.kindle.com, where they will be converted and emailed back to the recipient free of charge.
(Disclaimer: Tomorrow, in this case, refers to any point after today. After all, Valve’s not so great with providing release dates, so – surprise, surprise – these items will be ready when they’re ready.)
After a recent patch saddled Team Fortress 2 with a mysterious 50-slot “backpack” – promising further instructions at a later date – players were left wondering what strange turns lied ahead for Valve’s cel-shaded shooter. Well, check your answers and make sure your name’s on the paper, because time’s up. In an interview with Shacknews, Valve’s Robin Walker divined Team Fortress 2’s future. The gist of it all: hats soon and RPG mechanics later.
Obviously, the backpack holds things, as are backpacks’ wont. (Though, in a game where sandwiches can be considered accomplices in murder, it’s always good to check.) Apparently, the deceptively deep storage device will play host to all sorts of items, beginning with your non-equipped head-slot items. For now, hats – scheduled for release before the Sniper update -- won’t do much more than give your opponents some stylish new targets, but Walker held out hope for more down the line.
“Right now they're all cosmetic only, but it's obviously more interesting if they become more than that, so we're still thinking about that. Shipping them without gameplay changes seems like a good way to tackle the first problem, which is to ensure we don't break our silhouette based class identification. It also starts us on another path that we're interested in, which is allowing players to have some control over their appearance.”
As for items with actual stat bonuses – as well as some fly threads for the remainder of your character’s bland, sensually unappealing form – Valve plans on taking things one step at a time depending on player feedback. If the wheel needs a +12 damage modifier, it’ll get one. Otherwise, why reinvent it?
Other important tidbits: Unlockables won’t be coupled with achievements anymore, more “Meet the” videos are still on the way, and deleted backpack items won’t be gone forever following the next patch.
Information overload, right? Well, process it and then come back. In the meantime, we’ll be redrawing this comic with TF2 characters and drinking in the sweet taste of possibility. Valve, please. We need this.
USB flash drives are meant to do a very simple job. Try telling that to manufacturers who apparently regard them as a canvas that should, from time to time, tolerate their whimsical artistic and technological cravings. Our beautiful planet has been blessed with USB flash drives of various ilks, be it the radical or the rank outrageous.
Google had to go down on its knees, reach out for its checkbook and write a $125 million check to settle its legal disputes with authors and publishers, who had been opposing its Google Book Search service. The settlement has yet to receive court approval and that will not happen until October 7, 2009 – the date for the final hearing. But Google can be rest assured that there is going to be no dearth of hurdles during the intervening period.
Tuesday, Microsoft clarified exactly what Windows 7 users will need if they want to run XP Mode (officially known as XP Virtual Machine). Although it appeared initially that XP Mode would include Windows XP SP3, Cnet's Ina Fried reports that users will need to supply their own licensed copies of Windows XP SP3 to go along with the free XP Mode download for Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate editions.
As we reported Monday, XP Mode will indeed require hardware virtualization support in the processor, meaning that low-end processors as well as some older mid-range and high-end processors from Intel and AMD won't support XP Mode. Microsoft also states that computers will need at least 2GB of memory to run XP Mode. Thankfully, potential XP Mode users won't need to wait until after Windows 7 ships to see if XP Mode works for them: Fried states that Microsoft will roll out a beta of XP Mode at the same time as Windows 7 RC - May 5th for most of us.
To find out who will be happiest with XP Mode, and how to manage it, join us after the jump.
You’ve got a digital camera, you’ve got a cell phone, and along with these you’ve probably got a few SD cards laying around that you just don’t use anymore. It looks like someone at LaCie had the very same issue, and decided to turn them into an extremely easy to use flash drive.
The LaCie DataShare is compatible with all SD and MicroSD cards currently on the market (SD/SDHC/Class 1 to 6), and comes with two separate sides, that let you discern your private data from your public data.
If this looks like something you could make use out of, be sure to check it out on LaCie’s site here, where it’s currently on sale for $9.99.