Saturday, May 20, 2006

Apple Store - Fifth Avenue - Gallery

This is purty! :)

As I'm sure everyBODY knows.... The 5th Avenue Apple store opened Friday. Its a glass cube above ground and the store is underground. Its pretty neat. The person who was one of the first two people in line, has a site, all about Apple's retail stores. This store's pre-opening is documented here. I thought the unpeeling video was interesting.

And there are some really cool things to look at.
Grand Opening Time lapse, by hour.
Apple Store - Fifth Avenue - Gallery

Friday, May 19, 2006

Alert Raised for MS Word Zero-Day Attack

The exploit arrives as an ordinary Microsoft Word document attachment to an e-mail. However, when the document is launched by the user the vulnerability is triggered to drop a backdoor with rootkit features to mask itself from anti-virus scanners.

Forewarned is five armed -- or something like that.

Dell to use AMD chips in servers

The day has come. After years of only offering AMD to select customers behind closed doors, the company has now said that it plans to use AMD processors in part of its server line to meet customer demand.

I guess the pigs have not only taken to the skies, but they are doing loop-de-loops and barrel rolls. I think sometimes back on one of our shows we even ventured forth with the idea that sooner or later this could happen, but then again we were never that sure.

Windows Vista's recommended settings according to Microsoft, then according to Ars

Microsoft today will unveil a new website aimed at informing consumers about Windows Vista's hardware requirements, among other things. As we reported earlier, there are two levels of recommendations for Windows Vista, those dubbed 'Vista-Capable' and those dubbed 'Premium-Ready.'

This has been all over the tech news today. It think this is one of the better articles on it.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Technology Review: Part 2 of a 3 part series on the Sony Rootkit

This is old news, but very interesting. The complete story of the Sony Rootkit according to Technology Review "an independent media company owned by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The oldest technology magazine in the world (est. 1899 [wow 1899!])". One thing that surprised me, in the story, was that F-Secure discovered it first, and tried to contact Sony, NOT revealing it , until the company had a chance to respond. To quote from the article " Kangas and his team readied a public report on the rootkit but were waiting for First 4 Internet's uninstaller before releasing it, as courtesy in the Internet security business demands [I thought this seemed a bit 'snooty']. That's when they were beaten to the punch by a Texan named Mark Russinovich." And Russinovich posted it on his blog, without notifiying Sony. I found part 2 fascinating, and with the new [to me] info about F-Secure finding it first, I felt it worthy of passing on.
Part 1
Part 3 (Thursday, May 18) Update: link is live

Technology Review: Part 2 of a 3 part series on the Sony Rootkit

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Blue Security calls it quits after attack by renegade spammer

After the attack, Blue Security embarked on restoring its community-based anti-spam service to its members. But after working closely with its service providers and partners to help resolve the problems over the last two weeks, it has come to the conclusion that the risk of further attacks remains too great. Despite moving hosting providers and implementing security defences, Blue reckons it's unable to safely reintroduce its controversial service without exposing other members of the net community to potential attack.

While I didn't like Blue Security's "fight fire with fire" methods, I don't like seeing the immolated by a spammer either. I have no doubt that it was the bad guys who won in this case.

Microsoft Tries Working With Open Source Developers

Saying "Microsoft" and "open source" in the same sentence sounds like an oxymoron. It's not. The fact is that while MS isn't exactly sure what to do with open source communities, it would like to attract developers from them, either to proprietary or open source software that runs on Windows. Plus, they have a lot of interoperability issues that need to be worked out. Easing many of those problems are in Microsoft's best interest and they know it, however much they might not want to have to deal with it.

The link above will take you to CodePlex, a Microsoft open source community site. It really is rather cool, if you're prepared to overlook a certain small awkwardness about the whole thing. They're new at it and deserve the break.

You can also view Port25 which is a site by Microsoft's open source labs. Both sites are worth your while.

For Microsoft, it is a matter of adjusting to a new reality of market forces. They are acting in their own interests, to be sure, but that is no reason to disparage their efforts. If they get it right, and there is no reason to think they won't, eventually, we will all benefit.


Creative Labs User Community Up In Arms

Before going any further, I'd best remind you that I have quit dealing with Creative Labs or their products a while back for unpaid rebates and the way they have treated me over that matter and others.

One Marcin Drzycki has started an online petition asking Creative to fix products that do not perform as advertised, cut the bloat out of their drivers and more. The problems center around Creative's Sound Blaster X-Fi products, for the most part. The petition is a short document and, while worth reading, seems incomplete.

Creative evidently has more of a problem than my being angry with them and I suggest reading this before buying any more of their products.


Intel Pentium D 805 is Newegg's top selling-dual core chip

It's not bleeding edge and if you're a gamer, just pass this one by. But as we said on the show a couple weeks ago, the Pentium D 805 will give you a LOT of processing power at bargain-basement prices. And a few more bucks will give you a Pentium D 850 with a bit more punch.

While I'm not a fan of either processor, there is no doubt that they can and do give a huge bang for the buck. A wide variety of motherboards are available and they use rather mundane (meaning inexpensive) Intel chipsets, on most of them.

If I had the change in my pocket for a moderately priced dual core workstation, this is the chip I would buy. I won't have as much power as possible, but I'll get a really capable and stable system for about what I'd pay for a single core Athlon 64 box off the shelf. It's almost a no-brainer.


Free Download - EULAlyzer

Last week on the show we talked about EULAs. So while I was stumbling around the Web today, researching something far less important, I stumbled upon EULAlyzer. As the name implies it is a EULA analyzer. I haven't had anything to EULAlyze yet, but I've downloaded it and am intrigued by it.

It has been around for a while and comes to you from Javacool, the same fine folks who bring you Spywareblaster. You might want to check it out.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Sun to Release Java Source Code

The title says it all. This is huge news. Now we will watch and wait to see what impact this has.

Google Notebook launched

Google Notebook has finally arrived. What is it? Google calls it 'an online 'notebook' where you can organize all your research, add personal notes to it, and share it with others,' and this is an apt description. A more technical description might describe Google Notebook as a kind of 'web clipboard,' inasmuch as you can 'cut and paste' links, text, images, etc., into your online notebook.

I'm going to download and try this as soon as I can. This looks to be a great research tool. If you try it, leave your comments, good or bad, below.

Trojan Deletes Your Porn, Music & Warez

You might want to make sure your porn, music, and warez are backed-up ;-)

Software makes your PC be a Mac

The title says it all. I have not tested it. In fact; I didn't even know it existed until I saw this blurb in The Inquirer. I asked around a little and everyone I know knew about it, except me.

It's worth a look.


Monday, May 15, 2006

SkypeOut now FREE for US & Canada!

Yes. It is really very, very free. There;s no prepayment, no minimum use, no subscription, no monthly fee, no nothing. You just download and install Skype and then you start calling. Both the caller and the number called must be in either the US or Canada. There are no strings attached.

I know many use Skype and I wanted to pass this on. Thanks Curtis, via GiantOne. :)


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Sunday, May 14, 2006

OnComputers Radio show Podcast 05-14-06

This is the On Computers Radio show podcast for 05-14-06. If you prefer, you can download the same file here via ftp.