Windows Vista SP1 RC released to public

vista_logo_sm2 Windows Vista Service Pack 1 RC is now available through Windows Update.

Experience the WU based Vista SP1 installation by following 4 simple steps. Windows Vista SP1 RC distributed through Windows Update will be applicable to Windows Vista machines that are running on any of the 36 languages supported by Vista RTM.

Download: Vista SP1 RC

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Microsoft Giving Away Vista Ultimate, With a Catch

windows_logo Microsoft is giving away copies of Vista Ultimate and Office if you will let the Vole closely monitor how you use the software.

While the more cynical amongst us might think that Vole can’t sell its software and so is giving it away, the deal is part of Microsoft’s Feedback programme.

According to its website, the Feedback Program allows you to connect directly with the Windows product team using your computer.

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Tiffany: eBay is Rat’s Nest for Counterfeiting

ebay Tiffany, the world’s second-biggest luxury jeweler, said eBay is a “rat’s nest” for counterfeiting and urged a judge to rule that the biggest online auctioneer was liable for infringement.

Tiffany assailed eBay in a legal brief submitted Dec. 7 to U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan in Manhattan, as the companies await his ruling in a trademark infringement trial. EBay said in its brief that it’s a “model citizen” in the fight against counterfeiting.

At issue is whether eBay must pay damages for failing to make adequate efforts to block sales of counterfeit silver jewelry. New York-based Tiffany and other retailers claim online sales of counterfeit clothes, bags and jewelry cost them about $30 billion a year.

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Office 2007 SP1 ready for download today

officelogo Today sp1 ships. hurray. It’s not up there yet but should be later today.

Looking down the list of fixes, here are some that caught my eye (read the whitepaper for the full list):

  • Communicator won’t let you IM a distribution list any more for security reasons
  • Icons for presence have been modified so that red/green colour blind people can tell the difference between available and busy by looking at the icon rather than the text next to it
  • That Excel bug with 65,534 getting shown as 100,001 is fixed
  • SharePoint works on Windows Server 2008
  • ASP.net AJAX supported on SharePoint for web parts
  • Outlook delays with opening large psts eliminated

Office Online Downloads (SP1 will be available here)

AMD now worth less than it paid for ATi

amd_logo AMD reached its lowest share price for more than four years last week and, as a result, its market value dropped to around US$5 billion – that’s $400 million less than it paid for ATI in July 2006.

Intel, AMD’s major competitor in the CPU business, has been on a roll for the past 18 months and is now worth around US$162 billion, which makes the chip giant more than 32 times the size of AMD in monetary terms.

Even worse for AMD is that its partner-cum-archrival, Nvidia, has a market cap of around $19 billion, which makes it almost four times as valuable as the struggling platform company.

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The True Story: Two U.S. Nuclear Labs "Hacked"

security-lock Two labs of America’s top scientists have fallen for the oldest trick in the hackers’ book

A report featured on ABC News concluded that two nuclear labs had been “hacked.”  The true story is a bit more entertaining and the reveals that there is no threat to the country’s nuclear safety.  Real threats such as concerted “hacks” conducted by the Chinese against the U.S. government are certainly a concern, but the only thing dangerous about the compromise at these labs is the stupidity of a few scientists and workers at the plants.

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee and Los Alamos National Lab in New Mexico have made a habit of collecting the social security numbers, names, and birth dates of scientists who visit the plants.  The information is put into a database, which reads like a who’s who of America’s top scientists.

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CompUSA Sold, Stores To Close

compusa_logo The chain’s 103 retail stores will remain open and staffed during the holiday season, offering discounts on computer and electronics.

CompUSA, the computer and gadget retailer controlled by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, has been sold to a restructuring and investment firm that will close stores and sell some company assets.

The new owner is Boston-based Gordon Brothers Group, which recently helped CompUSA sell under-performing stores. The terms of the deal were not not disclosed.

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Microsoft: Vista piracy rate is half that of XP

vista_logo_sm2 Piracy rates are lower because it’s harder

Microsoft said Monday that it’s seeing piracy rates for Windows Vista that are half those of Windows XP.

Now cynical me wanted to write this up as “even pirates prefer XP two to one over Vista,” but that wouldn’t be fair. In reality, the decline in piracy rates is largely due to the fact that Vista is much tougher to fake than XP.

“Piracy rates are lower because it’s harder,” Microsoft Vice President Mike Sievert said in an interview Monday.

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The First 100 Dot Coms Ever Registered

network An interesting list containing the first 100 .com domains registered.

Many of the names you haven’t heard of, many you have. What was interesting to me is that it took 2 years just to get 100 domains on-line.

SYMBOLICS.COM   March 15 1985
BBN.COM         April 24 1985   
THINK.COM       May 24 1985     
MCC.COM         July 11 1985    
DEC.COM         September 30 1985
NORTHROP.COM    November 7 1985 
XEROX.COM       January 9 1986  
SRI.COM         January 17 1986 
HP.COM          March 3 1986    
BELLCORE.COM    March 5 1986    
IBM.COM         March 19 1986   
SUN.COM         March 19 1986   
INTEL.COM       March 25 1986   
TI.COM          March 25 1986   
ATT.COM         April 25 1986   

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Websites sell secret bank data and PINs

security-lock Tens of thousands of Britons’ financial details are sold on the internet

Security breaches that are allowing the financial details of tens of thousands of Britons to be sold on the internet are to be investigated by the country’s information watchdog.

Without paying a single penny, The Times downloaded banking information belonging to 32 people, including a High Court deputy judge and a managing director. The private account numbers, PINs and security codes were offered as tasters by illegal hacking sites in the hope that purchases would follow.

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