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Friday, November 6, 2009

Windows 7 RTM Infected by 8 Out of 10 Viruses, Claims Security Outfit

Security company Sophos has tested Windows 7 RTM and found that the latest iteration of the Windows client from Microsoft is vulnerable to no less than 8 out of 10 viruses currently spreading in the wild. The security outfit put a clean install of the gold edition of Windows 7, which hit store shelves worldwide on October 22nd, in the same arena with 10 samples of malicious code, and found the operating system lacking when it came down to offering protection to end users by itself. In addition, Sophos pointed out that Windows 7’s User Account Control, either turned off completely or was running with default settings, was not an impediment for the infections to run wild.

“We grabbed the next 10 unique samples that arrived in the SophosLabs feed to see how well the newer, more secure version of Windows and UAC held up. Unfortunately, despite Microsoft's claims, Windows 7 disappointed just like earlier versions of Windows. The good news is that, of the freshest 10 samples that arrived, 2 would not operate correctly under Windows 7,” noted Chester Wisniewski, Senior Security Advisor.

We will not comment on the legitimacy of the claims coming from Sophos, or of the initiative, but we will say that their testing methodology is far from, well, an actual testing methodology. The fact that a specific group of 10, and no more than 10, malware samples resulted in a high rate of infections for Windows 7 does not justify the generalization implying that Windows 7 is vulnerable to 80% of the malicious code currently active. Sophos should have tested a consistent portion of all its malware samples for various types of malicious code, and only thereafter draw conclusions.

“User Account Control did block one sample; however, its failure to block anything else just reinforces my warning prior to the Windows 7 launch that UAC's default configuration is not effective at protecting a PC from modern malware. Lesson learned? You still need to run anti-virus on Windows 7,” Wisniewski stated.

Malicious code that infected Windows 7
Enlarge picture
Just to be clear, Microsoft never said that Windows 7 didn’t need anti-virus products. In fact, much to the contrary, the Redmond company has always made sure to stress the necessity of running security solutions for its end users. Actually, it even proceeded to offering Microsoft Security Essentials 1.0, a basic but free anti-virus, designed to protect users that cannot afford, or simply don’t want to buy a complex security suite.

Early adopters that followed the development process of Windows Vista’s successor know that the software giant has made sure to have security solutions supporting the OS even as early as the Beta stage in January 2009.

“Windows 7 is no cure for the virus blues, so be sure to bring your protection when you boot up,” Wisniewski concludes. Yes, Windows 7 is not a panacea for security. But on the other hand, the threat environment continues to expand, evolve, and thrive, even with all the antivirus products offered by security companies, some of which are multi-million businesses built on the back of the Windows operating system.

And Wisniewski should know that UAC is not a security barrier; namely, the User Account Control, whether in Vista or in Windows 7, does not offer impenetrable protection. The UAC is simply an added mitigation. Given sufficient time and effort, UAC, like any other security mitigation, can be bypassed. Still, it is specifically on the time and effort factors that Microsoft is betting on. Building a perfect operating system is a pipe dream. Creating and setting in place sufficient mitigations to deter attackers, by making it simply not worth their time and money to exploit Windows, is not only a realistic scenario, but also the strategy that made Windows Vista more secure compared to Windows XP.

UAC by itself is insufficient to stop attacks, but the User Account Control is designed to work in concert with additional security mitigation. Windows 7 does not rely on UAC as the first and only line of defense; it also offers users Internet Explorer Protect Mode, Kernel Patch Protection, DEP, Address space layout randomization (ASLR) etc.

This is not the first time that Sophos takes aim at a recently released Window client. Back in 2006, even before Windows Vista was finalized, the security company revealed: "Sophos experts note that on the launch date of Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system, three of the top ten - including Stratio-Zip - are capable of bypassing the product's security defences and infecting users' PCs. The Vista-resistant malware - W32/Stratio-Zip, W32/Netsky-P and W32/MyDoom-O - comprise 39.7% of all malware currently circulating."

Windows Vista is indeed more secure than Windows XP, and the statistics provided by SIRv7, and previous releases of the report are a clear indication of this fact. However, Microsoft always advised end users to run security solutions with Vista. The same is valid for Windows 7.

One problem that we have with Sophos’ test is that Wisniewski does not mention anywhere how it was actually performed. Was the Windows 7 computer simply connected to the Internet and the viruses infected the OS without any sort of user interaction? Because we really doubt this.

Or did Sophos researchers simply put the viruses on the Windows 7 machine and executed the malicious code samples? If this is the case, such a test only shows that the vulnerability sits behind the chair and the computer monitor, but certainly cannot be found in Windows 7. There’s no security barrier or patch for preventing users from installing malware on their own computers.

Microsoft Security Essentials 1.0 is available for download here.

Mac OS X 10.6.2 Build 10C540 Seeded to Developers

Apple developers have received a new build of the second maintenance and security update to Snow Leopard, Mac OS X 10.6.2 Build 10C540. The incremental update is on track to deliver over 150 code corrections, to which build 10C540 adds fixes for AirPort performance issues on the newly released iMacs, as well as for a problem that arose when plugging and unplugging a system to an Apple TV.

People familiar with the build also point out to a VMWare fix included with 10.6.2. The fix presumably targets the newly released VMware Fusion version 3.0, according to AppleInsider. Build 10C540 also fixes reported panic issues with USB, Apple Filing Protocol, and some video cards. Courtesy of World of Apple, the complete seed notes for Build 10C540 are available below. Mac OS X 10.6.2 is expected to drop this month. The update also includes an important fix for a widely reported data-eating bug on Snow Leopard.


Known Issues

None.

Focus Areas (Changes in 10C540)

AFP
Resolves an AFP panic.

AirPort
Resolves a performance issue on new iMacs.

GraphicsDrivers
Fixes a system hang issue on some video cards.
Resolves a kernel panic on some video cards.
Resolves an issue with plugging and unplugging to an Apple TV.

Kernel
Resolves a VMWare issue.

USB
Resolves a panic with USB.

Updated Components in Mac OS X 10.6.2:
AddressBook;
AFP;
apache;
AppleBacklight;
AppleDisplays;
AppleScript;
AppleWWANSupport;
ApplicationFirewall;
AppKit;
Apache Portable Runtime;
ASR;
ATS;
ATSUI;
Battery Menu Extra;
BezelServices;
Bluetooth;
CarbonCore;
CFNetwork;
CFPropertyList;
CFRunLoop;
CFURL;
ColorSync;
Component Manager;
configd;
Core Chinese Engine;
Core Media;
Core Animation;
Core Applications;
CoreAudio;
CoreData Framework;
CoreData Predicates;
CoreFoundation;
CoreGraphics;
CoreImage;
CoreMedia;
CorePDF;
CoreServicesUIAgent;
CoreText;
CoreTypes;
CoreUI;
CoreVideo;
CrashCatcher;
Date Time Prefs;
Dictionary Application;
Dock;
ExchangeWebServices;
Expose;
Family Controls;
Fax;
FileSync;
FileURL;
Finder;
Fonts;
Foundation;
Front Row;
Garbage Collection;
GraphicsDrivers;
GPU Compute;
Help Viewer;
HFS;
High Level Toolbox;
iCal;
iCal Exchange;
iChat Audio/Video/BuddyList/Jabber/Menu/Pref;
ICU;
iDisk Syncing;
Image Capture;
ImageIO;
ImageKit;
Inkwell;
InstallCmds;
IOAHCIBlockStorage;
IOAHCIFamily;
IOHIDFamily;
IOPlatformPluginFamily;
IONetworkingFamily;
IOKit Kernel;
iPhoto;
IPSec;
Japanese Analysis;
Kerberos;
Kernel;
KeyboardPref;
KeychainAccess;
Kotoeri Dictionary Trainer;
Language Analysis;
Latent Semantic Mapping;
LaunchServices;
libdispatch;
LibInfo;
libpcap;
libsecurity;
libxml2;
LoginWindowUI;
Mail;
mDNSResponder;
Migration;
MobileMe;
Mosaic Screen Saver;
network_cmds;
Networking;
Network Pref Pane;
NTFS;
Objective C;
OpenCL;
OpenGL;
OSInstaller;
PackageKit;
Parental Controls;
Persistence;
Phone Conduit Sync;
Photo Booth;
Preview;
Printing;
Quartz Composer ;
QuartzCore;
QuickLook Office;
QuickTime;
QuickDraw Manager;
QuickTime Player;
Screen Saver;
Screen Sharing;
securityd;
security_certificates;
SecurityAgent;
Software Update;
Spaces;
Speech Recognition;
Spell Checker;
Spotlight;
Sync Services;
System Prefs;
System Configuration;
System UI Server;
Text Checking;
Time Machine;
Time Zone Data;
Traditional Chinese Input Method;
Translation Widget;
Universal Access Pref Pane;
URLMount;
USB;
Voice Over;
VPN;
Weather Widget;
WebDAVFS;
xQuery;
xType.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Web Articles Submitter

Learn, this is we should do from child until now and later, we should learn every thing even we have known, I mean for the good thing, like me, every day use Internet to do my job or write some blog at there, but until know I still learning. Today I have know an useful site, I think I should tell to every one, so we can learn from there.
This site about submit articles directory, they have tutorials from thousands of resources and web archives dating back to 1997, that mean we get access to exactly what we need, from thousand of articles not found elsewhere on the Internet. All these being said, any time if we want to find qualified information we will find it at web articles directory.


Do you know why we should submit articles at there? The articles directory proposes to be a useful resource of information, providing articles and tutorials about general interest life issues, they have many categories in here, so if we want to submit article we better have an unique content, no part of it already published elsewhere on the Internet. Like my blog, as a travel blog I learn more information about rental and vacation (http://www.web-articles.info/e/s/s/Rentals-and-vacation/) , the specific and the newest articles and tutorials are shown first in the list, really useful. If you want know more about the web articles information, come and join me in here.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

IBM to Start Selling Software for Cloud Computing

Enters competition with Microsoft and Google

IBM will reportedly sell a suite of Web-based applications, including instant messaging, contact management and file sharing programs for businesses. This is part of the company's biggest effort in trying to sell software as a service, a move that has been announced on Wednesday and which has put IBM in a direct competition with other leading companies, including Microsoft, Google and privately held Zoho.

According to a recent news-article reported by Reuters, companies that will start using IBM's software will be charged between $10 and $45 per month, as the applications will be hosted on IBM's servers and delivered via the Internet. According to the company, the suite will be available on April 7. “What you are seeing are the beginnings of the whole IBM company moving toward cloud computing,” IBM Vice President Sean Poulley said.

IBM's move is somewhat to be expected, especially since cloud computing is becoming one of the industry's biggest buzz concepts. The term is associated to a practice by which a variety of IT companies provide end-users with various computing services by using the Internet and remote data centers. The cloud refers to a virtual space that is used to access the data that is stored on a number of data centers worldwide. To access that data, users are required only to have an Internet-capable device, thus further minimizing the need for high-end computer systems that take a lot of space and are power hungry.

According to the latest estimations by tech research company Gartner, the global market for cloud-based computing services, software and storage will total about $10 billion in 2009. However, on the other side, the traditional business software model will account for about $223 billion, according to Gartner estimations. Still the industry is increasingly interested in the development and adoption of cloud computing, which will probably become the standard business model in the near future.

Acer Aspire One 751 to Boast 11.6-Inch Display

Yet to be released

Over the past weeks, Acer has quietly introduced a number of new netbook systems, including the Aspire One D250 and the 531, both of which have been designed with a 10-inch display. However, according to some details that have recently surfaced on the Internet, the PC vendor is planning to add another small-sized system that will be powered by an Atom processor. The Aspire One 751 is, however, going to boast a larger
11.6-inch LED backlit display, capable of a higher resolution of 1366 by 768 pixels. With the new version, Acer wants to add some diversity to a market that is currently dominated by 10-inch and 9-inch netbooks.


Although the system hasn't been officially announced yet, some of its technical specifications have already been made available over the Internet. According to a recent news-article on bit-tech, the Aspire One 751 comes as a combination of a netbook and a fully fledged notebook, providing users with the performance capability of Intel'z 1.33GHz Z520 or 1.6GHz Z530 processors. The system is based on the now familiar Intel GMA500 chip and will be provided with a three-cell battery pack, which should give users about four hours of runtime. There will also be an option for a higher, 6-cell battery, for those who are looking for a more reliable netbook system.


Unfortunately, as with the other new Aspire One netbooks, we have few to no details about the system's pricing or availability, but when this will be released, it will certainly provide users with a Windows operating system. A Linux-version could also be available, but that is yet to be confirmed.

Given the number of new netbook models Acer has prepared for this year, we could say that the company has taken some inspiration from ASUS, which is known for its large lineup of Eee PC netbooks. However, that could affect the company's sales in a bad way, as users could get confused by the large number of configuration options.

Gmail Celebrates 5th Anniversary, Still in Beta

The service debuted back in 2004

The start of April 2009 was synonymous with the first five years since Google introduced its email service to the public. Dubbed Gmail, the service was offering at that time no less than 1 GB of storage space for emails. In time, storage space for accounts has grown continually, and users are now enjoying in excess of 7.3 GB of space. According to the Mountain View search giant, tens of millions of users are currently using a service that debuted as an internal tool. Gmail was launched on April Fools' Day back in 2004.


“We want to give a big thank you to all of you who use Gmail every day, to those who've been around since the beginning, to those who were using an AJAX app before the term AJAX was popular, to those who started chatting right in your email and then video chatting a couple years later, to those who changed your theme on day one, and to those who have turned on some of the 43 experimental Gmail Labs features (and put up with the occasional bugs they introduce)...we couldn't have gotten here without you,” revealed Todd Jackson, Gmail product manager.

Despite celebrating its fifth anniversary on the market, Gmail continues to be in Beta stage. Still, the service is evolving at a rapid pace, with new additions introduced on a regular basis. The latest feature that made its debut this month is Search Autocomplete, available through Gmail Labs. It is still experimental, revealed Ibrahim Bokharouss, Google software engineer, and has to be turned on under Gmail Settings, and Labs tab.

“One of the most popular searches in Gmail is for names or email addresses, so the first kind of suggestions you'll see are contacts,” Bokharouss explained. “Gmail also offers a bunch of advanced search operators, which provide a powerful way to find that one message you have in mind. You can search in specific places (e.g. in chats or sent items), or search for messages with attachments of a certain type (e.g. docs or photos).”

Gmail Celebrates 5th Anniversary, Still in Beta

The service debuted back in 2004

The start of April 2009 was synonymous with the first five years since Google introduced its email service to the public. Dubbed Gmail, the service was offering at that time no less than 1 GB of storage space for emails. In time, storage space for accounts has grown continually, and users are now enjoying in excess of 7.3 GB of space. According to the Mountain View search giant, tens of millions of users are currently using a service that debuted as an internal tool. Gmail was launched on April Fools' Day back in 2004.


“We want to give a big thank you to all of you who use Gmail every day, to those who've been around since the beginning, to those who were using an AJAX app before the term AJAX was popular, to those who started chatting right in your email and then video chatting a couple years later, to those who changed your theme on day one, and to those who have turned on some of the 43 experimental Gmail Labs features (and put up with the occasional bugs they introduce)...we couldn't have gotten here without you,” revealed Todd Jackson, Gmail product manager.

Despite celebrating its fifth anniversary on the market, Gmail continues to be in Beta stage. Still, the service is evolving at a rapid pace, with new additions introduced on a regular basis. The latest feature that made its debut this month is Search Autocomplete, available through Gmail Labs. It is still experimental, revealed Ibrahim Bokharouss, Google software engineer, and has to be turned on under Gmail Settings, and Labs tab.

“One of the most popular searches in Gmail is for names or email addresses, so the first kind of suggestions you'll see are contacts,” Bokharouss explained. “Gmail also offers a bunch of advanced search operators, which provide a powerful way to find that one message you have in mind. You can search in specific places (e.g. in chats or sent items), or search for messages with attachments of a certain type (e.g. docs or photos).”


Friday, April 3, 2009

Knowledge About File Extension CFG

In this modern age, computer plays an import role in our lives. Many business and professionals require computer for their daily operational activities. The computer has given us a lot of advantages that supports our works and businesses. However the computer requires the system to run its functions. This system is able to run the operation since they have been programmed.

File Extension CFG is the generic configuration file that stores settings and preferences for most programs and can be used for both Windows and Mac Platforms. CFG is normally created automatically whenever a change or a setting is modified within a program. However there are some occasions that our computer could not open the file extension CFG, this case might be caused by a corrupted or missing the registry files in our system. Windows registry is our windows operating system that oversees the whole windows operation.

In overcoming such problem, it is suggested to run a drivers update to fix our computer problems. Fileextentioncfg.net can be your source of information to find the answer for such problem. This website recommends you to use the Driver Detective to overcome your computer problems. Further about the details go to the file extension CFG.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Free Download - Compiz Reaches 0.8.0 2009

Will be included in all upcoming major distribution upgrades

The developers behind the famous Compiz project announced on the 20th of February the release of Compiz 0.8.0, after approximately five months of hard work. All Compiz fans will love to hear that this new version brings highly improved support for the GNOME 2.24 and KDE 4.2 desktop environments.


Along many fixes and translation updates, there are also some new plugins included in the new 0.8.0 version.

Highlights of Compiz 0.8.0:

· The new "gnomecompact" plugin handles bindings used only in the GNOME desktop environment and removes the corresponding bindings from the core, fixing the main menu and run bindings in KDE; GNOME desktop environment users are advised to enable this plugin;
· Support for _NET_WM_FULLSCREEN_MONITORS EWMH hint;
· Support for reading icon hints from WM_HINTS when the _NET_WM_ICON is not available;
· The GNOME support has been updated to GNOME 2.24;
· The scale plugin now has a new option allowing a "toggle type" behavior for key/button bindings;
· The GTK-window-decorator has been adjusted for newer versions of libmetacity-private;
· The GTK-window-decorator display has been fixed for RTL languages;
· The KDE4-window-decorator has been adjusted for the K Desktop Environment 4.2 API;
· Many minor bugfixes, mainly regarding resize handling and stacking code;
· The utility, menu and toolbar windows are now treated as group transients;
· Active fullscreen windows will always be kept on top;
· The switcher is now using the foreground color;
· Many memory leak fixes.

This new version of Compiz will be featured in the upcoming releases of major distributions including Ubuntu 9.04 and Fedora 11. The roadmap for Compiz shows another two releases before merging Nomad and dropping Compiz Fusion.

About Compiz:

Compiz is a 3D-graphics, OpenGL accelerated compositing WM (window manager), providing various graphical effects and features on any desktop environment, including GNOME and KDE.

Download Compiz 0.8.0 right now from Softpedia.

New World - Gigabyte to Unveil New 10-Inch Netbooks at CeBIT 2009

One powered by Intel's N280 processor

As some of you already know, early next month, on March 3, people in the IT industry will be waiting for the start of the CeBIT show in Hanover, Germany. There, various companies are expected to debut a number of new products, giving us a pretty general idea of how the computer market will look like for the ongoing year. One of those companies is Gigabyte, which has
recently showcased the TouchNote M1028 small-sized computer system at the MWC in Barcelona. The company is expected to further expand its TouchNote series with the addition of new 10-inch netbooks, which will be showcased at the CeBIT show, next month.

Aside from the Atom-powered TouchNote M1028, the Taiwanese company will also be showcasing two other 10-inch touchscreen netbooks, the M1024 and the M1022. According to available details, the M1024 will be designed as a thinner and lighter version of the M1028, while the M1022 will be boasting Intel's latest Atom processor, the 1.66GHz N280. Both systems are expected to make their debut at the CeBIT show in Hanover, Germany next month.

The TouchNote M1028 Gigabyte showcased at MWC last week has been featured with a 10-inch touchscreen display, boasting a resolution of 1024 by 600 pixels. The system is powered by the already successful 1.6GHz Atom N270 CPU, coupled with 1GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive and all the connectivity options available for most netbooks on the market, including WiFi, Bluetooth, ExpressCard slot, SD card reader and an integrated 1.3MP webcam.

As you might expect, the M1028 has been featured with Microsoft's Windows XP operating system, but the company is yet to provide details regarding the netbook's pricing. Fortunately, CeBIT is just days away and we are expecting to find out more during the show.

2009 Inno3D GeForce GTX 260 FreezerX2 Uses Dual-Slot, Dual-Fan Cooling

Packs a 55nm GPU

There are a number of NVIDIA board partners out there, which can provide GeForce graphics card fans with a series of high-end cards, based on NVIDIA's latest GPUs. Inno3D is certainly one of those partners that can deliver to its clients custom designed GeForce cards, enabling a higher level of performance. One of the company's latest products is built using the GT200 GPU-based GTX 260 graphics card, which has been equipped with a new dual-fan, dual-slot cooling solution for optimum GPU cooling and performance.

Inno3D's new card has been suggestively dubbed GeForce GTX 260 with FreezerX2 and comes to provide computer enthusiasts with a new version of NVIDIA's latest mainstream performance offering. The card combines a 55nm-based GPU with a dual-slot, dual-fan cooling solution to enable users to benefit from a higher level of performance from a card that is currently among NVIDIA's best performance/value offerings.


The features of the new Freezer X2 cooling fan include a dual 8cm ball bearing PWM fan, which boasts a DHT (direct heatpipe touch) technology and offers double the cooling efficiency. A triple heatpipe design further enhances the cooling capabilities of this card, providing users with more room for overclocking and better overall performance.


Aside from the different cooling solution used on NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 260 GPU, the new card comes with a 55nm GT200b GPU clocked at 576MHz, 216 processing cores with a speed of 1242MHz and a total of 896MB of GDDR3 memory, clocked at 2000MHz. The card has a 448-bit memory interface and offers support for NVIDIA's well-known technologies, including SLI, CUDA and PhysX. With dual-DVI connectivity, the card is ready to provide users with the performance capabilities of NVIDIA's latest GeForce products.

Unfortunately, the pricing and availability details of the card are yet to become available.

2009 Fujitsu Siemens Intros New PRIMERGY TX120 S2 Entry-Level Server

For small businesses

Fujitsu Siemens Computers has announced a new entry-level server system, part of the company's PRIMERGY lineup. According to the PC vendor, the new product has been specifically designed for small businesses, providing them with a quiet server system that is low on energy consumption, also enabling performance in a form factor that doesn't take up more room space than an A4 folder. Simply dubbed PRIMERY TX120 S2, the new entry-level solution is the company's second-generation TX10 server, offering power enhancements over its predecessor.

“The new PRIMERGY TX120 S2 gives customers in small businesses and branch offices the best of both worlds – the benefit of support from a real server, and the saving on costs thanks to low energy consumption. As a bonus, small businesses using the PRIMERGY TX120 S2 may find that they suddenly have office space to spare, proving the old adage that the best things come in small packages,” Jens-Peter Seick, senior vice-president, Enterprise Server Business at Fujitsu Siemens Computers, said.

According to FSC, the new TX120 S2 can save up to more than 25 percent on power, compared with its predecessor. In addition, the system has been built to take advantage of a new range of Intel Core 2 Duo processors, which not only boosts system performance, but also further lowers the power consumption. Some of the enhancements provided by the new PRIMERGY server include an increased capacity for onboard memory, and up to 16GB and more space for larger, lower-priced hard drives with support for various RAID configurations.

With the announcement, Fujitsu Siemens Computers also shared that the new system was cheaper to use and own, thanks to its energy-saving features. In addition, with a starting price tag of 545 Euros, the cost of the new product from FSC comes close to that of some netbooks on the market. The PRIMERGY TX120 S2 should become available on April 1, 2009, according to the PC vendor.

2009 - Acer Sets Netbook Target for 2009, Aims for Top Spot

Plans on selling 10 million 10-inch netbooks

Acer, the world's leading vendor of netbook computer systems, has recently expressed its netbook target for 2009, as it plans to continue leading this fast growing market. The PC vendor expects that its netbook shipments will account for approximately 50% of the total estimated netbook sales of 25 and 30 million units. With such plans, Acer is basically aiming at
becoming the market's leading netbook vendor, providing its users with low-power, low-cost computer systems that are featured with 9-inch and 10-inch displays.

Last year Acer managed to outpace ASUS in terms of the highest number of netbook units sold. That is a noteworthy achievement, especially if you consider that ASUS is the pioneer of netbook systems. Acer managed to reach the top spot by releasing an 8.9-inch netbook, dubbed Aspire One, which provided users with the very basics in computing technology. Much like every other netbook on the market, the Aspire One was built on an Intel Atom processor platform, enabling users to take advantage of an Internet-ready system that is low on power consumption.

However, the PC vendor has now seen the opportunity for 10-inch netbooks, which the company believes will become the form factor of choice this year. On that note, Acer released its first 10-inch netbook, also dubbed Aspire One, earlier this year. This netbook is expected to help the company maintain its market leadership, providing users with a 10-inch form factor, but with specifications pretty much similar to the company's first Aspire One netbook.

Acer's 10-inch Aspire One boasts a 10.1-inch LED backlit LCD screen, a 1.6GHz Atom processor, 1GB of RAM, integrated GMA 950 graphics, a 160GB hard drive, WiFi, Ethernet, 5-in-1 card reader and a choice for a 3-cell or a 6-cell battery. The company expects to sell approximately 10 million units this year, of its 10-inch netbook model alone.

Free Download Foresight Linux 2.1.0 GNOME Edition 2009

Comes with printer hot-plugging support

The Foresight Linux Project team announced yesterday the immediate availability of Foresight Linux 2.1.0 GNOME Edition, a Linux distribution based on rPath. This new version brings the latest stable GNOME desktop environment and many updates.

There is now printer hot-plugging support, allowing Foresight to recognize and configure printers automatically when they are plugged in. The Python programming language was also updated to version 2.6 bringing many under-the-hood performance improvements. Foresight Linux 2.1.0 uses the 2.6.27.15 version of Linux Kernel. Other improvements were made to the package management modules, customizing the
default Conary configurations to include features like downloadFirst, which enables Foresight to download updates before applying them, and excludeTroves that strips packages of development components.

Some of the software packages included in Foresight 2.1.0 are:

· HAL, an automatic hardware discovery and configuration tool;
· Network Manager, which manages network connections, will automatically discover wireless networks;
· Pidgin is used for Instant Messaging;
· Banshee provides audio management and playback;
· F-Spot for personal photo management;
· GNOME Do, a launcher with extended capabilities;
· PackageKit, a system designed to make installing and updating software easier, bringing together many tools used in various distributions;
· GNOME Games, a suite of free, fun games.

About Foresight:

Foresight is an operating system based on the rPath Linux distribution with an easy to use user interface and showcasing the latest desktop software. Foresight uses the Conary software management system that allows you to efficiently find, install and manage the software on your system. Foresight is overseen by the Foresight Council, or FOCUS, a high-level steering committee that was founded in December 2007 with Paul Cutler, Antonio Meireles and Ken VanDine as initial members.

Download Foresight Linux 2.1.0 right now from Softpedia.

2009 ASUS Launches Phenom II-Ready M4 Series Motherboards

Built for ultimate performance

Aside from being one of the top leading vendors of netbook computer systems, ASUS is also known for its high-end motherboards, including the gaming-oriented Rampage series. On that note, the company has announced today the introduction of a new series of motherboards designed to provide users with support for the latest AMD Phenom II processors. Part of the new M4 series, the AMD-supporting motherboards will enables ASUS fans to combine
Phenom II processors with DDR3 memory, for improved performance.

“The ASUS M4 Series motherboards are high performance motherboards aimed at achieving unprecedented performance benchmarks. This motherboard is designed for advanced overclocking and recently an overclockers team from Finland set the new World Record of 3DMark06 and CPU-Z scores with AMD Phenom II and ASUS M4A79T Deluxe”, said Mr. Vinay Shetty – Country Head Component Products, ASUS India. He further added, “The M4 series of motherboards will further strengthen our position as market leaders in the motherboard segment and provide our customers with a high end solution for their advanced computing needs.”

The new series of motherboards take advantage of an 8-phase power design, providing computer enthusiasts with up to 91% in power efficiency. In addition, the new motherboards will provide users with ASUS's TurboV overclocking utility, thus bringing together some of the latest in high performance computing under a single product. Given by the overclocking capabilities of AMD's latest 45nm Phenom II processors, users should be faced with a serious performance boost.

ASUS is yet to provide pricing details of the new boards, but the company is expected to showcase the new boards at the CeBIT computer show in Hanover, Germany. The company's boards might even be used for some overclocking demonstrations, all the more reason to be at CeBIT this year, especially if you are an enthusiast.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

2009 France Gets Surprise Apple Stores Now

Apple confirms two upcoming retail stores in France

ifoAppleStore, the source exclusively covering news and information on Apple's retail initiatives worldwide, reports that France is getting two new Apple stores this year. One of the upcoming French stores had previously been reported as planned. The second, however, comes as a surprise, the source points out.

“Apple has confirmed this year’s opening of two stores in France, a long-known store in Paris, and a surprise location in the southern provincial capital of Montpellier, along the Mediterranean coast,” ifo reports. “Both stores could be open by late summer and will be the first in the country.”

According to ifo's own sources, the Paris store was identified sometime around the summer of 2007. The store is to be set inside the underground shopping mall known as Carousel du Louvre, which is adjacent to the famous art museum bearing the same name.

“Apple will occupy about 7,700 s.f. of the former Lalique and Résonance stores, spaces #15 and #33,” the blueprint for the Paris store indicates. “Those tenants moved out last December and construction has been spotted by passersby,” reads the report, which also discloses the official name of the upcoming store – the “Île de France.”

As for the surprise store, Apple itself has confirmed that the second location would be Montpellier, “an off-the-radar location that is home to 225,000 residents, and another 225,000 in the metro area,” according to the same report. And while the store’s exact location isn’t known, the city-center Place de la Comedie seems just big enough (and vintage enough) to become the location for an Apple retail store, according to ifo.

Imagery is also available, thanks to a number of flickr users credited in the report.


In other Apple retail news, Apple's latest store, at Friendly Center (Greensboro, NC) has opened its doors to the cheering crowds this weekend. Videos and pictures from the event are available thanks to a number of sources that were present at the time of the Grand Opening.

Free Download ScreenFlow Version 1.5.1 Now - 2009

Vara Software's flagship app received the Best Leopard App award at Apple's WWDC '08

ScreenFlow is a “professional screencasting studio” for Mac OS X 10.5 (“Leopard”). The application that was crowned Best Leopard App at WWDC '08 has recently received an update. Vara Software says that ScreenFlow version 1.5 includes the ability to add text objects to the timeline, allowing users to add titles to videos. It also adds ten new audio effects that can be applied to the narration.

Other changes, included in ScreenFlow 1.5.1, are: powerful titling and text support, the ability to produce screen recordings in Windows Media video format (direct export requires a Flip4Mac WMV Studio license - prices starting at $49) and the option to create custom cursors for your demos.

ScreenFlow allows its user to capture everything he / she is doing, through its powerful screen, camera, and audio capture systems. With ScreenFlow's advanced timeline-based editing features, users can mix down their Screencast, using effects like 3D or 2D Zoom & Pan, Picture-in-Picture, Mouse Callouts, Reflection, Foreground Window Callouts, Drop Shadow and much more.

ScreenFlow can visualize the waveforms of any content with audio in your presentation (including QuickTime-based media), making it easy to find peaks, remove coughs, pauses and other slip-ups. According to the developer, the waveforms are created and cached in the background, so your editing isn't slowed down. You can even toggle them on or off any time you choose so, from the 'View' menu.

You can use the link below to give ScreenFlow a try for free right now. The full version is $99.99 to buy, but those who've already bought themselves a copy of ScreenFlow can upgrade right now at no extra charge.

Download ScreenFlow (Update / Trial / Buy)

Vara Software won two Apple Design Awards, including Best Mac OS X Leopard Application. ScreenFlow was on everybody's lips at the time, therefore TUAW called up Paul Carnine to have a chat about their achievement.

"It's an honor, more than anything else, when Apple chooses to single out an application like this ... it's pretty amazing, especially to win two," Paul said last year. "We worked really hard on the user interface, we worked really hard on the adoption of technologies ... we don't jump up and down and flaunt the technology."

Free Download - VectorLinux 6.0 2009

Has broader hardware support and localization

The team behind VectorLinux announced yesterday the release of VectorLinux Standard Edition 6.0, codenamed Voyager. The default installation runs the Xfce 4.4.3 desktop environment, with an option to install the lightweight LXDE. For a more extended user-base, the localization was much improved in this version, covering many languages.

"With the unbridled enthusiasm of a community gone wild, we have forged our very own stable GUI installer and our repository now hosts over a thousand packages. VectorLinux is the fastest Linux desktop in its class. We have exceeded our original goals of VectorLinux 6.0 and produced a beautiful, full featured stable desktop for a rocket fueled experience.", was stated in
the official release announcement.

VectorLinux Standard Edition 6.0 highlights:

· Linux Kernel 2.6.27.12;
· NVIDIA and ATI Drivers;
· Bootsplash 3.1.6;
· ALSA Driver 1.0.19;
· X.org 7.3;
· Xorg-server 1.4.2;
· Qt 3.3.8b;
· Cairo 1.6.4;
· Out of the box DVD playback capability;
· Multimedia codecs and Java;
· Graphics with GIMP, Inkscape, Gtkam, Gqview, Xpdf;
· Internet browsing: Firefox, Opera, Dillo and Seamonkey;
· Instant Messaging: aMsn, Pidgin, Xchat;
· Multimedia Players: MPlayer, XMMS, Xine and VLC;
· Office applications: Gnumeric, Abiword, Scribus;
· Firewall protection with Firestarter;
· More webcam models are now supported.

Updated drivers and firmware bring an extended wireless networking support, using Wicd for managing wireless and wired connections. VectorLinux is also available in a paid Deluxe Edition, featuring the K Desktop Environment (KDE) version 4.2, E17, OpenOffice 3, Skype, Realplayer, Playonlinux and AssaultCube, along with special graphics and themes. This edition also provides users with 14 days of technical support.

"With all the improvements in installation, usability and hardware Support, we believe this release will finally give Vectorlinux the desktop recognition it deserves.", the developers concluded.

Download VectorLinux Standard Edition 6.0 right now from Softpedia.

Free Download - SimplyMEPIS 8.0 Is Now Based on Debian 5.0

Uses Linux kernel 2.6.27.18

MEPIS LLC has announced, through Warren Woodford, the release of SimplyMEPIS 8.0, a Debian 5.0 (Lenny) based Linux distribution for both 32- and 64-bit processor architectures. .Using the stable Debian foundation with an enhanced Long Term Support kernel, important package upgrades and many applications, SimplyMEPIS 8.0 is a complete desktop solution.

"Debian, which is renowned for its stability and live cycle support, released Lenny a week ago as the latest version of Debian. By building on this excellent upstream base, we expect MEPIS 8.0 to enjoy a long life as a personal and business desktop system. [...] And Adrian Bunk of the kernel development team is providing Long Term Support for the 2.6.27 Linux kernel. MEPIS is using this kernel to insure that the latest security and support patches are available to MEPIS 8.0 users.", said Warren Woodford in the official release announcement.

SimplyMEPIS 8.0 highlights:

· The Linux Kernel version used in SimplyMEPIS 8.0 is 2.6.27.18;
· KDE 3.5.10 is the default desktop environment;
· Office applications through OpenOffice 3.0;
· Firefox 3.0.6 ;
· Bind 0.9.6;
· IPv6 is now enabled by default;
· Virtualization is provided through KVM 84 and libvirt 0.6.0 that are available for download from the MEPIS 8.0 package pool.

About MEPIS LLC

MEPIS LLC was founded in 2002 by computer industry veteran Warren Woodford to realize his personal vision for a version of Linux that was not only complete and secure, but also easy to use and install. MEPIS LLC provides consulting services for system and business analysis, product strategy, architecture design and software development. SimplyMEPIS functions as the testbed for a MEPIS Linux core used to build and deploy secure server/desktop solutions and virtualized data centers.

Download SimplyMEPIS 8.0 right now from Softpedia

Sunday, February 22, 2009

HP's Q1 Profit Down 9.5%, Company Cuts Salaries


Doesn't put the blame on the netbook business


Palo Alto, California-based HP, the world's leading PC vendor, has recently announced the financial results for the fiscal first quarter ended on January 31, 2009. According to the company, the net revenue for the first quarter of 2009 was of $28.8 billion, up 1% from the company's earnings in the same period a year earlier and up to 4% when adjusted to the effects of the currency. As expected the company's financial results were affected by the ongoing world economic crisis, which has been cutting through the sales of almost every major company out there.

“HP is a market leader executing well in a tough market,” said Mark Hurd, HP chairman and chief executive officer. “Our market strength, disciplined cost management and diverse portfolio allowed us to differentiate HP in the global marketplace and gain share in key markets.”

According to the numbers presented by the company, the profit was at $1.9 billion, or 75 cents per share, which is 9.5 percent down from the profit recorded by the company in the same quarter, a year ago, at $2.1 billion, or 80 cents per share. The PC vendor recorded revenue declines in every area of its business except for its EDS unit, which it purchased last year. The unit recorded a revenue increase of 116 percent to $8.7 billion.

“I'm particularly pleased with the results of our Services segment. We now have a second segment with significant recurring revenues,” Chief Executive Mark Hurd said during a call with analysts.

Unfortunately, the company's revenue from the notebook business has dropped 13 percent, while in the desktop business the revenue was down 25 percent. HP's total PC shipments were down 4 percent for the quarter. However, the company's chief executive took some time in discussing the effects of the netbook business on the company's sales of fully-fledged notebooks. “It's not a move to Netbooks that's cannibalizing in this quarter. What you have is someone who was buying more thickly configured notebooks now buying more thinly configured,” Hurd said. “There's not a significant phenomenon of ASPs (declining) in the HP lineup caused by Netbooks.”

There have been a series of expressed concerns regarding the netbook business segment, as these systems are said to be seriously affecting the sales of cheaper, fully-fledged notebooks.

According to the company, following the recent numbers for the first fiscal quarter of the ongoing year, HP will be reducing compensation and benefits across the board. Executive Council members will see a pay reduction of 15 percent each, while other execs will see about a 10 percent pay reduction. The company's chief executive's base pay will be decreased by 20 percent, while exempt employees' salaries will be cut 5 percent, with those of non-exempt employees reduced by 2.5 percent.

Following the recent numbers, HP said that it would forecast a revenue decline of 2 percent to 3 percent, between 84 cents and 86 cents per share.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

BenQ Rolls Out Its First All-in-One nScreen PC


Meet the 18.5-inch nScreen i91

It appears that the number of PC vendors that are launching all-in-one computer systems is increasing everyday, as BenQ has just announced its first AIO PC, dubbed the nScreen i91. The system has been designed to provide users with an 18.5-inch display It appears that the number of PC vendors that are launching all-in-one computer systems is increasing everyday, as BenQ has just announced its first AIO PC, dubbed the nScreen i91. The system has been designed to provide users with an 18.5-inch display, which also houses the hardware components required to deliver a fully-fledged computing experience.
Unlike most of the recently launched all-in-one PCs, the new nScreen i91 from BenQ hasn't been built on an Intel Atom processor, as it appears BenQ decided to take a rather different approach, by incorporating AMD's technologies.

“In our dedication to bringing enjoyment and quality to life, BenQ is committed to bringing innovative designs and ‘Lookin’ Great’ products based on our understanding of consumers' lifestyle and demands, ” said Conway Lee, CEO and president of BenQ Corp. “As consumers are looking for more in their Internet experience, BenQ will continue to release ‘n’ series products. In essence, ‘n’ is a trademark representing the joy and fulfillment that come with connection to the global Internet. Through the ‘n’ series, we expect to enhance consumers’ Internet experience, enrich their online enjoyment and help with their pursuit of a digital lifestyle.”

As far as the new system's technical sheet is concerned, users should be expecting the performance delivered by a 1.5GHz AMD Sempron CPU, coupled with 1GB of RAM memory and the graphics capabilities of an ATI Radeon X1200 chipset. The new model is shipped with a 160GB, 5400 RPM hard disk drive, but the company also provides users with options for 4GB, 8GB or 16GB solid state drives, which will boost the system's overall performance. Additionally, the nScreen i91 is equipped with an Ethernet connection and a Wi-Fi wireless module, for an easy Internet connection.

Priced at about $517, the new nScreen i91 is featured with a Windows XP operating system and is currently on sale in Taiwan., which also houses the hardware components required to deliver a fully-fledged computing experience.
Unlike most of the recently launched all-in-one PCs, the new nScreen i91 from BenQ hasn't been built on an Intel Atom processor, as it appears BenQ decided to take a rather different approach, by incorporating AMD's technologies.

“In our dedication to bringing enjoyment and quality to life, BenQ is committed to bringing innovative designs and ‘Lookin’ Great’ products based on our understanding of consumers' lifestyle and demands, ” said Conway Lee, CEO and president of BenQ Corp. “As consumers are looking for more in their Internet experience, BenQ will continue to release ‘n’ series products. In essence, ‘n’ is a trademark representing the joy and fulfillment that come with connection to the global Internet. Through the ‘n’ series, we expect to enhance consumers’ Internet experience, enrich their online enjoyment and help with their pursuit of a digital lifestyle.”

As far as the new system's technical sheet is concerned, users should be expecting the performance delivered by a 1.5GHz AMD Sempron CPU, coupled with 1GB of RAM memory and the graphics capabilities of an ATI Radeon X1200 chipset. The new model is shipped with a 160GB, 5400 RPM hard disk drive, but the company also provides users with options for 4GB, 8GB or 16GB solid state drives, which will boost the system's overall performance. Additionally, the nScreen i91 is equipped with an Ethernet connection and a Wi-Fi wireless module, for an easy Internet connection.

Priced at about $517, the new nScreen i91 is featured with a Windows XP operating system and is currently on sale in Taiwan. It appears that the number of PC vendors that are launching all-in-one computer systems is increasing everyday, as BenQ has just announced its first AIO PC, dubbed the nScreen i91. The system has been designed to provide users with an 18.5-inch display, which also houses the hardware components required to deliver a fully-fledged computing experience.
Unlike most of the recently launched all-in-one PCs, the new nScreen i91 from BenQ hasn't been built on an Intel Atom processor, as it appears BenQ decided to take a rather different approach, by incorporating AMD's technologies.

“In our dedication to bringing enjoyment and quality to life, BenQ is committed to bringing innovative designs and ‘Lookin’ Great’ products based on our understanding of consumers' lifestyle and demands, ” said Conway Lee, CEO and president of BenQ Corp. “As consumers are looking for more in their Internet experience, BenQ will continue to release ‘n’ series products. In essence, ‘n’ is a trademark representing the joy and fulfillment that come with connection to the global Internet. Through the ‘n’ series, we expect to enhance consumers’ Internet experience, enrich their online enjoyment and help with their pursuit of a digital lifestyle.”

As far as the new system's technical sheet is concerned, users should be expecting the performance delivered by a 1.5GHz AMD Sempron CPU, coupled with 1GB of RAM memory and the graphics capabilities of an ATI Radeon X1200 chipset. The new model is shipped with a 160GB, 5400 RPM hard disk drive, but the company also provides users with options for 4GB, 8GB or 16GB solid state drives, which will boost the system's overall performance. Additionally, the nScreen i91 is equipped with an Ethernet connection and a Wi-Fi wireless module, for an easy Internet connection.

Priced at about $517, the new nScreen i91 is featured with a Windows XP operating system and is currently on sale in Taiwan.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Free Download New Adium 1.3.3 RC2


Popular IM client for Mac OS X Tiger and Leopard


Adium, the free instant messaging application for Mac OS X, has reached version 1.3.3 RC2, adding a small fix and a few updates for French-speaking users. The new software is available for free download right here on our web site.

According to the changelog, Adium 1.3.3 RC2 fixes AIM Direct IM messages always showing up as autoreplies. While there may still be some intermittent misbehavior in that regard, users are encouraged to submit debug logging to #11554, in the case of any buggy behavior. French and French Canadian updates have been included in this second release candidate of Adium 1.3.3.

Adium replicates many of the features (and the look) of Apple's own IM client, iChat. Adium combines an array of IM protocols, such as AOL Instant Messenger (including ICQ and .Mac), Jabber (including Google Talk), MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, Bonjour, Gadu-Gadu, Novell Groupwise and Lotus Sametime. The IM client also gives users the possibility to connect with multiple types of accounts at the same time, combining all their friend groups into one big list. Supported buddy icons include AIM, MSN, and Yahoo! Adium has a customizable appearance as well.

When first released to the public, version 1.3 of Adium added a slew of new features and enhancements, including a complete redesign of the Contact Inspector (formerly the Get Info Window), a Facebook Chat service, a search field to the Standard Contact List window and more. The Adam Iser-developed IM client for Mac requires an Intel or PPC Macintosh computer and Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) or higher. Use the address below to grab the latest version of the application.

Download Adium (Free)

You may also want to look into GameBoy Sounds for Adium, an application developed by Nadim Kobeissi that replaces Adium's standard soundset for a number of events. The application adds GameBoy-specific sounds replacing Adium's standard soundset for events such as Buddy Sign In, Buddy Sign Out, Send Message, Receive Message, Connect, Disconnect, New Chat, File Transfer Requested, and File Transfer Complete.

Free Download - Toorox 02.2009 Runs KDE 4.2


Updates most system packages

Jörn Lindau announced today the release of Toorox 02.2009 Linux distribution. Apparently, the latest version of the K Desktop Environment was a success, as more and more distributions are rushing to include it as the default option. Such is the case of Toorox, which features KDE 4.2.0 on top of a 2.6.28-gentoo-r1 Linux kernel and the latest Xorg-Server 1.5.3

Almost all system packages were updated to their most recent versions. The net-config file was added to /usr/sbin and can be edited to configure the available LAN and WLAN devices. Toorox 02.2009 also has added support for writing to NTFS partitions through the implementation of NTFS-3G driver and support for USB optical drives.

Other highlights of Toorox 02.2009:

· "xmodule=" cheatcode;
· IcedTea6 Java JDK;
· The stable version of Firefox was replaced by a Minefield release;
· Toorox Installer extensions;
· OpenOffice 3.0.1 is the default office suite;
· Thunderbird 2.0.0.19 as the default mail client;
· K3b 1.0.5 for burning CDs/DVDs;
· Gnu Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) 2.6.4;
· Wine 1.1.14;
· Audacious 1.5.1;
· Ardour 2.7.1;
· Kino 1.3.1;
· Cinelerra-20090210 for video editing;
· ext2 and ext3 inode size issue was fixed to better interact with preinstalled bootloaders;
· Fixed a bug that prevented using the correct VGA driver;
· The set correct modes in xorg.conf was fixed.


The developer also decided to remove some packages: compiz, kwlan and desktop-effects-overlay are no longer part of the distribution.

About Toorox:

Toorox is a Genoo-based Linux Live DVD, thus it can run without touching existing partitions (users still have the option to install it permanently). Toorox 02.2009 can be used for tasks like data backup or secure Internet browsing and also provides Linux newcomers with an intuitive look and feel.

Download Toorox 02.2009 right now from here.

Download - Windows Small Business Server 2008 Update Rollup 1 Available


The rollup package is designed to resolve specific issues with the product

At the start of 2009, Microsoft made available the first update package for a suite of solutions with Windows Server 2008 at the core. Windows Small Business Server 2008 Update Rollup 1 went live in January 2009 and was released to Windows Update. According to the Redmond giant, the Update Rollup is set up to integrate with both flavors of Microsoft's server solutions aimed at small business customers, namely Windows Small Business Server 2008 Standard and Windows Small Business Server 2008 Premium.

There are a total of two problems resolved by the refresh, the first concerning erroneous reports of malicious code in relation to machines running the Windows Vista SP1. “The Security tab in the Windows Small Business Server 2008 Console incorrectly reports the spyware and malware status of Windows Vista Service Pack 1-based clients that are joined to a domain. Specifically, some security applications are reported as incompatible in the antivirus and malware status that is reported,” Microsoft revealed.

At the same time, Update Rollup 1 will take care of functionality issues that impact the new domain registering process in a specific scenario. “The Internet Address Management Wizard exits unexpectedly when you register a domain name. This issue occurs when you select GoDaddy.com as the provider, and then you click Register,” Microsoft explained.

Windows Small Business Server 2008 is essentially a collection of products built around Windows Server 2008. On top of the Windows Server operating system, Small Businesses also have access to Exchange Server 2007, SharePoint Services 3.0, Windows Server update Service 3.0, Forefront Security for Exchange Server as well as SQL Server 2008. As the name implies, the Premium edition of Windows Small Business Server 2008 offers a few extra components compared to the Standard flavor. Both releases are available as free trial downloads.


Windows Small Business Server 2008 Premium Trial Software is available for download here.

Windows Essential Business Server 2008 Standard Trial Software is available for download here.

Download Silverlight 2 GDR1 Upgrade for Silverlight 2 RTW


Available here

Microsoft released Silverlight 2 in mid-October 2008 and, five months later, an upgrade is available for download. Hundreds of millions of downloads later, users have the opportunity to update Silverlight 2 to the latest version available. In this regard, Silverlight 2 GDR 1 is now available as the successor of Silverlight 2 RTW. Installing the latest release of Silverlight will take the technology from version 2.0.31005.0, which was the label for the October 2008 build of Silverlight, to 2.0.40115.0.

However, Silverlight 2 GDR 1 (2.0.40115.0) only brings to the table resolves for issues reported to Microsoft since the initial release, and not much else, especially since the Redmond company is now hard at work on the next iteration of the technology. “Silverlight 2 GDR1 now available,” revealed Microsoft Evangelist Tim Sneath. “Not a huge release this one, but we've just shipped an update for Silverlight 2 that fixes a number of minor bugs that have been reported over the last couple of months.”

Silverlight 2 (2.0.31005.0) was officially released to web (RTW) on October 13, 2008, however, Sneath revealed that in fact the gold version of Microsoft's alternative to Adobe Flash had been quietly released weeks before. At the bottom of the screen, via the embedded video you will be able to see Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president, .NET Developer Division, talk about Silverlight 2 and Silverlight 3 and what users should expect at MIX09 starting on March 18, 2009 in Las Vegas.

Come next month, at Microsoft's Internet-centric MIX09 conference, the software giant will reveal new details about Silverlight 3. At the end of January 2009, Guthrie, revealed that Silverlight 3 was designed as a major update for Silverlight 2. In this regard, Silverlight 2 GDR 1 should be considered nothing more than a way for Microsoft to ensure that problems that survived past the RTW milestone of Silverlight 2 have been dealt with.

Silverlight 2 GDR 1 (2.0.40115.0) is available for download here.

Download Deep Zoom Composer Technology Preview for Silverlight 2


February 2009 release

In parallel with the development of its alternative for Adobe Flash, Microsoft is also catalyzing the evolution of a tool intimately connected with Silverlight. The Deep Zoom Composer is a solution designed to take the traditional digital photo viewing experience via the web to the next level with the help of Silverlight. On February 17, 2009, Microsoft released the latest update to Deep Zoom Composer, with the February Technology Preview up for grabs, and weighing in at just 4.1 MB. The tool is set up to permit users to tailor images for Silverlight 2's Deep Zoom feature.

“The application itself contains only fixes to issues that you have reported (slightly better memory utilization, a fix for PNG transparency), but the DeepZoomTools.dll library has gone through some significant improvements. In a nutshell, if you had images that did not work properly in the earlier version of Deep Zoom Composer, you should find that most of those images should work now,” revealed Microsoft's Kirupa Chinnathambi.

In this context the February Technology Preview of the Deep Zoom Composer is nothing more than a minor release of the solution. Microsoft made available Silverlight 2 on October 13, 2008, at which time the software giant was applauding the high rate of adoption with the technology already running on one in four machines worldwide. At this point in time the Redmond company is focusing on the development of Silverlight 3, on which more details will be released in March 2009 at Microsoft's web-centric MIX09 conference.

“We are pleased to present a technology preview of Deep Zoom Composer, a tool to allow the preparation of images for use with the Deep Zoom feature currently being previewed in Silverlight 2. The new Deep Zoom technology in Silverlight allows users to see images on the Web like they never have before. The smooth in-place zooming and panning that Deep Zoom allows is a true advancement and raises the bar on what image viewing should be. High resolution images need to be prepared for use with Deep Zoom and this tool allows the user to create Deep Zoom composition files that control the zooming experience and then export all the necessary files for deployment with Silverlight 2,” Microsoft explained.

Deep Zoom Composer February 2009 Technology Preview is available for download here.

MSI to Bring Out the GTX260 with 1792MB of Memory


Double that of current offerings

Micro Star International has managed to become one of the major players in the graphics card market, by constantly releasing custom-designed versions of some of the most high-end GPUs out there. One of the company's upcoming products will come in the form of a custom designed GeForce GTX260 graphics card, which will likely provide users with a more powerful alternative to the current offering on the market. This new card will boast a total of 1.8GB of memory, double that of what is available on reference cards.

Apparently, the card will be built on a red PCB, which is rather ironic, given that most Radeon-based graphics cards use the same coloring for their PCB. It will be dubbed N260GTX Lighting, which should provide some perspective as to what to expect from this high-end desktop graphics card. It will boast an 8+2 phase power design and will use a dual-slot, dual-fan custom cooling solution, to effectively eliminate the heat over the GPU. Said cooler will also feature five heatpipes, which should further enhance its cooling factor.

Unfortunately, there aren't any technical details available at this time, aside from the fact that the upcoming card will be featuring an impressive 1792MB of GDDR3 memory, double the amount that is featured on reference cards. However, given the cooling potential of the double-slot, double-fan cooler of said card, MSI will likely be playing a bit with the its frequency levels, further enhancing its performance capabilities. If that is not the case, then users will be given the opportunity to tweak the card for themselves, with the help of the company's bundled AirForce panel.

The upcoming MSI N260GTX is based on one of NVIDIA's mainstream cards of the moment, the GeForce GTX260. Despite no official release date, we could be seeing the new card at the upcoming CeBIT computer show, due to start on March 3, in Hanover, Germany.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Windows SDKs Available for Download and Order

Almost free

As a rule, Microsoft is offering tools and resources designed for developers to build applications on top of Windows client and Server operating systems via the Download Center. However, Microsoft has taken the measure of offering the latest Windows Software Development Kits through an alternative channel that rules out a connection to the Internet and the download process. The Redmond company has partnered with a new vendor, which is supplying previously released Windows SDKs and Platform SDKs almost for free. Users ordering the SDKs from Paragon Media will only pay for the costs of the shipping and handling, as the actual software development kits are free.

“Currently, Paragon is making the Windows SDK for Windows Server and .NET Framework 3.5 and the Windows SDK Update for Windows Vista and .NET Framework 3.0 available at Mssdk Orderport for the cost of a shipping and handling fee. Soon, some additional SDK releases will be available at the same location. Although Windows SDK releases are typically available on the Microsoft Download Center for at least two years, ordering a DVD can be a good option for customers who do not have access to the Internet or customers who have difficulty downloading the SDK due to limited Internet bandwidth,” said Lisa Supinski, Group Manager, Windows SDK team.

Back in March 2007, Microsoft offered the last release of Windows Software Development Kit Update for Windows Vista 6.0. Since then, the company has moved forward with the evolution of its Windows SDK, and offered Windows SDK for Windows Server 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5 which also covers Windows Vista SP1 (Service Pack 1). Following the release of Windows 7 Beta Build 7000, the software giant also made available resources for developers looking to get a jump start in adapting their applications to the next version of Windows with Windows SDK for Windows 7 and .NET Framework 3.5 SP1.

Windows SDK Update for Windows Vista and .NET Framework 3.0 is available for download here.

Windows SDK for Windows Server 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5 can be downloaded from here.

Microsoft Windows SDK for Windows 7 and .NET Framework 3.5 SP1: BETA is available for download here.

Download Free Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express

Available right here

Microsoft is offering two releases of its database platform as free downloads. Both SQL Server 2008 Express and SQL Server 2008 Express with Tools went live on the Microsoft Download Center in February 2009 and are now up for grabs at no charge. According to the software giant, the Express edition of SQL Server 2008 is designed to act as part of the infrastructure necessary to build small desktop and server applications, and for redistribution packages from ISVs. The company is offering a total of three downloads, tailored to different infrastructures including 32-bit and 64-bit flavors.

“Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express is a powerful and reliable data management system that delivers a rich set of features, data protection, and performance for embedded application clients, light Web applications, and local data stores. Designed for easy deployment and rapid prototyping, SQL Server 2008 Express is available at no cost, and you are free to redistribute it with applications. It is designed to integrate seamlessly with your other server infrastructure investments,” the Redmond company stated.

Windows Server 2003 SP2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista RTM and SP1, Windows XP SP2 and SP3 are the operating systems supported by both SQL Server 2008 Express and SQL Server 2008 Express with Tools. The latter brings to the table the plain-vanilla, free version of Microsoft's database platform, but in conjunction with a range of graphical management tools. Just as it is the case with SQL Server 2008 Express, users are free not only to download SQL Server Express with Tools, but also to deploy, redistribute and even embed the solution with their applications at no charge at all.

“SQL Server 2008 Express provides powerful and reliable data management tools and rich features, data protection, and fast performance. It is ideal for small server applications and local data stores. SQL Server 2008 Express with Tools has all of the features in SQL Server 2008 Express, plus you can easily manage and administer SQL Server 2008 Express with a[n] easy-to-use graphical management tool – SQL Server 2008 Management Studio Basic,” the software giant added.

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express with Tools are available for download via this link.

Acer Expects Netbook Market to Reach 30 Million Units in 2009


Claims it will not break the 10-inch form factor line

With the global market for small-sized, lightweight portable computer systems continuing to grow, leading netbook maker Acer is expecting that the market will reach 25-30 million units this year, while in 2010, shipments of 40-45 million units are estimated, according to a recent news-article published on Digitimes, citing Scott Lin, president of Acer Taiwan.With the global market for small-sized, lightweight portable computer systems continuing to grow, leading netbook maker Acer is expecting that the market will reach 25-30 million units this year, while in 2010, shipments of 40-45 million units are estimated, according to a recent news-article published on Digitimes, citing Scott Lin, president of Acer Taiwan. The company, which is reported to have shipped the highest number of netbooks, last year, is expecting to further increase its market share, with the help of its recently announced 10-inch Aspire One, as well as some of its upcoming models.

Scott Lin said that Acer was not planning to push the form factor over the 10-inch panel, keeping the system into a lightweight form factor, enabling the netbook to come to the market for an affordable price tag. However, Lin noted that netbooks had already impacted the market for 12-inch notebooks, one of the reasons why the company was not considering to launch netbooks with screen sizes over that of 10-inch.

Apparently, Acer is expecting to ship between 7,000-8,000 units of its Aspire One netbooks per month in Taiwan, alone, with high hopes on the company's recently released 10.1-inch model. Acer will continue to sell its 8.9-inch Aspire One netbooks with plans for pricing and specification adjustments slated for the end of February or the beginning of March. In addition, Acer announced that it was aiming for a market share of 40-50%.

Acer is one of the first PC makers to introduce a netbook to the market. The initial 8.9-inch Aspire One, based on Intel's Atom N270 processor, succeeded in getting everybody's attention, which enabled the company to record the highest number of netbook shipments last year, consequently topping its main competitor, netbook pioneer ASUS. The maker could be introducing more products based on the Atom processor in the near future. The company, which is reported to have shipped the highest number of netbooks, last year, is expecting to further increase its market share, with the help of its recently announced 10-inch Aspire One, as well as some of its upcoming models.


Scott Lin said that Acer was not planning to push the form factor over the 10-inch panel, keeping the system into a lightweight form factor, enabling the netbook to come to the market for an affordable price tag. However, Lin noted that netbooks had already impacted the market for 12-inch notebooks, one of the reasons why the company was not considering to launch netbooks with screen sizes over that of 10-inch.

Apparently, Acer is expecting to ship between 7,000-8,000 units of its Aspire One netbooks per month in Taiwan, alone, with high hopes on the company's recently released 10.1-inch model. Acer will continue to sell its 8.9-inch Aspire One netbooks with plans for pricing and specification adjustments slated for the end of February or the beginning of March. In addition, Acer announced that it was aiming for a market share of 40-50%.

Acer is one of the first PC makers to introduce a netbook to the market. The initial 8.9-inch Aspire One, based on Intel's Atom N270 processor, succeeded in getting everybody's attention, which enabled the company to record the highest number of netbook shipments last year, consequently topping its main competitor, netbook pioneer ASUS. The maker could be introducing more products based on the Atom processor in the near future.

Free Download - Debian 5.0 (Lenny) Is Here

Brings redesigned artwork and system-wide improvements

Debian, the base for many popular Linux distributions like Ubuntu, KNOPPIX or Damn Small Linux reached, after 22 months of development, version 5.0. Debian Lenny features Linux kernel 2.6.26, bringing support for read-only bind mounts, a kernel debugger and greatly improved webcam support.
This kernel also features a built-in memory tester, KVM ports and many other small improvements. The NTFS-3G driver that allows fast and secure reading/writing of NTFS partitions is now a part of Debian.

On the desktop side of things, the default window manager is GNOME 2.22.2, with all its known features, except some packages (nautilus, gnome-panel and libgnome) that remained at 2.20. The GNOME 2.22.2 also brings an experimental WebKit support in Debian through Epiphany-WebKit. Printers will be automatically configured when plugged in and ISO files will be better supported. Lighter desktop alternatives are present in the form of Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment (LXDE) 0.3.2.1 and XFCE 4.4.2 for less powerful machines.

The server version of Debian 5.0 features MySQL 5.0.51a, PostgrSQL 8.3.6, Apache 2.2.9, Samba 3.2.5 Horde 3.2 and webmail IMP 4.2. Virtualization is handled by libvirt virtual machine management (with support for KVM, Xen 3.2.1, QEMU, KQEMU, a graphical interface plus other tools) and Xen 3.2.1.

Other highlights of Debian 5.0:

· KDE 3.5.10;
· OpenOffice.org 2.4.1;
· GIMP 2.4.7;
· Iceweasel 3.0.6;
· Default support for multimedia keys;
· Default CPU frequency scaling for notebooks;
· gParted 0.36;
· A large fonts database;
· OpenJDK;
· GNU Java compiler;
· Python 2.5.2 and 2.4.6;
· Icedove 2.0.0.19;
· Emacs 22;
· New "Debian MoreBlue Orbit" artwork featuring beautiful blue colors and swirly shapes;
· X.Org 7.3 with RandR 1.2 support on ATI, Intel and several G80 boards.

The Debian installer also received a lot of improvements, the most important being the ability to apply all security patches during the installation process, before the first boot, and the option to install Debian from within a Windows platform (both 32 and 64-bit versions are supported). It can also handle multiple CDs/DVDs and supports BluRay images.

Download Debian 5.0 (Lenny) right now from here.

Download Debian 5.0 (Lenny) Live right now from here.

Free Download- DragonFly BSD 2.2 Released

Brings production-ready HAMMER filesystem support

Matthew Dillon recently announced the release of his DragonFly 2.2, a FreeBSD based distribution. First featured in version 2.0, the HAMMER filesystem has reached a production-ready state. DragonFly 2.2 boasts highly improved stability, updated and new drivers, and an improved pkgsrc support. A new release infrastructure with multiple target option is also available. DragonFly 2.2 comes in three flavors: a bare-bones CD and USB disk-key image, plus a DVD ISO with a complete X environment, and many pre-installed packages.

Here are some of DragonFly 2.2 highlights:

· The CD and DVD images contain full pkgsrc tar and full sources tar;
· The installer supports HAMMER filesystem setups;
· intr_mpsafe control is enabled by default;
· Experimental AMD64 support;
· Parallel-working bridge_input;
· Update to acpi_cpu(4), allowing higher C states than C1 in multicore CPUs;
· HW checksum support added to the loopback interface for doubled performance;
· Fixed some bugs that occurred during low-memory situations (low or no swap);
· priv_* implementation form FreeBSD replaces suser_*;
· Many improvements to the pageout and low-memory handling code;
· Support for network cards using the RealTek 8102EL PCIe 10/100baseTX chipset;
· Polling support for jme(4);
· The source repositories are now maintained through git;
· Hunt, a new terminal-based multiplayer game;
· A script that cleans up HAMMER partitions during the night;
· Fixed many warnings that occurred in some userland tools;
· The default gcc(1) architecture is now i486;
· The dntpd can now connect to NTP servers using IPv5 addresses;
· Squashed several installer bugs;
· nrelease can generate USB stick images.

Read the full DragonFly BSD 2.2 changelog here.

About DragonFly BSD

DragonFly BSD was developed by Matthew Dillon in June 2003 as a fork from FreeBSD 4.8. DragonFly BSD's goal is to create a single system image across multiple computers. To reach that goal, the DragonFly team constantly improves its code and brings changes from other BSD systems as well.

Download DragonFly BSD 2.2 right now from here.

Free Download MacBook SMC Update 1.3

Improves startup time on some MacBook computers when starting up from the battery

Apple has released a new SMC firmware update for owners of a 13-inch polycarbonate MacBook. The update addresses an issue with startup time on NVIDIA 9400M-enabled computers – Early 2009 models.

Apple's Support page reveals that the 1.3 MacBook SMC Update “improves overall system stability and performance on MacBook computers.” Posted yesterday evening, the update is to be installed only on 13-inch systems running Mac OS X 10.5.6.

Apple also links to a knowledge base article detailing this update. An excerpt from the post is available below.

Summary

This SMC Update improves startup time on some MacBook computers when starting up from the battery.

Products Affected
MacBook (13-inch, Early 2009)

Polycarbonate MacBook computers released in early 2009 may display slower performance when started up using battery power only. Restarting using battery power may not clear the condition.

You can resolve this issue by downloading and applying this update.



Apple notes that some firmware updates for Intel-based Macs may not be displayed automatically using Software Update. In such a case, they must be downloaded manually (you can use the link below to download the MacBook SMC Update 1.3). Don't worry if you are not sure about your computer needing this update. By downloading and opening the update installer, your Mac will alert you whether the respective firmware update is already installed or not.

About SMC Firmware Updates

According to Apple, SMC Firmware Updates refer to the System Management Controller (SMC) firmware update for Intel-based computers. The SMC is a micro-controller on the logic board that controls the power functions for your computer. The SMC controls various functions, including:

- Power and thermal management, the Sleep LED, and battery.
- Controlling the fans, supporting Sudden Motion Sensor, ALS, and the power switch.

Download MacBook SMC Update 1.3 (Free)

Download Now - Depths of Peril Mac Beta Patch 1.014

Soldak Entertainment has released a new update for its role playing game for Mac

Depths of Peril is a single-player action title that blends RPG gameplay with strategy elements. You play as a faction leader protecting the barbarian city Jorvik by crushing your enemies and completing quests, but also by competing with rival factions.

Barbarians choose their leaders by fighting to the death. Once you are chosen as a leader, you must deal with rival factions by means of diplomacy, trade, and in time, war. Highlighted changes and fixes brought by Soldak Entertainment in the latest patch are listed below.

• decreased lightningExplosion spawn count
• fixed Close not localized on character screen
• added OS X 10.3.9 OpenAL installer requirement to requirements & troubleshooting sections of manual
• fixed mouse on 2nd monitor in dual monitor setup
• updated copyright
• skills ready icons no longer flash at beginning
• thief can no longer steal from kidnapped, petrified, or dead vendors
• if selected resolution & 800x600 fails, now tries desktop resolution (Win only)
• now Crystals is localized in trade screen
• treaty highlight text in trade screen is now localized
• fixed a ton of typos, bad punctuation, and worded badly sentences (that was a joke :)
• fixed a menu problem when deleting a character
• added newsletter button.

Soldak Entertainment notes that Depths of Peril requires a PowerPC or Intel 1.5 GHz processor, 128MB RAM, GeForce 2 (or other equivalent), and 150MB of hard drive space. Recommended specs are a 2.0 GHz processor (PowerPC or Intel), 256MB RAM, GeForce 3 or better (or equivalent).

Also, this patch will only work with the full purchased version of the game from Soldak's web site - the retail version, and the Manifesto version. The patch is not compatible with the Reflexive (also known as gamecentersolution), Arcade Town, TotalGaming.net/Impulse, Gamer's Gate, Mac Game Store, or Steam versions of the game. Go here to see which version you own.

You may download the demo version of Depths of Peril using the link below. In demo mode, players can explore only the first part of the world and play through a small part of the storyline. The full version of the game costs $19.99, and is available from Soldak Entertainment's website.

Download Depths Of Peril Patch (Update / Demo / Buy)

Soldak is also responsible for Kivi's Underworld for Mac.

Announcing VirtualBox 2.1.4 for Linux - Download Now

This maintenance release fixes many bugs

The open source virtualization software VirtualBox recently reached version 2.1.4. Being a maintenance release, there weren't any new major features added to it. The following list includes bugfixes and added items that apply to the Linux client:

· Fixed kernel oopses;
· Fixed shipped modules' dependency;
· The USB udev rules were moved forward to prevent overriding system rules;
· Fixed a communication issue between guests while connected through TAP interfaces;
· Fixed several warnings in the installer if SELinux was not active;
· Fixed an issue that prevented VirtualBox to start after a previous sudo start-up of it;
· Fixed a file corruption that sometimes occurred when writing files to a shared folder in O_APPEND mode in Linux Additions;
· Fixed the mouse driver that hadn't been properly set up in X.Org release candidates for Linux Additions;
· Fixed a performance regression for Windows guests;
· Fixed NAT crashes under high load;
· NAT: TFTP packages that have destination addresses other than those from the built-in TFTP server are not intercepted;
· The case insensitive OS type name lookup was restored;
· Occasional NAT crashes when the guest is doing traceroute were fixed;
· If dbus or hal are not present, USB probing is cancelled;
· The Linux Additions installer was fixed to work under openSUSE 11.1;
· The dynamic resizing was disabled in Linux Additions if the X server was configured for fixed resolutions;
· The virtual resolutions that are bigger than the guest resolution are now properly handled;
· Several USB passthrough fixes;
· USB: CPU utilization is now reduced if EHCI is active;
· Additional key release events are now inhibited if the keys are auto-repeated;
· On ATA drives, a deadlock that occurred when pausing the Virtual Machine while experiencing virtual disk problems was fixed;
· A possible iSCSI VM crash that occurred while pausing was fixed;
· The missing GL_MAX_TEXTURE_COORDS_ARB was added.

About Sun xVM VirtualBox

Sun xVM VirtualBox allows users to create "virtual machines" in their host operating system so that they can install any guest OS, facilitating the development, cross-platform running and testing of multi-tier applications on a single computer. Being very space-efficient, Sun xVM VirtualBox has only 30 megabytes, and is ready for use after just a five-minute install.

Download Sun xVM VirtualBox 2.1.4 right now from here.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Download Windows (Vista, XP) Security Release ISO Image February 2009

Courtesy of Microsoft

In addition to releasing patches via Windows Update, Microsoft Update and WSUS, Microsoft is also making available a package with its monthly security updates for the various supported releases of the Windows operating system through the Download Center. The February 2009 Security Release ISO Image contains all the security bulletins dropped on February 10, 2009, offered as a DVD5 ISO image designed to streamline deployment of patches in IT infrastructures that lack the automation delivered by Windows Server Update Services.
In this context, the February 2009 Security Release ISO Image brings to the table only the multiple individual language versions of each security update released on February 10, but only for Windows.

"The vendor is releasing four bulletins covering a total of eight vulnerabilities,” revealed Symantec's Robert Keith. “Of those, three are “Critical” issues affecting Exchange Server and Internet Explorer. We haven’t seen email-based attacks in a while, but the first Exchange Server issue is exactly that. To exploit the issue, an attacker only needs to send an email with a specially crafted attachment and entice an unsuspecting victim into opening the email. The other Exchange issue, rated “Important,” can be remotely exploited to cause an affected server to crash. This could have a significant impact on enterprise users. We've noticed what appears to be a trend regarding Internet Explorer. The vendor has released a cumulative security bulletin for that product every other month for the past 18 months. The remaining issues, all rated “Important,” affect Visio and SQL Server.”

Essentially, the February 2009 Security Release ISO Image offers a single security bulletin. MS09-004, deals with a single Microsoft SQL Server vulnerability rated as Important. The SQL Server sp_replwritetovarbin Limited Memory Overwrite vulnerability does not affect SQL Server 7.0 Service Pack 4, SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 3, and SQL Server 2008, Microsoft informed. “This security update is rated Important for supported releases of SQL Server 2000, SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2, Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine (MSDE 2000), SQL Server 2005 Express Edition, Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine (WMSDE), and Windows Internal Database (Wyukon),” the software company added.

February 2009 Security Release ISO Image is available for download here.