Software & Apps News - Page 191

The latest and most important Software & Apps news - Page 191.

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Microsoft allows downgrades of Windows 7

Sean Kalinich | Apr 7, 2009 9:38 AM CDT

Downgrade rights have long been a part of the Windows license for certain versions, particularly for businesses. That said, the option gained notoriety with Windows Vista. With Vista, the downgrade right was not only marketed by computer makers, but, once Microsoft stopped selling XP, some PC makers sold Vista machines that were "pre-downgraded" to Windows XP.

Microsoft is actually expanding that Vista downgrade rights program slightly, the company confirmed on Monday. Under the new program, PC makers will be able to ship pre-downgraded machines based on anticipated demand for those systems. Until now, computers makers could only ship XP-downgraded machines if a particular customer had specified that is what he or she had wanted.

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Novell launches SUSE Linux Enterprise 11

Sean Kalinich | Mar 24, 2009 10:59 AM CDT

One of the key enhancements in Suse Linux Enterprise 11 is its Mono Extension. Mono is an open-source project that aims to create a .Net-compatible set of programming tools, including elements such as a C# compiler. According to Novell's product director for the EMEA region, Holger Dyroff, the addition of commercial support for Mono means Suse Linux Enterprise 11 users can migrate their existing .Net applications across to the Linux platform.

"We have an online tool for customers to test their .Net applications and see if they run on Mono," Dyroff told ZDNet UK on Tuesday. Microsoft's rich Web media technology, Silverlight, is now also supported with the inclusion of Moonlight, the Mono project's open-source alternative to Silverlight.

Novell has overseen Mono since it bought the developer Ximian in 2003. Asked why it took so long for Novell to provide commercial support for the project, Dyroff said it had in fact provided commercial support to some customers for a while, as part of Novell's consulting work.

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Safari hacked in seconds at Pwn2Own 2009

Sean Kalinich | Mar 19, 2009 8:10 AM CDT

Here are Miller's predictions:

Safari: hacked by 4 different people. Easy pickin's as usual.

Android: hacked by 1 person. Not too tough but no one owns one.

IE8, Firefox: Survive unscathed. The bugs to exploit equation is too hard for $5k.

iPhone, Symbian: Survive due to non-executable heap.

Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Chrome: I don't know enough to say anything intelligent. That said, they're probably hard/obscure and so survive.

Last year, Miller exploited a Safari flaw to hijack a fully patched MacBook Pro machine. He is also known for launching successful attacks against Apple's iPhone and Google's Android platform.

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Windows 7 To Shutdown Faster

Zac O'Vadka | Mar 16, 2009 1:06 AM CDT

As much as we love Microsoft's efforts over the years to create wonderfully lush, soaring, audio fanfares to accompany Windows, most people probably don't give them two seconds thought.

Still, Microsoft spends an amazing amount of energy on these tinkling, synthesized sounds. For Vista they apparantly brought onboard 10 sound engineers to submit around 2,000 submissions over the course of two years.

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DX10 to come to Linux and OSX in the future

Sean Kalinich | Mar 11, 2009 11:33 AM CDT

Jeremy White, the co-founder and CEO of CodeWeavers, revealed some company roadmap details in a recent blog post in which he stated that that DirectX 10 support would come into focus as the company's CrossOver project moved into 2009. "We've just shipped a lot of those 'under the hood' improvements for games out in CrossOver Games 7.2. [and ] we're really pushing DirectX 9 support pretty far along, and getting ready to move on DirectX 10," White stated.

Many analysts and individuals will usually agree that Microsoft delivered DirectX 10 as an integral part of Vista, giving it exclusivity rights and refusing to add support to XP regardless of its more prevalent popularity. Yet, the irony begins with Microsoft's plans to subsequently release DirectX 11 not only for Windows 7 later this year, but also for Vista.

On the other hand, CodeWeavers modestly admits that its goal "is to make Unix (including Linux and Mac OS X) a fully Windows-compatible operating system. All Windows applications should be able to be run on Unix: cleanly, harmoniously, within the native environment, and without using an emulator." White went on to say, "The key idea is to make it easier to distill the gathered wisdom on unsupported applications and make it far easier to use. I hope we'll have that available before the end of the year."

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Unauthorized App Stores for the iPhone appear

Sean Kalinich | Mar 6, 2009 12:20 PM CST

The upstart sites can carry software programs that Apple's official store won't, since the company tightly controls the kinds of applications it allows. Among the programs that Apple doesn't allow is a free one called Cycorder, which turns the iPhone into a camcorder. Another program, which costs $29, dubbed PdaNET lets people use their iPhones as laptop modems to connect to the Internet.

Jay Freeman, who created Cycorder and is behind the Cydia Store, says he decided to open the store so developers like himself have a way to make money from their efforts. Mr. Freeman, a 27-year-old computer science doctoral student in Santa Barbara, Calif., says he intends to charge developers no more than the commission Apple does for his site's billing services.

A big hurdle the Cydia Store and others face is that the applications they offer typically only work on iPhones that have been modified, or "jailbroken," to allow users to download unauthorized programs.

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FireFox has more bugs than all other browsers

Sean Kalinich | Mar 6, 2009 9:28 AM CST

Secunia reported six incidences in which Microsoft was publicly notified of browser vulnerabilities, two of which the security company labeled as "high" or "moderate" in severity. Meanwhile, Mozilla experienced three such occurrences, all of which Secunia labeled as "less critical" or "not critical."

Microsoft took 110 days to issue patches for the two most serious flaws, while it took Mozilla an average of 43 days to address its three flaws, Secunia reported. One of the IE vulnerabilities remained open for 294 days in 2008, according to the report.

The revelation comes as Mozilla released an update Wednesday to Firefox, its second in about a month. Mozilla developers said the update fixes six critical vulnerabilities found in Firefox 3.0.6, the most serious of which could allow attackers to run arbitrary code on a victim's computer.

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Internet Explorer 8 Off Switch in Windows 7

Sean Kalinich | Mar 5, 2009 9:23 AM CST

Microsoft has included in recent Windows 7 test versions an option to turn off the Internet Explorer 8 Web browser, according to testers who have used the recent builds.

According to Chris Holmes, build 7048 of Windows 7 includes Internet Explorer as one of many Windows components that can be turned on or off via a "Windows Features" dialog box. The control panel exists in the public beta version of Windows 7, but IE8 is not listed among the features that can be turned on and off.

Microsoft declined to comment on the feature's inclusion as well as the reasons behind the move. Others are speculating it might have something to do with the European Union's objection to the inclusion of a browser within Windows.

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NVIDIA To Update Windows 7 Drivers Regularly

Zac O'Vadka | Mar 3, 2009 8:52 PM CST

Nvidia had some very good news for customers planning to deploy Windows 7. The company says that as of today, it will be releasing regular driver updates for Windows 7. Dwight Diercks, vice president of software engineering at NVIDIA, explained where this is coming from: "We expect that all of our hard work teaming with Microsoft over the past two years will pay off for GeForce GPU owners when Windows 7 officially launches. Our customers are demanding an experience that is faster and more visual, and with the addition of many new GPU-accelerated features, including DirectX Compute, we believe Windows 7 will be well positioned to meet those needs."

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