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News Date: Sunday 10th October 1999
Today's Top Headlines:
AOE 2 Review - Photoshop 5.5 Review
  • Age Of Empire 2: Age Of Kings - Review
    Time: 14:06 EDT/19:06 GMT Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Byron

    Photoshop 5.5 - ReviewI have finally posted my review of Ensemble Studios/Microsoft's newly released Age Of Empires 2. Here is a snippet from the review:

    I guess most of you are wondering what has changed, well quite a bit has actually. The most obvious thing you notice when playing is that resource gathering farmers and buildings can be improved, this means that you can speed up and improve the amount of work that the villagers will do for you. For example, new axes can means faster wood gathering, these are simple changes which work very effectively. You also have the new option of a villager called a "Sapper" this options means that villagers can cause more damage to buildings that they attack. Much later in the game you also get the option of using spies, these guys can let you see what your enemies have explored and their units line of sight.

     
  • More Site News
    Time: 14:04 EDT/19:04 GMT Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Byron

    We are beginning to create a new "Microsoft Games & Hardware" section on the site. This area will contain information, press releases and exclusive information about upcoming Microsoft products such as the X-Box ;o)

  • Adobe Photoshop 5.5 - Review
    Time: 08:07 EDT/13:07 GMT Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Byron

    Photoshop 5.5 - ReviewCliff (Our graphic designer) has posted his review of Adobe's Photoshop 5.5. Here is a snippet from the review:

    Setup of Photoshop creates a folder in your Start Menu containing items for Photoshop 5.5, ImageReady 2.0, a ReadMe, a registration tool, and an Uninstaller.  Pretty standard stuff here, although I was a little surprised to see that ImageReady was a separate executable.  I had expected the two to be integrated fairly tightly together.

     

  • Site News
    Time: 08:00 EDT/13:00 GMT Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Byron

    As we mentioned yesterday, we have been working hard to get a few new reviews up later in the day (First one coming in the next few minutes). We hope to have review of Photoshop 5.5, Age Of Empires 2: Age Of Kings and Freespace 2 up before the end of the day.

    In the meantime check out our updated member pages to find out what we do in our spare time, see what we look like etc.


News Date: Saturday 8th October 1999
Today's Top Headlines:
Mozilla
  • DirectX: "This is Pretty Damn Cool"
    Time: 17:53 EDT/22:53 GMT Source: ICQ Posted By: Byron

    After several months of absence overseeing the development of our affiliate site Window Planet Online, The Ross Report Makes a welcome return. This is a well written report on various aspects of the IT industry and an insight into the future plans coming from Microsoft's Redmond Campus. This time Ross has produced 2 reports one on The Future of DirectX and Another Profiling Top Windows Site Lockergnome. "Pretty Damn Good Reading" if you ask me (you'll get the joke once you read the article). So what are you waiting for get reading!!

    http://windowplanet.virtualave.net/library/articles/rossreport1.htm

     
  • Mozilla 5 Milestone 10 - Released
    Time: 17:42 EDT/22:42 GMT Source: E-Mail Posted By: Byron

    Milestone 10 of Mozilla 5 (The engine for Netscape 5) has been released today. It is very buggy still, but certainly worth the download to see where Mozilla is heading. You can check up on the Mozillia Milestone 10 Release Notes here.

     
  • Site News & Community Updates
    Time: 17:33 EDT/22:33 GMT Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Byron

    We have spent a lot of the day updating various bits and pieces on the site, and getting a number of reviews ready to post. So here is a list of our upcoming software and hardware reviews.

    Hardware: Microsoft Sidewinder Precision Racing Wheel, Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer, Regular Visor, Microtek SlimScan6, SoundBlaster Live! Platinum
    Software: Age Of Empires 2 (This weekend), Flight Simulator 2000, Pandora's Box, Links LS 2000 Encarta 2000 Reference Suite DVD Edition, Firestorm, X: Beyond The Frontier, System Shock 2, Shadowman, Rogue Spear (This weekend), Driver, Freespace 2 (This weekend)
    Applications: Photoshop 5.5 (This weekend), Corel Suite 9

    Just another reminder about signing up for our ActiveWindows Community on MSN. It allows you to chat with us in our chat room or via our message board, it also lets you post your own screensavers and backgrounds for other ActiveWindows readers to download. We are currently the largest Windows site on the MSN community list.

     

  • Microsoft Windows Media, industry partners jumpstart broadband adoption
    Time: 15:23 EDT/20:23 GMT Source: Press Release Posted By: Alex H

    Microsoft and its partners are giving consumers and content providers alike a reason to get on the broadband bandwagon. Microsoft last week launched the Windows Media Broadband Jumpstart initiative with the support of more than 35 industry-leading companies. The initiative is designed to accelerate consumers' adoption of broadband Internet technology and to deliver new and better-quality streaming content via Microsoft® Windows Media™ Technologies. The initiative aims to use Windows Media Technologies to create compelling streaming content and applications that will make use of broadband technology. It also aims to build an industry-wide partnership that will establish the infrastructure for high-quality content and applications.

    "We believe streaming media is the application that brings broadband to mainstream consumers and will fundamentally change the way people experience the Internet," said Anthony Bay, general manager for Microsoft's Streaming Media division. "We're gratified that so many industry leaders share our vision and have joined together to make broadband a reality."

    Companies backing the initiative include content-delivery networks; caching systems, DSL and cable access companies; content developers and distributors and Internet advertising services.

    The initiative's goals address the obstacles to the streaming media industry: unclear business models, inadequate streaming media infrastructure, a lack of broadband content and high licensing and transmission costs.

    "This collaborative effort from some of the industry's leading players could solve the broadband dilemma facing the streaming media industry's quest to become a viable business," said Jae Kim, analyst with Paul Kagan Associates, a media research and consulting firm. "By working simultaneously across multiple fronts, streaming media alchemists are collectively better positioned to turn red ink into black."

    The Jumpstart initiative will benefit both consumers and the companies that serve them.

    Consumers can expect better-quality streaming media. The initiative encourages companies to release thousands of new offerings in high-quality formats, and much of this new content will be available by the end of 1999. A new broadband guide on the WindowsMedia.com Web site will help people find this new content.

     
  • DRAM prices start to drop
    Time: 19:09 EDT/09:09 GMT Source: The Register Posted By: Alex H

    DRAM prices have fallen over 20 per cent since last month's high in the aftermath of the Taiwan earthquake. Memory Corporation was this morning quoting £140 for 128MB modules (PC 100), down from prices nudging £200 in the last week of September.

    Pricing from the Far East was more around £160 to £170 – a drop of 10 per cent, it said. Dane-Elec was quoting around $300 (£180) for the equivalent, against last Friday's price of $330 (£200). The industry seemed split over where the market was heading.

     
  • Can secure e-mail help sidestep suits?
    Time: 19:07 EDT/09:07 GMT Source: News.com Posted By: Alex H

    Whether they walked, ran or were dragged, companies that have joined the Internet Age are convinced of the benefits of e-mail. Now, the same companies have to deal with a nightmare: Subpoena-empowered lawyers trolling their network for e-mail conversations that stick around.

    The problem comes when lawyers issue subpoenas for company e-mail. Just ask American Home Products Corp., the maker of once-popular diet pills Redux and Pondimin. The company agreed to pay $3.75 billion on Thursday in damages after a team of cyber-savvy lawyers dredged up more than 33 million e-mails and documents from the company's servers.

    "It has become the most requested form of evidence during discovery," said Kerry Stackpole, president and CEO of the 16-year-old Electronic Messaging Association. "Rarely does (e-mail) really go away, and it's almost always captured somewhere else, even if you think it is off your desktop."

     

  • New virus could threaten Windows NT
    Time: 19:02 EDT/09:02 GMT Source: News.com Posted By: Alex H

    An antivirus company has discovered a new breed of computer virus that for the first time targets high levels of certain Windows NT operating systems.

    The virus, named "Infis," was found in the "wild," or outside the laboratory setting by Kaspersky Lab, a Moscow-based antivirus software firm.

    The virus, however, is considered more of a technical feat than a threat to NT users worldwide, having neither a destructive payload nor the ability to spread like wildfire over the Internet. Its strength lies in being able to do what has never been done before: working its way into controlling the "system level," or core operations, of Windows NT.

    "It does appear to be a sophisticated new way of writing computer viruses, but I wouldn't call this an active threat right now" because the virus has been hard to find, said TrendMicro antivirus researcher Dan Schrader. TrendMicro has been scouring the Internet and hasn't yet found Infis. "It hasn't showed up outside where ever they discovered it," Schrader said.

    "It probably is a bit tricky to remove," said Roger Thompson, technical director of malicious code research at ICSA, a trade group for computer security software makers. "[Infis] is able to work on the device driver, which is why Kaspersky Lab has become so excited about it."

    Infis is a file memory resident virus attacking Windows NT 4.0 with Service Packs 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 installed. It does not affect Windows 95/98, Windows 2000, or other versions of the Windows NT corporate system. The virus infects only PE (Portable Executable) EXE-files except CMD.EXE (Windows NT command processor).


News Date: Friday 8th October 1999
Today's Top Headlines:
AOE 2 - G400
  • Microsoft patches browser hole
    Time: 19:07 EDT/00:07 GMT Source: News.com Posted By: Matt

    Microsoft today released a browser patch for a hole that lets malicious Web site operators steal files from a site visitor's computer.

    The hole, reported last month, lets Web site operators get around a restriction that keeps them from downloading files outside their Web site domain. Internet Explorer normally lets Web page authors download files within their own domain.

    The bug lets Web site operators read files on the visitor's machine or local intranet and primarily affects workstations connected to the Internet, Microsoft said in a security bulletin re-released today.

    The patch is available for free download on Microsoft's Web site.

     
  • Microsoft Security Bulletin: Updated Patch Available for Office "ODBC Vulnerabilities"
    Time: 18:16 EDT/23:16 GMT Source: Email Posted By: Matt

    Microsoft has released an updated patch that eliminates security vulnerabilities in the Microsoft(r) Jet database engine. A patch originally was released in August 1999, but an additional variant of one vulnerability, the "Text I-ISAM" vulnerability, was subsequently discovered. The new variant could allow a database query to delete files on a user's computer. This bulletin has been re-released to discuss the vulnerabilities in their entirety.

    The vulnerabilities in total could affect any application that runs atop Jet, and could allow a database query to take virtually any action on a user's computer. Microsoft recommends that all customers who are running applications that use Jet, especially users of Microsoft Office 97 and Office 2000, install the patch. Customers who applied the original patch should apply the new one to ensure that they are fully protected against all variants. Customers who did not previously apply the patch need only apply the new version.

    The patch is available at: http://officeupdate.microsoft.com/articles/mdac_typ.htm.

     

  • New Matrox G400 Drivers Released
    Time: 18:14 EDT/23:14 GMT Source: Matrox E-Mail Posted By: Byron

    Matrox Graphics Inc. today posted the Matrox 5.30 driver to the company Web site at http://www.matrox.com/mga/drivers/home.htm.  In addition to providing excellent Direct3D performance, the 5.30 driver contains a full ICD for use with all Matrox Millennium G200 as well as all Matrox G400-based cards, across all platforms running on Microsoft Windows 95 or 98. The full ICD’s solid OpenGL performance will be further optimized on a continuing basis with performance enhancements and increased support for high-end OpenGL applications.

    In an effort to offer Matrox Millennium G400-based game enthusiasts an immediate performance increase in four popular OpenGL game titles, the Matrox 5.30 driver also includes an additional ICD, named the Matrox TurboGL driver. The Matrox TurboGL driver provides Intel Pentium III and AMD Athlon system users with impressive performance increases over the previous driver release. Gamers can expect a 19 percent increase in Quake II™ and 31 percent increase in Quake III Arena™ from Activision/id Software; a 31 percent increase in Half-Life™ from Sierra Studios/Valve Software; and an astounding 116 percent increase in Unreal™ from GT Interactive/Epic Games. To attain such high levels of performance, the Matrox TurboGL driver makes full use of Intel’s Streaming SIMD Extensions and AMD’s 3DNow! instructions. Games, applications and systems that are not supported by the Matrox TurboGL driver will use the full ICD by default. The appropriate drivers will be used automatically, and do not require the user to manually configure any parameters.

     
  • Age Of Empires 2 Flying Off The Shelves
    Time: 14:33 EDT/19:33 GMT Source: Press Release Posted By: Byron

    Microsoft announced today that Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings is flying off store shelves throughout the United States, and will be broadly available next week. The game was released earlier than expected and die-hard fans are rushing to get copies. With several retailers reporting sell-outs, fans are comparing notes on which stores might have copies, and the game has even become a hot commodity on auction sites.

    Age of Empires II is the sequel to the award-winning, best-selling real-time strategy game Age of Empires. It spans a thousand years, from the fall of Rome through the Middle Ages, in which players lead one of 13 civilizations into greatness. The game keeps the epic scope of Age of Empires' game play while evolving the combat and economic features. Starting with minimal resources, players are challenged to build their civilizations into mighty empires. Gamers can choose from several ways to win, including conquering enemy, accumulating wealth by extensive trading and diplomacy, building and defending wonders of the world.

    Age of Empires II is developed by Ensemble Studios, and features the expertise of Bruce Shelley, co-designer of Age of Empires and the hit strategy game Civilization. Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings is available domestically for US$49.95.

    For more information on Age of Empires II, visit both the official site at:

    http://www.microsoft.com/games/age2

     
  • Microsoft Holds Smart Card '99 Business Development Conference To Showcase New Smart Card Technology Solutions
    Time: 14:15 EDT/19:15 GMT Source: Press Release Posted By: Byron

    Microsoft Corp. executives, including Chairman and CEO Bill Gates, addressed more than 200 executives today at the Smart Card '99 Business Development Conference to showcase solutions using the soon-to-be-released Microsoft® Windows® for Smart Cards operating system. In addition, Microsoft executives spoke with representatives from smart card manufacturers, chipmakers and solution providers about the newly announced Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) capabilities, life-cycle management software, and increased processor support for the forthcoming operating system.

     
  • Microsoft Windows for Smart Cards Extends Support to GSM Platform
    Time: 10:27 EDT/15:27 GMT Source: Press Release Posted By: Byron

    Microsoft Corp. today announced expansion of its industry-endorsed Windows® for Smart Cards platform to include support for the Global Systems for Mobile Communications (GSM) platform, a European telecommunications standard. GSM operators and mobile equipment manufacturers will soon have access to extensive Windows-based tools, which will enable customizable and enhanced services for their mobile phone customers. Next week, at Telecom 99, Microsoft will demonstrate live phone calls on GSM cards using Microsoft® Windows for Smart Cards with customized services for carriers such as e-mail, calendar, stock quotes and other Internet applications.

     

  • Site News
    Time: 07:10 EDT/12:10 GMT Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Byron

    So far today there has been little news around. So here is a list of our upcoming software and hardware reviews.

    Hardware: Microsoft Sidewinder Precision Racing Wheel, Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer, Regular Visor, Microtek SlimScan6, SoundBlaster Live! Platinum
    Software: Age Of Empires 2 (This weekend), Flight Simulator 2000, Pandora's Box, Links LS 2000 Encarta 2000 Reference Suite DVD Edition, Firestorm, X: Beyond The Frontier, System Shock 2, Shadowman, Rogue Spear (This weekend), Driver, Freespace 2 (This weekend)
    Applications: Photoshop 5.5 (This weekend), Corel Suite 9


News Date: Thursday 7th October 1999
Today's Top Headlines:
IntelliPoint 3 - Nino halted
  • ActiveWindows Community Reminder
    Time: 16:01 EDT/21:01 GMT Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Byron

    Just another reminder about signing up for our ActiveWindows Community on MSN. It allows you to chat with us in our chat room or via our message board, it also lets you post your own screensavers and backgrounds for other ActiveWindows readers to download.

     
  • IntelliPoint Version 3.00.307 Drivers Released
    Time: 15:13 EDT/20:13 GMT Source: E-Mail Posted By: Byron

    Microsoft has finally released IntelliPoint 3 drivers for everyone to download. The version that is available to download is version 3.00.307.

    To use the IntelliPoint software update you need: IntelliPoint 1.1 or later installed and one of the following: Windows95, Windows98, or Windows NT 4.0 SP3 or later operating systems, 13.5 MB of available hard-disk space, and a Microsoft Mouse or IntelliMouse.

     
  • Windows 2000 gets yet another beta
    Time: 12:34 EDT/16:34 GMT Source: CNN Posted By: Alex H

    Microsoft will lock down code for Windows 2000 later this month as it prepares the final version of the software that has been years in the making.

    Company officials have been coy as to whether a third release candidate of Beta 3 Windows 2000 would be released, but company officials yesterday confirmed there will indeed be a Release Candidate 3 (RC3).

    A release candidate is considered worthy of being final code and is sent to beta testers for evaluation. But Microsoft officials yesterday admitted to plans for an RC3 that will be sent to a reduced number of key beta testers. 

    The Release Candidate 2 software was sent to 650,000 beta testers on Sept. 15. Release Candidate 1 was shipped on July 1.

    Dave Thompson, director of Windows 2000 development at Microsoft, told attendees at the company's Exchange Conference '99 this week in Atlanta that Microsoft would release RC3 this month.

    "It is our escrow build," Thompson said. "There will be no more changes in the code." An escrow build, according to Microsoft sources, means code development is ceased as developers and beta testers hunt for recall class bugs. The escrow code is considered the release to manufacturing code.

    Thompson said the company is still targeting the year-end for release to manufacturing (RTM) of the software. With a Release Candidate 3, however, Microsoft is unlikely to ship the RTM until December. Microsoft reportedly hoped to make a big splash with the RTM at the Comdex trade show in mid-November.

     
  • Microsoft: Linux's Merits Are A Myth
    Time: 12:31 EDT/16:31 GMT Source: Techweb Posted By: Alex H

    An article, posted on the Windows NT section of Microsoft's website, takes Linux apart piece by piece, stating open source advocates are wrong to claim Linux is more reliable and offers higher performance.

    The document begins by criticizing Linux's aged roots: "Linux fundamentally relies on 30-year-old OS technology and architecture." It also went on to label the following statements as myths, "Linux performs better than Windows NT ... Linux is more reliable than Windows NT ... Linux is Free ... Linux is more secure than Windows NT" and "Linux can replace Windows on the desktop."

    The software behemoth concluded, "The Linux operating system is not suitable for mainstream usage by business or home users."

    Linux users were quick to rebut the criticisms.

     
  • Microsoft uses (some) Macs in Redmond
    Time: 12:29 EDT/16:29 GMT Source: The Register Posted By: Alex H

    For some important documents, like its Annual Report, Microsoft uses Macs.

    Kerry Leimer Jay used Word 98 for the Mac on his G3 system, and his file - with a path name that will be familiar to Mac users - was msft:ar99:downloads:ar99.doc. The discovery was made by Richard M Smith, a MacInTouch reader.

    The Word version of the Annual Report has the metadata that provides the proof. All you need is to download the .DOC file and put it though a utility to display the content.

    In July, The Register pointed out the perils of using Word if you want to keep any little secrets contained in so-called hidden text fields.

    Microsoft is aware of the problem, and has even produced a product support document "How to minimize metadata in Microsoft Word documents" that warns that Word documents "may contain content that you may not want to share with others when you distribute the document electronically".

     
  • Tailored Linux systems will supplant Windows, says Torvalds
    Time: 12:27 EDT/16:27 GMT Source: The Register Posted By: Alex H

    Monolithic operating systems consisting of "standard blocks" are on the way out, said Linus Torvalds yesterday, and they will be replaced by specially tailored and personalised systems. Torvalds was speaking at Internet World on the subject of Linux in business, and it appears he's now thinking about how the characteristics of open source software will give Linux an advantage over rival models.

    Open source allows rapid and varied development, and taking tow examples used by Torvalds yesterday, that means stripped-down versions can be produced quickly for, say set-top boxes, or at a more individual level companies can have their own tailored Web interface produced for their staff. As Linux was originally designed to run on pretty modest hardware anyway, it's also inherently easier to get it onto a diverse range of platforms, particularly because the vast majority of new (and high volume) platforms will be low resource.

     
  • Red Hat takes aim at Linux Web portal business
    Time: 04:08 EDT/09:08 GMT Source: The Register Posted By: Alex H

    Red Hat is planning a dramatic shift in the focus of its business by - effectively - betting it on the Web. Speaking to The Register earlier today company COO Tim Buckley said: "Our goal is to become the definitive site for Open Source software."

    Over three to five years, says Buckley, Red Hat intends its business to split as follows: 30 per cent product, 35 per cent services and 35 per cent portal (i.e., the Web bit). Those numbers may be more than a little understated: confronted with them chief marketing officer Tom Butta chirruped "80 per cent portal" before being gently countermanded by Buckley. But it's clear that Red Hat is seriously keen on switching the company focus to the Web. You can get some perspective on this by noting that currently Red Hat's business is 80 per cent product.

    The company has, says Buckley, been running the plan past analysts over the past few months, and the reasons for the move are pretty convincing. The product itself is free, so there's an imperative to derive revenues from support and services (which is the open source model anyway). But as bandwidth availability increases, "you can download in seconds rather than 36 hours" - the product becomes even less of an issue, because you can get it instantly, and the mechanism whereby you get it, and what you do along the way, becomes far more important.

     
  • MS-commissioned secret audit clears MS over Hotmail holes
    Time: 04:06 EDT/09:06 GMT Source: The Register Posted By: Alex H

    Microsoft has been entirely exonerated over the ghastly cock-up that opened up the email of 50 million Hotmail users to all and sundry. The exoneration comes in a secret report of an audit that was carried out by a "big five accounting" firm which Microsoft won't name.

    One might of course speculate that this is the sort of thing that will torpedo industry attempts to self-regulate over privacy. In the wake of the discovery of the Hotmail security hole Microsoft and Web privacy overseer TRUSTe announced that Hotmail would undergo a voluntary review by a major accounting firm, and that the firm would not be named. Microsoft is one of TRUSTe's major funding sources, but then as Microsoft is a big software company, it would be, wouldn't it? TRUSTe also gets a lot from IBM and Novell.

     

  • Feds say they spent $13.3 million in MS probe
    Time: 04:02 EDT/09:02 GMT Source: ZDNet Posted By: Alex H

    So how much has the Microsoft antitrust trial cost John Q. Public? Now we know. The Justice Department said Wednesday that its investigation and subsequent antitrust case against Microsoft Corp. cost $13.3 million. The information was made public after Slade Gorton, the Republican Senator from Microsoft's home state of Washington, requested the information.

     
  • Microsoft files five suits for software piracy
    Time: 03:54 EDT/08:54 GMT Source: News.com Posted By: Alex H

    Microsoft filed five lawsuits in New York today, alleging Manhattan and Long Island firms have been distributing counterfeit Microsoft software and installing it in computers sold to consumers.

    One of the suits, which is against Alliance Technology of Manhattan, was filed in Manhattan federal court.

    The other four suits were filed in Brooklyn federal court against 1 Stop Camera and Computers of Great Neck, N.Y.; Core Computer of Cedarhurst, N.Y.; Distinctive Business Solutions of Great Neck, N.Y.; and Superior Computer Outlet of Hempstead, N.Y..

    Nick Psyhogeos, Microsoft attorney, told Reuters that although the Redmond, Washington, company had previously filed clusters of such suits in the New York area, pockets of illegal software distributors continued to surface.

    "Consumers need to be aware that if they see software offered at a price that seems too good to be true, it probably is," Psyhogeos said.

     
  • Torvalds sees future full of free operating systems
    Time: 03:52 EDT/08:52 GMT Source: News.com Posted By: Alex H

    Operating systems and other "large blocks" of software will one day be free as a matter of course, Linux technical lead Linus Torvalds predicted today.

    Torvalds, employed by the top-secret start-up Transmeta, addressed several hundred attendees at the Internet World trade show today at a forum focused on the role of the Linux operating system in businesses. But his remarks covered a wide spectrum of topics, including the open-source operating system and his role in nurturing it.

    In an open-source project, software developers contribute code and fixes, often voluntarily. Typically, the resulting product is available to anyone for free, licensed use. Usually, a technical lead--in this case Torvalds--is responsible for managing the contributions.

    Torvalds predicted a future in which the market for what he called "standard blocks" of software, such as the operating system or the windowing system, will eventually dwindle.

    "What will drive the software industry is special software for special needs," Torvalds said. "Software companies make money off of personalization, ways for users to get their own Web interface."

     
  • NEC halts production of Rambus chips
    Time: 03:50 EDT/08:50 GMT Source: News.com Posted By: Alex H

    NEC, Japan's largest chipmaker, said it will temporarily suspend production of Rambus chips after Intel delayed a product that works with the next-generation memory technology.

    NEC has already switched production lines in Southern Japan and Scotland to produce synchronous DRAM (dynamic random-access memory) chips rather than the Direct Rambus chips--which are capable of faster data transfer than conventional computer memory chips--they were making before, said a company spokesman who asked not to be named. The company had planned to ship about 2 million Rambus chips monthly to PC makers from March.

    NEC's decision comes after Intel, the world's No. 1 chipmaker, last month said it would delay for a second time a product that uses Rambus chips because of a technical problem, as previously reported by CNET News.com.

    The product, a chipset, is a group of chips that work with a microprocessor to form the main brain of a personal computer.

     

  • Philips pulls the plug on Nino handheld
    Time: 03:45 EDT/08:45 GMT Source: News.com Posted By: Alex H

    Philips Electronics is discontinuing its Nino line of Windows CE-based handheld computers, another setback in Microsoft's battle to usurp the Palm Computing throne.

    After selling its remaining Nino 500 and 200 handheld PCs, Philips will exit the market for the Microsoft-based handhelds, the company said. Instead, it will refocus its resources on developing voice and data products, such as "smart" cell phones.

    Nino never gained much of a following, even among devices running Windows CE, Microsoft's scaled-down operating system. But Philips's decision to pull the plug on the product indicates the larger turmoil among Microsoft's Windows CE hardware partners, which have largely been stymied in their attempts to break Palm Computing's grip on the handheld market.

    "The market for handhelds, and in particular the stand-alone [Windows CE] palm-size PC, was smaller than Philips expected," said Marty Gordon, a spokesman for Philips Electronics, adding that the company will "continue to sell the Nino through the current life cycle until we sell out."

    Although handhelds like Palm Computing's PalmPilot and the Nino once were considered a niche market appealing only to hardcore techies, the devices have gained mass-market attention as the PC industry looks for new convenient methods of accessing the Internet and information services.

    Despite the growing interest, Philips's history in the Windows CE market has been marked by fits and starts: In early 1998, Philips introduced the Nino and the Velo, which was a larger Windows CE handheld in a clamshell design. Philips discontinued the Velo device shortly after it was introduced.


News Date: Wednesday 6th October 1999
Today's Top Headlines:
Registry Tips
  • Microsoft Meets Key Windows 2000 Active Directory Interoperability Milestones Ahead of Schedule
    Time: 15:03 EDT/20:03 GMT Source: Press Release Posted By: Byron

    Microsoft Corp. today announced availability of the second beta release of Microsoft® Directory Synchronization Services (MSDSS) and the Zoomit VIA 2.1 meta-directory product. Beta 2 of MSDSS, a technology which synchronizes data stored in the Active Directory™ directory service and Novell Directory Service (NDS), will include two-way synchronization six months ahead of schedule. VIA 2.1, originally expected for release next year, is being made available immediately through Microsoft Consulting Services and other trained Microsoft service providers.

     
  • Momentum of Windows Media Builds Among Portable Device Manufacturers
    Time: 15:02 EDT/20:02 GMT Source: Press Release Posted By: Byron

    Today at Fall Internet World, Microsoft Corp. announced that Creative Labs Inc. will add native support for Microsoft® Windows Media™ Audio in its newly announced NOMAD II devices. NOMAD II customers will receive numerous benefits with Windows Media support, including the following...

     
  • Microsoft to take Hebrew portal live in December
    Time: 14:59 EDT/19:59 GMT Source: News.com Posted By: Byron

    TEL AVIV--Microsoft and Israeli Internet service provider Internet Gold said today that their Hebrew-language portal will debut December 1. The portal, a gateway to the Internet, will be a Hebrew version of Microsoft's MSN portal

     

  • Special features delay Netscape Communicator 5.0
    Time: 14:58 EDT/19:58 GMT Source: News.com Posted By: Byron

    Netscape says its new browser is behind schedule, but a source at the company says the new features responsible for the delay will be worth the wait.

    Two new features are in part responsible for making America Online's Netscape unit miss its summer deadline for the first trial version of Communicator 5.0. One of these merges email and instant messaging functionality. The other introduces a technology for writing the browser's user interface.

    Netscape is far behind its main browser competitor, Microsoft, in two areas where it once led: technology and market share. Although it commanded about 80 percent of the desktop browser market just a few years ago, Netscape is now down to a minority position.

     
  • BT and Microsoft Announce Largest Corporate Trial For Wireless Internet Services
    Time: 09:36 EDT/14:36 GMT Source: Press Release Posted By: Byron

    British Telecom PLC (BT) and Microsoft Corp. today began the most extensive and ambitious trial of wireless Internet services ever, involving four of the companies' corporate customers - British Broadcasting Corp., Credit Suisse First Boston, KPMG LLP and Nortel Networks - and business partner Telenor Mobil.

    The trial, starting this month, builds on a BT and Microsoft agreement announced earlier this year to develop Internet, intranet and corporate data services for mobile customers around the world. It will involve about 1,000 mobile phone users in the United Kingdom and Norway.

     
  • New Registry Tips Added
    Time: 09:27 EDT/14:27 GMT Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Byron

    We have posted a few more registry tips for Windows 95 and 98 users over in our Tips section. We will be posting a whole load more very soon indeed.

     
  • MS renews assault with 'Linux Myths' document
    Time: 08:25 EDT/13:25 GMT Source: The Register Posted By: Byron

    Six months on from its last major assault on Linux, Microsoft has returned to the fray with a "Linux Myths" page, here. The content isn't exactly original, but it makes it clear first, that Microsoft sees Linux as serious competition, and second, that it's targeting areas where it thinks it can score PR and marketing points against the upstart.

    The "myths" are as follows: Linux performs better than NT; Linux is more reliable than Windows; Linux is free; Linux is more secure than NT; and Linux can replace Windows on the desktop.

     
  • Ready for instant voice messaging?
    Time: 02:28 EDT/07:28 GMT Source: ZDNet Posted By: Alex H

    A Phoenix-based startup has officially flipped the switch on its bid to take instant messaging from a text-only medium into a speech-driven environment.

    At Internet World in New York this week, visitalk.com will introduce new IP-based services for real-time voice, video and data transmissions. The free service, which is available now from visitalk's Web site, enables subscribers to leave voice mail or talk with other individual members or groups in real time via the Internet.

    Key to the service is visitalk.com's LDAP 3-compliant directory, which serves as an Internet white pages. Each subscriber receives a PCN (permanent communications number), a 12-digit ID that enables users to conduct point-to-point phone calls and send or retrieve voice mail. With H.323-compliant client software such as Microsoft Corp.'s NetMeeting or White Pine Software's CU-SeeMe, subscribers also can conduct videoconferences.

    The service lets users store as many as 10 voice mails. A premium version supports unlimited voice mails, along with instant messaging -- through which users can communicate via voice or text - and realChat options for one-on-one or group discussions. After a 60-day free trial, the premium services will be priced at less than $5 a month.

     

  • Microsoft fans the flames
    Time: 02:26 EDT/07:26 GMT Source: Marketing Computers Posted By: Alex H

    Flash. In a single moment, Microsoft's Steve Ballmer changed the the future of software.

    Bill Gates may be Microsoft's ultimate visionary, but savvy industry players know that when Ballmer speaks, Microsoft means business. During an important teleconference to acknowledge Richard Belluzzo as group vp of the Redmond giant's consumer and commerce group, Ballmer told press and analysts that Microsoft is mapping a strategy for providing its flagship Microsoft Office and other applications as web-hosted services.

    Web-based software services alone won't set old software delivery mechanisms and channel partners ablaze. What makes them white hot is Microsoft's declared entrance. The success of upstarts like Redwood City, Calif.-based Corio and the plodding effort of MySAP.com are one thing. Microsoft's movements are another. After all, when Microsoft takes a step, thousands follow.

    Ballmer, of course, declined to outline details. And the timetable for such digital distribution hasn't been revealed. But his statements on Sept. 2 suddenly lent clarity to what has so far been a confused discussion. Most vendors, not just Microsoft, have tread tiptoe around the thorny issue of electronic software distribution (ESD).


News Date: Tuesday 5th October 1999
Today's Top Headlines:
SQL 7
  • Case: We're "happy" to work with MS on IM
    Time: 14:33 EDT/19:33 GMT Source: ZDNet Posted By: Byron

    America Online Inc. (NYSE:AOL) CEO Steve Case told ZDNN his company is "happy" to work with Microsoft about opening up its instant messaging technology "as long as they do it in a way that's secure." Case added that he believes AOL's policy on licensing the instant messaging technology is "far more liberal than Microsoft's." Case is in New York for the official unveiling of version 5.0 of AOL's eponymous online service.

     
  • Microsoft's Slate to debut TV show
    Time: 09:33 EDT/14:33 GMT Source: ZDNet Posted By: Byron

    Slate, the Internet newsmagazine produced by Microsoft Corp. has signed a deal to produce a pilot for public television in Seattle. Slate TV will be a 30-minute weekly show hosted by Michael Kinsley covering the week's news in politics and culture. The show is scheduled to start production in the Spring of 2000, and will be designed with interactive elements for WebTV viewers.

     
  • Microsoft, MIT launch "virtual campus"
    Time: 09:32 EDT/14:32 GMT Source: Reuters Posted By: Byron

    CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts--Software giant Microsoft and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology today announce they have teamed up to create a "virtual campus" featuring remote access to laboratory instruments, online aid in mentoring and tutoring, and Web-based museums.

    MIT said Microsoft will give it an estimated $25 million over the next five years to create technologies for the virtual campus, called I-Campus. The goal is to provide better education and better facilities over the Internet, MIT said in a statement.

     
  • Microsoft ships beta of new database software
    Time: 09:17 EDT/14:17 GMT Source: News.com Posted By: Byron

    Ten months since releasing its SQL Server 7.0 database software, Microsoft has designed an upgrade, code-named Shiloh, that the company hopes will better compete with rivals Oracle, IBM, Informix, and Sybase.

    Microsoft has shipped the initial beta version of this next-generation database software, featuring more Web support and improved analysis of business information.

     

  • Microsoft Launches Online Community to Help IT Professionals In Education Build, Manage and Maintain Technology Foundations
    Time: 09:13 EDT/14:13 GMT Source: Press Release Posted By: Byron

    Microsoft Corp. today launched TechNet for Education, an education-specific extension of the company's successful TechNet program for IT professionals, to offer schools, colleges and universities the technical support they need to adequately maintain, deploy and support their information technology investments. In 1999 alone, according to Quality Education Data, U.S. K-12 schools will invest more than $6.2 billion in technology, and a recent report from International Data Corp. (IDC) indicates that U.S. higher education institutions spent $3.1 billion on information technology-related products and services in 1998. However, research shows less than 10 percent of that money is devoted to the ongoing maintenance and support of the hardware and software that is increasingly becoming critical to their educational mission.


News Date: Monday 4th October 1999
Today's Top Headlines:
Windows 2000 - Melissa Virus clone - Audiograbber v1.60 beta
  • Microsoft Designs PhotoDraw Version 2
    Time: 16:53 EDT/21:53 GMT Source: Techweb Posted By: Alex H

    At Fall Internet World '99 in New York, Microsoft is introducing Monday the first upgrade to its Office 2000 suite, a new version of the business-graphics program PhotoDraw 2000.

    PhotoDraw 2000 version 2 contains a number of new graphics tools including HTML support, templates and tools for creating rollover buttons and animated GIFs, automatic image slicing, support for creating image maps, new Web shapes and Web effects. The new Web effects include the ability to emboss and glow, preview graphics in a browsers, and edit images from the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser.

    For IT managers, the upgraded product makes greater use of the Internet, and it makes it easier to manage users in a networked environment, said Lori Birtley, Microsoft product manager.

    "It has an installer that works just like the rest of Office, so the IT manager has a choice about how to install the product and where to store the content," she said.

    "Frequently, corporations don't have a single standard for graphics," Birtley said. "Often, the graphics used in a corporation are widely diversified. They may have all sorts of legacy graphics in a organization. PhotoDraw lets users open all kinds of graphics, and, in a single application, save, edit, change all of those graphic files in very common way and standardize on PhotoDraw."

    The product will be widely available Oct. 22, a Microsoft spokesman said. Retail cost is $109.

     
  • Symantec Norton SystemWorks 2000 Review
    Time: 15:47 EDT/20:47 GMT Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Bob

    Norton SystemWorks, now in it's third major version (3.0) just keeps getting more refined and easier to use.

    It gives you five easy-to-use utilities in one fully integrated suite. It features the latest complete versions of Symantec products. Norton Utilities is the industry leader in detecting, repairing, and preventing hardware and software problems. Norton AntiVirus offers the world's most popular and most powerful anti-virus capabilities. Norton CleanSweep safely and completely removes unneeded programs and files... 

     

  • Amazon in the Palm of your hand
    Time: 14:50 EDT/19:50 GMT Source: ZDNet Posted By: Alex H

    Amazon.com announced a new program Monday that will allow consumers to shop and check online auctions from wireless devices. The Amazon Anywhere program will work with 3Com Corp.'s (Nasdaq:COMS) Palm VII, which is being launched nationwide today. Amazon (Nasdaq:AMZN) said its new program will offer features like one-click shopping and product searching. In order to shop with their Palm devices, users need to download an application from www.palm.net or from www.amazon.com/anywhere.

     

  • Red Hat updates Linux OS
    Time: 14:48 EDT/19:48 GMT Source: News.com Posted By: Alex H

    Red Hat, the leading seller of the open-source Linux operating system, today released version 6.1 of its edition of Linux.

    The upgrade addresses some of the technical difficulties that have deterred the non-experts from trying Linux, including a smoother feature for downloading fixes and updates and a more polished installation routine. The new version also is easier to administer, a feature aimed at corporate users who need to control lots of servers.

    Red Hat was the first Linux company to go public, and analysts say it's the dominant player among those who sell the upstart operating system. Red Hat's founder, however, said the company's competitiveness is aimed at Microsoft, not other Linux sellers.

    Red Hat's IPO is only one of several Linux-related public offerings in the works. Cobalt, which makes servers that use Linux, has filed its intent, and other companies, including Linux seller Caldera Systems and Linux computer maker VA Linux Systems, also have plans.

    Additional features include an English version of Sun Microsystems' office suite Star Office 5.1a, which includes word processing, spreadsheets, email, graphics, Web publishing, scheduling, database, and management applications, the company said. Other new features include public key verification of the source of Red Hat Linux 6.1 updates, which are only available in the United States and Canada, as well as support for the Intel Pentium III processor.

     
  • Paul Allen takes $1.65 billion stake in RCN
    Time: 14:46 EDT/19:46 GMT Source: News.com Posted By: Alex H

    Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen has invested $1.65 billion in telecommunications company RCN, the company said today.

    The investment by Allen's Vulcan Ventures was in the form of convertible preferred stock, RCN said in a statement.

    Today's move is only  the latest in a series of cable acquisitions and deals for Allen. Last month, he filed to take Charter Communications public, an estimated $3 billion offering that is expected to be the largest IPO to date. Charter is the fourth largest cable operator in the United States.

    The preferred stock will be converted into common stock--at $62 per share--no later then seven years after it is issued.

    If Vulcan were to convert the preferred stock into common stock immediately, it would receive about 26.6 million shares. Vulcan already owns 4.5 percent of RCN's common stock, and the new investment would give it about a 27.4 percent stake.

     

  • Microsoft Announces Availability of Exchange 2000 Server Beta 3
    Time: 10:21 EDT/15:21 GMT Source: Press Release Posted By: Byron

    Today at the fourth annual Microsoft® Exchange Conference, Microsoft Corp. announced the availability of Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server beta 3, the message and collaboration server previously code-named "Platinum." Beta 3, a prerelease version of the product designed for testing and evaluation by customers and partners, will be distributed to conference attendees and will be publicly available from the Microsoft Web site in English, German, French and Japanese versions today. Exchange 2000 is the reliable, easy-to-manage platform for messaging and collaboration that brings users and knowledge together. It provides an enhanced platform for messaging and collaboration, increased knowledge worker productivity with Microsoft's new Web Store technology, and access to people and information at any time, from anywhere.

     
  • Microsoft Launches Nationwide Windows 2000 Customer Preview Tour
    Time: 10:19 EDT/15:19 GMT Source: Press Release Posted By: Byron

    Microsoft Corp. today launched the Windows® 2000 Customer Preview Tour, co-sponsored by Compaq Computer Corp. and Windows NT® Magazine. The 40-city tour will give IT professionals and user group members around the United States the opportunity to meet with the engineers of Microsoft® Windows 2000 and discuss the features, benefits, deployment and administration of Microsoft's next-generation operating system.

     
  • The Everyday Web: MSN's Role in the New Information World
    Time: 09:03 EDT/14:03 GMT Source: Press Release Posted By: Byron

    The Internet was barely a blip on anyone's radar when the 1990's began, and five years ago it was still widely perceived as a novelty. But as the decade draws to a close, it's clear that few technologies have changed the world as rapidly as the Internet. It's transforming the way that companies and individuals share information, buy products, and exchange ideas around the world.

     
  • Microsoft Announces Availability of IntelliMouse Explorer
    Time: 09:01 EDT/14:01 GMT Source: Press Release Posted By: Byron

    In 1968, computer pioneer Douglas Engelbart demonstrated the first computer mouse. This curious wooden prototype, roughly twice the size of a hockey puck, eventually became an essential peripheral, paving the way for the graphical user interface and transforming the way we use computers. Although hardware and software have gone through countless quantum leaps in the past 30 years, today's mouse isn't much different than those manufactured decades ago.

    Today, the mouse is finally catching up. Microsoft today announced the wide availability of IntelliMouse Explorer, the most radical technology and design advance in the 30-year life of the mouse. With its new optical tracking technology, added buttons and sleek design, IntelliMouse Explorer is the start of a new era for this humble peripheral.

     
  • Site News
    Time: 09:00 EDT/14:00 GMT Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Byron

    Today seems like a slow day on the news front, that and the fact that none of us have been online hasn't helped. Here is our usual update of confirmed upcoming hardware and software reviews:

    Hardware: Microsoft Sidewinder Precision Racing Wheel, Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer, Regular Visor, Microtek SlimScan6, SoundBlaster Live! Platinum
    Software: Age Of Empires 2, Flight Simulator 2000, Pandora's Box, Links LS 2000 Encarta 2000 Reference Suite DVD Edition, Firestorm, X: Beyond The Frontier, System Shock 2, Shadowman, Rogue Spear, Driver
    Applications: Photoshop 5.5, Corel Suite 9

     

  • ActiveWindows Community Reminder
    Time: 08:41 EDT/13:41 GMT Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Byron

    Just another reminder about signing up for our ActiveWindows Community on MSN. It allows you to chat with us in our chat room or via our message board, it also lets you post your own screensavers and backgrounds for other ActiveWindows readers to download.

     

  • Audiograbber v1.60 Beta 2 released
    Time: 04:06 EDT/09:06 GMT Source: Desktop Watch Posted By: Alex H

    Audiograbber is a beautiful piece of software that grabs digital audio from cd's. It copies the audio digitally- not through the soundcard- which enables you to make perfect copies of the originals. It can even perform a test to see that the copies really are perfect. You can pick up the latest beta from here

     
  • Oracle, Microsoft vie for standards
    Time: 04:03 EDT/09:03 GMT Source: Infoworld Posted By: Alex H

    Oracle and Microsoft are going head to head in promoting separate meta-data standards for data warehouses, although a compromise could eventually be reached.

    Oracle last week joined a group of vendors, including IBM and NCR, in submitting a Common Warehouse Meta data Interchange (CWMI) specification to the Object Management Group (OMG).

    The announcement comes a few weeks after Microsoft submitted a similar specification, the Open Information Model, to a separate standards body, the Meta Data Coalition (MDC). Meta data is information about the origin of data in a warehouse.

    While both specifications are designed to simplify the development and deployment of data warehouses and business-intelligence applications by standardizing meta data, the inability of Oracle, its partners, and Microsoft to reconcile on a single standard could lead to divergent meta-data camps. Users may have to choose one or the other.

    "Oracle and its sales force will highlight how the Oracle warehouse products will ultimately comply with the standard in order to sell more products, and others will counter with the same," said Analyst Mike Schiff, director of data warehousing strategies at Current Analysis, in Sterling, Va.

    "Customers should be asking vendors which one they're going to support."

    Oracle, in fact, is beta testing a product, Oracle Warehouse Builder 2.0, that company officials say complies with the specification that Oracle presented to the OMG.

     
  • Microsoft Designer To Take On Notes Designer
    Time: 03:12 EDT/08:12 GMT Source: Techweb Posted By: Alex H

    After years of deriding Lotus Development's Notes as bloated, Microsoft is adding many Notes-like features to its own lineup. The developer plans to offer Office Designer, an application-development tool kit aimed squarely at a similar Notes product.

    "[Office Designer will] compete head on with the Lotus Notes Designer," reads a job posting on Microsoft's website. "This, along with Outlook and Platinum, is Microsoft's strategy to unseat Lotus Notes from its dominant position."

    Notes Designer is an application development client used by a subset of Notes users. Most users opt for the simpler Notes mail client.

    The news comes as Microsoft partners gather at the Microsoft Exchange Conference in Atlanta to hear about Platinum, the next version of Exchange Server. Meanwhile, questions remain about the fate of knowledge management capabilities the company has touted.

    For more than a year, Microsoft executives have discussed, without detail, plans to introduce workflow, document management, search, and other capabilities to its product mix.

    The problem is, no one, including Microsoft, seems to know how these technologies will be packaged, said sources at the company. Some could become part of Exchange Server or other existing BackOffice applications, or become separate offerings. Still others could be folded into the operating system, VARs and analysts said.

     

  • Yet another Melissa virus clone..
    Time: 03:10 EDT/08:10 GMT Source: Geek News Posted By: Alex H

    A computer virus that appears to work in a similar fashion as the so-called Melissa virus has emerged over the weekend and is wreaking havoc for users of Microsoft Outlook. The virus comes in an email with the subject of "Check This." The body contains a message that states "Have fun with these links." Attached to the email is a file called "links1.vbs" and if you click on it, the virus takes off through your address book and sends the virus out to anyone listed in the your address book. Microsoft has not heard of the problem, but is reportedly looking into it.

     

  • Microsoft launches 40-city tour to let customers preview Windows 2000
    Time: 03:00 EDT/08:00 GMT Source: Press Release Posted By: Alex H

    Microsoft® Windows® 2000 customers can get a sneak peek at the new operating system.

    Experts from Microsoft have hit the road to meet with customers across the United States in a 40-city tour. The Windows 2000 Customer Preview Tour starts in Denver today and ends in Seattle on Dec. 9. Customers can learn about the new operating system from the people who built it. They'll have the chance to discuss its features, benefits, deployment and administration.

    "We have learned over and over again that the best way for people to see the benefits of a product like Windows 2000 is to see it and to use it," said Jim Allchin, senior vice president of systems for Microsoft. "The Windows 2000 Customer Preview Tour is a great opportunity for us to hear feedback on our products and give our customers the tips, tricks and tools they need to be successful with Windows 2000."

    A schedule listing the tour's dates, times and locations is available at http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/usergroups.

    Compaq Computer Corp. and NT Magazine are co-sponsoring the events.

    The tour features a team that includes Windows 2000 product managers, program managers and technology specialists.


News Date: Sunday 3rd October 1999
Today's Top Headlines:
Homeworld Review - IE5 Peephole
  • Homeworld - Review
    Time: 08:27 EDT/13:27 GMT Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Byron

    Homeworld ReviewI have posted my review of Sierra/Relic's new space title, Homeworld. Here is a snippet from the review:

    The game is set in full 3D (More on that later) so the controls are mostly mouse based. Zooming in and out is done by holding down the two main mouse buttons and dragging backwards and forwards. Ship menus are brought up onto the screen by simply right clicking on them, selecting groups of ships is done the same way as many RTS games, by just dragging a box over them. When you select a ship in the distance, if you would like to center on that particular craft all you have to do is to press the center button on your mouse (If you have one), pressing it twice will zoom onto that one craft/group of crafts you have selected.

     

  • Striker32 Breaks Windows Viruses
    Time: 04:18 EDT/09:18 GMT Source: PC World Posted By: Alex H

    Symantec is adding new Striker32 technology to all Norton AntiVirus programs as a weapon in its ongoing battle with busy virus writers. The new engine, which became available free of charge Thursday to any user updating Norton AntiVirus online, locates tricky 32-bit, Windows-based viruses.

    Windows has been the target of a huge upsurge of viruses, notes Steve Trilling, director of research at the Symantec AntiVirus Research Center. Striker32 should help protect against complicated troublemakers such as the W32.Bolzano virus and its variants.

    Old DOS-based viruses weren't very adept at hiding themselves, which made them easy for virus-hunting programs to spot. The newest Windows-based viruses are not as simple.

    "The difficulty of Windows viruses is they can hide anywhere in a program," Trilling says. Striker32 "follows links through the program looking for a virus inside it."

    Striker32 not only detects known Windows viruses, but also gives Symantec's engineers more tools to fight new ones, he adds. When current NAV software detects an unclassified virus, it contains it and sends the suspicious file over the Internet to Symantec for examination.

    Symantec made it easy for its customers to update to Striker32 by distributing it through the normal Internet update routine, Trilling says. Once downloaded, Striker32 interacts with NAV's core, called NAVEX, to make the necessary modifications. NAVEX has been in all Norton AntiVirus products since 1996.

     

  • Noted Bulgarian Hacker Exposes IE5 'Download Behavior' Privacy Peephole; Netscape is Unscathed
    Time: 04:12 EDT/09:12 GMT Source: Bugnet Posted By: Alex H

    You may remember the most recent security problem to bite IE5 -- the "ImportExportFavorites" security hole. Well, now there's an allied incursion, the "Download Behavior" privacy peephole.

    Where the "ImportExportFavorites" security hole in IE5 opened users' systems to the danger of unauthorized access to their hard drive, the "Download Behavior" privacy peephole can enable maliscious webmasters to read files on a user's hard drive.

    The problem is this: when a user downloads a Web page using Microsoft IE5, that page can use server-side redirection to execute client-code capable of accessing and then returning those files to the Web server.

    Under IE's security architecture, Internet-based Web servers shouldn't be able to access data on client machines because the two do not reside on the same network. But because of a security flaw in the product's "Download Behavior" function call, a malicious server could trick the client into thinking that a downloaded JavaScript or VB Script application resides on the same domain, enabling that application to access local files.

    Using code obtained from the noted Bulgarian hacker, Georgi Guninski (http://www.nat.bg/~joro/index.html), KeyLabs verified that a remote JavaScript application could indeed run within a browser's local domain, with full file system access. Guninski was also responsible for popularizing the recent "ImportExportFavorites" security hole. (Hint to Microsoft: on his Web site Guninski says he's looking for a job -- is this all some sort of elaborate job application?)

    "This is a very serious bug. The sample code used in our testing opened and then displayed our autoexec.bat file," said Ralph Decker, Lab Director for KeyLabs. "But this code could just as easily have accessed sensitive system files."


News Date: Saturday 2nd October 1999
Today's Top Headlines:
Site News
  • Information Pages Updated
    Time: 16:02 EDT/21:02 GMT Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Byron

    Because there has been little to do today, we have updated our Information pages with info about new members of staff, new homepage information and various other bits & pieces. Here is a list of pages that were updated:

    - Site Map
    - Member Homepages
    - Our News Sources
    - Contacting Us
    - About Us

     
  • Site News: More Sci-Fi Staff Needed
    Time: 15:34 EDT/20:34 GMT Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Byron

    We are still on the lookout for more ActiveSci-Fi news staff. You don't even need knowledge of HTML (Although a little helps), you just need to be a sci-fi fan who regularly checks out Science Fiction news sites. If you are interested, drop me a line byron@activeie.com

     

  • Site News
    Time: 12:33 EDT/17:33 GMT Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Byron

    Today seems like a slow day on the news front, that and the fact that none of us have been online hasn't helped. Here is our usual update of confirmed upcoming hardware and software reviews:

    Hardware: Microsoft Sidewinder Precision Racing Wheel, Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer, Regular Visor, Microtek SlimScan6, SoundBlaster Live! Platinum
    Software: Age Of Empires 2, Flight Simulator 2000, Pandora's Box, Links LS 2000 Encarta 2000 Reference Suite DVD Edition, Sinistar Unleashed, Firestorm, X: Beyond The Frontier, System Shock 2, Heavy Gear 2, Shadowman, Rogue Spear, Homeworld, Driver
    Applications: Photoshop 5.5, Corel Suite 9


News Date: Friday 1st October 1999
Today's Top Headlines:
G400
  • Leaked email exposes MS charity as PR exercise
    Time: 17:37 EDT/22:37 GMT Source: The Register Posted By: Alex H

    Microsoft deliberately set out to use charitable contributions to bolster its image in February this year, according to a leaked internal Microsoft email we have seen.

    Ann Redmond, Microsoft corporate marketing research group manager, asked David Kaefer, a marketing research manager at Microsoft, to seek expert opinion as to "a preferred set of attributes" to help Microsoft with its image problem. Kaefer emailed ten Microsoft people seeking views as to what "image attributes" should be used for improving the effectiveness of "our branded philanthropic communication efforts" (which means getting the best mileage out of Microsoft's and Gates' charitable contributions).

    It was a most cynical exercise that shows beyond doubt that Microsoft "gives" donations and software to non-profit organisations to get favourable publicity. Many suspected this was happening, but were muted because it seemed somewhat churlish to criticise charitable contributions of considerable magnitude. No more. Four of the "preferred set of attributes" directly concern Microsoft's charity campaign, as we must now view it:

    "Microsoft's charitable giving improves the lives of many people. Microsoft is a generous and supportive corporate citizen. Microsoft cares about making a difference in my community. Microsoft is a leader in good corporate citizenship."

     
  • Unplugged! The biggest hack in history
    Time: 17:35 EDT/22:35 GMT Source: ZDNet Posted By: Alex H

    In a federal courtroom here, Calvin Cantrell stands silently, broad shoulders slouched. His lawyer reads from a short letter he has written:

    "My parents taught me good ethics, but I have departed from some of these, lost my way sometimes," the letter states. "I was 25 and living at home. No job, and no future... . All I ever really wanted was to work with computers."

    Cantrell certainly did work with computers -- both his own, and, surreptitiously, those of some of the largest companies in the world. He was part of a ring of hackers that pleaded guilty here to the most extensive illegal breach of the nation's telecommunications infrastructure in high-tech history.

    And sitting behind him in court as he was sentenced two weeks ago was the accountant-turned-detective who caught him: Michael Morris. A decade earlier, Morris, bored with accounting work, left a $96,000 job at Price Waterhouse and enrolled in the FBI academy, at $24,500 a year. Cantrell's sentencing was the final act in a five-year drama for Morris, and secured his reputation as the FBI's leading computer gumshoe.

    The tale of Morris and Cantrell is among the first cops-and-robber stories of the New Economy, involving, among other things, the first-ever use of an FBI "data tap." It illustrates how the nation's law-enforcement agencies are scrambling to reinvent their profession in a frantic effort to keep pace with brilliant and restless young hackers.

     
  • NT 4 Service Pack 6 News
    Time: 17:32 EDT/22:32 GMT Source: E-Mail Posted By: Alex H

    Microsoft has posted NT4 SP6 on Windows Update *BETA* page.

    Read Me for Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 6 Appears to Hang 
    After choosing to download Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 6 and accepting the EULA, there is an option to view the Service Pack's "Read Me" file. This button appears to hang when pushed, however the download can be continued successfully, and the "Read Me" will appear after the download has finished.

     
  • PC industry hit by Taiwan quake aftershocks
    Time: 17:30 EDT/22:30 GMT Source: News.com Posted By: Alex H

    The impact of last week's earthquake in Taiwan will take a while to sink in, so look for problems in the PC market later rather then sooner.

    Some of the most ominous indicators of a tight market to come are a steep rise in memory prices over the past week, a hike in graphics chip costs, and a lack of core support components for processors. The result could be higher PC prices, a shakeup of the "free" PC market, delays of some PC models, and depressed earnings.

    Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carleton "Carly" Fiorina said today that fourth-quarter growth will take a hit because of the earthquake. "We said revenue growth would likely be in the 10-13 percent range...With the Taiwan disruption, which effects, most especially, our PC business, we don’t think we’ll achieve the high end of that range and are more likely to come in closer to the low end," she said today in a conference call.

    "We are sure of some disruption and delay in some elements of our PC supply chain," she added.

    Also, BancBoston Robertson Stephens downgraded Dell stock today because of, among other reasons, the recent supply issues caused by the Taiwan earthquake, according to electronics analyst Daniel Niles. "We are lowering our calendar 1999 earnings-per-share estimate from 0.77 to 0.74, he added.

    Meanwhile, component suppliers are raising prices. S3, one of the world's largest graphics chipmakers, said that it is increasing prices to customers. "Because of supply and demand dynamics, we will raise prices," said Ken Potashner, the chief executive at S3.

     
  • Key Netscape exec Ariko stepping down
    Time: 17:26 EDT/22:26 GMT Source: News.com Posted By: Alex H

    Barry Ariko, a senior executive at America Online's Netscape unit, said today he has stepped down from his role in the Sun Microsystems-AOL alliance.

    He is the latest of a string of executives to step down from key posts at the company. Netscape cofounder Marc Andreessen left his post as AOL's chief technology officer last month.

    Ariko today told CNET News.com that although he has stepped down from his role as the deputy general manager representing AOL and Netscape in the Sun-AOL alliance, which he helped get up and running during the past six months, he will remain at AOL for the time being.

    Ariko added that he is not sure how long he will remain at AOL and declined to comment on what his role will be with the online giant.

    "I would rather not say since it has not been determined," Ariko said.

    Ariko, considered a star executive by many in the industry, joined Netscape in 1998 as executive vice president and chief operating officer after serving as executive vice president and a member of the executive management committee at database giant Oracle.

     

  • Age Of Empires 2 & Windows 2000 Update
    Time: 14:18 EDT/19:18 GMT Source: Ensemble Studios Posted By: Byron

    In our Windows 2000 FAQ it stated that Age of Empires 2 didn't work with Windows 2000. Well Ensemble Studios (The makers of the game) have e-mailed us to correct this mistake on our part. The game runs fine on Windows 2000, it just requires build 2072 or later (Such as Release Candidate 2).

     
  • Age Of Empires 2 In Stores & Some Intellimouse Explorer Info
    Time: 11:19 EDT/16:19 GMT Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Byron

    Microsoft's rather tops Age Of Empires 2 has hit stores in the US (Us Europeans have to wait a few more weeks). We will have an in-depth review very, very soon. Oh and on another rumor, we have been getting a number of reports by e-mail stating that the Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer has been recalled, we would like to clarify to everyone that this is not true in the slightest. Yes some people are having problems with the mouse (Many don't like it, but it is a matter of choice) but no recall has been, or will be issued.

     
  • ActiveWindows Community Reminder
    Time: 11:10 EDT/16:10 GMT Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Byron

    Just another reminder about signing up for our ActiveWindows Community on MSN. It allows you to chat with us in our chat room or via our message board, it also lets you post your own screensavers and backgrounds for other ActiveWindows readers to download.

  • DOS alive and not very well hidden in Millennium beta
    Time:
    10:10 EDT/15:10 GMT Source: The Register Posted By: Byron

    It now seems pretty clearly established that Microsoft will not be removing DOS from Millennium, but early reports form people who've seen Beta 1, which went out this week, indicate that the attempts to hide Dos instead are at best perfunctory. Getting rid of DOS no doubt remains on the MS wishlist, because it would make PCs easier to use and more reliable, but as far as Millennium is concerned it looks like wishing and doing are two different things. For Beta 1 Microsoft has removed the exit to Dos option from the shutdown menu, but according to one tester, "the Bootgui= option is still in the msdos.sys file; the default is '1' which boots to full blown Windows, and if '0' is used, the computer boots to DOS 7.1."

     
  • Win2000 RC2: Good Enough to Ship?
    Time:
    08:16 EDT/13:16 GMT Source: Win98Central Posted By: Alex R.

    So it sounds like Windows 2000 is just about ready to ship, right? Well, not so fast. Take a look at the release notes file, README.DOC, on the CD. It's filled with 352KB of wisdom, mostly about what doesn't quite work right. As you might gather from the size of the file, there's a lot of stuff that doesn't quite work right. Since this is still a beta, there's a chance that some of these problems will be fixed before the product ships. Yet if the product is going to ship this year, there's a good chance that many will remain in the shipping version...

     
  • Tool Available for "RASMAN Security Descriptor" Vulnerability
    Time:
    08:13 EDT/13:13 GMT Source: email Posted By: Alex R.

    Microsoft actually hit us with two new patches last night... here's the second trip:

    The security descriptor that secures the Remote Access Connection Manager, RASMAN.EXE, contains an inappropriate ACE in its DACL and would allow an unprivileged user to levy requests on it via the Service Control Manager.  Among the actions that could be requested is to change the location and name of the executable code for the service. By doing so, a malicious user could substitute arbitrary code for the legitimate service, which then would run in a System Context.

    A malicious user could only exploit this vulnerability if he or she had a valid userid and password on the target machine. If the machine allowed users to log on from the network, the vulnerability could be remotely exploited. In addition, the arbitrary code could, under certain conditions, reside on a remote machine. A tool is available to reset the permissions to the appropriate value and eliminate the vulnerability, and should be run against any machine that allows unprivileged users to perform either interactive or network logons under any account.

    This vulnerability affects all versions of Microsoft Windows NT 4.0.

     
  • Patch for "Domain Resolution" and "FTP Download" Vulnerabilities
    Time:
    08:08 EDT/13:08 GMT Source: email Posted By: Alex R.

    Microsoft has re-released a security bulletin concerning the "Domain Resolution" and "FTP Download" Vulnerability in IIS 4.0 and MS Commercial Internet System v2.5.  Here's the copy, straight outta the email:

    This is a re-release of a security bulletin issued on September 23, 1999.  The purpose of the re-release is to discuss an additional product, Microsoft(r) Commercial Internet System, that is affected by this vulnerability. The information regarding IIS has not changed, and customers who previously applied this patch to their IIS systems do not need to take any action.  Microsoft has released a patch that eliminates two security vulnerabilities in Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) 4.0 and Microsoft Commercial Internet System (MCIS) 2.5. The vulnerabilities allow security restrictions in IIS and MCIS to be bypassed under certain conditions, as discussed below. Frequently asked questions regarding this vulnerability can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/security/bulletins/ms99-039faq.asp.

     
  • BETA Millennium G400 Windows 2000 driver - Released
    Time: 02:52 EDT/07:52 GMT Source: E-mail Posted By: Byron

    Matrox has released a Beta G400 Windows 2000 driver on to their website. Here are a few notes fro the website:

    Notes and known issues:
    - To install this driver, use the "Have Disk" feature in the Win 2000 display properties section, and point to the directory in which you unzipped the driver file (default c:\mgafold\w2k_490).
    - This is a BETA Windows 2000 driver for the Millennium G400 only.
    - This driver does not include the Matrox PowerDesk, OpenGL support or D3D support.
    - Drivers for other Matrox products are contained within the latest build of Windows 2000.


Read more of the past months news in our News Archive for August and Previous September News.

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