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Steve Ballmer interview July 29, 2006

Posted by rjdohnert in Interesting Reads.
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The Wall Street Journal has a good interview with Steven Ballmer, for those not in the know he is the CEO of Microsoft,.  They ask a lot of good questions

Link to interview

IronPython 1.0 RC1 Shipped July 29, 2006

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Microsoft has shipped the release candidate for IronPython 1.0 on its CodePlex community source site. IronPython is a project that implements the dynamic object-oriented Python language on top of the Microsoft Common Language Infrastructure. IronPython is both well-integrated with the .Net Framework and is a true implementation of the Python language.

Link to article

My Thoughts; This is extremely interesting to see.  With Microsoft saying its going to play friendly now, its nice to see IronPython actually turning from a hobbyist project to such an important one

Open Source on Windows, The next big thing? July 29, 2006

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Forget LAMP, Here comes WAMP.  Computerworld has put up an article of companies that use the best of both worlds, The Windows OS and Apache, MySQL, PHP.  (or Perl or Python, whichever your prefer).

Link to article

My Thoughts; I have been using this configuration for years Im glad to see its taking off.  I was beginning to think I was strange.

Microsoft to Charge for Office 2007 Beta 2 July 29, 2006

Posted by rjdohnert in Uncategorized.
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Microsoft plans next week to charge a nominal fee for Office 2007 Beta 2 downloads, in a move that runs counter to the practice held by most software companies. Consumers who download the 2007 Microsoft Office system Beta 2 will be charged $1.50 per download, beginning next Wednesday at 6 p.m. PDT, a Microsoft spokeswoman said. "Since the end of May, Beta 2 has been downloaded more than 3 million times…That’s 500 percent more than what was expected," the spokeswoman said. "The fee helps offset the cost of downloading from the servers."

Link to article

My Thoughts; Leave it to MS to do something universally stupid like charging for a Beta.  I guess any company will make money somehow.  Im still waiting for Starbucks to start charging for the Cardboard sleeve.    Now if they charge a $1.50 for the final release, I will be impressed.  Start your download engines now people.

Concerns over Windows Vista release July 29, 2006

Posted by rjdohnert in Tech News.
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Microsoft shares fell on Thursday after it declined to dampen rumors that its new Windows Vista operating system might face more delays.

Its shares closed down 2% after a Microsoft executive appeared to avoid confirming the current January 2007 Vista release data for consumers. Instead, Microsoft’s Kevin Johnson said Vista would be shipped "when it is available".

Link to article

My Thoughts; This is what happens when you play too many games and are not straight forward with your partners and customers.  Microsoft needs to pick a date, committ and deliver

Mono vs the .NET Framework: The DOS wars revisited July 27, 2006

Posted by rjdohnert in Opinions.
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Do you remember back in the DOS days we had quite a few DOS flavors to choose from.  Dr. DOS, MS-DOS, PC-DOS and few other obscure ones that arent worth mentioning.  Back in those days since most applications would run on the other versions of DOS and werent constrained to MS-DOS you had to ask about the OS. 

Fast forward to 2006, we have the .NET Framework which is Microsofts programming environment.  The Mono project aims to be binary compatible with the .NET Framework and allow any software compiled with Mono or the .NET Framework to run on any platform.  This is accomplished through the CLI (Common Language Infrastructure) which is supposed to be platform independant.  It will be interesting to see how this turns out and if Miguel and his Gang at Novell accomplish their goals, the code once run anywhere desire that was initially Sun’s idea may be truly realized.

OpenDarwin Shutting down July 26, 2006

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The OpenDarwin project is shutting down.

"Over the past few years, OpenDarwin has become a mere hosting facility for Mac OS X related projects. The original notions of developing the Mac OS X and Darwin sources has not panned out. Availability of sources, interaction with Apple representatives, difficulty building and tracking sources, and a lack of interest from the community have all contributed to this. Administering a system to host other people’s projects is not what the remaining OpenDarwin contributors had signed up for and have been doing this thankless task far longer than they expected. It is time for OpenDarwin to go dark."

Link to article

My Thoughts; I remember when the OpenDarwin project was started.  It has been a very frustrating run and I know Rob and Torrey were getting pissed at the infernal mess that was Darwin and with Apple releasing less and less source code because of fear of Piracy and witholding more than enough information, I dont think a standalone Darwin system is feasible unless of course you want to go the Hobbyist route.  Thank You Rob, Torrey and the others for a great site and a great job.

IE7 To be distributed via Automatic Updates July 26, 2006

Posted by rjdohnert in Tech News.
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The IE Team today blogged that IE7 will be distributed as a high priority update via Automatic Updates.  This way users will be able to take advantage of the new functionality and security features of Windows Internet Explorer.  Whether validation will be required is yet to be announced.  Windows 2000 users will not be getting the new features of IE7 or an updated build of IE for the platform.  As always I recommend Windows 2000 users to use Firefox or Netscape.  Maxthon also offers some additional security features.

Link to blog entry

Symantec Continues Windows Vista Bug Hunt July 26, 2006

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After poking around the Windows Vista networking stack, Symantec researchers have tried out privilege-escalation attacks on an early version of the Windows XP successor. In a second report on Vista, Symantec takes on a security feature called User Account Control (UAC), in the operating system. The feature runs a Vista PC with fewer user privileges to prevent malicious code from being able to do as much damage as on a PC running in administrator mode, a typical setting on Windows XP.

"We discovered a number of implementation flaws that continued to allow a full machine compromise to occur," Matthew Conover, principal security researcher at Symantec, wrote in the report titled "Attacks against Windows Vista’s Security Model." The report was made available to Symantec customers last week and is scheduled for public release sometime before Vista ships, a Symantec representative said Monday.

Link to Article

My Thoughts; Symantec once beofre poked around in the networking code in Windoows Vista and pointed out things that Microsoft had already fixed in Windows Vista Beta 2.  The end of the article says it all.  Symantecs spokeswoman Pamela Reese made the statement "However, Symantec feels that customers are safer if they can exercise their choice to use the security capabilities offered by Symantec and others," Symantec in my opinion is pissed and fighting back because Microsoft has entered their markets.  I cant wait for the new reports though, Im sure they are excellent works of fiction.

UAC unleashed: User Account Control Overview for Windows Vista. July 26, 2006

Posted by rjdohnert in Interesting Reads, Tech News.
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Wanna know why you desktop grays out with User Account Control and Windows CardSpace under Windows Vista? Or why you can’t click on any of the windows behind a UAC prompt? Well, both technologies are built on top of the Secure Desktop, which also powers the Logon screen and what you see when you give your computer the three-fingered salute. Secure Desktop runs in an entirely separate process from Explorer.exe (the Windows Shell), and uses a number of programming techniques that make it extremely difficult to plug into.

The end result is when UAC prompts you do do something, you’re actually not on your desktop anymore. You’re in a process that no other application can get in front of to fake you out. To ensure that the user isn’t shell-shocked by the change, Secure Desktop takes a picture of the desktop as it was just before the prompt appeared, applies a gray shading, and then uses that picture as the Secure Desktop background. That’s why you can’t click on any of the windows behind the dialog either: they’re not actual windows, just a picture of what you were previously doing.

Link to article

My Thoughts; UAC is an extremely good idea, sure programmers wont have an easy time with it but its a concept that should have been done awhile ago.  Sure SudoWin
is available but UAC doesnt have any kind of plugin architecture to it.  Microsoft needs to lighten up the prompts and programmers need to start thinking now of making their programs Vista ready and not wait until December to start planning.