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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 76 declined, 17 accepted (93 total, 18.28% accepted)

+ - First build of Windows 9 shows start menu return but with Modern tiles ->

Submitted by Billly Gates
Billly Gates (198444) writes "A leaked alpha of Windows 9 has been brewing on the internet. Today a screenshot shows what MS showed us at BUILD which includes a start menu with additional tiny tiles for things like people, calendar, pc settings, and news etc. What the screenshot does show is it is much bigger than Windows7 taking 1/3 of the screen similar to the Start Screen which will show more apps (frequently used desktop apps) in addition to other features. Is this a shift for MS to fix Windows 8? Or do some of us who are really still used to XP and Windows 7 won't allow anything modern in it? Also what is unknown is the return of AERO, and how will Cortana fit voice control fit in?"
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+ - New Poll: Majority of eastern Ukrainians do not back Russia->

Submitted by Billly Gates
Billly Gates (198444) writes "A new independent poll which includes east Ukraine shows quite a different picture than what the armed men in camouflage holding Russian made weapons want you to believe regardless of the voting. Kiev has accused the separatists of really being Russian intelligence agents disguised as peaceful Ukrainian protesters taking over buildings and TV stations and destabilizing the country. A new poll shows even in Eastern Ukraine that the majority do not want independence or be part of Russia. While joining the EU is not something the majority of eastern Ukrainians want the rest of the country is in favor of becoming European at 56% in favor. What does this say about other former Soviet Union countries like Belarus, Poland, Romania, and Georgia when voters decide something that is not in favor of Moscow? Putin seems to be winning the propaganda war which shows a different picture even in western media of an illegitimate government taking over by radical racists again't a country that wants to be part of Russia."
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+ - Microsoft drops support for IE 8->

Submitted by Billly Gates
Billly Gates (198444) writes "With the death of XP it is no surprise if other ancient software with it such as IE 6 no longer become supported. However, IE 8 is still the de factor standard browser right now for the majority of internet users. This is especially in China and enterprises world wide who are not ready for HMTL 5 yet and need support for unsigned ActiveX controls and older encryption standards for specific sites.
Microsoft no longer supports IE 8 and will perform security updates according to its default homepage for first time IE use.

Where I work we use unprotected mode as it is to run sites designed for IE 7 and for state governments who still use quirks mode for Medicare processing.

Now IE has it's first known vulnerability since the EOL for both Windows XP and now IE 8. Should we IT professionals worry? We were given no advanced notice unlike XP!"

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+ - Private keys stolen within hours from heartbleed OpenSSL site->

Submitted by Billly Gates
Billly Gates (198444) writes "It was reported when heartbleed was discovered that only passwords would be at risk and private keys were still safe. Not anymore. Cloudfare launched the heartbleed challenge on a new server with the openSSL vulnerability and offered a prize to whoever could gain the private keys. Within hours several researchers and a hacker got in and got the private signing keys.

Expect many forged certificates and other login attempts to banks and other popular websites in the coming weeks unless the browser makers and CA's revoke all the old keys and certificates."

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+ - Ubuntu to re-add menu's to gnome-shell->

Submitted by Billly Gates
Billly Gates (198444) writes "Arstechnica reviewed one of the 14.4 pre-releases and found menu's returning to its version of Gnome 3 (gnome-shell). With rumors of Windows 9 reversing course with its mobile UI already evident in Windows 8.1 update 1 and now Gnome-shell could this mean the mobile phase of focusing just on minimalism and viewing content is coming to an end?"
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+ - Dangerous 0-day in the wild for IE 10->

Submitted by Billly Gates
Billly Gates (198444) writes "The new patches released just a few days ago does not cover this one. Arstechnica who reported this did not mention if earlier versions of IE were vulnerable outright as only IE 10 was mentioned.

Arstechnica advised users to not use IE 10 meanwhile and upgrade to IE 11 or use Firefox or Chrome. One of the comments to the story mentioned ESPN's ad-network already being infected. Also Adblock plus for IE is available too if you are stuck with IE 10 which will block malicious ad networks."

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+ - LibreOffice 4.2 with GPU mantle support is out-> 4

Submitted by Billly Gates
Billly Gates (198444) writes "A basic summary of the new features are listed here. In catching up with MS Office the new LibreOffice 4.2 now has full Windows 7/8 integration including aero peak, thumbnails, jumplists, and recent documents all from the taskbar. In addition one weak area for LibreOffice has been enterprise network support and the lack of active directory tools. LibreOffice now has GPO and active directory support for system administrators to deploy and manage Libreoffice over corporate networks. Libreoffice also includes an expert configuration Window to assist power users and system administrators when deploying to hundreds of workstation at a time as well.

Also of particular interest is AMD/ATI is expecting to finally release Mantle in the next coming hours for games like Battlefield 4. Surprisingly LibreOffice also supports mantle as well according to the release notes. However you will need the 14.1 driver which is being compiled and uploaded at the time of this writing to utilize this feature. Mantle will accelerate lower end cpus by up to 300% in some tasks while having modest improvements for those with more recent powerful CPUs. A real niceties for those like myself on AMD phenom II's with the later 7000 series cards.

The only issue (some on slashdot may say benefit ) is the lack of a ribbon UI. However, for recent articles about governments considering openoffice this release addresses shortcomings with the new active directory and GPO support."

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+ - +147 more exploits found in latest Java-> 1

Submitted by Billly Gates
Billly Gates (198444) writes "Out of the 147 vulnerabilities around 85 are remote executions with no authentication whatsoever. Oracle plans to have a patch which addresses most of them for Java 7 next Tuesday. Unfortunately for many corporations or those who have the Android SDK you are stuck without a patch with Java 6 without a very expensive Oracle support contract."
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+ - Old browsers preventing HTML 5 are growing (not just IE)->

Submitted by Billly Gates
Billly Gates (198444) writes "The monthly totals from g.statcounter.com and netmarketshare.com came out with the latest December statistics which sometimes cause flamewars as both sides companies report different results on the most popular browser/OS (Netmarketshare favors IE, while statcounter.com favors Chrome).

However, ZDNet noticed something interesting from both statistics. Obsolete browsers are gaining traction even with auto updates for all them. Typically we hear of old browsers we think of corporations running old versions of IE like IE 6 in which any intranet developer will say is a must for support until last year. But Safari now beats IE in terms of users who do not wish to upgrade as 50% run obsolete versions!

Firefox too has its obsolete versions kicking and screaming with 1 out of 5 more than 2 versions old. IE has its old versions as well but this is expected in corps where they use apps which write to MSHTML and MS CSS with MS Jscript for their intranet apps as IE 11 is too modern and standards compliant.

As 2014 starts the web is becoming more and more important as new sites like salesforce.com, LinkedIn, and a million cloud providers all really benefit from HTML 5 features not to mention the security risk associated with"

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+ - Both Firefox and Chrome will EOL on XP shortly after April->

Submitted by Billly Gates
Billly Gates (198444) writes "While Windows XP is still going strong the sun is rapidly setting on this old platform fast. Firefox plans to end support for XP which means no security fixes or improvements. Chrome is being discontinued a little later as well for Windows XP. Windows XP has its die hard users refusing to upgrade as they prefer the operating system or feel there is no need to change. Many of them also have been on slashdot proudly proclaiming to still use it when not running MacOSX or Linux. The story would not be as big of a deal if it were not for the feared XPopacalypse with a major Virus/worm/trojan taking down millions of systems with no patches to ever fix them and software not being patched to protect them. Does this also mean webmasters will need to write seperate versions of CSS and javascript for older versions of Chrome and Firefox like they did with IE 6 if the user base refuses to leave Windows XP?

It is time to move on whether you are a fan of Windows XP still or not. As fellow geeks how is the best way to move these people off this old platform?"

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+ - ATI takes crown away from Nvidia for almost half the price as fastest GPU->

Submitted by Billly Gates
Billly Gates (198444) writes "AMD may have trouble in their CPU department with Intel having superior fabrication plants. However, in the graphics market with GPU chips AMD is on fire! AMD earned a very rare Elite reward from Tomshardware as the fastest GPU available with its fastest r9 for as little as $550 each. NVidia has its top end GPU cards going for $1,000 as it had little competition to worry about. Maximum PC also included some benchmarks and crowned ATI as the fastest and best value card available. AMD/ATI also has introduced MANTLE Api for lower level access than DirectX which is cross platform. This may turn into a very important API as AMD/ATI have their GPUs in the next generation Sony and Xbox consoles as well with a large marketshare for game developers to target"
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+ - AMD/ATI's takes crown from Nvida for almost half the price!-> 1

Submitted by Billly Gates
Billly Gates (198444) writes "AMD may have trouble in their CPU department with Intel having superior fabrication plants. However, in the graphics market with GPU chips AMD is on fire! AMD earned a very rare Elite reward from Tomshardware as the fastest GPU available with its fastest r9 for as little as $550 each. NVidia has its top end GPU cards going for $1,000 as it had little competition to worry about. Maximum PC also included some benchmarks and crowned ATI as the fastest and best value card available. AMD/ATI also has introduced MANTLE Api for lower level access than DirectX which is cross platform. This may turn into a very important API as AMD/ATI have their GPUs in the next generation Sony and Xbox consoles as well with a large marketshare for game developers to target."
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+ - New ransomeware CryptoLocker virus encrypts all your files->

Submitted by Billly Gates
Billly Gates (198444) writes "Slashdot covered the FBI scareware malware which scares users into paying a fake FBI fine before. This one does something even more mischievous. It scans your whole hard disk for photos, .odts, .docx, xls, and other important files and locks them with a 2048-bit RSA key and then demands $300 or you will never see your data again! The name of it is called cyptolocker and only the author has the private key to unlock it and using any anti virus product will remove all your data forever as the public key is randomly generated during each new infection making it impossible to unlock without a supercomputer and a few millennium of time. Cryptolocker also has a time bomb of 72 hours before it closes out. However, some users have reversed the time on their computers to get the session back up again."
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+ - Windows Server 2012 R2 the other MS OS also was released->

Submitted by Billly Gates
Billly Gates (198444) writes "Windows 8.1 isn't the only update that came out yesterday. Windows Server 2012 R2 offers numerous improvements over R1 even if it is not mentioned in the news as much as its tablet friendly cousin.

Windows Server OS will be updated on an agile schedule as well which is different unlike past versions. The Modern (formerly known as METRO) haters will be pleasantly surprised that the GUI is not installed by default. A CLI Powershell 4.0 with new desired state configuration comes standard as a preferred way to administer the systems locally. The gui is an optional install. Improvements over Windows Server 2012 R1 include better Tier Storage Space support where requests for certain files will automatically be selected by the quickest SAN or other storage location, faster VM deployments (about 50%), UEFI VM hyperV support, replacement of driver emulators to native ones for more virtual hardware in HyperV, Faster SMB performance and compression, event logging with SMB events, live SMB HypverV migration support, Group Policy caching which will make booting clients off the network much quicker, WDS Windows deployment can be done in powershell making upgrades much easier, IIS 8.5 which now includes (Windows Process Out) which pages out a process out an idle process after 20 minutes to prevent memory leaks, Windows Defender for live virus and malware scanning on file shares, IP management can now be imported/exported to SQL ServerTLS is more standards compliant and now supports RFC5077.

For those who want some gui support, but not the modern UI can use RSAT to manage it from a desktop. RSAT also is available for the Iphone and Android phones and tablets with R2! You might want to check your organizations security policy before enabling this though :-)

  Server 2012 R1 still is a big improvement over Windows Server 2008 with SMB and AD compression (nice for WAN links), smart caching by picking the fastest SAN or RAID for read/writes, and a now type 1 hyper-visor which makes it competitive with VMWare ESX, as well as VM friendly domain controllers that can be moved easily on the network. More detailed improvements including R2 are listed here. Since R2 is considered the first service pack many organizations who use Windows this maybe the first upgrade in quite some time since Server 2008 SP 1 was released many years ago."

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+ - VMWare updates VMWare Fusion, VMPlayer, and VMWare Workstation lines->

Submitted by Billly Gates
Billly Gates (198444) writes "Virtualization is criticial for anyone in I.T. or runs Linux and needs to run some Windows program. In just a year's span VMWare has its next generation of client software releases using a Microsoft like release schedule. The information and features is here as well as here . Both the Mac oriented Fusion, and PC oriented Workstation include support for Windows 8.1, MacOSX Maverick (fusion/player on Mac), SATA drivers, integration with tablet features such as light controls and sensors, 64 GBs of ram support, 16 virtual CPU support, USB 3, and better SSD support. However, VMWare crippled its fusion product for the Mac and offers are more expensive VMWare Professional Fuse that offers the same features such as creating restricted or expired VMs as well as the VMWare Player. For those who do not want to pay $299 for the retail price or $250 there is always the FOSS Oracle Virtualbox which offers many of its features and is also cross platform for all major host and guest platforms."
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