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IE 8 To Include New Security Tools 177

Trailrunner7 writes "Internet Explorer has been a security punching bag for years, and rightfully so. IE 6 was arguably the least secure browser of all time. But Microsoft has been trying to get their act together on security, and the new beta of IE 8, due in August, will have a slew of new security features, including protection against Type-1 cross-site scripting attacks, a better phishing filter and better security for ActiveX controls."

Microsoft Releases Pre-2007 Binary File Format Specs 269

An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft has released the specifications for the binary file formats used by pre-2007 Microsoft Office applications. They're accurate this time! Honest! While the documents are enormous (Word alone requires 533 pages; Excel runs over 1000 plus another 850 pages for the Office 2007 binary format), they hopefully will be useful to developers trying to create or extract information from Microsoft Office files (which despite their flaws, have been the de facto standard in many fields for some time now)."

The Soul of A New Microsoft 294

BusinessWeek Online is running a front page story today about the new future of Microsoft. By 'looking beyond Windows', the company is utilizing fresh blood to come up with new products like the Zune, the Xbox 360, and various online sites. While the Zune probably isn't getting off to as successful a start as they might have liked, the article argues it's a positive sign that they're at least making the attempt. From the article: "The point is that Microsoft needs to find its un-Vista. Several of them, in fact. The software giant is entering perhaps the greatest upheaval in its 30-year history. New business models are emerging--from low-cost "open-source" software to advertising-supported Web services--that threaten Microsoft's core business like never before. For investors to care about the company, it needs to find new growth markets. Its $44.3 billion in annual sales are puttering along at an 11% growth pace. Its shares, which soared 9,560% throughout the 1990s, sunk 63% in 2000 when the Internet bubble burst, and they have yet to fully recover."

Did Humans Get Their Big Brains From Neanderthals? 579

MCTFB writes, "According to CNN, human beings may have acquired a gene for developing bigger brains from Neanderthal man. Apparently, 70% of the world's population has a variant of a gene regulating brain size, with this variant being most common in people of European descent (where Neanderthal man lived alongside ancient humans), and least common in people of African descent (where Neanderthal man was non-existent). While modern day eugenicists might all too eagerly read into these findings to draw their own politically biased conclusions, people such as myself, who happen to be of northern European ancestry, may find it fascinating that somewhere in our lineage ancient humans and Neanderthals decided to make love and not war on the ancient plains of Eurasia."

Virtual Earth 3D Beta Launched 188

Lord Satri writes "Microsoft has announced the launch of Virtual Earth 3D. There are numerous screenshots to be seen, as well as a Google Earth comparison from Spatially Adjusted. You can read the Google Earth Blog on why he thinks it's not a threat to Google. C|Net's coverage and the official press release provide lots of concrete details of the product. You can also read more from the development side or see the CBS report on Virtual Earth 3D. My main gripe: Windows and Internet Explorer 6/7 only. From the official press release: 'When people visit Live Search, type a query into the search box and click the "Maps" tab, they get their search results in a map context that offers the option to explore the area using two-dimensional views (aerial and bird's-eye) or three dimensional models with Virtual Earth 3D. This new technology compiles photographic images of cities and terrain to generate textured, photorealistic 3-D models with engineering level accuracy.'"

You are in the hall of the mountain king.