Thomas Greene of The Register has a fairly comprehensive review of Vista and IE7 user security measures. The verdict is: better but not adequate, and mostly an attempt to shift blame onto the user when things go wrong. From the review: "[Vista is] a slightly more secure version than XP SP2. There are good features, and there are good ideas, but they've been implemented badly. The old problems never go away: too many networking services enabled by default; too many owners running their boxes as admins and downloading every bit of malware they can get their hands on."
MacNN caught this incredible defection and loss of faith by a former Vista booster, PC Magazine editor-in-chief Jim Louderback, as he steps down from his position. "I've been a big proponent of the new OS over the past few months, even going so far as loading it onto most of my computers and spending hours tweaking and optimizing it. So why, nine months after launch, am I so frustrated? The litany of what doesn't work and what still frustrates me stretches on endlessly. The upshot is that even after nine months, Vista just ain't cutting it. I definitely gave Microsoft too much of a free pass on this operating system: I expected it to get the kinks worked out more quickly. Boy, was I fooled! If Microsoft can't get Vista working, I might just do the unthinkable: I might move to Linux."
ktwdallas writes "Mathew Ingram from Canada's Globe and Mail writes that Microsoft will require at least the $299 Business version of Vista or higher if installing on a Mac with virtualization. Running the cheaper Basic or Premium versions would be a violation of their user agreement. According to the article, Microsoft's reasoning is 'because of security issues with virtualization technology'. Sounds suspiciously like a 'Mac penalty' cost that Microsoft is trying to justify."
boyko.at.netqos writes "Hardocp.com has published "30 days with Vista" — with the same author from "30 days with Linux" doing the evaluation. And he doesn't like it. From the article: 'Based on my personal experiences with Vista over a 30 day period, I found it to be a dangerously unstable operating system, which has caused me to lose data [...] Any consideration of the fine details comes in second to that one inescapable conclusion. This is an unstable operating system.'"
fr8_liner writes "In an unusually candid interview with Newsweek Bill Gates lays it all on the line, bragging about the benefits of Vista, ragging on Apple for their 'I'm a Mac' ads, and claiming primacy in a number of features shared by Vista and OSX. Specifically, it is Mr. Gates' opinion that the Apple adverts are misleading if not untruthful. He makes the claim that 'security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine.' The interview also touches on the future of Microsoft and Operating systems, and some of the company's plans for internet-based computing."
Several users have submitted stories reporting on the launch of Microsoft's newest operating system. The Guardian focuses on virus warnings already threatening the OS, while the New York Times discusses the bug hunt that's begun. With hackers writing scripts to attack, and well-paid bounty hunters looking for bugs to defend, Vista's first few months on the market are sure to be interesting. In the meantime, what is your impression of the OS? Have you had a chance to use the retail version yet? Are you supporting it in a business environment? What's the launch of Vista been like for you?
snuffin writes to tell us that a local radio competition to "hold your wee for a Wii" has ended with a Sacramento woman dead from water poisoning. From the article: "An Associated Press interview with another contestant, named James Ybarra, claimed that contestants were initially given eight ounce bottles of water to drink every fifteen minutes, with larger bottles being used once contestants began to drop out. According to Ybarra, 'They told us if you don't feel like you can do this, don't put your health at risk.' He described the victim as 'a nice lady' and that 'she was telling me about her family and her three kids and how she was doing it for her kids.'"
An anonymous reader writes "An investigation into the ongoing trademark dispute between Cisco and Apple over the name "iPhone" appears to show that Cisco does not own the mark as claimed in their recent lawsuit. This is based on publicly available information from the US Patent and Trademark office, as well as public reviews of Cisco products over the past year. The trademark was apparently abandoned in late 2005/early 2006 because Cisco was not using it."
An anonymous reader writes "With Macworld set to start Jan. 8, InformationWeek has a detailed comparison that pits Mac OS X against Vista. According to reviewer John Welch, OS X wins hands down. The important point: he doesn't say Vista is bad, just that technically speaking, OS X remains way ahead. Do you agree?"
mrspin offers the opinion of ZDNet blogger Steve O'Hear that users may soon tire of social networks — if they don't open up and embrace standards allowing greater interoperability among the different networks. O'Hear writes: "Unless the time required to sign-in, post to, and maintain profiles across each network is reduced, it will be impossible for most users to participate in multiple sites for very long." In an earlier post he went into more detail on the same subject, with extensive opinions from four creators of social networks. A contrary data point comes from the Apophenia blog, in a post noting the tendency among young users to create ephemeral profiles, and not to mind at all if they have to re-enter data. "Teens are not looking for universal anything; that's far too much of a burden if losing track of things is the norm." What does Slashdot think — is data portability among social networking sites a big deal or not?
David Gerard writes "Security researcher Peter Gutmann has released A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection, a detailed explanation of just what the protected-content paths in Windows Vista mean to you the consumer: increased hardware cost and even less OS robustness. 'This document analyses the cost involved in Vista's content protection, and the collateral damage that this incurs throughout the computer industry ... The Vista Content Protection specification could very well constitute the longest suicide note in history.'"
Bill Andad writes to point out a surprise trend emerging from the Virus Bulletin Conference 2006 in Montreal this week. From the article on Daniweb: "It is the smallest of Trojan attacks that are causing the biggest headache in the world of corporate security right now. By targeting individuals within individual companies with individually constructed infected messages, the new-age industrial spy is slipping under the security radar." News.com has more in-depth coverage.
ches_grin writes "Yesterday's ruling on the NSA warrantless wiretapping program could mean that businesses that assisted in the program are in for some serious legal problems. The judge's decision clearly dismissed out of hand the arguments of the telecoms, saying that the protections due journalists and lawyers was a clear matter of the public's best interests." From the article: "Businesses accused of aiding the Bush administration in wiretapping could also be in for a legal bruising, say civil liberties groups that have sued telecom providers AT&T, Verizon, and BellSouth for allegedly helping the NSA. The ruling could set a precedent other courts can't ignore. 'Every phone company that is assisting the government in its illegal surveillance would want to think long and hard before it continues that agreement,' says Ann Beeson, the ACLU's lead attorney in the case. 'There are already lawsuits claiming that their cooperation for the past several years is illegal and now that the judge has declared it is illegal, their liability increases. The risk is much greater from a business perspective.'"