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Configuring a Windows PC For a Senior Citizen? 823

Posted by kdawson
from the keeping-it-simple dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I would like to know if there are any resources on the Web or elsewhere describing how to configure a Windows PC for an older parent not living in the same household. Assume little computer familiarity or aptitude. Some stuff is obvious, like using only a few large icons for favorite Web sites, or an icon perhaps for composing email and another for checking email. Other considerations are eliminating nuisance messages from Windows update and antivirus/firewall. What works and what doesn't? Can anyone who has worked/volunteered at a senior center offer some insights?"

+ - Contest winner: Vista more secure than MAC OS X

Submitted by Conor Turton
Conor Turton writes: From Macworld News

Dino Dai Zovi, the New York-based security researcher who took home $10,000 in a highly-publicized MacBook Pro hijack on April 20, has been at the center of a week's worth of controversy about the security of Apple's operating system. In an e-mail interview with Computerworld, Dai Zovi talked about how finding vulnerabilities is like fishing, the chances that someone else will stumble on the still-unpatched bug, and what operating system — Windows Vista or Mac OS X — is the sturdiest when it comes to security.

The crux of the article is the following comment: "I have found the code quality, at least in terms of security, to be much better overall in Vista than Mac OS X 10.4. It is obvious from observing affected components in security patches that Microsoft's Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) has resulted in fewer vulnerabilities in newly-written code."
Operating Systems

+ - Review of Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn

Submitted by
Michael writes: " If you have been following the Ubuntu releases, you probably know that Ubuntu's previous release "Edgy Eft" was somewhat lackluster when compared to the their prior "Dapper" release. Improvements were so slight that it was often difficult to differentiate between the two releases. Well with Feisty Fawn you will notice improvements from the Ubuntu installer all the way to how restricted drivers are now installed via a simple gui app and the easy manner in which proprietary codecs are installed. Visually the default look of Ubuntu and its KDE counterpart, Kubuntu, hasn't changed from "Edgy" but the modifications made under the hood sure has simplified Feisty Fawn."

+ - Ubuntu Feisty Fawn Released!

Submitted by
crhylove writes: "Ubuntu Feisty Fawn is out! For those of you not in the know, Ubuntu is aiming to be a full fledged desktop OS based on Debian Gnu/Linux. It is lightweight, fast, pretty, and by default works on most of the hardware out there that people will want to run it on. Included in this release are easy driver installation for commercial (restricted) drivers, Compiz (though turned off by default), Open Office 2.2.0, The Gimp, Gaim (now Pidjin) 2.0.0 beta6, Firefox 2.0, a bunch of great games, and easy codec downloads and installs. I've been running Feisty since about Herd 4, and most of my Windows friends who see it are contemplating switching, and two of them already have (I also installed Beryl, which helps out a lot on the "bling" front)! The latest torrents and such are up at the usual places:"

+ - Major UK Online Child Porn Investigation Slated

Submitted by Oxygen99
Oxygen99 writes: The Guardian (UK) is carrying a story by Duncan Campbell of PC Pro Magazine on Operation Ore, a major police investigation aimed at catching online paedophiles. This has resulted in several high profile arrests, such as those of Pete Townshend and Robert Del Naja, while attracting significant press attention. Yet, the reality of the investigation appears to be one of credit card fraud, wrongful accusations and ignorance leading to a significant number of the 7,292 people on the list being wrongfully accused of a very emotive crime. There have also been 39 suicides and a number of other people on the list will probably never be investigated.

It seems to me this case highlights flaws inherent in the way law enforcement agencies handle evidence that only a small minority of front line officers fully understand. Is this what you take from it?

+ - AACS broken using XBox 360

Submitted by
mgv writes: "AACS is truly broken, and using microsoft's X-Box 360. Using a soldering iron to read the firmware on an X-Box 360 external hard drive, hackers have bypassed the private key encryption that was revoked recently. Instead they have identified the volume unique key on the x-box 360 external HDD, and additionally have now worked out where the Volume Id key is stored on the disk. Details at ars technica"
Technology (Apple)

+ - DVD with Get a Mac actors won't play on Mac or PC

Submitted by
Christopher Phin
Christopher Phin writes: "As if it wasn't ironic enough that one of Mac & PC actors Mitchell & Webb's own DVDs — Peep Show, series 3 — will play on neither Mac or PC, the final glorious insult is that it the anti-piracy feature, which prevents me from watching the DVD, doesn't actually prevent anyone from pirating it. dwebbirony.html"

+ - Microsoft eating mail services!!

Submitted by
Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward writes: "I've recently encountered an issue with clients sending mail to or e-mail accounts. Days were spent digging on this issue, mail logs showed the messages were being accepted by the hotmail servers for delivery. However, the messages never arrived! It as if they were abducted.

I began testing outside of the affected server and found that my entire netblock was being filtered in some way by Microsoft. Mail from some hosts would land in the "Junk Mail" folder others just never showed up. Identical messages to GMail, Yahoo or any other client were received just fine.

I contacted MSN/Hotmail and received only a canned response that, yes the IP I submitted the issue under was in fact blocked, but they are "not able to go into any specific details about what these filters specifically entail, as this would render them useless."

Microsofts response: "Hotmail has created the Smart Network Data Services program. This is a service that helps legitimate email senders work with their customers and partners to reduce spam originating from their IP. This program allows a sender to monitor the health of their IPs."

I recently found on the qmail-ldap mailing list that someone else is seeing the same issues. I posting to see who else is having the same issues. As you can imagine, dealing with Microsoft is like taking a banana from a 4,000lb gorilla. This obviously affects a large client base with the size of hotmail/msn.

I can understand that Microsoft wants to cut back on spam, who doesn't! Not giving any response, or just dropping messages that contain normal daily chatter doesn't seem like a good way to go about it. Not only that, they are more than unwilling to resolve the issue.

I have contacted various Microsoft reps via various channels and all give the same canned response to go check here and have a nice day!"

+ - AACS cracked, again

Submitted by EmTeedee
EmTeedee writes: From a blog post on DLTV:

This time the target was the Xbox 360 HD DVD add on. Geremia on Doom9 forums has started a thread on how he has obtained the Volume ID without AACS authentication. With the aid of others like Arnezami they have managed to patch the Xbox 360 HD DVD add on.
and later in the same article:

It appears that XT5 has released a application that allows the Volume ID to be read without the need to rewrite the firmware. This would mean that anyone could simply plug in the HD DVD drive and obtain the Volume ID from any HD DVD without the hassle of flashing it.

+ - Crowd-motion software may prevent Mecca stampede

Submitted by
wattsup writes: "You may recall the stampede that killed hundreds during a mass pilgrimage to Mecca in 2006. Catastrophic stampedes have periodically afflicted the event. The most recent one killed 345 people and injured 289.

Physicists at Dresden University of Technology in Germany studied video recordings of the 2006 stampede, and wrote visual-recognition software to track and measure the motion of individuals in the crowd. Borrowing from the physics of fluids, the scientists have now analyzed the stampede and have recommendations that could make this year's pilgrimage go smoothly."

+ - Palm Announces Linux Based Platform

Submitted by
dws90 writes: "Palm announced today that it has been developing a new, Linux based platform. According to the article, the platform combines aspects of the ever elusive Palm OS Garnet (which has been in the works for quite a few years now), and a Linux core. Palm also stated that they would evolve the developer community as well, hopefully making software development for Palm devices much easier. Concrete details are lacking at this point, and are supposed to be released later this year. The article does state, however, that a major focus of the new platform will be web browsing, in which Palm's recent deal with Opera will undoubtedly play a role. In addition, Palm announced that the platform is entirely in-house — it won't be licensed to other manufacturers, and contains nothing belonging to ACCESS (formerly PalmSource), which has also been developing a Linux based platform."

Computer Science is the only discipline in which we view adding a new wing to a building as being maintenance -- Jim Horning