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Encryption

New Research Cracks AES Keys 3-5x Faster 176

Landing his first accepted submission, qpgmr writes "AES, generally thought to be the gold standard for encryption, is showing weaknesses. From Computerworld: 'Researchers from Microsoft and the [Belgian] Katholieke Universiteit Leuven have discovered a way to break the widely used Advanced Encryption Standard, the encryption algorithm used to secure most all online transactions and wireless communications.'" The full paper has lots of details. Note that it would still take a few billion years with current computers to actually break anything, but there may be further vunerabilities yet to be discovered.
Microsoft

Saving in OOXML Format Now Probably A Bad Idea 150

orlando writes "Much drama is unfolding prior to the OOXML Ballot Resolution Meeting in Geneva, currently schedule for the end of February. After that there's a subsequent 30 day period while countries can still change their vote. As a result, Bob Sutor is recommending that saving your documents in OOXML format right now is probably about the riskiest thing you can do, if you are concerned with long term interoperability. At this point nobody has the vaguest idea what OOXML will look like in February, or even whether it will be in any sort of stable condition by the end of March. 'While we are talking about interoperability, who else do you think is going to provide long term complete support for this already-dead OOXML format that Microsoft Office 2007 uses today? Interoperability means that other applications can process the files fully and not just products from Microsoft. I would even go so far as to go back to those few OOXML files you have already created and create .doc, .ppt, and .xls versions of them for future use, if you want to make sure you can read them and you don't want to commit yourself to Microsoft's products for the rest of their lives.'"
Microsoft

Microsoft drops VBA in Mac Office 2007 374

slashdotwriter writes "Macworld features an article stating that the next version of Office for the Mac will not include Visual Basic scripting. From the article: 'Microsoft Office isn't among the apps that will run natively on Intel-based Macs — and it won't be until the latter half of 2007, according to media reports. But when it does ship, Office will apparently be missing a feature so vital to cross-platform compatibility that I believe it will be the beginning of the end for the Mac version of the productivity suite...'"

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