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Security

Microsoft Unveils Open Source Exploit Finder 310

Houston 2600 sends this excerpt from the Register about an open-source security assessment tool Microsoft presented at CanSecWest: "Microsoft on Friday released an open-source program designed to streamline the labor-intensive process of identifying security vulnerabilities in software while it's still under development. As its name suggests, !exploitable Crash Analyzer (pronounced 'bang exploitable crash analyzer') combs through bugs that cause a program to seize up, and assesses the likelihood of them being exploited by attackers. Dan Kaminsky, a well-known security expert who also provides consulting services to Microsoft, hailed the release a 'game changer' because it provides a reliable way for developers to sort through thousands of bugs to identify the several dozen that pose the greatest risk."
Windows

Did the Netbook Improve Windows 7's Performance? 440

Arnie87 writes "One Microsoft Way has an interesting article suggesting that the reason Microsoft is focusing so much on speed with Windows 7 is the whopping sales of netbooks. The article concludes by saying: 'If you plan on adopting Windows 7, you have the netbook to be thankful for, because Vista's successor would be a very different beast if Microsoft had less motivation to pursue performance.'"
Programming

Blizzard Asserts Rights Over Independent Add-Ons 344

bugnuts writes "Blizzard has announced a policy change regarding add-ons for the popular game World of Warcraft which asserts requirements on UI programmers, such as disallowing charging for the program, obfuscation, or soliciting donations. Add-ons are voluntarily-installed UI programs that add functionality to the game, programmed in Lua, which can do various tasks that hook into the WoW engine. The new policy has some obvious requirements, such as not loading the servers or spamming users, and it looks like an attempt to make things more accessible and free for the end user. But unlike FOSS, it adds other requirements that assert control over these independently coded programs, such as distribution and fees. Blizzard can already control the ultimate functionality of add-ons by changing the hooks into the WoW engine. They have exercised this ability in the past, e.g. to disable add-ons that automate movement and facilitate 'one-button' combat. Should they be able to make demands on independent programmers' copyrighted works, such as forbidding download fees or advertising, when those programmers are not under contract to code for Blizzard? Is this like Microsoft asserting control over what programmers may code for Windows?"

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