Major IE Vulnerability Exposed

Users of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer are being urged by experts to switch to a rival until a serious security flaw has been fixed.

BBC

This is the tag line that has already greeted many readers today as news travels further about a serious security flaw effecting every version of Internet Explorer from 5 to the latest IE 8 beta.

The exploitation of this vulnerability has already said to have compromised as many as 10,000 websites (roughly 0.02% by Microsoft’s estimation) and been used to steal game passwords, but could potentially be used to steal other more vital information.

“I cannot recommend people switch due to this one flaw,” said John Curran, head of Microsoft UK’s Windows group; however, many security experts are urging users to switch to an alternative browser. Some of the more popular alternatives to Internet Explorer are Firefox, Opera, ChromeSafari, but there are many lesser known alternatives–many of them are free of charge such as Maxthon.

Microsoft is currently working on a patch for this vulnerability, however no release date has been set. This is not to say that you need to unistall IE, nor that other browsers are impervious to vulnerabilities and security flaws. Malware exists due to bugs in the code of programs, and no code is perfect. Patches continue to roll out for every platform (yes, even Mac). While it’s the responsibility of software vendors to fix and release patches in a timely manner, it’s the responsibility of the user to install the patches offered in just as an efficient time frame as well as practice safe habits both online and offline.

How To: 64-bit Flash Player for Linux

Adobe has released a preview of their upcoming 64-bit version of Flash player for Linux. The software giant has shown much hesitancy towards porting Flash, without much explanation. This release is considered to be in alpha state, but I’ve found no more bugs than in their stable 9.x series for Linux. In fact, I’ve actually had better results overall.

Download the plug-in from the Flash Player Download Center.

Quit your browser and remove any previous installations of Flash as well as all versions of NSPlugin.

Extract libflashplayer.so and copy it to  /usr/lib64/browser-plugins.

Relaunch your browser and verify the installation by either visiting Adobe’s About Flash page or typing in Firefox’s address “bar about:plugins” (without the quotation marks).

If it all went well, you’ll be happily playing the wealth of Flash media online.

Please comment below whether or not it worked for you.

Update: Changed the link to Flash Player “Square.”

The Trinity of Search Engines

Microsoft has voiced concern that Yahoo’s intended deal with Google would violate anti-trust laws. The deal would allow Yahoo to place Google advertisements on their site and collect revenue from them. The General Counselor for Microsoft cited alleged comments from Yahoo Chief Jerry Yang regarding a “bipolar” market with Yahoo and Microsoft at one end, and Google at the other.

(Yang) said ‘If we do this deal with Google, Yahoo will become part of Google’s pole and Microsoft,’ he said, ‘would not be strong enough in this market to remain a pole of its own,”‘ Smith told the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee on Tuesday.

I find this statement rather ironic since Microsoft recently attempted to acquire Yahoo. After Yahoo’s public chastening of the software mogul, Microsoft is now backing one of the main investors, Carl Icahn, to obtain a controlling share of Yahoo and clean house amongst Yahoo’s committee members.

In defense of the deal, Google’s Chief Legal Officer David Drummond stated “Google and Yahoo will remain fierce competitors. This agreement will not remove a competitor from the field.”

The full story, albeit on Yahoo, is available here.

Behold: the Atom

Intel AtomHi folks! I know it’s been a while since I actually posted anything new instead of just updating links and information. Rest assured, there’s a few new articles in the cue. 😉 In the meantime, I’ve stumbled across an interesting read from Tom’s Hardware: an in depth review of Intel’s new Atom processor.

The Atom line comes in close quarters with Asus’ upcoming revised EeePC 901 and 1000. A hearty thanks goes to the good folks at Distrowatch for reporting on Linux ultra-portables at Computex. Check out their story and see why you may not be happy about the direction Asus is taking the EeePC.

The other intriguing tidbit from the same story is Acer’s break with Microsoft and the introduction of the Aspire one. More information can be found at UMPCportal. The Aspire one is part of the avalanche of low cost ultra-portable laptops soon to be available–all competing for your oh, so precious dollar. With such stiff competition around the corner, prices are sure to drop to an even more competitive level in a few month’s time. Just in time for back to school sales late Summer to mid Fall.

Windows XP Sp3 Has Arrived!

Windows XpMicrosoft has officially released Service Pack 3 as of this morning. I had heard from an unconfirmed source that they had only just finished and released it to partners one or two days ago. Although I couldn’t find anything on Microsoft’s website about Sp3 (maybe I’m just blind), I did find this link (md5sum: bb25707c919dd835a9d9706b5725af58) to download Sp3 directly. As always, remember: backup, backup, BACKUP before installing (see above post). 😉

Windows XP Sp3 Release Date

WinXpWhile doing some research online, I came across this bit of information from Neowin: Microsoft will make Sp3 for XP available for download by the general public April 29th. Sp3 won’t hit automatic updates until June 10th, however. More information from Neowin available here.

What’s the big deal about another service pack for an already aged operating system? How does as much as a 10% performance boost sound? One author even suggested that users should upgrade from Vista to XP Sp3. While last month’s Sp1 for Vista provided countless bug fixes, benchmarks have shown that overall performance is actually slower than pre-Sp1. The real-world user experience sometimes is far different from synthetic benchmarks.

If you’re curious about Sp3 for XP, I’d recommend you head over to Paul Thurrott’s Faq.

Oh, and a word of warning for those of you who would be tempted to try the Release Candidate 2 Refresh…Out of impatience, I tried installing this on my system, and after several failed attempts and a good deal of voodoo (aided by searching Google), I finally was able to.

Holy Motherboard!

I wanted to announce openSUSE’s release of 10.3 and all the many new changes and improvements; however, the release was almost three weeks ago, and as time has worn on, I’ve felt more and more obligated to do a full fledged review and not just an announcement. Crunched for time and inspiration, I have managed to dig up a rather interesting find in the world of motherboards. The official announcement can be found on openSUSE News.

Asus is releasing a brand new motherboard based on Intel’s latest X38 chipset that includes an embedded Linux system with Skype, a stripped-down version of Firefox, and even on board wireless N. This development is exciting because it offers basic every day use of the computer essentially without turning it on! Even though the P5E Deluxe is a high end desktop motherboard, there’s definitely an unspoken possibility to include this feature in Laptops to come.

The full article can be read here.