There’s a New Worm in Town

Once word gets out about a Windows or IE vulnerability, it’s only a matter of days before the creeps find a way to exploit it, and thus the Zotab worm was recently born. This little nasty affects all Windows clients going back to Windows 95. It blocks access to anti-virus sites and can give hackers control of your machine through a chat server. Updating your patches and virus definitions is the best defense.

Steve Jobs Forking it to Bill?
I’ve made several mentions about Bill Gates coveting the iPod—I may have been wrong. While Bill may not reap the glory, he may pick up the profits from the Apple music player. It turns out that Microsoft has a patent that covers digital music, and Redmond attorneys are hot on the trail of Apple dollars. The tally could be in the hundreds of millions, a mere rounding error for Microsoft accountants.

IE and Windows Together Forever
Later this week Microsoft will reveal the new name for IE 7—Windows IE 7 (I guess all the creativity was used up thinking of Vista). The idea here is to make clear that the browser is still completely integrated with the OS. That’s fine, as long as an alternative browser is just as functional, and the embedded browser isn’t just a welcome mat for viruses and spyware.

Quest for Vintela Ends
Quest Software recently completed its acquisition of Vintela. While on press tour last week, it announced the integration of the two products and laid out a basic roadmap. It turns out that Microsoft, a Vintela investor, suggested that the two companies get together as the Quest war chest could help Vintela’s Unix/Linux integration tools gain more ground.

Letters, Boy Do We Have Letters!
We won’t always post so many letters, but a recent edition of Redmond Report provoked a ton of reaction.

First up, we reported that a 28-year-old South Korean man died after playing a video game for 50 hours, prompting me to ask “How would you want to spend your last 50 hours?” Here are some answers:

If I had 50 hours to live, here what I would do:

  • First, I’ll make sure that the things I’ll do won't affect me badly if I had to live after the 50 hours. Many guys would do crazy things, and if they had to live after the 50 hours, they’ll be destroyed and will wish to die.
  • Next, I’d do an inventory of my stuff and figure out who’ll get what.
  • I’ll send a “Hi” e-mail to the people I care about, telling them I’ll be gone for a while.
  • I’ll eat all my favorite foods.
  • I’ll go to my favorite mall, visit my favorite spot in town and take a tour of my school’s campus.
  • I won't watch my favorite movie and won't listen to my favorite song. This’ll make the idea much better.
  • I’ll sell as much as my stuff to afford a two-day trip to the beach.
  • During those two days, I’ll enjoy myself, but when I go home, I’ll invite my friends over.
  • I’ll ask people I know to forgive me if I’ve ever done anything bad to them.
  • I’ll pray and ask for forgiveness for my sins.
  • Before the last hour, I’ll call Bill Gates and tell him that Microsoft will soon experience what NASA went through before. Bill’s reaction will make me giggle.
  • The last thing I’d do is take a cold shower, drink a can of Dr. Pepper, and go to sleep with the windows open.

I can do this any time, but believe me, it would really feel different if it were the last 50 hours of my life. But then again, no one knows when it’s the last hour in one's life. :)
-- Tarek

It's so stupid to die because of video game play overdose. The good thing is you're on the news. I'll spend my last 50 hours with my wife and kids family, of course ... I would not want to die alone and miserable.
-- Erick

Friends, family, etc ... after that, THEN there would be games ... but there wouldn't be any computers involved.
-- Mr. Furry

I would spend my last 50 hours with my family and God. Nothing else is more important.
-- Kevin

I also reported on Rupert Murdoch’s plans to go into the search business and asked what kind of search engines people would like. Here are some of those thoughts.

All of the current search engines have the same shortcoming in my view. I often run a search that finds numerous hits that find the correct word or phrase in an unrelated subject. For example, if I want to search for “U-2,” I’m looking for information on an airplane, not the band. When I search for tugboats, I’m looking for marine workboats and not Tugboat Tommy. I would like to see a cooperative effort between Web sites and search engines that would permit the search to be directed to a particular subject matter. On the Web page side, the subject matter could be defined in a new field, the same place where the key search words are currently listed. On the search engine side, an advanced search option would allow the user to more narrowly define the subject matter much like eBay does before running a search.
-- David

I would love to see a search engine that would let me scan a picture, take a picture and upload it into the search engine, and then it searches the Internet for all pictures like it.

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I can choose what percentage of the actual image I want its likeness to be. If it’s a picture of a car, I could choose 80 percent likeness and the search engine would find all pictures of the same car, same color, but maybe different angles. A 100 percent likeness and it would find the same car, same color, and same angle it was taken. Fifty percent and it would find the same car, but totally different colors and angles. Twenty-five percent and it would only find a car that was close to what the picture looks like. I could even drag a box around the areas of the picture that are most important so that if I wanted I could get a 100 percent match within the box, but maybe a 50 percent match for everything else.
-- Anonymous

It's nice to think that you can develop your own search engine that pulls up pages of whatever you want as the first few hits, but ultimately, as a user, I won’t use a search engine that doesn’t return the results I'm looking for. If the masses don't use it, it's dead.
-- Ryan

I’d like to see a search engine that deals specifically with computer-related problems and solutions. I’m not interested in buying anything. If I’m trying to find a solution for an HP 4050, I want to filter out toners, paper and such. Sure, I can go to HP’s site and search, but I have to wade through supply listings. Currently, I have to keep a huge list of favorites and search each site. A search engine for support technicians who deal with different types of situations would make me more efficient.
-- Chris Kittell

Here is a note with one reader’s view on whether Rupert Murdoch is as conservative as he is made out to be:

Why is it that the liberal media has managed to flavor everything so far to the left that Murdoch who REALLY is in the middle is perceived as right-wing? I am a conservative in many things, and a liberal in some others. When I watch Fox News, I see plenty of liberals on camera spouting their ideology, and yes, there are many conservatives spouting right back, which is why it’s balanced. In the typical traditional network news and CNN, all you hear are the liberals, with very few conservatives, who are usually being trashed, so all you get is their very liberal ideas and philosophy. They’ve learned over many years of broadcasting just how to say it to make it sound not quite so liberal. Lately, it seems they have been much bolder in their statements, however, and they are hiding their true nature less and less because I guess they don't feel they need to.
-- Mark

And finally, we ran an item about Microsoft running a summer computer camp for girls, prompting this serious (not!) response.

You think Michael Jackson might call up Bill and ask him how he arranged this! Of course, his will be Boys Gone Wild, Jacko style!
-- Tom

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