Worm Authors Get Squashed

The Zotob worm made the rounds only recently, but with the help of motivated investigators and Microsoft, a pair of virus-writing scumbags in Morocco and Turkey found themselves in the pokey. I couldn’t be happier. No one has a right to mess with our property, our computers, and private and business information. Slimy virus writers need to pay for their automated, wanton destruction.

Here’s what the FBI had to say.

WinFS For Sure
WinFS, a unified relational file system, may have been cut from the initial release of Longhorn, now called Vista (By the way, why get us used to a cool code name and then change it to some plain vanilla marketing speak?), but the technology is far from dead -- it’s in beta! The code is apparently so raw that Redmond hasn’t even decided what operating systems it will support -- they want beta testers to tell them.

Redmond Public with Public Policy
Microsoft has long been involved with the federal government, often helping shape legislation and backing up law enforcement, but sometimes on the sharp end of an anti-trust stick. Still, no matter how many times the DOJ tried to slap it down, Microsoft never backed away from Washington. This week the company laid out its core public policy goals -- goals, I think, our government will listen to very carefully.

Most exciting for me is Microsoft’s strong campaign for anti-spyware legislation. Spyware is giving Windows and IE a black eye, and as Jack Krumholtz, Microsoft’s director of federal government affairs mildly put it, “It diminishes our customers’ computing experience.” Ya think?

Also on the agenda: backing of free trade, more money for basic federal research, passing a Cybercrime treaty with Europe and allowing more foreign computer experts to work in the U.S. I’m still waiting to see something here I can disagree with. What do you think? E-mail me at dbarney@redmondmag.com and you might see your message in the next Redmond Report.

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Cookies and Chips, er, Processors
On the Internet, cookies and now adware follow us and serve content based on where we’ve been in the past -- but not always to our liking. Now Intel is touting a similar idea for PCs themselves. Future massive multi-core processors will have so much extra juice that they’ll be able to track your activities and adapt operations to your computing habits. Not only that but they’ll respond to the environment and work intelligently with other electronic gizmos. All of this will make computers far simpler and so rich in functionality they’ll seem like a team of highly trained assistants.

Hate to throw cold water on the idea, but even if the processors become capable of such magic, they still need software to pull it all off. Put them together and we’re talking about phenomenal levels of complexity, and we all know what that means -- a million more ways for something to malfunction and development schedules that stretch into years. By the time Intel’s vision is realized, I’ll need a team of highly trained assistants -- to get me out of my wheelchair!

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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