Office Live Almost Live
If Office Live was Frankenstein, it would be about ready for the 10,000 volts
that would bring it to life. All you mad scientists out there can take an almost
fully constructed version of Office
for a whirl by downloading
the beta version
, and see what all the fuss is about. Some of the services,
like free e-mail and a domain name, are supported by ads, just like Redmondmag.com
(wonder if OfficeLive.com accepts Red Hat ads?), while others are purely pay-to-play.
U.S. Lectures the World on Internet Freedom
Remember when your mom or dad gave you advice and you just plain cringed --
but all along you knew they were right? That’s what’s happening
this week as the U.S. State Department scolded
foreign governments such as China not to censor the Internet, particularly
for political content (my guess is there would be fewer complaints with blocking
I doubt the Chinese authorities will take as kindly to this advice as I ultimately
did with my folks, but U.S. dignitaries are flying to China to find out.
Still Can’t Figure Out Microsoft Anti-Spyware,
er, Windows Defender
Microsoft has a new beta of its Anti-Spyware tool with a new name, Windows
Defender. I’ve been using beta 1 and am still puzzled -- it hasn’t
flagged a single suspicious file. I’m not sure if I’ve been practicing
safe surfing, or if this thing is asleep at the wheel. My only point of comparison
is my kids’ computers, and the anti-spyware programs (not Microsoft) installed
on them find files left and right. Of course, that was before I took away their
admin rights and lectured them about downloading every free game they came across.
I’m willing to give Windows Defender the benefit of the doubt for now,
and want to thank Microsoft for giving it away free.
Does Talking About Security Equal Security?
Over the past 10 days, Microsoft has released thousands of words, a large handful
of press releases and a 17-page speech from Bill Gates himself, all in a well-orchestrated
attempt to convince us to take security more seriously and that Microsoft has
and will continue to make dramatic progress.
It all started a week ago when Microsoft looked back with pride over the 4-year-old
Trustworthy Computing initiative and wrenched a shoulder patting itself on the
what Microsoft had to say.
Then, on Valentine’s Day (you can send me your late Valentines or anti-Valentines
at email@example.com), Gates
spoke at the RSA Security Conference touting security advances in Vista.
to Redmond Report
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The company has had time to think about all this and the pressure is on, so
I’m sure Redmond coders are working like heck to make it secure. The question
is, is the underlying architecture -- an ultra-fat client -- intrinsically insecure?
Fire me your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to read the whole 17 pages (it starts with a Dick Cheney hunting
joke), go here.
Is Microsoft making real progress on security, do you trust Vista, and what
should they do to make software safer? E-mail me at email@example.com.
Earlier this week I told you about a company that’s putting RFID tags
in workers -- all in the name of security. Today I’ll tell you about RFID
tags implanted out of love.
Lovebirds Amal Graafstra and Jennifer Tomblin have matching
tags that give access to each other’s front doors and computers (guess
they never heard of keys and passwords). While weird (or perhaps just a publicity
seeker), Graafstra is a bit of an RFID expert and has been writing software
to exploit the chips for work and play. Now, what happens when they break up?
Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.