New Vista Beta in Small-Scale Test

A new beta of Vista is available and only a handful of testers are able to try this puppy out. Meanwhile, as many as 5 million Windows aficionados are putting the wide-scale Vista beta through its paces. Vista is now in release candidate stage, which means all the heavy lifting has been done. Maybe Vista will ship this year, after all!

Get Yer IE Patches Here
There's a zero-day IE exploit serious enough for Microsoft to release an out-of-cycle patch. Instead of waiting for Patch Tuesday, you can get a patch now that fixes a problem in IE's Vector Markup Language. Left unfixed, the flaw could let hackers run malicious programs on your computers.

Redmond Competitors Complain to EU
Symantec and Adobe are none to happy to see Microsoft edging into their markets. To protect their fair share, these two are asking the European Union to block Microsoft from bundling anti-virus and document distribution software.

This is a tough issue for me. Vista should be secure from the get-go, so free software that protects is a good thing. But if this simply an effort to leverage Vista to build a security business, I'm not so pleased.

Trojans on Your Screen
As soon as the good guys find new ways to thwart hackers, hackers hack up a new hack. Now they've broken those on-screen keypads that are supposed to stump keyloggers. There's a Trojan that can capture the actual screens the same way keyloggers grab keystrokes. The program doesn't capture every screen, just the ones that accompany the clicks of the mouse.

Vista's New Oops Mode
Ever install a new OS and halfway through things go horribly wrong? When that happens with Vista, just go into "Oops" mode (not its real name)!

The Windows Recovery Environment (dubbed WinRE -- which is one boffo acronym!) can diagnose and fix those nagging boot problems.

Happy Birthday, Zany Socks
As a journalist, I'm flooded with press releases. Many are on target and turn into news stories on one of our Web sites or magazines. Some are technical, but in a whole 'nuther market. Some are just plain goofy.

Such is the case with Zany Socks. It seems The Bureau of Missing Socks has been on the Web for a whole decade and it wants us all to celebrate. I was down with dead elephant jokes in the '60s and don't mind the occasional knock-knock, but I just don't find socks funny. If tube socks, ankle socks or dress socks make you laugh, head over here.

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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