Patch Tuesday Delivers Seven Patches

Today, Microsoft is releasing seven patches, three rated critical and four important. All three critical patches address issues involving remote code execution and affect supported versions of Windows, DirectX, DirectShow, Windows Media Format Runtime and Internet Explorer. The four important patches address remote code execution and elevation of privilege, and affect supported versions of Windows.

What's your patch strategy? How do you manage your patch processes? Let me know at pvarhol@redmondmag.com.

Green Hills Software Puts Windows in a Padded Cell
Embedded systems vendor Green Hills Software today announced Padded Cell, a secure virtualization technology that provides virtualized operating systems such as Windows with provable protection against external attack.

Padded Cell makes use of Green Hills' INTEGRITY embedded OS and its expertise in secure software to block all unauthorized access to Windows or other popular operating systems.

Don't count on buying retail copies of Padded Cell for personal use, however. Green Hills is in negotiations with several processor and system vendors to make this technology broadly available in computers you buy in the future. If this happens, you may never have to install another security patch again.

Do you think secure virtualization is the answer to malware and system hacks? Tell me what you think at pvarhol@redmondmag.com.

Entrigue Script Start Is Now Open Source
Entrigue Systems this week announced the availability of Script Start Community 2.0. This is a free and open source product that enables administrators to manage, configure and provision user settings on Windows systems connected to a server OS such as Windows and Linux. Script Start is available for download here.

Do you already use open source tools for system management? Tell me what you use at pvarhol@redmondmag.com.

Cell Phones for Cash
December is the busiest season for cell phone sales: According to mobile research firm M:Metrics, an estimated 12 percent of U.S. consumers will buy new phones during the month.

If you have a collection of old cell phones that are just taking up space in your home, you might consider swapping them for some cash. It might make even more sense if you're an IT manager responsible for acquiring, managing and disposing of mobile devices in your organization.

You won't make much, but companies like Flipswap and Cell For Cash will actually pay you for your old phone, which they then resell. Flipswap offers its service to consumers on its site but also sells its software to wireless distributors like Parrot Cellular and online phone retailer Wirefly. Flipswap's pricing algorithms offer a price for your phones by taking into account your phone's make and model, condition and market demand.

Do you have old cell phones hanging around? What do you do with them? Dial me in at pvarhol@redmondmag.com.

CompUSA To Close All Stores
According a Monday USA Today article, computer and consumer electronics retailer CompUSA will close all of its stores after the holiday season is concluded. The company will sell certain stores, but the CompUSA brand will be gone.

While this isn't really an IT story (unless you're a small business using CompUSA as your vendor and systems integrator), anyone who's purchased computer, networking or personal electronics gear over the last 15 years has probably used CompUSA on multiple occasions. I especially liked the ability to shop and place my order online, then drive down the street to my local store to pick it up.

Where do you buy your hobby gear, or make quick purchases to fix a problem? Will you be affected by the CompUSA closing? Open up to me at pvarhol@redmondmag.com.

About the Author

Peter Varhol is the executive editor, reviews of Redmond magazine and has more than 20 years of experience as a software developer, software product manager and technology writer. He has graduate degrees in computer science and mathematics, and has taught both subjects at the university level.

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