Vista Kernel Ready To Pop?
Vista, due largely to its lockdown of user rights, is far more secure than
XP. But it's not 100 percent safe. In fact, the kernel itself has an issue that
to buffer overflow attacks
, or so says security company Phion.
The exploit, which does require admin privileges, is pretty well-documented
by Phion. And there's no patch -- just a workaround from the company. Hmm. Is
Phion looking for new customers?
Pre-announcing this kind of flaw is like giving bullets to insurgents before
our soldiers have a chance to put on helmets and bulletproof vests: dangerous.
Office Files Now Standard
I've seen lots of messy battles: the divorce between Charlie Sheen and Denise
Richards, our latest presidential election, and of course any episode of the
disgrace that is "American Idol."
In two of these cases, people are fighting over the trivial. Which is why it's
no real surprise that the attempt to turn the latest Microsoft Office file format
into an open standard turned into a year-and-a-half-long public slugfest.
This week, the format was finally
approved, so now there are two similar Office productivity formats -- OpenOffice
(from the Sun camp) and Office Open XML (dig this crazy acronym: OOXML!).
Now the trick is for the warring camps to put down their bludgeons and fully
support each other's formats (I won't hold my breath).
Thanks for Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is this Thursday, and in honor of the holiday, this newsletter
is skipping the rest of the week. I know I'll be enjoying time with the fam;
my parents are coming down from New Hampshire and the sis is driving in from
I hope you get see those close to you, as well. And for our international readers,
take the time you'll save by not reading this newsletter to give your loved
ones a little attention.
Are you spending Thanksgiving in any unusual way or place? Your stories are
always welcome at [email protected].
Mailbag: One More on 'Vista Capable'
Readers have been sending in their opinions on the "Vista
Capable" logo case against Microsoft, and most of them think the company
should lose. But Floyd has a different take:
I'm not sure I get all the emotion behind the "Vista Capable"
stickers. Take, for example, some of the recent Mailbag letters. I agree that
the "average" person wouldn't understand the different hardware
requirements; I know my mom wouldn't, nor would my pop. But in most instances,
writers mention very different flavors of Vista in the same sentence. My question
It seems to me that the "average" person most likely wouldn't
purchase upgrades to the higher versions of Vista. Those that would buy Vista
Business and Ultimate, I'm thinking, would be either a business (where a committee
would vet the hardware capability) or a fairly savvy person who would understand
that BitLocker, the potential for data loss and the other advanced components
these two versions provide would require higher horsepower. Even looking at
Vista Home Premium, with its DVD creation and Media Center functionality,
foretells of a more-advanced-than-average user who would know better than
to buy an underpowered machine.
Tell us what you think! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to [email protected]dmag.com.
Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.