Even being the richest man in the world doesn't stop you from getting a pie in the face.
"But godliness with contentment is great gain."
Posted 22 June 2000.
Intel yesterday said it would take a charge of US$200 million in the second quarter to cover costs associated with a motherboard recall, bringing the total cost of the recall to approximately US$253 million.
The motherboard recall stems from a flaw with a chip called the memory translator hub (MTH), which allowed computer makers to combine a Pentium III and Intel's 820 chipset with standard computer memory rather than costly and scarce Rambus-based memory. As part of the recall, Intel is eliminating the MTH entirely and giving users a new motherboard stocked with more expensive Rambus memory.
Earlier, Intel reduced its first-quarter earnings by US$53 million to pay for costs associated with the recall. The motherboard recall, which was announced in May, will apparently cost less than the notorious Pentium recall of 1994, which costs the company roughly US$475 million.
The Case Of The Bouncing Ball
Posted 22 June 2000.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson has moved the appeal to the Supreme Court, and at the same:
The Supreme Court is better for the government (for some reason) than the appeal court.
Posted 22 June 2000.
And they've replaced the normal serial and parallel ports with USB and FireWire. I bet they're hoping that Apple will remember: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Aiming For Monopoly on Security Risks
Posted 23 June 2000.
It seems that Microsodit isn't satisfied with just creating security risks in Windows and all their PC software. No, they must create security risks everywhere, on all platforms, such as the Mac:
Rambus Slow And Still Expensive
Posted 14 July 2000.
From CNet News:
So at this stage there doesn't seem to be any point in Rambus technology at all.
Posted 17 July 2000.
Microsoft's strategy for Web-based software omits Sun Microsystems in favour of its own Java-like software. The decision will likely complicate developers' efforts to bring Java programs to Windows.
Such is the power of a monopoly. "Forget the user - we just want to make money."
In other news, a flaw in Microsoft's Hotmail program is inadvertently sending subscribers' email addresses to online advertisers. The problem crops up when people who receive HTML newsletters open messages that come packaged with banner ads.
Also, Microsoft's lastest browser came under fire from Web standards advocates. The newly released Internet Explorer 5.5 introduces shortcuts for Web developers that make adding page elements, such as calendars, as easy as inserting a tag; but these innovations and the company's questionable adherence to basic industry standards for technologies like HTML mean that Web pages created to work for IE won't work with products from Netscape, Opera Software and other companies.
MORE Patches, MORE Unpatched Security Risks
Posted 19 July 2000, updated 20 July 2000.
Microsoft has issued patches for security vulnerabilities in its Office 2000 applications, including one an Internet security group described as perhaps the "most dangerous programming error" by the software company to date.
However, Bugsoft (formerly known as Microsoft) has not issued a patch for the "IE Script" bug that affects its Access database management software, but has recommended a workaround for it.
Locally, Ihug is taking the flaw so seriously that yesterday evening it posted a notice recommending that customers currently using Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express "consider the use of alternate software ... until such time as Microsoft releases a patch or upgrade for these products".
The message offers links to the mail clients Pegasus Mail and Eudora Light and to the BugTraq report on the security problem.
The System Administration, Networking and Security (SANS) Institute has issued a warning that Access users are "vulnerable to total compromise simply by previewing or reading an email (without opening any attachments)." (Emphasis added.) Or by just viewing a malicious web page.
"It allows [a cracker] to do anything I can do as a user of my computer," said Alan Paller, director of SANS. This includes editing files, deleting them or e-mailing them to remote destinations without a user's knowledge.
All users of Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000 and Windows NT 4.0 workstation edition who have installed Microsoft Access 97 or 2000, while running Internet Explorer 4.0 or higher, are vulnerable to this sort of "total compromise," according to the SANS alert.
Which pretty much includes anyone using MS Office while connected to the Internet.
Doesn't scare me - I use a Mac and refuse to use MS products. Resist compromise - buy Mac.
Posted 20 July 2000.
With the revelation of the new serious security risk (see story immediately below) comes recollections of other serious - and unfixed - security problems with MS bugware.
Quote Elias Levy, chief technology officer at SecurityFocus: The Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension buffer overflow in e-mail clients such as Outlook basically allows crackers to plant malicious code that executes even before a user opens an e-mail message. Microsoft hasn't really implemented a fix but provided only a work-around to the problem.
Compaq Gives Up On Colour
Posted 21 July 2000.
Is cool out at Compaq Computer?
When Compaq introduced the Presario 3500 in October, the sleek, new, dark blue consumer PC followed CEO Michael Capellas' edict to "make it cool." Eight months later, Compaq has quietly pulled the Presario 3500, which will still be sold in Japan but nowhere else.
The demise of the stylish PC, decked out in a magnetic blue case and sporting an LCD flat-panel display and speakers, comes as rival Dell Computer pulls the plug on its colorful WebPC.
Both systems were heralded as a response to Apple's distinctive iMac, the all-in-one machine generally credited with reinvigorating the company. But consumers weren't buying similarly style-conscious PCs, which generally cost more than plain PCs and offered less value.
The "Sharper Image" set and second-PC buyers Compaq hoped would flock to the stylish Presario didn't take to the system. Changing buying habits--performance over style--led to the Presario 3500s demise, say analysts.
More On (No) Security
Posted 21 July 2000.
The gap was discovered last month by a South American internet security company, USSR (Underground Security Systems Research), and it alerted Microsoft.
The software giant worked on ways to fix the problem before alerting the public, so no hacker could cause damage with the knowledge. But news leaked on to the net and Microsoft was forced to release details this week.
Affected software versions include Outlook Express 4.0, 4.01, 5.0, 5.01 and Outlook 97, 98 and 2000.
Ryan Russell, moderator of Bugtraq, a popular security bulletin board, said the hole gave people the ability to access a victim's hard drive. "That is about as serious as it gets."
The information security group System Administration, Networking and Security Institute said the hole was a dangerous program error because it allowed "crackers" to take full control of another computer.
Auckland software designer Phil Saleh was not surprised by the news. In May, the Herald reported that he believed he had discovered a loophole in the same Outlook Express program that could allow hackers to control a computer through an e-mail or introduce dangerous viruses.
Microsoft denies Mr Saleh's claims, despite independent verification last month from IT security company E-Secure IT.
But Mr Saleh said: "It looks very similar to the vulnerability I warned them about months ago, but they refused to accept there was any problem."
Arjen de Landgraaf, director of E-Secure IT (a division of Co-Logic), said that although the technology involved with the latest flaw was different, the result was the ultimately the same.
"We have discovered similar flaws and forwarded them to Microsoft. They always play the problem down."