Thursday, 30 August 2007

Microsoft Announces Details Of Service Packs

Microsoft shouts service pack plans Vista SP1 and XP SP3 en route
Wily Ferret: Wednesday 29 August 2007, 18:33 (The Inquirer)

MICROSOFT HAS finally publicly announced its plans for the roll out of beta versions of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 and Windows XP Service Pack 3. In a long Q&A announcement, the Vole has published the details of what's in, what's out and when it's due.

Vista SP1 will be entering beta "in a few weeks" and will be "released to a moderate size audience". Interestingly, this audience does not include standard MSDN and Technet subscribers, as might usually be the case - it seems that Microsoft wants to drill down a little and hand-pick its own testers. The update, we are told, is focused on improving reliability of third party applications and drivers to reduce the number of blue screens, as well as adding business-level improvements.

For example, Vista 64-bit can now boot from an EFI machine, meaning Intel Macs can get the full Vista experience. ExFAT is supported, enabling the usage of a new range of flash storage devices. There's the controversial DirectX 1.01 update, as well as Secure Sockets Tunnel Protocol, an enhancement to Vista's VPN platform.

There are a few decent improvements for IT managers, too, many of whom will have been waiting for SP1 before deploying Vista widely. Bitlocker, the drive encryption tool in Ultimate and Business editions, can now lock any local drive. There's improved support for printers, and better network diagnostics for end users.
Crucially, there's no mention of any security updates, which means either than Microsoft isn't talking about it, or that security updates are really being dealt with through the regular 'patch Tuesday' events. Vista has consistently proved itself to be a more robust platform than XP when it comes to flaws and holes in the OS.

However, there is a cryptic mention of the Windows Server 2008 issue (the Vista client has to be updated to work with the new version of the kernel being rolled out in the server OS). Microsoft alludes to this by saying that some common files between the two strands of the codebase will be updated in the service pack - and whilst "most of these changes do not change the features or functionality of Windows Vista", nonetheless "some of these changes may increase the reliability of Vista SP1".

The download is around 50MB for the 32-bit version. The full release is expected, the Vole sayeth, in the first quarter of 2008.

As for XP SP3, the news is rather less exciting. The full thing is scheduled, rather vaguely, for the first half of 2008. The service pack is basically a "roll up of all the hot fixes and patches including security updates, out of band releases and hotfixes". There are, we quote, "no new features" in the service pack, with the bare exception of Network Access Protection, a Vista feature being ported backwards to XP machines connected to Server 2008.

As for the Server platform itself, the 2008 date appears set on February 27. That's when things start getting interesting

Friday, 24 August 2007

Court orders Linux geek to use Microsoft !

Cruel and Unusual Punishment! (article written by Nick Farrell and posted on the Inquirer)

A COURT has ordered a pirate, and Linux user, to dump his favourite open sauce software and install Microsoft Windows instead.

Scott McCausland, ex-administrator of the Elite Torrents Bit Torrent tracker, pleaded guilty to two charges - ‘conspiracy to commit copyright infringement’ and ‘criminal copyright infringement’. He was sentenced to five months in jail and five months home confinement.

However, the jail sentence was a walk in the park when it comes to his probation order which seems designed to humiliate him.

The probation service have ordered that his Internet connection is monitored by the US Government to make sure he doesn't do any more pirating.

Unfortunately the Government does not have any monitoring software which is not Windows based. So, McCausland is forced to lose all his Linux street cred and become an enthusiastic Vole supporter.

His crime was uploading a copy of ‘Star Wars: Episode III’ onto the internet hours before the theatrical release, so all this seems a bit steep.

McCausland has contacted his brief about the cruel and unusual punishment. He said he didn't mind being monitored, but changing to Windows means that he has to buy lots of expensive software while he is unemployed.

More here

Monday, 20 August 2007

Memory Chip prices to skyrocket says chief

Chip manufacturer Samsung are expecting to be able to triple current operating profit levels as it predicts memory prices are about to 'go through the roof'.

Reported in the Inquirer:
Chu Woo-sik, chief of Samsung's investor relations team told Associated Press that the market demand for DRAM and NAND chips is really strong. As a result the outfit can raise its contract prices.

Get more on this story here

Friday, 17 August 2007

your computer, without the computer™ Suite™ is a collection of portable apps including a web browser, email client, office suite, calendar/scheduler, instant messaging client, antivirus, sudoku game, backup utility and integrated menu, all preconfigured to work portably. Just drop it on your portable device and you're ready to go.

I have been running my email on a 1GB stick for the last few months and it's great. No matter what machine I'm at as long as it has a USB port and an Internet connection I have my email with me. In fact I have a version of Firefox, OpenOffice, I even have AV! It really is a PC on a stick.

A very easy to use, cheap, solution if you need your email on the move.

You just have to remember to back it up very regularly otherwise you can easily lose EVERYTHING!

New Clam Sauce!

Sourcefire has announced it is buying ClamAV the open source AntiVirus and AntiMalware project says the Inquirer

The firm will fold the acquired tools in with its Snort threat management product. There’s more on the deal and its significance in an FAQ here.

Is this new sauce a good move? Only time will tell.

Click here for the full article

Saturday, 4 August 2007

net:gain - update


AFL SED is proud to annouce that further to the recent pathfinder training session run at its Ely base, net:gain have granted David Poulter and Paul Jefford their acreditation as licensed net:gain trainers.

Mr Ruskin has also been certified as well, not before time we hear some of you cry! :)

AFL now has three official net:gain trainers. This means work can begin in earnest in developing the next stage of the course, as well as developing the pathfinder session in to a PROMOTIONAL package and a separate WORKSHOP1 session.

Friday, 3 August 2007

Another Successful Mission For The Shuttle

AFL Social Enterprise Division proudly announces another successful mission undertaken by its Space Shuttle Etheldreda.

Launched on Wednesday 1st August 2007 at 07:30 from its launch pad at Lancaster Way Launch Control (gratefully sponsored by N&C Glass), the shuttle made a relatively short journey in to the wild lands of Suffolk to appear at an event being run by Suffolk Young Carers.

The mission was led by the new Shuttle Commander, Peter Buchan, AFL SED's latest appointment, who has joined the team on a part-time basis. Peter was ably assisted by David Poulter, AFL SED's recently appointed new full time Circuit Rider.

The official report on the mission is still pending but the initial feedback is all positive. The was a lot of interest shown in the shuttle whilst it was on site so it is likely this will not be the only mission to Suffolk. In fact Mission Control, based at ::e-space south in Ely, received a phone call from some one who passed the shuttle on its journey down to Suffolk, asking how they go about booking it!

Congratulations to all involved.

Below is a picture of the landing site with the shuttle having made a successful landing.

For Details on how to hire the Shuttle or the Satellite Broadband Equipment contact
Shuttle Mission Control
on 01353 644027