News Archive - August 2005
Tuesday 30th August 2005
Google may be extremely dominant over here in the UK and US, but in China, Google's market share is slipping to Baidu.com, a more local rival.
Many of you should be pleased to hear that two men have been arrested in connection with Zotob, a worm that has caused damage in the last few weeks. Following on from that, it appears one of the men arrested has also been involved in several other viruses. One less virus writer must be a good thing, and hopefully it will deter other such coders.
Finally, with something a bit less downbeat, Newsforge has an article on various pieces of free software that can replace their rather more expensive, proprietary equivalents.
Monday 29th August 2005
The site has now undergone some changes under the bonnet, with magical pixies making the site database driven. Although there have also been a few changes to the appearance of some pages, the only major change is the address of the different pages - if you have bookmarks from before the change, then you will need to update them.
Monday 29th August 2005
Across the internet, there are thousands of websites. In the past, you would have to read each of these websites individually in order to check for updates, which can be laborious and slow. RSS solves this problem by providing the latest information from a website. Rather than providing the entire website, RSS provides summaries so that you can decide what content you want to read.
Friday 26th August 2005
GIFs only support a limited number of colours - far less than is usually used on a standard computer. JPGs have the full range of colours, but make the image blurry. The solution? PNGs. They are lossless, support 24bit colour, as well as different levels of transparency. However, there is, as already said, a problem.
Thursday 25th August 2005
Recently, there has been some noise made on the internet by the Linux trademark - an article on Newsforge attempts to clear up the confusion, including the words of Linux Torvalds himself. Another article on Newsforge discusses the pros and cons of the three major Linux word processors - namely, OpenOffice.org Writer, AbiWord and KWord. Personally, I use Abiword - I find it the easiest to simply get the job done with minimal fuss.
Meanwhile, the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) have decided to tell the US Copyright Office that, unlike their initial proposal, people that don't use Internet Explorer and Netscape should still be able to register copyrights.
Keeping with the theme of the internet, many people still seem to be unaware of RSS, while Skype has opened up to developers. Speaking of Skype, Google Talk has just launched, providing both instant messaging and Voice Over IP. I say good luck to them - there's nothing wrong with some competition, so long as the result isn't a monopoly.
Finally, China has imposed some limits on the usage of some of the online games played in the country, such as World of Warcraft.
Sunday 21st August 2005
The exploit in the Plug and Play system of Windows 2000 is currently being used by several viruses - some of which are designed to destroy the other viruses. There is also a summary of Zotob. Keeping with Microsoft, there are fears over an unpatched vulnerability in Internet Explorer.
An ex-AOL employee has been sent to jail for selling details to scammers. On a lighter note, the draft for RSS 3 Lite has been released. This version of RSS gets rid of all the parts that are not useful for lower end clients. You can read about RSS 3 on the RSS 3 website.
Thursday 18th August 2005
The recently patched exploit in Windows 2000, taking advantage of Plug and Play, is affecting various companies in the US. Similarly, users of Adobe's Acrobat and Reader software could infect their systems by opening malicious files when they don't have the latest update.
Microsoft has "rebranded" its implementation of RSS - hopefully, that doesn't mean it'll decide to go and create it's own standards. On a lighter note, there is an article on Newsforge discussing Tux, the Linux mascot, and his new game.
Tuesday 16th August 2005
When writing in XHTML, there are various characters that are not in the normal character set. There are also characters that are using in writing XHTML, and so cannot be displayed as you would a normal character. For these characters, you must use a character entity.
Monday 15th August 2005
According to the National Computing Centre, three quarters of companies may use open source in five years time. Speaking of open source, Firefox's usage seems to be dropping, with Internet Explorer gaining. I suspect this may be related to the image of Mozilla, since this comes shortly after the announcement of the Mozilla Corporation. Hopefully, Firefox 1.5 will help raise those numbers again.
Moving away from open source, Malaysia is putting an end to the ability to use mobile phones anonymously.
Friday 12th August 2005
Microsoft has bought the Vista trademark in Germany, reportedly for a six figure sum. I bet you wish you'd bought all the Vista domains now! Following on from the theme of rights, the Library of Congress is planning to only let you register copyrights with IE. Personally, I'd prefer to use Firefox, and I'm sure those on Linux would like to be able to register copyrights at all!
Dell has reported decent profits thanks to laptop sales. They're certainly doing better than Time and Tiny - in fact, that might help boost sales even further! Finally, Google has temporarily stopped its plans for online books.
Wednesday 10th August 2005
Novell has opened up SuSE, resulting in the new site openSUSE.org. This is in a similar vein to Fedora, the free version of Red Hat. On the Windows side, there are various new patches for Windows that should be downloaded, including for Windows 2000, XP and 2003.
Saturday 6th August 2005
There's been a fair bit of news in the past couple of days. We've already heard about the first Vista virus, but there are still problems for older versions of Windows. There is reportedly a flaw in Windows 2000 that could be exploited by a worm. Not only is there no way to correct or disable this flaw (other using something besides Windows), but the exploit may not just be limited to 2000 - as has happened with other viruses such as Blaster, the exploit may exist in other versions, such as XP.
On the Linux side of things, there are serveral things to report. The first is an article from Newsforge discussing meaning of Linux. There is also a review on Linux.com of Slax 5.0.6. Finally, the Debian Common Core Alliance is soon to be announced at LinuxWorld in San Francisco.
Thursday 4th August 2005
The Mozilla Foundation has created its own subsidiary, the Mozilla Corporation. Since it is owned wholly by the Mozilla Foundation, the focus, and end results, should remain much the same.
Keeping with free software, the three Ps of scripting, PHP, Perl and Python, are reported to be falling in popularity. Ironically, this comes at the time when companies such as Intel are starting to put their weight behind the projects.
Moving onto Microsoft, and more specifically the next version of Windows, somebody has already created a virus for Vista. In security, the natural pattern of paper could be used as a defence against fraud, using the unique, virtually unreproducable minute variations in the paper. Somewhat usefully, since the pattern is natural, it means no extra cost in production.
Wednesday 3rd August 2005
When testing (X)HTML files, you can simply open them up in the browser of your choice and check if they work properly. However, if you use PHP or another method of changing the web page server side, you can't test your page locally, or at least not just with a web browser. You need to install a web server that can generate the pages for you - and Apache fits the bill.
Tuesday 2nd August 2005
On the 25th of July, Microsoft introduced Windows Genuine Advantage - this means that you have to have your version of Windows verified as legal in order for updates (besides security updates) to be downloaded and applied. However, it has already been cracked by a single line. On the Linux side, there is a review of another distribution - Lunar Linux, while the BBC states that there's a blog every second.