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Bill Gates had a tough week

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Microsoft

Bill Gates had a tough week... or at least, as tough as it can get when you're the richest guy in the world. Just days after a series of worms ravaged Microsoft Windows-powered networks around the world --and made high-profile splashes at media outlets including Time Warner's CNN, The Walt Disney Co.'s ABC News and The New York Times--several new potentially damaging weaknesses in Windows software have been exposed.

The first problem, a weakness in the company's Internet Explorer Web-browsing software, could allow malicious hackers to crash or even take complete control of computers using the software. In order to be affected, IE users would have to visit a specially constructed Web site, but security firms say it's still a serious threat, and that a widespread attack is likely.

Microsoft is also catching heat over a new feature that's been included into test versions of its upcoming Windows Vista operating system. The software --currently released only to about 500,000 beta testers and software developers--apparently comes with a built-in peer-to-peer networking feature, which would allow groups of Windows computers to automatically connect without a central server. In the beta version, the software is turned on by default. That's a violation of Microsoft's security principles and potentially could lead to security breaches. Microsoft says the feature will be turned off in the final software release.

In a final indignity, Linux activists wearing penguin suits crashed a Microsoft promotional party held at the municipal parliament house in Berlin, Germany. The protestors want the city government to use open source software, not the proprietary Windows operating system.

Source.

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Today in Techrights

today's leftovers

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  • KDE Sprints - who wins?
    To start with, KDE sprints are intensive sessions centered around coding. They take place in person over several days, during which time skillful developers eat, drink and sleep code. There are breaks to refresh and gain perspective, but mostly sprints involve hard, focused work. All of this developer time and effort is unpaid. However travel expenses for some developers are covered by KDE. KDE is a frugal organization with comparatively low administrative costs, and only one paid person who works part time. So the money donated for sprints goes to cover actual expenses. Who gets the money? Almost all of it goes to transportation companies.
  • GNOME Developers Discuss Codenames, GNOME 3.18 Might be Dubbed "Gothenburg"
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Leftovers: Software and Games

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  • Company of Heroes 2 Released on Mac and Linux
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  • Carmageddon: Reincarnation Is Still Coming to Linux
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