November Tech News Roundup

posted by on 30th November 2006, at 10:42pm

November was a very busy month for tech news. Aside from news this month also the PS3 and Nintendo Wii was released. I’m not going to go into too much detail regarding those two. I can sum it up in a sentence. The Wii has out done the PS3 based on a number of things, the price, the availability of the product, and the fact that it is simply more revolutionary. Now to the news.

Microsoft users face two zero day threats in a week

Neither of these two vulnerabilities were major to standard users. The first was a flaw in Visual Studio 2005 that could allow remote code execution. This caused problems in the WMI Object Borker control. The second was in the “Microsoft XML Core Services” which could also allow remote code execution. This is an ActiveX control, it doesn’t come installed by default but many applications use it. Windows Server 2003 was immune from this; I hope this is a good sign seeing as Windows Vista is based on the Server 2003 code base.

Windows Vista and Office 2007 Released to Manufacturing

This is the major milestone in the Vista project that everyone was waiting for. Vista was started in 2001 after Windows XP was released. “Released to manufacturing” means that code development was closed for the final version that will be sold in late January in stores. Even though code development was closed development is still continuing for other fixes. I have played around with the Vista Release Candidates and Office 2007 beta. Office 2007 is a significant improvement on Office 2003. However, I am waiting to pass judgment on Vista due to security reasons. Will I upgrade? Probably.

NVIDIA has launched their new graphics processor

The GeForce 8800GTX came out with a step above the competition. The 8800 is DirectX 10 compliant. Last year, I myself bought a GeForce 7800GT so I can imagine how much better the 8800GTX must be. You can of course also set this up in a SLI configuration in which two cards are used for additional power. If you take a look at the benchmarks for this card there’s not much of a performance gain for the smaller resolution (1024×768) however there’s a significant jump between 1024×768 and 1280×1024. If you’re a gamer this will be your next card.

Java freed under the GPL

This month Sun announced that Java was released under the GPL. The GPL (GNU Public License) is the same license that the Linux kernel uses. Java will still provide enterprise licenses for those who wish to purchase them. One point that was interesting to me was that most times if a GPL product is used anything made under it would be GPL. This is not the case with GPL utilities such as Java and GCC (Gnu C Compiler) so sadly Runescape is not open sourced because of this.

Vista and Office 2007 cracked. Kind of.

Shortly after Vista and Office 2007 were released to manufacturing they were leaked onto the torrent networks. The Vista crack wasn’t a real crack; it basically replaced the file that lets someone activate a release candidate into the RTM version. The release candidates and betas are set to turn off in June of next year. Office 2007 uses a volume license key which does not require online activation. Basically, it seems as though Microsoft had intended for Office 2007 to be leaked. We shall wait and see if this still happens after both products are available in the retail market.

Could the end of net neutrality kill online gaming?

Before we get into this I’ll explain a bit about what net neutrality is. The net neutrality bill was introduced by the US government. This bill would make it illegal for ISP’s to put priorities on what packets get transmitted. This could hurt services such as VOIP (Skype, Vonage, etc…), online gaming, peer to peer file sharing (Bit Torrent). The main problem that exists with net neutrality is that it is a US introduced bill, there is no reason as to why one country should control the Internet. For me it’s a tough decision on whether or not to support it because I don’t condone the fact that the US is trying to control the Internet but I do agree with making it illegal to control the priority of packets.

We’ll see you guys all next month. If you have any pieces of news or ideas for tech articles send them to shane[at]rsbandb[dot]com


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