Sunday, 29 May 2005

Tons of high-definition Windows Media video files with some pretty amazing footage from a whole slew of upcoming XBOX 360 games are available for download over at Microsoft.

This is going to be a great console - the possibilities are fun to think of... Hook it up with Longhorn's version of Media Center and you have a super-cool HD Media Center extender. Great games, too of course.

Check out the videos. Amazing. Just make sure you have a big fat pipe for downloading or be prepared to hurry up and wait. These files are 720p hi-def format, so they're pretty darned big, but super cool looking.



Add/Read: Comments [0]
Geek Out | Tech
Sunday, 29 May 2005 13:35:45 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  Trackback

Royale_desktopI'm a little slow in finding this, and it's certainly an example of my being easily-amused... But I just downloaded the Royale Windows theme, which was originally available standard on XP Media Center Edition. The download lets you use it on the other versions of XP, and I've installed it on my XP Tablet Edition machine.

Microsoft New Zealand has made it available to download, along with the New Zealand version of the Bliss desktop image (can you say "sheep?") and a cool road-sign desktop picture, too.

The pic at right is my desktop with the Royale theme and a few Konfabulator widgets - it makes for a nice background image. Click the pic for larger size.



Add/Read: Comments [1]
Sunday, 29 May 2005 12:05:19 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  Trackback
 Saturday, 28 May 2005

Donnie's ironic comment made me smile:

"God, I am sick of all these productivity and GTD hacks - enough is enough. How many more tools do I need to write an email or mow the lawn! I spend more time trying/testing out all these new apps than I do on actually getting my stuff done. Talk about a paradox! Where’s Gladwell when we need him?"

I can relate. I have to test these productivity things out quite a bit. Most of them end up getting uninstalled, although a few have stuck. Many of them take up quite a bit of time, in part because they tend to hose my computer. Nothing like a poorly-written productivity application to slow a computer to a crawl. Heh. Irony.

Okay, enough about computers. Back to mowing my three acres of lawn...



Add/Read: Comments [0]
Saturday, 28 May 2005 17:48:40 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  Trackback
 Thursday, 26 May 2005

From Longhornblogs.com, some of the first information about IIS7, which is reportedly code-complete and is now being integrated into Longhorn:

"IIS7 represents the unification of ASP.NET and IIS. Let me clarify what that means. Right now, ASP.NET is implemented as an ISAPI extension for IIS. That will still be true in ASP.NET 2.0. In IIS7, that changes. Instead, the concepts of HTTP pipelines, handlers, modules, XML config files, etc... are all natively built into the platform.

"Along with that, the IIS7 team has completely refactored the whole platform, so now practically every feature in the pipeline has been broken out into a separate module. From a security standpoint, this is a whole new realm for IIS..."

Read more here. Glad to see they'll be releasing it on the Pro and Server OS'es. Cool stuff.



Add/Read: Comments [0]
IT Security | Tech
Wednesday, 25 May 2005 23:36:26 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  Trackback
 Wednesday, 25 May 2005

Last-minute on my part, but I have been so busy I did not realize that tonight (Wednesday) is the monthly meeting of the Portland Area Dot-Net User Group (PADNUG).

And speaking tonight is Jason Mauer, Developer Evangelist with Microsoft, on the topic of "The Ins and Outs of SharePoint Development."

Check out Rich's weblog entry with complete info if you're interested - SharePoint use is growing quickly - good stuff to know! And hey, you can't really beat the price.



Add/Read: Comments [0]
SharePoint | Tech
Wednesday, 25 May 2005 05:03:27 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  Trackback
 Tuesday, 24 May 2005

In an interesting and (at the same time, but for different reasons) rather scary turn of events, a company's computer data has apparently been locked up, by means of encryption, by an evil-doer and held ransom.

For - get this one - $200.

Tell me that is not the perfect Austin Powers moment. I can hear Dr. Evil now, from his Evil Hacker Base:

Twooooooo Hunnnnnnndred Dolllllllarrrzzzzz! Muuuhahahahahahhhh!!!

Unfortunately, it's worrisome in that through some lack of security protection or another, some bad guy was able to get malicious code into a company that located business files and packaged them up in a nice, neat encrypted (and therefore completely unaccessible without the key) form. They didn't even (necessarily) take the files off the network - they just locked them up and left them there. Maybe. Who knows.

Link to the story: http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/05/24/1321200&from=rss

Security researchers at the San Diego-based Websense uncovered the unusual extortion plot when a corporate customer they would not identify fell victim to the infection, which encrypted files that included documents, photographs and spreadsheets.

A ransom note left behind included an e-mail address, and the attacker using the address later demanded $200 for the digital keys to unlock the files.

"This is equivalent to someone coming into your home, putting your valuables in a safe and not telling you the combination," said Oliver Friedrichs, a security manager for Symantec Corporation.

The FBI said the scheme, which appears isolated, was unlike other Internet extortion crimes.

Leading security and anti-virus firms this week were updating protective software for companies and consumers to guard against this type of attack, which experts dubbed "ransom-ware."



Add/Read: Comments [1]
IT Security
Tuesday, 24 May 2005 07:00:04 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  Trackback