July 12, 2007

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This week's sponsors:

What's New:
1. Lenovo quietly certifies T61p ThinkPad for Linux
2. Users picture Windows of the future
3. Dell announces little PC for big China

Security Alert:
Apple fixes eight Quicktime vulnerabilities

Geek News:
1. How to: Control your PC remotely from an iPhone
2. Microsoft Surface remains elusive for developers
3. iPod/iPhone getting WiFi iTunes downloads, sharing?

Also Noted:
U.S. tops list of top countries for IT; Adobe offers fixes for Flash bugs; Much more...


Sponsor:

Webinars

Fixed Mobile Convergence Progress Report - July 17
Maximizing Reuse and Increasing Quality: Developing Winning Code for Telecom - July 31

Events

Ubuntu Live, July 22-24, 2007, Portland, OR
O'Reilly Open Source Convention - OSCON, July 23-27, 2007, Portland, OR
Attend Black Hat USA, July 28-August 2, Las Vegas

What’s New

1. Lenovo quietly certifies T61p ThinkPad for Linux

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Remember that upgraded, metallic-skeleton wearing T61p ThinkPad we showed you a few days ago? Turns out that in addition to all of the publicized features, it also runs Linux. Unlike Dell, which made a big deal out of their Ubuntu machines, Lenovo quietly has certified its high-end T61p for use with Novell SLED 10, Red Hat and Turbolinux. While Lenovo isn't pre-installing Linux on the machines at this point, this move still represents a major tip of the hat to Linux in the enterprise--considering that the ThinkPad continues to retain its title as the business laptop of choice. What's more, this isn't the first time Lenovo has hinted at Linux on a ThinkPad: Last year, Lenovo began offering SLED (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop) 10 on the ThinkPad T60.

For more on the T61p:
- see this eWeek article

Related Article:
Lenovo, Dell prep new business laptops. Report

2. Users picture Windows of the future

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What would you like to see in future versions of Microsoft Windows? A select group of users got to voice their opinions to Microsoft in December 2006 and here are some of the more interesting features they requested:

  • Integrated antivirus
  • Inclusion of a completely vector-based graphical-user interface
  • Multi-session Remote Desktop
  • Session-restore feature for Internet Explorer 7
  • Capability for other Windows PCs to act as Media Center Extenders
  • ISO/BIN system-image support
  • Download manager for Internet Explorer
  • Replace error ID number with plain language explanation

What exactly does this mean for forthcoming versions of Windows? Microsoft isn't saying yet, though when it laid out the ground rules for the feedback program the company stated "In some cases it might be the next product cycle or longer for a suggestion to be evaluated or implemented. In other situations it might never happen. There is no way to know for sure. Some feedback may be included in Windows Vista Service Pack 1, but the main focus is beyond Vista." According to current roadmaps, the next major revision of Windows can be expected around 2009.

For more on the feedback program:
- see this ZDnet article

Related Article:
Windows Vista: Over 40 million served. Report

3. Dell announces little PC for big China

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Just yesterday, Michael Dell was reiterating his company's commitment to searching out new markets and lo and behold, what do we have here? Looks like a low-cost desktop PC with a small footprint, aimed squarely at the Chinese market. For the low starting price of around $340, you get a 1.2Ghz Celeron M 205 processor, 256MB or 512MB of RAM, a 40GB or 80GB hard drive, a CD or DVD-ROM drive and a (legit) copy of Windows XP Home Edition. While you probably won't be running Warcraft tournaments off this thing, it should prove more than adequate for basic office tasks. And at that low price-point, it's certainly going to be an attractive option in China.

For more on the diminutive PC:
- see this Engadget article

Fixed Mobile Convergence Progress Report
July 17, 12:00 pm ET / 9 am PT / 5 pm GMT

Host:
Sue Marek, Editor-in-Chief, Telecom Group
Speaker: Stuart Carlaw, ABI Research
Sponsored by
Many early FMC offerings in Europe have met with lackluster results, despite the early promise of new revenue streams for wireless carriers and wireline operators. Nevertheless, analysts still say that the U.S. is ripe for fixed mobile convergence. What's the real story behind FMC? Are there current success stories? Register now!

Security Alert

Apple fixes eight Quicktime vulnerabilities

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What do Mac users, iTunes users and Safari users all have in common? Well, (among other things) they all have Quicktime installed on their machines. Apple just released its fifth Quicktime security bulletin of the year today, plugging eight holes in the video software that could allow code execution attacks on Mac OS X, Windows XP and Windows Vista systems. All Quicktime users are strongly urged to check out the bulletin here.

Geek News

1. How to: Control your PC remotely from an iPhone

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The small form factor. The touchscreen. The beautiful, high-res display. The iPhone just might be the perfect handheld device for remotely accessing and controlling your PC, which is why it should come as no surprise that an enterprising hacker has already made it possible to do just that. Nate True at cre.ations.net made a few changes to TightVNC, a remote access client, allowing iPhone users to access their PC desktop via Safari. Using the iPhone's touchscreen you can drag, drop and zoom, accessing and manipulating your PC remotely. I'm not sure how useful this will actually turn out to be, though it sure as heck looks like it would be a lot of fun to play around with.

For more on remote PC access via the iPhone:
- see this tutorial at cre.ations.net

Related Article:

2. Microsoft Surface remains elusive for developers

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Remember Microsoft's Surface technology--the hardware platform that would combine a tabletop PC with a huge, multitouch-capable display? Well, Microsoft first showed off Surface back in May but it's been all quiet on the Western front since then. Just when are developers going to be able to start writing programs for this thing? Probably not until next year says Microsoft, unless you're one of the few developers Microsoft has handpicked to develop for the initial batch of Surface units. "Starting in April, I think the hope is we can launch an actual (software development kit) for partners," Allison Watson, the head of Microsoft's partner efforts said in an interview at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference. "Before we do that, we thought we'd bring in real partners to help us." Microsoft plans to announce a partner advisory council soon, which will help the company decide how to best open up Surface to outside developers.

For more on Surface:
- see this CNET blog entry

3. iPod/iPhone getting WiFi iTunes downloads, sharing?

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As maligned of a product as the Microsoft Zune is, the little digital audio player has a few tricks up its sleeve that the iPod can't match. The wireless sharing feature for example, which, as crippled as it is, has yet to be duplicated by the folks in Cupertino. If a recent patent filing offers any indication, however, Apple may be planning a "social" revolution of its own. The filing details a system whereby WiFi-enabled devices automatically recognize each other, share contact info and transfer files. What's more, it seems like the service might come tied in with an over-the-air iTunes download service. If well executed, over-the-air iTunes could prove to be the killer app for WiFi-enabled iPods.

Microsoft, however, isn't resting on its laurels. The company recently filed a patent of its own, detailing a new system where a Zune user could opt to purchase a track over-the-air after it has expired. Even better, the user who initially shared the track would get a commission on the sale. That's a brilliant marketing tactic that could really get Zune users sharing--if Microsoft can work out the copyright agreements are currently crippling the device's WiFi sharing.

For more on the Apple patent:
- see this article from Electronista

For more on the Zune patent:
- see this article from Zune Scene

Also Noted

> Canada: The latest offshoring threat? Article

> Gateway introduces new entertainment laptops. Article

> U.S. tops list of top countries for IT. Article

> Special-edition Beatles iPod rumored ... again. Article

> Dell's XPS 720 gaming desktop gets reviewed. Review

> Adobe offers fixes for Flash bugs. Article

> Microsoft's "Cloud OS" starts to take shape. Article

And Finally... Lightning strikes more dangerous for iPod users? Article

Webinars

Fixed Mobile Convergence Progress Report - July 17

Maximizing Reuse and Increasing Quality: Developing Winning Code for Telecom - July 31

Events

Ubuntu Live, July 22-24, 2007, Portland, OR

O'Reilly Open Source Convention - OSCON, July 23-27, 2007, Portland, OR

Attend Black Hat USA, July 28-August 2, Las Vegas


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