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Microsoft to Build Its Own CDN

June 5th, 2009 by admin

Microsoft announced this week that it will begin providing on-demand access to the full versions of retail video games. That means titles like BioShock (6 Ggigabytes) and Mass Effect (7 GB) can be downloaded through the Xbox Live online gaming service, which has more than 17 million members. The growth of these type of bandwidth-draining services has been a major driver in Microsoft’s decision to build its own content delivery network.

This news is hot on the heels of the planned purchase of a new Chicago Data-center worth 185 Million.

Jeff Cohen, the general manager of Microsoft’s Edge Computing Network, discussed the company’s content delivery infrastructure in his May 11 keynote at the first Content Delivery Summit. Cohen said video delivery accounted for just 10 percent of Microsoft’s content delivery in 2007, but has since grown to 40 percent, consuming as much bandwidth as the company’s “large file” downloads of software and security updates.

“The content is exploding,” Cohen said at the event, part of Streaming Media East. But the barrier to entry for the CDN market is steep. ”It takes a huge amount of capital to get into this space, even for Microsoft.”

That’s why Microsoft uses its Edge Content Network to deliver about 40 percent of the content on its network, while farming out the remaining 60 percent to existing CDN partners including Akamai (AKAM), Limelight Networks (LLNW), Level 3 (LVLT) and ChinaCache.

Posted in MS News | Comments Off on Microsoft to Build Its Own CDN

Free TechNet Professional subscription (US, Canada, UK)

June 3rd, 2009 by Patrick S

Microsoft, in a mysterious move, have offered anyone with a valid shipping address in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, a free TechNet Professional subscription.

As Neowin points out, it may well not be for absolutely everyone, but it does appear to be so. Confirmation will be needed from Microsoft but as of yet, they are not commenting on this. Still, if it works for you, you will have access to a wealth of Office, Windows and Dynamics software for three months for absolutely nothing.

  • UK users
  • Canadian users
  • US users
  • Once you make your way through the online “ordering” process, you will receive an email confirmation shortly afterwards. This will provide you with download links and your access information to begin downloading.

    Hmmph looks like the rest of us miss out.

    This post was retrieved from Zack W’s blog @ http://blogs.zdnet.com/igeneration (check it out)- hopefully he dosen’t mind 😛

    [Update]: Ars Technica is reporting that this offer may not be for one year as first thought, but only three months. Never-the-less, it’s best to get in early and make the most of this while you can.

    [Update 2]: It appears as though there are errors in requesting keys and we are hearing that this offer may have been limited to a select few rather than public. Microsoft has not officially responded to requests for comment. (Neowin)

    Check out Kristan Keeny’s Site for latest update

    Posted in Learning, MS News | Comments Off on Free TechNet Professional subscription (US, Canada, UK)

    Windows Vista/Server SP2 RTM

    April 30th, 2009 by Patrick S

    Hi there,

    Wow 2 Blog posts within a week…whats up with that?
    Regardless of this miracle Microsoft just let the guys on the SP2 Beta that its RTM’ed and available for download-Here’s an excerpt of what they said to us:

    Hello SP2 Beta testers…The following message was released…

     

    Today we are proud to announce the launch of Service Pack 2 for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.  Service Pack 2 (SP2) represents the latest step in Microsoft’s commitment to continuous improvement.  It includes all of the updates that have been delivered since SP1, as well as support for new types of hardware and emerging hardware standards.  And since it comes with a single installer for both Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, SP2 will be easy for IT Pros to manage, deploy, and support.  For an overview of the changes introduced in SP2 check out the notable changes document.

     

    Consumers with Windows Vista SP1 don’t need to do anything special to get SP2; simply turn on Windows Update and sometime during the coming months your computer will download and prompt you to install SP2.  Business customers with Windows Vista will find that the transition to Windows 7 will be significantly more straightforward due to the high degree of compatibility between Windows Vista and Windows 7.  If your Windows Vista SP1 deployment is already underway we recommend you continue with SP1 as planned.  Then you can deploy SP2 using your systems management infrastructure.  If you are in the early stages of deployment or still planning Windows Vista deployment our best advice is that you plan on testing and deploying Windows Vista SP2. 

     

    So there you have it…Go grab a copy from Technet and check out the notable changes here:
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd335036.aspx

    Regards,

    Patrick Squire

    Posted in MS News | Comments Off on Windows Vista/Server SP2 RTM

    MSN NZ HACKED

    April 21st, 2009 by Patrick S

    Wow long time no post…

    Today whilst opening up the default MSN homepage in I.E I was stunned to find that it had been hacked by “Peace Crew”.

    I asked Nathan Mercer at MSFT what the story was and apparently the Hijackers stole the DNS entry from their registrar and redirected.

    Windows Server had no part to play in this incident the attackers simply took the site down at a higher level. Looks like not everyone is immune to hackers then huh.

    http://www.msn.co.nz

    MSN NZ Hacked

    An output of their DNS entries shows:

    name class type data time to live
    msn.co.nz IN MX
    preference: 0
    exchange: msn.co.nz
    14400s (04:00:00)
    msn.co.nz IN SOA
    server: fatih1.turkguvenligi.info
    email: thug_west__.live.nl
    serial: 2009042002
    refresh: 86400
    retry: 7200
    expire: 3600000
    minimum ttl: 86400
    86400s (1.00:00:00)
    msn.co.nz IN NS fatih1.turkguvenligi.info 86400s (1.00:00:00)
    msn.co.nz IN NS fatih2.turkguvenligi.info 86400s (1.00:00:00)
    msn.co.nz IN A 95.211.11.163 14400s (04:00:00)

    Edit: Appears to be fixed now 😉

    Edit2: Looks like they took over a raft of New Zealand websites including WindowsLive.co.nz, MSN.co.nz, Microsoft.co.nz, Hotmail.co.nz, Live.co.nz next to HSBC.co.nz, Sony.co.nz, Coca-Cola.co.nz, Xerox.co.nz, Fanta.co.nz, F-Secure.co.nz and BitDefender.co.nz. (http://blogs.zdnet.com/security/?p=3185)

    Posted in MS News | 1 Comment »

    Need to be Microsoft certified? Fret not, here’s your Discount voucher!

    April 3rd, 2009 by Jabez Gan [MVP]

    Hey All!!

    Do you want to get certified, but it’s too expensive? I have great news for you! From now till  April 31st, you can get a 10% discount off Microsoft certification exams. To get the 10% discount, just follow the easy steps below:

    1. Go to http://www.learnandcertify.com/

    2. Use the voucher code: MY3909BC

    3. Schedule an exam and you are ready to go! 🙂

    Again, this offer ends on April 31st, so what are you waiting for? Get certified now! And the above voucher is only for Malaysia.

    Posted in MS News | 4 Comments »

    The Bumper List of Windows 7 Secrets

    January 13th, 2009 by Patrick S

    Hey there,hello win 7

    A short blog post – But check out the list of Win 7 Secrets over at Tim Sneaths MSDN blog… Its deff worth a read!!!

    (Little secrets built into Win 7 that increase productivity and make it a more easier/powerful tool to use 🙂 .  )

    http://blogs.msdn.com/tims/archive/2009/01/12/the-bumper-list-of-windows-7-secrets.aspx

    Posted in MS News | Comments Off on The Bumper List of Windows 7 Secrets

    Embrace the new .NET Logo!

    October 27th, 2008 by kenlin@HK [MVP]

    There is a new logo for .NET now, so it is change from

    into

    The following are the blog from the .NET Team about the new logo.

     


    Why did we do it?

    We needed a logo that was in sync with the key values that we want .NET to stand for: consistency, robustness and great user experiences. We also wanted a logo that conformed to the design principles that are driving Microsoft’s brand identity evolution and is reflected in newer brands such as Silverlight, Surface and more.  Finally, we needed a logo that is more strongly aligned with the portfolio of brands that .NET is most strongly aligned with: Silverlight, Visual Studio and the AppPlat server products.

    The result is a design we refer to as the “wave.”  The design is strong, simple and distinctive. The suggestion of the letter ‘N’ in the design will become instantly recognizable over time as shorthand for the .NET brand name.

    It’s one of many things we’re actively doing to renew our commitment to the future around the overall Rich Platforms we have today.

    Hope all have fun at PDC2008 and you’ll see glimpses of what I mean there 😉

    Onwards and embrace the new .NET logo!

    Posted in MS News | Comments Off on Embrace the new .NET Logo!

    Data Dude + Team Dev are now one plus it’s now Visual Studio 2010

    October 2nd, 2008 by kenlin@HK [MVP]

    Microsoft opened up the kimono today on Press Pass.

    The next release of Visual Studio is Visual Studio 2010 and the .NET Framework 4.0.

    In addition, if you go down the page here, you find some juicy goodness:

    Better Together – Visual Studio Team System Development Edition and Database Edition
    In recognition of the increased need to integrate more of the lifecycle members together, we will provide a unified Development and Database product in Visual Studio Team System 2010. Beginning October 1, 2008 Development Edition and Database Edition MSDN subscribers will have access to both products.”

    Great news!

    Posted in .NET Framework, Beta News, MS News, Visual Studio | Comments Off on Data Dude + Team Dev are now one plus it’s now Visual Studio 2010

    Exporting Settings from Microsoft Office Communications Server gives error 0x80041010

    July 9th, 2008 by Jabez Gan [MVP]

    I was exporting the settings for Microsoft Office Communications Server today, using the command line tool LCSCMD.exe.

    The output was:

    Executing “Export Configuration”
    Executing “Validate File”
    Executing “Establish WMI Connections”
    Check the log file “C:\DOCUME~1\ADMINI~1.OCS\LOCALS~1\Temp\export[2008_07_09][15_39_26].html” for details.
    ERROR (0x80041010):

    On opening the log file, I was presented with the following helpful unhelpful log file.

     (click to enlarge)

    Thanks to Google, I searched using the error as the keyword and found out that this error means “An error message of 0x80041010 means that you are trying to reference a WMI class that does not exist.”

    The syntax that I used was:

    lcscmd /config /action:export /level:machine /configfile:c:\backup\ocsserversettings.xml /fqdn:ocs.blizhosting.com

    Where it should be:

    lcscmd /config /action:export /level:machine /configfile:c:\backup\ocsserversettings.xml /fqdn:member01.ocs.blizhosting.com

    Stupid me… Duh!!

    But I think the error in the log file should be more helpful tho.

    Posted in MS News | Comments Off on Exporting Settings from Microsoft Office Communications Server gives error 0x80041010

    Microsoft demonstrates Multi-touch Windows 7

    May 28th, 2008 by Jabez Gan [MVP]

    After yesterdays announcements Microsoft finally demonstrated Windows 7 in public yesterday.

    Microsoft has been investing in many forms of natural input to enable users to interact with the PC and their devices using touch. Last year at the All Things Digital conference Bill Gates introduced Microsoft’s surface computer. This year Julie Larson-Green (VP, Windows Experience Program Management), who was responsible for the innovative Office 2007 design, demonstrated the multi-touch innovations first previewed in Surface that will ultimately play a part of the next version of Windows.

    Could this now be the start of Microsoft slowly revealing more information over the coming months until their grand double of PDC/WinHEC in November?

    Video: http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?vid=8700c7ff-546f-4e1d-85f7-65659dd1f14f

    Demo Transcript: http://d6.allthingsd.com/20080527/gates_ballmer/

    Source: Neowin

    Posted in MS News | Comments Off on Microsoft demonstrates Multi-touch Windows 7

    Ballmer attacked by an “Egg Thrower”?

    May 20th, 2008 by Patrick S

    From Budapest, Hungary, comes news of a strange — and perhaps scary — moment for Steve Ballmer today. The Microsoft chief executive was speaking at Corvinus University when a protester interrupted and started throwing eggs at him, according to report on the Hungarian-language Index news site. Here’s the Index video of the incident, via YouTube:

    Video from HU TV2 channel:

    Before throwing what appeared to be three eggs, the protester demands that Microsoft give back money “stolen” from the Hungarian people. He wore a shirt that said “Microsoft = Corruption.” It’s difficult to hear, but Bloomberg News, citing the Index report, says that the protester “yelled that Ballmer should pay back taxpayer money.”

    After taking cover behind a desk, a clearly surprised Ballmer recovered and resumed his presentation as the protester was led out of the room. “It was a friendly disruption,” he said, pacing around and grinning. “That broke my train of thought.”

    News Source: SeattlePI
    and Thehotfix

    Posted in MS News | 1 Comment »

    Windows-Live Messenger TV

    May 13th, 2008 by Patrick S

    With the availability of rich media such as online video becoming more and more important in day-to-day life the Windows Live team have come up with a pretty neat idea to share video with a friend through Windows Live Messenger.
    Messenger TV is born: Launching in 20 countries (Surprisingly not the U.S) and in 12 languages, Microsoft hopes to lure a few more people away from youtube and onto the MSN powered service.

    “Watching online video is no longer about one person in front of their computer, it’s now a social experience. Users can now share a selection of free content and watch it at the same time as their friends through Messenger TV.” 

    To do this Microsoft have partnered with a number of popular content providers, such as MTV, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, National Geographic, and the U.K.’s Channel 4 to offer content that people will want to watch

    To give it a whirl simply open up a convo with a friend, click activities and select Messenger TV. If you cant wait to try it with a buddy you could add the bot (MessengerTV@live.com [click on the link to add]) and it will take care of the rest.

    The service is determined by your Internet Language options…so if you have it set to English (U.S) then chances are it won’t work for you. Using something link English (U.K) or English (N.Z) should do the trick. 

    Click for bigger view

    Check out http://messengertv.msn.com/mkt/en-gb/default.htm

    Posted in MS News, Windows Live, Windows Live Messenger | Comments Off on Windows-Live Messenger TV

    Gates: Windows 7 will “take less memory, be more efficient”

    May 13th, 2008 by Patrick S

    Many know for a fact that the transition from Windows XP to Vista was a major step for most. The heightened system requirements to run all that eye candy were immense-even if Vista only just slightly out performs XP.
    People therefore turned to Microsoft’s next planned operating system, Windows Seven as the answer to speedy computing with system requirements equal to Vista’s and (hopefully) not a whole lot higher.

    Today the Now retired Bill Gates had this to say about Microsoft Windows Seven:

    We’re hard at work, I would say, on the next version, which we call Windows 7. I’m very excited about the work being done there. The ability to be lower power, take less memory, be more efficient, and have lots more connections up to the mobile phone, so those scenarios connect up well to make it a great platform for the best gaming that can be done, to connect up to the thing being done out on the Internet, so that, for example, if you have two personal computers, that your files automatically are synchronized between them, and so you don’t have a lot of work to move that data back and forth.

    Huzzah…The people rejoice?
    …Not just yet-Its early days, and Gates touched on a lot more than just the system requirements of the next gen OS.
    Seven is of course built on top of the existing Vista structure and so far not much has really changed dramatically-yet. Hardware will most likely change a lot by the time we see 7 on shelves. Watch this space

    —–

    Seven has been planned to ship 3 Years after Vista RTM’ed but let’s face it, Microsoft are useless at sticking to deadlines. I believe Seven will bring with it a lot more hype and I for one am looking forward to seeing/testing 7 a lot more than I did Vista.

    Posted in Beta News, Microsoft, MS News, Products, Windows 7 | Comments Off on Gates: Windows 7 will “take less memory, be more efficient”

    Popfly Game Creator Alpha Goes Live!

    May 3rd, 2008 by Patrick S

    As most of you know Microsoft launched their Popfly Game creator today. Its an online tool for creating web based games similar to the casual games you’ve probably wasted hours playing when you should have been studying/working/eating/sleeping- Now you can waste hours making the games as well 🙂

    I wont go on about it because its all over the web but for more info on the api etc check out this blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/ben_anderson

    However the real reason I am writing this post is to show you some funny videos made by Microsoft Channel 10 for the popfly launch. The videos are small rip off’s of some popular games including:

    • Halo
    • Punchout
    • Mario
    • Tetris
    • GTA
    • Frogger
    • Pong

    Here’s The Halo one but check out the rest of them here: http://www.on10.net/blogs/tina/Popfly-Game-Creator/

    watch?v=DVanGGz3R30

    Posted in MS News | Comments Off on Popfly Game Creator Alpha Goes Live!

    Mass SQL injections

    April 26th, 2008 by Patrick S

    Earlier this week I published a post regarding a vulnerability in several versions of Microsoft Windows
    …Well the vulnerability is now being executed-there is another round of Mass SQL injections going on which has infected hundreds of thousands of websites running on the IIS platform.

    Preforming a simple Google search for traces of the malicious script results in over 510,000 modified pages.

    With more and more websites using a SQL back-end to make them faster and more dynamic, it also means that it’s crucial to verify what information get stored in or requested from those databases – especially if you allow users to upload content themselves which happens all the time in discussion forums, blogs, feedback forms etc. Unless that data is sanitized before it gets saved you can’t control what the website will show to the users. This is what SQL injection is all about, exploiting weaknesses in these controls.

    Currently the malicious file that is being injected is 1.js however it must be noted that this could change at any stage. Visitors to this website are “treated” to 8 different exploits for many windows based applications including AIM, RealPlayer, and iTunes. DO NOTvisit sites that link to this site as you are very likely to get infected. Trendmicro named the malware toj_agent.KAQ it watches for passwords and passes them back to contoller’s ip.

    In this case the injection code starts off like this (note, this is not the complete code):

       DECLARE%20@S%20NVARCHAR(4000);SET%20@S=CAST(0x440045004300
       4C00410052004500200040005400200076006100720063006800610072
       00280032003500350029002C0040004300200076006100720063006800
       610072002800320035003500290020004400450043004C004100520045
       0020005400610062006C0065005F0043007500720073006F0072002000
       43005500520053004F005200200046004F0052002000730065006C0065
       0063007400200061002E006E0061006D0065002C0062002E006E006100
       6D0065002000660072006F006D0020007300790073006F0062006A0065
       00630074007300200061002C0073007900730063006F006C0075006D00
       6E00730020006200200077006800650072006500200061002E00690064
       003D0062002E0069006400200061006E006400200061002E0078007400
       7900700065003D00270075002700200061006E0064002000280062002E
       00780074007900700065003D003900390020006F007200200062002E00
       780074007900700065003D003300350020006…
    
    Which when decoded becomes:
    
       DECLARE @T varchar(255)'@C varchar(255) DECLARE Table_Cursor
       CURSOR FOR select a.name'b.name from sysobjects a'syscolumns b
       where a.id=b.id and a.xtype='u' and (b.xtype=99 or b.xtype=35
       or b…

    What happens as a result? It finds all text fields in the database and adds a link to malicious javascript to each and every one of them which will make your website display them automatically. So essentially what happened was that the attackers looked for ASP or ASPX pages containing any type of querystring (a dynamic value such as an article ID, product ID, et cetera) parameter and tried to use that to upload their SQL injection code.

    So far three different domains have been used to host the malicious content — nmidahena.com, aspder.com and nihaorr1.com. There’s a set of files that gets loaded from these sites that attempts to use different exploits to install an online gaming trojan. Right now the initial exploit page on all domains are inaccessible but that could change. So if you’re a firewall administrator we recommend you to block access to them.

    I would recommend that Administrators block access to hxxp:/www.nihaorr1.com and the IP it resolves to 219DOT153DOT46DOT28 at the edge or border of your network.

    Info sourced from f-secure

    Posted in MS News | 1 Comment »

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