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MSN Mail beta goes public… I think

October 21st, 2005 by Zack Whittaker

I’ll be honest on this one, I’m not quite sure whether it’s open to the public or whether it’s been expanded to another group of MSN beta testers which ties in with their Passport account. All I can go on really is my experience.

In my MSN Hotmail inbox this morning, I noticed a small green tab above the MSN Hotmail logo asking me whether I wanted to join the beta. So, if you want to join the beta (or at least attempt!), login to your MSN Passport and see if there’s a little green tab there.

Please let me know on the comments if you know any different 🙂

Posted in Beta News | 4 Comments »

Age of Empires III released download trial

October 20th, 2005 by Patrick S

One of my fav games of all time has launched a trial of their game.
The demo includes single player skirmish mode and two missions in the single player campaign. In Skirmish mode you can play as the British or the Spanish empires in the New England and Texas maps.

Age of Empires has always had a soft spot in my heart because its such an awesome game. I remember the days of online play over a 56k line. Anyway I cant wait to get the full version in a coupple of weeks!

Heres the site to get it from to give u a sample of what is to become a classic game!

-Patrick S

Posted in MS News | 3 Comments »

Security problems caused Vista delay

October 18th, 2005 by Patrick S

NEIL HOLLOWAY Microsoft’s president of EMEA, said that security was the reason that its Vista Longhorn product was delayed for a year.
And he said that one of the reasons it settled with Real rather than bought it was that its market share would then have been too big.

The firm got sidetracked because of security with the launch of Vista. Maybe Microsoft should have got security right five or 10 years back, he admitted.

Holloway said that Microsoft wasn’t that interested in big fishes. It wanted to acquire small, IP related companies in order to improve its own products.

He claimed that Microsoft will launch twice as many products in the next 12 months as it released in the last three years.

Microsoft, he said, has 3,000 patents which he believes is ‘superimportant’. It also has 370 products and 100,000 independent software vendors which write to its products.

He claimed that over the last 30 years one of the barriers was because of the hardware, but Microsoft now believes that’s not the problem any more. The problem is to exploit the hardware from a software perspective.

Microsoft isn’t hidebound by bureaucracy and isn’t an island of prosperity in Redmond which ignores the rest of the world, Holloway said.

The Vole spends $6 billion on R&D, and Holloway admitted that it had made mistakes. But, he said, Microsoft doesn’t give up but goes back again and again. He said the firm doesn’t get everything right.

He said that security is job zero for Microsoft. Microsoft is paranoid but takes criticism seriously and is willing to change.

The recent internal re-organisation addressed those criticisms. The re-organisation was a very important change because these presidents can make decisions, and not everything has to go back to Steve Ballmer or Bill Gates for an ultimate decision.


Posted in MS News, Windows Vista | Comments Off on Security problems caused Vista delay

Microsoft releases Internet Connection Sharing fix for Windows Server 2003

October 18th, 2005 by Patrick S

MSFT has Released an update to correct an issue in which Internet Connection Sharing does not appear in the properties of the active network connection after you install Active Directory to configure a computer that is running Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 as a domain controller. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer.

Posted in MS News | 1 Comment »

Virtual WiFi the way of the future!!

October 18th, 2005 by Patrick S

Microsoft Research: VirtualWiFi is a virtualization architecture for wireless LAN (WLAN) cards. It abstracts a single WLAN card to appear as multiple virtual WLAN cards to the user. The user can then configure each virtual card to connect to a different wireless network. Therefore, VirtualWiFi allows a user to simultaneously connect his machine to multiple wireless networks using just one WLAN card. This new functionality introduced by VirtualWiFi enables many new applications, which were not possible earlier using a single WLAN card. For example,

  • With VirtualWiFi, you can connect to a guest’s machine or play games over an ad hoc network, while surfing the web via an infrastructure network.
  • You can use VirtualWiFi to connect your ad hoc network, which may contain many nodes, to the Internet using only one node.
  • VirtualWiFi can help make your home infrastructure network elastic by extending its access to nodes that are out of range of your home WiFi Access Point.

    “In more recent work, we have explored two more applications of VirtualWiFi. The first application, which is a very useful tool for fault diagnosis and recovery in infrastructure wireless networks, is called Client Conduit. Client Conduit is a tool that provides a thin pipe of communication between disconnected clients and back end servers that perform wireless diagnosis and recovery. The thin pipe is achieved by running VirtualWiFi on the connected clients. These clients dynamically connect to disconnected clients over an ad hoc network, and send messages from them to the back end servers. VirtualWiFi enables this thin pipe without requiring the connected client to explicitly disconnect from the infrastructure network. A more detailed description of Client Conduit can be found in the paper titled: “Architecture and Techniques for Diagnosing Faults in IEEE 802.11 Infrastructure Networks”.

    The second application of VirtualWiFi that increases the capacity of wireless ad hoc networks using orthogonal channels is called Slotted Seeded Channel Hopping (SSCH). SSCH uses VirtualWiFi to virtualize a wireless card with as many instances as the number of orthogonal channels. It then connects each virtual wireless card on a different orthogonal channel. Furthermore, SSCH proposes a novel scheme of partial synchronization that can be used with VirtualWiFi. The details of the SSCH protocol are described in another paper, titled: “SSCH: Slotted Seeded Channel Hopping for Capacity Improvement in IEEE 802.11 Ad-Hoc Wireless Networks”.

    We have implemented VirtualWiFi over Windows XP. The current version is a prototype implementation of VirtualWiFi, and we are in the process of making our software more robust to include more features. Your comments are very welcome. “


  • Posted in MS News | Comments Off on Virtual WiFi the way of the future!!

    Windows Vista Build 5231 Released to Testers

    October 17th, 2005 by Patrick Elliott

    Microsoft released build 5231 of the Windows Vista Operating system to Techbeta testers today, many of whom have anticipated the release of this build for many weeks now.

    Changes seen so far in 5231 include the distribution of CD ISO images as well as DVD ISO images.

    The DVD ISO weighs in at 2930.7MB, slightly larger than the last build, 5219

    and the CD ISO image set is only 1622.22MB, over 1GB less then the DVD ISO

    Since the download is still going I can’t speak as to the major size difference in the two images.

    A 5231 SDK is also offered for download via Microsoft Connect.

    The major question, at least in my mind, is when will we see a new Longhorn Server build? The last Server build released to the Techbeta program was 5112, or Beta 1.

    More to come….


    Posted in MS News, Windows Vista | 19 Comments »

    Bot2k3 V4.1

    October 15th, 2005 by Patrick S

    Over the past year i have been beta testing a bot, a MSN chat bot, infact THE worlds biggest chat bot on the msn protacol.
    Bot2k3 is probably the single most advanced IM bot in the world with its advanced features and its oh so useful tools etc.

    Among the meany features are the ability to have chat rooms and multiplayer games within it. Its very popular but can always do with more users.
    Why dont you add it using this mirror:

    bot2k3 mirrors

    I look foward to seeing you on there…

    Bot2k3 Mirrors

    Posted in Windows Live Messenger | Comments Off on Bot2k3 V4.1

    Office 12 roll on one…

    October 14th, 2005 by Zack Whittaker

    Looks like we have some more screenshots on our hands folks… Office 12 is looking better and better every time we see a new build of it.

    View at source.

    Posted in Office 2007 | Comments Off on Office 12 roll on one…

    New Office Assistant proves to be even more helpful!

    October 13th, 2005 by Patrick Elliott

    Clippit Suicide

    New Office 12 Office Assistant becomes even more helpful!

    (A joke a friend sent me, figured we all’d get a good laugh from it)

    Posted in Computing, Humour | 9 Comments »

    Linux stars in MS movie

    October 12th, 2005 by Patrick S

    I thought I would post this from a NZ news site because it is about New Zealand (which does not get much media coverage) and because it is relitivly interesting

    In a stroke of irony, Microsoft’s Halo movie will be produced in Wellington by servers running the open-source Linux operating system.

    Universal Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox announced last week that Peter Jackson and his partner Fran Walsh will act as executive producers for the film, based on the best-selling game for Microsoft’s Xbox gaming console.

    Bungie, the Microsoft-owned development firm which created the game, confirmed that Peter Jackson’s post-production firm Weta Digital would be involved in the movie.

    Weta Digital uses more than 1000 dual-processor IBM blade servers running the Fedora version of the Red Hat distribution of the Linux to produce special effects for movies that have so far included Lord of the Rings and King Kong.

    About half the processors are rented out by the New Zealand Supercomputing Centre – a joint venture between Telecom and Weta – when they are not needed for film-making.

    The open-source Linux operating system is growing in popularity in the server market, threatening the market share of Microsoft’s Windows Server, though it hasn’t managed to make major inroads on the desktop.

    Halo centres on the adventures of an armour-clad super soldier known as the Master Chief who battles an alien horde, and the movie is certain to be laden with special effects rendered using Weta’s servers.

    The game has sold 13 million copies worldwide, generating $US600 million in revenue, and was the making of the Xbox games console.

    Microsoft will receive $US$5 million up front from Universal Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox, plus a cut of ticket sales.

    The script for Halo was written by Alex Garland, who penned the sci-fi hit 28 Days. The movie is expected to be released mid-2007.

    Source Stuff News

    Posted in MS News, Xbox and Gaming | Comments Off on Linux stars in MS movie

    Microsoft & Yahoo are joining forces

    October 12th, 2005 by Patrick S

    MICROSOFT and Yahoo are preparing to link their free instant messaging services to take on AOL and Google.

    The deal, the first major alliance between two of the web’s main providers of instant messaging, will allow users of Microsoft’s MSN Messenger service and Yahoo Messenger to swap instantaneous text messages with each other.
    A Microsoft spokeswoman and a Yahoo spokeswoman declined to comment on the alliance, first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

    The tie-up will also give users of both services the ability to communicate via voice as well, a feature that up to now has been restricted to users within each service, the source said.
    In all honesty i dont really like the sound of this I have never liked Yahoo messenger and IMHO messenger always had one up on all of the comp.
    Ahh well we’ll see what happens

    Posted in Windows Live Messenger | 4 Comments »

    No-one wants Windows XP “N”

    October 11th, 2005 by Zack Whittaker

    Edited a bit because I realised how fast I wrote this and forgot to proof read…

    And who can blame them? The whole point of Windows XP “N” was to comply with European Commission’s legislation and all that, because apparently Microsoft was being mean to those smaller companies and those trying to grow. The “N” part is to stand for “No Media Player”, which is where the smaller media companies come into play, giving them a new market to target their media products at. The funny part about this, is that “XP” was to stand for “eXPerience media, videos, pictures and music” and now you can’t because of the lack of Windows Media Player.

    Anyway, Windows XP “N” just plainly isn’t selling and I can’t blame them at all really. If you want an operating system with everything there (including functionality to play music and watch videos) then you may as well just go for the option of the full version of Windows XP, either Home Edition or Professional Edition.

    “I don’t know if it’s true to say [retailers] haven’t bought any (but) I’d be very surprised if we’ve sold any,” Microsoft’s UK managing director Alistair Baker was quoted as saying in The Times (UK newspaper).

    Posted in Windows XP | 4 Comments »

    Microsoft’s Web Mail Gets Overhaul

    October 11th, 2005 by Patrick S

    The Hotmail millions (Microsoft reports 200 million users) know and perhaps love could be replaced. For the last seven months, Microsoft has been beta testing a radically different Web mail client, one that makes Hotmail’s largely standard HTML interface look like yesterday’s news. Kahuna supports drag and drop, right-clicking, multi-select and, in general, a much more Outlook-like look and feel.

    Today the beta program expands to over 200,000 users and should roll out to the general Hotmail user population next year. Microsoft officials told PC Magazine that the new Hotmail, code named “Kahuna”, has been built from the ground up with AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) technology. It also includes enhanced phish and spam-detecting techniques, better virus detection and better search.

    The virus, phish detection and spam management tools will be housed in a new “InfoBar”, and the Calendar has a more Outlook-like feel. Microsoft has also made a more powerful Contacts area, simplified new contact management and added auto-recipient complete (for when you have matching contacts in your contact database) for new e-mail. Mail creation has also been enhanced, with Rich Text Editing features. Baseline storage space for the free service will be 2GB.

    Microsoft’s announcement comes close on the heels of the introduction of Yahoo’s beta preview of its new Yahoo WebMail client, which also uses AJAX to create a far more desktop e-mail client look and feel

    Source PC MAG

    View Screen Shots

    Posted in Beta News | Comments Off on Microsoft’s Web Mail Gets Overhaul

    Zafi.F may be lurking in MSN photo email

    October 11th, 2005 by Patrick S

    For those resieving MSN Photo emails a New Zafi variant was found yesterday. Like most members of this Hungarian virus family, Zafi sends messages with fake web links starting the local attachment, and changes the language of the message based on the address of the recipient.

    The mails might also contain a fake “MSN Photo email” picture to fool recipients.

    Keep an eye out!
    Patrick S

    Posted in Security | Comments Off on Zafi.F may be lurking in MSN photo email

    Microsoft Windows Freak (funny)

    October 10th, 2005 by Jabez Gan [MVP]

    Microsoft Windows Freak
    “Where do you want to go today?”


    Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

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