News Stories


US government finally admits most piracy estimates are bogus

Submitted by: SINep @ 02:27 AM | Saturday, April 17, 2010 | (url: http://arstechnic...)

We've all seen the studies trumpeting massive losses to the US economy from piracy. One famous figure, used literally for decades by rightsholders and the government, said that 750,000 jobs and up to $250 billion a year could be lost in the US economy thanks to IP infringement. A couple years ago, we thoroughly debunked that figure. For years, Business Software Alliance reports on software piracy assumed that each illicit copy was a lost sale. And the MPAA's own commissioned study on movie piracy turned out to overstate collegiate downloading by a factor of three.

Can we trust any of these claims about piracy?

The US doesn't think so. In a new report out yesterday, the government's own internal watchdog took a close look at "efforts to quantify the economic effects of counterfeit and pirated goods." After examining all the data and consulting with numerous experts inside and outside of government, the Government Accountability Office concluded (PDF) that it is "difficult, if not impossible, to quantify the economy-wide impacts."

More specific studies that focus only on single industries don't fare much better because "the illicit nature of counterfeiting and piracy makes estimating the economic impact of IP infringements extremely difficult." And when it comes time to choose a substitution rate (how much of the infringing activity should be counted as a lost sale), we're left only with "assumptions... which can have enormous impacts on the resulting estimates."

The GAO then went on to slam three particular reports often linked to the government. They're all commonly cited, they're all bogus, and at least one is still being used officially.

Category: Software | 31 Comments
Tags: piracy

Microsoft: Windows 7 sales exceed Vista sales by 234%

Submitted by: KnightMare @ 07:36 PM | Thursday, November 5, 2009 | (url: http://windowstea...)

It has been quite amazing to watch the global excitement build around Windows 7, especially during a tough economic climate. It was just a few short weeks ago that we learned about Windows 7 outselling the UK's "own" Harry Potter. In Japan, anxious PC users waited in line to be one of the first to get their hands on Windows 7. And just today, according to the NPD groups' weekly tracking service, Windows 7 software unit sales in the U.S. increased 234% over Windows Vista's first few days of sales. "A combination of factors impacted Windows 7 PC sales at the outset, but the trajectory of overall PC sales is very strong leading into the holiday season," said Stephen Baker at NPD.


Microsoft Security Essentials Released

Submitted by: KnightMare @ 02:52 PM | Tuesday, September 29, 2009 | (url: http://www.micros...)

Microsoft's new antimalware solution, Microsoft Security Essentials, is now available for Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.

Category: Software | 49 Comments
Tags: free microsoft

Windows 7 "Family Pack" price revealed

Submitted by: KnightMare @ 12:05 PM | Friday, July 10, 2009 | (url: http://www.comput...)

Microsoft Corp. will price a multi-license "family pack" for Windows 7 at $149.99, according to at least one online retailer that has posted pricing details prematurely.

Fadfusion.com, a Missouri-based online seller of computers, electronics and office supplies, lists something called "W7 Family Pack - Home Prem Upg" on its site for $138.99, an $11 discount from the $149.99 it claims is the package's suggested retail price.

The software, which will purportedly let users upgrade as many as three PCs in a single household to Windows 7 Home Premium, is listed as "discontinued" by Fadfusion.

At $149.99, the Family Pack would save a buyer $210 over three separate Home Premium Upgrades.


Firefox 3.5 is Out

Submitted by: KnightMare @ 10:10 AM | Tuesday, June 30, 2009 | (url: http://www.mozill...)

Firefox 3 is faster, smarter and most importantly much safer than your version. Download it today!

Category: Software | 0 Comments
Tags: firefox

Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) Free Download

Submitted by: XTasy @ 12:57 AM | Tuesday, May 5, 2009 | (url: http://windowstea...)

Microsoft is offering a free download of Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC). Use Internet Explorer to download it.

This RC will expire on June 1, 2010, but starting on March 1, 2010, your PC will begin shutting down every two hours.


IE 8 due for March 20th release

Submitted by: KnightMare @ 08:13 AM | Friday, March 13, 2009 | (url: http://www.neowin...)

Taipei Times reports Microsoft Taiwan has announced during a press meet that Internet Explorer 8 will be released on March 20 in the local Taiwanese version. It was earlier predicted that Microsoft will RTM IE 8 in the week of March 16. Now we can expect the release of Internet Explorer 8 alongside MIX09 on March 19.

The Internet Explorer 8 sessions are now live on the MIX website which also includes the keynote address by Dean Hachamovitch, General Manager of Internet Explorer team at Microsoft.

As the Taiwanese version is getting released on March 20, we could expect Internet Explorer 8 (English version) being released in MIX09.

For now, the version information of IE 8 in the About screen does not reflect Release Candidate 1 in the recent Windows 7 builds 7048 and 7057


Windows 7 Has Secret 'Off' Switch for Internet Explorer

Submitted by: Jinzo @ 03:23 AM | Monday, March 9, 2009 | (url: http://www.foxnew...)

It appears that you can disable IE in windows now to combat the EU's anti trust againist Microsoft.


Secunia: Firefox buggier, but issued fixes quicker

Submitted by: KnightMare @ 01:37 PM | Friday, March 6, 2009 | (url: http://news.cnet....)

Firefox had 115 reported flaws in 2008, nearly four times as many as every other popular browser, and nearly twice as many as Microsoft and Apple combined.

However, the report found that Mozilla was quicker to patch Firefox's flaws that were disclosed publicly without vendor notification compared with Microsoft. These "zero day" vulnerability disclosures contain information that can be used by attackers to write exploits for the flaw.

Microsoft took 110 days to issue patches for the two most serious flaws, while it took Mozilla an average of 43 days to address its three flaws, Secunia reported. One of the IE vulnerabilities remained open for 294 days in 2008, according to the report.


Microsoft Releases Vista SP2 Release Candidate

Submitted by: KnightMare @ 05:00 PM | Wednesday, February 25, 2009 | (url: http://www.pcmag....)

Microsoft on Wednesday released Service Pack 2 Release Candidate (RC) for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.

"Starting today, the RC of SP2 for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 will be available to TechNet and MSDN subscribers to test prior to final release," Brandon LeBlanc, a Windows communication manager, wrote in a blog post. "In the very near future, we will be making the RC broadly available for anyone to download and test. You can expect another blog post from me when that happens."

The final SP2 is expected to be released in the second quarter of 2009, he said.
"In addition to all previously released updates, SP2 will contain changes focused on supporting new types of hardware and adding support for several emerging standards,"


Details on Windows 7 SKUs

Submitted by: KnightMare @ 12:35 PM | Tuesday, February 3, 2009 | (url: http://www.winsup...)

Unlike with Vista, where Microsoft crowded the market with too many mainstream product editions, Windows 7 will ship in just a handful of common-sense product editions. And also unlike with Vista, these product editions are all true supersets of each other, so there are no overlapping feature sets (which is good) and upgrades will be much simpler (which is even better).

"As we moved to Windows 7, we looked back on the key learnings we had with Windows Vista and the conversations we've had with partners and customers," Microsoft senior vice president Bill Veghte told me in a recent briefing. "Everyone was looking for simplicity and clarity. They don't want to compromise capabilities as they stepped up."


Windows 7 surprise: DivX built in

Submitted by: Beren @ 08:35 PM | Saturday, January 3, 2009 | (url: http://apcmag.com...)

DivX, XviD and H.264 will be built into the new version of Windows. While probably not impacting "nerds" too much as we already install it. I am looking forward to non-nerds from having it from the get go so that if I shoot them a copy of a tv show they missed they can play it without having to install anything.

Category: Software | 11 Comments
Tags: windows xvid

Stop Using Internet Explorer

Submitted by: KnightMare @ 11:19 AM | Tuesday, December 16, 2008 | (url: http://news.bbc.c...)

Users of Microsoft's Internet Explorer are being urged by experts to switch to a rival until a serious security flaw has been fixed.

The flaw in Microsoft's Internet Explorer could allow criminals to take control of people's computers and steal their passwords, internet experts say. Microsoft urged people to be vigilant while it investigated and prepared an emergency patch to resolve it.

Microsoft says it has detected attacks against IE 7.0 but said the "underlying vulnerability" was present in all versions of the browser. Other browsers, such as Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Safari, are not vulnerable to the flaw Microsoft has identified.


Google's Chrome out of Beta

Submitted by: KnightMare @ 04:23 PM | Thursday, December 11, 2008 | (url: http://googleblog...)

Since we first released Google Chrome, the development team has been hard at work improving the stability and overall performance of the browser. In just 100 days, we have reached more than 10 million active users around the world (on all seven continents, no less) and released 14 updates to the product. We're excited to announce that with today's fifteenth release we are taking off the "beta" label!


still looks feels like beta to me

Category: Software | 4 Comments
Tags: chrome google

Firefox 3.1 Beta 2 now available for download

Submitted by: KnightMare @ 09:41 AM | Tuesday, December 9, 2008 | (url: https://developer...)

Firefox 3.1 Beta 2 is a public preview release intended for developer testing and community feedback. It includes many new features as well as improvements to performance, web compatibility, and speed. We recommend that you read the release notes and known issues before installing this beta.

Firefox 3.1 Beta 2 is now available for download. This milestone is focused on testing the core functionality provided by many new features and changes to the platform scheduled for Firefox 3.1.

Category: Software | 1 Comments
Tags: firefox mozilla