Things You Need To Know About The Dangers Of Malware

Thus, it is probably a kind of workaround the authors of these malwares have found: They try to break the 'sensors' of programs that are in theory able to block them, to prevent their install. This way, these malwares are free to install and to perform any changes they need on the system (for example, during tests with one program, after a simple process execution, a root kit was installed, undetected, and could install 2 other kernel-mode root kits, without any alerts from the HIPS; nothing in the logs either: The program was like dead).

Malwares

These malwares are then very dangerous, not only because they can bypass programs that are supposed to block them, but because once they're installed, nothing abnormal is showing on the system protected by an HIPS which was bypassed: If the HIPS was killed, the program interface is still showing its status as 'OK', 'running', leaving the user in a false sense of security (thinking he is protected, although he isn't). Note: These malwares are unable to perform unhooking, and to install, when run in a user-mode account.

One insidious type of Trojan horse is a program that claims to rid a computer of malwares but instead introduces malwares onto the computer. Although terms such as virus or anti-virus may be used for clarity, such terms are used only as example of malwares and the present invention contemplates any and all types of malware, including, but not limited to computer viruses, computer worms, Trojan horse programs. Most binary malwares only work on Linux on an Intel platform. For the same reason, binary malwares do not work on Linux for PowerPC. The second reason binary malwares do not work on Mac OS X is the executable format. Possibilities of binary malwares may work properly on Mac OS X if they are re-compiled for the OS.

Malware

Malware is a catch-all term for any kind of code that was written with malicious intent. To these date, the most popular form of Malware is the worm. Worms are self-propagating malwares that are usually executed as stand-alone code and they propagate by copying their executable codes to other PC’s, file shared on the Fileservers or to any web servers hosting FTP’s. Because worms are often implemented using VBA macros, they are the most common malwares associated with Office documents; one very common vector for spreading worms is the accidental release of an infected Word or Excel documents.

Thus, the challenge is how to prevent the malware from circulating and from spreading further. Doing so minimizes the threat of these malwares. Currently, they are not reported to be prevalent but is worth the effort to understand the threat pose by malwares. Information theft will be one of the biggest threats caused by malware. Upon execution, it connects to some predefined websites via TCP port 8080 to download malware.

Rob Houston is a successful Webmaster and publisher of www.ByeByeSpyware.net. He provides more information about spyware and spyware issues that you can research in your pajamas on his website.

Source: EzineArticles.com

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Vista is a Zombie?

After Don Reisinger's rant over at CNet News it's now eWeek's Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols jumping on the Windows XP Extended Stay bandwagon.
I thought I'd mention that it's not unusual for Microsoft to extend its (OEM) support for older Operating Systems. It happened with Windows 2000, NT and all the 9x variants, well except for Windows ME (anyone remember that?).

Maybe, just maybe it has something to do with Vista Basic PC's? Because in all honesty Microsoft doesn't do itself any favors by releasing something that "looks" worse than XP on low end PC's. Add to the fact that XP has had 6 years to establish itself and became a very reliable OS after SP2 (Service Pack 2).

Windows Vista probably won't be widely adopted until the release of SP1 (and that is mainly in the business sector only). This is standard practice.

It's only fair to mention that the mass exodus to Windows XP was mainly due to the fact that it became the first fully 32 bit client OS after Windows 2000 which was designed for the business sector and not shipped on (OEM) consumer PC's. Due to the wide success and adoption of Windows 2000, XP was built on top of that very reliable kernel. Vista is simply an upgrade, whereas XP was a totally new OS. Upgrading now is not a necessity in many cases for consumers.

Anyway, enough from me, if you want another laugh click Read more to enjoy yet another "expert" opinion on Vista.

Opinion: Vista has turned into the desktop operating system no one wants, and even Microsoft is beginning to get it.

Today, I think of Vista as the zombie operating system. It stumbles around, and from a distance you might think it's alive, but close up it's the walking dead.

The first sign that Vista was in real trouble was when major vendors started to offer XP again on new machines. In February, Microsoft insisted it had already sold more than 20 million copies of Windows Vista. Oh yeah, like there were actually 20 million copies of Vista already out there and running. Pull the other leg, it's got bells on.

If Vista was doing great, then why did Dell break ranks with the other major OEMs to start offering XP again and become the first top-tier vendor to offer XP in replacement for Vista in April? Adding insult to injury, Dell actually had the effrontery to offer desktop Linux to its customers.

Other OEMs followed Dell's lead, or to be more precise, its customers' demands. Lenovo, for example, when it rolled out its revamped high-end ThinkPad T61p workstation notebooks in July, made a point of offering not just Vista but XP Pro and, yes, several Linux distributions, including Novell's SUSE, Red Hat and Turbo Linux.

So it came as no surprise at all to me when Mike Nash, Microsoft's corporate vice president for Windows product management, announced that, due to OEM demand, Microsoft will keep selling XP until June 2008. Of course, he also claims there is little chance the June 30 date will be extended.

source: eweek.com

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65nm Xbox 360s starting to trickle out?

We've been waiting and waiting, and after months of speculation, a hardware revision, a couple limited editions, and even a new SKU, it looks like Microsoft is finally shipping "Falcon"-equipped Xbox 360s with 65nm CPUs.

According to the eagle-eyed posters in the official Xbox forums, Halo edition 360s from lot #734 appear to be the first machines with the new chips, and the time-honored method of peeking inside the case with a flashlight should confirm you have the latest and greatest once you get your baby home. Check the read links for tons more info (and a fun little flamewar).



source: engadget.com

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Japan to develop next next-generation network

A research group will be set up in Japan to develop optical technology that will replace the Internet Protocol as the global standard in communications, a report said Sunday.

The group will be established in November by the government-affiliated National Institute of Information and Communications Technology and private companies, the leading business daily Nikkei said.


It will aim to develop and commercialise in around 2015 a network that can transfer data at 10 gigabits per second, 10 times faster than the next-generation network due to be launched in Japan this year, the report said.

The group will be joined by such companies as Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp., Fujitsu Ltd., KDDI Corp., Hitachi Ltd., Toshiba Corp. and NEC Corp.

more: News source

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Microsoft Process Monitor 1.24

Process Monitor is an advanced monitoring tool for Windows that shows real-time file system, Registry and process/thread activity. It combines the features of two legacy Sysinternals utilities, Filemon and Regmon, and adds an extensive list of enhancements including rich and non-destructive filtering, comprehensive event properties such session IDs and user names, reliable process information, full thread stacks with integrated symbol support for each operation, simultaneous logging to a file, and much more. Its uniquely powerful features will make Process Monitor a core utility in your system troubleshooting and malware hunting toolkit.

Process Monitor's user interface and options are similar to those of Filemon and Regmon, but it was written from the ground up and includes numerous significant enhancements, such as:

- Monitoring of process and thread startup and exit, including exit status codes
- Monitoring of image (DLL and kernel-mode device driver) loads
- More data captured for operation input and output parameters
- Non-destructive filters allow you to set filters without losing data
- Capture of thread stacks for each operation make it possible in many cases to identify the root cause of an operation
- Reliable capture of process details, including image path, command line, user and session ID
- Configurable and moveable columns for any event property
- Filters can be set for any data field, including fields not configured as columns
- Advanced logging architecture scales to tens of millions of captured events and gigabytes of log data
- Process tree tool shows relationship of all processes referenced in a trace
- Native log format preserves all data for loading in a different Process Monitor instance
- Process tooltip for easy viewing of process image information
- Detail tooltip allows convenient access to formatted data that doesn't fit in the columna
- Cancellable search
- Boot time logging of all operations

Downloads :
Microsoft Process Monitor 1.2



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Microsoft Confirms That Its Secret Alterations of Windows Generate Problems

Microsoft has been modifying files in the Windows Vista and Windows XP operating systems without the knowledge or consent of the users that have acquired the products in good faith. The Redmond company's incognito updates served both to XP and to Vista are an integer part of a long time practice over at Microsoft, targeting Windows Update and are as old as the updating infrastructure that the company has built for its platforms. Nate Clinton, Windows Update Program Manager initially admitted the stealthy updates to Windows but argued that they only benefited the end users and that they caused no harm whatsoever.

Well, Scott Dunn, from Windows Secrets, the editor that originally broke the news about Microsoft's silent Windows updating practices, proved the company wrong. Copies of Windows XP repaired via the options on the disc, prior to the deployment of the secret patches, failed to install all additional updates. Clinton subsequently acknowledged the validity of the problem.

"When an XP repair CD is used, it replaces all system files (including Windows Update) on your machine with older versions of those files and restores the registry. However, the latest version of Windows Update includes wups2.dll that was not originally present in Windows XP. Therefore, after the repair install of the OS, wups2.dll remains on the system but its registry entries are missing. This mismatch causes updates to fail installation", Clinton explained.

The sole explanation that Microsoft offered for the silent patches introduced to Windows Update in Windows XP and Vista was nothing more than routine maintenance of the service. The company explained that without the updates WU would fail to perform successful identification, download and deployment of patches served for XP and Vista. Clinton additionally disclosed a modality for users of Windows XP affected by the issue to regain functionality of Windows Update:

"1. Stop the Automatic Updates service. To do this, follow these steps:
a. Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then click OK.
b. At the command prompt, type the following commands, and then press ENTER after each command: net stop wuauserv and exit.

2. Register the file that is used by Windows Update and Microsoft Update. To do this, follow these steps:
a. Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then click OK.
b. At the command prompt, type the following command, press ENTER after the command, and then click OK when you receive a verification message:
regsvr32 %windir%system32wups2.dll
Note: for x64 machines regsvr32 %windir%syswow64wups2.dll

3. Start the Automatic Updates service. To do this, follow these steps:
a. Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then click OK.
b. At the command prompt, type the following commands, and then press ENTER after each command: net start wuauserv and exit."

source: news.softpedia.com
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Microsoft Improves PHP performance in IIS

Since early 2006, Microsoft and Zend have been working together on a technical collaboration with the PHP community to significantly enhance the reliability and performance of PHP on Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008. As part of this collaboration, the IIS product group has been working on a new component for IIS6 and IIS7 called FastCGI Extension which will enable IIS to much more effectively host PHP applications.

Today Microsoft is eager to announce availability of the Go Live release of Microsoft FastCGI Extension for IIS 5.1/6.0 (FastCGI Extension) as a free download. The Go Live release is the last step in the Microsoft beta process and represents the highest level of quality and reliability. For the first time, customers have a license that permits them to deploy the FastCGI Extension on their production Internet Information Services 6.0 (IIS 6) Web servers.

Source : www.osnn.net

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Burma Cuts Internet Access

The ruling junta in Burma has cut internet access to citizens in an attempt to stop footage of pro-democracy protests escaping the country. Internet caf├ęs have been closed and the state ISP is claiming that a damaged cable has led to a total internet shutdown across the country, though the veracity of this story is questionable at best. This move comes after the extensive filming of the latest protests on mobile phones and video cameras; the movies have consequently been sent across the web, generating large amounts of negative press for the junta.

"They are going to delay the message, but they are not going to stop it," British journalist Dominic Faulder told Reuters. "This time, there will be more pictures and they will come out." Although Burma is subject to some of the strictest censorship in the world, images of the protests, including the beatings of Buddhist monks and the killing of a Japanese photographer, have all been sent out via the internet.

Source: neowin.net

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Apple Releases iPhone Updated Firmware 1.1.1

One of several highly successful international companies, Apple has released its iPhone 1.1.1 software update via iTunes. According to the company, “If you have modified your iPhone’s Software, applying this software update may result in your iPhone becoming permanantly inoperable.”

Key Features of An Updated iPhone Firmware 1.1.1:

• iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store
• Louder speakerphone and receiver volume
• Home Button double-click shortcut to phone favorites of music controls
• Space bar double-tap shortcut to intelligently insert period and space
• Mail attachments are viewable in portrait and landscape
• Stocks and cities in Stocks and Weather can be re-ordered
• Apple Bluetooth Headset battery status in the Status Bar
• Support for TV Out
• Preference to turn off EDGE/GPRS when roaming internationally
• New Passcode lock time intervals
• Adjustable alert volume


Check Apple’s official web site for more details of latest iPhone software update!

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Vista Lamentable, Only 5 Million Sold Copies in July, Compared to 20 Million in February

Windows Vista sales are lamentable, and lamentable is an understatement. But the use of any euphemisms will not be able to hide the fact that the Wow momentum has worn out almost completely, and that Vista is delivering a poor performance in terms of sales. Microsoft has applauded selling in excess of 60 million Vista licenses in the operating system's first six months of availability. But the Redmond company also managed to reveal that Vista sales were virtually in the gutter by mid 2007. Microsoft has delivered its 2007 annual report to shareholders, and in it, it reveals the total figure for Vista sales in Fiscal Year 2007.

"Fiscal 2007 saw many successful product launches, led by the release of Windows Vista, the newest version of our desktop operating system. In fiscal 2007, we sold more than 55 million Windows Vista licenses (emphasis added). The 2007 Microsoft Office system also enjoyed an extremely successful launch, enabling us to sell more than 71 million Microsoft Office licenses in fiscal 2007," reads a fragment of the Microsoft shareholders letter.

The Microsoft fiscal year 2007 debuted on July 31, 2006 and finished on June 30, 2007. So between July 31, 2007, and June 30, 2007, Microsoft only managed to ship a total of 55 million licenses of Windows Vista. This aspect is important to note since Vista was launched for businesses on November 30, 2006, and for the general consumers on January 30, 2007. This means that in the seven months Vista was available, between December 2006 and through June 2007, Microsoft only pushed 55 million copies of the operating system. But why is June so important? The answer lies with something Kevin Turner, Microsoft Chief Operating Officer said on July 26 at the Financial Analyst Meeting 2007.

"So let's talk about deployment. So this is a new number for you: 60 million units sold to date (emphasis added). So really if you do over the last six months since our consumer launch, 60 million units have been sold of Windows Vista into the marketplace. And you know by our math we eclipse the entire install base of Apple in the first five weeks that this product shipped", Turner revealed at the time.

Wait, to date? But this means that in July 2007, Microsoft only sold a total of five million copies of Windows Vista worldwide. This is four time less than the 20 million Vista licenses Microsoft sold in the platform's first month on the market or the additional 20 million it served in March and April. Have customers stopped buying Vista?

source: news.softpedia.com

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Microsoft extends Windows XP's stay

Bowing to pressure from customers and computer makers, Microsoft plans to keep Windows XP around a little longer. Large PC manufacturers were slated to have to stop selling XP after January 31. However, they have successfully lobbied Microsoft to allow them to continue selling PCs with all flavors of Windows XP preloaded until June 30, a further five months. Microsoft also plans to keep XP on retail shelves longer and will allow computer makers in emerging markets to build machines with Windows XP Starter Edition until June 2010.

The move indicates the continued demand for the older operating system, some nine months after Windows Vista hit store shelves.

In recent weeks, several PC makers launched programs that allow new PC buyers to more easily "downgrade" their Vista Business and Vista Ultimate machines to Windows XP. Fujitsu, which was among those lobbying for the change, has started including an XP restore disc in the box with all of its laptops running Vista Business.

"This allows the installed base of Windows XP users more time to manage the transition to Vista, which is important for some smaller companies with limited resources," Paul Moore, senior director of mobile product marketing for Fujitsu, said in a statement.

Dell also said it support's Microsoft's decision.

"We believe the additional time will help some customers to prepare for the transition from XP to Vista," the company said in a statement.

Microsoft, for its part, sought to downplay the impact of the move, disagreeing with the notion that there is still strong demand for XP.

"We wouldn't term it strong," said Kevin Kutz, a director in Microsoft's Windows Client unit. "We would describe this as accommodating a certain element who needs more time."

Kutz said Microsoft had seen similar demand patterns with past releases and noted that in the past, old operating systems remained available for around 18 months after the release of a new operating system.

source: news.com

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Gmail cookie vulnerability exposes user's privacy

"This can be used to forward all your incoming e-mail," Pure Hacking security researcher Chris Gatford told ZDNet Australia. "It's just a proof of concept at the moment but what they're demonstrating is the potential to use this vulnerability for malicious purposes.". "This can be used to forward all your incoming e-mail," Pure Hacking security researcher Chris Gatford told ZDNet Australia. "It's just a proof of concept at the moment but what they're demonstrating is the potential to use this vulnerability for malicious purposes."

"If someone picks up on this before Google fixes it--or if someone knew of the vulnerability before this guy published it -- this could be very damaging to Gmail users," he added.

The problem is potentially compounded by Google's policy of retaining cookies for two years.

"Once you've managed to snarf a cookie you can access [a user's] Gmail account without the password for the next two years," he said.

While the obvious risk is to the home user, many organizations could be exposed since they do not filter employee e-mail messages sent from work to personal accounts, he added.

IBRS security analyst James Turner told ZDNet Australia: "People do use private accounts to store work information. I've worked at one organization where this was implicitly expected, because the mail server at the time was so unreliable. But that scenario is certainly less than optimal.

"In an ideal world, an organization would be able to draw a line in the sand and say that corporate data does not pass this point. The current reality is that there are Gen-Y workers who are sharing information with each other on multiple alternative communication channels--Gmail and Facebook included."

One workaround is to use Gmail through Firefox and disable Javascript. While this limits user access to many components of popular Web sites, it will protect against the potential threat.

Developers at Australian government and large enterprises are not aware of the power of cross-site scripting, said Pure Hacking's Gatford.

"In the last year or so, [XSS vulnerabilities] have been used by attackers to grab cookie values and therefore gain access to normally password protected sites," he said.

"When you have organizations like Google spending countless man hours reducing security vulnerabilities ... you can imagine how bad the actual situation is for other organizations," said Gatford.

Gatford advised organizations to use resources such as OWASP, which offers free tools to help write secure code and allow testing for XSS vulnerabilities.

Google was unavailable to comment at the time of writing.

Source : zdnetasia.com

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Startup Transforms Windows Desktop Into Panoramic Display

360Desktop is a startup that reorganizes the standard Windows desktop into a panoramic, revolving pane of glass thousands of pixels long. 360Desktop is due to debut Wednesday at the DemoFall 2007 show in San Diego. While not for everybody, this reorganization of the desktop opens the door to many additional user interface elements beyond the stack of icons currently found on a typical Microsoft Office desktop, Evan Jones, CEO of the Melbourne, Australia, firm, said in an interview.

360Desktop does not replace the Windows user interface. It overlays and redefines it so the viewing area can be extended, Jones said. He envisions numerous Web resources being added as the user scrolls through what is meant to feel like a continuous pane of glass, instead of just a screen.

He said it also will be a highly personalize-able environment, with some users perhaps using a favorite street scene in New York or Prague as their backdrop as they move around the desktop. As you reach the end of the scene, you keep going, starting around again. The company offers an an artist's graphic of such a desktop on its Web site.

Link: 360Desktop Website Sign up for the Beta Program

Full Story : News source

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Jailed virus author gets prison, job offers..

The author of a computer virus which disables security software and steals online-game credentials received a four-year sentence on Monday, and nearly a dozen job offers, according to Chinese press reports.

A Chinese court found virus writer Li Jun guilty on Monday of writing and releasing the computer virus known as Fujacks by antivirus companies and as "Panda Burning Joss Sticks" in China.


A company hit by the virus has offered the writer the position of technology director at a million yuan, or more than US$130,000, a year, after hearing that the man only created the virus because he was frustrated with his lack of luck in finding a job, according to the Changjiang Times. Nine other companies have also offered Li positions.

The jumble of job offers has perplexed some antivirus companies.

"It's important that the IT community does not send out a message that writing viruses or worms is cool, or a fast track into employment," Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, said in a statement on Tuesday. "Li Jun broke the law and infected innocent people's computers and websites, causing financial damage. To reward his criminal act, infamy and bad behavior with a job offer in the IT industry seems frankly perverted."

Li is not the first cybercriminal to raise security experts' hackles by being offered a job. A member of the well-known virus-writing group, 29A, landed a job with Czech technology firm Zoner Software in 2004. A year later, the convicted creator of the Netsky and Sasser worms, Sven Jaschan, found a job as a programmer. And this month, a former security professional who was convicted of creating an Internet worm in 2000, landed in court for a second time on charges of running a large identity-theft scheme.

Chinese virus writer Li Jun made 145,000 yuan, a seventh of his potential starting salary, by selling his virus program to online thieves, prosecutors told news reporters.

Source : Securityfocus.com
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XP SP3, Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008 RC0 – Available for Download Next week!

New test builds of Windows XP Service Pack 3, Windows Vista Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2008 will be made available for download next week. Microsoft is currently readying the first full beta versions for Windows XP SP3 and Windows Vista SP1.

Additionally, the Redmond company is preparing to take Windows Server 2008, formerly codenamed Longhorn out of the extensive Beta 3 phase and into the first Release Candidate stage.

Microsoft offered official confirmation, through the voice of Nick White, Product Manager, that Windows Vista SP1 will be delivered for download to some 10,000 to 15,000 testers. "A Beta release of Windows Vista SP1 is slated for availability in the next few weeks. A small group of testers has been putting a preview of the SP1 Beta through its paces to help prepare for broader release. We made the choice to start with a very small group of testers because we think it’s better for both our customers and for Microsoft to keep the beta program small at the start. A later pre-release of SP1 will be available to a larger group of testers via MSDN and TechNet subscribers," White stated on August 29.

Jon DeVaan, Senior Vice President of the Windows Core Operating System division at Microsoft confirmed the scenario revealing that "we’re making a beta available to more than 10,000 people in the next few weeks – that’s a critical step for us on the road to release, and we’re looking forward to the feedback we’ll get," also on August 29. Moreover, the company has started sending out invitations to the current participants in the Windows Server 2008 beta program to access the downloads for Vista SP1 beta.

In addition to the first beta for Vista SP1, Microsoft will also go live with XP SP3 Beta and also the following week. Just something to look for. However, the release of XP SP3 is yet to be confirmed officially by Microsoft and more of a leaked detail. Still the company did make a habit of synchronizing the releases of Vista SP1 and XP SP3 so far. The beta of XP SP3 will also be delivered to MSDN and TechNet subscribers.

And last but definitely not least, Microsoft will evolve Windows Server 2008 out of beta 3 and into Release Candidate phase, as stated by Andy Malone: "Windows Server 2008 – RC0 - Great news for Beta Testers. Microsoft has finally made available the latest 2008 build to TAP customers. If you registered for the Beta program you can download it at the usual source. For non TAP customers it won’t be long before a download will be available to MSDN. I am sure announcements will be forthcoming. RC0 represents a feature complete version of 2008, which includes some enhancements to roles and features. A full report will be forthcoming."

The Redmond company did offer an insight into its plans to synchronize the Windows client and server updates, and in this context we are merely witnessing Microsoft's new strategy in action. "With Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008, for all the components shared between client and server, we actually made them the same," said Bill Laing, General Manager of Microsoft’s Windows Server Division, as cited by Mary Jo Foley. "With Windows XP and Windows Serer 2003, we forked the code and so had two different sets of code. Even the modules with the same names weren’t identical. That meant things had to be fixed twice."

source: news.softpedia.com
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Antivirus software -- who needs it?

Steve Riley: In the newsgroups a few weeks ago, someone asked about which anti-virus software is best for experts. This is a really curious question. I've been involved in computer security -- as a practitioner, a consultant, and an instructor/speaker -- for several years.

I feel fairly confident in calling myself an expert. I don't run anti-malware on any of my own computers. Why not? It's simple: I know what to click and what to skip, what to visit and what to avoid. I have control over what I choose to open, what I choose to load, and what I choose to run. And yeah, before the question arises, every four months or so I run a scan, and I've never gotten infected with anything.

Now don't think that I run totally naked (the other residents of my house probably would object, and I shudder to imagine how hot the laptop would feel then, haha). Because there's no way to control what someone else might throw at my Ethernet port, I do run the Windows firewall. I also run with UAC enabled because I want IE's protected mode, but I configure the policy to elevate without prompting.

Am I saying that anti-malware is useless? Absolutely not. In many instances, and for many people, it's still necessary. But we can't ignore the fact that malware is getting more sophisticated. Nor can we ignore the fact that, as I have this conversation with other security experts and similarly-minded folk, I often ask this question: "When's the last time your antivirus or antispyware detected anything?" Invariably, the answer is, "Never."

News Source: TechNet Blogs

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Manco .Net Licensing System - V3.1

100% .NET solution for licensing controls and applications written for the .NET Framework (C#, VB.NET).

Currently available for .NET Framework 1.1 & 2.0, and .NET Compact Framework 2.0. It uses 2 different licensing schemas: Licensing by issue license file, and Licensing by secure encrypted license keys.

Main features:
1.Strong license file and unlock key encryption.
2.Flexible license file content. It allows you to create different license types that fit your needs using 17 different validators and unlimited number of the custom fields.
3.Custom license fields. It allows you to store any additional information in the license file, so you can lock/unlock some features of your product, or make some additional tests to validate license.
4.Component/Control Licensing.
5.Time/Usage Limited Evaluation. Manco.Licensing System allows you create evaluation version of your product that is limited by running time (you can set expiration date or number of days before license expiration), number of runs or some features of the product.
6.Signed license file. Manco.Licensing system uses strong RSA encryption to sign license files.
7.Activate by Unlock Key. Use strong RSA encrypted unlock keys to activate your application or control.
8.Create encrypted code and data. Manco.Licensing System allows you to encrypt key application data or source code with separate parameters and keys (not the same ones that are used to encrypt/decrypt license) using functionality provided by Manco.LicenseGenerator. Then encryption parameters and keys are included into the license file as custom values. You can include encrypted data and source code into your project and then decrypt, compile and load them into memory in runtime using functionality provided by Manco.Licensing.License class. After that this compiled code can be used in the application or control.
9.Source Code Integration.
10.License Generator. This is the full functional application for complete license and customer management.

Download : Download link
Source : mancosoftware.com
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Komodo IDE 4

Komodo IDE 4 is a powerful, multi-platform, multi-language IDE for end-to-end development of dynamic web applications. Komodo IDE makes creating robust web apps fast and easy, with a rich feature set for client-side Ajax technologies such as CSS, HTML, JavaScript and XML, coupled with advanced support for dynamic languages such as Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby and Tcl.


Award-winning features include comprehensive editing and debugging, plus intelligent tools for regular expressions, team development, customization and unparalleled extensibility. The result is a powerful coding environment for framework stacks like Ruby on Rails and CakePHP and client libraries such as the Yahoo! UI Library and Dojo. A single license covers you across Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

Code
Effortlessly write quality code with the powerful multi-language editor.

Fix
Find problems fast with industry-leading debugging capabilities.

Share
Easily distribute project elements across multiple developers.

Organize
Keep control with source code control integration and project organization.

Extend
Create Firefox-like extensions to add major capabilities, or tweak with your own quick hacks.

Personalize
Enhance your productivity with the fully-customizable workspace.

Download Trial Version : Download Komodo IDE 4
Source : Activestate.com
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Microsoft blogs you must read..

Handy list of fantastic blogs from Microsoft employees.
As reported on Windows-Connected, Brandon LeBlanc has posted a handy list of all team blogs by Microsoft employees, covering practically every area the company has a stake in. Here's the 17 related to Windows Vista:


Windows Vista Team Blog
Internet Explorer Team Blog
Windows Mobile Team Blog
Tablet PC Team Blog
Microsoft Update Team Blog
Microsoft RSS Blog
Microsoft Photography and Video Blog
XPS Team Blog
Windows Home Server Team Blog
Windows SideShow Team Blog
Windows Ultimate Blog
Windows Core Networking Blog
Windows Vista Security Blog
Shell: Revealed Blog (Windows Shell)
Network Access Protection Blog
Windows Sidebar Team Blog
Windows Genuine Advantage Blog

For those interested in other Microsoft products and services (such as windows Live) take a look at the full list and bookmark a few – they are always a great source of news, tips and advice about how to get the most out of your computer.

source: windowsvistamagazine.com

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Nvidia GeForce Forceware 163.71 Beta

Nvidia has released Vista & XP drivers for the Geforce 6, 7 & 8 series. This is not a WHQL release, is in beta form and available in 32bit and 64bit flavours.
International versions are available only for Vista, English versions are up for XP. ForceWare ensures the best out-of-box experience for every user and delivers continuous performance and feature updates over the life of NVIDIA GeForce GPUs.

Release Notes:
* Supports GeForce FX, 6, 7, and 8 series GPUs.
* Improved compatibility for PT Boats: Knights of the Sea and added NVIDIA SLI profile for Team Fortress 2

This is BETA software!, please use caution when installing it on your system

Download 163.71 Beta for Windows Vista: 32bit | 64bit
Download 163.71 Beta for: Windows XP, Windows XP Media Center Edition | Windows XP x64, Server 2003 x64



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AMD announces three-core desktop CPU

AMD has yet to name the date when it will ship the desktop ‘Phenom' processor based on its the Barcelona quad-core platform, but it today announced a new member of the family: a three-core CPU that will slide in between the quad-core Phenom X4 superslab and the dual-core Phenom X2.

Predictably christened the Phenom X3, it's actually a quad-core CPU on which one of the cores isn't working and is thus disabled. This novel approach isn't new to the tech industry: it's long been rumoured (but never confirmed by Intel) that the single-engine Core Solo processors were dual-core silicon on which one core had blown a fuse.

You can go as far back as the days of 5.25 inch floppy drives, when 720Kb disks which failed testing but could be formatted at a lower capacity were re-badged and sold as 360Kb disks. The triple-core Phenom x3 is a Phenom x4 quad-core with one (non-working) core disabled.

View: Full article
News source: APC Magazine


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USB 3.0 To Boost Peripherals to Multi-Gigabit Speeds

The "SuperSpeed" USB Promotions Group was announced Tuesday at the Intel Developer Forum. The promotions group will get together with contributors over the next year to finalize a USB 3.0 spec that will, they hope, take care of our wired peripheral and syncing needs for another five years or more.
USB 3.0 is built upon, and is backwards-compatible with, the USB 2.0 "High Speed" spec. It would be generous to even call the specifications "early" at this stage, but the group still had lots of information about how USB 3.0 will work and what features it will provide. The spec should be finalized sometime in the middle of 2008, with initial devices available in '09, and broad deployment by 2010.

The main two goals of SuperSpeed USB are to provide a 10X boost in transfer rate (from 480-Mbits/s in USB 2.0 to 4.8 Gbits/s in USB 3.0), while dramatically lowering power consumption. One example of their speed goals is to transfer a 27GB HD movie to a portable device in 70 seconds. The same thing would take 15 minutes or more with HighSpeed USB (2.0). The SuperSpeed devices will use the same connectors and the same programming and device models as existing devices.

View: Full article
News source: ExtremeTech

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Inno Setup 5.2.0

Inno Setup is a free installer for Windows programs. First introduced in 1997, Inno Setup today rivals and even surpasses many commercial installers in feature set and stability.
Key features:
* Support for all versions of Windows in use today: Vista, XP, 2003, 2000, Me, 98, 95, and NT 4.0. (No service packs are required.)
* Extensive support for installation of 64-bit applications on the 64-bit editions of Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003. Both the x64 and Itanium architectures are supported. (On the Itanium architecture, Service Pack 1 is required to install in 64-bit mode.)
* Supports creation of a single EXE to install your program for easy online distribution. Disk spanning is also supported.
* Standard Windows 2000/XP-style wizard interface.
* Customizable setup types, e.g. Full, Minimal, Custom.
* Complete uninstall capabilities and more...


Changelog:
* On Windows Vista, [Run] section entries with the postinstall flag no longer inherit Setup's elevated privileges by default, and instead now execute with the (normally non-elevated) credentials of the user that started Setup initially. (There are some exceptions; see the runasoriginaluser flag documentation for details.)
* Added new [Run] section flags: runascurrentuser and runasoriginaluser. These control which user credentials are used on Windows Vista when spawning processes. (runasoriginaluser is the default when the postinstall flag is used; runascurrentuser is the default otherwise.)
* Improved compression of x86 executable files. (This reduced the size of Inno Setup's own installer by approximately 10 KB.)
* Added new [Files] section parameter: ExternalSize.
* Added new constant: {log}. Translates to the log file name, or an empty string if logging is not enabled.
* Added new [Files] and [Dirs] sections flags: setntfscompression and unsetntfscompression. These flags instruct Setup to enable or disable NTFS compression on the file or directory.
* Pascal Scripting:
- Added new ExecAsOriginalUser, ShellExecAsOriginalUser, and SetNTFSCompression support functions.
- Now supports new DLL loading flag loadwithalteredsearchpath to load DLLs with the Windows flag LOAD_WITH_ALTERED_SEARCH_PATH.
* The Setup loader now uses the original Setup EXE filename + .tmp as the filename for the extracted Setup executable instead of a name comprised of random letters and numbers, which may have seemed suspicious to firewall users.
* In a multilingual installation, Setup now waits until after the Select Language dialog is shown to display any error messages concerning the user's Windows version or privilege level.
* Fix: On Windows Vista, AutoPlay wasn't being suppressed when the user swapped out discs in a disk-spanned install.
* Fix: When the waituntilidle flag was used in the [UninstallRun] section, it behaved like waituntilterminated.
* Based on RemObjects Pascal Script SVN code revision 1045a.
* The uninstall program's version is now 51.48.0.0.


Download:
Inno Setup 5.2.0 (link 1)
Inno Setup 5.2.0 (link 2)
Inno Setup 5.2.0 (link 3)

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ESET NOD32 Antivirus 3.0.414 RC1

ESET NOD32 Antivirus offers superior, comprehensive protection, the fastest scanning throughput, and the least performance impact of any solution.
Keep your important information safe & stay productive with peace of mind. Running separate applications for viruses, hackers, adware, and spyware can slow your PC, be difficult to manage, and providequestionable protection. Beware of large, bloated internet security suites that consume hundreds of megabytes on your PC. These typically exist because vendors have acquired products and 'bundled' them together. In contrast, ESET NOD32 was designed from the core as a single, highly-optimized engine that works as a unified Anti-Threat system to protect against a broad spectrum of malware. Viruses, worms, spyware, and other malicious attacks, which are constantly evolving. ESET NOD32 utilizes patent-pending ThreatSense® Technology to detect tomorrow's threats in real-time, by analyzing code execution for malicious intent - keeping you ahead of the malware-writers.

What's new in ESET NOD32 Antivirus 3.0.414 RC1:

ESET Smart Security and ESET NOD32 v3.0 release candidates are now available. These releases include changes in the graphic user interface, additional improvements in the Antivirus module, improved installation packages, and added support for group security policy installation.

Download: ESET NOD32 Antivirus 3.0.414 RC1 | 64-bit version


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A new hint about what’s coming in Microsoft Office 14

Master data management will be part of Office 14, a first Community Technology Preview (CTP) of which is due in the first quarter of 2008.
That’s according to a September 19 blog post by Microsoft IT Pro Evangelist “PatricG.” Master data management is technology that allows for the management of common reference data across disparate IT systems or groups. Microsoft stuck a toe in the MDM space in June 2007 with its acquisition of privately held MDM specialist Stratature.

Microsoft said at the time of the acquisition that it planned to withdraw existing Stratature products from the market and instead integrate the Stratature +EDM technology into Office applications and servers.

The first iteration of Stratature’s technology that will be part of Office 14 — most likely a component of the SharePoint Server product, it would seem– is codenamed “Bulldog,” according to PatricG’s post. Bulldog’s successor is codenamed “Greenwich,” he said, providing no delivery vehicle for that particular release of MDM. Greenwich will add new integration, analytical and transactional capabilities on top of what’s shipped with Bulldog, PatrickG said.

From PatrickG’s blog post:

“Bulldog includes Microsoft process and standards applied to the Stratature code base as well as several important new capabilities. Bulldog will meet these requirements while laying the foundation for the long-term master data management vision at Microsoft. In concert with the product enhancements, we will be building the product ecosystem including sales channels, customer support, partner readiness, demos and training materials.”

PatrickG said Bulldog will be aligned with the Office 14 wave for the CTP, Technology Adoption Program (TAP) and release-to-manufacturing deliverables. He said the CTP is due to go to select customers by Q1 2008.

Microsoft has said next-to-nothing about its plans for Office 14. Back in February 2007, a Microsoft presentation leaked that pegged Office 14 as on target to be shipped in the first half of 2009. When Microsoft told its sales force this summer that Windows 7, the next version of Windows, was unlikely to ship before 2010, I was betting that Office 14 also had been pushed back a year. Given this latest blog post, I’m now wondering Office 14 will ship ahead of Windows 7.

Any other new Office 14 scuttlebutt out there?

source: blogs.zdnet.com



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VMware Workstation 6.0 Officially released

VMware, Inc., the global leader in software for industry-standard virtualized desktops and servers, today announced the general availability of VMware Workstation 6, the sixth generation of its desktop virtualization software product. VMware Workstation 6 delivers groundbreaking advances in virtualization technology while offering numerous new features such as Windows Vista support, as well as industry-first support for multiple display monitors and USB 2.0 devices, making it highly appealing to IT administrators, developers, testers and other technical professionals and enthusiasts.


Introduced more than eight years ago, VMware Workstation enables pre-production testing of desktops and servers in virtual machines, rehosting of legacy applications, rapid provisioning and resetting of multi-tier environments and accelerated software development and testing. With an advanced feature set and broad support for x86 operating systems, VMware Workstation continues to be the “gold standard” virtualization product for desktop and laptop computers.

Source : Ossn.net
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UK To Propose Banning Plasma TV's

The Conservatives in the UK will propose banning plasma screens and other energy-guzzling electrical goods in a report to be unveiled next week. The proposals target white goods like fridges and freezers, as well as TVs, personal computers and DVD players that use too much energy or operate on stand-by. The ideas come from a Conservative group set up by David Cameron to develop policies to protect the environment and although the measures to make household electrical appliances more energy efficient are not binding on Mr Cameron, they are thought likely to be warmly received by the Tory leader.



The group will also suggest scrapping Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a measure of the nation’s success in favour of a model that measures people’s happiness drawn up up by Friends of the Earth. Under the proposals, a cap could be set on the energy use of each electrical appliance, and those exceeding limits could be banned from sale in the UK. A new labelling requirement could be introduced to inform consumers of products’ annual energy consumption compared with other similar appliances. And there could be a ban on electrical goods with stand-by lights which can stay on indefinitely. Some 2 per cent of Britain’s total electricity use is currently taken up by appliances left on stand-by rather than being switched off.

The proposals are set to be unveiled on Thursday in the final report of the Tories’ Quality of Life Policy Group, chaired by former Environment Secretary John Gummer and green activist Zac Goldsmith, a Conservative spokesman confirmed. Prime Minister Gordon Brown has already announced his ambition to “eliminate” the stand-by function on appliances, which was blasted by the Government’s energy review last year as a waste of electricity. The report is expected to focus on plasma-screen TVs as particularly wasteful of electricity, and it is thought that many models would fall foul of proposed energy cap unless dramatically more efficient technology is developed.

Householders are also expected to be offered tax cuts potentially worth thousands of pounds to make their homes more energy-efficient. Mr Gummer warned: “We live in a joined-up world and yet we organise our lives in silos. The imperative of global warming demands that we change that approach utterly - not just governments, but businesses, groups and individuals.”

Source : Neowin.net
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ATI Radeon HD 2600XT vs Nvidia GeForce 8600 GTS

Looking for the best mainstream videocard...
While Nvidia remains quite dominant in the high-end segment, a much larger battle has taken place to offer the best mainstream graphics product. Currently the two leading mainstream cards are the Nvidia GeForce 8600 GTS and the ATI Radeon HD 2600XT, both of which are priced well under $200.

Today we will be comparing these two mid-range graphics cards head to head using a 512MB VisionTek Radeon HD 2600XT and a 256MB ASUS GeForce 8600 GTS. While neither product features overclocking out of the box, the Radeon has an obvious advantage in that it sports twice as much video memory. And while this may appear to be unfair, we have found that the average 512MB Radeon HD 2600XT graphics card retails for just $140, while the average price of a GeForce 8600 GTS sporting 256MB of memory is $160.

View: ATI Radeon HD 2600XT vs Nvidia GeForce 8600 GTS @ TechSpot

Source : Neowin.net
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Paint.NET 3.0

Paint.NET is image and photo manipulation software designed to be used on computers that run Windows. It supports layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools.

It started development as an undergraduate college senior design project mentored by Microsoft, and is currently being maintained by some of the alumni that originally worked on it. Originally intended as a free replacement for the MS Paint software that comes with Windows, it has grown into a powerful yet simple tool for photo and image editing.

Latest Changes:

* Simple and intuitive tab-based multi-document user interface
* Now available in 8 languages: English, Chinese (Simplified), French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese (Brazil), and Spanish
* Interactive Gradient Tool that makes it very easy to draw and then fine-tune placement and coloring of a gradient
* User-definable color palette (as opposed to just the color wheel)
* New effects: Clouds, Median, Unfocus, Outline, and an improved Sharpen
* More intuitive and more powerful toolbar
* Generally improved and cleaner user interface
* History files are now compressed to save disk space, reduce disk activity, and improve performance
* "Merge Down" layer command

Link Download: Paint.NET 3.0


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China: We're Being Spied On Via Net

Just a week after it was revealed that the Chinese may have been behind a cyberattack on the Pentagon in June of this year, the Chinese are now claiming "massive damage" from spying on its own computers.
Several "core, vital departments" have apparently been infiltrated. Chinese Vice Minister of Information Industry Lou Qinjian said that the government will counter with a tough response, including new censorship and Internet controls.

The timing of Lou's statements is somewhat dubious: the US government recently pointed blame for a June cyberattack on the Chinese Army, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel has complained to Chinese premier Wen Jiabao over suspected hacks of its government systems.

Lou told the state-run Cadres Tribune magazine that "in recent years, party, government and military organs and national defense scientific research units have had many major cases of loss, theft and leakage of secrets, and the damage to national interests has been massive and shocking."

Claiming "spying" may just be a ruse to allow China to slip in new restrictions on Internet use by its citizens, experts say. Missing from Lou's statements were any specific cases of data loss, or evidence for that matter, either.

The country already has one of the most elaborate Net censorship systems in the world, and frequently jails citizens for various types of Internet "subversion." Lou blames US technology companies for leaving "holes" in their systems which allow the US government and others to spy on the country.

He further claimed that Chinese users were being "perverted" by objectionable content on the Internet, and urged the government to adopt stricter controls.

Source : Betanews
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Windows Vista Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2008 will be made available for download next week

New test builds of Windows XP Service Pack 3, Windows Vista Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2008 will be made available for download next week.



Microsoft is currently readying the first full beta versions for Windows XP SP3 and Windows Vista SP1. Additionally, the Redmond company is preparing to take Windows Server 2008, formerly codenamed Longhorn out of the extensive Beta 3 phase and into the first Release Candidate stage.

Microsoft offered official confirmation, through the voice of Nick White, Product Manager, that Windows Vista SP1 will be delivered for download to some 10,000 to 15,000 testers. "A Beta release of Windows Vista SP1 is slated for availability in the next few weeks. A small group of testers has been putting a preview of the SP1 Beta through its paces to help prepare for broader release. We made the choice to start with a very small group of testers because we think it’s better for both our customers and for Microsoft to keep the beta program small at the start. A later pre-release of SP1 will be available to a larger group of testers via MSDN and TechNet subscribers," White stated on August 29.

Jon DeVaan, Senior Vice President of the Windows Core Operating System division at Microsoft confirmed the scenario revealing that "we’re making a beta available to more than 10,000 people in the next few weeks – that’s a critical step for us on the road to release, and we’re looking forward to the feedback we’ll get," also on August 29. Moreover, the company has started sending out invitations to the current participants in the Windows Server 2008 beta program to access the downloads for Vista SP1 beta.

In addition to the first beta for Vista SP1, Microsoft will also go live with XP SP3 Beta and also the following week. Just something to look for. However, the release of XP SP3 is yet to be confirmed officially by Microsoft and more of a leaked detail. Still the company did make a habit of synchronizing the releases of Vista SP1 and XP SP3 so far. The beta of XP SP3 will also be delivered to MSDN and TechNet subscribers.

And last but definitely not least, Microsoft will evolve Windows Server 2008 out of beta 3 and into Release Candidate phase, as stated by Andy Malone: "Windows Server 2008 – RC0 - Great news for Beta Testers. Microsoft has finally made available the latest 2008 build to TAP customers. If you registered for the Beta program you can download it at the usual source. For non TAP customers it won’t be long before a download will be available to MSDN. I am sure announcements will be forthcoming. RC0 represents a feature complete version of 2008, which includes some enhancements to roles and features. A full report will be forthcoming."

The Redmond company did offer an insight into its plans to synchronize the Windows client and server updates, and in this context we are merely witnessing Microsoft's new strategy in action. "With Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008, for all the components shared between client and server, we actually made them the same," said Bill Laing, General Manager of Microsoft’s Windows Server Division, as cited by Mary Jo Foley. "With Windows XP and Windows Serer 2003, we forked the code and so had two different sets of code. Even the modules with the same names weren’t identical. That meant things had to be fixed twice."

source: news.softpedia.com

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IEPlus is an add-on for Microsoft© Internet Explorer

IEPlus is an add-on for Microsoft© Internet Explorer, which brings you more convenience for plain Internet Explorer(features like browse history management, super drag and drop, etc.) and thus to make your surfing fun and more comfortable, with only minimum resource requirement.


IEPlus is an add-on for Microsoft© Internet Explorer, which brings you more convenience for plain Internet Explorer(features like browse history management, super drag and drop, etc.) and thus to make your surfing fun and more comfortable, with only minimum resource requirement.

IEPlus will enrich your browse experience with features like close tab when double clicked, super drag and drop, browse history management, multi-proxy management, mouse gesture, ads block based on URL and content, URL shortcuts, enhanced crash recovery, hotkey and a powerful plugin system ready to be extended. It works both for the newest IE7 and Vista, and also for the mainstream IE6 and Windows XP. Since IEPlus does not need to re-invent the wheel time and again and depends on Internet Explorer's standard interfaces, it thus is more stable and better than most third party multi-tab browsers based on Internet Explorer core.

Requirements:

IEPlus is fully compatible with Internet Explorer 5.5/6.0/7.0 (features relevant with Tabs are only available in Internet Explorer 7) and Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista, and we recommend you to use it in Internet Explorer 6 or later. IEPlus is small, easy to use and consumes minimum resource. During your use of it, you will gradually feel how much convenience IEPlus can bring to you.

Key features:

* IE Enhancements
* Super Drag & Drop
* Ads Blocker
* Mouse Gesture
* Extensible Plugin System
* URL Shortcuts
* Browse History Management

Download:
IE7Plus

Source: Keznews.com
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