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To: rrufff who wrote (1918)7/9/2009 10:59:42 AM
From: Fizz
1 Recommendation   of 1939
 
You can do a dual boot or if you do the clean install Win7 creates a folder called Windows.old and inside of it has 3 directories containing 'Documents and Settings', 'Program files' and 'Windows'. This gives you access to previous files etc. You would have to reinstall your programs doing it this way but for me I didn't mind. I only reinstall a program when I find I need it again. I didn't have any problem with drivers, Win7 found them all during the install process. That has never happened for me before so I was pleasantly surprised. To me Windows 7 just works. There are many subtle changes that make 'just works' happen. The TaskBar has what they call AeroPeek. If you have multiple programs and files open it makes it a breeze to switch between them. The best new feature for me is what they call Libraries. Its like a directory that you can point to multiple directories so that all the files contained in the multiple directories show up in one place. Like I said before they got it right this time, at least for my needs and preferences.

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From: TimF7/20/2009 5:55:56 PM
1 Recommendation   of 1939
 
xkcd.com

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From: TimF8/5/2009 3:53:53 PM
1 Recommendation   of 1939
 
Microsoft apps--only suckers pay retail
news.cnet.com

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From: TimF8/14/2009 3:41:23 PM
1 Recommendation   of 1939
 
Poorly Thought-Out Marketing Slogan

Posted by Shannon Love on August 10th, 2009 (All posts by Shannon Love)

My son is watching TV and he sees an add in Microsoft’s new marketing campaign. Their slogan?

Windows: Life Without Walls

My son quipped, “If you don’t have any walls, why do you need windows?”

It’s the kind of joke that writes itself. Did no one at Microsoft or their ad agency think of this pun or the impression it creates? Seems to me like an unforced error.

chicagoboyz.net

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From: sammy™ -_-8/26/2009 2:07:49 AM
   of 1939
 
Software that enables the buying and selling of shares in milliseconds

Arrest Over Software Illuminates Wall St. Secret
By ALEX BERENSON
Published: August 23, 2009

Flying home to New Jersey from Chicago after the first two days at his new job, Sergey Aleynikov was prepared for the usual inconveniences: a bumpy ride, a late arrival.

He was not expecting Special Agent Michael G. McSwain of the F.B.I.

At 9:20 p.m. on July 3, Mr. McSwain arrested Mr. Aleynikov, 39, at Newark Liberty Airport, accusing him of stealing software code from Goldman Sachs, his old employer. At a bail hearing three days later, a federal prosecutor asked that Mr. Aleynikov be held without bond because the code could be used to “unfairly manipulate” stock prices.

This case is still in its earliest stages, and some lawyers question whether Mr. Aleynikov should be prosecuted criminally, or whether a civil suit may be more appropriate. But the charges, along with civil cases in Chicago and New York involving other Wall Street firms, offer a glimpse into the turbulent world of ultrafast computerized stock trading.

Little understood outside the securities industry, the business has suddenly become one of the most competitive and controversial on Wall Street. At its heart are computer programs that take years to develop and are treated as closely guarded secrets.

Mr. Aleynikov, who is free on $750,000 bond, is suspected of having taken pieces of Goldman software that enables the buying and selling of shares in milliseconds. Banks and hedge funds use such programs to profit from tiny price discrepancies among markets and in some instances leap in front of bigger orders.

Defenders of the programs say they make trading more efficient. Critics say they are little more than a tax on long-term investors and can even worsen market swings.

But no one disputes that high-frequency trading is highly profitable. The Tabb Group, a financial markets research firm, estimates that the programs will make $8 billion this year for Wall Street firms. Bernard S. Donefer, a distinguished lecturer at Baruch College and the former head of markets systems at Fidelity Investments, says profits are even higher.

“It is certainly growing,” said Larry Tabb, founder of the Tabb Group. “There’s more talent around, and the technology is getting cheaper.”

The profits have led to a gold rush, with hedge funds and investment banks dangling million-dollar salaries at software engineers. In one lawsuit, the Citadel Investment Group, a $12 billion hedge fund, revealed that it had paid tens of millions to two top programmers in the last seven years.

“A geek who writes code — those guys are now the valuable guys,” Mr. Donefer said.

The spate of lawsuits reflects the highly competitive nature of ultrafast trading, which is evolving quickly, largely because of broader changes in stock trading, securities industry experts say.

Until the late 1990s, big investors bought and sold large blocks of shares through securities firms like Morgan Stanley. But in the last decade, the profits from making big trades have vanished, so investment banks have become reluctant to take such risks.

Today, big investors divide large orders into smaller trades and parcel them to many exchanges, where traders compete to make a penny or two a share on each order. Ultrafast trading is an outgrowth of that strategy.

As Mr. Aleynikov and other programmers have discovered, investment banks do not take kindly to their leaving, especially if the banks believe that the programmers are taking code — the engine that drives trading — on their way out.

Mr. Aleynikov immigrated to the United States from Russia in 1991. In 1998, he joined IDT, a telecommunications company, where he wrote software to route calls and data more efficiently. In 2007, Goldman hired him as a vice president, paying him $400,000 a year, according to the federal complaint against him.

He lived in the central New Jersey suburbs with his wife and three young daughters. This year, the family moved to a $1.14 million mansion in North Caldwell, best known as Tony Soprano’s hometown.

A video on YouTube portrays Mr. Aleynikov as a disheveled workaholic who suffers through romantic misadventures before finding love when he rubs a lamp and a genie fulfills his wish by granting him a wife. A friend, Vladimir Itkin, says the Aleynikovs are devoted to their children and seem very close.

This spring, Mr. Aleynikov quit Goldman to join Teza Technologies, a new trading firm, tripling his salary to about $1.2 million, according to the complaint. He left Goldman on June 5. In the days before he left, he transferred code to a server in Germany that offers free data hosting.

At Mr. Aleynikov’s bail hearing, Joseph Facciponti, the assistant United States attorney prosecuting the case, said that Goldman discovered the transfer in late June. On July 1, the company told the government about the suspected theft. Two days later, agents arrested Mr. Aleynikov at Newark.

After his arrest, Mr. Aleynikov was taken for interrogation to F.B.I. offices in Manhattan. Mr. Aleynikov waived his rights against self-incrimination, and agreed to allow agents to search his house.

He said that he had inadvertently downloaded a portion of Goldman’s proprietary code while trying to take files of open source software — programs that are not proprietary and can be used freely by anyone. He said he had not used the Goldman code at his new job or distributed it to anyone else, and the criminal complaint offers no evidence that he has.


Why he downloaded the open source software from Goldman, rather than getting it elsewhere, and how he could at the same time have inadvertently downloaded some of the firm’s most confidential software, is not yet clear.

At Mr. Aleynikov’s bail hearing, Mr. Facciponti said that simply by sending the code to the German server, he had badly damaged Goldman.

“The bank itself stands to lose its entire investment in creating this software to begin with, which is millions upon millions of dollars,” Mr. Facciponti said.

Sabrina Shroff, a public defender who represents Mr. Aleynikov, responded that he had transferred less than 32 megabytes of Goldman proprietary code, a small fraction of the overall program, which is at least 1,224 megabytes. Kevin N. Fox, the magistrate judge, ordered Mr. Aleynikov released on bond.

The United States attorney’s office declined to comment and the F.B.I. did not return calls for comment.

Harvey A. Silverglate, a criminal defense lawyer in Boston not involved in the case, said he was troubled that the F.B.I. had arrested Mr. Aleynikov so quickly, without evidence that he had made any effort to use or sell the code. Such disputes are generally resolved civilly rather than criminally, Mr. Silverglate said.

“It is astonishing that the F.B.I. arrested this defendant at all,” he said. Other firms have also sued former employees recently over concern about high-frequency trading software, though two similar cases are the subject of civil suits rather than criminal prosecution.

Six days after Mr. Aleynikov’s arrest, Citadel, the hedge fund, sued Mr. Aleynikov’s new employer, Teza Technologies, which was founded in March by three former Citadel employees. While Teza is not yet conducting any trading, Citadel claimed the former employees had violated a noncompete agreement with Citadel and might even be trying to steal Citadel’s code, causing “irreparable harm.”

As part of the suit, Citadel detailed the extraordinary steps it takes to protect its software. Besides encrypting its programs, the firm discourages employees from writing down details about them. Its offices have cameras and guards, and there are secure rooms that require special codes to enter. The precautions are necessary because Citadel has spent hundreds of millions of dollars developing its software, the firm said.

In its response, Teza said that it had never stolen or tried to steal Citadel’s software, did not ask Mr. Aleynikov to take code from Goldman, and had never seen the code he took. A lawyer for Teza did not return calls for comment.

Meanwhile, in March, the giant Swiss bank UBS sued three former members of its high-speed trading group in New York state court. UBS contended that the defendants had lied to the bank about their plans to work for Jefferies, another firm. Also, one defendant sent some UBS code to a personal e-mail account.

Lance Gotko, a lawyer for the men, said that they had not used the code they took and that it might not be valuable to Jefferies in any case. A lawyer for UBS referred calls to a bank spokeswoman, who declined to comment. A spokesman for Jefferies declined to comment.

He said that he had inadvertently downloaded a portion of Goldman’s proprietary code while trying to take files of open source software — programs that are not proprietary and can be used freely by anyone. He said he had not used the Goldman code at his new job or distributed it to anyone else, and the criminal complaint offers no evidence that he has.

Why he downloaded the open source software from Goldman, rather than getting it elsewhere, and how he could at the same time have inadvertently downloaded some of the firm’s most confidential software, is not yet clear.

At Mr. Aleynikov’s bail hearing, Mr. Facciponti said that simply by sending the code to the German server, he had badly damaged Goldman.

“The bank itself stands to lose its entire investment in creating this software to begin with, which is millions upon millions of dollars,” Mr. Facciponti said.

Sabrina Shroff, a public defender who represents Mr. Aleynikov, responded that he had transferred less than 32 megabytes of Goldman proprietary code, a small fraction of the overall program, which is at least 1,224 megabytes. Kevin N. Fox, the magistrate judge, ordered Mr. Aleynikov released on bond.

The United States attorney’s office declined to comment and the F.B.I. did not return calls for comment.

Harvey A. Silverglate, a criminal defense lawyer in Boston not involved in the case, said he was troubled that the F.B.I. had arrested Mr. Aleynikov so quickly, without evidence that he had made any effort to use or sell the code. Such disputes are generally resolved civilly rather than criminally, Mr. Silverglate said.

“It is astonishing that the F.B.I. arrested this defendant at all,” he said. Other firms have also sued former employees recently over concern about high-frequency trading software, though two similar cases are the subject of civil suits rather than criminal prosecution.

Six days after Mr. Aleynikov’s arrest, Citadel, the hedge fund, sued Mr. Aleynikov’s new employer, Teza Technologies, which was founded in March by three former Citadel employees. While Teza is not yet conducting any trading, Citadel claimed the former employees had violated a noncompete agreement with Citadel and might even be trying to steal Citadel’s code, causing “irreparable harm.”

As part of the suit, Citadel detailed the extraordinary steps it takes to protect its software. Besides encrypting its programs, the firm discourages employees from writing down details about them. Its offices have cameras and guards, and there are secure rooms that require special codes to enter. The precautions are necessary because Citadel has spent hundreds of millions of dollars developing its software, the firm said.

In its response, Teza said that it had never stolen or tried to steal Citadel’s software, did not ask Mr. Aleynikov to take code from Goldman, and had never seen the code he took. A lawyer for Teza did not return calls for comment.

Meanwhile, in March, the giant Swiss bank UBS sued three former members of its high-speed trading group in New York state court. UBS contended that the defendants had lied to the bank about their plans to work for Jefferies, another firm. Also, one defendant sent some UBS code to a personal e-mail account.

Lance Gotko, a lawyer for the men, said that they had not used the code they took and that it might not be valuable to Jefferies in any case. A lawyer for UBS referred calls to a bank spokeswoman, who declined to comment. A spokesman for Jefferies declined to comment.

nytimes.com

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To: sammy™ -_- who wrote (1923)8/26/2009 9:31:17 PM
From: Fizz
1 Recommendation   of 1939
 
"revealed that it had paid tens of millions to two top programmers in the last seven years"

I gotta git me wanna dem jobs.

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From: TimF9/1/2009 7:35:02 PM
1 Recommendation   of 1939
 
Microsoft offers Windows 7 Enterprise 90-day trial

Microsoft has posted a 90-day trial of Windows 7 Enterprise on TechNet. The download will be available through March 31, 2010, while supplies last.
By Emil Protalinski | Last updated September 1, 2009 2:51 PM CT

arstechnica.com

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From: sammy™ -_-9/5/2009 10:28:46 AM
   of 1939
 
-

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From: sammy™ -_-9/20/2009 11:22:05 PM
   of 1939
 
Microsoft unveils shield for critical Windows flaw as attack code looms
Urges users to run single-click tool before hackers exploit 'decently wormable' flaw
By Gregg Keizer
September 20, 2009 07:56 AM ET

September 20, 2009 (Computerworld) With attack code that exploits a critical unpatched bug in Windows likely to go public soon, Microsoft wants users to run an automated tool that disables the vulnerable component.

The bug in SMB (Server Message Block) 2, a Microsoft-made network file- and print-sharing protocol that ships with Windows, affects Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 and preview releases of Windows 7.

When the flaw was first disclosed Sept. 7, it was thought that attacks would only crash PCs, causing the notorious Blue Screen of Death. Since then, however, researchers have figured out how to create exploits that can be used to hijack a vulnerable computer.

Last Wednesday, Miami Beach-based Immunity, which is best known for its CANVAS penetration testing framework, built a working remote code exploit, and released it to paying subscribers of its Early Updates program.

On Friday, Microsoft confirmed that Immunity's exploit worked as advertised. "We have analyzed the code ourselves and can confirm that it works reliably against 32-bit Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 systems," said Mark Wodrich and Jonathan Ness, both members of the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) engineering team, on a company blog. "The exploit gains complete control of the targeted system and can be launched by an unauthenticated user."

More worrisome, however, was news that the open-source Metasploit pen-testing software will add attack code this week, according to HD Moore, a noted security researcher and one of Metasploit's makers. Metasploit's exploit code is often used by hackers to build malicious attacks.

According to Kostya Kortchinsky, an Immunity researcher who worked on the CANVAS attack module, the SMB 2 vulnerability is "decently wormable."

That prompted Wolfgang Kandek, the chief technology officer for security company Qualys, to implore Windows users to immediately deploy Microsoft's defensive measure. "The implementation of this workaround is now becoming critical as attackers will have access to the code soon, in the most optimistic case next week," said Kandek on Wednesday.

Microsoft has not yet set a timetable for a patch, but said it is working on a fix. "We're not slowing down our investigation, and are working on an update that can be delivered for all customers," said Wodrich and Ness. "The product team has built packages and [is] hard-at-work testing now to ensure quality."

Until a patch is ready, Microsoft recommended that users run the automated "Fix it" tool posted Friday on its support site. The tool automatically disables the SMB 2 service, rendering any attack moot. That, however, also makes it impossible for PCs to communicate to file servers and network printers using the protocol.

Microsoft has used "Fix it" tools several times this summer to help customers protect their machines until it can create and thoroughly test patches. The last time it delivered such a tool was in early July, when it issued a "Fix it" to stymie attacks against Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) and IE7.

The company's next scheduled patch day is Oct. 13, more than three weeks away, but in rare cases, Microsoft releases "out-of-band" updates, usually when it sees attacks actually under way.

So far, it hasn't found any. "We are not aware of any in-the-wild exploits or any real-world attacks," said Wodrich and Ness.

Windows Vista, Windows 2008 and Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC), the preliminary build that was handed out to millions from early May to late August, contain the SMB 2 flaw and are vulnerable to attack. Older editions, such as Windows XP, and the final version of Windows 7, dubbed RTM for "release to manufacturing," are not at risk.

computerworld.com

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From: TimF9/27/2009 4:01:57 AM
1 Recommendation   of 1939
 
Windows 7 for Notebooks and Netbooks : Windows 7 on Netbooks
tomsguide.com

H/T Robert G

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