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4/30/2007
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Vista And Linux Battle For Your Desktop

In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: You Aren't Safe. Get Over It.
2. Today's Top Story
    - Ubuntu Linux Vs. Windows Vista: The Battle For Your Desktop
    Related Story:
    - Special Edition Using Microsoft Windows Vista: Chapter 2, Installing And Upgrading Windows Vista
    - Microsoft Posts Record Third-Quarter Profits, Credits Windows Vista
3. Breaking News
    - Jobs Says Apple Customers Not Into Renting Music
    - "Critical" Apple QuickTime Bug Affects iPod Users
    - New High-Tech Jobs Gain Momentum
    - Broadband Service Providers Face Wiretapping Deadline
    - Christian Coalition Calls Net Neutrality A "Family Issue"
    - Adobe Opens Flex
    - Siemens Loses Its CEO, Gains An SEC Probe
    - Cisco Warns Of Bug In NetFlow Monitoring Tool
    - Carriers, Startups Face Off Over 700-MHz Auction
    - Congressional Hearing Set On USDA Data Breach
    - Acer America Recalls 27,000 Laptop Batteries
    - Microsoft Releases Windows Server Longhorn To Public Beta
4. The Latest Personal Tech Blog Posts:
    - Does A Job Ad Signal The Return Of The Google Phone?
    - OZ Buys Thumbspeed: Is The Mobile Messaging Market Consolidating?
    - FON Dials It Up With Software-Only Hotspot For Mac, Linux
    - How Does RadioShack Stay In Business?
5. Job Listings From TechCareers
6. White Papers
    - Enterprise Resource Planning: The Fast Track To Back-Office Integration
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"In safety, do not forget danger." -- Chinese Proverb


1. Editor's Note: You Aren't Safe. Get Over It

The latest news to add to the list of online perils to be paranoid about comes courtesy of the Washington Post. Virus writers apparently have a new scheme for distributing malicious code: purchasing popular Google keywords and publishing ads that purport to lead users to legitimate Web sites. Some of the keywords the tricksters bought include "BBB" (for Better Business Bureau) and "Cars.com."

The catch is that clicking on these ads really directs users to nasty places where a particularly damaging piece of malware lurks. If you didn't install an IE patch issued by Microsoft in June 2006, and if you're unlucky enough to be lured to one of these dubious sites, a flaw in Microsoft Windows downloads software that steals passwords and sensitive financial information from your PC. This exploit was identified by Exploit Prevention Labs; it echoes a similar one caught by Security Fix in mid-2006 in which a banner ad on MySpace linked users to an equally dangerous URL.

Yes, as respondents to the article have pointed out, you could put the blame on compromised users because they failed to install the IE patch. But let's face it: If you're reading this post on the InformationWeek Web site, you almost certainly possess a certain amount of technical acumen -- probably more than 99% of the general Internet-using population. Unfortunately, a significant proportion of the rest of the world isn't aware of the supreme importance of installing security patches, and moreover depends on the reputation of big-name brands like Google to shield them against tricks like this. Yes, it's naive. But it explains the alarming statistics of why so many PCs of less-technically-expert people get infected so fast and so frequently.

This latest nefarious antic certainly gave me pause: I use Google sponsored links all the time. And -- clearly wrongly -- the fact that they appear on the Google search results page has always increased my sense of their legitimacy. One more thing to put on my personal list.

What about you? What of all the continuous stream of malicious tricks particularly alarms you? Have you ever fallen for one? Has anyone near and dear to you been tricked into giving up sensitive data? Let us hear your stories.

Alice LaPlante
Alice.laplante@gmail.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story

Ubuntu Linux Vs. Windows Vista: The Battle For Your Desktop
Is Linux finally ready to take on Windows as a desktop OS? We tried out both Vista and Ubuntu on individual PCs to see which works better. Here's what won.

Related Stories:

Special Edition Using Microsoft Windows Vista: Chapter 2, Installing and Upgrading Windows Vista
This excerpt from Que's comprehensive new reference on Windows Vista walks you through the installation process, whether you're upgrading from XP or doing a clean setup. It also explains how to check whether your hardware is Vista capable, product activation, and multiboot operation.

Microsoft Posts Record Third-Quarter Profits, Credits Windows Vista
The company said it achieved record third-quarter profits partly on the strength of sales of the new Windows Vista operating system.


3. Breaking News

Jobs Says Apple Customers Not Into Renting Music
Apple CEO Steve Jobs indicated that he's unlikely to give in to calls from the music industry to add a subscription-based model to iTunes.

"Critical" Apple QuickTime Bug Affects iPod Users
The flaw affects all Java-enabled browsers, including Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Mozilla's Firefox, and Apple's Safari.

New High-Tech Jobs Gain Momentum
A nationwide survey shows 150,000 net new jobs were added in 2006 compared with 87,400 jobs that were added in 2005.

Broadband Service Providers Face Wiretapping Deadline
The FCC ruled in 2005 that broadband and VoIP providers must be able to facilitate wiretaps used by intelligence authorities so that old eavesdropping practices can be applied to newer technology.

Christian Coalition Calls Net Neutrality A "Family Issue"
The Christian Coalition argues that network neutrality is a family issue that should become part of the national presidential debate among Republicans and Democrats.

Adobe Opens Flex
Adobe is set to release the source code for its Flex development framework under the Mozilla Public License.

Siemens Loses Its CEO, Gains An SEC Probe
The giant engineering firm said the SEC is examining "possible criminal violations of U.S. law."

Cisco Warns Of Bug In NetFlow Monitoring Tool
When the tool is installed, it creates matching default username and passwords, enabling a remote hacker to gain access to the system.

Carriers, Startups Face Off Over 700-MHz Auction
The FCC on Wednesday announced technical specifications for the upcoming 700-MHz auction, but put off deciding exactly how the spectrum will be divided and sold off.

Congressional Hearing Set On USDA Data Breach
An Ohio congressman said the security breach not only puts people at risk for identity theft but also makes farmers reluctant to participate in federal programs.

Acer America Recalls 27,000 Laptop Batteries
There have been no reports of Acer products suffering damage because of the Sony battery cells, but the company is issuing the recall to be on the safe side.

Microsoft Releases Windows Server Longhorn To Public Beta
The server software includes more than 130 management tools, an integrated scripting language, and a built-in Web server that brings together numerous online publishing technologies.

All Our Latest News

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4. The Latest Personal Tech Blog Posts:
http://www.informationweek.com/blog/personaltech/

Does A Job Ad Signal The Return Of The Google Phone?
Just when you thought it was safe to deny the existence of a Google Phone, more rumors stir the blogosphere. Late last week Dan Jones at Unstrung pointed out that Google posted a job ad for hardware product manager. So much for Google not getting into the hardware business. Oh, it gets better.

OZ Buys Thumbspeed: Is The Mobile Messaging Market Consolidating?
Mobile messaging platform company OZ this week said it acquired Thumbspeed, a maker of mobile messaging and personalization applications, from Hands-On Mobile for an undisclosed amount. What does this deal mean for the mobile messaging market?

FON Dials It Up With Software-Only Hotspot For Mac, Linux
FON, the Spanish share-your-Internet-connection company, is moving fast this week. On Monday it announced a deal with Time Warner Cable that will officially let broadband customers do what some of them have already been doing unofficially -- set up FON routers that redistribute their Internet service via Wi-Fi. Today, FON announced software for Intel Macs and Linux boxes that does the same thing, no router required.

How Does RadioShack Stay In Business?
Leave it to The Onion to ask one of the pressing questions of our time: How does RadioShack stay in business? This clever satire ponders how the age-old retailer manages to survive in the era of Best Buy and Amazon.


5. Job Listings From TechCareers

The Chamberlain Group seeking SAP Web/Portals Architect in Elmhurst, IL

Ohio University seeking Director, Information Security in Athens, OH

Toyota seeking Central Operations Specialist in Georgetown, KY

Telerik seeking Developer - Support in Newton, MA

Associated Bank seeking Business Systems Analyst in Green Bay, WI

For more great jobs, career-related news, features and services, please visit CMP Media's TechCareers.


6. White Papers

Enterprise Resource Planning: The Fast Track To Back-Office Integration
For manufacturers, streamlining back-office functions is only the first step in optimizing the efficiency off the enterprise. Achieving this requires a flexible, easy-to-use enterprise resource planning (ERP) software system with components engineered to work together for end-to-end integration of all business functions.


7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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