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NEWS - June 29, 2005

Microsoft expands low-cost Windows to Mexico
By Ina Fried, CNET News.com
Published on ZDNet News: June 28, 2005, 3:33 PM PT

Microsoft said Tuesday that it is expanding its Windows XP Starter Edition to include Mexico, with plans to eventually offer the low-cost operating system throughout Latin America.

The software maker said that the Spanish-language Windows XP Starter Edition will be made available on new PCs starting immediately in Mexico and Argentina, with a goal of offering the OS throughout Latin America in the coming months. XP Starter Edition is similar to other flavors of Windows XP, but is offered only as part of new low-end PCs in developing countries. It also has some limitations, such as the ability to run only three programs simultaneously.

more here
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New education tools from Microsoft

In reply to: NEWS - June 29, 2005

By CNET News.com Staff, CNET News.com
Published on ZDNet News: June 28, 2005, 11:38 AM PT

Microsoft on Tuesday announced a bouquet of four software products targeting schools.

The offerings include a beta version of the Microsoft Shared Computer Toolkit for Windows XP, designed for computers being used in school computer labs, public libraries, Internet cafes or other shared locations. The software allows administrators to add safety features to those types of systems, which are often more vulnerable to spyware and viruses.

For example, new Windows Disk Protection technology tracks changes made by users and restores the computer to its original state after people log off, discarding their changes. Also, a restrictions tool on Shared Computer Toolkit lets administrators decide what people can do on a PC. Access to drives and system utilities such as the control panel, command prompt and registry editor can be blocked, for example. Although this software is not designed for IT pros, it likely will help them as well, according to Microsoft.

more here

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Phishing fraud lands two men behind bars

In reply to: NEWS - June 29, 2005

Published: June 28, 2005, 1:36 PM PDT
By Dan Ilett
Special to CNET News.com

Two men have been jailed for conspiracy to defraud and launder money in an international phishing operation that may have netted up to 6.5 million pounds over two-years, authorities said.

Douglas Harvard, 24, a U.S. citizen who lives in Leeds, England, was sentenced to six years in prison, and Lee Elwood, 25, of Glasgow was given four years behind bars. According to the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU), the two stole at least 750,000 pounds in one 10-month period as they forwarded money on to unnamed groups in Russia.

more here

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What Passes for "Consent" at 180solutions

In reply to: NEWS - June 29, 2005

180solutions today announced its plan to show its users "notification" popups describing some of 180's practices -- thereby, in 180's view, obtaining users' "informed consent." In principle, a re-opt-in might let 180 obtain users' consent even where initial installations had somehow failed to do so. But 180's notification message is so flawed and so duplicitous that it can't offer the legitimacy 180 purportedly seeks.

180's notification screen makes numerous false statements. For example, it claims that user consent is "required" before 180 can be installed -- despite evidence (1, 2, 3) and admissions (1, 2, 3, 4) to the contrary. And the screen claims that all 180 ads are labeled, again despite 180's own admission that they're not.

More in http://www.benedelman.org/news/062805-1.html

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Microsoft on the Issues: Bring Spyware Out of the Shadows

In reply to: NEWS - June 29, 2005

"Concerted action will help consumers gain more control over the programs running on their PCs"

Thanks to Congress, law-enforcement agencies may soon have stronger tools to help curb spyware.

Spyware is deceptive software that sneaks into computers, usually via the Internet. It can disrupt the operation of PCs and furtively collect personal information about their users. It has become pervasive and increasingly troublesome as the world has become more connected.

The U.S. House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved two different anti-spyware bills. As the Senate takes up the issue, Microsoft and many other technology companies have joined in supporting targeted legislation that would establish a strong, national standard for anti-spyware enforcement.

Microsoft favors legislation because we believe that consumers should be able to make informed decisions about the software they install on their PCs. To help ensure this, we hope Congress will include in its final bill a provision that would prevent spyware traffickers from using frivolous lawsuits to attack companies that are supplying consumers with anti-spyware tools.

Such a provision is vital because solving the spyware problem will require not only strong laws, but also energetic efforts by the private sector."

More in http://www.microsoft.com/issues/essays/2005/06-29spyware.asp

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