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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Microsoft Extends Windows 7 Beta Download Availability

  Microsoft Extends Windows 7 Beta download availability until February 10th. If you start your download on the 10th, then you have until the 12th to finish downloading.

<Windows 7 Team Blog - General availability for the Windows 7 Beta to end>

<Download Windows 7 Beta>

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Unlimited Microsoft Windows 7 Beta Downloads

“Windows 7” by <xkcd>

  You've probably heard that <Microsoft> was allowing 2.5 million downloads of the Windows 7 Beta, which already started on January 9th and only lasts until January 24th, 2009. You may also have heard of the problems Microsoft's site had providing downloads to the massive surge of people interested in the beta.

  Because of the previous download issues, <Microsoft is removing the 2.5 million download limit.> So, if you think you may want to give Windows 7 a try sometime before the beta test period runs out on August 1, 2009, then you better go <download Windows 7 Beta> before January 24th.

  There is a 32 and 64 bit beta download, with 5 and 4 different languages to choose from respectively. Apparently Hindi speakers aren't expected to be running 64 bit machines. In general, the Windows 7 Beta requires a 1 GHz processor, 1GB of ram, 16 GB of available disk space, to be burnt to a DVD for installation, and 128 MB DirectX 9 graphics to enable the Aero theme.

  You should remember that the Windows 7 Beta will stop working on August 1, 2009. It's also been mentioned that the Beta version being released is an upgrade version, that can only be installed on top of Vista. (EDIT: reported incorrect) Although, there's not a single mention of that on the download page and its tabs, unless it's hidden very well.

<Download Windows 7 Beta>

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happiness P0wns Twitter

  About a week after the new year, <Twitter> had several high profile accounts (Tech Crunch)<taken and defaced>. Obama, FoxNews, Miley Cyrus, and Britney Spears, just to name a few, had lewd comments or questionable links posted. Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana) had a (YouTube)<video memorial> hoaxing her death made widely public by <MTV> (who didn't fall for it).
  This event was quickly tracked back to a hacker forum called <Digital Gangster>. An 18 year old hacker calling himself GMZ took credit for the hack. He gave an interview of his account to Threat Level, who verified his story with video of his administration access.
  GMZ claimed that he merely made a dictionary attack program/script and pointed it at a popular Twitter user named "Crystal". After only one night the administrative account was cracked with the epically stupid password "Happiness". That's pretty ridiculous that the system allows such weak passwords, especially for administrative accounts, but its worse. GMZ claims that Twitter has no limitation on log-in attempts. When he realized the account he cracked was an administrative account and that he hadn't bothered using a proxy, he decided not to take any accounts himself. He merely took requests to reset account passwords and tossed them on Digital Gangster. Digital Gangster quickly deleted the related posts, but not before some quite entertaining mayhem took place.

<Wired Blog - Weak Password Brings 'Happiness' to Twitter Hacker>

Friday, January 2, 2009

Zune Bug Source Code

A bug in 30GB Zunes caused them to freeze on December 31st became the <big news of the holidays> (Gizmodo Dec 31 2008). This was dubbed the 'Z2K9' bug while Zune users flooded <Zune support forums> with pleas for help.

It was quickly realized that by disconnecting both the battery and the hard drive that the time/date would be reset unfreezing your Zune. Microsoft's response to the bug was that it is a leap year handling bug and their official fix was to wait until New Years, for the bug to resolve it's self.

Source code of the bug has apparently been been released. A hardware component manufacturer, <Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.>, is apparently the manufacturer of the <RTC (Real Time Clock)> used in these Zunes. Source code for the Freescale RTC driver module has turned up online. This code has an obvious bug related to line #263, in the 'ConvertDays' function.

Multiple source code mirrors for rtc.c: - (Line #'s + Highlighting) - (Line #'s) - (Neither)

The problem appears to be with the date December 31st, on leap year, being day 366. You can see on line #263, an if statement testing 'days > 366' inside a while loop testing 'days > 365'. It seems apparent that if days was 366 this would be and endless loop, at least until the next day.

Update: <The official Zune workaround instructions>