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Microsoft Giving Air Force Fast Track On Patches

Reuters reports that under the terms of Microsoft’s contract with the Air Force, MS will provide them with software updates up to a month earlier than the rest of the market.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) is to give the U.S. government priority in fixing security holes in Windows and other software, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
Under a plan to take effect later this year, Microsoft will give the U.S. Air Force versions of software “patches” to fix serious security vulnerabilities up to a month before they are available to others, the paper said.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will give advance notice of problems to other government agencies and distribute patches to them, the Journal said, citing officials at Microsoft and the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.

Two ways of looking at this: Since Microsoft releases all of its patches on a single day each month (Patch Tuesday), the Air Force could simply be getting the patches as they’re written, which is not a big deal. On the other hand, if MS is holding back completed patches till the following month, its not just bad for consumers, its bad for Microsoft, makin their products less safe (and hurting them, PR-wise). I hope its just the first one.
(via Slashdot)

In legal news, Microsoft settled with Burst, who alleged they stole Burst’s technology and built it into Windows Media Player.

March 12th, 2005 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Law, General | no comments

Add File Types To MSN Desktop Search

Using IFilters, you can add to MSN Desktop Search the capability to search additional file types. For example, the MP3 IFilter scans MP3s for text contained within the MP3 (like tags with the artists name, album title, even all the lyrics) and indexes them. The JPEG IFilter allows indexing of all sorts of metadata, including the all-important EXIF data that can include the date and time the photo was taken, the camera it was taken with, and all sorts of other yummy details photographers love. Best of all, the IFilters are the same used for Indexing Service, so they are part of a standard that is likely to continue to improve and grow. I recommend installing all the IFilters for any file type you commonly use.

More information on IFilters, and a list of where to download free IFilters, is available at For others, just Google it.
(via Weblogs > Furry Goat)

March 12th, 2005 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Desktop Search, MSN, General | 7 comments