Archive for May, 2013
The 70-291 is the other name for the Microsoft certification exam MCDBA – Managing and Preserving a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment. The MCSA (Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator) on Windows Server 2003 credential (or 70-291 exams) is meant for IT professionals employed in generally complicated computing atmosphere of medium and huge businesses.
To be eligible for taking component in this exam, you will need at least six to 12 months of expertise in managing network and client operating systems in environments getting the following characteristics.
o Network sources and solutions like intranet, messaging facilities, file and print, proxy server, database, firewall, Web, client pc management and remote access.
o 3 and far more physical addresses.
o Connectivity necessities like the need to hyperlink corporate networks to the internet & person customers and branch offices in remote places to their corporate network.
o 250 to 5,000 users and much more.
o Three or much more than three domain controllers.
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AMD introduces faster and more power-efficient A4, A6, A8 and A10 chips for laptops
Advanced Micro Devices hopes to regain share in the PC processor market with its upcoming chips based on the Jaguar core, which will bring console-like gaming and wireless displays to laptops with Windows 8 and its successor, Windows Blue.
The A6, A8 and A10 chips, code-named Richland, will be up to 12 percent faster than the comparable previous-generation processors code-named Trinity, which were released last year. The chips will boast a 40 percent improvement in graphics processing speed.
The company on Thursday also introduced A4 and A6 chips code-named Kabini for low-end laptops. With the chips, the company is facilitating the introduction of inexpensive, low-power laptops with touchscreens and other features. Acer and Hewlett-Packard are expected to ship laptops based on Kabini.
The financially struggling AMD is hoping the new chips will spark a revival in the company’s PC business. PC shipments have been falling and AMD has been losing market share to Intel.
An interesting feature in the Richland chips is AMD Wireless Display, which will support wireless beaming of images from PCs to TVs. The feature will be supported on Windows Blue laptops this year, AMD said.
Microsoft is releasing a preview of the Windows 8.1 OS, code-named Blue, in June. The OS will be available as a free upgrade to existing Windows 8 users.
The Wireless Display feature will allow whatever is on the display to be wirelessly streamed to TVs. AMD’s Jaguar chips and graphics cores have already been selected for use in Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox, so the laptops could deliver a console-like gaming experience. Laptops will be able to display images on up to four external displays simultaneously.
The Richland chips are also more power efficient than their predecessors, which translates to more battery life on laptops. Laptops with a 55-watt-hour battery may be able to deliver power for up to 8.3 hours of Web browsing. That goes down to 4.3 hours for watching a 720p video.
The chip lineup includes the dual-core A6-5357M, which has a maximum clock speed of 3.5GHz; the quad-core A8-5557M, which has a maximum clock speed of 3.1GHz; and the quad-core A10-5757M, which clocks up to 3.5GHz. The chips draw 35 watts of power and are targeted at standard-sized laptops.
For ultrathin laptops, AMD also introduced four A4, A6, A8 and A10 chips that draw from 17 to 25 watts of power. The maximum clock speeds for the chips are from 2.6GHz to 2.9GHz.
The new low-power A4, A6 and E-series chips in the Kabini lineup deliver up to 66 percent better performance-per-watt than comparable chips released last year, AMD said.
The graphics capabilities are “console-like,” and 88 percent faster than the previous-generation chips, AMD said. The new chips are also up to 25 percent more power efficient.
Laptops will be able to deliver around six hours of battery life for watching high-definition video, and nine hours or more when browsing the Web, according to internal measurements by AMD.
The chips, which are based on the Jaguar core, will compete against Intel’s Core i3 and Pentium processors, which usually go into low-cost laptops. Intel is set to release new fourth-generation Core i3 processors code-named Haswell in June.
The Kabini lineup includes the A6-5200 chip, which runs at 2GHz and draws 25 watts of power, and the quad-core A4-5000, which runs at 1.5GHz and draws 15 watts of power. The company also announced dual-core E1 and E2 chips, which have clock speeds between 1GHz and 1.65GHz, and draw between 9 and 15 watts of power.
Mud slinging round one million: Google CEO Larry Page warned against companies being “negative,” before claiming Microsoft is “milking” Google. Microsoft zinged back about the cease and desist letter Google sent.
Last week, Microsoft incorporated Google Talk into Outlook and SkyDrive to allow users “to chat with friends stuck on Gmail.” Then Google CEO Larry Page criticized Microsoft for “taking advantage” of “interoperating” with Google, “but not doing the reverse.” That’s “really sad,” Page said at I/O, “And that’s not the way to make progress. You need to actually have interoperation, not just people milking off one company for their own benefit.”
YouTubeIn return, Microsoft spokesperson Frank Shaw stated, “It’s ironic that Larry is lending his voice to the discussion of interoperability considering his company’s decision — today — to file a cease and desist order to remove the YouTube app from Windows Phone, let alone the recent decision to make it more difficult for our customers to connect their Gmail accounts to their Windows experience.”Cease and desist
Google claimed that Microsoft violated Google’s Terms of Service with the YouTube app. The Verge got its hands on a copy of that cease and desist letter that Google sent Microsoft. It demands that Microsoft “immediately withdraw this application from the Windows Phone Store and disable existing downloads of the application by Wednesday, May 22, 2013.” Google’s real gripe stems from the fact that Microsoft’s YouTube app has “features that specifically prevent ads from playing.”
After the cease and desist letter went public, Microsoft responded by “saying it’s happy to include advertising.” However, ZDNet speculated that the Windows Phone 8 YouTube app might have been part of Microsoft’s Scroogled campaign.
You wouldn’t know all this background cease and desist drama from what Page said at I/O.
Every story I read about Google gives off a notion of “us versus some other company” or some stupid thing. Being negative is not how we make progress. The most important things are not zero-sum. There is a lot of opportunity out there.
Opportunities on “Google Island”
Gadget Lab’s Mat Honan wrote about some of those far-out and freaky opportunities in a fictional piece about “Google Island.” It’s an interesting and trippy read. Honan talked about arriving at Google Island in a “driverless boat” to find Page’s naked “Google Being” explaining “complete openness” made possible by experimenting on an island in which no pesky government’s laws could get in the way with privacy.
At I/O, Page expressed an interest in setting aside a place “where people could experiment freely and examine the effects.” Honan joked that the place is Google Island, where Page would claim, “As soon as you hit Google’s territorial waters, you came under our jurisdiction, our terms of service. Our laws-or lack thereof-apply here. By boarding our self-driving boat you granted us the right to all feedback you provide during your journey.”
Besides Google knowing everything about a user’s health, “genetic blueprint” and even “the chemical composition of your sweat,” Honan’s fictional Page claimed that Google has “looked at everything you’ve looked at online. Everything. We know what you want, and when you want it, down to the time of day. Why wait for you to request it? And in fact, why wait for you to discover that you even want to request it? We can just serve it to you.”
OK, so that was fiction…but it harkens back to a time when then Google CEO Eric Schmidt said, “With your permission you give us more information about you, about your friends, and we can improve the quality of our searches. We don’t need you to type at all. We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about.” Schmidt later added, “I actually think most people don’t want Google to answer their questions…They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next.”
Google is all about ad revenue and the company will never allow Microsoft to block ads on YouTube. Meanwhile, speaking of YouTube and ads, Nintendo is scanning for fan-made YouTube clips that show footage of its games, such as how to get through a level, and then “hijacks” the ad revenue. Nintendo is not blocking screencaps that feature its intellectual property; however, by using content ID match to identify game footage videos uploaded by fans, Nintendo is adding advertising “at the beginning, next to or at the end of the clips.”
Larry Page criticized both companies in response to questions at Google I/O, just after lamenting negativity in the tech industry
Microsoft has responded to a high-profile put-down by Google CEO Larry Page, but Oracle, at least for now, won’t be drawn into a public fight with the executive.
Page criticized Microsoft and Oracle in response to questions after his keynote speech at Google’s I/O developer conference in San Francisco Wednesday. Microsoft came under fire about instant messaging interoperability, while Oracle was singled out over Java.
Larry Page makes a surprise appearance at Google I/O.
“We’ve kind of had an offer forever that we’ll interoperate on instant messaging,” he said in response to a question. “I think just this week Microsoft took advantage of that by interoperating with us, but not doing the reverse. Which is really sad, right? And that’s not the way to make progress. You need to actually have inter operation, not just people milking off one company for their own benefit.”
Microsoft fired back Thursday via an emailed statement: “It’s ironic that Larry is lending his voice to the discussion of interoperability considering his company’s decision — today — to file a cease and desist order to remove the YouTube app from Windows Phone, let alone the recent decision to make it more difficult for our customers to connect their Gmail accounts to their Windows experience.”
When asked about how Oracle’s acquisition of Java might affect Android, he said, “I think we’ve had a difficult relationship with Oracle. Including having to appear in court as a result of it. So I think, again, we’d like to have a cooperative relationship with them, that hasn’t seemed possible.”
“And I think, again, money is probably more important to them than having any kind of collaboration or things like that. So I think that’s been very difficult,” he said.
Oracle declined to comment on the remarks.
CEO’s criticizing competitors isn’t unusual, but Page’s comments came shortly after his speech in which he lamented negativity in the technology sector and said it was an inhibitor to growth.
“You know, every story I read about Google, it’s kind of us versus some other company, or some stupid thing. And I just don’t find that very interesting. We should be building great things that don’t exist. Right? Being negative is not how we make progress,” he said in the speech.
Page’s comment on negativity got a round of applause from his audience — around 6,000 of the company’s developers — but the Microsoft and Oracle comments that followed seemed guaranteed to generate just the kind of coverage he finds so uninteresting.
App allegedly strips advertisements, lets users download videos
Google on Wednesday demanded that Microsoft yank its YouTube app for Windows Phone from the market and disable any downloaded copies of the app, according to Wired.com, which received a copy of Google’s cease and desist letter.
Microsoft has until May 22 to comply, according to the story by Wired’s Mat Honan.
The Microsoft-written YouTube app violates YouTube’s service terms in two ways: it strips out the ads in the videos and lets users download content from the video site. Users can download the Microsoft app from the Windows Phone App Store.
UPDATE 1: But there are at least three other Windows Phone apps, available on Microsoft’s online app store, that also appear to violate one or the other of these restrictions. All three let users download videos to their phones. A paid version of one of them lets the user block advertisements.
Here’s the list:
Tube Pro, free, by Fast Code; the WindowsPhone Store listing offers an email address for support and questions. “If you want to remove adverts, Please buy the paid version.”
YouTube Downloader, free, by AnKo Software, which seems to be a Russian developer; on Twitter @AnKo_software
YouTube Downloader, $2.49, by AutoExpert Net. No vendor contact information available, but it was the only vendor that posted a disclaimer about downloading content: “AutoExpert Net does NOT in any way endorse and is NOT responsible for downloading copyrighted material from YouTube. This application should only be used for non-copyrighted material and/or for educational purposes. All the rights of the videos/audios are the property of their respective owners. By using this application you agree to abide by local and national copyright laws.”
“Network World” emailed AutoExpert Net. and tweeted AnKo Software for comment.
“These features directly harm our content creators and clearly violate our Terms of Service,” according to Google’s letter. “We request that you immediately withdraw this application from the Windows Phone Store and disable existing downloads of the application by Wednesday, May 22, 2013.”
“Just today, during his presentation at the Google I/O keynote, Google CEO Larry Page decried Microsoft for “milking off” of Google’s innovations,” Honan writes.
The Wired story includes the full text of the letter, dated May 15. It was sent to Todd Brix, Microsoft general manager, Windows Phone apps and store. It was signed by Francisco Vareta, director, global platform partnership, for Youtube.
Wired contacted both Google and Microsoft for comment. As of this posting, Wired apparently has received none.
Dell deal on Windows RT, dubious Windows 8 sales numbers
Along with whatever other problems Windows 8 faces, Microsoft partners interested in making machines that show the operating system off to best advantage are handicapped by a short supply of touchscreens, the top Windows executive says.
The company is hoping the problem will be solved in time to make alluring devices in time for Christmas sales, says Tami Reller, chief marketing and financial officer for the Windows division, as quoted in this CITEworld story.
“We see that touch supply is getting so much better,” Reller says. “By the holidays we won’t see the types of restrictions we’ve seen on the ability of our partners and retail partners to get touch in the volume they’d like and that customers are demanding.”
Along with that area a slew of complaints about the Windows 8 user interface, many of which may be addressed by Windows Blue, the code name for the upgrade that is also coming out later this year, likely before the holidays, Reller says.
It’s still unclear what changes Windows Blue will include although rumors say the start button and start page so familiar in earlier versions of Windows will be restored. The specifics of Windows Blue – officially called Windows 8.1 – will be revealed at the Microsoft Build developers’ conference at the end of June, she says.
Although Reller didn’t mention it during her remarks at a JP Morgan tech conference in Boston, by the end of the year Intel’s Haswell chips should be in production offering a longer battery life, higher performance and improved graphic processing for a range of devices such as ultrabooks, convertibles and tablets.
This is a convergence of events that Microsoft no doubt would have welcomed last holiday season just after Windows 8 launched in October.
Windows RT deal
Dell has come out with a Windows RT tablet for $300 – $200 less expensive than the cheapest Microsoft Surface RT.
That’s a limited time offering and is a $150 discount off the regular price for its XPS 10, which sports a 10.1-inch display and, like all Windows RT devices, runs on ARM chips. Another short-term option tosses in a keyboard/dock for an extra $50.
At that price the bundle is still significantly cheaper than an iPad and may grab a few potential Apple customers.
When is 100 million not 100 million?
Microsoft says it’s sold 100 million Windows 8 licenses so far and seems proud of it, but the number is being picked apart by people who note that the number of licenses sold might be far higher than the number in actual use.
According to a story in ComputerWorld the count of machines running Windows 8 could be closer to 59 million.
Why would Microsoft release the higher number but not release the number of machines that have activated the software? The obvious answer: that number is embarrassingly small.
Windows 8 is bad for this business
Buffalo, N.Y. -based Synacor blames Windows 8 for a 16% drop in search-engine advertising revenues for its content-portal services.
Because Windows 8 defaults to Bing as the search engine and sets MSN as the home page, according to this story in the the Buffalo News. Part of Synacor’s business is to set its customers’ advertising pages into the start page of end users’ browsers.
“That hurts Synacor because the company generates revenue every time a subscriber uses the Google search box on the start pages that it designs, while a reduction in page views also hurts Synacor’s advertising sales on those start pages,” the News story says.
The situation has contributed to a 5% drop in revenues for Synacore.
The browser-based version of Office will get real-time co-authoring and other enhancements in the coming year
Microsoft plans to accelerate improvements in Office Web Apps, the browser-based version of the Office suite, adding features like real-time co-authoring of documents and the ability to run in Android tablets via mobile Chrome browser support.
The planned enhancements, scheduled for release at some point in the next 12 months, are part of a shift in the way Microsoft views Office Web Apps, the company said Tuesday.
Originally conceived in 2010 as a lightweight companion to the main desktop Office suite, Office Web Apps is now seen as a potentially more powerful product, thanks to improvements in browser technology and connection speeds.
“Our goal for Office Web Apps is that people can rely on it to create polished Office documents from start to finish,” Michael Atalla, director of Office 365 product management, said in an interview.
Office Web Apps, which is made up of Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote, is available for free to individuals as part of Microsoft’s SkyDrive cloud storage service for consumers. It’s also included with Office 365, the broader email and collaboration suite that has free and fee-based editions.
The online Office suite competes with other browser-based office productivity suites. Its main rival is the free Google Drive, which combines online storage with the Docs applications for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations and other tasks.
Microsoft lagged Google and other competitors in this space. Google Docs has been around since 2007. However, Microsoft’s Office dominates this market on the desktop, and the company is making a push to extend the superiority of its desktop applications to the browser-based versions.
Microsoft wants to provide “an uncompromised Office Web Apps experience ” and bring the power of Office to the broadest set of users, Atalla said.
The real-time co-authoring feature will build on co-authoring capabilities already present in the product and will let users see edits from collaborators as they are made without the need to refresh their browser page. Microsoft also plans to beef up the authoring and editing features in Office Web Apps.
Meanwhile, the move to bring Office Web Apps to Android tablets will intensify the competition with Google Drive.
Back in October, Microsoft delivered a series of Office Web Apps enhancements designed to offer users a better experience on iPads.
Although Microsoft has so far resisted developing a full suite of native Office applications for iOS devices, its decision to improve the user experience of Office Web Apps on iPads was intended to offer an option to the many grumpy users who want to use the suite on their iPads.
Summary: About 20 percent of compromised credentials, exposed via hacks on other service providers, match Microsoft Account logins due to password reuse
Around 20 percent of the logins found on lists of compromised credentials match those of Microsoft Accounts due to consumers using the same login details across more than one service, the company has said.
The lists are circulated by organisations and hackers in the wake of attacks on third-party service providers.
People re-use passwords and login details across services from different providers, Microsoft Account group manager Eric Doerr noted in a blog post on Sunday. That reuse means that if one set of logins is compromised, other accounts are at risk.
“These attacks shine a spotlight on the core issue — people reuse passwords between different websites,” said Doer, speaking after the Yahoo breach last week that exposed 400,000 user details. “On average, we see successful password matches of around 20 percent of matching usernames.”
Doer revealed the figure in a run-down of some Microsoft Account security practices, meant to reassure customers after the Yahoo hack. Microsoft Account is a single sign-on tool for Microsoft services such as SkyDrive, Hotmail, Xbox and Messenger.
Microsoft regularly gets lists of compromised third-party login details from ISPs, law enforcement and vendors, as well as from lists published on the internet by hackers, according to Doerr. This information is checked against Microsoft login details using an automated process to check for any overlap. While 20 percent is the average, in one recent breach it was only 4.5 percent, said Doerr.
After a hack attack on another provider, Microsoft monitors its user accounts to see if they are being used to send spam. If it sees signs of criminal activity, it suspends the account, and the affected customer has to go through an account recovery process before being able to log in again.
If Microsoft suspects, but is not certain, that there has been a breach, it will ask customers to reset their passwords.
The company also uses behavioural monitoring technology similar to that used by banks to log patterns of access and location, to see if an attempted login is suspicious. The technology can block the attempt, or ask an additional identity question to decide whether to grant access.
The Microsoft Account team is working on tightening up security, Doerr said. The current 16-character limit on password length is set to increase, to make brute force attacks more difficult, for example. However, Microsoft is having problems making passwords longer because of its ecosystem, he noted.
“Unfortunately, for historical reasons, the password validation logic is decentralised across different products, so it’s a bigger change than it should be and takes longer to get to market,” Doerr said.
Yahoo, Gmail, Hushmail, Yandex and MyOperaMail all allow passcode lengths of 30 characters, as one Microsoft account holder, MondayBlues, pointed out in a comment.
Doerr noted that people using SkyDrive device-synchronisation software and buying products on Xbox.com are required to use two-factor authentication. Microsoft is working on implementing this security measure in more products and services, he said, but did not specify which.
Updated: This article was updated at 5.22pm BST after clarification from Microsoft.
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For the Desktop Enterprise Technician 7, next you will need to take MCITP Enterprise Administrator exam 70-685, which focuses on identifying issues, from initial setup and configuration issues to failure issues. Exam 70-685 tests these skills in the following areas; Desktop applications, networking, hardware, performance, wireless connectivity, remote access and security. This exam focuses on understanding the causes of such issues and how to resolve them.
For the Enterprise Administrator 7, the next exam to take is the 70-686 exam, which aims to test your ability to set the strategy for managing and supporting the infrastructure as well as applications. This exam mostly focuses on the administrative side and concentrates on creating standard images for windows clients, designing Windows 7 client configurations and deployment, planning and managing a strategy for hardware, software and licensing, acknowledging any issues or problems (i.e. network issues) and managing applications.
To prepare for these exams, it is recommended that you study for these exams, as well as have hands on experience with Windows 7. Since Microsoft certifications are knowledge based(mcts certification) as well as practical, you’ll need to be able to put your knowledge into practice. You can access 70-640 training resources whether by attending classes, or self study (book or computer based training).
With the advancement of a government-wide digital strategy that puts a premium on mobile computing, telecommuting could become a reality for a greater share of federal workers, though agency CIOs face a stout set of challenges before the federal government becomes home to a truly mobile workforce.
Here at a conference hosted by the Mobile Work Exchange, a group that champions the adoption of technology and policies to enable remote work, experts from within the government and leading contractors described the challenges and opportunities of overhauling an IT infrastructure to mobilize the workforce.
Federal Employees Must Buy-In
“I’ve basically been charged with changing the culture of FEMA,” Schreiber says.
“Culture is key,” she adds. “You only have one opportunity to change the culture of your agency and get it right with your people.”
As FEMA scales down from eight leased buildings in the D.C. metro area to three, a transition planned to be completed by 2016, the agency is aiming to mobilize more of its employees and operations, bringing the remote capabilities that disaster responders use in the field into the regular workflow.
[Related: U.S. CIO Unveils Mobile Strategy for Federal Government]
Schreiber says that as recently as six months ago, just 5 percent of FEMA’s employees regularly worked remotely, but the agency has been working to ratchet up that figure.
With that roadmap, FEMA is heading down a similar path as other government agencies, which are all operating under a series of IT directives from the Obama administration involving cloud computing, data-center consolidation and mobile computing. Just as in the private sector, those initiatives come in service of the familiar goals of cutting costs and carbon emissions while increasing agility and productivity.
[Related: New Federal Mobile IT Strategy Must Address Security]
The Mobile Work Exchange, the organizer of Tuesday’s conference, is focusing much of its efforts on the federal government, and recently wrapped up its annual Telework Week. From April 4-8, some 136,000 global employees pledged to work remotely, which translated into an estimated savings of $12.3 million commuting costs and nearly 8,000 tons of carbon emissions, according to the group.
The federal government accounted for 82 percent of those pledges, with federal participation up 66 percent from last year, a reflection of the gathering interest in mobile computing at the highest levels of the bureaucracy.
Federal Guidance for Security, BYOD
The Federal CIO Council has convened an inter-agency working group to offer guidance on implementing the mobility aspects of the administration’s digital strategy. That group is now working in partnership with officials from the departments of defense and homeland security, as well as the National Institute of Standards and Technology, to develop a framework to address the security concerns that come in tow with BYOD and other mobile policies.
From a security standpoint, the work on developing mobility standards begins with the understanding that in an operation as large and diverse as the federal government, the requirements for mobile computing will be correspondingly varied, with some remote personnel handling highly sensitive or classified data, others who are tethered to a workstation and use little more than basic office productivity apps, and everything in between.
“We couldn’t ignore the broad number of use cases that are out there,” says Robert Palmer, director of information assurance for the Enterprise System Development Office at the DHS office of the CIO. “IT needs to enable those missions, and that’s really what we’re talking about — that underlying infrastructure that will enable all those different use cases.”
“We have to talk about that first — what is our requirement,” Palmer adds.
Federal officials are slated to release guidance for the next milestone in the administration’s Digital Government Strategy, which relates to mobile security, in May.
That document will endeavor to address, at least in part, the security considerations and the related legal challenges that have been a significant barrier to the government’s adoption of BYOD policies.
Siva Prakesh Yarlagadda, director of CSC’s federal mobility division, pointed to the oft-cited example of how a security team might respond to the loss of a user’s personal device that contained sensitive agency information.
For a standard, government-issued BlackBerry, the protocol might call for a remote wipe of the device, but when the compromised equipment also holds an employee’s personal content–family photos, etc.–the prospect of simply erasing all of that data poses additional challenges.
“It has a huge impact,” Yarlagadda says of the security concerns. “That’s one of the reasons why every agency doesn’t have it today. There are challenges.”
Yarlagadda recommends that government agencies contemplating BYOD policies or the broader question of a mobile device management framework adopt a “core infrastructure” for mobile activity that would include security features like encryption and permissions-based access, as well as an enterprise app store that would serve as a central hub for business-related applications that have met the necessary security stipulations.
“This is how your employees discover your apps. This is how you distribute your apps to your employees,” Yarlagadda says.
As for BYOD, which many businesses have been adopting in response to the growing expectation of employees that they be allowed to use their own devices for work, Yarlagadda says of the government: “There are compelling reasons why you would want to use that, but the enterprise architecture is not ready.”