General IT News, Tech Information and Analysis

Apple iOS 4.1 Software Update Available for Download

Apple has just released the software update for their iPhone and iPod devices. This update contains software improvements to the iPhone OS 4.0, including the following changes to Game Center. Now on Game Center, you can Send and receive friend requests, Invite friends to multi-player games over the Internet, Play multi-player games by auto-matching with other players, View Leaderboards and Achievements and Discover new games from friends.

It now gives you an option to take High dynamic range (HDR) photos on iPhone 4. FaceTime calling directly from Favorites. It provides you support for TV show rentals on iTunes and Ability to upload HD videos to YouTube and MobileMe over Wi-Fi on iPhone 4. Also, Additional support for AVRCP-supported accessories, including next & previous track control.

Bug fixes, includes iPhone 4 proximity sensor performance, iPhone 3G performance, Nike+iPod fixes and Bluetooth improvements.

Products compatible with this software update: iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, iPod touch 2nd generation, or later, Game Center requires iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPod touch 2nd generation or later.

For feature descriptions and complete instructions, see the user guides for iPhone and iPod touch at:

For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website:

Courtesy: Apple Software Updater Notifications


Download Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Beta

The Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Beta helps keep your PCs and servers on the latest support level, provides ongoing improvements to the Windows Operating System (OS), by including previous updates delivered over Windows Update as well as continuing incremental updates to the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 platforms based on customer feedback, and is easy for organizations to deploy a single set of updates.

Update: 12th August 2010 – The TechNet Evaluation Center has started a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the recently released Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 Beta. Find out such things as when SP1 will be released, how long you can run the beta, upgrade policies, and more!

The Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Beta will help you:

  • Keep your PCs supported and up-to-date
  • Get ongoing updates to the Windows 7 platform
  • Easily deploy cumulative updates at a single time
  • Meet your users’ demands for greater business mobility
  • Provide a comprehensive set of virtualization innovations
  • Provide an easier Service Pack deployment model for better IT efficiency

The public beta is best suited for IT pros, tech enthusiasts and developers who need to test the service pack in their organization or with the software they are developing.

In order to download and install the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Beta you must currently have a Release to Manufacturing (RTM) version of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 already installed. The Beta is available in English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish.

To learn more about piloting, deploying and managing Windows 7, visit the Springboard Series on TechNet.

General Microsoft

Attention FireFox Users !!!

Remember that Microsoft .NET Framework Assistant add-on that Microsoft sneaked into Firefox without explicit permission from end users?

Well, the code in that add-on has a serious code execution vulnerability that exposes Firefox users to the “browse and you’re owned” attacks that are typically used in drive-by malware downloads.  The flaw was addressed in the MS09-054 bulletin that covered “critical” holes in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer but, as Redmond’s Security Research & Defense team explains, the drive-by download risk extends beyond Microsoft’s browser.

A browse-and-get-owned attack vector exists. All that is needed is for a user to be lured to a malicious website. Triggering this vulnerability involves the use of a malicious XBAP (XAML Browser Application). Please not that while this attack vector matches one of the attack vectors for MS09-061, the underlying vulnerability is different.  Here, the affected process is the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) hosting process, PresentationHost.exe.

While the vulnerability is in an IE component, there is an attack vector for Firefox users as well. The reason is that .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 installs a “Windows Presentation Foundation” plug-in in Firefox.

Now, Microsoft’s security folks are actually recommending that Firefox users uninstall the buggy add-on:

For Firefox users with .NET Framework 3.5 installed, you may use “Tools”-> “Add-ons” -> “Plugins”, select “Windows Presentation Foundation”, and click “Disable”.

This introduction of vulnerabilities in a competing browser is a colossal embarrassment for Microsoft.  At the time of the surreptitious installs, there were prescient warnings from many in the community about the security implications of introducing new code into browsers without the knowledge — and consent — of end users.

Courtesy: Thanks to Zdnet for this information post !!

Also, If you havent run the patches yet., please do that immediately.

Microsoft Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

Microsoft’s recent Security Updates for Visual Studio break Windows Installer Updates

Taken from Stefan Kruger’s Blog- This problem was brought up in a question on the InstallSite Forum and is also mentioned in a blog post by Gauravb (who appears to be a Microsoft employee).

The typical symptom is missing or not updated files after you install a Small or Minor Update to your application (Major Upgrades are not affected). In the installer log file you’ll notice that some features have been switched to “advertised” state and instead of being installed locally. The actual cause is noted in the SELMGR error message in the log similar to this:

SELMGR: ComponentId ‘{-GUID-}’ is registered to feature ‘-Feature-Name-‘, but is not present in the Component table. Removal of components from a feature is not supported!

This happens if your setup includes a merge module like Microsoft_VC80_CRT_x86.msm and you rebuilt your setup package after installingsecurity updates 971090 and 973673 for Visual Studio 2005 SP1 or 971092 and 973675 for Visual Studio 2008 SP1. These security updates install newer versions of merge modules.

Apparently a component that existed in the original version of the merge module has been removed in the updated msm. Removing a component is a violation of Windows Installer’s rules for Small and Minor Updates.

To read more on the MergeModules which are affected and the WorkArounds – check this link –

General Microsoft Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

Final release of Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010

Get ready to deploy Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 with the final release of Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010. As you prepare to deploy Windows® 7 and Windows Server® 2008 R2, get a jump start with Microsoft® Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010. Leverage this Solution Accelerator to achieve efficient, cost-effective deployment of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

MDT is the recommended process and toolset to automate desktop and server deployment. MDT provides you with the following benefits:

  • Unified tools and processes required for desktop and server deployment in a common deployment console and collection of guidance.
  • Reduced deployment time and standardized desktop and server images, along with improved security and ongoing configuration management.
  • Fully automated Zero Touch Installation deployments by leveraging System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Service Pack 2 Release Candidate and Windows deployment tools. For those without a System Center Configuration Manager 2007 infrastructure, MDT leverages Windows deployment tools for Lite Touch Installation deployments.

MDT 2010 includes new features such as flexible driver management, optimized user interface workflow, and Windows PowerShellTM command line interface to help simplify deployment and make your job easier. Deploy faster and more easily with MDT 2010.

New in MDT 2010: Improvements in MDT 2010 allow you to:

  • Access deployment shares from anywhere on the network and replicate files and settings across organizational boundaries or sites.
  • Organize and manage drivers, operating systems, applications, packages, and task sequences with an improved UI.
  • Automate UI functionality using the new Windows PowerShell command line interface.

Next steps

  1. Download Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010
  2. Learn more about MDT by visiting the MDT site on TechNet.
  3. Get the latest news by visiting Microsoft Deployment Toolkit Team blog.
  4. Provide feedback to the Solution Accelerator Team