Stories by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

How CAPTCHA got trashed

CAPTCHA used to be an easy and useful way for Web administrators to authenticate users. Now it's an easy and useful way for malware authors and spammers to do their dirty work.

Dear Microsoft, thanks for the help, Linux

You gotta love it. Microsoft has decided that it will ho ahead and kill off easy access to XP on June 30th. On behalf of desktop Linux users everywhere, and our first cousins, the Mac fans, thanks. You've given us the best shot we'll ever have of taking the desktop.

Firefox 3 fixes what's broke

The Mozilla Foundation is celebrating the arrival of Firefox 3 with a worldwide party -- and an attempt to set a new world record for the most downloads ever of a single software program. OK, so that's silly and extremely geekish, but what the heck? Why not kick up a fuss?

Five reasons why it's not business as usual for Microsoft

Bill Gates will be leaving Microsoft for good at the end of the month and Microsoft would have you believe that it will be business as usual for Microsoft. I understand they also have a great bridge between Manhattan and Brooklyn that they'd like to sell you. Cheap!

Five reasons to fire Ballmer

On July 1st, Bill Gates will retire. He'll still spend about 20 per cent of his time on Microsoft projects. If Microsoft is to retain 20 per cent of its economic clout in five years time, the company's board should start working on firing CEO Steve Ballmer now.

Firefox 3 First Look

I've loved Firefox since version 0.93. It was so much better than Internet Explorer and the other alternatives that I couldn't imagine using anything else. But, then Firefox's memory leaks went from annoying me to ticking me off; I started having real stability problems with it on both Windows and Linux; and security holes started appearing far more often. I was about to switch to Safari on Windows and MacOS and Konqueror on Linux, when Mozilla got serious about not just fixing, but rebuilding Firefox. Now, Firefox 3 release candidate 1 was released early. Based on my quick look at it, I may end up sticking with Firefox after all.

Malware vs. anti-malware, 20 years into the fray

As I recall, November 2, 1988, started as an ordinary day at Goddard Space Flight Center where I was working in the data communications branch. By the end of the day ... well, actually, that day never ended. We just kept fighting to bring our servers and networks back to life. Our SunOS and VAX/BSD systems, which were connected to the Internet, had slowed to a stop.

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