New 0-day Vulnerability in Windows Circumvents UAC

When Microsoft added UAC (User Account Control), the promise was that it will make Windows more secure. Pardon me if I come across as a cynic, but all it seems to be capable of doing is annoying users. Yes, Windows 7 makes UAC a lot more bearable, but it’s still annoying. On top of that, it doesn’t actually do a lot to prevent malware attacks or malicious program execution. To make things even worse, a new flaw has been uncovered that can be used to completely bypass UAC in Windows Vista and 7.

The developers of popular security software Pervx spotted a new 0-day vulnerability being discussed in a Chinese forum. According to them, “This is a serious flaw because it resides in win32k.sys, the kernel mode part of the Windows subsystem. It is a privilege escalation exploit which allows even limited user accounts to execute arbitrary code in kernel mode.”

This flaw basically enables an attacker to execute applications with system (full) privileges. Unfortunately, there is not a lot you can do to keep yourself safe at this point of time. Sophos has suggested a workaround; however, it is not known how effective the proposed safety measure is.

Are Public Libraries Still at Risk Because of Microsoft?

A reason to panic?

public-library-iconBack in April of this year, Yardena Arar posted an article at Windows Secrets titled Microsoft decision puts public libraries at risk.

What did Microsoft do that puts libraries at risk?

They retired Windows SteadyState. In case you haven’t heard about it, SteadyState is a free application for Windows XP and Vista which completely protects a Windows operating system from everything except a hardware crash. It makes Windows almost bullet-proof. Thousands of home users, internet cafes, schools and public libraries depend on SteadyState for protection. However, it won’t be available for Windows 7.

According to Yardena,

… not only is SteadyState incompatible with Win7, Microsoft says it has no plans to introduce a Windows 7-compatible version. That’s leaving some IT managers scrambling for replacement technology and others vowing not to upgrade to Windows 7 at all.

Windows SteadyState is going away?

I recently discovered that it’s not only unavailable for Win7, SteadyState won’t be available after Dec 31st of this year. That’s a twisted Happy New Year’s wish to everyone wanting to use it on XP or Vista. If you plan on using it, be sure to download SteadyState from Microsoft, before it’s too late.

Are there alternatives to SteadyState?

If you settled for the answer given in that Windows Secrets post, you’d give up. In the article, Yardena says:

Third-party solutions, such as Faronics’ Deep Freeze, don’t appeal to cash-strapped educational institutions, which are already spending considerable money upgrading to Windows 7.

Worse yet, if you listen to Microsoft, they’ll tell you that you don’t need it. Here’s the Microsoft spin:

We have just released a whitepaper along with an accompanying document that describes Group Policy settings that you can use to configure computer and user settings and also a reference excel worksheet which can be used to look up and filter the settings described in the whitepaper. (source)

What a load of techno-crap! Does Microsoft think a librarian, teacher, cyber-café owner, or home user is going to read their white papers?

What is my suggestion for replacing SteadyState?

Fortunately, a security company named Comodo, recently released a free replacement for Windows SteadyState. As far as I can tell, Comodo Time Machine does nearly everything SteadyState does. It’s currently supported and works in Windows XP, Vista and 7.

arrow-down-double-3Download Comodo Time Machinecomodo-time-machine-icon_thumb

If you are interested in Comodo’s offer, check out this Video Review of Time Machine.

Why do we need Windows?

Why does a public library need to depend upon Microsoft for all of their software needs? The answer from any Open Source enthusiast would be Get rid of Windows!. If you need some arguments to use against your library’s or school’s addiction to Microsoft, be sure to read about Windows 7 Sins: The case against Microsoft and proprietary software

Use Free and Open Source Software (FOSS)

If a librarian or teacher came to me and asked about setting up several public computers , I’d have two ready answers for them. I could save them money and practically guarantee that they wouldn’t have any spyware or virus problems.

edubuntu-icon1. I’d burn a set of Live CD’s with Edubuntu on them. They could disable the hard drives and put these in the CD Rom drives. Whenever the PC boots up, they’d have a fresh new operating system that’s ready to use and kid-proof.

2. I could also install Edubuntu on each PC normally, as this old timer shows in a video.


Microsoft doesn’t have the answer, and they don’t seem to care. However, there’s no reason to worry.   Using either of my recommendations, secure and trouble-free public PCs can be created at no cost.

Diwali Theme For Windows 7

Diwali Rangoli and Diyas

India will be celebrating Diwali or Divali starting today. Diwali is also known as the festival of lights and is celebrated with great fanfare in India. This festival is one of the biggest festivals in India and is celebrated across the country by making beautiful rangolis and lighting diyas (small lanterns).


If you are a user and like to change your with the season, you can now download and install a Diwali theme for Windows 7. The Diwali theme for Windows 7 consists of several . Download the Windows 7 Diwali theme from here.

Want more Windows 7 Themes? Check out our collections of Windows 7 Themes for your desktop. We also want to wish all our readers a Happy Diwali. Have fun and stay safe.

ViewSonic to Launch the ViewPad 7 in November

ViewSonic announced the ViewPad 7 Android tablet and the ViewPad 10 Windows-Android dual boot tablet today. It will be launching both the tablets soon, with the ViewPad 7 coming in November.  We also have some details about the specifications of both the tablets.

The ViewPad 7 will run Android 2.2 Froyo and will offer Android Market support. It will be powered by a 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and will have 512 MB RAM with 16 GB internal storage. It will have two cameras – a 3 MP camera and a VGA secondary camera. It will also offer 3G connectivity along with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and sports a 7 inch capacitive touchscreen display, just like the Samsung Galaxy Tab. It will be priced at $479.

ViewSonic ViewPad 7

The ViewPad 10 will be a dual booting tablet running Android 1.6 and Windows 7 Home Premium. It will have a 1.66 GHz Intel Atom processor, a 16 GB SSD and 1 GB RAM. It is expected to be priced at $629 and will be launched in Q1 2011.

via ViewSonic

Add New Items to the Sendto Menu in Win7 and Vista

Sometimes a file won’t open in the application you want for it. Normally, you might use the Open withcommand in the file right click menu when you click on a file.


However, if the action you want isn’t in that list, there’s always the Sendto menu.   It’s also in the right click menu for files.


The Sendto menu in Windows is a handy place to store links to all sorts of applications or actions that you rarely use. It used to be easy to add items to the Sendto menu in Windows 9x and Windows XP. Since the arrival of Vista and Win7, it’s gotten a little trickier. I’ll show you one way to do it.

The items in the Sendto menu, are actually links stored in a folder labeled Sendto. The Sendto folder used to be located in the Documents and Settingsfolder under each user name. In Vista and Win7, it’s buried deeply in the Users\Yourname\AppDatafolder, which is normally a hidden folder.

One way to get to AppData quickly is to use the Runmenu, by holding down your Start button and tap the Rkey. Then type in %appdata% and click OK.


Next you’ll have to dig down even further. Go into the following folders under AppData.

Roaming \ Microsoft \ Windows \ Sendto


Now you can see the shortcuts in the Sendto folder. It’s a simple matter of copying or creating shortcuts in this folder in order to see new items listed in your Sendto menu.

The first shortcut I normally add to the Sendto folder is Notepad. Some other apps that you might use there are Paint and WordPad. For the webmasters among you, I’ve also written up a tutorial on adding a Sendto FTPlink.


Not only can you add shortcuts to applications, you can also add shortcuts to folders, drives and network locations. You can even add shortcuts to batch files that will perform specific actions on files.

Sendto is a flexible feature that can serve you well, once you learn it’s secrets.

Download Windows 7 Service Pack 1 RC

Microsoft has released the first RC (Release Candidate) build of Windows 7 Service Pack 1 to the general public. In order to install the service pack, you must have a final RTM version of Windows 7. Moreover, if you have already installed a previous build of the service pack, you will have to uninstall that first. Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Release Candidate has also been made available for download.

Windows 7 SP1 doesn’t include any major new features. It’s mostly a collection of previously released hotfixes and updates. However, the server edition introduces two new features – RemoteFx and Dynamic memory, which were discussed earlier. The final build is expected to be released in Q1, 2011.

[ Download Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 Release Candidate ]

HP Slate 500 Unveiled; Priced at $799

After a long wait, it seems that the HP Slate 500 is finally official. HP announced that the HP Slate 500 powered by Windows 7 will be available for purchase starting today. HP is aiming this tablet at the business segment and will target the webOS based tablets at the consumer segment.

It is priced at $799 which is a bit steep. The hardware specifications seem nice and it runs Windows 7 Professional.

HP Slate 500

HP Slate 500 Specifications

Dimensions: 9.21 x 0.58 x 5.91 in
Weight: 1.5 lbs
Display: 8.9 inch WSVGA capacitive touchscreen display
Processor: Intel Atom Z540, 1.86 GHz
RAM: 2 GB DDR2 RAM, 800 MHz
Memory: 64 GB internal SSD
Graphics: Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 500, Broadcom Crystal HD Enhanced Video Accelerator
Camera: 3 MP, secondary VGA camera
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0
Ports: USB 2.0, Mic, SD card slot
Battery: 2 cell battery, 30 WHr

You can check out the complete specs and order the HP Slate 500 here – HP Slate 500

Microsoft Sells 240 Million Windows 7 Licenses

Windows 7 UltimateThere is no doubt that is one of the best operating system ever created by Microsoft, and there was no doubt that it was also the fastest selling OS in History.

If you ever doubted that fact, a recent Microsoft post will subdue your doubts. Microsoft has claimed that it has sold over 240 million licenses of Windows 7 in the past one year. Windows 7 now commands over 17% of the global OS market share and runs on 93% of the new consumer PCs made since last year.

Another interesting fact is that all 18,000 Microsoft OEM offer Windows 7 as the default installation as compared to 70% for , which was probably one of the worst OS Microsoft ever made, if you leave Windows Millennium out of the picture that is.

Microsoft also pointed out that in the past year the customer satisfaction for their products have outpaced Apple, which was only possible because of Windows 7.

So are you a Windows 7 PC?

Also Read: Ultimate List of Tips and Tricks for Windows 7

Microsoft Releases Two Stunning Windows 7 Themes – Eerie Autumn and Lightning


It’s autumn and unsurprisingly Microsoft has released a new Windows 7 theme to go with the season. Autumn is the season that marks the impending arrival of the dreaded winter. It’s the season of melancholy. But, perhaps more significantly, autumn is the season Halloween is celebrated in. The splendid wallpaper collection captures the essence of autumn in a brilliant, albeit slightly unnerving fashion.


While the Eerie Autumn theme is spooky, the Lightning theme is simply awe inspiring. This theme captures Mother Nature at her fiercest. I don’t know about you, but lightning and thunderbolt always manages to send shivers down my spine.


Both the themes are available for download from the official Windows 7 personalization gallery.

(via IntoWindows)

Windows 7 SP1 pre-RC Build Leaked?

Leaked Microsoft software is nothing new. Both Windows 7 and Office 2010 kept getting leaked during their development stages. Now, Softpedia is reporting that an internal Windows 7 Service Pack 1 build has been leaked. Although some websites are claiming that this is the release candidate (RC), the leaked file is most likely a pre-RC build.

The leaked image is a chinese Windows 7 (32 bit) installation, which has been slipstreamed with SP1. The build number is 6.1.7601.17104. According to reports, the leaked build is time bombed to 01.09.2011. In other words, the leaked build will stop working in September 2011. This indicates that the leaked build is at least a month old.

Installing leaked builds is never recommended. Not only are they likely to be unstable and rough around the edges, but there is also the possibility that they have been tampered by the releaser. However, if you are dying to get your hands on the latest and greatest from Microsoft, then you should be able to locate the leaked release with a simple Google search.