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News Schmooze: Bill Gates brings on the lurve machine

Gates brought .Net to the Net, Asimo invaded the Stock Exchange, and Valentine's Day went high-tech

Ahhh, the beginnings of spring, and lurve is in the air. One of the hallmarks of our modern age is our tendency to rely on technology to express our romantic overtures, and Brits are expected to rack up more impassioned text messages this year than ever before. Declarations of love, proposals of marriage, Dear John letters and of course the odd bit of smut are doubtless all flying through the air around the Schmoozer's head even as he writes... And it looks like Genie is even cashing in on the more lurid possibilities of Valentine's Day with new multimedia text messaging. Just think of the possibilities...
Surfers seek to Net true love
More texts please, we're British
Genie conjures up multimedia messaging Bill Gates was gettin' a lot of lurve this week with the all-star launch of Visual Studio .Net. Don't know what that is? Well, it's a developer environment for .Net, which is Microsoft's plan for moving computing power onto the Internet. So, what does that mean? Well, nobody knows except Microsoft, apparently. Amazingly, millions of lines of journalism have been written about .Net, mostly parroting the visionary fulminations of various Microsoft execs, without ever managing to illuminate what the hell they're talking about. Could it be that there's nothing really "there" there at all? The Schmoozer is content to think that .Net is really a sort of code word or metaphor rather than something that can be burned onto a CD-ROM. If you replace ".Net" with the phrase "utter Microsoft domination of all networks", it seems to make a reasonable substitute.
Microsoft to debut developer tools (In fact, a full review of Visual Studio .Net will appear on ZDNet UK on Monday -- ed). Dangerous robots are everywhere. On Valentine's day that walking Honda robot even opened the New York Stock Exchange, an honour previously reserved for human beings. It was a publicity exercise for the 25th anniversary of Honda's listing on the exchange, but it does make one wonder if robots are about to make yet another human job redundant.
Robot opens NYSE trading on Valentine's Day Hackers kept themselves busy over the past week, coming up with a new type of virus that exploits MSN Messenger, although they didn't bother to make it do any actual damage. In the meantime, a US firm said it found a buffer-overflow hole in a component of Visual Studio .Net, which was only released this week. Microsoft has been generating a lot of headlines about its security initiative lately, but that doesn't seem to stop the negative headlines from flowing. The hackers who put ISP Cloud Nine out of business look likely to get off scott-free, as they took the precaution of deleting Cloud Nine's Web logs after they did the business. The perfect crime? Or just some bored script kiddie without anything to do on a dull January afternoon?
ISP hackers likely to evade justice
Worm attacks MSN Messenger
Flaw found in MS security patch
MS security chief: We are not stopping development

One of Microsoft's security projects is Strategic Technology Protection Program, which makes it easier for you to do things like download patches. Only don't try typing "STPP" into Google, because Microsoft -- its UK site anyway -- has for reasons of its own decided to call it "STTP". Perhaps this will improve security by throwing those dastardly hackers off the scent.
Microsoft unveils vision of a protected on-line future The News Schmooze is ZDNet UK's irreverent take on the week's news. Send your tip-offs to: mailroomuk@zdnet.com.


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