Stories by Andrew Brandt

  • Worst Windows flaws of the past decade

    June 25, 1998, and June 30, 2008, marked two important milestones in Microsoft's evolution of the Windows OS -- the passing of the torch from Windows 95 to Windows 98, and the less seemly transition from XP to Vista.

  • True crime: The botnet barons

    When federal agents announced on November 29 that they'd indicted or convicted eight individuals accused of using botnets (networks of computers infected with Trojan horse applications) to engage in criminal activity, the press release barely explained the nature and extent of the men's crimes -- or the investigations that led to arrests in an operation the FBI and other law enforcement agencies have termed Bot Roast II.

  • Patent overload hampers tech innovation

    Much has been made of recent patent applications--such as one involving emoticons on cell phones--that seem a far cry from real breakthroughs like the lightbulb. And while many of the weakest patent applications are eventually rejected, some experts believe that an overworked and underfunded U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is issuing more and more patents that never should have passed their first review.

  • Network secure? Think again

    Do your customers think their wireless networks are secure? Many of them better think again. The newest Wi-Fi security standard, called Wireless Protected Access 2, adds professional-grade encryption - but even though the standard has been around for more than a year, most people still aren't using it.

  • Red Rover’s master coder

    Mike Deliman is the Mars guy at his office. He belongs to an elite fraternity of coders — at California-based Wind River Systems — who wrote the operating system that runs, among other things, the two Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. Deliman also leads the team that wrote the operating system for the Mars Oddysey satellite and the previous Mars lander, Pathfinder, and its Sojourner rover.

  • A PC user's guide to Macworld

    They may not be waving four-color Windows-logo flags, but it's not a complete wasteland for PC users at the Macworld Expo show in San Francisco this week.

  • Hackers gather in Vegas

    For their seventh year, mohawk-coiffed teenage hackers, pony-tailed industry security experts, and buzz-cut government agents have gathered here to swap exploits, ideas, and code at the annual DefCon hacking convention.