Syria Denies Access to Microsoft Quick-Release Antivirus Land Mines

Syria drops off the internet, both Microsoft AV and hotel key cards get a failing grade, Google Fiber ahead of its time, and more in the Week in Geek as Lyle, Alex, and Miles answer your calls and questions about technology.

Security Flaw In Common Keycard Locks Exploited In String Of Hotel Room Break-Ins

Whoever robbed Janet Wolf’s hotel room did his work discreetly.

When Wolf returned to the Hyatt in Houston’s Galleria district last September and found her Toshiba laptop stolen, there was no sign of a forced door or a picked lock. Suspicions about the housekeeping staff were soon ruled out, too—-Wolf says the hotel management used a device to read the memory of the keycard lock and told her that none of the maids’ keys had been used while she was away.

Additional information about hack

Microsoft Fails AV-Test Certification

German antivirus lab AV-Test continually tests popular security suites against real world threats and reports the results every two months. For the most part, the researchers alternate between testing under Windows 7 and under Windows XP. The latest Windows 7 results show a significant drop in most scores. In particular, Microsoft failed to achieve certification.

Some of the top anti-virus solutions from these tests include:
Bitdefender Internet Security
F-Secure Internet Security
Kaspersky Internet Security

Windows Blue: Microsoft’s plan to release a new version of Windows every year

Way back in August, three months before the release of Windows 8, we learnt about the existence of a project at Microsoft codenamed Blue. At the time it wasn’t clear whether this was Windows 9, or some kind of interim update/service pack for Windows 8. Now, if unnamed sources are to be believed, Windows Blue is both of those things: a major update to Windows 8, and also the beginning of a major shift that will result in a major release of Windows every 12 months — just like Apple’s OS X.

To show a bit about the history of desktop releases, Wikipedia has the Microsoft Windows release timeline

The rest of the Internet is too slow for Google Fiber

“So how fast is Google Fiber? Really fast… and it may be far ahead of its time.”

The low-tech, high-design tumbleweed minesweeper

“An Afghan designer and former refugee has developed a low-cost, wind-powered mine detonating device inspired by the toys he played with as a child.”