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  1. Microsoft has just announced that it is extending the support for Anti-Malware protection on Windows XP till July 2015. With this, Microsoft wants to bid more migration time to the existing Windows XP users. The decade old operating system Windows XP is set to go off support by April this year. This originally implied that Microsoft won’t be pushing any security patches to the operating system as and when we hit the deadline. In a blogpost, Microsoft writes, Microsoft has announced the Windows XP end of support date of April 8, 2014. After this date, Windows XP will no longer be a supported operating system. To help organizations complete their migrations, Microsoft will continue to provide updates to our antimalware signatures and engine for Windows XP users through July 14, 2015. To make things clear, Microsoft is not extending the deadline. Windows XP will still be unsupported after April 2014. But this Anti-Malware protection will make the operating system a bit more secure. This does not affect the end-of-support date of Windows XP, or the supportability of Windows XP for other Microsoft products, which deliver and apply those signatures. So what does this change mean to consumers? The enterprise users will continue getting the following security protection: System Center Endpoint Protection, Forefront Client Security, Forefront Endpoint Protection and Windows Intune running on Windows XP. Whereas for normal users, Microsoft Security Essentials will get you covered till July 2015 Although Anti-Malware protection itself won’t make the operating system fully protected, since there’s a limited number of things it can do, it will come handy to tackle with a wide range of malware and help in trying to secure Windows XP, against the many dangers it may face. This is a welcoming change from Microsoft and shows how much it cares about its users. Source
  2. You may have just bought that new Surface 2 or Surface Pro 2 tablet earlier this week, but the clock is already ticking to the day that Microsoft's official support for their newest hardware devices will end. According to Microsoft's Product Lifecycle page, mainstream support for both the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 will end on April 10th, 2018. That's nearly four and a half years from now, which is pretty much an eternity when it comes to new hardware. Microsoft had previously indicated it will end mainstream support for its Surface RT (now known just as Surface) tablet on April 11th, 2017. The original Surface Pro will find its support clock reaching its final second on July 10th, 2017. Microsoft is still not offering any information on when it will end mainstream support for Windows RT itself, which is installed in a number of tablets from OEMs that were released in 2012. The Windows RT 8.1 version will also be installed on the upcoming Nokia Lumia 2520. Microsoft will end support for Windows 8 on October 18th, 2015, while mainstream support for Windows 8.1 will stop on January 9th, 2018, with extended support continuing until January 10th, 2023. source: neowin
  3. Windows 8.1 is set for release as a free update to current Windows 8 users on October 17th. Windows 8.1 is set to hit general availability on October 18th. But did you know that mainstream support for Windows 8.1 ends in 2018? Those on Windows 8 will have two years to update to Windows 8.1, if they wish to be under the support lifecycle. Windows 8.1 users, on the other hand, will have Mainstream Support until 2018. For those who like to be 'in the know,' Mainstream Support for Windows 8 ends January 9th of 2018. Mainstream Support covers paid support (per-incident, per hour, and others), security update support, non-security hotfix support, no-charge incident support, warranty claims, design changes and feature requests, product-specific information that is available by using the online Microsoft Knowledge Base, and product-specific information that is available by using the Support site at Microsoft Help and Support to find answers to technical questions. Extended Support, which ends January 10 of 2023, covers everything listed above except you will not receive non-security hotfix support, no-charge incident support, warranty claims, or design changes and feature requests. Of course, those wishing to extend the "non-security hotfix support" can do so by purchasing an extended hotfix agreement, which must be purchased within 90 days of mainstream support ending. On a side note, Surface Pro, which runs Windows 8 Pro, will receive the Windows 8.1 update on October 17th and will see Mainstream Support until July of 2017. If you want more details on the support lifecycle, head over to the policy page. SOURCE
  4. By MANNY FERNANDEZJAN. 24, 2014 Erick Munoz, the husband of Marlise Munoz, at the Tarrant County courthouse in Fort Worth on Friday. Larry W. Smith/European Pressphoto Agency FORT WORTH — A Texas judge ruled Friday that a Fort Worth hospital may not keep a brain-dead pregnant woman on life support against her family’s wishes, and ordered doctors to take her off the machines by 5 p.m. on Monday. The ruling gives the family of the woman, Marlise Muñoz, their first legal victory in a two-month battle over the fate of her body that has raised an emotionally charged national debate over end-of-life care, abortion and a Texas law that prohibits medical officials from withdrawing life support from a pregnant patient. The judge, R. H. Wallace Jr. of 96th District Court in Tarrant County, ruled that Ms. Muñoz, 33, who has been on life support at John Peter Smith Hospital since November and is now 22 weeks pregnant, was legally dead, agreeing with the family’s lawyers that the hospital had erred in its decision to keep her on life support. The hospital had said the Texas law addressing life support for pregnant women prevented it from granting the family’s wish, but the judge said the law did not apply to Ms. Muñoz because she is dead. Judge Wallace set the 5 p.m. Monday deadline, saying he wanted to give the hospital time to file an appeal. A spokeswoman for the county-owned hospital, which was represented by the Tarrant County district attorney’s office, said it would be consulting with its lawyers. The hospital appeared to be considering an appeal. Lawyers for Ms. Muñoz’s husband, Erick Muñoz, said they were provided with medical records that showed the fetus was “distinctly abnormal” and suffered from hydrocephalus — an accumulation of fluid in the cavities of the brain — as well as a possible heart problem. The hospital acknowledged in court documents that the fetus was not viable. The hearing Friday, at a courthouse three miles from the hospital, touched on the larger political issues that have underscored her case. In legal filings and in the courtroom, the lawyer for the hospital, Larry M. Thompson, said that Ms. Muñoz met the clinical criteria for brain death two days after she arrived there. But he argued that the law still applied to her, and that the Texas Legislature’s passage of the law showed that the state had a compelling interest in protecting unborn children. Mr. Thompson wrote in court papers that the Texas Penal Code’s definition of an individual stated that an unborn child was alive at every stage of gestation, from fertilization until birth. And he pointed to a bill backed by Gov. Rick Perry that lawmakers passed last year that banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, based on the theory that the fetus can feel pain at that stage. “Given the strong interest of the Texas Legislature in protecting the life of unborn children, it is unlikely the Legislature contemplated only the welfare of the mother” when it enacted the law prohibiting the withdrawal of life support for pregnant patients, Mr. Thompson wrote. He added that it was reasonable to infer that the law was meant to “protect the unborn child against the wishes of a decision maker who would terminate the child’s life along with the mother’s.” But a lawyer for Mr. Muñoz said Mr. Thompson’s argument amounted to a sweeping public policy declaration with broad implications. The lawyer, Heather L. King, said that if the state indeed had such an interest, paramedics who arrived at crash scenes would be required to give dying women pregnancy tests to ensure they were following the law. Ms. King apologized in the courtroom for putting it so crudely, but told the judge that pregnant women “die every day,” adding: “When they die, their fetus dies with them. That is the way it’s always been, and the way it should be.” Moments after Judge Wallace made his ruling, Mr. Muñoz, 26, who had been sitting in a bench behind his lawyers, slumped in his seat and began weeping. He was embraced by his relatives. “There’s nothing happy about today,” Ms. King said outside the courtroom. “This was a sad situation all the way around. We are relieved that Erick Muñoz can now move forward with the process of burying his wife.” The hearing dealt largely with the blunt issue of Ms. Muñoz’s death. Brain death — the total loss of all brain functions — amounts to a legal state of death. As part of his ruling, the judge ordered the hospital to pronounce Ms. Muñoz dead. Though Mr. Muñoz did not speak at the hearing, he said in court papers that it has been painful to watch his wife deteriorate from the woman he knew to what he described as a corpse being kept alive against his wishes. “Over these past two months, nothing about my wife indicates she is alive,” he said in an affidavit. “When I bend down to kiss her forehead, her usual scent is gone, replaced instead with what I can only describe as the smell of death. As a paramedic, I am very familiar with this smell, and I now recognize it when I kiss my wife. In addition, Marlise’s hands no longer naturally grip mine for an embrace. Her limbs have become so stiff and rigid due to her deteriorating condition that now, when I move her hands, her bones crack, and her legs are nothing more than dead weight.” Mr. Muñoz’s lawyers had asked the judge to declare the Texas law unconstitutional, arguing that it violated Ms. Muñoz’s rights under the 14th Amendment to make medical decisions about her own body. The judge said since the law did not apply to Ms. Muñoz, he would make no ruling on its constitutionality. Ms. Muñoz, who was trained as a paramedic, lived with her husband and their 15-month-old son, Mateo, in nearby Haltom City. She was at home in the middle of the night on Nov. 26 when she collapsed from an apparent blood clot in her lungs. She had gone to the kitchen to prepare a bottle for Mateo. Her husband later found her on the kitchen floor. She had stopped breathing, but was alive when she arrived at the hospital, according to court documents. Her parents and her husband’s lawyers said she was not breathing for an unknown length of time, possibly as long as an hour or more, which severely harmed the fetus by depriving it of oxygen. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/25/us/judge-orders-hospital-to-remove-life-support-from-pregnant-woman.html?hp Comment: Brain dead already occurred, no point keep going, right legal decision as hospital can not remove support by itself w/o court order
  5. By Chandrika Narayan, CNN January 24, 2014 -- Updated 0733 GMT (1533 HKT) Court: Sperm donor to pay child support A Kansas sperm donor caught in the middle of a child support case says he wanted to help a lesbian couple when he made the donation nearly five years ago. Instead, he may end up paying for his action. A judge ruled that William Marotta must pay child support, even though he says he signed documents waiving his parental rights. Shawnee County District Court Judge Mary Mattivi said on Wednesday that Marotta failed to conform to Kansas law, which says a licensed physician must be involved in an artificial insemination process, court documents show. The documents show that the lesbian couple whom Marotta helped conceive a child say they performed the artificial insemination procedure at home. 'I donated genetic material, and that was it' This story begins on Craigslist in March 2009. That was when Marotta noticed an advertisement from the Topeka couple, seeking donated sperm. "Intrigued" by the ad, he says, he delivered three cupfuls of his sperm -- gratis -- to the women. One of the women gave birth to a daughter in December 2009, according to court documents. "I donated genetic material, and that was it for me," he told CNN affiliate WIBW. Or so he thought. That changed when the parents separated and one of the women stopped working because of illness and applied to the state for help, he said. The state contacted Marotta for child support. Kansas officials were not persuaded by what Marotta says were agreements he signed, before making his donations, that he would assume no financial responsibility for the child, who is now 4 years old. The Kansas Department for Children and Families said any agreement would not apply because a physician did not perform the insemination. Marotta said that was news to him. "I didn't know that there was no doctor involved," he said. Lawyer blames political motivations His lawyer, Ben Swinnen, accused the state, where same-sex marriage is not legal, of being politically motivated in its pursuit of his client. "The cost to the state to bring this case far outweighs any benefit the state would get," said Swinnen, adding his client has no other children. Swinnen said the state is asking for $4,000 to recoup the money it has spent. It is also asking Marotta to pay child support, which could run into tens of thousands of dollars, he said. Swinnen said the Kansas court has failed to address many of the challenges brought forward by Marotta, under the guise of statutory interpretation of the law requiring the donor sperm to be provided to a licensed physician. "From a very narrowly crafted statute, the court has made a very broad rule -- that is the issue," Swinnen said. Swinnen said he planned to appeal the decision. Marotta: "I'm not her parent" Marotta said he met the child once -- a few months ago -- when he and his wife by chance crossed paths with one of the girl's parents at an area carnival. He said he had no intention of assuming a paternal role. "I'm not her parent," he said. But under Kansas law, he is her father. Had a physician carried out the insemination, that would not be the case, because Marotta would be able to document that he was a sperm donor and not the lover of the girl's mother, CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen said. "For all they know, they were lovers," she said. "They need that documentation. He's the dad; he ought to be paying up." Though a physician would have tested the sperm for sexually transmitted diseases and certain genetic disorders, there are disincentives associated with going through a physician. A single attempt at artificial insemination costs about $3,000, and sometimes several tries are needed. "It's a lot cheaper to get someone to come on over with their donation, and then do it yourself at home," Cohen said. Meanwhile, Marotta owes legal fees and has taken his story to the news media. "If enough noise gets made about it, at this point, maybe things will change for the better," he said. Asked whether, knowing what he now knows, he would answer the advertisement again, Marotta said, "Probably not." A different kind of fatherhood CNN's Justin Lear contributed to this report. http://edition.cnn.com/2014/01/23/justice/kansas-sperm-donation
  6. Microsoft confirmed today it will support HTTPS Strict Transport Protocol (HSTS) in Internet Explorer 12, bringing its browser in line with other major vendors in its support of the protocol. Browsers supporting HSTS force any sessions sent over HTTP to be sent instead over HTTPS, encrypting communication to and from a website. According to OWASP, HSTS protects users from a number of threats, in particular man-in-the-middle attacks by not only forcing encrypted sessions, but also stopping attackers who use invalid digital certificates. The protocol denies users the ability to override invalid certificate messages. HSTS also protects users from HTTPS websites that also may include HTTP links or serve content unencrypted. IE 12 is expected to be released this year; IE 11 was introduced in October 2013 and is the default browser in Windows 8.1. IE 12’s support of HSTS puts it on an even keel with other browsers, some such as Chrome and Firefox have supported the protocol since 2011. Apple added HSTS support on Safari upon the release of Mavericks 10.9. According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Encrypt the Web report, a few leading technology companies already support HSTS on their websites, including Dropbox, Foursquare, SpiderOak and Twitter. Others such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Yahoo also plan to do so this year; Google too for select domains. EFF staff technologist Jeremy Gillula said today that developers either are unaware of the availability of HSTS, or have been stymied by incomplete support in browsers. “This is changing though: we noticed that Apple quietly added HSTS support to Safari in OS X 10.9,” Gillula said. “For now, Internet Explorer doesn’t support HSTS—which means that there’s basically no such thing as a secure website in IE.” Until that happens, much of the security burden falls on the user to either rely on a browser that supports HSTS, or use something such as the HTTPS Everywhere browser extension. “For now all a savvy user can do is to always carefully examine the address of the site you’ve loaded, and verify that it’s secure by checking to make sure it has “https” in the front and is the precise address you want to visit,” Gillula said. “Unfortunately this assumes that you know ahead of time (and remember) whether or not a site should be secure, and are meticulous with every website you visit.” Secure protocols such as HTTPS, HSTS and Perfect Forward Secrecy have been given greater priority now that the depths of NSA and government surveillance have been exposed. Experts urge developers to consider encryption technologies such as these a minimum standard for web-based services such as email. Just this week, Yahoo caught up to many of its contemporaries when it announced that it had encrypted traffic moving between its data centers; Snowden documents revealed that the NSA and Britain’s GCHQ were able to tap into overseas fiber optic cables and copy data as it moved to the company’s data centers. Yahoo also announced its intention to support HSTS, Perfect Forward Secrecy and Certificate Transparency this year. Source
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