Microsoft extends availability of Windows 7 beta


Did you have trouble picking up the Windows 7 beta over the weekend? I sure did. I didn’t manage to get my hands on it till last night, when I finally got it burnt to DVD and installed on a spare laptop.

In light of the massive demand, Microsoft has wisely decided to drop the 2.5 million downloads limit, and is instead letting you download it as many times as you want within the next two weeks – until the 24th January. Every time you download, you’ll be given a CD key.

As a result of not getting my hands on the OS till last night, I’m still formulating my first thoughts. So far, though, I like what I’ve seen very much. It’s very responsive, and usable. It seems to fix almost everything people didn’t like about Vista and improve a bunch of other features, too. Full thoughts later in the week.

Get Windows 7 (via Lifehacker)

Related posts: Windows 7 public beta available NOW | Windows 7 hits public beta on Friday – here’s how to give it a try

Malicious Firefox add-on steals banking passwords


Yet another reason to be extremely vigilant when accessing financial web sites: researchers have discovered an add-on for Firefox which lies in wait for the user to log in to a banking or online payments site and then sends the username and password to a Russian site.

It’s a bit of a blow for those who have trumpeted how secure Firefox is, but of course we all know that no piece of software is completely secure…

'Pirates of the Amazon' Firefox extension will worry online retailers


An enterprising group of young coders have developed a Firefox add-on which does something rather worrying – adds ‘Download 4 Free’ buttons to Amazon pages. When you click the button, it’ll work out what product you’re looking for, and take you to a page on the Pirate Bay that’ll let you download it for free.

It works for CDs, DVDs, games, books and any other product that can be converted to a digital format. The team behind it claim they want the extension to “be a counterpart to the current models of media distribution”, and to “redistribute the wealth”. I’m not sure that’ll wash before a judge, to be honest.