A very short and often irreverent look at some of the week's other news. Hey, it's the holidays and this isn't ZDNet: We can't just make up the news. Seriously, it's not my fault. And let's face it, you still have some shopping to do...

WinInfo Blog

We're off on Thursday and Friday this week
because of the Christmas holiday, and I had hoped and expected to just do a shorter-than-usual Short Takes today as a result. But as luck would have it, there is absolutely nothing going on this week, so Short Takes will be even shorter than short. I will, I guess, be nano.

Just a reminder: Leo is away on vacation, so we'll be recording the next episode of the Windows Weekly podcast right around New Years Day, late next week. See you then.
http://www.winsupersite.com/article/Paul/windows-weekly-podcast.aspx

But wait, there more. Don't forget to follow me on Twitter , Friendfeed and the SuperSite Blog.

Short Takes

Microsoft invokes the Barbie defense

In the wake of last week's zero-day attack on virtually all versions of Internet Explorer (IE), anxious computer users were wringing their hands wondering how the software giant could have been so clueless about such a serious bug for so long. Finally, via its Security Development Lifecycle blog--which is a barn burner, by the way--the company did so, sort of, essentially chalking up it up to what I call the Barbie defense: "Security is hard." Yeah, it sure is.

Security is hard for SQL Server, too
But fear not, security fans. Just because Microsoft finally eradicated a nine-year-old bug in IE doesn't mean that you don't have anything else to worry about this week. Just days after the IE fiasco, Microsoft revealed a security advisory for multiple versions of its SQL Server database product dating back to 2000. Rather than rush a fix to market, Microsoft is instead offering some workarounds for now and will issue a fix soon, probably at its next regularly scheduled monthly security fix day.

Microsoft rumored to be cutting jobs in 2009
While Microsoft publicly claims that it is still hiring during the current economic slowdown--when, in fact, it is doing nothing of the kind--some bigger problems may be in store for current employees of the software giant: According to rumors, Microsoft will cut massive amounts of staff for the first time in mid-January, part of an effort to reduce redundancies and cull the chaff. And let's face it, given the size of the company, I'm sure there's plenty of chaff.

Live Search share falls to 8.3 percent
And speaking of chaff at Microsoft, the company's Live Search tool continues to falter in the market, dropping to just 8.3 percent usage share in the US in November, down from 8.5 percent in October. Google continues to dominate the market with 63.5 percent share (up .4 percent), while number two Yahoo! had 20.4 percent (down .1 percent).

See you next week
And that's all for this week. Happy Holidays everyone: See you next week. --Paul