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In the News

- Microsoft Releases March Security Updates
- RealNetworks Sues MLB Over Windows Media Use

==== In the News ====

by Paul Thurrott, thurrott@winnetmag.com

Microsoft Releases March Security Updates

Yesterday, the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) issued three new security bulletins, none of which is rated critical. One bulletin is rated important; the other two have moderate ratings. The bulletins highlight security flaws in Windows Media Services, Microsoft Office XP, and MSN Messenger, the company noted.
The Office security flaw is the only vulnerability that could let malicious attackers run unwanted code on users' systems. The flaw affects systems running Office XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) and Microsoft Outlook 2002 SP2.
The moderate security flaw for MSN Messenger 6.1 and MSN Messenger 6.0 could let attackers view--but not change or download--files on the victim's computer. Microsoft will fix the flaw in an upcoming version of the Instant Messaging (IM) application the company plans to issue.
The moderate security flaw in Windows Media Services, which affects Windows 2000 SP4, SP3, and SP2, could let attackers send fake streaming-media requests that could shut down the service. That situation would be, in effect, a Denial of Service (DoS) attack.
Microsoft switched to a monthly security-update release schedule last fall. "Microsoft is committed to helping customers keep their information safe, and releasing security bulletins on a regular, monthly schedule makes security response more predictable and easier for customers to manage," a company representative told me. You can download the patches that fix this month's security flaws from the Microsoft Web site.
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/current.aspx

RealNetworks Sues MLB Over Windows Media Use

RealNetworks launched a lawsuit yesterday against the digital-media division of Major League Baseball (MLB), accusing the organization of violating an agreement to carry baseball games in RealNetworks' streaming-multimedia formats. RealNetworks claims that the agreement requires MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM) to supply content in the RealAudio and RealVideo formats, even if it chooses to also supply content in competing formats. RealNetworks says that when MLBAM recently started offering preseason baseball games in Windows Media Audio (WMA) and Windows Media Video (WMV) formats instead of RealNetworks formats, MLBAM broke the terms of its nonexclusive contract. "Regrettably, MLBAM has refused to provide its live audio and video game broadcasts on MLB.com in RealNetworks format, forcing RealNetworks to file this suit to require MLBAM to perform its obligations to the letter and spirit of our contract," a RealNetworks statement said.
An MLBAM spokesperson admitted yesterday that the organization decided to stream baseball games only in Windows Media formats this season. RealNetworks had an exclusive license for the lucrative MLB games, which are provided to online viewers for a subscription fee, but that agreement expired at the end of last season. RealNetworks says that it reached a nonexclusive agreement with MLB in January.
MLBAM has since courted many other potential partners, including AOL, Microsoft, and Yahoo!, which balked at MLBAM's fees. So MLBAM began offering the content directly from the MLB Web site. Users can subscribe to an entire season of audio content for $14.95 or to MLB.TV streaming video for $14.95 a month or $79.95 for the season.

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