Notes from HJL:

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I have received a number of complaints about the new server and the move across platforms that can be traced to old software.

It is important that SurvivalBlog readers understand the importance of keeping your desktop software up-to-date to guard against security threats. Most users with complaints are running Windows XP with IE6 or IE7. XP was introduced in 2001 and has far exceeded the normal 10 year life cycle of Operating System software. Microsoft officially ceased mainstream support of XP in April of 2009, offering only monthly security updates. As of April 8, 2014, Microsoft no longer offers even these updates. It has been rumored that hackers withheld evidence of security exploits until after the April 8th date, so that Microsoft would not fix them. According to Wikipedia, there are significant numbers of computers still running XP worldwide.

As evidence of the security issue, Microsoft has already released an unplanned emergency update (on May 1) for a security exploit regarding Internet Explorer, including the versions running on XP. IE6 will not run on any version of Windows greater than XP, so that needs to be upgraded as well. The days of IE holding the monopoly are over. IE (all versions) are hopelessly broken because Microsoft will not adhere to W3C standards. It’s a long, politically laced issue, but the bottom line is that Microsoft’s bid to own the market with their browsers failed because they had great difficulty implementing the successful open standards.

We recognize that many cannot get away from IE due to the constraints of using work computers or library computers, and we will continue to work with the latest versions of the software. If the computer you use is running Windows XP with IE6 or IE7, do yourself a favor and upgrade before you get bit by a security exploit. If you do not own the computer, encourage the owner to upgrade.

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