Friday, May 11, 2007

Experts scramble to quash IPv6 flaw

Sheesh!! IPv6 is not even widely deployed, yet, and they have found a serious flaw with it. A VERY SERIOUS FLAW!!

Those of us using IPv6 protocols in networks need to watch for patches. The rest of us will get them as they are available. I mostly posted this because I found it disturbing that the best effort of a huge number of engineers could be so fatally compromised so easily.


Clearing swap and hibernation files properly

The link will take you to a pretty good article on cleaning up your machine, from a privacy standpoint. Thomas C. Greene writes well and though the article is just a bit long, he confers a LOT of very good information.

This isn't for the tinfoil hat brigades. It's for real people who might have information on their machine they would rather have control over.


Malware Update with Windows Update

The link is to a Symantec Security Response Team page.

It seems that the mechanism used in Windows Update and especially automatic updates can be compromised. In fact; it already has been. Microsoft will have to fix this and I'm sure they will. I hope this time it happens soon.

At the heart of this is the same old problem with ActiveX controls. Microsoft is frankly silly to persist in using ActiveX for anything, as it is repeatedly compromised and in fact the presence of ActiveX is in this case, as in many others, compromising an otherwise splendid service. I doubt they'll wake up and really change this, though, as they have failed to do so for years on end.


iPods can make pacemakers malfunction

The small study referenced here used only iPods, but when I think about it I have to wonder about all sorts of other personal electric devices. Some more study needs to be done, to state the obvious.

Please note that I resisted the temptation to state how I always knew iPods were evil.


Update: Microsoft goes all-critical to patch 19 bugs

Okay; I'm posting this Thursday night and Patch Tuesday is past. Still, I think you all ought to see this.

Also, there have been sporadic reports of issues with some of the patches. Use care when applying this set. Check forum and newsgroup posts for possible problems. Also, check the Microsoft Knowledge Base numbers associated with patches.

I had a couple, related to a rather obscure BIOS/hardware configuration that is probably not worth mentioning here.

Caveat emptor

Monday, May 07, 2007

OnComputers Radio show Podcast 05-06-07

This is the On Computers Radio show podcast for 05-06-07. You can listen live every Sunday from 10AM to 1PM Pacific thats 1PM to 4PM Eastern. If you prefer, you can download the same MP3 file here via ftp.
This was the Geek Meet 2007 show, you can see video of us all by listening to the 45K Windows Media feed. You can find that link at

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Complaints: AT&T DSL Downgrades Email, That You Pay For, To Include Ads - Consumerist

w0w that's crap. And makes me reconsider my future broadband options....
Consumerist has a jpg of the actual letter, but the summary of it is:
AT&T DSL subscribers who use their ISP email will now have the pleasure of seeing ads in their email service. That they pay for. Did we say that already?

We're not sure whether this means ads will simply appear in the email interface or be inserted at the bottom of emails but reader Crayonshinobi is not happy.

Of the announcement that landed in his inbox this morning, he says, "I'm finding it ridiculous that all of our pay services now have to come bundled with advertising...and it was really slimily written too...until now, as a DSL subscriber, I received the non-ad supported webmail service, so by placing ads in my webmail, you've just removed services from me in effect...Thankfully, I use firefox with if there are ads...I won't be seeing them anyway."

Complaints: AT&T DSL Downgrades Email, That You Pay For, To Include Ads - Consumerist

"Links from the Gregg Zone!"

1) Well to start it off for geek meet weekend I am updating the electric car news, I really think the electric car will be the transportation mode of the future. This site is about the electric mini. Talk about performance, top speed 150 mph, and can out accelerate a Porsche 911 Carerra. This has to be the most interesting direction I have read about lately. They have a electric motor on each wheel, this means there is no loss of power due to transmission to the wheels, they are recovering all energy usually lost in braking, by eliminating mechanical brakes altogether, an added bonus ABS becomes a given. There is a small gasoline engine that can be used to recharge the system while driving, so while you get four hours of electric only around town, by using the engine to recharge the batteries while driving your range is unlimited, at 65-80 miles per gallon. The main thing to remember here is this is a proto-type, when the technology hits the general market over all performance should be improved.

2) Since it is “Geek Meet 07” I thought I might look for something with a certain level of “Geekness” however I was not sure where to start, so though maybe I should do a little research into the term geek. That’s when I found this site, a wordsmith’s delight, when I put in the word geek it found reference to the word in 34 online dictionaries with links. I thought that was pretty good. I am somewhat fascinated by the way words evolve forming new meanings almost unrelated to their initial origin. The invention of the computer has probably been responsible for more new words, and redefinitions of old words than anything that preceded it. Words like widget, hacker, hack, gizmo, the list is very long indeed. The word geek is kind of like the word bad, used to mean bad, then meant good, now just leaves me confused unless the context of use helps me out. Getting old is often a pain in the neck, beats the alternative of dying young, but often leaves one sort of confused about the process. At any rate I thought for anyone not familiar with the origins of the word “geek” you might be interested.

3) Okay this may not be “out there” to everyone, but it was to me I was looking around for info on the H.A.A.R.P. project. (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program.). When I found a reference to what was called the fungus wars. I said the what?! That, is what led me to discover what is the largest, and oldest living organism on the planet, in my mind, what would have been my guess was the General Sherman Giant Sequoia Tree in California, here is a tree link well a sixty foot diameter tree just pales in comparison to a mushroom measured in square miles, that’s right, miles, 3.4 square miles to be precise, or 1,665 football fields. If that’s not strange enough for you on another page I read that the fungus has over 3,600 different sexes, I thought people were confused, this I can’t even imagine. Age estimate well over ten thousand years, any way here is the link for anyone who might be interested.

4) This site is for that part of the group that likes to question stuff; I believe that in order to have an opinion on a subject it is necessary to investigate it from as many different points of view as possible. I like to read about some pretty off the wall subjects, I come from the basic premise that anything is possible, but that does not mean I believe anything written has any basis in fact. Some subjects just need to be considered on the fringe, where that line is drawn is different for everyone. This site has been interesting to me for sometime ever since I heard an interview with Dr. Michael Shermer, he’s with the Skeptics Society and Magazine. There are quite a few sites of this type, this one is better than most, but some are even more out to lunch that the people they are attempting to debunk. When the numbers get large enough it becomes difficult to argue effectively. If a person sees an elephant in the desert it might be a mirage, ten people maybe what they drank with lunch, 50 people maybe the pot luck dinner was tainted, but when a thousand, or a hundred thousand see the elephant, do you really need a dead elephant to say it probably exists. Some of the debunkers just do not believe in a thing so strongly they make less sense than the believers. We all need varied information to make decisions about what we are willing to accept. I know I accept much more as possible than most, but I also readily admit that the majority of what I believe to be fact is most likely wrong, to quote Mark Twain, “It ain’t the things you don’t know that get you into trouble, it’s the things you know for sure, that just ain’t so”

5) Okay one more then, this is a news story that kind of got me. Sir Paul McCartney, Elton John, David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, and a few others are going to try and turn the aliens on to rock and roll music, by blasting it into space aimed at local targets like the Moon and Mars. Yes I know the boys listed in this group are already space cadets, and if any one on earth is actually an alien they are most likely represented here. I just thought it interesting how far these things can go, I mean like farm aid for other planets, they say it will be as big as Woodstock. I suspect this will make the news soon if they manage to get it off the ground, they say they are scheduled for this coming year in New York, Berlin, Tokyo, China, Russia, and London. Even Prince William is going to be there as an interested party, and what a party it should be.

We are doing the show from GeekMeet07 in Boston, MA We wish you were here!