Friday, July 28, 2006

Another Linux Update

Well finally got around to updating Blag Linux. Had to Download the CD to do it but, the CD did let me update instead of having to clean install. All seems well.

What Is OpenDocument?

Here's a good view of what Open Document Format actually is and what it is not. For any of you who don't quite get the difference between true standards, like ODF and de-facto standards, such as Microsoft's .doc format, this is the one you want to read.

It's well written and clear as can be. An easy and very informative read.


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Spyware disguises itself as Firefox extension

I saw one of these in my hotmail account the other day and deleted it. After all, spam with an attachment always raises my suspicions. If you are careful about clicking on files in e-mails you are safe. If you aren't and you use Firefox, you better check to make sure you aren't infected with this latest nasty.

Microsoft to push IE 7 as important security upgrade

When Internet Explorer is ready, Microsoft will push it as a "high priority" security update.

This means that Microsoft is going to send it to those who have automatic updates turned on and they will recieve the download w/o user intervention.
Users WILL be given the option to install the new browser, unlike when "Windows Genuine Advantage" was offered.

It is a boldly honest move by Microsoft because they are admitting IE 6 (or any other version, for that matter) is unsafe enough that users are at risk with it. No matter how you view the delivery method or even Microsoft itself, you have to recognize this.

Of course; MS is betting that IE 7 offers enough of an enhancement in security to justify such a "push" installation. Expert opinions are divided on whether it is, though no one I respect has written it is not safer than v6. And you have to remember that any reviews to date are made on code that is being tested and not considered ready for unlimited distribution. Should there be early discovery of glaring vulnerabilities, it will give Microsoft as bad a black eye as it has ever had. If things work out well for the users, I'm not sure MS will get the appropriate credit from anyone but those of us who follow security matters more closely than most. This is because over the years people have formed such a gloomy picture of Microsoft security in their minds that many are unwilling to accept any upward recognition of security in MS' products.


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Firefox Final Released today

Firefox is a security update that is part of our ongoing program to provide a safe Internet experience for our customers. We recommend that all users upgrade to this latest version.
Release Notes

In Firefox, I went to Help | Check for updates first, and it didn't show up, so check out the link to get the latest final version.
There are "several security issues." Though the security issues haven't been updated, when I checked.

read more | digg story

Trojan piggybacks on Firefox | Tech News on ZDNet

"A new Trojan horse making the rounds has been installing itself as a Firefox extension, according to security company McAfee." Is this one of the Anti-Virus companies we trust?
Remember we sell "NOD32 The Anti-Virus that WORKS!"

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Attack code puts Windows PCs at risk | Tech News on ZDNet

"Two new pieces of computer code that could spawn attacks on Microsoft Windows PCs have been released onto the Internet, security companies have warned."
Let the games begin! The big question is: Will we have to wait until next Patch Tuesday?

What is RSS good for?

Since I sense general resistance to this RSS thing that I simply adore! I thought that I'd post this for those of you who just haven't realized how wonderful it is. :)
Dave Winer spells it out:
When people ask me what RSS is good for, I start with "automated web surfing." It gets you more news for the time you put into using the Internet. If you don't want more news then RSS is probably not for you. But if there are subjects that you are intensely interested in, and if the people covering the topics also offer the information in RSS, then your computer (or a web site) can make web surfing a richer and perhaps more productive experience.

I could write about this (and have), but it would be widely flamed about, by the same people who control the conversation on Google.

Bonus link: Jo Twist wrote an excellent What Is RSS piece for the BBC.

Rex Hammock has a better search term for getting useful info about RSS.

Scripting News: 7/25/2006
h/t to Rex Hammock (See link above).

AMD + ATI = slow down!

From the not-so-fast department:

This interesting article from Ars outlines some reasons why the AMD/ATI deal may not be so done.

As someone who has happily mixed AMD with nVidia, first in chipsets and now in chipsets and graphics, I'm presonally hoping this deal doesn't make it is. There are too many negatives and too few positives except perhaps for some bankers.

Gates spoof on Letterman

I found this hysterical, and thought y'all would enjoy it. Yeah, I know its a month old, but the joke is timeless. And we've all been there. (Some more than others ;) )


The Real Reason Why Students Are Not Studying Programming

“The industry can take young, green people, put them through the mill and spit them out”

Monday, July 24, 2006

Hacked Ad Seen on MySpace Served Spyware to a Million - Security Fix

I mentioned, in the chat during the show yesterday, WAY TOO MANY people being caught by a 6 [or so] month old fixed exploit. I found the link to this article about the exploit:

An online banner advertisement that ran on and other sites over the past week used a Windows security flaw to infect more than a million users with spyware when people merely browsed the sites with unpatched versions of Windows, according to data collected by iDefense, a Verisign company.

Michael La Pilla, an iDefense "malcode" analyst, said he first spotted the attack Sunday while browsing MySpace on a Linux-based machine. When he browsed a page headed with an ad for, his browser asked him whether he wanted to open a file called exp.wmf. Microsoft released a patch in January to fix a serious security flaw in the way Windows renders WMF (Windows Metafile) images, and online criminal groups have been using the flaw to install adware, keystroke loggers and all manner of invasive software for the past seven months.

Hacked Ad Seen on MySpace Served Spyware to a Million - Security Fix

tip o' the hat to Schneier on Security for the article.

In marriage of 'CPUs and GPUs,' ATI snapped-up by AMD. Is NVidia next? |

To quote the beginning of the article:
In another one of the worst kept secrets in the technology industry, AMD has shelled out $5.4B for Canada-based video and graphics solution provider ATI Technologies. According to the aforelinked Reuters news story:

Talk of a tie-up between the two companies first emerged in May. Over the weekend, the rumors intensified until it was almost considered a done deal on Sunday…Many industry analysts have said it made little financial or strategic sense for AMD to buy ATI outright. But AMD, the No. 2 supplier of processors, said it will use the purchase of Canada-based ATI to expand its product mix and its market share as it battles No. 1 Intel.

This morning, in a before-the-bell, in a press conference giving by the two company's executives, ATI president David Orton referred to the deal as a marriage of CPUs (central processing units from AMD) and GPUs (graphics processing units from ATI).

The reporter, David Berlind, also recorded the conference, it is available to download, details and the rest of the post are at the link below.
In marriage of 'CPUs and GPUs,' ATI snapped-up by AMD. Is NVidia next? | Between the Lines |

Sunday, July 23, 2006

OnComputers Radio show Podcast 07-23-06

This is the On Computers Radio show podcast for 07-23-06. You can listen live every Sunday from 10AM to 1PM Pacific thats 1PM to 4PM Eastern. If you prefer, you can download the same file here via ftp.