Saturday, February 17, 2007

Ballmer hints at tougher Vista antipiracy crackdown

Read it and weep. Not that Microsoft does not have the right to deal with pirated software in almost any manner they feel they need to. They do. But what it boils down to is that we, the legitimate users, get treated as potential criminals as well. I worry about false positives in the software intended to detect illegitimate copies penalizing my clients and myself.

All these copy protection measures are of little help in fighting piracy, when all is said and done. Why? Because they can be and already have been defeated in a way MS can not currently detect. Copy protection is an arms race and the defenders always lose.


Toolmonger | Test to Destruction: Crimp Terminals

I believe that we might have what I would call "tool geeks" that read the blog, and I thought this would appeal to all of you, like it did to me. And is a twofer moment, because I get to reinforce my belief that quality does count.
This was an article that proved it. I can relate to quality making a real difference in RJ-45 connectors and crimpers and the time it takes to get it right. When one has to get 8 wires into the teeny weeny chute of the RJ-45 connector, getting it right the first time, makes a huge difference.
Complete, with pictures!, demonstration comparing 3 crimp terminals, and their strength.
Do YOU have any tools that have made an improvement in your life? Let us know in the comments, please!!
I feel bad that she hasn't had any comments to approve :/ I thought that her assurance that it would get moderated in a timely way would motivate SOMEbody. ;-)

Toolmonger | Test to Destruction: Crimp Terminals
[h/t Makezine]

Friday, February 16, 2007

Change Your Router Password NOW!

Yes, you heard me. Change it now! Are you still using that default? Well, here's an article that will scare the pants off of you if you are.

Once again, Javascript, which half the Web runs on, is the vehicle for attack.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Web Worker Daily | Daylight Savings Update Central

I got the latest XP updates yesterday. One of the updates, that will affect those of us in the United States, fixes automatic daylight savings time changes recently passed by Congress. The link below includes links to the fixes for Max OS X (Tiger and Panther), XP, Exchange, Outlook 2000-2003, Palm OS, Blackberry, etc., etc. It seems like a very comprehensive list, so I wanted to pass it on. If you use Outlook Calendar, every article I read about this update suggests verifying the times with anyone you have appointments with, during the first 3 weeks (or until the previous time change would have taken place). One advantage of Vista and Office 07 coming out so late, is they are updated with the new DST dates. :)


Web Worker Daily| Daylight Savings Update Central

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Futility of DRM

The link above will take you to a Doom9 forum thread. If you read it, you will find all the details of cracking HD-DVD and Blu-Ray DRM. Those DRM systems took 5 years and billions of dollars of development. (That is NOT an overstatement!) and yet they were broken in a few weeks at almost no cost.

Someone, somewhere in the content provider industries is going to realize one day that DRM isn't working. No matter how you feel about the owner's of intellectual properties rights to protect that content (and I think they do have that right) it has got to become obvious to them soon that DRM as it exists now does not work. They cannot rely on legal protection, either, as a business model based on suing one's customers or legally coercing them is bound to fail.

Something has got to change and to enable that, some new business model is going to have to be devised.


Vulnerability in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine Could Allow Remote Code Execution (932135)

Affected Software:

Windows Live OneCare

Microsoft Antigen for Exchange 9.x

Microsoft Antigen for SMTP Gateway 9.x

Microsoft Windows Defender

Microsoft Windows Defender x64 Edition

Microsoft Windows Defender in Windows Vista

Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server

Microsoft Forefront Security for SharePoint

Affected Components:

Microsoft Malware Protection Engine

If you are using any of these applications, read the advisory linked to above. This is a critical vulnerability. As of the time of this post, there is no patch or workaround. I expect at least some information on ameliorating these faults to surface soon, but a patch may take a while.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Vista Not Playing Nice with Gamers

Vista is built on DirectX 10 and the larger Windows Graphics Foundation (WGF). While intended to be totally backward compatible with DirectX 9, apparently DX 10 is not. I do not find that surprising, really, considering the complexity of any display system and one intended to do so much is probably just that much more liable to contain bugs and conflicts.

All of this reflects on the graphics chipset maker's efforts to deliver good drivers. It's a very difficult and complex chore at the best of times and made even more difficult (and perhaps temporarily impossible) by having to work around bugs in the OS and display system code.

Contrary to the opinions of some (loudly voiced) "authorities" there is no evidence it cannot all be made to work. Obviously it is going to take time, though. How long I do not know and am not willing to speculate. A month or two should see very substantial progress. Beyond that, I have no notion.

Microsoft claims to have done extensive research, testing well over 1000 games. They say most work on Vista. It would be nice if they would share their results with us, but I expect they refrain from doing that so as not to embarrass the game companies. The same goes for their silence on which applications from other companies are truly Vista compatible or ready.

This is the time to lean back, work on our XP machines and thank the powers that there are early adopters who go through all these travails ahead of us. It's not time to upgrade yet, obviously.


YouTube - Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us

YouTube - Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us

Since my last video post got a good response, that just encourages me ;)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Windows Vista Tips and Tricks :: the How-To Geek

Some tips that might help anybody who has installed Vista, the ones that I thought might appeal to anybody .

* Block Third-Party Cookies in IE7
* Blocking Spam from International Senders in Windows Vista Mail
* Disable User Account Control (UAC) the Easy Way on Windows Vista
* Enable Ctrl+Alt+Delete for Vista Logon Screen
* Enable or Disable UAC From the Windows Vista Command Line
* Make User Account Control (UAC) Stop Blacking Out the Screen in Windows Vista
* Make Windows Vista Log On Automatically
* Using Password Phrases For Better Security
Go to the page below for links to all the goodies.

Windows Vista :: the How-To Geek
[h/t MajorNelson's blog]


OnComputers Radio show Podcast 02-11-07

This is the On Computers Radio show podcast for 02-11-07. 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.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Dim Vista savages Microsoft Vista. Agree with the article or not, it is this type of thing that is going to be influential in corporate circles. They also take a roundhouse swing at Office 2007 here.

There is nothing new in this post that I can see. I put it up because this sort of coverage will have tremendous influence on a lot of prospective purchasers and because those of us who support Vista will be seeing this sort of failure and corporate attitude soon enough.


"Links from the Gregg Zone!"

1) To start this week three on the lighter side links, one a little scary, one just funny, and one kind of cute.Ordering a pizza in the future, if things keep going in the direction we are going Telemarketer revenge, very funny, how to turn the tables on the telemarketer, Baby rappers, warning you might want to avoid this if you don’t like cute!!
2) For Art Bell fans, a link to Larry King interviewing Art about his U.F.O. sighting, he presents Larry with the gift of one of Art’s Parts. You will need to wait for the intro finish, or the sound overlaps, need to scroll down to the interview link.
3) Anyone out there following those U.F.O. reports over O’Hare airport in Chicago? This is a very interesting site Seems Dan Aykroyd may have obtained some video. Scroll down, some of the better pictures of the object. Scroll down a very interesting bit of leaked video from one of the news broadcasting stations, two broadcasters talking before the show goes live. Scroll down a link to an interview with one of the employees for united, describing what he saw..