Saturday, September 08, 2007

Storm Worm Botnet More Powerful Than Top Supercomputers -- Botnets and other MS news

The Storm worm botnet has grown so massive and far-reaching that it easily overpowers the world's top supercomputers.

That's the latest word from security researchers who are tracking the burgeoning network of Microsoft(MSFT) Windows machines that have been compromised by the virulent Storm worm, which has pounded the Internet non-stop for the past three months. Despite the wide ranging estimates as to the size of the botnet, researchers tend to agree that it's one of the largest zombie grids they've ever seen -- one capable of doing great damage.

"In terms of power, [the botnet] utterly blows the supercomputers away," said Matt Sergeant, chief anti-spam technologist with MessageLabs, in an interview. "If you add up all 500 of the top supercomputers, it blows them all away with just 2 million of its machines. It's very frightening that criminals have access to that much computing power, but there's not much we can do about it."
Storm Worm Botnet More Powerful Than Top Supercomputers -- Botnets -- InformationWeek

And next weeks windows updates from the Microsoft Security Response Center 1 critical, and 3 important updates.


It's Official: Apple is the New Microsoft

MIke Elgin appears to actually mean this. I found it hilarious, though of course he does actually have some talking points. (He's not one to write mindlessly, in my opinion and experience.)

Then there is Jeff Smykil's take over at Ars Technica, titled; "A Brief History of Ugly: Apple in the last 10 years".

I guess the point is that Apple, which proudly points to it's fan base, while stiffing them badly at times, though not every, opportunity. From what I have been hearing over the last few days, they are in danger of losing their core community of fans. Not necessarily over the iPhone pricing debacle, but over their little actions toward users over a period of time.



Friday, September 07, 2007

YouTube - Video: RSS in Plain English

Please give less than 4 minutes of your time, if you don't already use RSS to power surf. Its a good simple explanation.

I'd also suggest Newshutch as a good feed reader.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Zombie Pfizer Computers Spew Viagra Spam

The irony that the maker of Viagra is unintentionally spewing Viagra spam is delicious. At the same time, the whole deal is pitiful. Pfizer seems to ignore notices of their problem by professional security personnel and a large number of the company's IP addresses are now blocked by anti-spam blacklists.

I hope the public embarrassment is enough to push their network people into action, but somehow I doubt it will happen.


Voyager at 30: Looking Beyond and Within

30 years into a 5 year mission, the two spacecraft are still ticking along. This is just cool.


Apple OX an open book with hack

Don't freak out! Before you listen to the hype, and there is a fair amount of it, you have to understand that the hack can only take place if the attacker has physical access to the machine. That narrows the scope of things considerably. However; I have read two blogs this morning by people who claim to have had their confidence shattered by the presence of this.

Apple will fix it. Probably very quickly, too. In the mean time, make sure your kids don't execute this and you're on easy street. I don't know what to tell those running Apple's XServe on servers, but that's a whole nother class of problem and those admins probably don't need my input.


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

US - China denies hacking into Pentagon

US officials accuse and Chinese officials deny. Uh-huh.

U.S. adventurer Steve Fossett missing in Nevada

I know I blogged it here when Steve Fossett made his successful solo non-stop around-the-world flight. It was one of aviation's finest hours and I celebrated with a joy at Steve and his team's success that is now an exact opposite reflection of the concern I feel as the hours pass. I'm still hoping for the best. The Decathlon is a versatile and sturdy airplane and Steve is a great pilot. However, I know the reality of the country he was flying over. This was supposed to be a short and routine flight, but obviously something went wrong. I pray that Steve is found soon and returns safely to his friends and family.

Palm Dumps Foleo Ultraportable Computer

Never heard of it? It was a product looking for a reason to exist. At least with the Newton, it was a good idea that didn't work out. The Foleo was merely a bad idea. Fortunately Palm, the company who brought the idea of the Newton to useful life, killed the Foleo before bringing it to market, and before it caused the struggling company further embarrassment.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Custom-built botnet steals eBay accounts

PayPal is under attack as well. eBay seems to have no sure mechanism in place to accept security warnings, etc, so researchers have taken the drastic step of publishing straight away. However, I think it would be mistaken to say that eBay and PayPal are unaware of the problems or not taking action. At least I hope they are. You could argue that I have too much faith in corporate nature, but I don't see how I can be wrong.

Anyway; watch out. If you are forced to use eBay and PayPal in the next few days, make sure there is nothing unseemly in the appearance of the transaction. Jayna and I are sitting things out and won't go back into commerce using these facilities until things are more in hand. That might be something for you to consider, as well.


Does Quad Core Matter?

This is no doubt the first realistic look at where the newer chip technologies will actually fit into our lives and Lloyd Case does a fairly good job of opening the discussion.

As the show cast has pointed out several times, we are now at a stage where we can routinely purchase more computing power than we will ever need, much less use. The manufacturers would love it if we kept buying more and more power, but in truth, somewhere along the way they are going to have to make gains in efficiency and ease of use because none of us will actually need the scale of basic power available. I actually look forward to that situation.

Anyway, here's the first salvo in what will surely be a nearly unending discussion. It's worth your time.


Coming soon: hard drives with 1GB+ DDR RAM cache

I may be giving myself a bit too much credit, but I think I predicted this on the show a while back. (I say that in confidence someone will set me straight if I'm wrong.)

Anyway; here's a decent hard drive with a GIG of RAM for cache. Not just memory, either, but DDR2. It's bound to fly. The article is detailed enough to whet your appetite. It sure did mine. Welcome to the new age of storage.


Monday, September 03, 2007

Packard Bell releases mini UMPC

Details are as yet very sparse, but this looks like a huge move by Packard Bell, whom many of us had long ago written off (I know I had) and at the same time VIA moves one step closer to "the big time" , where they belong.

No pricing as yet, but it looks as if it could be very affordable and, frankly, I want one. I wonder if I can con someone out of one to test?


How Not to Catch on Fire

You know you are having a bad day when the computer you are testing for review catches on fire.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

OnComputers Radio show Podcast 09-02-07

This is the On Computers Radio show podcast for 09-02-07. You can listen live every Sunday from 10AM to 1PM Pacific thats 1PM to 4PM Eastern. Join us for the live show and chat. If you prefer, you can download the same MP3 file here via ftp.

A bug and a hardware virus on MacBooks?!?!?!

Catastrophic MagSafe Failure on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

A real Mac bug [h/t John Gruber], and I was reminded of this post [no idea how I saw this one, though I tried!] about a hardware virus on a mac at google. Enjoy!
Oh yeah, Woot has a $99 20GB iPod (4th Gen) from HP (refurb). Just in case anybody was interested, though there's a big announcement from Apple on the 5th which probably includes new iPods.


Links from the Gregg Zone!

1) Okay, here we go to start things off this week a disclaimer is in order, when I started this blog, and show interview, at Joe’s request I agreed to try to keep my “stuff” under some control. At least in regards to politics, religion, and other material which some listeners might have difficulty with, however some of these things comprise my main interests. So please, if you find these subjects disturbing just ignore this weeks posting. Someone died recently, most but not all of you probably have never ever heard of this man, Aaron Russo he was very much like Michael Moore, in that he made very controversial films. The one linked here has evidentially been put up and pulled more than once according to the email I have received, so if you are inclined you should probably watch it soon, it was up as of this writing, Saturday September 1, 2007 around 11:30 P.M. The metaphors that come to mind are, where there is smoke there may be fire, ignorance is bliss, and you have no one to blame but yourself. Please be aware that if you are comfortable, think everything is okay, and the bogeyman does not exist, do not watch this.

2) Now if you did watch the Aaron Russo film, and are looking for a place to hide I have the perfect site for you. This is the best I have found for the survivalist type real estate searcher. Want to buy a home that is not only hurricane, and tornado proof, but will sustain a nuclear blast ten times the one at Hiroshima, worried about crazy neighbors, well, you just close the ten-ton blast doors and your worries are over. Even with their best cutting torches, and a few sticks of dynamite they will not get in. You will be safe with your ten thousand gallon stainless steel drinking water tank, wells going directly into the aquifer, and a sewage system set up to handle over one hundred people. Surprisingly affordable, one even comes with its own aircraft runway; yes, you can own your own personal government missile silo. Just think a home built for 18 million dollars, that is 1958 dollars, or a zillion of today’s dollars for just a few hundred thousand bucks you can own one, check it out.

3) Okay you found all that stuff a little heavy, and you say “hey he has not done anything Art Bell related in a while”, okay here you go how about Art doing a commercial for aluminum foil on youtube, short, but you must admit it fits this post

4) Now back to doom and gloom, this time I an going to just link the google search page, you can pick and choose on your own ending of the world as we know it, I have to admit every time I watch the news lately this seems to be in my face. Sorry if there seems to be a trend here this week, you can blame it on Tony, I bought the beer, but he added the catalyst, it is late, and I’m moody, best I can do for an apology at the moment.

5) Well it's morning now and I feel much better, ran across this site I was going to put up but forgot about. This is a contest for kids grades k-12, and college students. They can win a Mac. or an ipod by creating a short video 2 min. or less on internet reliability. The contest is offered by World Book, and is aimed at how people doing research on the net can judge and evaluate the information they find at a site on the internet.