Thursday, May 08, 2008

Free 'AxBan' Tool Kills Bad ActiveX Controls

The byline says; "Errata Security offers freebie ActiveX 'killbit' tool for users".

Face it; ActiveX is evil. Everyone needs to know this and, more importantly, act on the knowledge. This new tool from Errata Security seems to offer some promise for power users, at least. As soon as I can get a copy, I will test it and see exactly who it is suited for.


Microsoft May Build a Copyright Cop Into Every Zune

First off; RELAX ! This is the classic tempest in a teapot. Honest. And the New York Times should be ashamed of itself for posting it in the first place. Surely a bit more research is/was called for. At least that's my take on things.

NBC mentioned it and reporters took off with the thought, without checking the reality. Microsoft vehemently denies it and I believe them, as the presence of any such capability is relatively easy to verify, meaning they would be caught in relatively short order. It is a certainty that they know this and they do not want the product damaged in the public eye by such a thing.

Unfortunately, they might have been damaged a lot just because the subject came up and The Times ran with it.


First look: 3.0 beta a big step forward

I thought I would just pop this onto the duallie (Ubuntu Fiesty) and check it out. Instead, I have been locked in dependency hell with not enough time to sort things out. I'll get it running before too long. For now, though, Ars Technica has a nice piece about it that will tell you what to expect.


Firefox Infects Vietnamese Users With Trojan Code

I found out about this two days ago when a local pal wrote me to ask if I knew any way Firefox could infect a machine. It seems a Vietnamese national he knows who lives here had the problem. I've been following it since.

This is a tale that should teach us not to trust everything. EVERY system in place to protect us can break down. What is remarkable is that this doesn't happen more often.

I had it happen with a very well known download site in 1999. (They shall remain nameless here.) I downloaded a newly posted file and my AV freaked out. I contacted them and that was the end of the problem. However, some 1100 users who had also downloaded the file had to be notified, with red faces all around and many apologies.

Scan your system regularly. It is NOT a waste of time.


Fake MP3s Running Rampant

McAfee and others are calling this the most severe malware outbreak in the last few years, though they do not rate it all that highly.

This post is interesting both for how it demonstrates malware authors trying to cloak themselves in an air of legitimacy and how they rely on users not reading the EULA that is trying to make them look on the up and up.


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Windows XP SP3 is out!

Windows XP SP3 came out yesterday, You can get it from Windows Updates.
I guess Microsoft fixed the problem they had.


Privacy and Preference Settings in Adobe Flash

Privacy settings in Flash are a well kept secret. Well, that might be too strong a statement. At least I know I rarely thought about them. Here's Adobe's take on how to go about setting them.

This is well worth a good look.


OpenSolaris 2008.5

If you want to try a "true Unix", meaning one that has descended fairly directly from the original AT&T source tree, whether via Berkeley or not, this is your shot. Linux is not a Unix, though it is closely related and structured in the same way. (That sort of statement can cause endless argument, so please let it go and move on :))

The link above will take you to a personal blog/review of OpenSolaris 2008.5 by one Bill Beebe that I thought pretty nice. (One of those "I wish I had written that" things.)

Jason Perlow, writing on ZDNet, has a real "rah-rah" take on it, here.

And the Practical Technology blog has a very odd take on Open Solaris, predicting more or less that it has arrived just in time to be killed off. No, really. See that here.


Monday, May 05, 2008

Read all about it… before it disappears

Paper that sheds it's ink in 24 hours. You can reprocess it or simply let it fade, then print on it again after it has been stripped.

I have no idea what to make of this one. If you read it real fast, it sounds like a grand thing. But I wonder what will happen when someone prints a valuable document for archiving on this stuff by accident. Still, it's interesting.


Sunday, May 04, 2008

MicroSoft drops the bid for Yahoo

As Aaron mentioned on the show today, MicroSoft has dropped their bid for Yahoo. But from across the pond, we have views from the BBC's Time Weber, short and kind of interesting read.

Quite the turn around from Ballmer's statements early last week that they would be putting forth their plans for Yahoo.

OnComputers Radio show Podcast 05-04-08

This is the On Computers Radio show podcast for 05-04-08. 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.