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HTMLfixIT Archive for August, 2004

Tuesday, August 31st, 2004 by Franki

In a recent interview on Wired, Microsoft security chief Stephen Toulouse was trying to make a point that all web browsers suffer from vulnerabilities, not just Internet Explorer, unfortunately his explanation reveals that he uses Mozilla Firefox himself. Here is the quote in question:

Security is really an industry-wide problem. Just this morning I had to install an update to Firefox to block a flaw that would’ve allowed an attacker to run a program on my system. We’re working around the clock to make Internet Explorer safer, and we’re making changes with our Windows XP Service Pack 2 to make browsing a lot more secure.

So, the boss of Microsoft Security uses Firefox, that is almost as telling a statement as the United States government recommending people change away from Internet Explorer.



Monday, August 30th, 2004 by Franki

SPAM is without a doubt a cancer of the Internet, with 60+ percent of mail now classified as SPAM, if something is not done soon, e-mail will go the way of the Dodo. On an average day I waste about 30 minutes a day scanning my junk directory looking for possible real e-mail that was classified as SPAM by accident, that’s about 2 weeks a year that I won’t get back.

Some really smart sorts at a Queensland University (Australia) have come up with a new method of letting in the good and blocking the bad. The system is a firewall that uses statistical analyses to determine what’s good, and what’s not. Statistical Analyses is nothing new in SPAM detection, pretty much everyone is using it nowadays. However these guys look at an e-mail as a whole rather then the sum of its parts. The ability to do that is the difference between blocking an ad e-mail, (SPAM) from an e-mail detailing the same subject matter, but not in a commercial sense. (In other words, it will catch SPAM about Viagra, but would learn not to block an e-mail about the benefits of Viagra that wasn’t trying to sell it.) Apparently the testing is to the point where out of 25,000 e-mails, there was only one misclassification. That’s allot better then most of the SPAM solutions I’ve seen.


1 Comment »

Sunday, August 29th, 2004 by Franki

Everyone seems to be covering this story at the moment, so this is hardly an exclusive, but I figured it’s important enough to warrant a mention.

Microsoft has told us that we can expect Longhorn, the next version of the Windows operating system, in 2006 sometime. Because of delays caused by the release of Service Pack 2 for WinXP, it might not be possible to release the full version of Longhorn originally anticipated. (Bill Gates originally said Longhorn would be released sometime in 2003)

Microsoft project managers are apparently insisting that parts of the release be removed in order to bring the product to market on time, or at least not too far behind.

Two things that might be removed, are WinFS and Avalon, ironically two of the main things that made Longhorn interesting. WinFS is the database back end of Longhorn that was set to make searching your hard drive much easier and more detailed, regardless of the file type. And Avalon was the new display system of Longhorn, which was much simpler and more powerful then its predecessor. It was also capable of some pretty impressive eye candy.


1 Comment »

Friday, August 27th, 2004 by Don

Amy Acuff – Biography provides interesting insight into acupuncture. I came across this site while investigating womens sports injuries. I had never heard of her, but she obviously combines beauty, athleticism and intellegence.

I don’t know much about acupuncture or other such methods, but I can say I have experienced the great healing from aggressive physical therapy that I found to be so impressive it sounds untrue when you tell the story.

1 Comment »

Friday, August 27th, 2004 by Franki

The guys at the “Web Standards Project” who have long been pushing browser makers to support and be compliant with web standards has now begun promoting the site Browsehappy which is dedicated to helping everyday people change browsers away from Internet Explorer. Basically they are saying the same things I’ve been saying here for some time now. Internet Explorer is old, it hasn’t been updated much at all in the past 4 years, it’s lacking many important features and worst of all, it has a seemingly endless supply of security flaws.

None of the guys have any beef against Microsoft, they have just found that other browsers like Mozilla Firefox and Opera offer more features and better security and help them work and play better. These are the best guys to be promoting this sort of thing, just everyday folk with no bias towards or against any of the contenders.



Friday, August 27th, 2004 by Don

ISP and related industry seeks to water down proposed legislation that may hold them responsible for file sharing. The problem with the original proposal it seems is that it may hold everyone responsible because the costs incurred in defending litigation will surely be passed to all consumers. The real culprits — those sharing illegally — should be the ones held responsible.

1 Comment »

Thursday, August 26th, 2004 by Franki

Well, I said in a past article that we were comment spammed, but that quick removal made them realise we were not a good target. I was wrong.

In the last 4 hours, we have been hit with about 40 or so spam comments posted to our past stories. Luckily I had changed the system over to ask us for approval before accepting any comments, so I was able to delete the spam comments before they were even published to the site. (though I expect a dozen more attempts when I get up in the morning.)

This is most likely being done via automated scripts, some real person looked out our system, and tailored a pre-made script to submit spam to it. It’s not really targeted at readers, they look to be targeted at Google and the other search engines in an effort to get the pages of the spammers ranked higher.



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