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HTMLfixIT Archive for January, 2005

Thursday, January 27th, 2005 by Don

Want the latest Microsoft Press releases delivered to you? You not only need to register, but you need Passport. Why not RSS Bill? The rest of the world is using it … or doesn’t that allow enough private information to be collected? Why passport and not simply an email address? This is why people don’t trust you guys.

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Thursday, January 27th, 2005 by Don

“In the second half of 2005, visitors to the Microsoft Download Center ( and Windows Update ( will be required to participate in Windows Genuine Advantage to access all content. To help customers who may require more time to move to genuine Windows software, Microsoft is offering security updates through Automatic Updates in Windows, with or without Windows Genuine Advantage validation.” (Source: Microsoft to Implement Worldwide Anti-Piracy Initiative)

For some time now MicroSoft has been trying to get people to verify that their copy of Windows is valid and licensed. In-and-of-itself, requiring people to be legit to gain services isn’t a truly bad thing. However, it causes difficulty in two specific cases: 1) they say you aren’t valid when you in fact are; and 2) they gather additional information beyond that required to determine validity (historical example). You wouldn’t take your Ford to a GM dealer for warranty service. On the other hand, when you look at it you know it is a Ford.

MicroSoft will begin requiring users in three countries to prove thier validity of license before they can get serviced as of February 7, 2005 … and the rest of the world won’t be far behind.

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Thursday, January 27th, 2005 by Franki

A new worm doing the rounds called “W32/Cisum.A” has an added twist. If you get infected by this thing, it will tell you how silly you are by playing an MP3 containing the words “You are an idiot” over and over. The worm also tries to shut-down firewalls and anti-virus apps as well as any running copies of the Bagle and Netsky Viruses it happens to fine. It spreads by copying itself to network drives, so it’s not likely to spread too widely. Read InternetNews for more.

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Thursday, January 27th, 2005 by Franki

There is a new search engine in town folks, it has a name that is likely to get Google’s attention sometime soon, and it has one thing that makes it different to all the other search engines. It can read the results back to you audibly.

The engine is called Speegle, and it can be found here: If you do a search for “statistical hit counter” you will find us as the primary result. (as with most engines.) It’s fun to hear your site read out by a search engine, give it a try. I imagine this will be quiet popular with the geeks among us, but I don’t know how useful it will be to the vision impaired as they already have screen readers. Fun though.

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Wednesday, January 26th, 2005 by Franki

Speakeasy, a national US ISP based in Seattle has put a customized version of Firefox onto their new user CD’s. The founder and chairman of Speakeasy, Mike Apgar was quoted as saying: “We’re thrilled to be the first broadband service provider to adopt Firefox, taking our customers’ browsing experience to the next level. This special edition is just the first step in making browsing the Web better for our customers. We plan to continually enhance the browser with features that will benefit Speakeasy’s home, business and gaming subscribers.” A Mozilla spokesman said that this would be the first of many such roll-outs. You can get a copy of the Speakeasy Firefox release here, and you can read the full article here. I’m actually surprised that this hasn’t happened sooner. ISP’s are often the ones who pay when their users all have viruses and spyware infested systems, because it’s the ISP’s IP address that gets blacklisted if an infected PC is used as a spam relay, and also because 10,000 infected Windows machines chew up a great deal of bandwidth.

So folks, we have government security organizations, independent security companies, dozens of magazine reviews and now Internet Service Providers all giving Firefox the thumbs up and recommending it to their users. If your not using Firefox to read this, perhaps it is time you gave it a shot and find out what all the fuss is about.

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Wednesday, January 26th, 2005 by Franki

Microsoft was found guilty by both the US DOJ, and the EU European Commission, this is a fact. The US basically slapped Microsoft on the wrist for it, and the remedies imposed for being found guilty of monopolistic activities made no significant difference to Microsoft at all. The EU however, imposed a record fine of around half a billion dollars, as well as making them release a version of Windows without “Windows Media Player” and also stated that they should share information on about Microsoft protocols with it’s competition to improve interoperability with competitors’ products. Microsoft has just released a statement to the effect that they do not plan to object to the court decision requiring it to comply immediately with the EU sanctions.

The current problem however, is that the way Microsoft is complying with the later sanction, is incompatible with it’s biggest competitors. Linux and Open Source software like Samba, are governed by the GPL license. The GPL basically says that if you distribute a GPL licensed product, you must include the source code, so that others can benefit and improve on the code and make it available to the community as well. However Microsoft’s protocol license specifically says that no MCPP licensee is permitted to release their software source code. So in one fell swoop, Microsoft made sure that their biggest competitors cannot benefit from the anti-trust remedy. It isn’t just Linux that is affected here. Most commercial UNIX’s also use Samba to provide SMB (CIFS) file sharing services to Windows clients, and Samba is a GPL Open Source program.


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Wednesday, January 26th, 2005 by Franki

If you are using the Movable Type blog, now is a good time to patch it to avoid your blog being used to send millions of spam e-mails. If you are using PHPBB, and you haven’t updated it in the last month or two, then its probably already too late. Patch it anyway to avoid a server compromise from a bug that allows MySQL injection or running system commands as the web server user. When you are using applications such as those listed above, it is a very good idea to subscribe to their security mailing lists so you are aware when there is a danger to your system involved. Many hosts do not look lightly on compromises caused by out of date buggy software.

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  Time  in  Don's  part  of the world is:   November 15, 2019, 5:13 am
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