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by Franki

This first tip comes courtesy of TheInquirer and is about a new scam involving Google’s new Gmail service. Basically you get an e-mail from someone purporting to be a Gmail admin asking you to log into your account, and providing a link. The link is not Gmail and if you follow the prompt, you end up giving them your user details.

Next, also from TheInquirer is the news that Sun and Microsoft have a deal going whereby Sun has agreed to help Microsoft start legal action over the Open Source office application suite in exchange for some cash and a promise from Microsoft that Sun is exempt from legal action themselves. Goes to show, you can’t believe anything Sun says about supporting Open Source software. Microsoft-watch have also covered this, and you can find their take here.

Yet again from TheInquirer, in short 90 percent of Chinese computers are infected by worms/trojans/virus’s. Perhaps the government should spend more time fixing that instead of finding new and inventive ways to block their people from seeing anything useful on the net.

In the area of software patents, we have this TheRegister article,. It is official, software patents in Europe that take after the US system will hurt the European software industry, as stated by Price Waterhouse Coopers. Gee what a surprise, what it means is that Europe will end up in the same situation that the US is in, Microsoft and other huge companies will own thousands of patents and no smaller guys can create anything without the big boys hauling them into court for infringing on something like a double mouse click or a scrollbar. To make the point clear, we have another TheRegister article detailing how a company called BTG (the same guys suing Microsoft and Apple) are now attacking Amazon,, Netflix and over their customer tracking technology. BTG do not have “products” as such, they buy patents, and then look for potential targets. This is what the US software patent system provides. It is no wonder that the EU don’t want to same thing, however they may not get a choice, the likes of Microsoft are lobbying hard to get the law passed though without much scrutiny, and lets face it, money talks to politicians. The big guys don’t mind software patents at all, it might cost Microsoft a billion or so a year to pay out due to licenses, but they have about 50 billion in the bank so that’s no big deal to them. It IS a big deal to the little guys, and that’s why the big companies like them.

Lastly, Secunia have revealed multiple Mozilla security flaws, luckily enough, they are all in older versions and do not affect the most recent of each product. It looks like Mozilla’s “pay for bugs” effort is paying off. Finding any flaws and fixing them before the bad guys use them is always a good thing. While on the subject of security flaws, a massive list of Microsoft products that make use of a JPG rendering library have a very serious security flaw that can compromise the computer running one of the affected programs if the program opens a malformed JPG image. Microsoft have issued patches and as long as they are used, all will be well. If you have one of the affected programs, go and get the patches immediately. Before I finish with the security aspects, I had this article at InternetNews, where it is said that Microsoft will provide a heads up for security problems if your a premium customer. Wow, security tips to people that pay Microsoft lots of money, that’s a new one. I imagine allot of people that didn’t make Microsoft millions of dollars but paid good money for their product will be somewhat upset by that revelation. Get Firefox!



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