Nov 19, 2009

Microsoft Security Advisory (977544): Vulnerabilities in SMB Could Allow Denial of Service

What a surprise... Ok, I was kinda surprised. I guess this is why we have firewalls.

Microsoft Security Advisory (977544): Vulnerabilities in SMB Could Allow Denial of Service: "Revision Note: V1.0 (November 13, 2009): Advisory published.Summary: Microsoft is investigating new public reports of a possible denial of service vulnerability in the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol. This vulnerability cannot be used to take control of or install malicious software on a user’s system. However, Microsoft is aware that detailed exploit code has been published for the vulnerability. Microsoft is not currently aware of active attacks that use this exploit code or of customer impact at this time. Microsoft is actively monitoring this situation to keep customers informed and to provide customer guidance as necessary."

Nov 13, 2009

Google Autocomplete

Recently I started seeing a lot of these and it intrigued me. So I tried my own and discovered how easy (and addicting) it can be. I quickly discovered there is a blog dedicated to Google Autocompelete (

Nov 12, 2009

Microsoft Steady State

For years I have replied upon the Faronic's product, DeepFreeze, for supporting public computer labs. Recently I found Microsoft Steady State and it looks promising. One of the problems I recently ran into with DeepFreeze was the lack of interaction with the operating system. This can be good in some cases but bad in others. I am hoping that Microsoft has solved some of these issues Steady State seeing as they have pretty good access to the code. Hopefully I can post some results here when I get the chance.

Online Charts and Diagrams

Lovely Charts is a great online resource for creating a number of quality online flowcharts, network diagrams and the like. The free account allows you to save one project on the site. You can still create new projects and save/export them as much as you like. You can only save one though. If you update your account (for a very reasonable fee) you can save many projects and edit them online.

It's a very useful tool for those of us who rarely dabble in the art of network diagrams and flowcharts but sometimes need a graphic to support an idea to upper management. Let's face it, Visio just isn't worth it and there are few substitutes. This is a great one.

Nov 10, 2009

Microsoft Security Tools

My thoughts here exactly. I'll be the first to tell you that I dislike third party utilities. This article from LifeHacker really hits home for me (of course I primarily use a Mac but there are certainly Windows PCs in the house). With a little common sense I see no reason why people would need third party AV tools anymore. There was a time when you couldn't do without some type of AV software. But let's be honest, Windows has come a long way.

Nov 8, 2009

Malware Can Download Child Porn To Your Computer

This is pretty scary stuff. I guess it's nothing we should be surprised about though.

Malware Can Download Child Porn To Your Computer: "2muchcoffeeman writes "The Associated Press tells the story of Michael Fiola, a former Massachusetts government employee who was arrested in 2007 after child porn was found on his state-issued laptop computer. He was eventually cleared of all charges after some digging by the defense found that the laptop was infected with malware that was 'programmed to visit as many as 40 child porn sites per minute — an inhuman feat. While Fiola and his wife were out to dinner one night, someone logged on to the computer and porn flowed in for an hour and a half. Prosecutors performed another test and confirmed the defense findings. The charge was dropped — 11 months after it was filed.' The article also discusses the technical aspects of how it could happen and about similar cases in the United Kingdom in 2003."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Nov 6, 2009

Home Wiring HowTo

Here's a little help on the Home Wiring front. We recently moved into a new house and I've been meaning to run some cable over to the new TV cabinet. Now I have some encouragement.

You've ripped a movie on your laptop, and now want it on that fancy new home theater PC next to your TV. If you've got the time, wiring your house with Cat-5e cable could make transfer times a distant memory.

Instrucables user Rogue Agent gets into the nuts, bolts, studs, and boxes needed to wire a house with omni-present cable in a fairly professional manner. The tutorial is based on setting up an actual cable switching box on a server-type rack. For those who just need to run cable from one room to another, the tips on finding, mounting, and securing cable through the walls, without your home looking like the scene of a sledgehammer party, are just as helpful.

Have you taken the dive into home cable networking? What guides, tutorials, or tips do you wish you'd known from the start? Tell us, and share the links, in the comments.

Nov 5, 2009

Google Dashboard - For all your Google Settings

I never really thought it was hard to manage this stuff before. Perhaps I will find something new. Still this is a great idea for heavy Google users.

Transparency, choice and control - now complete with a Dashboard!: "Posted by Alma Whitten, Software Engineer, Yariv Adan, Product Manager, and Marissa Mayer, VP of Search Products and User Experience

(Cross-posted from the Official Google Blog.)

Today, we are excited to announce the launch of Google Dashboard. Have you ever wondered what data is stored with your Google Account? The Google Dashboard offers a simple view into the data associated with your account — easily and concisely in one location.

Over the past 11 years, Google has focused on building innovative products for our users. Today, with hundreds of millions of people using those products around the world, we are very aware of the trust that you have placed in us, and our responsibility to protect your privacy and data. In the past, we've taken numerous steps in this area, investing in educating our users with our Privacy Center, making it easier to move data in and out of Google with our Data Liberation Front, and allowing you to control the ads you see with interest-based advertising. Transparency, choice and control have become a key part of Google's philosophy, and today, we're happy to announce that we're doing even more.

In an effort to provide you with greater transparency and control over their own data, we've built the Google Dashboard. Designed to be simple and useful, the Dashboard summarizes data for each product that you use (when signed in to your account) and provides you direct links to control your personal settings. Today, the Dashboard covers more than 20 products and services, including Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Web History, Orkut, YouTube, Picasa, Talk, Reader, Alerts, Latitude and many more. The scale and level of detail of the Dashboard is unprecedented, and we're delighted to be the first Internet company to offer this — and we hope it will become the standard. Watch this quick video to learn more and then try it out for yourself at

Nov 3, 2009

New Blogger Template

Well, I went to back up my blogger template the other day and ended up installing one of the default templates instead (stupid blogger interface). Anyway, here it is... I like the two right-side columns more. It isolates the articles on the left and allows for easier reading (not that anyone actually reads this blog).