If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy
James Madison (American 4th US President (1809-17), and one of the founding fathers of his country. 1751-1836)

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Hoorah...install Vista upgrade on a blank drive...

Looks like someone figured out the way to install the Vista upgrade on a blank drive. Previously, you had to upgrade from XP to Vista and in the process your XP key would be least that was the rumor. In any event Daily Tech has an article entitled "Workaround Discovered For "Clean Install" With Vista Upgrade DVDs" with that here is the process as per the page:

#1 Boot from the Windows Vista Upgrade DVD and start the setup program.
#2 When prompted to enter your product key, DO NOT enter it. Click "Next" and proceed with setup. This will install Windows Vista as a 30-day trial.
#3 When prompted, select the edition of Vista which you have purchased and continue with setup.
#4 Once setup has been completed and you have been brought to the desktop for the first time, run the install program from within Windows Vista.
#5 This time, type in your product key when prompted.
#6 When asked whether to perform an Upgrade or Custom (advanced) install, choose Custom (advanced) to perform a clean install of Vista. Yes, this means that you will have to install Vista for a second time.
#7 Once setup has completed for the second time, you should be able to activate Windows Vista normally. You can also delete the Windows.old directory which contains information from the first Vista install.

- "Vista Upgrade Still Possible" @ ODEO
- Keznews has a quoted article of the Daily Tech post...yeah...kinda like me :P

Gaming performance XP vs Vista / ATI vs NVIDIA...

There have been an enumerate amount of articles shooting down game performance on Vista, most of which entitled "Vista kills games"! Left one with no doubt as to the performance of Vista, or lack thereof when it came to games shut down a lot of the gamer community to actually jump into a Vista upgrade. Of course I do not mean that all gamers were turned off for this reason, as I suppose that a good number of gamers are among the technorati and have other reasons for not diving into this latest M$ OS release. The point being...I have seen quite a few stories of the bads of trying to game on Vista but no real benchmarks to back up the claim and definitely no gaming comparisons between XP and Vista...along with a comparison between ATI and NVidia. Tom's Hardware did a Vista vs XP comparison and benchmark, but not a detailed gaming and card manufacturer (big two) comparison/benchmark. Then along comes a pretty good review by the folks over at PC Perspective and their article "Windows Vista Gaming Performance - NVIDIA and ATI Compared".

They did an awesome comparison of the two OS' and of the two video card's. What I found most surprising was that in the end...they did not bash Vista on gaming. You will have to read the article to learn the finer details of the comparisons they undertook and trust me it was a good read.

Vista game links:
- "Vista breaks 90% of games, claims game publisher" @ TG Daily
- "Windows Vista Gaming Performance Reports" @ TECHGAGE
- "Gameplay Stinks with RTM Vista and Current Drivers" @ Tom's Hardware
- "Carmack blasts Vista gaming initiative" @ Joystiq
- "Vista is crap for gaming, bloke reckons" @ The Inquirer
- "Windows Vista Gaming Performance Reports" @ Voodoo Extreme
- Tom's Hardware XP vs Vista Review

Tuesday, January 30, 2007 doing well...

It makes me happy to see a good site doing well and is such a site. If you haven't seen it...well crawl out of the hole you have been in and go check it out. It is probably the funniest thing you have seen in awhile. From what I have seen in the wide age ranges of friends and is fun for all. The fact that they stand to make $300k in advertising, or more, is IMHO (In My Honest Opinion) way past due. Thanks fo rthe great work and I hope you have much more success.

I read of the recent success, beyond what they had last year in the article "Ask A Ninja Makes $300k" @

Another link on the Askaninja deal above and I think the ninja has been unmasked :O
- "Ask A Ninja Joins Federated Media" @

Gonna make the jump...

OK...I have several sites running a wide variety of CMS and some that are straight up CSS and HTML. The CMS' I have used are SOOP, Mambo/Joomla, Xoops, Wordpress, and DotNetNuke. Now I have been debating on hitting up Drupal...after reading many articles and reviews of the new Drupal 5.0 and to be honest I am interested. So, over the next few days I will be switching from the Joomla platform to the Drupal alternative on one of my sites to get a feel for it. I will be taking notes and will probably run each version of the site in parallel for a little while to show you, my peeps, the difference in the two...real time, 'cause that is how we roll here :P Anyhow keep an eye on the blog for the result of this migration/test.

Here are few articles that helped convince me, in addition to the official Drupal 5.0 site:
- "New Drupal Shines" @
- "Drupal 5.0 Released" @

Cool tool for file sharers...

First off...when I say file sharers of course I mean those sharing files that are can define that on a person level. Anyhow...back to the blog...I was digg'in it and found this post on Web Worker Daily in the article entitled "Sharing large files over a unique URL". The article is all about a couple of file sharing services...the first is Senduit and the second is Yousendit.

Senduit is the shizzy in that you don't have to provide your email or so on. You upload your file, which is said by Web Worker Daily to be 100mb, but I have not tested via upload or read anywhere on Senduit's web site (which I looked thoroughly through)to confirm this. Once you upload your file(s) get the option to email it to whomever, most would think this is where they get ya...but alas no! When you select the option to email your opens your local default email program to email the link. Pretty darn also have the option to put how long this file will be available, 30 minutes to a week. When you go to download the file there will be an advertisement on the download page, but that is really a small price for a free service.

The other option comes from Yousendit and unlike Senduit you have to enter your email address , as well as the recipients email address using their delivery a note both you and the recipient will get an email regarding the file. You can upload up to 200mb on the free account and more if you sign up for their professional account that is $4.99 a month. The professional account will strip the advertisements from the upload confirmation page and the file delivery page. The file will be available for 7 days once it is uploaded.

Both are cool services...but I will have to hang with Senduit as my service of choice as it has the extra step to not gleen my info. Check it out for yourself and see what fits your needs.

New Crysis video via YouTube...

I cannot wait for this wicked game to come out:

Brought to you via younewbcurtis @ YouTube!

XP and Vista comparison...

Finally, a review I actually trust of the comparison between XP and comes from Tom's Hardware in the article "Windows XP vs. Vista: The Benchmark Rundown". In preparing for the benchmarking TH had to setup the OS with the following checklist:
* Tweak the OS: turn off animations and AeroGlass for maximum system performance.
* Disable User Access Control to prevent it from interrupting certain benchmarks.
* Have the OS process pending idle tasks
* Turn off system restore
* Install all applications, and execute them several times (with restarts in between) to make SuperFetch aware that you want them to be available.
* Don't use the system after reboots during your SuperFetch training period: this way, Vista gets sufficient idle time to "superfetch" applications.

With the checklist done and the hardware was off to the benchmarking. Great work and worth a look for those of you still on the fence about jumping into Vista.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Google Docs and Spreadsheets...

Cool stuff going on over at Google...with you can share/create docs and spreadsheets. The coolest part of this is that you can choose who you want to share your docs with and if that wasn't enough you can also edit in real-time with others ( means at the same time :P). This is a really cool feature when you are working on a group effort/project...whether it be for school or work.

Some of the other cool features are that you can upload existing documents, create docs from scratch online, save/export your files, edit from anywhere, have the security of not having to worry about any sort of PC component failure or loss of files, and you can publish your work as a web page or post your documents to your blog. Wicked stuff always check it out for yourself. I might be behind on reporting this, but it was new to me when I read it...check ya!

Ted Kennedy is my boy...gotta listen to this.

"Do you have such disdain for hard-working Americans that you want to pile all your amendments on this? Why don’t you just hold your amendments until other pieces of legislation? Why this volume of amendments on just the issue to try and raise the minimum wage? What is it about it that drives you Republicans crazy? What is it? Something. Something! / What is the price that the workers have to pay to get an increase? What is it about working men and women that you find so offensive?"

Another great speech on the troop surge:

He is my boy on these subjects...but I can't claim the dude on his stance on DRM.

M$ ripping off freeware...WTF!

I will let the article from BlueJ stand on it's own in describing the total rip off that Microsoft is doing to this not for profit organization and their software. It really sickens me that M$ would rip of an organization that has done so much in the area of education. To blatantly steal from them is one use the exact description of their software for a patent application...well that is just screwed up. Read on my friends...and spread the word!

- Michael's Random Thoughts / "Microsoft patents BlueJ"


- CNET has an article, "Microsoft backpedals on programming patent", that reports M$ is backing off on this patent deal...rightly so!

Got a USB pen drive...USE IT!!

I know a lot of people that have a USB drive, but never seem to use it. When they first get it they will toss and mp3 or two on it...maybe a movie as the sizes got bigger. However, they never seem to use it on a regular basis. Then comes along "USB Pen Drive Linux" a project to make several 'nix distros to run off of a USB flash drive. is the homepage of the project and has all you need to make your own pen distro. The Sourceforge site that is linked above is where you can get pre-configured 'nix distros for you USB drive. The 'nix distros include, but not limited to (gotta think of the future):
- Knoppix 5.1.1
- PCLinuxOS MiniMe
- PCLinuxOS + SLAX
- Ubuntu

So, dust off the USB drive and play around with the various distros. I personally use the Knoppix version...modified of course...for file recovery and disk access at work...especially when I want full HD access. around...figure out which works best for you. Check ya!

Paint.NET v3.0 is out...and FREE! is a time for rejoice...and since you all know me and the close relationship I have with all that is FREE...then you also know that Paint.NET is a kickass free image editor. The fine, fine folks over at Paint.NET have done it again and put out v3 of their software, click here to check the changelog. In my opinion, this bad boy can stand damn near toe to toe with Adobe Photoshop and save yourself $169upg/$649full in the process. However, don't take my word for it...judge for yourself.

Biggest Lan Party EVER!!

The folks over at "Nobody is Perfect, I am", russian humor for a site name, they have an article "Biggest LAN-PARTY ever - 7752 people" that has some wicked cool pics of a huge lan party. If you clicked the pic included in this blog can see just how big this bad boy was. Definitely follow the links in this there are a lot more pics from this event. Check ya!

- Another Gallery regarding this story at Lanbilder; Lanbilder2
- More information can be found at DreamHack

Wow...the consummate source of Vista

Paul Thurrott's "Super Site for Windows" is no joke...and definitely THE source for windows info. I wouldn't say I am a fanboy of the site, but I will say that if there is anything you want to know about are bound to find it here. In the past I have used Thurrott's site to learn about slipstreaming and so on...among other things, but more recently I was looking for more information on Vista and is what I found, Windows Vista Activity Center.

When I first came across this page I had to do a double take...I could not believe the number of links that there were on this site that were specifically aimed at Vista. It had them all...links from reviews to news...if it was out is here. I have thought myself to be a link whore in the past, but if that was the case then WVAC is the whore house of Vista links. It is very informative, along with Thurrott's personal Vista reviews, and worth a look or two. I am not saying follow all the links...but if you want to learn a little bit more and you didn't get a chance at the Ferrari laptop to test Vista...then check this out.
Another site Thurrott writes for is Windows IT Pro:

Friday, January 26, 2007

Open Office...alternative to none

I use to be the biggest fanboy of Microsoft Office for some time...that is until I realized that there was a truly viable alternative out there in the form of Open Office and did I mention it was open source and FREEEE! For me, at the time I started using Open Office, I was in college and didn't have the kind of money that one needs to throw at a Office Suite of applications the likes of Microsoft Office. This was about the point that I was enlightened...WAAAHHHHH...the heavens parted...err...ok...maybe not that enlightened...but I found Open Office and haven't looked back. Open Office has everything M$ Office has and in my opinion a little more.

The Open Office Suite has the following applications:
Writer Writer – a word processor
Spreadsheet Calc – a powerful spreadsheet
Presentation Impress – create multimedia presentations
Vector drawing tool Draw – produce anything from diagrams to 3D objects
Database Base – database application
Mathematical function creator Math – create equations with a GUI interface or by just typing in an equation

As you can see this suite of tools is no slacker when it comes to useful applications. Open Office also has the ability to open MS documents and to save to MS formats...a plus in the formats is that you can also export to a PDF document as well...without having an Adobe plug-in. I dove into the OOS headlong and the transition was flawless...I was doing all my work for all my classes with this bad boy and haven't looked back since. Some say that OOS is an alternative to MS Office, but I say OOS is an alternative to nothing...if anything is an alternative it should be the overpriced M$ Office.

Another benefit to OOS is the fact that it has been embraced totally by the 'nix community and on most distros you will find OOS pre-installed. So, as all the technorati folks can attest to...OOS is flexible in the OS's it supports and in the end is a far better suite than anything else out there. I do hope that this persuaded some of you to at least check it out...and share what you think of your experience with it...whether you are new or old to it.

- Open Office 2.1 Download

Malware and the latest BOTNET discussion

In reading and article at Infoworld entitled "Half of pirated Vista is malware" I began to recall the reports of the same nature regarding XP. The reports that bootleg versions of XP out on the file sharing circuit were in fact modified versions with malware / trojans / and virus' added to them. Much of which, then and now, I am sure is true, but then I started to think about another article I read earlier yesterday at BBC UK, The internet is doomed, and I really started wondering about the link. Wondering my ass...hell I think most people know that file sharing via P2P, Torrent, and other sources have been the primary distribution of Trojan's, Malware, and Virus' for years...second only to email. All these methods playing on two of the major shortcomings that all people have, "FREE" and "Watch This".

When someone is downloading a movie, software, music, or programs...they are caught up in the fact that they are getting something for "Free" and also feeling the rush of doing something illegal. All the while they aren't too overly concerned that what they are downloading contains any number of the types malware mentioned previously. I would wager that some of the more novice folks that fall in this group of file snaggers is running a version of a long since expired version of an anti-virus program, if any type of AV at all. I imagine if they are running an it working correctly or has it been deactivated for being an illegal copy. The same can be said for movies, mp3's, games, and so many of these too are loaded with malware.

In regards to the "watch this" trap...well...who doesn't want to be entertained. So, when that email comes in with the title of "funny video", "boobies", or "elephant swimming" most of the population will open it. I would wager that most would open it one to check it out...two to be the first to forward it to their friends...every single one of their friends. If I don't recognize the email address I generally won't open the attachment...if I do...I will download it and scan it first. Thus, why I have friends that forward me stuff from their work...will always ask...did ya see what I sent ya. Well...when I answer no...there is a fit...then they get over it. Anyhow...this all leads the recent report on BOTNETS.

In reading the previously mentioned article(s), "The internet is doomed" and another article by the same author "Criminals 'may overwhelm the web'", and you really can't help but assume that the two methods of malware proliferation and the immense size of the Botnet described in the article(s) are related. Well most seem to KNOW this and well I tend to agree. I have no answers to give in this article, but I want to open this up to discussion here...what can be done to stop the proliferation of malware? You can't or won't stop people from snaggin' can, while not condoning such activity, educate users on the importance of AV and keeping updated. One could even promote the use of malware scanning tools, such as Spybot and Ad-aware...there are others I am sure. We can promote email safety...although I feel that has been done to the point of nausea um, so what would be a better means to get that point across? Share 'em if you got em...let's hear what you have to suggest.

ALERT Downloader-BAI!M711 / Trojan.Peacomm ALERT

I am sure most of the technorati know about this...but for those who don't here is some information on this new and spreading virus. Symantec just recently updated the threat to high and thus I decided to add it to my blog to incite fear in those that open anything that comes into their inbox. I am going to be a link whore and toss some links below to the descriptions that the A-V folks have and their updates for their respective programs:

- Trojan.Peacomm: Building a Peer-to-Peer Botnet
- What It Is
- Symantec Video Trojan.Peacomm
- Security Response - Trojan.Peacomm

- Downloader-BAI!M711 another name for Trojan.Peacomm
- You can download the Extra DAT or Super Extra DAT from the WebImmune site, CLICK HERE; you will have to enter "Downloader-BAI!M711" in the field labeled DETECTION NAME, click ADD, then click whichever Extra DAT you want; it will then download the Extra DAT specifically for this trojan.
- McAfee Stinger

- Win32/Luder.L another name for Trojan.Peacomm
- Virus Signature Updates

- TROJ_SMALL.EDW another name for Trojan.Peacomm
- Online Virus Scanning Tool
- Virus Pattern Files

- I-Worm/Stration another name for Trojan.Peacomm
- Removal Tool
- AVG Update
- FREE AVG Version update
- FREE AVG Virus Scanner

- Win32:Zlob-JN another name for Trojan.Peacomm
- Download Updates

- Email-Worm.Win32.Warezov.jv another name for Trojan.Peacomm; linked by Kaspersky to Viruslist
- Kaspersky Update

I cannot believe the number of names that each of these anti-virus has given this bad boy. Anyhow...these are the main AV companies I wanted to link...I hope this helps someone to protect themselves or get rid of this thing. Good Luck!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Click fraud and Adsense...hrm?!

The situation of people getting banned from Google Adsense over fraudulent AdSense clicks was recently brought up at Amit Agarwal's site Digital Inspiration in the article "Adsense Alternatives When Google Bans Your Account". In the comments section of the article...the subject of just how does Google determine what is actual fraud and not just some malicious people playing a prank or getting redemption for whatever reason. Well...'ole ctrl set off to see what he could find on the topic and well I found alot. It seems that this is a more heated debate or subject than I ever knew...and after finding article after article on the funneled down to the process that is used by Google to determine what is fraud or some secret proprietary technology...although they give the gist of what it does in the Google AdSense Help Center under the FAQ "How do you prevent invalid clicks and page impressions?" in which they say:
Google's proprietary technology analyzes clicks and impressions to determine whether they fit a pattern of use intended to artificially drive up an advertiser's clicks or impressions, or a publisher's earnings. Our system uses sophisticated filters to distinguish between clicks generated through normal use by users and clicks generated by unethical users and automated robots, enabling us to filter out most invalid clicks and impressions. Advertisers are not charged for the clicks and impressions we filter out.

In addition to our automated system, we have a team dedicated to detecting invalid activity using several specialized tools and a wide variety of techniques based on extensive experience tracking and monitoring user behavior and analyzing scenarios. We continually upgrade our detection mechanisms to proactively combat invalid activity.

Sounds like they have a pretty good process...albeit there is nothing they can do to guarantee that some click don't slip by. In looking for more information regarding the "secret squirrel" process I found some more information in an article at Marketing Pilgrim entitled "Exclusive: Google’s Click Fraud Rate is Less than 2%" that went in to a little more detail. This is a great article that goes into some detail about the process and definitely left me with some better understanding. In all it does seem as though Google does tend to weed out the fraudulent clicks pretty well...assuming that the site logs and such are made available during any research process that goes on.

I am linking a few more interesting articles on this subject for those who want more information regarding this topic.

- Google AdSense Help Center "What can I do to ensure that my account won't be disabled?"
- Jack Myers Media Village "Google Represses AdSense Partners in Search of Fraudulent Clicks"
- Ezine Articles "Google AdSense Fraud - Deep Insight"
- ebiquity Group "Revealed: how Google manages click fraud" (This site has quite a bit of information, but a good read none-the-less :P)

Kinda scary...

Now this has been touched on before by yours truly in my article "Responsibility when disclosing Microsoft Vulnerabilities...hrm...". Well...all I said stands true now as much as it did then. However, now that selling vulnerabilities is coming more into the light...there is more concern over the whole disclosure issue between those that find vulnerabilities and software companies. In the article "Bug brokers offering higher bounties" @ Security Focus there is a new trend of people opting to be brokers in vulnerability disclosure...highest bidder wins kind of stuff. If this doesn't open the door to things such as corporate espionage and other illicit things...I don't know what will. However, as stated in the looks more and more like software developers will have to work just a bit harder to check the security of their software and/or break out the gidas (slang for cash) to get their hands on such things. It is a sad situation for all...and it will be the end users to pay the final price if this continues with raised software prices to compensate for this brokering of vulnerabilities. Very interesting read!

Booyah...learning with pictures

Now I don't know how much easier it can get than learning by pictures and the folks at inpics brings this novel idea to you. I am no slacker at using many of the M$ Office applications, the Open Office alternatives, and even web design products...but I will I wish I had a pic-toot back in the day. It would have saved me a little time in using the much unused built in tool that all these applications have done pretty good in integrating for a long time...yes...the help option. Pics do beat the whole learning by searching for what you hope is the right term or action...but combined with the elusive help option...this is an unbeatable force.

In all the click-a-pic-to-learn is cool and hats off to inpics, but it is amazing how few people actually put the effort into actually using the "help" option that is found in almost all application today. As a technician I can vouch for the countless times I have been called to help out with an Excel spreadsheet...Joe User couldn't make his calculations or chart work...well I never said I was a pro and would inevitably use the help function in front of the user. All the while explaining how it is probably the most under used part of most applications. Hehe...never got a call from them again...and no...I did not say "MOVE!" or demean anyone...just talked to whomever. I know one thing...I have been in the USER seat need for the degrading and such. Anywho...check out the learn-by-pic!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 went down...

I had a problem posting or logging in tonight, so I won't be able to make all the posts I wanted to before I go to bed. I would like to know what happened as there is no indication of a problem on the status page for



On the Status Page linked above had an update:

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Publishing on the old Blogger was failing with "Error 550" since approximately 5:30PM PST. It was fixed at approximately 8:00PM PST.

New Blogger was unaffected. Sorry for the inconvenience.

That nasty "Error 550" was the reason I couldn't login or update my blog, but thank goodness New Blogger wasn't affected. Oh wait...I am a new blogger, so why was I affected. Too funny...I had to point out that apparently all bloggers were affected by this infamous "Error 550".

I tried looking up what "Error 550" really was and well...I still don't know. I have read things that say it is a path issue where there is a "/" where there shouldn't be to the admins being on vacation and some slacker has screwed up. I think that it would be cool if the "Status Page" were just a little more informative and precise on what the problem actually was and who all was really affected. I am sure there are a lot of people out there that are wondering the same thing in regards to what exactly happened and why they couldn't post. In any event...if someone can elaborate on "Error 550" by all means let me know...I am curious now :P

NAS options...

You know me...and my articles thus far...hehe...I ran across this article "FreeNAS makes it easy to add storage to home networks" @ The article in essence talks about the authors experience in setting up FreeNAS, a linux distro for setting up a NAS Server.

NAS, Network-attached Storage, is network accessible storage device/machine...that is great to have in this time of people downloading in mass everything from MP3's to ISO's. You need space for this kind of past-time...lots of space depending on your needs. In my opinion your storage options have to be expandable and well...I just don't get that loving feeling from FreeNAS when there are other linux distro's that would serve this purpose better.

If I had to have a box with a 'nix distro...I would be more prone to just toss Ubuntu on a machine, some cheap form factor PC with a USB port. The PC would be something along the lines of a Shuttle build with a large drive inside, this after adding a low end CPU / not much ram / etc..., and toss Ubuntu on it. I would also go as far as getting a USB hub for external drive expansion. WWith all the external drive enclosures out there it makes for a great way to expand a NAS when needed. Boom, Bang, Done...with this option.

The other option for a NAS is to just buy a an external drive that has a network port that supports NAS orrrrrrrrrrrrrr you can get an external drive that has built in wifi...for a wireless NAS which would be SUWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET. Either option...wired or wireless...this is the easier option, albeit a more expensive one in the end. However, it would be cool to have a desktop full of wifi drives blinking away...hell...I wouldn't be picky...give me either. Expandability being the ultimate goal of either option going the external drive (wired/wireless) or via a 'nix machine. In that area...the exteral NAS solution is the best IMO and since it is my opinion it MUST be right!

Here is a link to the wifi drive option...too cool to not mention:

Tritton Technologies - Wifi NAS Drives

Holy crap...what were they thinking?

This is a classic episode of no foresight...welcome to StolenIDSearch. The site explains it's purpose as follows:
StolenID Search is a free service that tells you if your personal information has been stolen or compromised. With our easy–to–use search engine, you can search more than two million pieces of compromised personal information—credit card and social security numbers—to see if your information has been misused.

However, the problem occurs when those less than respectable people use this as a tool to confirm or search for actual information...information such as your Social Security Number or Credit Card Number. The idea has it's merits...who wouldn't want to know how their information is being used..."IF" it is being used unscrupulously. It is those people that want to take this information and use it for means other than their intent is the problem. They can go to this site and type in random numbers until something hits...if it is your social...boom identity theft as they have confirmed that this is a valid social. If it is your credit card...well...we all know what happens then. In any event...think of what you use to verify information, which I guess means...keep the information you use for such searches private.

The "Just a phone..." argument

After reading the article "Samsung SGH-C140 is Just a Goddamn Phone, That's All" @ Gizmodo I really started thinking about all the phones that are out now and it occurred to me that maybe Samsung is onto something.

Don't get me wrong...I don't for an instance think that by Samsung making this phone that it will stop making all the other bloated phones they make, but to make a simple phone like this as an option is in fact a cool thing. Although I don't think this phone is an option in the U.S., which it should is really all you need in a phone. I can say from personal experience that having a web browser on my phone hasn't really served any purpose...sure it is the best thing you have seen for hte first week you have it...but the excitement is lost eventually. Most people who do find themselves in a situation when they NEED to surf...usually have access to a computer with a high speed connection, whether that be at work, home, school, or elsewhere.
The camera feature is cool on a phone, but on most phones the quality sucks, so I figure if it is worth taking a picture of...get a furkin' camera. Most camera's today can fit in your pocket and still take a remarkable pictures, as an example check this out. It is the Olympus FE-110 and with dimensions of "3.5" W x 2.5" H x 1.5" D (87.5mm x 62.5mm x 38.5mm)" how can you go wrong?

One of the other deals that gets me is the addictive things that kids, geeks, and most others tend to fall prey to. These things are the games, ring tones, wallpapers, and any other thing that you can "pay to play" with on the phones of today. These things are the coolest thing since Star Trek....that is...until you get the bill for these lovely little extras. Which leads us into the other realm...the bil...all this crap that they cram into the phone comes at a cost. Oh pay for the texts you pay for internet pay for just about everything...alot of folks pay for all this crap and never use it enough to justify the cost of such services.

In the end...give me a phone with an contacts list...and I am good. All that other crap can go the way of the Amiga.

Monday, January 22, 2007

"Immortal Computing"...that's hawt!

I just stumbled on an article that was all about the concept of sending messages to future decades or more in the future and yes...Microsoft wants the future too. Anyhow, as cool as the idea send messages to your future descendants to explain why "Joe Future" has an unsightly growth coming out the side of his neck that has skipped generations for generations would be cool. You might even want to pass on from the grave the final word to the descendants of your sworn enemy...and let them know that there family tree should have forked off to you back in great grandpa's day as you slept with his wife, great grandma, back in the day...signing it "WHAT A WHORE!".

I would love to be the one looking over the shoulder of those people that open these "Immortal Messages" down the road. I hate to say it, but I don't think that anything that a good majority of the population has to say would be very intriguing or even worth the space or artifact it was saved on. We are in a time of "entertain me" and "I want to watch" reality shows...we have skated beyond honoring those great minds that have changed our way of life and exchanged that for knowing who Paris Hilton is fucking in some hotel that we could never afford. There is more concern for the naked yatch of Britney Spears than what rights we are giving up to the regime of commander Bush. I hope that future generations change this focus and are more mindful of the future of mankind, exploration, and invention. These are the people that I would like to be behind as they read about this time in their history or reading the letters of their ancestors...just to say...WTF!?

Hehe...good article to read over at SeattlePIcalled "E-mail from the grave? Microsoft seeks patent on 'immortal computing'" it...then imagine on your own...what future message might be read by your descendants...and if you want...share them here!

This is an awesome idea...

Imagine yourself in a hospital or at home...bed ridden...unable to get up for what may be a very long time. Your best option of having a work area currently resides in lap desks, bed tables, or the hardcore method a pillow in your lap. The lap desks are a cool idea and work fine if you are setting up...but one you lie down...then the problems kick in. Typing is a biatch when you try to do it parallel to the keyboard...I don't care if you are the keying master...the home row sux, especially if you are on a laptop trying to type in numbers. Bed tables are great...these are the tables you generally see in hospitals...that slide in from the side of the bed, have adjustable height, and in some cases will allow you to angle the main table for more comfort. The table is a good idea as well...but it still lacks ease of use. In most cases the table will not allow you to lie flat on your back to generally have to reach towards the side of the bed that the table is on. The tables I have had experience with are just too short to reach the center of the bed for a more comfortable typing position on the laptop. On top of this bad typing also don't have much room to put those things you will use on a daily basis beyond the laptop...such as the remote, a phone, pills, a book...and so on. Finally, we have the hardcore method of using a pillow as a perch for the laptop...the main problem is that you are using a FUCKING PILLOW! Haha...with a laptop it works fine for a little while...until the exhaust port on your laptop really heats up the fabric of the pillow cover...kind of putting one on edge that when you least expect it you are gonna burst into flames...and just in case you practice the grade school chant in case you find yourself in flames...STOP, DROP, and ROLL. In this case...roll off the side of the bed screaming...and keep rolling, which in my case I don't think I could get a full there is only a foot and a half area in which to guess I could flail about while screaming. The point being...the pillow sucks and for all of these methods to facilitate productivity...none of them will do when you are talking about using a full PC setup. CPU / Monitor / Keyboard / Mouse / and possibly a printer. That is where this useful contraption come into is the Ergoquest by Office Organix.

This thing ROCKS...the power source for all your PC components are built into the unit...thus eliminating the tether to the wall that conventional desks have. It has an electrically adjustable desktop height feature...awe heck...just read the list:

1. Work Surface: durable 1.5" thick medium density board with black laminate and rubber-molded edge.
2. Keyboard tray and arm: Spring loaded sleeves adjust in width to accommodate a variety of keyboards. Mechanism has two pivot points, allowing the tray to tilt through 90 degrees and provide a range of positions for use in a reclined mode.
3. Power strip. Has 6 grounded outlets with a 12 foot grounded cord and plug. Strip can be mounted on either side.
4. Motorized legs: raise and lower table to and up to 400 lbs. of equipment from 31 to 50 degrees with the push of a button, for use in sit, stand, or recline position with minimal effort.
5. 5" Casters: Heavy-duty, ball bearing casters with elastomeric wheels to provide smooth movement. Front two casters are locking.
6. Keypad: provides push button controls of the motorized legs and monitor tilt platform.
7. Motorized monitor tilt platform: tilts monitors weighing up to 150 lbs. from 0 to 55 degrees for comfortable use in many positions including supine work. Also accommodates LCD monitors.
8. Cord management grommets: two 3" diameter holes with plastic grommets provide power strip access below the tabletop.
9. Powder-Coated Steel Tube: The 2" diameter steel tube frame eliminates a need for cross members beneath the work surface. They provide maximum clearance for recliners, beds and wheelchairs. Durable finish resists scratching.
10. Zero Gravity Recliner also available. Call.

This is a cool desk...that not only can appease the lazy...but open up a whole plethora of opportunities for the disabled or those just recovering. Check it out...and if the mood hits me one :P

Saturday, January 20, 2007

More on Update Utilities and so on...

As many of you know there are a few offline/online update utilities and update integration packs out there for Windows. Offline update utilities will download all the patches for a particular Windows OS or just those that the OS requires. The online update utilities perform a system scan and downloads all updates as needed, much like the official Microsoft Update Site. The update integration packs are updates that have been packaged together and integrated into your Windows Install Disks via a process called slipstreaming. There are a few utilities that simplify the slipstreaming process like nLite and RyanVM Integrator...there are more I am sure, but these are the more popular.

The main reason that people would use these utilities is to have more control over what is installed in the form of updates, to avoid using the Automatic Update Service (and associated services), as a means to update machines that are new builds, or to distribute patches in a network environment offline.

The integrations packs are used to keep your install disks up to date with the latest patches in order to avoid the process of downloading and updating after future installs. No matter what process of updating you choose...all of them are meant to stem the spread or exploitation of the OS from the many vulnerabilities that are found between your initial OS install and any future installs of the OS you might have.

Here are a few Offline/Online Windows Updaters:

Offline Update - Downloads all windows updates / creates an ISO of these updates / has an installer that compares the downloaded updates against already installed updates on your pc and installs what is missing / cool part is it is all done offline after the initial download via CD/DVD/or Network share

Windows Updates Downloader - Developed by Jean-Sebastien Carle...WUD is a tool that will download all the updates from Microsoft and organize them by patch type (i.e. Critical Updates, Patches, etc...). Unlike the Offline Update tool WUD does not have an installer for all the literally downloads the installable patch files from Microsoft that can be manually installed depending on what updates one would like to apply. This is especially helpful in a corporate environment allowing testers to see what effect each patch has on their systems.

WindizUpdate - An online update utility/site that works with Firefox / after installing a plug-in you are ready to let the utility run much in the same way as the Microsoft Updates Site

Here are some integrations packs that can be used with nLite and RyanVM Integrator:

- Xable's Update Pack
- RyanVM's Windows XP Post-SP2 Update Pack

With so many options on updating you just need to find what fits your needs. As I have tried all of the update methods and tools listed above...I can say that they all have their niche in the update arena and I do encourage all to try them out.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Who comes before me....hrm?

Okay...I am sure some of you folks know that in addition to running this main personal site is A site I have had for about 5-6 years now and has been in a constant state of change for about 5-6 years I am in the process of doing another make over on that site...I hope to be done in a week or so.

Now...on to what this blog post is about. I was wondering who all came before me on a Google search last night and had to check it out. Something I haven't really done in a LONG time and I figured since my site has consistently been on the web for so many years that it would rank high as my META information has been unchanged and generally the content has been consistent with nothing. Would these factors of content and META information have an effect on my search status. How far back in the list would I be if I searched for "ctrl" or "ctrlzone"? Well here are some totally useless figures for those waisting your time on this post :p

ctrl = bottom of the 8th page
ctrlzone = number #1; blogspot #2

Not too bad for someone who has done very little in the search engine arena. Knowing this information...I figured "what the hell", let's see where I rank on some other we go...Yahoo first:

ctrl = queued not to the back of the bus...but out the back door of the bus...never found my site
ctrlzone = blogspot #1/2; ctrlzone #3

Now let's try MSN:

ctrl = queued back to the first pages of internet time apparently...didn't list it
ctrlzone = webmail server was #1; ctrlzone #2; blogspot missed the cut

Okay...with all this information I have managed to make myself a little project, see what I will have to do to either "get" ranked or "increase" my rank on these three search sites. So, keep an eye out for a follow-up on this blog entry...and a how-to for those beginning a site and need to know how best to get ranked. Thanks for your time...hopefully not wasted completely :P

EDIT:: 01/18/2007
Oddly enough I ran across this article on USAToday, "How to get Google to notice you"

EDIT:: 01/19/2007
Just wanted to add some links as an update to this article. The following links are where you can submit your URL for the given search engine. Some of these search engines also allow for your site to be authenticated...I will add these links as well.

MSN - Site Submission / No authentication link that I was able to find

YAHOO! - Site Owner Page / Site Submission / There is a whole list of tools that Yahoo! provides to get your site "out there", all of which can be accessed from the Site Owner Page. Some of these services do require you to login or have a Yahoo! ID.

GOOGLE - Webmasters Central / This one link is all you need to get your site out there with Google. Of course, this is just for submission and such...not for any other Google tools like Adsense and so on.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Finally! More news on the lack of developed web pages

I am glad to finally read someone else asking the question...if so many domains are being sold from low cost to the unimaginable cost? Where are they? Why aren't they developed. I have written on several occasions asking this very question. The fine folks over at BNC have asked the same question in their article "Top Domain Sales Of 2006: Complete Wastes".

Oh and in case you didn't know...I HATE DOMAIN SQUATTERS!

Microsoft's Introduction to Windows Vista Guide

Well the title of this article got all whacked out...but the guide is called "Introducing Microsoft Windows Vista (pdf)" and from what I have read it seems like a cool read on most of Vista's functionality. From general information to pretty entailed security covers all you really need to get started. I would think it would be worth a little time to check out.

Oh yeah...stumbled across this over at THE BLADE!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Vista Software Compatibility List

Nice list of compatible software for Vista. ieXbeta has done a good job at providing an extensive list of software...check it out!

Windows Vista RTM Software Compatibility List @ ieXbeta

Pay per vulnerability

I finally found an initiative that makes sense in this time of people looking to make a buck out of discovering flaws in MS and other's software. In a previous article "Responsibility when disclosing Microsoft vulnerabilities...hrm..." I rambled on about how those software developers that are bitchin' about vulnerabilities and their disclosure in essence need to pay to play to get their hands on these holes. Otherwise...those that found them will go underground to sell them. Well, I have finally found two companies that are doing just this in a controversial pay-for-flaw VCP (Vulnerability Contributor Program)...Verisign's I-Defense and 3com's Trippingpoint are taking the initiative on paying for exploits and acting as a mediator between the discoverer and the vendor. Sounds like a move in the right direction...the article can be read here or by the link below.

VeriSign Offers Hackers $8,000 Bounty on Vista, IE 7 Flaws @

RyanVM's MSFN Files

I am pretty sure that a lot of you folks surfing the web have run across RyanVM's site from time to time when your looking to slipstream updates into your XP during future installs you won't have to go through such a tedious update process.

Their current Post-SP2 Update Pack only contains the updates through December 17, 2006, but keep checking back at their page as they are REALLY GOOD about keeping updated regularly.

You might also want to check out the RVM Integrator located at this site as well. It is a utility to help automate the whole slipstream process and it is very intuitive to use.

By all means explore the site and forums...this site is a handy resource.

RyanVM's MSFN Files

Microsoft ISO download of multilanguage update MS07-004

ISO contains the udpate(s) that were released on January 9, 2007. I have included the December ISO as well a few more previous ISO updates below, I know how some corporations are with not updating in a timely or automated manner. These ISO's are intended for administrators who are not using an automated update solution and need multi language updates.
January 07 Update:
This CD image contain the following update:
KB929969 / (MS07-004)
  • Windows Server 2003 - 18 languages
  • Windows Server 2003 for Itanium-based Systems - 4 languages
  • Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition - 2 languages
  • Windows XP - 24 languages
  • Windows XP x64 Edition - 2 languages
  • Windows 2000 - 24 languages
  • Windows Vista RC1 - English
  • Windows Vista RC1 for Itanium-based Systems - English
  • Windows Vista RC1 for x64-based Systems - English

December 06 Update:
This CD image contains the following updates:
KB923689 / (MS06-078)
  • Windows Server 2003 (32-bit x86) - 18 languages
  • Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition – 2 languages
  • Windows XP - 24 languages
  • Windows XP x64 Edition – 2 languages
  • Windows 2000 - 24 languages
KB923694 / (MS06-076)
  • Windows Server 2003 (32-bit x86) - 18 languages
  • Windows Server 2003 for Itanium-based Systems - 4 languages
  • Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition – 2 languages
  • Windows XP - 24 languages
  • Windows XP x64 Edition – 2 languages
  • Windows 2000 - 24 languages
KB925398 / (MS06-078)
  • Windows Server 2003 (32-bit x86) - 18 languages
  • Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition – 2 languages
  • Windows XP - 24 languages
  • Windows XP x64 Edition – 2 languages
  • Windows 2000 - 24 languages
KB925454 / (MS06-072)
  • Windows Server 2003 (32-bit x86) - 18 languages
  • Windows Server 2003 for Itanium-based Systems - 4 languages
  • Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition – 2 languages
  • Windows XP - 24 languages
  • Windows XP x64 Edition – 2 languages
  • Windows 2000 - 24 languages
KB926121 / (MS06-077)
  • Windows 2000 - 24 languages
KB926247 / (MS06-074)
  • Windows Server 2003 (32-bit x86) - 18 languages
  • Windows Server 2003 for Itanium-based Systems - 4 languages
  • Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition – 2 languages
  • Windows XP - 24 languages
  • Windows XP x64 Edition – 2 languages
  • Windows 2000 - 24 languages
KB926255 / (MS06-075)
  • Windows Server 2003 (32-bit x86) - 18 languages
  • Windows Server 2003 for Itanium-based Systems - 4 languages
  • Windows XP - 24 languages

November 06 Update
October 06 Update
September 06 Update

Many more MS Update ISO Bulk Updates HERE!

Oh yeah...freebie's rule!

Well as we all know...ya can't beat a freebie! Sun is giving away free DVD's with Free Solaris 10 and Sun Studio Software Media Kit for a limited time. If you are interested click HERE and get in on this. I filled out for I just want to learn a bit more about Solaris for work and so on...seems these Sun boxes are becoming more prevalent.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Cool page...full-o-stuff :P

Well folks...I stumbled again...found some more goodies. This time it comes in the form of On the initial page they have an entire directory of process names and once you find the one you want to know it...booyah...more information than you can imagine. This page is definitely worth the bookmark space...handy page!

Process Page

If you click on the second tab at the top of the page you can get their "Process Scanner" tool, which will:

* Offer you a results page that lists all the processes found on your system
* Give you clear, at-a-glance, categorized information on the task functions of each process listed
* Provide color coded information on the threat risk on all processes - from safe to dangerous
* Advise you what action you should take concerning the listed processes.
* Share reports

"Process Scanner" Download Page

Finally, if that wasn't have a list of three more tools on the right side of the screen(indicated by red shaded area below). These are online tools that require no installation and will help in maintaining and error free system. The first is a Registry Booster, which will diagnose and clean the registry of errors. Next in line we have is Speed Up My PC, which will give your overall system a boost by optimizing the overall system. Finally there is Spy Eraser, which as the name implies...will erase the spyware from your PC (The link on the site doesn't work correctly for Spy click here until they update the site).

Online Tool Location

I have added their process search utility to my page...looks like a cool tool...I will leave it for awhile. Check ya!

NSA Key and Windows...dug from the past!

It has been discussed by Microsoft as recently as a few weeks ago that they used the NSA to help in the area of security for many releases of it's OS, including Vista. However, most people have been skeptical of the meeting of minds between MS and the NSA...or MSNSA :P The paranoia reached a peek back in 1999 when Andrew D. Fernandes of Cryptonym Corporation let it be known that he had found an 1024-bit public key. This key became all the talk when the release of Service Pack was discovered that this key name had not been was _NSAKEY.

Microsoft quickly explained it away and you haven't heard much from this since. Me being a freak and always suspicious...had to look up more my relief there is no such key, that we know of, in XP. It was a good trip though...reading all the information on this. I will provide some links below to read up if you find an interest in such things. Check ya!

Microsoft, the NSA, and You
There is no "Back Door" in Windows
'Windows backdoor' theory causes kerfuffle
How NSA access was built into Windows

Friday, January 12, 2007

Talk about a bad day...

Cool pictures from Stuff U Can Use forum and Honda Tech:

Don't know if this is fake or not...looks real to me...but WOW!

Russian submarine cruising a Russian beack somewhere...

Long exposure of Peacemaker missile testing at Marshall Islands...

These images came from the thread "Fascinating Pictures"

If you can't conform...go on your own!

You gotta love the commitment of the people over at The Pirate Bay have had their show of problems with all the entertainment industries recently. an answer to bowing to "THE MAN" they have started a movement to get their own nation via

Anyone who donates will get citizenship to the Sealand Nation...nice! :P

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Cool USB tools...

Found a site that has some cool USB tools to use...from a USB Menu System to a PC Toolkit. The site, Daily Cup Of Tech, has all these goodies and I think they were pretty cool as all of them are either freeware or open source. Check it:

-> USB Drive Menu System

Good Stuff...ENJOY and thank to the folks at!

Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA)...Two faced ? Could be!

If some of you remember...our congress of old, last year to be exact...the one that didn't do squat for a a matter of fact it holds the title of the only congress that has worked the least amount of hours...EVER! Well at least since 1948 according to the Sunlight Foundation. The actual numbers were as follows:

97 days for the House of Representatives
130 days for Congress

Well...with these numbers you would think none of those in the 109th Congress would have room to complain about anything, as they had more time off than worked. I guess they assumed this would go unnoticed...well, seems that the U.S. citizens spoke and with their votes took away Republican rule of Congress and handed it over to the Democrats...who in a zealous response to the previous congress that the work schedule would change...starting with the "First 100 hours of Congress". Your boy from Georgia had something to say about more honestly worked days to get things done...Representative Jack Kingston said:

“Keeping us up here eats away at families,” said Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), who typically flies home on Thursdays and returns to Washington on Tuesdays. “Marriages suffer. The Democrats could care less about families — that’s what this says.”

In an article titled "Kingston: Americans Should ‘Marry and Work Longer Hours’ To Escape Poverty" at Think Progress you can read his stand on poverty and the wage increase that just recently passed...namely this quote, which coming from this guy means nothing as he has no work ethic as seen from last year:

KINGSTON: If the Democrat Party truly wanted to take on poverty, they would have to say what is the relationship between marriage and the poverty level and between hours worked and the poverty level, because the truth of the matter is, if people end poverty, many of them would marry and work 40 hours a week, they would be out of poverty. … It’s not something I have the knowledge of or the information of, but it’s an economic fact that I hope we could have committee hearings on and discuss this. If we want to attack poverty, that’s where we need to go. With that, I yield back the balance of my time.

This man is insane and needs to be out of his office with his blatant dance on either side of most topics. Then again...this guy is probably not alone among his peers unfortunately.

Nice layout...

Don't know how cool it would be to work at AT&T, but the office is still cool!!

The WTF articles/news...episode #1

OK...I have to make a WTF article, because there are just so many things going on that just warrants someone to say WTF! If you have any WTF suggestions...share 'em!

"RIAA Cites Child Pornography Case to Judge in Elektra v. Barker; Barker Says Case is Irrelevant" @ Recording Industry vs The People
WTF=Is the RIAA really trying to compare file sharing to child porn...YES!?

"MPAA Caught Uploading Fake Torrents" @ Torrentfreak
WTF=Not too surprising considering what the MPAA has done in the past...still a WTF!

Unofficial Windows 2000 Daylight Saving Time Patch @ IntelliAdmin
WTF=This is not directed at the fine folks of IntelliAdmin as they have their own fix for this here, but to can you not support a product that is widely used in a large number by a large number of corporations. Microsoft does provide a manual registry workaround but hey...PUT OUT A PUBLIC PATCH...WTF!!

President's Address To The Nation by GEORGE BUSH
WTF=Anything he does lately...this man is out of his mind...WTF!!!

Responsibility when disclosing Microsoft Vulnerabilities...hrm...

OK...I stumbled across this post at CSO via OSNews entitled "Microsoft: Responsible Vulnerability Disclosure Protects Users" that talks about, as the title suggests or puts implicitly, Microsoft's concern about "Responsible Disclosure Of Vulnerabilities". I intentionally left off the concern for I doubt this is the source of the concern. Microsoft is more concerned about how public disclosure will make it's wonderful applications and OS's look, however I will ask what is the alternative...Linux, which is not quite ready for the average user just yet...IMO. Anywho...I am all about disclosing vulnerabilities in any software in a responsible manner...let the developer know about it...who knows...besides accolades you might get paid, but let the developer have a chance at it. Hrm...or can more be made by selling what you have found for guaranteed bucks as read in the article "Windows Vulnerabilities for Sale" and many others I am sure, but it is clear that money speaks volumes over what might be the "right" thing to do for some. On the other hand you have those people that do follow the "right" path and disclose any vulnerabilities that they may have found, but in being responsible in reporting what they have found it seems to fall on what is perceived to be deaf ears. How many times have you read on a vulnerability disclosure to the public...that made it clear the only reason they decided to go public is because Microsoft or another developer has done nothing to fix the hole in their software or keep those that find the holes in the loop on what is being done to fix a hole if it takes awhile.

I would venture to guess that money speaks volumes in the end for those non-professional types that can see a payday when offered $4,000 to $50,000 for a hole into a Microsoft product or other software. Cha-ching! While it isn't "right" it is happening...and to stop it or slow it...why shouldn't Microsoft or others...offer some monetary reimbursement for these holes that are discovered by those not in the company, which actually leads to another situation or many "inside" folks to Microsoft or other development companies are selling their knowledge of holes to the black market. That just sucks, however that is just a possibility and not proven.

In the end...companies like Microsoft need to make turning in vulnerabilities more rewarding for those that find holes in the software and just maybe...there will be a turn in how many of those vulnerabilities find their way to the underground...traded freely on IRC, private servers, forums, BBS's, and so on.

Why not give them a Ferrari Laptop with Vista! :P

CSO has another article entitled "The Vulnerability Disclosure Game: Are We More Secure?", which is another good article to read on this topic.

Microsoft's concern with craplets and Vista

On the CBC Canadian news site there is an article, "'Craplets' could damage Vista launch: Microsoft exec", that quotes a senior Microsoft Exec as saying:
"the company is concerned that uncertified third-party software loaded onto new computers by manufacturers could hurt the launch of consumer versions of its Windows Vista operating system later this month."

I am sure this has been a concern of Microsoft's for sometime, at least as long as the PC manufacturers have been putting these applications on the PC's they manufacture. These "craplets" or "crapware" have been a nuisance to most users for sometime. The unlimited amount of software that can cause more problems than they are worth or those applications that are trial-ware that even when removed are not always totally gone. Either way it is a nuisance that most PC manufacturers have been aware of via the complaints from their customers for countless reasons. However, most of these complaints from the consumer have fallen on deaf ears as these applications remain and seem to grow and change from year to year as the manufacturer's decide what would be best for the consumer in terms of software or which application developer's can bargain to squeeze their program on these new machines.

In regards to the trial-ware...why?...why would you put trial-ware on a new pc anyway? I would go as far as saying that the trial-ware causes more issues in the end than the crapware does by far. How many users panic when they see the alert that they have reached the end of their trial period? How many people ignore the warnings until the software is disabled? Or until the user decides to get rid of this nagging software by uninstalling it? Hell...I have seen many machines that when the nag screen starts...the user, thinking they are some expert on PC's, opts to delete the directory in %local drive%\Program Files\ thinking this removed it. begin to see where the problems stem from in regards to trial-ware specifically. Finally...why would you distribute a trial-ware antivirus least give out a freeware antivirus application. I do wonder how many infected machines or the proliferation of virus' could have been put down by a freeware alternative antivirus to the trialware that is being put on these pc's.

It sucks that people don't have as much say in what crap/trial-ware these pc manufacturers put on a machine you are buying. They ought to at the very least give you the option to pick what you want in this area as they do in what hardware you get. Anyhow...there is an application to kill some of this is called THE PC DECRAPIFIER and it seems to work pretty give it a try. You can also help secure your machine from the bad stuff by using some of the freeware listed below and if you know of any all means share some info :P Check ya!

PC DECRAPIFIER from Yorkspace
CCleaner - Freeware Windows Optimization from CCleaner
Ad-Aware SE Personal from Lavasoft
AVG AntiVirus from
AVG Anti-Spyware from
Bazooka Adware and Spyware Scanner from Kephyr

Come on July 1, 2007!

I was reading an article at ARS Technica, FCC denies Comcast request; "integration ban" coming in July / FCC Ruling (pdf format), about the FCC "integration ban" that when implemented on July 1, 2007 will open up the set-top cable box market. Thus, eliminating the strangle hold that cable providers currently have over this market by providing the box it's customers use. Where money is to really to be made by the cable companies in providing the set-top boxes themselves is that they can then charge a monthly fee for any additional functionality that the boxes are to perform (i.e. HD Service, DVR, etc...). This additional charge for these set-top boxes with additional functionality are on top of the actual service or tier service that you have subscribed to.

In the ruling(s) on January 10, 2007 by the FCC they did however allow CableVision to not fully implement the CableCARD system as laid out according to SECTION 76.1204(A)(1), IMPLEMENTATION OF SECTION 304 OF THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACT OF 1996(pdf), COMMERCIAL AVAILABILITY OF NAVIGATION DEVICES and the FCC's "CableCARD" system until July 1, 2009, as they were "grandfathered" since they have been using a similar system since 2001.

The actual requirement that the FCC via the TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACT OF 1996(pdf), COMMERCIAL AVAILABILITY OF NAVIGATION DEVICES wanted was to have a separate means of security on cable boxes other than the most prominent integrated version offered. Thus the CableCARD was born and became the most popular means of implementing this security measure. ARS Technica did a great write-up about the CableCard that I have linked below. All of this information is quite an interesting read and I encourage all to do so as most people will be effected by this and it is always a good idea to be informed.

FCC CableCARD Information here.
"CableCARD: A Primer" from ARS Technica here.
National Cable and Telecommunications Association's "Myths v. Realities About the FCC Integration Ban" here (you can feel the desperation).