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)

Monday, March 26, 2007

Your suing for what?

Okay...imagine if you will...a time...when you go and make a purchase and well...the main competitor of the brand of item you bought...SUES YOU...for the reason that "you didn't make the RIGHT choice"?! Well, if you are like did the your inner voice as well...maybe out loud if you were shocked enough.

I came across this article at entitled "Voting device pact at issue/Firm sues over snub by state". I wasn't quite so shocked when I read that Diebold was doing I am suspicious of any manufacturer of voting machines that isn't totally transparent in the quality of said product or code. Hehe...had to get that out! In any event...Diebold is suing Massachusetts for its choice of devices that will aid in the handicapped voting...appears they chose the competitor as the best fit and it doesn't sit well with Diebold. Yeah...WTF! Although it has already been deemed as a frivolous still makes ya wonder.

It makes you wonder if this might be the wave of future lawsuits from large corporations against competing smaller companies...with the premise being you product doesn't compare...cease and desist. Could it be a future tool of business to sue a companies choice of product or contract...because it is "not as good" as the other. It does seem like a scary path...that I do hope we will never see. Great article though...jump it!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Fun in IT of old...compared to what it has become today

I really enjoyed this article and just had to share it. At eWeek they are running the article "How to Stop the Dilbertization of IT" and in this article it gives a little insight in how the IT field has changed and what we need to do in order to bring back some of the fun in IT.

I personally remember the days of BBS' and how you actually had to work in order to get on to some of these boards. I still have my notebook that is full of numbers to various boards around the world and how you had to have some phone phreaking skills to get around long distance charges. The days when working in a support team was actually something to look forward was fun and that has been lost in so many ways in todays field.

Damn Scammers take Blogger now...

We all know them...those jackass' that hijack damn near everything by creating an account and blasting visitors with junk advertisement or in this case malware. This tactic of advertising or using social networks for more malicious purposes has made Myspace into something of a shooting gallery for these low lifes. seems they have now moved into the realm of Google's Blogger network. PCWorld covered this topic in a recent article entitled "Google's Blog Software Hijacked by Scammers", which tells tale of this latest Blogger tactic.

"MySpace-hosted malware exploits QuickTime flaw" @ The Register
"Hackers Promise Month of MySpace Bugs" @ PCWorld

UAC gets slammed...

Yeah that is right...UAC gets slammed at the CeBIT show in Hanover by Kaspersky's Cheif Executive, Natalya Kaspersky, much to Microsoft's chagrin. You can read more about this at ZDNET Australia in the article "Microsoft partner: Vista less secure than XP"

In any event I have been bitchin', for the lack of a better word, about UAC and Vista for sometime. How effective can UAC be if you have to tweak it out of existence or worse disable it all together. As pointed out in the article it seems that by disabling UAC you are leaving your self less secure than you would be on XP, which is kinda scary.

On top of the UAC issue is the whole Patchguard issue that security companies have been gong on about for as long as Vista has been in the news. The primary complaint being that PatchGuard restricts security software from doing those things they need to in order to protect a system.

More link on PatchGaurd and UAC below:

"Thoughts on PatchGuard (otherwise known as Kernel Patch Protection)" @ Nynaeve
"Microsoft Modifies PatchGuard Technology" @ PCWORLD India
"Symantec offers mixed grades for Vista security" @ InfoWorld
"An Introduction to Kernel Patch Protection" @ Windows Vista Security Blog
"Vista's UAC Issues Extend to Security Policies" @ Softpedia
"Real UAC Nightmare! / Huge UAC Problems!" @ Microsoft Forums (Real UAC Issue; Disablig UAC was an option)
"Symantec: Vista UAC Is Still Too Chatty" @ eWeek
"UAC Security Hole in Vista" @ Schneier (great read...follow the links in the short article)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Vista Ultimate is Bull$h%^!!!!

More Vista Bull$h%^!!!!
I don't know why Microsoft would sell so many damn versions of Windows and save all the cool goodness for those that have the ability to fork over the exuberant cost of Vista Ultimate. I was checking Microsofts Download Center and came across a little application called DreamScene and after doing some research on this bad boy, especially via YouTube, I think I NEED to have this. However, I I am a lowly Vista Home Premium user and as not deserve to get my grubby little hands on this. I also can't believe I missed talk of this prior to today...I read A LOT of stuff on tech everyday...yet missed this cool app.

I do hope that Microsoft will change it's plans on what versions of Vista they will release this too...uhh...including Home Premium. Grrrrr!

Okay...after doing a lot of reading and so on about Vista Ultimate, DreamScene, and some other things. I felt I needed to retract my article from yesterday. I did manage to find a alternative DreamScene solution for Vista Home Premium that even works with XP. I figured that I had managed to shoot down "The Man" and find an alternative...but ya know...after using it for even a little bit...I was actually annoyed by the animated desktop. So, I cannot imagine that DreamScene is actually worth it...or the hype it has is a toy or eye candy as most of those "extras" are for Ultimate. I guess where I am going with this is...I feel that in my neurotic way...I made the right choice in selecting Home Premium over Ultimate from a financial standpoint and that of optimal use for me.

In the future I will do a little more research before I go off on a rant. I will link at the bottom the page that has the alternative live desktop GUI/application for those of you who want a little bling on the desktop.

Official Page at WinCustomize
YouTube DreamScene Videos
Animated Desktop @ WinMatrix (Alternate animated desktop)

03-13-2007 Microsoft Patches released

Even though there were no "OFFICIAL" releases of anything...there were a freakin' ton of goodness to be downloaded from the Microsoft Download Center on March 13th. Microsoft also released Service Pack 2 for Windows XP Professional 64-bit. Links are below with a brief description.

XP Professional Service Pack 2 64-Bit Dowload
EXE Package
ISO Package

Vista Update:
There is actually a great number of software compatibility issues fixed for quite a few programs as laid out in their Knowledge Base article KB932246 for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.
Vista Update (32-BIT)
Vista Update (64-BIT)

Outlook Junk Email Update for 2003 and 2007 versions:
Outlook 2007 Junk Email Update
Outlook 2003 Junk Email Update

Windows Malicious Software Tool Update:
Malicious Software Tool Update

Windows Defender Update for Windows XP Professional (32-BIT/64-BIT):
Windows Defender 32-BIT
Windows Defender 64-BIT

The saga continues...

As with my previous post, It is like a soap opera with all these damn Vista hacks!, there is yet another "SUPER" crack for Vista...or at least that is what Keznews is reporting in their article "Windows Vista All Versions x86 OneClick Activator by CLoNY". They are saying that the cracking group, CLoNY, has made a oneclick activator that like the Paradox crack it takes advantage of a "Royalty OEMs" hole in Vista. This hole is used to circumvent the product activation of Vista by emulating hardware-embedded BIOS ACPI_SLIC license information. However, unlike the Paradox does not use the vstaldr Grup multiboot boot loader and instead is a software that runs within Vista.

Good read!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The cost of upgrading to Vista... I sit...the one who stated that he would not upgrade to Vista until after the first service pack...well...I am now here to tell you that I have gone the Vista route, as cautiously as possible, and boy do I have a story for you. Let me start out by saying to Microsoft:


I was fortunate enough to get two copies of the OEM version of VISTA HOME PREMIUM, yes they are legit and yes I got irritated peeling off one of the security stickers off one end of the little white cardboard sleeves. After slipping the clear plastic DVD case out of the sleeve I was pretty excited to see what this little gem had to offer...after all the Vista hype and so on. Little did I know this cursed little platter would have served a better purpose fertilizing mushrooms...but I digress. Anyhow, being one to not go and ruin a perfectly fine machine, XP PRO(tweaked the way I like it), I opted to use my newest test box for this "upgrade" (a term I will use loosely throughout this post). The hardware was as follows:

ABIT KN8 SLI Motherboard
AMD FX-60 Processor
2GB OCZ Performance PC3200 (DDR400) RAM
120GB Western Digital 1.5gb/s SATA Hard Drive
Plextor DVD RW Drive
EVGA NVIDIA 7900GS 256MB Video Card

Nothing on the hardware side is overclocked...all of it is working as it should...and I must say it isn't a slackin' machine by any means for Vista. I did however debate on whether I wanted to "upgrade" from XP or do a clean install. Well, I opted for a clean install, via the install once with no code and again with a code, however this seems like a waste of did work, albeit I had a "WINDOWS.OLD" folder that ate up 10GB worth of space. This kind of left me wondering whether or not Vista would have just installed straight up after entering the product key. I will have to investigate that further at a later I am sure to '86 this install in the near future.

The install left me no real options...I booted from the had an option to upgrade or do a custom install. The upgrade option was grayed out and unavailable, so I had to opt for the custom install, which just consisted of picking the disk and performing any advanced functions on the drive selected (format\partition\etc...). Other than was pretty straight forward and beyond putting in my locale info (time zone, keyboard type, language) along with an ID and password information...I was pretty much done with actually installing Vista and now it was time to FIX VISTA to work with my hardware.

The first major issue that has yet to really be rectified is the fact that my video card is having issues. It all started with Vista substituting the Microsoft version of the Nvidia driver...that was beautiful...text was alternating between light and dark (regular and bold font size) no matter what resolution or refresh rate I used. I updated the driver to the EVGA\Nvidia v.100.65 driver, which cleaned up the drastic difference in the font and left me with a red halo around bold fonts. Then I found a newer EVGA\Nvidia driver v.101.41, all of which are beta drivers, which I installed and much to my disappointment...still a damn red halo around bold text. At this point I figured I might be just too anal in my expectations, so I figured I would look past the font issue and just toss a game on to see if it effected that in the same way as the font. After installing BF2...well...with the colors going crazy and the screen flickering...I figured that yes...there is still alot to be desired in the area of EVGA\Nvidia drivers working under Vista. I concluded that this problem would have to wait until there was a suitable driver for my card in Vista.

The second issue was the integrated sound card on my motherboard, RealTEK AC'97 Audio. Yeah...I know a few of you are laughing your asses off with are probably the jackasses who can tell a difference of a bird chirp on my gear and the $200 card you have :P Anyhow...after getting Vista up it found this audio card as a RealTEK, but with an unsuitable driver? What the hell is that? I go in search for a would think that ABIT would have Vista drivers for it's products on their website...then you would be wrong. I think the last time they updated the downloads on their site was 2005, so I had to go in search on RealTEK's site...and EURIKA...they had a Vista driver that worked flawlessly. Although Vista's UAC service made it clear that I would not be able to use the HD Audio function of Vista with this card. Thanks Vista for letting me know that!? PFT!!

Third issue is kind of related to the first...the Nforce network adapter wasn't recognized by Vista. Heading over to the Nvidia site, as ABIT is severly lacking in updated drivers, I found the Nforce4 driver I needed and business.

Fourth issue...revolves around my wireless Edimax Wireless Turbo Card...great card with a tethered antennae that works like the BOMB! Now like ABIT Edimax doesn't have a driver for the card on their site, but they are nice enough to point you to a link of the chipset manufacturer for the driver...and wasn't for Vista and didn't work in Vista. So, I remembered that previously this card used the RaLink utility to connect in XP...soooooo...I headed over to the RaLink site to find the latest Vista ready app. There it was...and as it turns out this utility has an equivalent driver that works great.

Finally on the hardware AG Neovo 19" had a generic driver and that just bothered me...along with the whole font issue with the display driver. I opted to change the monitor driver only after the previous graphic card drivers failed to resolve any of the problems I was having, so I figured it might be that. AG Neovo had a driver for this monitor, but again it wasn't for Vista and I could not find ANY other means to get one. However, the XP driver seemed to work it was recognized without issue.

The hardware issues weren't so bad really...something you would expect with any upgrade, but it is the lack of driver support that really irks me. This is not a new issue either, but in the graphics area in would expect one of the top graphic card manufacturers to have a damn updated driver for their product ready for the release of THE major OS of the world. This problem is totally in the hands of Nvidia and in my opinion is one hell of a fumble. Fumble or not though...I, as well as other, are loyal or die hard fans of Nvidia and would rather wait than go to the other side. However, you need to get off your asses Nvidia and get this fixed...for the sake of my Vista experience and I NEED TO GAME! The other hardware manufacturers mentioned before, ABIT and EDIMAX, you guys are ridiculous. You make the sell the product, but you don't support the product...and this is just in reference to keeping the drivers updated on your site. How many average users are going to know to go and search out for the chipset or component manufacturer for a driver. I would guess far less than you would expect, so get on the ball guys...provide a service with your at very least keep updated drivers on your site(s).

Now it is time for probably the biggest pain during my whole experience with Vista thus far, UAC. UAC was behind every damn prompt to install or do anything that was beyond what the average user would do and yes I did disable it. I found it funny that when I was researching exactly what UAC was...almost always the description was followed by the various ways to disable or tweak it to be more friendly. However, most sites that dealt with "tweaking Vista" in particular would go on to have "disabling UAC" in one of there 10 top tweaks or as the very first thing to disable. All of these sites would go on to say how they don't recommend it, but continue right on to instruct one on how to do so. Yeah...UAC does Defender...and the Firewall. I will use my own apps for these least those that work with Vista, which leads right into the whole point of this article aside from the upgrade process I went through.

That point would be...what is the real cost of Vista? The cost is in fact alot more than the sticker price for the OS itself when you consider what hardware upgrades you need and what software upgrades you need to have the system you had before without sacrificing performance. In regards to hardware...if you are a gamer or someone who does alot of media projects...well you are gonna want a system that rates on the MS rating system somewhere between 4.2-5.0 or higher, which will most definitely mean an upgrade in CPU, VIDEO, RAM, or Motherboard. One of these items will have to be upgraded to attain such a rating. The other side of this money pit is the software. In my day of installing all my software on Vista...I became all to aware of what wasn't working...and after visiting some of these software developer sites...well...they either just did not support Vista yet or the version of their software I had did not work with Vista and I would have to upgrade. I added up the software I would have to have in order to be both productive and entertained as I was on XP and it came out to a staggering $1200. I personally do not have that kind of cash to throw at software just because Microsoft wanted to develop an OS that refuses to work with software that isn't NEW. However, I don't feign to think that Microsoft gives a shit about my or anyone elses financial inability to keep up with the Jones' or this upgrade track that Microsoft has set for everyone.

In any event I took the jump and although I don't like seems we will all have to do it eventually. That is "IF" you want to be technologically viable in your knowledge of an OS that will take roots in most companies and offices eventually...not to mention your homes as PC manufacturers adopt this OS. I do not for a minute like the fact that Microsoft put out an OS that is not backward compatible with older software, but what are you gonna do if your hands are shackled to this beast known as Vista. I know...there are those that say go to Linux or use a Mac...well there is no guarantee that my software will work with those either. I do wish I would have waited and saved myself a little bit of frustration and I do most definitely suggest to those of you who have not upgraded yet to do just that...WAIT. Let the bugs get worked out...these bugs such as driver support, software support, and those geniuses out there that figure out the best tweaks and such. You will save yourself alot of stress in doing so.

I also want to add...if you do upgrade feel free to share with everyone that visits. I get A LOT of emails and not alot of comments...comment please...that is what it is there for. Thanks!

Saturday, March 3, 2007

It is like a soap opera with all these damn Vista hacks!

There are ups and there are downs...there is truth, then there are get excited, then you get let down...if those descriptions don't bring to mind a soap opera then I don't know what will.

If you read my previous post "Keznews gets ya keys via Brute Force..." and all the hype that the Keznews story,"Vista Brute Force Keygen", that caused all the hype across the web. Then you also know that the person that made the "keygen" had a change of heart on the legitimacy of his program...doing a total about face on the fact that his program doesn't work...when prior to the world tapping in he was animate about it working. Although most assume that while his "keygen" MIGHT return some keys eventually in a few days, weeks, or is more probable that it was in fact a hoax and that those that reported that they generated keys were probably lying in a bid to be actually does work, as the link was taken down to the proggy, and the developer, Computer User, got a little scared at all the hype and the overall fear that his ass was toast when MS or the other authorities found him.

Well there is the for the up AGAIN...along comes PARADOX, the cracking group, with their own little work around to to get a legit version of Vista. The story was brought to my attention via THE LAND OF RICHARD in the article "Vista cracked by Paradox 2007" and boy it is a whopper that might have an effect on those vendors that distribute Vista via special OEM licensing. The crack relies on the BIOS Emulation Toolkit For Windows Vista x86 and here is a quote on how it works:
Microsoft allows large hardware manufacturers (e.g. ASUS, HP, Dell) to ship their products
containing a Windows Vista installation that does NOT require any kind of product activation as
this might be considered an unnecessary inconvenience for the end-user.
Instead these so-called 'Royalty OEMs' are granted the right to embed certain license information
into their hardware products, which can be validated by Windows Vista to make obtaining further
activation information (online or by phone) obsolete.
This mechanism is commonly referred to as 'SLP 2.0' ('system-locked pre-installation 2.0') and
consists of the following three key elements:

1. The OEM's hardware-embedded BIOS ACPI_SLIC information signed by Microsoft.

2. A certificate issued by Microsoft that corresponds to the specific ACPI_SLIC information.

The certificate is an XML file found on the OEM's installation/recovery media,
ususally called something like 'oemname.xrm-ms'.

3. A special type of product key that corresponds to the installed edition of Windows Vista.

This key can usually be obtained from some installation script found on the OEM's
installation/recovery media or directly from a pre-installed OEM system.

If all three elements match Windows Vista's licensing mechansim considers the given
installation a valid system-locked pre-activated copy (that does not require any
additional product activation procedures).

So the basic concept of the tool at hand is to present any given BIOS ACPI_SLIC information to Windows
Vista's licensing mechanism by means of a device driver.
In combination with a matching product key and OEM certificate this allows for rendering any system
practically indistinguishable from a legit pre-activated system shipped by the respective OEM.

In any event...several link to follow...READ this saga is bound to have a few more twists and turns.

Vista cracked totally by Paradox - Microsoft's in trouble now @ Digg
Vista cracked by Paradox 2007 @ THE LAND OF RICHARD
Windows Vista: Finally Cracked! @ delirial
Vista Licensing Cracked @ In Security
Updated Paradox Vista Activate All Versions & Dual Boot @ Download Database
It's official: Pirates crack Vista at last @ APC

Wi-Fi Hacking and Defences Webcast

I hope that I do not stand alone in wanting my wi-fi to be secure or to just learn about the vulnerabilities that exist on these networks. So, with that intro...the peeps over at GovTech or Digital Communities will be offering a webcast on Tuesday / March 6, 2007 @ 9am PST on just this subject. You will have to register, but it will be free...albeit you may receive some junk in the inbox.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Best Buy internal kiosk website...

Okay...if you haven't read or heard about the Best Buy fiasco...well here it is in a nutshell. Some customers of Best Buy have been complaining that the advertised specials they had seen on the web and in weekly paper promotions were rebutted once they showed up at the store to get that product they had seen, a bait and switch if you will. The store employee(s) would look up this product on the in store website (a site that looks identical to the external website, but is actually an internal site to the store) to check the price...only to find that this special doesn't exist. Thus leaving the customer to either buy this product at a non-reduced rate, not buy anything, or get wrangled into buying something else.

Previously, Best Buy denied this animately...that is until the Connecticut Attorney General got into the which point Best Buy fessed up to the existence of such an internal site. Why they would deny such a site exists at first and then admit the existence of such a site when the legal system is brought in leads one to immediately assume that something is awry here. I am sure the intent of the internal site initially was not to deceive customers, rather to help the employees at the store, but I tend to also believe that as time passed the unscrupulous use of this site was adopted by someone in the organization and spread to the rest...or it was an upper management undocumented decision that was passed down to the satellite stores. In any event the use of the site has been used as a means that is deceptive and by the intentional disavow met of the only goes to assure the mass public that it was intentionally used as a tool to deceive.

Techdirt has been following this story closely and in a recent post, "Best Buy 'Fesses Up That Website In Stores Is Not And Often Not Your Best Buy", an apparent Best Buy employee is posted the following comment:

Here is the actual clip from the bestbuy employee newsletter. BestBuy is a great company and is not trying to dupe customers. The internal website is designed to show sales for that particular store. It seems some untrained employees don't know how to access the external site. Store Kiosk Prices Vary From Web Prices

Have you ever had a customer come in with a printout that reflected one price on a product, but when you looked it up on your in-store kiosk it was another price? That’s because the kiosk in your store reflects your store’s pricing, not necessarily the online offers.

How do I see the Web pricing?

· Click Products, Services, Offerings, Lookup Info on Employee Toolkit. Then under you’ll see links to both the kiosk/in-store pricing and the Web pricing. Click the (Web pricing) link to see what your customer sees at home.

· You can also see only promotions by clicking Ad Source and Promotions and selecting Only Promotions under the Promotions header.

Be aware of these differences so you can price match the price the customer sees on and avoid confusing the customer.

As I stated previously...I am sure the intent of the site was to be used as a tool by the employees, but the profits to be gained by using it in a more deceptive manner would out weight the honest use of this site. The description of the kiosk and website in question in the comment above makes total sense from the Best Buy store standpoint of it's initial use. However, I am equally sure that some undocumented decision was made and the employees made aware that they were to use this site in the exact opposite of it's intended use. This issue has management pressuring the lower employees to deceive all over it and thus I find it hard to lay blame on the sales force and more on management. It sucks all around for the customer, employee, and the trust between the two.

In all...I for one will probably not use this company for any of my electronic needs in the future...I will more than likely stick to getting what I need online.

TweakGuides does it again...

Apparently TweakGuides has come out with a Vista...uhh...tweak guide. The previous guide was invaluable over the years and I can't wait to run through the Vista list...when I upgrade to Vista. Check it out...and most definitely check back as if it is anything like the XP will be updated.

Tweak Companion @ TweakGuides

Did I mention...WGA sucks...

Here is another great reason to hate WGA...check this forum post over at Broadband Reports. After reading the main post as well as all the replies and additional stories...if you still support this must either work at MS or are the mega fanboy looking to get in on the next free laptop deal. All I have to say is when you loose control of the hardware that runs the software that WGA is supposed to have lost the whole rig. When ANY software looses it's authentication or security check when you change the RAM, the video card, and so on...then that is a security check or authentication method that goes beyond it's own good. People have reported at nausea um the problems they have had with WGA and yet it is still the program of choice for authentication from MS.

My problem with WGA stems from a recent bout of adding more RAM to my computer kept asking to I did...then I got the report that my OS was not genuine. After being on the phone for what seemed like an eternity and transferring on a merry go round and talking with some people twice at MS...I was finally given the opportunity to verify my license via info from the box label and license...then it was reset. Then my nephew replaced a video card...boom same issue...same process and these are just the cases that I have had an experience with. The true depth of the problem is more than likely FAR WORSE than most could imagine.

Keznews gets ya keys via Brute Force...

I read this earlier...but when I went back to was down...I wonder why. The reason is...Keznews released an article and the actual software for a means to generate a key by brute force...a key that is actually legit. The keys it will generate will allow you to authenticate with Microsoft.

The process involves backing up a file and replacing it with the one included in the brute force program...then let it get started. Several folks on the Keznews forum have reported getting a key in under a few hours of hashing and it seems EVERYONE that used it was genuine within that time give or take an hour. The beauty in this, like it was pointed out in "Vista activation cracked by brute force" an article at THE INQUIRER.

I really don't know how MS will deal with this it has the potential to generate legit keys of retail versions of Vista, those not purchased yet. So, how to discern is hard, although as stated in THE INQUIRER article...they can limit the number of attempts via some update to the file in question. However, even that will be circumvented I am sure...or has been already...just not floating around yet. Here come some more links:
Vista Brute Force Keygen @ Keznews
Vista activation cracked by brute force @ Playreaction
Vista activation cracked by brute force @ Digg GREAT COMMENTS TO READ
Vista activation cracked by brute force @ ZDNet

Bust the mic...

I was doing some fun surfin'...hitting up YouTube and other sites...looking up videos from the 80's, blues stuff, any musician that came to mind, then I decided I was going to look up videos by TACT an Israeli rap group I believe, and finally I was going to take that rap thing further and just look up middle eastern rap. all I have to say! If you think that American rap is in your face and deals with experience...then after you see some of these middle eastern rap videos you will wonder what American rappers are bitchin' about. I am not going to link videos in this post as I don't want some kid to stumble into some of the very graphic and violent videos that are displayed in some of these videos. A good majority hated America(ns) from some of the graphics, pictures, and video clips used in some of these videos. I couldn't even begin to pass on the message as I don't speak the respective language from each country, but I can say I like the sound of some of the rap coming out of this region. Granted the ones I liked were probably also telling on how they would like to kill me...but from a music standpoint, rhythm and overall sound, it was pretty good. I would love to get one of the videos in particular translated, it was titled Turkey Rap, and from the comments for the video I don't think there was any love for Israel there. My original search for TACT videos turned up a lot of TACT stuff and again...although I do not know a word of what they were saying...I do know they rap about not only their day to day experience, but also for peace in the middle east. I heard of TACT from some news show here...I can't remember which, but I found the idea of Middle Eastern rap interesting.

For the record...I am all about music, all types, and in no way do I condone any violence towards another for any reason. However, I do like to experience something new in regards to music particularly...and the internet has opened up access to things that I would have never thought to seek out previously. I do encourage everyone to check out some of the music you can find out there from other parts of the might be surprised what you may find. Even if they want to kill ya! :P

Geez talk about a slackin ass IT department...

I know this moniker should fall on the managements shoulder's alone, as anyone below that point is just following matter how much are waving, memos, and whatever other means of communication they have tried that has fallen on deaf ears. Corporations for the most part are known for this lack of concern for patches...not all...most. The goof of the year thus far goes to Turner Broadcasting System, which was hit by the RINBOT, due to a security hole in Symantec's anti-virus, that spread throughout the company. Could this have been avoided?...uhh...yeah...since Symantec was the anti-virus of choice there has been a patch for a security hole that the anti-virus package has since 05/2006. PFT...that is definitely some pie in the face on that IT department...and I am sure someone will be fired as a result. Here is more on the story, the flaw, and the bug. Let's hear what you have on this? Oh yeah...gotta love Symantec's take on this (I have to say that this is in no way a fault of Symantec...the darn patch has been out there for 9-10 months):
* This worm attempts to exploit a previously addressed vulnerability in Symantec Client Security and Symantec Antivirus, (SYM06-010; BID 18107); patches for the particular Symantec product vulnerability have been available since Thursday, May 25th, 2006. As a result, customers who have applied the patch in their environment are unaffected by the worm's attempt to leverage the Symantec vulnerability for an attack. Customers running Symantec Client Security or Symantec intrusion prevention (IPS) capable products are protected against all known and unknown exploits of Symantec Client Security and Symantec AntiVirus Elevation of Privilege (SYM06-010; BID 18107)via IPS signatures released on May 26th, 2006. Symantec highly recommends that users of the affected products patch their systems as soon as they are able to help avoid the spread of this particular worm family. If systems are infected with W32.Rinbot.L and this security patch has not been applied please read the document, Attempting to migrate from 10.x to a newer version fails after becoming infected with a worm which exploits SYM06-010. IPS signatures against all known and unknown exploits of the Symantec Client Security and Symantec AntiVirus Elevation of Privilege (SYM06-010; BID 18107) were released on May 26, 2006.

CNN parent hit by bot worm @ C|NET
A Bad Week for Symantec @ /.
New computer virus threatens biz nets @ CNN
Symantec Client Security and Symantec AntiVirus Elevation of Privilege @ Symantec THIS IS ABOUT THE FLAW THAT WAS USED TO GET PAST SYMANTEC'S ANTIVIRUS
W32.Rinbot.L @ Symantec
The SYM06-010 patch for Symantec Client Security and Symantec AntiVirus @ Symantec PATCH THAT HAS BEEN AVAILABLE SINCE 05/2006

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Are M$ products getting more expensive?

ZDNet has an article that debates just that..."Is Windows getting more expensive?". Well I think overall the prices are about on par with past prices. However, that means one of two things...they are being pretty fair about how they price their good against current market value orrrr they have always been overpriced and they are just being consistent. I for one think that they have always been overpriced and in a sense encourage people to go to whatever means they have to in order to get a copy. I am not saying that most of those that pirate are doing that because it is "too expensive", as I am positive that some of these jokers can in fact afford it and choose not to buy it. Another segment are those that might not be able to afford it now...but could at some point purchase it. I am sure A LOT of folks that have been using a non-legit versions of Windows, in this case, would be more than willing to fork over the dough if the prices were a little more reasonable.

With the revelations of whole countries and Russian teachers that without pirated copies of Windows...they wouldn't have been able to keep up or compete with the rest of the world in OS knowledge and more. This since Microsoft's products are widely used by many corporations and the private sector around the world...thus leaving those that can't afford such software "wanting" and when someone is in this state...the lure of the alternative...FREE in this case will take hold.

I am no fool...I know that in order to sustain a company you must make profits...but at what level do those profits become something more than just a reward for a good product or service. When success takes hold of a the companies that provide those products or services have any reason to cut costs? even minutely? In a perfect world these cuts would come forth at the will of the companies...while not cutting profits would still give the customer something. Some would think that this should be the case even more so for those that have a monopoly in any given market. Windows in this case...has managed to become the sole software of choice, sit down Mac users and shut up...Windows is still used by the majority, and as such is used predominantly across the globe. Are there any REAL competitors for this sector or user base? Some will say Mac...some will say Linux...but do any of these offer any advantage over Windows? If they do...will these alternatives not scare the shit out of someone who is scared of change? Is it easy to learn?

I guess or hope I have made my point...and that is I do think Windows is too expensive...and that Microsoft can do more to lower the cost of Windows, as most companies can do to lower the cost of their products or services. What do you think?

March is upon is the DST patchin' time!

For those not in the is time to patch your windows OS for the new Daylight Savings Time (DST). You have one of two options...go to Microsoft's site and download it orrrrrrrrr you can go to InteliAdmin to download the fix from them. The cool thing with the InteliAdmin tool is that it will tell you if you are patched already, just in case you got patched via Windows Update or just unsure. The other benefit to the latter is that you don't have to go through that extra step of the validation process Microsoft has put up. It is this immense distrust that Microsoft has against ALL of the Microsoft users out there that that went into making the validate to addition to this they went and added a WGA update that operates in such a way that you cannot even update your freakin' RAM without having to re-validate. I was on the side of Microsoft until they went and screwed the legit users with WGA. Anyhow...links below for both varieties.

Microsoft Downloads
Windows 2003 Server
Windows 2003 Server for Itanium Based Systems
Windows 2003 Server for X64 edition
Windows XP
Windows XP X64
Microsoft manual fix - applies to Windows 2K, 2K Server, 2K Advanced Server, XP Home, and XP Professional
Windows Update

IntelliAdmin DST Update Page
IntelliAdmin Download Page