January 2005 - Posts
I personally dont find the new AntiSpyware acquisition by Microsoft that big of a deal for me directly. Why? For a few reasons:
1. I dont visit the typical site which are prone to take advantage of my browser. And when I do I monitor my processes very closely. Nor do I install stupid things which I do not trust.
2. I dont have clicky fingers.
3. I know what I'm doing.
Through education and a few useful (free, non-beta tools) one can literally wipe a machine clean, easily. I'm not talking about the typical tools either. I have never installed crap like SpyBot, Adaware or any of the others. I have two *better* tools at my disposal.
...drum roll.. Process Explorer and AutoRuns from Sysinternals.com. With a little bit of digging you can find everything you need to know about your system. Take some time and get used to these tools. Consider the DLL's for each process using Process Explorer. Look for oddballs, strange paths. After time you will get used to your system and be able to immediately spot the crap that creeps into your system. I will continue using these tools until MSFT decides to include their AntiSpyware tool at the OS level, and is always free. See my last paragraph on some thoughts with this.
So what IS the big deal? Well I have friends and family that are simply not as confident and able to do the job as well as I can. I have pointed at least 3 or 4 people to the tool all of which have came back to me with positive comments. So it does have a use. :)
So is this product always going to remain free? Are they going to roll it in as a paid service like everything else that is pumping up for Longhorn?
Off topic, but have you noticed that MSFT is positioning themselves for a more service based approach? They have the whole MSN Spaces, the Outlook Live stuff, they bought Giant (AntiSpyware), which I'm sure we will see that as an online service soon enough. Its almost as if MSFT is planning on giving the base OS out for free, and then packing a bunch of paid services on top of it.
Will people really pay a time based subscription fee for online services when they can simply go to other vendors?
I have been getting a few calls lately (5 to 10 in about 2 weeks) from a private number (no caller id) on my cell phone which, when I pick it up, is dead air. On Friday I decided to wait for a few seconds longer because some telemarketing companies like the auto-dialing features which immediately put you on hold once you answer your phone. So viola, someone did pick up.
He claimed that his name was Francios, and he was a Fido (think of Fido as your everyday cell phone provider) customer service representative. He thanked me for my recent payment and wanted to know if I wanted to sign up for automatic payments via my bank or credit card. I said no, of course. Next he wanted to know if I wanted to update my secret word, or pass-phrase. I said no again; I started to get suspicious. He expressed to me that currently on my account there was no secret word and that I should immediately change it.
That’s when I politely told him that I have absolutely no idea who he is. He claimed to be from Fido, but how can I confirm that? I told him that my secret word has been on my account since day one, and that it is very strange that he is asking for it again. I became agitated that he simply played stupid with me. The conversation ended on that note.
On Saturday I decided to call Fido directly to get to the bottom of this. I dislike the fact that they are randomly calling me asking me for my information like that. I went through the process in verifying who I was and such with the operator, never did they ask me for my secret word (what good is it then?). Anyways after we agreed on who each other were I asked him what he has on file for my secret word. He said “REF”. “REF”!? What the hell is that and why!? Very annoying that they could simply lose my information, especially the piece of information which is designed to authenticate me. I immediately created a new secret word for my account –not that I have any confidence in it.
Near the end of the conversation I simply asked him if they do random calls to their clients. He said “No”. I explained the situation to him and asked him again if that is normal or if they are doing some sort of surveys on their accounts. Again, he said “No”. I can only assume that it was a scam. Someone attempted to steal my personal information, for some reason.
That’s a big heads up for me. I think from now on I will start authenticating those that call me. They ask that of us, we should be able to do the same.
Listen to the RSS feed from http://weblogs.asp.net/ all day via BlogRadio.
What is BlogRadio?
I actually take the RSS document and use MSFT's Text to Speech to convert it over to .wav files and then to .mp3 and finally queue it up into WinAmp for the SHOUTCast feed. This is NOT Podcasting. The audio is generated based on the text posts on the client.
I plugged in a few sample ads for the fun of it.
Slipknot has been on my top 10 list for a few years now and they finally decided to pay Vancouver a visit. Great Show!
Opening for them was Killswitch Engage and Unearthed; an all ages show.
The PNE forum (just a big ass room with a stage at one end) was a needed break from the typical Commodore Ballroom (a fairly large night club). The line up in the "Beer Garden" sucked and was expensive.
I'm sure some of you saw Slipknot perform on Jay Leno a while back. They stuck out like a sore thumb. I think Jay was scared for his life. A bunch of weird fucks in clown suits jumping around and banging on shit with bats.
Amazing to see a group of 9 or 10 guys feed off of each other for energy, which in turns feeds into the crowd and enormous mosh pit.
About 1/2 way through the performance he got everyone to shut up and actually go down on one knee. The entire crowd was down. He instructed us what his que will be when we all can get up. Amazing to see that the entire crowd actually listened. Drunk kids, adults, stoners, cronics, goths, everyone in synch waiting in anticipation for the single word to jump and finally it came and we all screamed and jumped to our feet. Fun.
I wonder if Steve Ballmer was trying to have this effect in is famous "Developer Developer developer" speech back in the day. Ha.
One last thing. This wasnt the first time they came to Vancouver. They were here a few years ago, second stage at Ozzfest. Thats one festival I just lost of memory of....I wonder why... ;)
A nice list of free software over at Mentalis.org
Certificate Services Library
Crypto Service Provider Library
A Co-Worker pointed this out, I wonder if it has been fixed yet?
Anyone have any details?
SanDisk is showing off their new SD card with a built-in USB plug.
When you click the Convert button, the markup in the textbox is saved as an XAML file on the server. The file is then sent to our preview Xamlon™ Pro - Flash edition, which converts the markup to SWF format.
"We didn't do Xbox just to do a video game, we did it to be part of our vision of the digital lifestyle, and with the next generation, we really get to go there."
"The boundary between what's game playing, what's socialization and what's communication--you will have really broken down the barriers there. "
Does this mean the death to projects like XBMC and XBOX Mod'ding in general? Doubt it. No matter what I think people will still rip it apart and mess with it, its just our nature. People want free games and free media without the hassle of having to actually purchase it.
My hopes? I want to see full PVR (personal video recorder) integration of course with my local television listings (and to be able to the cable input and record -useful for VHS to dvd-). I want to be able to stream and record my TV. I want to be able to playback recorded television and other saved movies. I want scripting support (or something similar to the python support in XBMC). I want a skinnable interface. I want to be able to shove a DVD in the drive and make a backup copy of it, and to be able to view that backup copy at my leisure. I want at least 200Gb of storage. MSN Integration, RSS Feeds, Weather, etc.. So many on my list.
Maybe the Xbox 2 guys should mod a box, install the latest version of XBMC and rip all the features plus add a bunch new.
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