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Topics - Die Hard

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Web News / Don´t blame Sweden: The Stockholm syndrome
« on: May 08, 2006, 10:26:24 PM »

I was having the kind of day that makes you want to lock yourself in a wardrobe until it's all over.

Die Hard :)

Web News / One good reason for not flying
« on: May 06, 2006, 05:23:40 AM »,,1766266,00.html

This is the story of a piece of paper no bigger than a credit card, thrown away in a dustbin on the Heathrow Express to Paddington station. It was nestling among chewing gum wrappers and baggage tags, cast off by some weary traveller, when I first laid eyes on it just over a month ago.
The traveller's name was Mark Broer. I know this because the paper - actually a flimsy piece of card - was a discarded British Airways boarding-pass stub, the small section of the pass displaying your name and seat number. The stub you probably throw away as soon as you leave your flight.


We logged on to the BA website, bought a ticket in Broer's name and then, using the frequent flyer number on his boarding pass stub, without typing in a password, were given full access to all his personal details - including his passport number, the date it expired, his nationality (he is Dutch, living in the UK) and his date of birth. The system even allowed us to change the information.

Using this information and surfing publicly available databases, we were able - within 15 minutes - to find out where Broer lived, who lived there with him, where he worked, which universities he had attended and even how much his house was worth when he bought it two years ago. (This was particularly easy given his unusual name, but it would have been possible even if his name had been John Smith. We now had his date of birth and passport number, so we would have known exactly which John Smith.)

Security Alerts & Briefings / Windows Vista
« on: April 25, 2006, 09:55:31 PM »
I went to a Windows Vista Summit today, where the new platform from Microsoft was presented.
The event started at 9 am and went on until 5 pm.
A lot of information was presented, I tried to make notes at the same time as I listening trying to comprehend the massive amount of information that was given.

Two of the speakers were flown in from Redmond, Debra Weissman and Stella Chernyak.
I have accumulated some of the info I managed to collect here below:

Disclaimer: Those are my own notes and I leave no guarantee that they are 100 % accurate.Since the notes are my own, Microsoft is in no way involved in making them.

Vista can be run on a system with 1 Ghz CPU and 256 Mb memory and a 64 Mb GPU. But , Vista has a very nice interface and many new graphic features so the recommended system has to meet 3 Ghz CPU, 1 Gb memory and a GPU with at least 128 Mb memory in order to be able to use it fully.

The consumer version of Vista is scheduled to be launched in January 2007, the corporate version is launched in November this year.
There are going to be five versions of Vista:
Home Basic
Home Premium

Where of course Home Basic is a stripped version and Enterprise is the version containing all features.

Vista contains 1 400 000 sourcecode files, compared to Server 2003 which contains 745 000.
Vista contains a feature where the system diagnoses itself and repair corrupt files before Windows boots.It looks for corrupt memory, discs, GPU etc.Microsoft estimates that 80 % of all errors could be fixed this way.
The event manager is extended, it shows graphs where it´s possible to see exactly when errors have occured and which program or application that caused it.From the event manager , the taskmanager can be opened and the conflicting program is easily terminated.

Open documents are displayed in the taskbar. Scrolling the mouse over them shows a thumb image.

The indexing function is implemented in all folders, and it´s also extended where a search for keyword, author or simply a part of a word is possible.

Vista has an ability to show documents in folders in 3D, all at once .Showing them this way makes it easy to leaf through the documents until the right one is found.

Chips to lock the computer is standard (smartcard). This is important when more than 50 % of all computers sold today in Japan are mobile computers (laptops) . A figure that is estimated to be reached in USA in 2007.
Volumes could be coded, a TPM-chip is required to unlock it. Vista uses TPM version 1.2. This system is called "Bitlocker".

The firewall has three levels, "corporate level" , "home level" and "public level"

Vista has a "Presentation mode", which means that all programs except the one used during the presentation are terminated, like e-mail programs.

Instead of hanging when the system runs out of memory, Vista displays a warning so the user can close documents or applications and no data is lost.

Vista contains its own ghost, "WAIK". When installing Vista, a second partition has to be made where a ghost version of the installed system can be stored. This ghost could also be easily edited. New drivers, program updates a so forth could be added and they are installed when WAIK is used replacing a system. If a PC in a corporate environment is replaced, the WAIK-file from this computer is moved to the server and when the new workstation is plugged in, this file is installed and the new workstation is up and running again in less than 30 mins.

Many new features are made to improve the mutimedia section. Windows Media Player is updated to version 11.

In Vista a USB memory stick can be used as an extra RAM. Very convenient, just plug in and extend the internal memory. However, the USB-stick needs to meet certain standards, it can´t be a slow stick or the system will be sluggish instead of speeding up.

The network administrator can create a default folder on the server, where all music, videos and even downloads end up, available for all. This eliminates that 47 Mp3-versions of "It´s hard to be a pimp" is sent back and forth between the users in the network and are stored locally.

Much work has been done to the services.Microsoft has investigated and looked on all services and if a service doesn´t need  a system level, it has been "downgraded". This to improve the security.
When I looked through the list of services myself I also noticed there were many new services added.

5 % of the total computer capacity is lost due to virus and malicious codes.
When running Vista, even in admin mode, every time a program is started a prompt opens asking if you want to continue ; if it´s ok to run the program.. This is to improve the security, so that the user is alerted if a malicious code is executing.
The thought behind this is admirable, but I suspect most power-users will after a couple of days with those popups simply edit the registry and remove it.

There were also a brief presentation of IE7, but I will not mention it here. Besides, it´s already very well presented on the internet.
However, I like this function in particular:
IE7 could be run in "protected mode" , which is  below the guest level.

Die Hard :)

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LandzDown Lounge / George W Bush is Swedish
« on: April 03, 2006, 06:19:24 PM »
Congratulations to all Americans who think George W Bush is a joke and a clown.
He is actually of Swedish origin, and all such opinions could hereby be put aside. Every time he acts like a buffoon , it´s only a charade.
We do not breed such beings HAHAHA !!  :hysterical: :hysterical:
Die Hard :)

Text copied onto the clipboard can be seen on the web.

Die Hard :)

Jokes / If you ever should have a dull moment
« on: February 17, 2006, 07:49:51 PM »
If you are in need of a cheer-up, read those real e-mails between scammers and their "victims". Even more funny is it because scammers are ruthlessly scammed   :hysterical:

Die Hard :)

Web News / Karen´s Newsletter
« on: February 11, 2006, 03:47:18 PM »
Karen Kenworthy, creator of KarenWhoIs,plus lots of other useful utilities , has written an interesting article in her latest newsletter.
I believe it could be interesting for both the techies and the non-techies.

Die Hard :)

Web News / Incredimail on NASDAQ
« on: February 07, 2006, 07:15:45 PM »

IncrediMail is excited and proud to announce the successful completion of its initial public offering on the NASDAQ Capital Market.

The company began trading on NASDAQ on January 31, 2006 under the symbol MAIL.

Die Hard :)

Web News / A new iMac
« on: January 19, 2006, 08:01:10 AM »
A review of the new iMac, which has a twin Intel procesor.

Reading the review and looking at the specs and design, makes me wanting one  :thumbsup:

Die Hard :)

Security Alerts & Briefings / New WMF-threat
« on: January 16, 2006, 08:28:39 PM »
   We received notification last night that a working exploit "MS Windows Metafile (WMF) Remote File Download Exploit Generator" has been released to the public.  The code takes advantage of the "Vulnerability in Graphics Rendering Engine Could Allow Remote Code Execution", MS# MS06-001.  The exploit code will generate a .wmf that downloads and executes a specified URL.  The sad part to this story is that we have a set of 'plug & play' source code for evil-doers to spread their wares with.  And only 10 days after a patch has been released. 

 Additionally, as noted by reader Juha-Matti Laurio, we can expect to see variants coming very soon.  The group responsible for this release is well-known for this.

Die Hard :)

Internet / IE and file-association
« on: January 06, 2006, 09:50:09 PM »
In the aftermath of the WMF-ordeal, I made some research that I thought could be of public interest.
The base for this has been an article published by Thomas Tydal :

   ""Internet Explorer is designed to display what is most convenient for the user.
On the internet are .jpg,.png and .gif used for images. Most web-browsers only accept those, but IE wants to be user-friendly and accept almost anything.
If you put a WMF-image inside an "img"-tag  ,IE is going to display it on the page. Even if you change the extention to .jpg and the webserver says it´s image/jpg couldn´t IE care less ; "I recognize this image , it´s a WMF-file !"

Have a look at this text-file:

It´s a plain text-file only consisting of ascii-fonts. The file-extention is .txt. The webserver says it´s a text/plain. "But hey, I recognize this one", says IE. "It´s HTML, I can interprete that. Have you seen how nice it looks".""


The text says:
"This is a text-file.
But a text-file can´t have italic fonts,can it ? "
The html-code inside is:
Code: [Select]
<h1>Är det här en textfil?</h1>
<i>Men en textfil kan väl inte ha kursiv text?</i>
And that is what IE actually should have displayed.

"" That is a problem with IE. It´s trying to assume what things are and that has caused problems in the past and will do so again.    ""


Ok, so I modified the text to English and saved it in a notepad sheet as a .txt-file.
Code: [Select]
<h1>Is this a text-file?</h1>
<i>Is it possible to type</i><h3>bold</h3><i> or italic fonts?</i>
I opened the file in Frontpage and with html.
This is how it looks, just as it would be seen on any homepage with IE:

Then I went to Internet Options and under the security tab>advanced I disabled "Open files based on the content, not the file-extention"

I then went back to the homepage of Thomas Tydal and opened
This time the plain text was displayed, together with a security warning in the toolbar , saying "this file isn´t displayed correctly, the content doesn´t match the local security settings"

Die Hard :)

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LandzDown Lounge / Football WC
« on: December 19, 2005, 06:45:45 PM »
I just wanted to tell how excited I am. I just pre-ordered 3 tickets (for myself and my two youngest sons) to the match between Sweden and England on June 20:th . The match is in Cologne.
Pre-order means that I will have tickets if there are any available.Answer will arrive within 48 hours .  :thumbsup:

Anyone else going to the WC ?

Die Hard :)

Internet / Just a test
« on: December 12, 2005, 09:26:20 AM »
When I´m home being sick (flu and a sore throat) I had nothing better to do than to test how many toolbars IE could carry.
My very scientific test  :exorcize:  concludes that Internet Explorer has no problems with 8... .

Security Software Programs / Arovax...a new antispyware tool
« on: December 11, 2005, 06:06:10 AM »
  Arovax Company Accepts the Spyware Challenge
And Answers the Call!

Arovax Anti-Spyware: a standalone application for Home and Corporate users designed to keep your PC system clean of all forms of spyware, adware, trojan horses, keystroke loggers, security disablers and other malware. The program works under Microsoft Windows 98/Me/NT/2000/XP and does not interfere with other applications installed on users PC.

I tried it and it work flawlessly. It detected some cookies,but I didn´t give it a harder competition.
I guess it´s still  in the "Light-weight" division, but with proper feedback it might become another tool to reckon.

Die Hard :)

LandzDown Lounge / X-box 360 in a game-store near you :)
« on: December 02, 2005, 12:04:20 AM »
Today dec 2:nd the new X-box 360 is released and out in the retail stores.

I have two boys (15 and 12) who have been eagerly waiting for that. They have scrimped and saved , they sold their old X-box with all games , steering weels and you name it, just to be able to buy this new prodigy from MS.
At 12.00 (midnight) today,only three hours ago, the gamestore shut the doors open and we were there. I wouldn´t let the kids out on their own with that much money in their pockets. I had to add an extra $120, the rest they put up themselves. It costs 5000 skr, which is equal to $625.
Home I went with two tired , but happy boys carrying a shiny new X-box, they are among the first owners of one.

Die Hard :)

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