The model CNET reviewed was, at the time, $479. It ran Windows XP, came with an 80GB hard disk and included Bluetooth networking. If you can live without Bluetooth, you can now buy a very similar model, the Wind U100-420US, with a 120GB hard disk for only $349. For that price you get a gigabyte of RAM, an Intel Atom processor, a 10-inch matte … Read more
Netbook computers are small and underpowered, making them a turn-off for many. But consider the Honda Fit, which was raved about in The Wall Street Journal on Saturday.
The Fit is a small, cheap, underpowered 5 door hatchback. Yet, Jeff Sabatini in the Journal said, "The Fit truly offers everything you need in a car, and nothing you don't." This is exactly the niche that Netbooks seek to occupy in the laptop computer world.
Compared with other cars in its class (the Chevrolet Aveo 5, the Nissan Versa and the Scion xD), Sabatini argues that a lot … Read more
On November 6th, an article appeared in the New York Times that all Word users should review.
The question in the Q and A column was Is it possible to extract the content from a corrupted Microsoft Word 2003 file that won't open? Turns out there are a number of options.
When opening a file with File -> Open, the "Files of Type" drop-down menu has an option to "Recover Text from Any File."
A more ambitious approach is to repair the document. In Word 2002, 2003 and 2007, use File -> Open, … Read more
I have a lot of e-mail addresses and thus attract my fair share of unwanted and malicious e-mail. The latest malware spreading e-mail to land in my in-boxes has purported to be from the package delivery company UPS. Thursday, I received two of these, but there have been other similar messages recently.
As you can see in the picture below, it came with an attached ZIP file.
ZIP files are commonly used as a container to transmit malicious software. The number in the name of the ZIP file is probably there to evade detection by antivirus software; the numbers were … Read more
If you use a Windows computer connected to a network, a newly discovered bug makes it possible for a bad guy to wreak havoc on the computer without your doing anything. The most vulnerable versions of Windows are XP, 2000 and Server 2003. Vista and Server 2008 are also vulnerable, but not as badly. Microsoft considers the bug important enough to issue the patch immediately rather than waiting for their normal once-a-month patch Tuesday.
Susan Bradley, writing for the Windows Secrets newsletter recommends immediately installing the just-issued patch. Then she offers some unusual advice, suggesting people first restart their computers &… Read more
Frank Hayes, writing in Computerworld, does a great job recounting how an Excel to PDF conversion resulted in Barclays Capital making a multi-million dollar mistake in their offering to buy part of Lehman Brothers. In and of itself, it's an interesting story, but Hayes concludes with this advice for using technology:
Keep it simple.Don't make assumptions.And never, ever trust tech more than you really have to.
See a summary of all my Defensive Computing postings.
Update October 20, 2008 Noon EDT. According to Secunia they now detect version 10 of the Flash Player and they have corrected their FAQ. However, the most important issue, treating version 9 of the Flash Player as good rather than bad has not changed. Update October 20, 2008 9 PM EDT. An email from Secunia said they don't consider version 9,0,124,0 of the Flash Player to be bad because it is the latest edition of version 9 and because Adobe still supports version 9.
I've mentioned previously that I'm a big fan of Secunia'… Read more
Adobe just released version 10 of the free Flash Player Web browser plug-in. The new version (10.0.12.36) replaces version 9,0,124,0 (yes, those are commas, not periods) and includes an important fix for a security flaw known as "clickjacking," as well as fixes for other problems.
Everyone should update their copy of the Flash Player, and this post explains how to do so on Windows machines (the Flash Player also runs on OS X and Linux).
Updating the Flash Player on a Windows machine is unusually cumbersome. In part, this is because the … Read more
If you work in a corporation, then you might be interested in a blog posting by Joel Hruska over at Ars Technica that reviews a report by Compuware on how and why corporations lose data.
Compuware surveyed 1,112 "IT practitioners" and found that only 1 percent of data losses could be attributed to hackers.
The other 99 percent? Mostly negligent insiders. The next biggest sources of trouble were outsourcing and malicious employees.
Asked about their employer's ability to monitor and detect information theft, most of those surveyed said their employers did a poor job.
If you … Read more
There was an interesting article recently in The New York Times about getting locked out of a Gmail account.
In August, blogger Alan Shimel of StillSecure wrote about his problems regaining access to a Yahoo e-mail account. Suffice it to say that if someone learns your Web mail password, it's a very difficult situation--one that may not end well.
For one thing, the Web mail provider may not know enough about you to determine the true account owner. Worse still, anyone using a free Web mail account from Google (Gmail), Yahoo, or Microsoft (Hotmail) can't expect to talk … Read more