"If I had not been reading your book an hour ago, I'd be breathing into a paper bag by now! I just had a huge, terrible problem when my computer screen started dancing, and I stayed calm !"
A fresh look at computer issues, attitudes, humor and solutions, delivered by the author of "Computer Ease." www.cclarity.com. "Clarity of mind means clarity of passion, too; this is why a great and clear mind loves ardently and sees distinctly what it loves." -Blaise Pascal
Microsoft patch meant to fix critical security flaws in Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 is causing trouble for some users, the company said Friday.
The patch was released Tuesday to fix four Windows flaws, including one that experts predict will be exploited by a worm in the coming days. The flaw, tagged "critical" by Microsoft, lies in a Windows component for transaction processing called the Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator, or MSDTC.
Installing the patch can cause serious problems, Microsoft said in an advisory posted to its Web site Friday. The patch could lock users out of their PC, prevent the Windows Firewall from starting, block certain applications from running or installing, and empty the network connections folder, among other things, the software maker said.
The trouble appears to occur only when default permission settings on a Windows directory have been changed, according to Microsoft. The software maker has received "limited reports" of problems from customers but is still investigating the issue, a representative said.
Even if users experience PC trouble after installing the patch, they will still be protected against any attack exploiting the Windows flaw, a Microsoft representative said. The patch was delivered with Microsoft security bulletin MS05-051.
To resolve any problems caused by the MS05-051 patch, users should restore the default permissions for the Windows folder and the COM+ catalog. A guide is available on the Microsoft Web site, and steps start with changing the permissions on the "registration" folder in the Windows directory.
If you need help, giv eme a call. As you know, I continue to recommend clients don't go overboard on applying the Microsoft Service Pack or downloading patches. If you use good anti-virus and anti-spyware software, plus a hardware or software filewall, and if you use Netscape instead of Internet Explorer, you're safe.
We recently noticed one or more attempts to use your Amazon account for a foreign IP address, to sell a lot of goods from www.amazon.com, and we have reasons to believe that your Amazon account was hijacked by a third party without your notification.
If you recently use your Amazon account while traveling to a foreign country, the unusual use attempts may have been made by you.
However if you are the rightful owner of the Amazon account, click on the link below and submit as we are truing to verify your credit card information.
The 500MHz laptop will run a "skinny version" of the open-source Linux operating system. It will have a two-mode screen, so it can be viewed in color and then by pushing a button or activating software switch to a black-and-white display, which can be viewed in bright sunlight at four times normal resolution, according to Negroponte. He estimates the display will cost around $35.
The laptop can be powered either with an AC adapter or via a wind-up crank, which is stored in the housing of the laptop where the hinge is located. The laptops will have a 10 to 1 crank rate, so that a child will crank the handle for one minute to get 10 minutes of power and use. When closed, the hinge forms a handle and the AC cord can function as a carrying strap, according to Negroponte. The laptops will be ruggedized and probably made of rubber, he said. They will have four USB (Universal Serial Bus) ports, be Wi-Fi- and cell phone enabled and come with 1G byte of memory.
Ten things you can do in ten minutes
1. Clean another thousand temp files.
2. Back up your email address book. Click File/export or
Tools/export and save as a .txt file.
3. Catch the Sudoku puzzle craze at www.saidwhat.co.uk/easy.php.
4. Empty the Recycle Bin.
5. Say goodbye to the thousands of e-mails in your Sent folder.
6. Buy a USB thumb drive for quick, portable backups.
7. Divorce yourself from Google. Try clusty.com for clustered,
8. Update your web site.
9. Click on your anti-virus program to make sure it's updated
and protecting you..
10. And, yes, backup your data, again.
Don't relax this summer when it comes to keeping your data safe online. Media reports of unauthorized access to sensitive personal data are taking a toll on consumers' confidence in online commerce, according to research and analysis firm Gartner Inc.
A Gartner survey of 5,000 U.S. adults showed that phishing attacks grew at double-digit rates last year in the United States.
Consumers reported receiving more than 50 phishing e-mails in the past year, an increase of 28 percent over the prior year. when an estimated 57 million U.S. adults reported that they definitely, or think, they received a phishing attack email. In both surveys, 5,000 participants were selected to match demographic characteristics of the U.S. online population.
2.4 million online consumers report losing money directly because of the phishing attacks. Of these, approximately 1.2 million consumers lost $929 million during the year preceding the survey. Survey participants indicated most of the money stolen was repaid by banks and credit cards.
Gartner analysts said most online consumers do not open e-mail from companies or individuals they do not know from prior experience. Three of every four online shoppers said they are more cautious about where they buy goods online, and one of three report buying fewer items than they otherwise would because of security concerns.
While companies are rapidly increasing security, this level of online theft is unprecedented. If businesses can't keep data safe, their efforts to lower cost by pushing consumers to online transactions will be thwarted.
More than 80 percent of online consumers said their concerns about online attacks have affected their trust in e-mail from companies or individuals they don't know personally. Of these consumers, more than 85 percent delete suspect e-mail without opening it.
Phishing attacks are not slowing down. More than 40 percent of the adults who received phishing attack e-mails received them in the two weeks preceding the survey; another 23 percent of respondents said they received these e-mails two weeks before that - so more than 63 percent of consumers who received one of these e-mails did so in the month prior to the survey.
Concerned consumers are logging in less frequently, and becoming reluctant to pay bills online.Stay safe online --- Don't click a link in an email directing you to a web site, use a browser with certificate verification, log out promptly when finished, and keep a record in the computer of your online transactions. Use a firewall, and good protection software that can detect phishing, rerouted links, and third-party redirecting of links.
CNN reports today that a British survey found people distracted by phone calls, email and text messaging suffer a greater loss of IQ that a person smoking marijuana.
In 80 clinical trials, Dr. Glenn Wilson, a psychiatrist at King's College London University, monitored the IQ of workers throughout the day.
He found the IQ of those who tried to juggle messages and work fell by 10 points -- the equivalent to missing a whole night's sleep and more than double the 4-point fall seen after smoking marijuana.
"This is a very real and widespread phenomenon," Wilson said. "We have found that this obsession with looking at messages, if unchecked, will damage a worker's performance by reducing their mental sharpness.
" Wilson said the IQ drop was even more significant in the men who took part in the tests.
"The research suggests that we are in danger of being caught up in a 24-hour 'always on' society," said David Smith of Hewlett Packard.
"This is more worrying when you consider the potential impairment on performance and concentration for workers, and the consequent impact on businesses."
Read the full story at:http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/europe/04/22/text.iq/index.html
"UPDATE: Time is running out! Please note that the mechanism to temporarily disable delivery of Windows XP SP2 is only available for a period of 240 days (8 months) from August 16, 2004. At the end of this period (after April 12, 2005), Windows XP SP2 will be delivered to all Windows XP and Windows XP Service Pack 1 systems.Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) contains major security improvements designed to provide better protection against hackers, viruses, and worms. Windows XP SP2 also improves the manageability of the security features in Windows XP and provides more and better information to help users make decisions that may potentially affect their security and privacy. Because of these significant improvements, Microsoft views Windows XP SP2 as an essential security update and is therefore distributing it as a “critical update” via Windows Update (WU) and the Automatic Updates (AU) delivery mechanism in Windows. Microsoft strongly urges customers with Windows XP and Windows XP Service Pack 1-based systems to update to Windows XP SP2 as soon as possible."
The virus' subject line and attachment share the same name, researchers say, but change continually to match headlines from CNN.com's home page.
The virus can also plant spyware on your computer. In addition to emailing itself to other users, it installs a "backdoor Trojan function that cansend data such as keystrokes to a remote user -- a practice sometimes used by hackers to obtain sensitive information such as passwords.
Use reputable anti-virus software and be sure it's working. My #1 recommendation is ETrust from Computer Associates at www.ca.com. If you have an active subscription to Norton or McAfee, keep updating the virus definition files and make sure it is protecting your e-mail.