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Security Enhancements in Windows Vista

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 17-May-2007 21:40

If you are interested in knowing what security features were introduced with Windows Vista, then the "Security Enhancements in Windows Vista" whitepaper is for you.

This article highlights security enhancements in Windows Vista, the most secure version of Windows yet.

This article includes information about security enhancements in Windows Vista and how Microsoft used the Security Development Lifecycle to increase the security of the Windows operating system.

This is the list of topics covered in that whitepaper:

Security Enhancements in Windows Vista 
Windows Vista: The Most Secure Version of Windows Yet 
A key milestone on the path to Trustworthy Computing 
Windows Vista: New features, new choices 
Engineering a Secure Operating System: The Security Development Lifecycle 
The impact of the SDL 
Security is a process 
Under the Hood of Windows Vista 
Windows service hardening 
More defense-in-depth: NX and ASLR 
64-bit security enhancements: Kernel patch protection and driver signing 
New User, Network, and Application Security Options 
User Account Control 
Windows Defender 
Windows Firewall 
Windows Security Center 
Network Access Protection 
New logon architecture 
Easier smart card deployment 
New Data Protection Options 
BitLocker™ Drive Encryption 
Integrated Rights Management Services client 
Encrypting File System enhancements 
Security Options in Internet Explorer 7 
Microsoft Phishing Filter 
Extended validation SSL certificate support 
Internet Explorer Protected Mode 
URL handling protections 
ActiveX Opt-in 
Fix My Settings 

How much (in GB) is your monthly bandwidth usage?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 17-May-2007 13:36

If you are here in New Zealand check this discussion that Tony Hughes, one of our Geekzone moderators, started:

What's your usage figures lookin' like?

The thread is just a list of how much bandwidth people consume - and I've seen extreme cases such as 600 MB/month through 60 GB/month (my own is about 46 GB month).

So, why don't you join the discussion and post your numbers there?

Internet access for travellers in New Zealand's South Island

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 17-May-2007 12:53

Interesting post by Jon Udell:

Notwithstanding my rationalization the other day, you’ll certainly want to bring your camera. You might reasonably opt to leave your laptop home, though, because Internet access from hotels here is a comedy of errors. The most absurd moment came last night when I checked into a hotel in Christchurch. I bought an access card for the WiFi service for $10, scratched it to reveal the access code, and…it smudged completely! I could not believe it! This card has only one purpose in life — to reveal a string of hex digits — and it cannot even manage to do that. Incredible!

Right, this is another example that shows that all the talk about our broadband infrastructure is still in early stages. We talk about fiber to the premises and mesh wi-fi, but it seems people forget about business needs. What about wireless access at airports (fair enough, the Wellington airport now offers free wi-fi in the main area)? What about the Auckland airport, our gateway to the world?

And what about hotels? I've been to some hotels here in New Zealand and Internet access seems to be last thing they think off. My parents-in-law spent a week in Queenstown in a posh place, and they only had access to dial-up - incredibly stupid idea, seeing that people visiting New Zealand coming from overseas will not have dial-up accounts in this country.

About Jon's trip to Wellington (before going to the South Island), he was attending the GOVIS conference, a very exclusive forum for companies or individuals that:

- [They] are part of the New Zealand Defence Force
- [They] are the New Zealand Police Force
- [They] are the New Zealand Parliamentary Service
- [They] are the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service
- [They] are the New Zealand Government Communications Security Bureau
- [They] are the Reserve Bank of New Zealand
- [They] are the Office of the Clerk
- [They] are the Parliamentary Counsel Office
- [They] are an Office of Parliament

If you want to know what Jon talked about during his keynote at GOVIS, check his post "Shared Navigation of online bureaucracies":

In my talk on Friday at the GOVIS (government information systems) conference in Wellington, I wasn’t the only one to suggest that web 2.0 attitudes will change the relationship between governments and citizens. That notion now seems to be pretty firmly established, and the question is not whether citizens will collaborate with their governments, but rather how.

Among other developments, I think we’ll soon see a refreshing new approach to the consumption of government services. A couple of weeks ago at Berkeley’s school of information I met Anna Kartavenko, one of Bob Glushko’s graduate students, She’s working on ways to make the byzantine California regulatory apparatus more accessible. If you’re starting a business in that state, it’s really hard to figure out which licenses you need to apply for, as well as how (and in what order) to apply for them.

I didn't even know this thing existed... Jon Udell now works for Microsoft. Gotta go and subscribe to his feed now.

The perils of search engines in the wrong hands

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 16-May-2007 15:42

Last weekend I was talking to friends about the risk of search engines releasing information - any information - about your searches on-line, and unintended consequences, such as insurance companies changing the premium on your life insurance based on knowing that you have searched for information on a known disease.

This was an interesting discussion because it was timely. What if a person searching on you is not qualified to assess the value or quality of the information retrieved?

Andrew Feldmar, a Vancouver psychotherapist, was on his way to pick up a friend at the Seattle airport last summer when he ran into a little trouble at the border.

A guard typed Mr. Feldmar’s name into an Internet search engine, which revealed that he had written about using LSD in the 1960s in an interdisciplinary journal. Mr. Feldmar was turned back and is no longer welcome in the United States, where he has been active professionally and where both of his children live.

Mr. Feldmar, 66, has a distinguished résumé, no criminal record and a candid manner.

This is not the first time I read about border guards searching people's names on Google and deciding to turn the visitor away based on those results. But what if someone has been the victim of a Google Bomb?

Things to remember: keyboards don't like coffee

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 16-May-2007 11:19

I've been using computers for longer than 25 years now... And this is the first time it happened: coffee spill!

Note to self: keyboards don't like coffee spills.

Off to get a replacement for my Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 6000. And I am really tempted to get a Logitech slim keyboard.

Life in prison for Attempted Copyright Infringement?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 16-May-2007 10:12

As would say "After solving all problems", the guys froms the lobby groups (MPAA, RIAA) and the U.S. Attorney General, seem to have lost the plot, according to CNET:

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is pressing the U.S. Congress to enact a sweeping intellectual-property bill that would increase criminal penalties for copyright infringement, including "attempts" to commit piracy.

"To meet the global challenges of IP crime, our criminal laws must be kept updated," Gonzales said during a speech before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington on Monday.

The Bush administration is throwing its support behind a proposal called the Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2007, which is likely to receive the enthusiastic support of the movie and music industries, and would represent the most dramatic rewrite of copyright law since a 2005 measure dealing with prerelease piracy.

Here's our podcast on the topic.

The IPPA would, for instance:

* Criminalize "attempting" to infringe copyright. Federal law currently punishes not-for-profit copyright infringement with between 1 and 10 years in prison, but there has to be actual infringement that takes place. The IPPA would eliminate that requirement. (The Justice Department's summary of the legislation says: "It is a general tenet of the criminal law that those who attempt to commit a crime but do not complete it are as morally culpable as those who succeed in doing so.")

* Create a new crime of life imprisonment for using pirated software. Anyone using counterfeit products who "recklessly causes or attempts to cause death" can be imprisoned for life. During a conference call, Justice Department officials gave the example of a hospital using pirated software instead of paying for it.

* Permit more wiretaps for piracy investigations. Wiretaps would be authorized for investigations of Americans who are "attempting" to infringe copyrights.

* Add penalties for "intended" copyright crimes. Certain copyright crimes currently require someone to commit the "distribution, including by electronic means, during any 180-day period of at least 10 copies" valued at more than $2,500. The IPPA would insert a new prohibition: actions that were "intended to consist of" distribution.


I will stop here... It's too much bull stuff coming out of there. I mean, they have other pressing issues at the moment, such as a whole war going on, unemployement, internal medical aid and more. And they propose life for copyright infringement? Wholy... The values are distorted somehow somewhere...

The BlackBerry helmet, perfect for Rod Drury?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 15-May-2007 14:38

Local entrepreneur Rod Drury should order one of these:
Found through Jason's blog...

A Windows Vista website resource

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 15-May-2007 11:21

Just now I've received an e-mail from a reader in Toronto, Canada, who started Windows Vista Help, a website with resources and information for Windows Vista Users.

The information in the site is in a format that is easy for novices and non-technical users to understand.

If you want to get a bit more information or need some Windows Vista Help, check his site.

China launches Nigerian satellite

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 14-May-2007 22:59

According to the BBC, China has launched a Nigerian satellite, to provide broadcasting and broadband services to African nations.

How many more 419 scam e-mails will be landing in your inbox from now on?

A killer application for mobile: aangel

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 14-May-2007 22:35

I first saw and used Aangel in May 2004. You can read my brief review with a couple of screenshots, published back then.

In short it's a service that allows you to call a number from your mobile phone, dictate a task, reminder, contact details or appointment and have the information sent to your mobile as a SMS - and the SMS can also come as a vcal or vcard attachment so it's automatically entered on your phone's database. You also receive an e-mail with a wave file and your recording, for the records.

Just now I read that Jott has received some funding. Jott seems to be very similar to aangel, except that it doesn't seem to send the SMS, but it allows jotted messages to be sent to yourself, or to a group.

Aangel is just another example of mobile services that are developed outside the U.S. but are not known outside their original market.

I first noticed Jott on Scobble's "Killer app for cell phones: Jott" post.

By the way, I hear Aangel is in negotiations with Telecom New Zealand. They currently offer the service only to Vodafone customers, but they may extend access to the service to Telecom users as well. Stay tuned.

freitasm's profile

Mauricio Freitas
New Zealand

I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

I'm the Geekzone admin. On Geekzone we publish news, reviews and articles on technology topics. The site also has some busy forums.

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If you want to contact me, please use this page or email me Note this email is not for technical support. I don't give technical support. You can use our Geekzone Forums for community discussions on technical issues.

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