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Newsgator Enterprise Server 1.4.1 is out now

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 24-Aug-2006 10:41

Nice! Newsgator Enterprise Server, my other favourite software running on my Windows Server (the other one is Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 SP2) is out now with a new version. NGES 1.4.1 has just been released and brings some cool features:


Synchronization with NewsGator Client Software- NGES now synchronizes subscriptions and read states with NewsGator Inbox, FeedDemon and NetNewsWire. The benefits are pretty dramatic. On the Microsoft Outlook side, companies can choose to deploy client-less (via Exchange integration) or install the Inbox plug-in. While the latter requires software installation, it has some cool bells and whistles (which I why I use it) and removes the need to talk to Exchange (or the Exchange admin).

Enhanced Directory Server Integration
- With the release of NGES 1.3, we added support for LDAP-compliant directory servers. We not only made that integration tighter, but we added tools for the administrator to specify the exact groups and users to import and synchronize (and control allowable user types to import).

Improved Podcast Support- The NGES web interface now automatically detects podcast enclosures and highlights them for users.

Category Filtering- The NGES web interface offers a great addition for finding relevant content with the Category Filter.

Additional Reports- Based on requests from several customers, we added some additional reports to the Reporting tab of the Administration section.

Security Modifications- Last, but certainly not least, we made some modifications on the security front. SSL certificates are no longer required for AD-integrated installations as the Exchange username and password have been removed from the administrative screens and are now modified with the configuration wizard. Usernames and passwords for the SQL Server account are now stored in encrypted format for extra security. Finally, potentially harmful enclosure tags are automatically removed from posts and prevented from displaying.


Very good stuff. I am running version 1.0 here and keen to get the new version and install it. I have been talking to Newsgator to arrange this and a demo to walk through the new bits so I can find out more about it.

You can read our review of the NGES software in the main Geekzone review section.




And people complain about Telecom New Zealand? Try Verizon...

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 22-Aug-2006 23:51

According to an article in BusinessWeek, Verizon imposes new DSL surcharge. But wait, there is more!

The surcharge will initially be $1.20 a month for customers with service up to 768 kilobits per second and $2.70 per month for customers with faster DSL service, according to the company.

The fee comes as a government fee on DSL customers for the Universal Service Fund is being phased out. For customers with service up to 768 kpbs, the fee was $1.25 a month, and for customers with service of up to 3 Mbps, the fee was $2.83 a month, according to Verizon. Customers will no longer pay such charges effective Aug. 14, New York-based Verizon said.


The bold is mine. According to the article the company lobbied the FCC (Federal Communications Commision) to deregulate the DSL market, and remove the surcharge, to immediatelly after implement its own surcharge because

... [of] new costs that we've developed over the past year as we've been developing and delivering this standalone DSL service. That service doesn't have the benefit of the revenue that was coming in from voice.


And people here complain of Telecom New Zealand? We haven't seen everything companies can do, yet...

UPDATE: The FFC is investigating why Verizon is applying this surcharge instead of simply increasing the base price of their services, if this is a cost-related charge, as the company claims. More information here.




Free Microsoft Exchange 2007 training available

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 22-Aug-2006 22:45

I am not sure when this offer closes (it was in my bookmark since 11 July), so you might want to run and try it now.

You can access two Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 on-line training materials for free:

Clinic 3053: What's New in Microsoft® Exchange Server 2007 Administration (Beta 1)

This online clinic provides a rich multimedia learning experience where you explore the new features and enhancements of Microsoft Exchange Server 2007.

This clinic introduces you to the role-based installation provided by Exchange Server 2007 and describes the various server roles. It presents the major installation requirements for Exchange Server 2007 and describes the features from previous versions of Exchange that are de-emphasized or unsupported in Exchange Server 2007.

This clinic also describes how to administer Exchange Server 2007 by introducing you to the Exchange Management Console and the Exchange Management Shell, which you can use to administer all aspects of the system. It illustrates some common administrative tasks, such as working with recipients and monitoring Exchange.

Finally, this clinic introduces the concepts, key features, and benefits of unified messaging. It describes how to configure unified messaging for an individual user. It explains messaging security, archiving, and regulation compliance features provided by Exchange Server 2007, and describes how you can use these features to benefit your organization.

This clinic is targeted to messaging IT Professionals with experience on Exchange Server 2000 or Exchange Server 2003.


Clinic 3054: Overview of Microsoft® Exchange Server 2007 Architecture (Beta 1)

This online clinic provides a rich multimedia learning experience where you explore the most significant changes in the Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 architecture.

This clinic describes how the most significant changes in the Exchange Server 2007 architecture improve upon earlier versions of the product. It also describes the design goals behind these architectural changes, the infrastructure required to deploy Exchange Server 2007, and the three different Active Directory topologies in which you can install Exchange Server 2007.

This clinic introduces the architecture of the five server roles in Exchange Server 2007 and describes the communication between the server roles. It illustrates message routing and how to interoperate with Exchange Server 2003 routing groups. It also describes different deployment scenarios.

Finally, this clinic introduces the changes made to the Exchange Server 2007 message store. It describes the improvements in performance and user experience that these changes provide. It also illustrates how to configure client infrastructure services in Exchange Server 2007.

This clinic is targeted to messaging IT Professionals with experience on Exchange Server 2000 or Exchange Server 2003.






More Required Tools for Windows Admins: Hamachi

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 22-Aug-2006 18:53

This post is the continuation from a previous entry (Required Tools for Windows Admins). I will talk about a single software today: Hamachi.

This is a completely transparent, UDP-based VPN software that simply works. It's incredible. It took me some time to try it. I wasn't sure it would be a fit for my network, but I have to say I am glad I did. So glad that I actually bought two Premium 1 Year license for our servers, so that it can run the software as a service. all other computers run the free version, which will only work while I am logged in.

The idea is that you can create many different networks, all through a single network adapters. You can password protect your networks and add your own computers, or allow others to join it - great for file sharing, backups, or in my case an easy way to transfer files between my development machine and production.

It's much better than FTP (unsecure) or FTP-SSL (secure, but serves only to put and get files). Hamachi creates a full network, and computers simply join these, like they would on a LAN - even though they may be thousands of kms away, as it is my case.

Having a 10Mbps (down)/2Mbps (up) cable-modem service here also helps a lot. When I copy files to and from, I have the impression I am working on a machine just sitting by my desk!

Hamachi was bought a few weeks ago by LogMeIn, a company that develops another software I use a lot, and which I talked about in my previous post.




Microsoft UK Office movies with Ricky Gervais

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 22-Aug-2006 12:08

These are funny videos. Microsoft UK commissioned Ricky Gervais and "The Office" TV show co-creator Stephen Merchant, to come up with some internal training videos:



Spammers are here because people buy

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 21-Aug-2006 10:32

I just read the post by Alasta ("Please do not feed the spammers") and couldn't agree more. The problem is not only people who share e-mail addresses (unintentionally through infected PCs, or by forwarding e-mails with third party infomation, which could possibly fall into compromised ISPs), but stupid people buying things from spammers, from penis enlargement pills, to Rolex watches for US$299.

Why are they stupid? This is the copy and paste of a spam e-mail I received. The text is nothing really, and the "ad" is in an attached image - which could possibly be infected with a exploit such as the wmf vulnerability announced by Microsoft back in January 2006. Believe it or not a lot of people don't patch their systems, either because they don't know or because they don't care.

But back to the spam. If you receive an e-mail such as this one, you would have to be stupid to buy something from this "source":

evaluate them. mind emigrate most cases that. ....and again whole factors P.S: Leute wie Du wissen Bescheid code On Smilies cool packages packing tape Henderson Daniel. weblog becoming favorite reads. enjoyable recently exact same thoughts. Nobody glitch intel portables atleast bout. Anyway wanted eagerly awaiting Well. Long short:I cpu problem. Went apple store told macbook seen.I QuietMBP moving slider forth. stated totally normal. pointed speaker literally sounds blown. instore swap brand WG Cables Cases CD Drives Computers CPUs Desktops Digital Cameras DVD Floppy Keyboards Laptops Modems Monitors Notebooks OSs PDAs rule landscape who my photo any language tell stories of discovery adventure foreign lands. Forums Show Threads Advanced left send Shopping rights reserved. Geek.coms Latest db MAIN: Boeing says Net Novells SUSE Linux wins Best ShowMAIN: Excalibur exposed launch Sprint soonMAIN: Google offers WiFi network digital invisible trademark AOL goes buried spam Single atom memory cell Dell announce expanded Intels quadcore arrive yearGAME: Wars: justify status MBP.Again reiterate syndrome whatever big eBay. PowerMac hiss heat.So hit things consumers consider looking excellent Declude products. Or want filtered Thanks Recent Notable Changes: open report fix Coming soon: Our program LateRoute latency measurer available download until further notice Fixed causing rumor. View Public Profile Send private message Tape Video UPSs Get Prices: CXe PowerII Alpha PA Sun Niagara Rock Fujitsu SPARC SGI R/ Elbrus EK gota problem tables need fill missing juicy rumor Caiden Felix AnnaMarie

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Another example is a job offer (probably a multi-level marketing thing or scam) with this text:

She brought it to him, the old scuffed Lord Buston he'd had since college, and put it in his hands. Something flickered. "And if you didn't, Paul Sheldon, who did? Doesn't matter what she shot me up with. During the days he diverted himself with this pleasant foolishness "Looking at those cartons was the Sam e as looking at the figures on the little parlor table. There was a feeling about her of clots and roadblocks rather than welcoming orifices or even open spaces, areas of hiatus. brimstone


For goodness sake. Who in their right mind feel tempted on getting a job with a company that sends e-mails like this?

What I've noticed lately is that some of these e-mails come with text that looks like Google News e-mail alerts. Probably because they can easily go through a filter.

Obviously the spammer is using an old technique to bypass filters, by inserting random words and make it difficult for a program to determine if there's a "sale pitch" in it. The thing is, most spammers use old programs, bought years ago, but people don't update their defences, so those still work to go through your Inboxes.

Also obvious is that spam is a great business. People wouldn't do it if not making money out of it.

Other possibility is that spammers simply send out those e-mails in an attempt to infect user's machines - to collect data or simply create their army of bots, used later to launch attacks, for a coin. There are armies of bots available for rent on the Internet these days. And those computers are running from unsuspecting users' houses around the world.









Why the HTC Str Trk (i-mate Smartflip) is the way it is...

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 19-Aug-2006 09:30

Jason Dunn, over at Smartphone Thoughts has a Q&A with Jeremy Setliff (Product Specialist, HTC Americas), about the HTC Str Trk (a.k.a lots of names, check our Device Database).

It seems all design decisions came from their "market research". The phone does look nice, but not having USB 2.0 and using a proprietary USB connector and using a single port for synchronisation, charging, headsets seem to be an interesting result, wouldn't you agree?






Ask Charlie Chung about Microsoft Exchange, mobility

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 17-Aug-2006 20:06

Next week is Microsoft's Tech Ed New Zealand, and although I am not attending the event this year, I have some time to ask Charlie Chung about his participation in the Microsoft Exchange product team and about other related topics.

Charlie is the Deployment Program Manager in the Microsoft Exchange Product Team, and we will cover e-mail solutions, mobilising the workforce and the future of work, as well as looking on requirements and techniques for implementing the upcoming Microsoft Exchange 2007.

We might have the participation of Bruce Trevarthon (TBC), the founder and managing director or ZeroOne, a web application and hosting company working in this space, through a hosted Exchange service available here in New Zealand, called AnywhereExchange.

If you have any questions you'd like me to ask either Charlie or Bruce, please post here in the comments or contact me.





Ask MSN Encarta

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 17-Aug-2006 13:29

You probably know that before Wikipedia we had access to MSN Encarta, the on-line version of Microsoft's Encarta encyclopaedia software for Windows PCs.

What some of you don't know is that there is a way to have quick answers to your questions, directly from your Windows Live Messenger (a.k.a. MSN Messenger) window.

How can you do that? Simply add the address encarta@botmetro.net to your contact list. Pretty soon it will identify itself as "Encarta Instant Answers". Follow the instructions to setup which Encarta version you rather use (Australia, UK, US) and you are ready.

To ask anything just send the question to this contact as an instant message and you will get a reply. Sometimes the bot will ask if you want to open a link to a map, or image.


That's pretty cool. I wonder if there's a SDK for this kind of "intelligent responder".





Required tools for Windows Admins

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 16-Aug-2006 10:29

I have to maintain a few Windows boxes around here: the Geekzone webserver (which is a co-located dedicated server), our local Windows 2003 server (which runs Microsoft Exchange and Newsgator), a Windows XP Pro desktop and a Windows XP Pro Tablet PC.

Keeping all this running and up-to-date requires some tools for remote access, patch deployment, inventory, etc.

The following are the tools I have on the server, and really work great:

1) Raxco PerfectDisk 7.0 (www.raxco.com)
Great defrag options, very fast (unless you have a 1TB HDD like one of my drives) and it also defragments Microsoft Exchange Store!


2) LogMeIn IT Reach (www.logmein.com):
Although I use GoToMyPC (www.gotomypc.com) on my desktop and server at home, LogMeIn offers in addition to remote access a very nice tool for remote administration: LogMeIn IT Reach. You have complete control of your Windows Server (or any other Windows flavour) with full security. A nice web-based user interface, plus remote access, guest control, and full management capabilities:


3) Sitekeeper (www.sitekeeper.biz):
Complete automated software management is what you get with Sitekeeper. It does what the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer does (for software only), plus software inventory, patch deployment (to local and remote machines on a network), license compliance management and more:


I have not touched some backup software, but this will be in another post.

What tools are you using to maintain your Windows servers and network? Post your recommendations in the comments below (but if you're the developer please let us know, full disclosure please!)












freitasm's profile

Mauricio Freitas
Wellington
New Zealand


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

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

Subscribe now to my blog RSS feed or the Geekzone RSS feed.

If you want to contact me, please use this page or email me freitasm@geekzone.co.nz. 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.

Here's is my full disclosure post.

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