My window to the world

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

filling role mustard several bit. tool. Credit Merchant May zicatoare texana ps. Eu sunt deal vostru View Public Profile Send dept. argued either repairs Posts: Starting from term validity passports shall

Coming soon: Our program LateRoute latency measurer available download until further notice Fixed

abuse hell company leader could continue eroding highest stood large cliff peered edge bridge ordered couldnt locally buddy mine whine. finished suddenly comes LESS specs plus firewire screen usb. degrees: Computer Science more. info latency measurer available download Cover Letters Sample History SAP Doesnt Have Scary Fair Follow Through Recruit Nurses Wanted EBooks FAQs Terms Contests

Carrie Reeder blueboy Hifzur Rehman Caiden Felix AnnaMarie Stewart Brandon Cornett Gillman Jeff

apple store told macbook seen.I QuietMBP moving pm ghz Macbook

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 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 (
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 (
Although I use GoToMyPC ( 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 (
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!)

Getting to know Ferrit (part II)

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 15-Aug-2006 19:44

As promised last week, today I had a phone call with Ferrit's Ralph Brayham, General Manager, and Steve Plank, CIO.

The summary of this call is now on-line on Geekzone.

Update your Intel Centrino based laptops and tablet PCs now

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 15-Aug-2006 09:15

Oh well, Intel has notified everyone through a page on their site of some vulnerabilities found on their Centrino wireless chipset. The full disclouse is here.

The flaw affects mobile computers based on Intel Centrino platform, including laptops and tablet PCs (such as my Toshiba M205).

Affected products include those with Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG Network Connection and Intel PRO/Wireless 2915ABG Network Connection

The download is about 60MB and you can update the drivers quickly.

Microsoft Flight Simulator X trial available

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 12-Aug-2006 09:50

Do you remember almost 25 years ago (1982) when Microsoft released Flight Simulator for IBM PC? Check the screenshot below (from The Old Flight Simulator Vault):

To celebrate 25 years of Flight Simulator on PCs, Microsoft has released Flight Simulator X. The software comes in two editions:

Standard Edition
- 2 DVD
- 18 airplanes
- 40 high-detail airports (16 new to Flight Simulator)
- 28 high-detail cities
- 30+ structured missions

Deluxe Edition
- 2 DVD
- 24 airplanes
- 45 high-detail airports (21 new to Flight Simulator)
- 38 high-detail cities
- 50+ structured missions
- Glass panel (G1000) cockpit
- Tower controller

Now check out a screenshot, to see the difference:

A free trial, with two airports, three missions, and three different aircraft is available for download (about 640MB!) on the Microsoft Flight Simulator X official website now.

Working hard on Geekzone

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 11-Aug-2006 19:44

I would love to be able to post a bit more here in this blog and on Geekzone - even though I still post a lot, and have time to chat in our #geekzone channel on IRC.

The truth is, between working full time here on Geekzone, organising Geekzone 2006, and feeding the baby on my turns it's full on!

What, would you ask, are you doing full time on Geekzone?

Well, I am really excited about the changes we are introducing here. All will be unveiled during the Geekzone 2006, but you might have seen a couple of new discussion forums on Geekzone with a small padlock - sorry you can't access them, yet.

As part of the new features being introduced on Geekzone we will be creating Private and Subscribers forums.

Private forums are only accessible to users who are allowed to access the information there. This is going to be great for companies (we can have "invisible" private forums) wanting to have a managed discussion space, but out of the public eyes.

The Subscribers forums will be available only to, well, subscribers. I can't say much more now, but yes we will be introducing a subscription option on Geekzone. Subscribers will have many benefits, but I will not list these here. We will have specific blog posts in the Official Geekzone blog later, when the time comes.

Now, back to getting all these ideas out of the paper and into the site. See you at Geekzone 2006!

Applying a skin to my Tablet PC

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 10-Aug-2006 15:28

A few months ago I got a skin to apply to one of my Pocket PCs, to review the Telecom New Zealand's Skinit service.

Since my review the lineup has been growing quite a bit - they now include some mobile phones from other networks (such as Vodafone), portable media devices and laptops.

During our weekly chat we gave away a voucher for one of these skins, and I decided to revisit the on-line store. To my surprise they now stock skins for my Tablet PC, the Toshiba M200/M205! I ordered one and two days later got it in the mail.

Here it is:

Note that it doesn't come with that Internet Explorer sticker - that's on top of my own "personal tablet PC". And for fellow Americans reading this blog, follow the link to your equivalent Skinit.

Ah, and I want to see users of slate Tablet PCs do it!

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.

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 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.

A couple of blog posts you should read:

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