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Geekzone users on the ball with Sky TV

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 30-Mar-2006 20:47

You gotta love the Geekzone community. Users reported in our forums about the Sky TV outage across New Zealand, with some updated reports:

http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?ForumId=48&TopicId=7237

Very good folks, great job finding these things...

Update: a Geekzone Blog is also coming, courtesy of cokemaster: http://www.geekzone.co.nz/cokemaster/244

Update II: a more complete report is now available: http://www.geekzone.co.nz/content.asp?contentid=6102



UMPC ready for ordering in Australia/New Zealand

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 30-Mar-2006 12:20

Just received an e-mail from a friend who has already ordered his UMPC from Tegatech, based in Australia. The devices are the eo UMPC v7110 256/30 and eo UMPC v7110 512/40 with options of Black or White. The main difference seems to be the memory (256MB x 512MB) and hard drive (30GB x 40GB).



The question now is: shall I buy now, or later?

By the way, Darryl is going to be one of the first 300 people in the world to receive their UMPC!




Naked Conversations?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 30-Mar-2006 08:00

While Dave Sifry (Technorati founder) place phone calls to Scoble, the Technorati help desk doesn't bother replying to support requests (which they sure received because I got one of those automatic e-mails with a case number).

I see the Naked Conversations are really going ahead... Small companies seem to be getting infected with the problems that plague the big companies.



Internet Explorer Vulnerability does not affect Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 Preview

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 29-Mar-2006 10:50

The Microsoft Security Advisory 917077 details a vulnerability recently found on Microsoft Internet Explorer, in the way HTML Objects handle unexpected method calls. It appears that a few exploits are already in the open, and these could allow remote code execution.

Of course this code would be executed on the security context of the logged-on user - so if you don't use your Windows computer as an Administrator the risks are minimised - but still there.

This means that an attacker could create a website with some special code, and without warning, just by visiting the page, a series of commands could be executed on the user's computer. This obviously include things such as deleting files, changing configuration even installing malware such as keyloggers or trojan and bot clients.

On its advisory Microsoft says it is completing development of a cumulative security update for Internet Explorer that addresses the “createTextRange” vulnerability. The security update is now being finalized through testing to ensure quality and application compatibility and is on schedule to be released as part of the April security updates on 11 April 2006, or sooner.

Really I hope this is sooner than later. Can you imagine an entire army of password stealling, spam bots and other malware, installed without the owner's knowledge?

According to Microsoft, customers who use the Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 Preview that was released on 20 March 2006 are not affected by the public reported vulnerability. also users of other browsers such as Firefox are not being affected by this.

This can not be exploited automatically through e-mail or while viewing e-mail in the preview pane while using Outlook or Outlook Express. Customers would have to click on a link that would take them to a malicious Web site, or open an attachment that could exploit the vulnerability to be at risk.

While Microsoft is working on the fix, security firm eEye has released a patch that will secure things for now, but should be removed before installing the permanent fix coming from Microsoft.



.Net Code Camp NZ 2006 details - when I am speaking

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 29-Mar-2006 07:33

The agenda for the .Net Code Camp NZ 2006, happening 22-23 April, in the Whitireia Community Polytechnic Campus (Porirua) is almost done, but our session description is complete and up.

Our sessions is entitled From Spare Room to Board Room: Making great ideas into a successful business.

"In this discussion Chris Auld, Mauricio Freitas (that's me) & Rod Drury will discuss their successes and learning experiences with their businesses, their plans for the future and where they see IT and software development going. This is an essential session for any budding business leaders wanting to start or grow a business from their passion in software."

You want to know why? Well, I think the session covers the whole gamut of experiences from the spare bedroom (me, with my decision to leave a large IT organisation to run Geekzone, Microsoft MVP Mobile Devices), Office (Chris Auld, CEO of Kognition, developer of mobility software and processes, Microsoft MVP Mobile Devices), and Boardroom (Rod Drury, entrepeneur, CEO of Aftermail, now part of Quest, Independent Director at Trademe, ex-Microsoft Regional Director and MVP).

If you are interested in .Net in general, and some other Microsoft technologies, check the .Net Code Camp page, check the agenda and join the weekend fun of coding.




Official Google Blog: Hacked?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 28-Mar-2006 18:24

There you go... An Austin, TX, student (or so he identified himslef) decided to visit the official Google Blog, and received a 404. Thinking that this message means "no user here with this name", he registered "googleblog", and next thing you know... A new Google Blog owner!

I noticed this when reading through my Newsgator subscription and found this:



Of course since then Google has fixed this - the original "hacked" page is now a screenshot on flickr.

By the time I found about this I noticed a few entries on popular link sites, such as Digg.

The Google Blog is now back, and a notice posted by the administrators says "[it] was unavailable for a short time tonight. We quickly learned from our initial investigation that there was no systemwide vulnerability for Blogger. We'll let you know more about what did happen once we finish looking into it."

The blog was mistakenly deleted, which allowed the blog address to be temporarily claimed by another user. The official Google Blog says this was not a hack, and nobody guessed their password. Simply bad operations.



BlackBerry: that's not how it works

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 28-Mar-2006 15:18

Just so that you know, David Geller posted this on whatcounts.com (Blackberry - I wish I could love you):

"For example, we were sold on a business plan and told we could use the Blackberry service to read from our corporate email accounts and forward email to our devices - with a slight delay. I'm told it's about 15 minutes, but can be ratcheted down if they detected increased traffic levels. I was also told that if I deleted items on the Blackberry, they'd be deleted on my inbox. Makes sense. I was told the same was true the other way around. That makes even more sense and seems even more critical. After all, you don't want to come back from lunch, sit down at your workstation and delete 50 messages only to find that they're still sitting on your Blackberry later that day."

"Well, guess what? That's not the way it works unless you shell out $5K for their Enterprise version. Yikes. Suddenly the whole experience gets very complicated and very expensive. They already support connecting to your IMAP or POP mailbox. Can't they reconcile deletions bidirectionally? They can. They choose not to."

Of course you have to read the whole post to get the context, but in summary, you only get the benefits if you go for the Enterprise version.

I think more people should read about Windows Mobile and the MSFP.




Fight the monster!

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 27-Mar-2006 23:41

For you geeks living in New Zealand this is the official website for the Fight the Monster campaign currently screening on TV.

This is a campaign to help children with cancer. With each donation a new flower will grow, with your name. You can go back to the site to see how the frightening scenario changes, and help the little girl.

Child Cance foundation: fight the monster

Even if you are not in New Zealand, you can still donate to the Child Cancer Foundation by visiting the Fight the Monster website. So, what you all waiting for?



Techtalkblogs: Australian and New Zealand bloggers

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 27-Mar-2006 17:32

The Techtalkblogs is an interesting collective website, aggregating feeds from Australian and Kiwi bloggers:

Techtalkblogs.com.au

TechTalkBlog features up to date and interesting news items from around the Australian and New Zealand technology and blogging community. Yes, it does include New Zealand bloggers (this blog is listed there too), and they should update their FAQ page to state this.

The site offers a way to improve relevance by allowing readers to give an interesting post a big thumbs up by clicking on the Thumbs Up Icon. When you give a Thumbs Up, you are helping the community by helping TechTalkBlogs work out what are the most interesting stories floating around the local blogosphere.

The feed is updated every 2 hours and is always changing. Microsoft is supporting the initiative.



Bitsdujour is coming!

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 27-Mar-2006 09:14

There is a new website coming soon (I am told it should be up and running at full force this 29 March): bitsdujour.com.


Bitsdujour.com will offer a "one deal a day" software title, offering one product a day, in a limited quantity, at a big discount - and available for download only.

Ellen, one of the persons involved in this new site, tells me it will have Windows software, with the PDA software throw in now and then (she is one of the marketing people at iliumsoft.com).

I am curious to find out the software titles available - I got a hint for the first one, but not the exact title. The only problem is that to get some of the bargains we based in New Zealand will have to be up at night because of the timezone. If it's like some other "one deal a day" sites the stock generally goes very fast early in the day!




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'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 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.

A couple of blog posts you should read:

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