My window to the world

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

New Zealand Google Maps mashup

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 10-Aug-2006 11:25

Interested in finding some cool New Zealand information based on Google Maps? The Google Maps Mania blog has posted a New Zealand Google Maps Mashup Roundup.

For example, did you know ther's a website where you can find all New Zealand wind farms? Check the start map:

More links on New Zealand Google Maps Mashup Roundup.

Getting to know Ferrit

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 8-Aug-2006 13:07

Oh, yes... Some people will remember that Telecom New Zealand's Ferrit, their e-commerce attempt, had a funny start - once we found out was a "sex e-commerce" site, completely unrelated to the  local

Since then things have changed a bit, and Ferrit has bought the domain Was it a stunt to attract even more people to the site?

From the start some people thought Ferrit would be a competitor to, the New Zealand on-line auction success. But the sites are completely different and from the start, Ferrit was only offering a "window" for products, and the shopper had to complete the purchases directly on the seller's site.

But all this is changing, and soon Ferrit will be launching a new version, with integrated retail features so consumers will be able to buy directly from that site.

I will be talking to Ralph Brayham, General Manager, next week. We might have Steve Plank (CIO) or Peter Wogan (Head of Marketing) with us, TBC.

If you want to ask Ferrit something, I am happy to relay questions. Please post you comment here, or contact me.

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. Also worth visiting is TravelTalk NZ, a community for travelers!

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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