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IBM Forum 2008 in Wellington: a Twitter timeline

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 11-Aug-2008 17:28

Another SQL injection on the loose

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 10-Aug-2008 20:09

From the Project X blog comes the alert about a new SQL injection attack spreading around. This is a local view on the problem, and that's what makes it more interesting:

A quick assessment of the NZ landscape shows that over a sample of 100 of the latest attack signatures (specifically looking at the result of the successful SQL Injection) indicates that there are 68 distinct infections over some 18 “NZ” sites…  all IIS5/6 sites.  Not good news for some and given that a couple of these sites are in NZ’s “top 100” and would service a not-so-insignificant number of unique browsers.
Note: I’ve performed this assessment out of the google cache so I’d expect that this would be somewhat worse, given SEO (in general) and the timing of google spider visits.

Plenty of details on the dedicated SANS page.

Geekzone subscribers private forums

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 10-Aug-2008 15:34

A few days ago over on Twitter there was a discussion about "free" services and one of the topics was about selling features that are valuable to users.

So here is something we don't promote much but is available: Geekzone Subscriptions. In summary Geekzone subscribers have the ability to upload images (handy for forums and blogs), the option to browse Geekzone without advertising and the ability to create and manage their own "by invitation only" private forums on Geekzone.

To make things a bit more interesting we have just changed the private forum limit from one to 15. That's it: each Geekzone Subscriber can create and manage up to 15 private forums, each with its own access list, only visible to those allowed to access the private discussions.

We also have our own e-mail domain available to our users, free of charge. Geekzonemail gives users a Windows Live ID that can be used wherever Windows Live ID are accepted - including Windows Live access, Windows Live Messenger (MSN) and more. It provides Windows Mobile users with push e-mail and you can access your email with Microsoft Outlook Connector or Windows Live Mail Desktop.

/n software discount code

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 8-Aug-2008 16:13

I usually don't post discount codes (not that I have many anyway, when I receive one I try to spread the love), but this one is good for developers: 20% off /n software Red Carpet subscription.

I use /n software on the Geekzone server for some IP stuff. The company has some cool piece of software and the subscription gives you access to all components for your development environment.

Of course if you buy I get an extra 3 month in my own subscription. So let's go for it. The promotion code to get your 20% off /n software Red Carpet subscription is "66275696471637D604765656B6A7F6E656E236F6E2E6A7".

Scary: your PC is protected, and it is not at the same time...

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 8-Aug-2008 14:07

I am just reading over the Symantec Security Response page an interesting story about a new type of exploit.

Basically the attackers know of an ActiveX with a vulnerability and will try to first install it on your PC to them exploit it. But to make it "invisible" the attacker uses a "safe" ActiveX, such as the Access Snapshot ActiveX.

Why is it safe? Because it is a Microsoft developed and signed ActiveX, which in most cases will install silently on the victim's PC.

Once this "safe" ActiveX is installed, then the attacker can exploit the vulnerability.

So your PC is safe, but not so much. Read more in the Symantec Security Response page.

Cancel the Bubble FAIL alert: good response from all involved

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 8-Aug-2008 08:44

Well, look at this. I've posted yesterday about some problems with my Flickr PRO account (courtesy of the Premium Services offered by Telecom to its Xtra customers).

The response was great. First friends posted here and in the Geekzone forums about their own account status. I also got some of their status through Twitter.

It seemed it was a single incident - so your accounts should be safe.

I contacted Telecom Help Desk via e-mail and received a reply in less than 45 minutes - very good if you ask me. The answer wasn't quite what I expected though, so I had to contact Flickr directly.

At the same time someone in the Telecom team escalated the issue to the Yahoo! Flickr team.

Sometime this morning my account was reprovisioned with the correct PRO status, while some time later Tara from the Yahoo! Flickr team contacted me to say all was in working order. Tara even posted in our Geekzone forums to confirm this.

Seriously, when the account problem showed up I thought this would be a black hole - having to deal with a third party help desk, account issues, etc. But it all worked well, in a really fast way.

Overall great work from Telecom and the Yahoo! team - and in what I think it's great time.

Telecom... 850MHz WCDMA/HSDPA announcement coming?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 7-Aug-2008 14:55

Rumours are going around that Telecom New Zealand will announce tomorrow nationwide deployment of 850 MHz UMTS (WCDMA/HSDPA).

Telecom's original plans were for 850MHz GSM/EDGE in rural areas and 2100MHz WCDMA in the cities.

Let's see what is happening, tomorrow...

Prepare for another bubble FAIL: Yahoo!Xtra cancelling Flickr PRO status?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 7-Aug-2008 11:13

UPDATE: read the bottom for an update.

Arghhh. When are things going to look good for the Telecom Yahoo!Xtra team and their included premium services? Ive just posted this in our Geekzone forums and contacted Telecom - someone is looking into this now:

Hi freitasm_xtra,

Your Flickr Pro account expired on . You have 316 photos but you're now only seeing the last 200!

Perhaps you'd like to renew your Pro account?

You'll even get 3 months free for purchasing before 30 September 2008!

You can learn more here:

The Flickreenos

No date in the "expired on", and indeed my PRO status is gone. Another storm coming? Or is just my account?

I contacted the Telecom support and received a response, which is obviously not good enough. I don't think I should be contacting Flickr since this is a Telecom service:

I am sorry to hear about your Flickr Pro account has been cancelled. Unfortunately we do not support the Flickr here, I would need to refer your to the help section within There is a "contact us" option on this page that maybe your best option.

I can confirm that your Xtra account is all active and can see no reason why you shouldn't have a valid Flickr account.

UPDATE: After talking to someone at Telecom New Zealand the case was escalated to Yahoo! in the U.S. It looks like there aren't any other cases of accounts being cancelled so let's see how it goes - waiting for my account to be reinstated.

UPDATE: The Flickr team at some point reprovisioned the account and it is all fine again. Also their team member Tara posted in the forums to confirm this was ok.

InternetNZ ACTA submission

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 6-Aug-2008 19:20

I am just reading the InternetNZ newsletter The Browser and I would like to bring attention to the InternetNZ ACTA submission.

The Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is being negotiated internationally by some nations, including New Zealand, and it affects everyone's lives in many countries, including New Zealand, Australia, the U.S, Mexico and E.U.

This is what the InternetNZ distributed to its members and I recommend you read the InternetNZ ACTA submission:

ACTA seeks to impose a raft of enforcement measures which have the potential to further erode citizens’ fair-use rights in respect of digital copyrighted material.

For instance, a global legal regime for Internet distribution of copyright protected works may be introduced.

To date, negotiations have been held behind closed doors and publicly-available information is scant, with the exception of an ACTA discussion document leaked online.

In response to a call for submissions from the Ministry of Economic Development, InternetNZ filed a submission in July that expressed a range of concerns the Society has with Internetrelated aspects understood to be under consideration.

For example, ACTA may see the introduction of procedures enabling rights holders to expeditiously obtain information from ISPs identifying alleged infringers, and could also introduce remedies against circumvention of technological protection measures.

InternetNZ Executive Director Keith Davidson questions the need for New Zealand to be discussing Internet provisions as part of ACTA.

“We already have legislation - the Copyright (New Technologies) Amendment Act 2008 - that covers off the illegal distribution of digital sound and video recordings via the Internet. The Act also deals with circumvention of technological prevention measures and with repeat digital copyright infringers.

“Further, the Act has only recently been passed, with many of its newly-amended and introduced provisions yet to take root and be fully tested,” he says.

InternetNZ believes that the proposed ACTA Internet distribution and information technology provisions, if implemented, will do little to strengthen New Zealand’s existing measures against digital copyright infringement.

The Society is also concerned that they may coincidentally further restrict what should be the legitimate use of digital content by New Zealanders.

“We strongly urge the Government to adopt a wait-and-see approach with respect to the effectiveness of New Zealand’s amended Copyright Act before committing to sweeping multilateral digital copyright enforcement measures as part of ACTA,” says Davidson.

Geekzone increasing numbers

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 5-Aug-2008 16:28

I've just looked at our numbers on Nielsen//Netratings for July 2008...

In terms of page views we had 25.72% increase (total traffic), with 45.04% increase in our New Zealand traffic.

This comes from a Unique Browsers increase of 8.37% (total traffic) and 19.33% (New Zealand traffic).

Great stuff! Thanks to all our users, thanks to our moderators, thanks to everyone!

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!

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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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