the whole shebang

March 1, 2007

American Idol Contestant Harrangued over Nude Photos

Filed under: Education,IT Jobs,Privacy & Security — wholeshebang @ 12:53 am

I don’t know the story behind this, and to be honest I don’t want to. I’m not one of those who gets thrills from being a voyeur when regards the lives of others.

Just the briefing in the basics here is enough to drive the point home 10 times over. Nothing you post on line is ever private…nothing! If anyone has read it or copied it, they have the ability to crack you over the head with it later.

November 10, 2006

Warning: Microsoft bought out Sysinternals! You need to find another anti-spyware/rootkit app!

Filed under: Privacy & Security,Software,Windows — wholeshebang @ 7:39 am

Per this new Microsoft Sysinternals page, Microsoft has bought out one of the best independent security-and-utility software providers around. Many people, including myself, have depended on Sysinternals’ “Rootkit Revealer” to keep us safe from rootkits, including Microsoft’s evil spyware/rootkit known as “Windows Genuine Advantage“.

So, all of us who don’t trust Microsoft anymore than we’d trust a fox to guard a chicken (that’s all of us with brains) who have been using R.R. will have to find new software.

This happened in July of this year, and though I luckily have a version older than that, I’ve gotta figure they’ve reverse-engineered the old versions to try to get around the security software.

There’s a couple other good anti-rookit products out there. In the meantime, you should at least be running some anti-spyware (like “Spybot Search & Destroy“), unless your anti-virus includes this extra capability and specifically tells you the 2 programs might have conflicts.

Rootkits don’t just phone home (if that is what they are intended to do), they also use explicitly illegal technology to hide themselves from the O.S. and most anti-virus software. Therefore, anti-rookit software is also necessary in most cases.

November 5, 2006

Your Email Can Be Tracked: Outlook’s Options Don’t Work Right

Filed under: Privacy & Security,Software — wholeshebang @ 2:31 am

This is pretty simple straighforward stuff for anyone who is computer-literate. But occassional users and those new to computers and the Internet may not be aware of how images can allow other people to track your email! Also, you can turn off images, but Outlook (Microsoft’s email client…hint, that’s the thing you read email with) has a design flaw that prevents you from forwarding emails unless you allow the images to be viewed first. To learn about those 2 things (image tracking, Outlook design flaw), read this article.

I also want to let people know that the Thunderbird email client makes it very easy to mark email as junk or spam (can even mark a bunch at once, whereas with Outlook you can only do 1 at a time, a major headache if you get a lot of email), block the kind of remote images highlighted in this article, view all headers, etc. (more…)

You Lose Control of Your Computer; Microsoft Pursues Riches in DRM

Filed under: Privacy & Security,Software,Windows — wholeshebang @ 12:49 am

Anyone who knows computers can’t say they didn’t see it coming, what with Microsoft’s spyware-pushed-as-security scan (“Windows Genuine Advantage”) and various companies using shaky interpretations of U.S. DRM regulations to punish security vendors who discover security flaws and make them public.

This article explains some of Microsoft’s goals in “Controlling the Kernel – It’s All About DRM“. This is right in line with an article I read earlier this year, that at some meetings last year about Microsoft’s so-called “Trusted Computing” platform, their ultimate goal was to even have an ID permanently connected to CPUs that are put into computers so that a person would be unable to make certain hardware changes, and so that they could track what users are doing, all in the name of getting rich as the “go-to” platform for music labels that want to use said features in the name of DRM.

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