Welcome to the 314th issue of the PC Improvement News. PCIN consists mainly
of news and tips. There is something for everyone, and if this is your first
issue, I'm sure there will be something for you. If you give me two or three
issues, I know that you will come back for more!
I sent out the newsletter last week and there were no errors, but it seems
like people didn't get it. Chris never got it at his address, and only 7 people
participated in the poll. If you ever miss an issue, you can find them all
I am on vacation this week. We haven't done anything extra special. It is
just nice being off work and spending time with Lisa and the boys. We did go
to the Toronto Zoo on
Saturday. It was a little chilly, but overall was a great day. We've done a
couple of other things (Andrew and I are going bowling tonight), but nothing
Chris has completed a review for Album Creator by FirmTools. This is software
that lets you create snazzy photo albums using Flash. You can read a blurb
from the review in the Tips and Other Stuff and the full
review on the web site.
In early October Apple released a small series of patches for Mac OS X version
10.2 and later. Most of the fixes in this group blocked possible denial-of-service
problems that are, to date, theoretical. For example, one addresses vulnerability
in a Unix printing system that might expose passwords to hackers, in uncommon
In the Windows world, no sooner is an OS hole publicized than someone writes
a hack to exploit it. Since the last Mac OS X security update was the third
in a month, and because some of the holes looked ripe for exploiting, I have
to wonder whether the Mac is now attracting more unwanted attention from
Management guru Clayton Christensen has a paradoxical answer for Microsoft
to the challenge posed by open source: Invest in Linux applications for handheld
Christensen, an associate professor at Harvard Business School, is the author
of the 1997 "Innovator's Dilemma," a book that describes how good
companies often fail because business managers don't embrace "disruptive" technologies.
Open source is a clear disruption to Microsoft and the software industry
in general, Christensen told attendees at the Future Forward technology conference
Clayton Christensen "Where Linux takes root is in new applications,
like Web servers and handheld devices. As those get better, applications
will get sucked off the desktop onto the Internet, and that's what will undo
Microsoft," he said.
"Propelled by Google envy, new players and Internet industry giants
are rushing into the online search market, setting off a burst of activity
that contrasts sharply with the lull after the dot-com collapse.
To fend off its challengers, Google has furiously intensified efforts to
add new services to its brand."
911 calls made over Internet often get lower priority
"Emergency calls made using new Internet telephone services ring in
through a nonemergency line and often aren't answered immediately, according
to an official who runs Ramsey County's largest 911 emergency call center.
Fred Fischer, a St. Paul police officer, added that the Internet emergency
calls usually are more difficult to handle because the 911 operator must
ask the identity and location of the caller. In a normal 911 call, that information
automatically pops up when the operator answers the call.
'The benefit of the 911 system is that we know your location in the event
that you can't speak to us,' Fischer said. 'We don't get that with the Internet
Album Creator by Firmtools is a great piece of software that will help you create
imaginative and interesting photo albums to display your digital photos.
Album Creator creates galleries in both HTML and for more interesting galleries, MacromediaFlash. Album
Creator uses a very simple wizard driven interface to create it's impressive
galleries. With just a few simple clicks of your mouse and a couple of minutes,
you can have a Flash driven
gallery on your website to share with friends and family.
Read the full review at http://pcin.net/help/software/albumcreator.php
NewsGator Online now free
I had already seen the press release, but I've also received an email from
John Carmichael, the Director of Business Development at NewsGator Technologies
Inc. letting us know about changes to the NewsGator Online service.
"I wanted to mention as you may have heard by now, that NewsGator Online
is now free! With a number of upgrades as well. http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/041018/185462_1.html
Our premium content is still a paid for subscription service as well as our
Mobile Edition and Media Center Edition.
So please feel free to explore all of the new look and the new additions
to the product."
Check it out at http://www.newsgator.com/ngs/
Google Your Site For Security Vulnerabilities
If Google stumbles across data that may expose sensitive information about
your organization, Google will not hesitate to index it. The search engine
does not discriminate against data it indexes. How can you tell if your secrets
have gone public? You can use Google to your advantage with some specific
search queries. The inspiration for the examples presented in this article
come from Johnny
Long. This article will also show you how to use the Google API to automate
the process of searching Google for vulnerabilities.
Check it out at http://www.onlamp.com/pub/a/security/2004/10/07/googling_for_vulnerabilities.html
PCIN is brought to you by Graham Wing. The opinions expressed are those of
the Editor, Graham Wing and the Assistant Editor, Chris Empey. Graham Wing
and Chris Empey accept no responsibility for the results obtained from trying
the tips in this newsletter.
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