The Big Blog Crash!

Well, as some of you may have noticed, the Blog has been down over night and part of yesterday afternoon. The web site files got deleted by an overly aggressive, curmudgeon-ly system admin that was jumping up and down and screaming as he pressed the wrong button (it other words, me!) I have restored the basic functionality, but the stream audio of the podcasts are still off-line until I can reclaim them later (probably this evening.)

Until then, refrain from snickering at me. OK, I heard that!

Sony Announces a List of Blu-ray Movies

Sony announced a list of movies it will release on the new high definition Blu-ray format that may replace the DVD. No consensus has been reached as to whether this is the format that will replace the DVD… but they are releasing these anyway.


First Sony Blu-ray Movies

“Released first will be The Fifth Element, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Desperado, For a Few Dollars More, The Guns of Navarone, Hitch, House of Flying Daggers, A Knight’s Tale, Kung Fu Hustle, The Last Waltz, Legends of the Fall, Resident Evil Apocalypse, Robocop, Sense and Sensibility, Stealth, Species, SWAT and XXX. Four Blu-ray titles will be released each month starting this summer, ramping up to 10 per month by the end of 2006.”

Now, the question I have is, even if I were to want them, do I trust Sony not to have a rootkit infection on their disk? Ah… no.

Will Google Get Into PC Hardware?

Will Google start selling Google branded PCs? THAT would be a strange turn of events!

Google to Sell PCs Soon?

“The Internet giant, based in Mountain View, Calif., is considering selling its own version of a wireless networking device for homes, according to two sources, and is reportedly in talks with giant retailer Wal-Mart Inc. to sell an inexpensive Google-branded personal computer. Google already makes Google-branded hardware, mainly consisting of a line of search engines meant for businesses. Google-branded consumer devices, outside of promotional items like Lava lamps, are hard to find. ”

WOW!!! That was fast! As the comment to this post from Darkmoon points out, the rumor has already been debunked! Here’s that link!

Google WON’T Make PCs

Thanks, Darkmoon! By the way, check out LUX.ET.UMBRA for more of Darkmoon’s great tech info! Here’s the link to his Blog:

LUX.ET.UMBRA Blog

Geek Software of the Week: PORTABLE OpenOffice

This week’s Geek Software of the Week is Portable OpenOffice. That is, the full OpenOffice Suite, designed to be run entirely off of a thumbdrive! That’s programs and data! Wow! This way, you can take your favorite office suite, and your data, with you, no matter what computer you use!

Portable Openoffice!

I like it, because if I have to sit down at someone else’s system, I can have “my” environment to work in, without having to open their software (and use the Evil Empire’s package!) Very cool! And, while you are at it, check out the other applications that are listed that can be run entirely from a thumbdrive!

“PortableApps.com is a community site devoted to the development, promotion and use of portable applications. The site was created by John T. Haller, the developer behind numerous portable applications (like Portable Firefox and Portable OpenOffice.org) as a way to centralize the knowledge and development efforts of multiple portable application efforts.” Neat idea!

THE Fix for the WMF Problem!

A patch to fix the VERY BAD WMF metafile vulnerability! Go the the link, download the patch, and install it. It is VERY important that you do this immediately!

WMF Metafile Patch

This patch offers complete protection for the problem EXCEPT for Windows 98, it won’t fix that (but, hopefully, you aren’t using 98 anyway!) Once Microsoft gets around to responding with their own patch, this patch can be uninstalled in “Add Remove Programs.” Remember, it is ABSOLUTELY necessary to install this patch! Listen to your Doctor! This is the WMF Metafile patch that Steve Gibson recommended on the Security Now! Podcast!

REMEMBER: This fixes a problem that does NOT require you to click on an attachment, or do ANYTHING… just visiting a web page that contains an “infected” image, and you are infected by the WMF Exploit! Take this one seriously!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Dr. Bill Podcast for the New Year! #17

Dr. Bill Podcast – 17 – (01/01/06)
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Intro – Happy New Year!, Time Warner Cable Broadband rocks!, Comcast Connection Blues, Link to the video by Three Dead Trolls, “Every OS Sucks”

Every OS Sucks Video

The First Video Game: SpaceWar! (1960 on the DEC PDP/11), The Sad Irony of SCO, more evil than Microsoft!, Virus Poses as a Leaked MSN Messenger Beta!, Peter Quinn, CIO of Massachusetts, announced that he will resign, effective in January, from his post, due to flack that he has gotten for standing up for the OpenDocument standard, Women Now Out-Number Men On-Line, Windows WMF metafile flaw allows system compromising behavior, Star Trek: TNG “Beep” Badges in the corporate world, Return of the Commmand Prompt!, Microsoft creates “Monad” to add Windows shell scripting… Ad-Ware Writers take advantage of the Windows Exploit! (By the way, turns out I WAS right about SCO Xenix, check out this quote: “SCO produced XENIX, an Intel 8088 port of AT&T Unix System III with some BSD-like enhancements, in 1983.” Good memory, huh?!?) HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Ad-Ware Writers Take Advantage of the Windows Exploit!

I told you about the VERY SERIOUS Windows exploit that came out a few days ago that involves the Windows metafile property in Windows. This exploit effects all versions of Windows, including older versions. It allows web sites, or banner ad creators to embed code into images that can then be executed by simply visiting a web site. You don’t have to go to a bad site, just one that uses a banner ad, or some other image from an Ad-Ware company… which are all over the Web!

Windows Exploit Now Spreading Ad-Ware!

“Researchers said that sites running pop-up advertisements from the network will infect viewers with vulnerable systems.”

Return of the C:\> Prompt?

As an old DOS hacker, the C:\> prompt was my friend! In these graphical user interface days, no one really thinks about it that much. There are still some things that you can only do from the ol’ C:\> prompt! Well, there is more on the way in Vista!

Return of the Command Prompt

“Code-named Monad, the new shell will enable a host of new programs known as scripts–something at which rival Unix operating systems have historically excelled. While these new commands and scripts will interest primarily administrators and power users, less-technical types may benefit from Monad scripts that could circulate on the Internet as Unix scripts do. For example, a Monad script might quickly reorganize files and directories based on their name or creation date–a task that can take a fair bit of manual labor in Windows Explorer.”

REALLY BAD Windows Flaw!

This one is major nasty! It affects fully patched Windows XP systems running Service Pack 2, and is actually out in “the wild.”

Really BAD Exploits Treatens Windows XP

“A new exploit has been discovered in the wild that affects fully patched Windows XP SP2 systems, according to reports by security firms F-Secure and Sunbelt. The malicious code takes advantage of a vulnerability in the WMF graphics rendering engine to automatically download and install malware. WMF, or Windows Metafile, is a vector based image format used by Microsoft’s operating systems. SHIMGVW.DLL is loaded to render the images and contains a flaw that opens the door for a malformed WMF image to cause remote code execution and potentially allow for a full system compromise.”

Microsoft has been notified of the issue, and they are expected to come out with a patch soon.

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