“Spam King” Behind Bars!

We all know spam is evil… and we all hate it! How often have I said, only half-jokingly, that all spammers will be “first up against the wall when the revolution comes!” Well, Robert Soloway is now “up against the wall” so to speak! He is in jail! And spam might just take a dive now that he is!

‘Spam King’ Behind Bars, Authorities Say

“The arrest of a 27-year-old Seattle man is being hailed as a major victory in the fight against spam — and some are saying it could lead to a noticeable decrease in the amount of spam worldwide. ‘Spam is a scourge of the Internet, and Robert Soloway is one of its most prolific practitioners,’ US Attorney Jeffrey Sullivan said. ‘Our investigators dubbed him the ‘Spam King’ because he is responsible for millions of spam emails. Soloway is accused of sending tens of millions of such mails between November 2003 and May 2007, promoting his company Newport Internet Marketing that offered ‘broadcast e-mail’ software and services. Federal officials arrested Soloway after a federal grand jury indicted him on 35 counts, including mail fraud, wire fraud, fraud in connection with electronic mail, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering. The federal government is also seeking $772,998 in damages.”

Very nice! I hope he gets a life sentence for every piece of spam he sent!

Remember Star Trek: TNG’s “Surface Computers?”

You know… when Data would just tap on the flat console in front of him to control the Enterprise? Well, guess what? Microsoft has released a “surface computer” like that!

Microsoft unveils table computerStar Trek: BSOD

Microsoft has unveiled a new touch-sensitive coffee table-shaped computer called ‘Surface.’ Designed to do away with the need for a traditional mouse and keyboard, users can instead use their fingers to operate the computer. Also designed to interact with mobile phones placed on the surface, Microsoft says it will initially sell the unit to corporate customers. These will include hotels, casinos, phone stores and restaurants. So-called ‘multi-touch’ interfaces – which allow the user to move several fingers on a screen to manipulate data, rather than relying on a mouse and menus – have been making waves in tech circles for some time.”

Very cool! I want one! Then I can pretend to be on the Enterprise! Rock on! Though if it is made by Microsoft, it may be like Data in the image above!

The “John Cleese Edition” of Dr. Bill’s Podcast #90!

Dr. Bill Podcast – 90 – (05/26/07)
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Ancient Geek Culture with John Cleese and Compaq’s “luggable” computer! Virus Alert from Weird Al… geeky tech news! Ubuntu news a-plenty! A web site for Dr. Bill Bailey.NET, and a Geek Software of the Week for headset junkies!

Top Ten New Features of Windows Server 2008 (Longhorn)

Check this article out, the top ten new features in Windows Server 2008, formerly called “Longhorn.”

Top 10 New Features in Windows Server 2008

“#10: The self-healing NTFS file system. Ever since the days of DOS, an error in the file system meant that a volume had to be taken offline for it to be remedied. In WS2K8, a new system service works in the background that can detect a file system error, and perform a healing process without anyone taking the server down…

#9: Parallel session creation. ‘Prior to Server 2008, session creation was a serial operation,’ Russinovich reminded us. ‘If you’ve got a Terminal Server system, or you’ve got a home system where you’re logging into more than one user at the same time, those are sessions. And the serialization of the session initialization caused a bottleneck on large Terminal Services systems. So Monday morning, everybody gets to work, they all log onto their Terminal Services system like a few hundred people supported by the system, and they’ve all got to wait in line to have their session initialized, because of the way session initialization was architected.’…

#8: Clean service shutdown. One of Windows’ historical problems concerns its system shutdown procedure. In XP, once shutdown begins, the system starts a 20-second timer. After that time is up, it signals the user whether she wants to terminate the application herself, perhaps prematurely. For Windows Server, that same 20-second timer may be the lifeclock for an application, even one that’s busy spooling ever-larger blocks of data to the disk…

#7: Kernel Transaction Manager. This is a feature which developers can take advantage of, which could greatly reduce, if not eliminate, one of the most frequent causes of System Registry and file system corruption: multiple threads seeking access to the same resource…

#6: SMB2 network file system. Long, long ago, SMB was adopted as the network file system for Windows. While it was an adequate choice at the time, Russinovich believes, ‘SMB has kind of outlived its life as a scalable, high-performance network file system.’…

#5: Address Space Load Randomization (ASLR) Perhaps one of the most controversial added features already, especially since its debut in Vista, ASLR makes certain that no two subsequent instances of an operating system load the same system drivers in the same place in memory each time…

#4: Windows Hardware Error Architecture (WHEA). That’s right, Microsoft has actually standardized the error – more accurately, the protocol by which applications report to the system what errors they have uncovered. You’d think this would already have been done…

#3: Windows Server Virtualization. Even pared down a bit, the Viridian project will still provide enterprises with the single most effective tool to date for reducing total cost of ownership…to emerge from Microsoft. Many will argue virtualization is still an open market, thanks to VMware; and for perhaps the next few years, VMware may continue to be the feature leader in this market…

#2: PowerShell. At last. For two years, we’ve been told it’ll be part of Longhorn, then not really part of Longhorn, then a separate free download that’ll support Longhorn, then the underpinning for Exchange Server 2007. Now we know it’s a part of the shipping operating system: the radically new command line tool that can either supplement or completely replace GUI-based administration…

#1: Server Core. Here is where the world could really change for Microsoft going forward: Imagine a cluster of low-overhead, virtualized, GUI-free server OSes running core roles like DHCP and DNS in protected environments, all to themselves, managed by way of a single terminal…”

Ubuntu Founder Does Not See Microsoft as a Patent Treat

OK, full disclosure, I think Microsoft is evil. OK, now that we have that out of the way, Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu Linux, is willing to cut them some slack.

Microsoft is not the real threat

Much has been written about Microsoft’s allegation of patent infringements in Linux (by which I’m sure they mean GNU/Linux.) I don’t think Microsoft is the real threat, and in fact, I think Microsoft and the Linux community will actually end up fighting on the same side of this issue… And I’m pretty certain that, within a few years, Microsoft themselves will be strong advocates against software patents. Why? Because Microsoft is irrevocably committed to shipping new software every year, and software patents represent landmines in their roadmap which they are going to step on, like it or not, with increasing regularity. They can’t sit on the sidelines of the software game – they actually have to ship new products. And every time they do that, they risk stepping on a patent landmine. They are a perfect target – they have deep pockets, and they have no option but to negotiate a settlement, or go to court, when confronted with a patent suit. Microsoft already spends a huge amount of money on patent settlements (far, far more than they could hope to realize through patent licensing of their own portfolio). That number will creep upwards until it’s abundantly clear to them that they would be better off if software patents were history. In short, Microsoft will lose a patent trench war if they start one, and I’m sure that cooler heads in Redmond know that.”

We’ll see. I think Microsoft is pretty much just spreading FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) right now… will they continue to listen to the “Dark Side?” I say… probably!

DEWD! Weird Al as a Tech Guy!

Check it out! “Weird Al” Yankovik, from “Virus Alert” as a tech guy in a video game!

Weird Al is your new IT guy

“It’s hard to make this up. Really. Left Brain Games announced a new interactive game for PCs that features ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic as the star of Virus Alert 3D, in which IT employee Weird Al takes on viruses at Companytechco Inc., LLC. Users get to control Weird Al as he helps eliminate viruses, protects computers, unlocks secret doors and secures help through ‘drone like co-workers.’ A trial version, with 5 levels of gameplay, is available. You can buy the full game of 25 levels for $16.95. In addition, check out the very funny music video of ‘Virus Alert’ on YouTube. Who said IT people aren’t funny? If only our own IT group were as wacky as Weird Al. (Just kidding, guys!).”

Dell Spells Out What They Will Offer on Ubuntu Systems

Wow! It is getting serious… they give us some info on what to expect from their Dell Linux pre-installed systems!

Ubuntu 7.04 Offering—Technical Details

“Before we announce the availability of Ubuntu 7.04 on select Dell client systems, I’d like to give an overview of what customers can expect from our initial Ubuntu offering.

Available Software and Hardware

* The default software from the Ubuntu media will be installed on the system, including kernel and applications.
* The peripheral options offered with Ubuntu will be a subset of what is offered with other operating systems. We’re offering the hardware options on each system that have the most mature and stable Linux driver support. These hardware options have been thoroughly tested by the Linux team here at Dell.
* We configure/install open source drivers for hardware, when possible.
* We use partial open-source or closed source (“restricted” in Ubuntu terms) drivers where there is no equivalent open-source driver. This includes Intel wireless cards and Conexant modems.
* We will have a wiki page on our linux.dell.com website that gives technical details of the supported systems, information on the device drivers used for system peripherals, details of our Ubuntu factory-installation, and information on the problems we found during our testing, with their fixes/workarounds.
* We recommend Linux users buy Dell printers that have PostScript engines in them. The previous hyperlink lists those printers. You can also check in the Tech Specs tab for each printer on Dell.com show if it has PostScript or not.”

Pretty cool… it will be interesting how many of these sell… and, how fast they do sell!

Geek Software of the Week: Ventrilo!

So, you need to record a group of people (or, even a couple of people) for a podcast… or, you want to communicate over headsets while playing computer games on-line. Enter… Ventrilo! High quality voice communication over IP (the Internet.)

Ventrilo Web Site

“Ventrilo 2.3.0 is the next evolutionary step of Voice over IP (VoIP) group communications software. Ventrilo is also the industry standard by which all others measure themselves as they attempt to imitate its features. By offering surround sound positioning and special sound effects on a per user, per channel, per server or global configuration level the program provides each user the option to fully customize exactly how they wish to hear sounds from other users or events. Ventrilo is best known for it’s superior sound quality and minimal use of CPU resources so as not to interfere with day to day operations of the computer or during online game competitions. It is also preferred for the simple user interface that any first time computer user can very quickly learn because the most commonly used features are immediately visible and can be activated with a single click of the mouse.”

Very cool, indeed! I am also checking out “TeamSpeak” to see which is better:

TeamSpeak Web Site

It looks very cool as well… same concept… I’ll let you know which one I went with!

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