press here to print Newsletter
Issue 13 - March 25, 2007
Table of contents:
1. Introduction:
2. Is the padlock strong enough?
3. ebay scam:
4. Skype hit by Trojan:
5. Cold chips:
6. Vista Tip: Disable annoying security feature:
7. If you want to try Linux, but....
8. Talkback:
9. Worthy websites:

1. Introduction:[ TOP ]
In this edition we have the usual scary news from the world of computers, there are some dangerous people in cyberspace and they really are out to get us! Along with the paranoia there are tips for Vista victims and would-be Linux users, pork chops in Coca Cola, and a great resource for Photoshop fans.
It seems that one of our tips had bad consequences for one reader, you can catch up with that in Talkback.

If you would like to be part of this Newsletter, send your views, tips, rants, anything you choose, to
Best wishes, Phil.

2. Is the padlock strong enough?[ TOP ]
Have you bought anything online recently? Do you use internet banking? Do you look at the little gold padlock in the tray and feel comforted by its presence? I do, but John Weinschenk, CEO and president of security firm Cenzic Inc. thinks my trust is misplaced. He says, " There are misconceptions that technologies such as SSL indicate that a Web site is safe when, in fact, it is not."

He goes on to increase my unease with this "While the technology does have a valid use and does provide some level of security, it still allows hackers to exploit underlying applications."

Should we be worried? I honestly don't know.

Full story:

3. ebay scam:[ TOP ]
There is a sophisticated email scam, targeting eBay users with a combination of legitimate eBay auctions and a Windows Trojan that intercepts a user's web traffic, which results in the money paid for a purchase going to the scammer's bank account. The buyer gets nothing.

The attack begins with an email message containing a legitimate eBay automobile sales slideshow as well as the Trojan, which implements a local proxy server and directs traffic bound for eBay through it.

The details of how it works, and how to avoid it, are here:
Caveat emptor!

4. Skype hit by Trojan:[ TOP ]
The Skype network has been infiltrated by a Trojan. Skype users receive a message that says "Check up this," with a URL containing a hyperlink. When users click on the link, they are redirected to a site that is hosting a file named file_01.exe.

I'm sure you imagine what happens next, but the full details are here:

5. Cold chips:[ TOP ]
This one is for real geeks! Apparently IBM scientists have discovered that the way glue is applied to processors and chipsets has an effect on the dissipation of heat. They observed that when a chip is attached to the cooling element of a semiconductor package, a cross formed in the glue as the microscopic particles it contains piled up. This prevents the glue from spreading evenly. They overcame this problem by creating tiny channels in the base of the heatsink that help the glue to flow properly. I prefer my chips warm with salt and vinegar, but if you want to read it:,130112-c,chips/article.html#

6. Vista Tip: Disable annoying security feature:[ TOP ]
Windows Vista's User Account Control security is a "feature" that is bound to drive any power user absolutely crazy within an hour of downloading, installing and configuring your favorite programs.

Indeed it is almost enough to make a person consider a buying a Mac.If you hate Vista for asking you every single time you try to do something and if you're sure you want to, then disable User Account Control. To do this:

NOTE: This would ONLY be done if you are sure of your own ability to protect you from the Internet and yourself. DO NOT do this if you think you may have security problems OR if there is a person using the PC who may be security challenged.Heres how:

1. Open Control Panel and type in user account into the search box. You'll see the link for "Turn User Account Control (UAC) on or off".
2. Click it.
3. Uncheck the box, and reboot your computer.

Congratulations You should be done with obnoxious prompts! Well Sort of.

Microsoft highly recommends that you do not do this. To make their point, after you ignore them and do it anyway, a scary little red X shield icon plants itself in your taskbar, visually screaming at you about the security risk. After you are sure you are NOT scared, here is how to rid yourself of this annoyance.

1. In Control Panel, go to the Security Center.
2. On the left hand side, click the "Change the way Security Center alerts me"
3. Choose "Don't notify me and don't display the icon (not recommended)".

Now youre done!

This tip was provided by Rick Streeter, who owns

7. If you want to try Linux, but....[ TOP ]
Many people toy with the idea of trying a Linux Operatimg system, but are put off by the complexity of installing it. Here is a useful facility to help choose which Linux distribution is right for you.

It's easy to use and contains a lot of useful information about Linux and how to get up and running with it.

8. Talkback:[ TOP ]
William P.Carr writes:

"Your advice to avoid logging in every time you start your computer by going to: Start > run > and type in control userpasswords2 and then uncheck the box Users must enter a username and password to use this computer caused me to have a real problem. I'm operating XPS Media Center and after doing the above, I couldn't log on and had to contact Dell and get squared away. Protonic in the past has always given me good advice so I was really surprised."

William, I am sorry you had this problem, I tried to replicate it on my own PC but could not. Has anyone else used it with success, or failure? Pease let me know, Phil.

You can send your views, thoughts, tips etc. for inclusion in this newsletter by writing to and putting TALKBACK in the subject line.

9. Worthy websites:[ TOP ] is a goldmine for Photoshop users.,1-0,coca_cola_pork,FF.html is about cooking pork with Coca Cola. I tried it and it is delicious.

Credits[ TOP ] Editor: Phil Dodd,

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