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Issue 16 - April 29, 2007
Table of contents:
It was bound to happen............
They deserve each other!
Embarrassment for AOL:
Hacker wins $10,000 prize, for hacking!
Adding insult to Apple's injury
Blogger in fear for her life:
Instant standby:

Introduction[ TOP ]
The hottest topic arising from last weeks newsletter was my spelling! I admit there were a few clangers in there, but language is meant to be fun, and there are lots of examples of misspellings and linguistic misunderstandings that raise a smile. For example, there was a man who walked into a Post Office looking greatly troubled. He handed over a telegram and said to the counter clerk, Excuse me, this is very feint, can you tell me if that is an I or an O. The counter clerk looked very carefully, and then declared Its an O sir. The man looked relieved and said Thank heavens for that, my brother shot himself!

Then there was the dyslexic pimp. He bought a warehouse.

In this edition we put our unique slant on the week's news, throw in a tech tip or two, stir well and serve with a large dollop of readers' opinions and ideas.

Enjoy the meal.

It was bound to happen............[ TOP ]
It is fashionable to take a laptop when visiting cafes, gyms, hotels etc. to tap into the free wireless service that is becoming increasingly available. However, these so called "hot spots" may be hotter than you think.

The criminal fraternity have discovered they can set up a "twin" which looks like the real thing, and then of course they will steal anything of value on the laptop.

Nothing of value on your laptop? How about your address? They know you're not at home, so I hope you remembered to lock the back door!{editorial}&source=NLT_SEC&nlid=38

They deserve each other![ TOP ]
Microsoft seems to be at war with Adobe Systems inc., and I can't help hoping they both lose. Adobe is the company that gives away a free reader so we can all read its precious pdf files, then charges a small fortune for the "professional" version.

Microsoft is well known to us all and seems to be the most ambitious company since the East India Company took over and raped a whole country in the interests of capitalism and world domination.

Our Bill's latest wheeze is to challenge the dominance of the pdf format with its XPS format, and it will be giving the software away for free.

Let's hope the battle is long and painful for both sides.

Embarrassment for AOL:[ TOP ]
AOL didn't admit to being embarrassed by this, but I'll bet there are more than a few red faces in the corporate ranks.

A 17 year old from New York has successfully hacked AOL LLC networks and databases containing customer information and infected servers with a malicious program to transfer confidential data to his computer.

He did it, he said, "because AOL took away my accounts and I wanted them back".

Mike Nieves is currently in custody awaiting trial. Several senior AOL executives are looking nervously over their shoulders.

Hacker wins $10,000 prize, for hacking![ TOP ]
Dino Dai Zovi won $10,000 in a contest organised by at the CanSecWest security conference in Vancouver. The challenge was to break into a Mac. He did it and exposed the myth that Apple computers are more secure than those running Windows.

This is something many of us have suspected for a while, along with the other myth that Macs are virus proof. The truth is that no self-respecting hacker or virus creator would bother launching Mac attacks because they are so hard to find in a world dominated by Windows.

Adding insult to Apple's injury[ TOP ]
The guy who won the hacking contest, above, has added insult to injury by claiming that Vista's code is more secure than Apple's operating system. He seems to be becoming a celebrity, you can find interviews with him all over the web. Here's one:

Blogger in fear for her life:[ TOP ]
Kathy Sierra is a prominent blogger. She's also a frightened lady. She received death threats on her blog from (who knows how many) crazy people who threatened to rape and muder her.

Time was when the only loonies you had to worry about were those who lived in your neighbourhood. Now, thanks to the internet you can be stalked by a whole army of violent and/or deranged lunatics.

Instant standby:[ TOP ]
Heres a really quick way to send your system into standby mode; just hit the power button! Yes, Im serious, Windows XP can be set to go to standby when you hit the power button. Heres how:

1. Click Start and open the Control Panel. Double click Power Options.
2. In the Power Options Properties dialog box, click the Advanced tab. Under Power Buttons, select Stand by in the When I press the power button on my computer area, and then click OK.
3. Now, when you push your computer's power button, your system will immediately go to stand by.

Talkback:[ TOP ]
John Langer was grateful for the fix in the last edition for the error caused by a Windows update. He wrote:
"Just wanted to thank you for this link in the newsletter.

Its a problem thats been bugging me for ages. I even re-installed windows to get rid of it and, of course, once I installed the update again the problem returned. I was just on the verge of having another go when I read your article.
Problem solved!"

Many people replied to the Quicktime irritation of qttask firing up when Windows starts.

Mark Winter wrote: "If you go in to Quicktime preferences and the Advanced near the bottom you will find a tick box for Tray Icon, tick to display and untick not to."
Leslie W. Bright offered the same suggestion, as did Katherine Bell. My thanks to you all, Phil..

Michael LaPaglia, Sr offers this: "Try going into "safe" on boot-up, click on the "search" feature and have it look into all files. You will find the icon control and will be able to remove it safely. Also type "qt" and run the "search" feature. That's the other way the icon control is hidden.
It worked for me."

David Morton sent this "I feel your pain. I went round and round with QT installing itself in the start menu until I finally just uninstalled it and installed the QT Alternative in its place. I've had it for about three years and it works great -- you really can't tell the difference. But there is a very big difference: there's not all that crap on my computer that the original had and the alternative never tries to insert itself in the start menu.
Hope this helps. Here's the link: "

Horst Engel weighed in with this: "I have found an interesting program which can hide all icons in the systray: Tray Manager which can be found in,4149,9877,00.asp
It's true, you get a new icon but you may hide as many icons you want (and there are many useless ones!)
I don't know if it works on Windows XP, though. I'm using Win 2K.
(will I get a prize for the "Quciktime" error?)"

Dan wrote in with this essay! "Hi - Quicktime Task is only one of several annoying systray programs that various installers add to my startup list, either by a startup folder shortcut or, more frequently, via a registry key.
I've found the Sysinternals "Autoruns" utility ( an invaluable tool for managing startup entries: you just uncheck what you don't want to autostart. And, if you later decide you want to reinstate one, just check its entry again.

For the techies, Autoruns relocates unchecked autostart registry entries to an alternate registry location and moves unchecked startup shortcuts to a hidden "AutorunsDisabled" subfolder.
I never invoke Quicktime directly but, after a trial removal, found that I needed its browser plugin to view videos on some of the zoo/wildlife sites that I occasionally visit. But I prefer Windows Media Player for all media that it can handle.

BTW, an even more frequently used free utility in my "toolbox" is Agent Ransack ( which locates files on my HDs in a fraction of the time used by Windows search. (They also sell a Pro version which can search inside of archives, but I've not needed that enhancement so far.)
Cheers ,,, - Dan"

Please note: neither I nor can guarantee the information provided in the talkback section, it is reprinted as it was received from readers. Phil.

The biggest issue from the last edition seems to have my spelling. Ken Laninga found the most typos and for this reason Ken has been deleted from the mailing list.

I was taken to task by several people for using English, rather than American spellings! I'M A BRIT!

Thanks to:
Ammar Raza
Milt Barnes
Ervin Root
Doug Doty
Michael harding
For proof reading the newsletter and adding to my embarrassment by finding more than a few mistakes. Phil.

Websites:[ TOP ] Really silly, but I bet you can't resist a peek. Is for those who wish to avoid brain damage!

Credits[ TOP ] Editor: Phil Dodd,

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