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Issue 20 - June 10, 2007
Table of contents:
Microsoft security bulletin - Oh no it isn't!
Privacy policies are potentially worthless:
A world without wires?
Live dangerously with Yahoo!
The shortcut arrow debate:
Trying to love Linux:
Worthy websites:
And finally......

Introduction:[ TOP ]
Have you ever wondered why computers need so much technical support? The computer vendor has support, the software makers, ISP providers etc. Is it just me or do you suspect we might all be mugs buying under-developed, sub-standard products? How many more times will we allow Microsoft to issue security updates, which basically say, dear customer we have left you at risk and at the mercy of criminals because we didn't forsee they might target you!

If tens of thousands of us bought cars and discovered that thieves could break in by blowing hard on tyhe lock there would be uproar.

however, back to computer support. This epitomises much of what i see online;
Q: How many Microsoft support staff does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Four. One to ask "What is the registration number of the light bulb?", one to ask "Have you tried rebooting it?", another to ask "Have you tried reinstalling it?" and the last one to say "It must be your hardware because the light bulb in our office works fine..."

And that is why exists and is in such demand.

In this edition we look at the news, have a little fun, give some tips and ideas and recommend some websites.

You can join in the fun and get published by writing to


Microsoft security bulletin - Oh no it isn't![ TOP ]
The eagerly awaited monthly release by Microsoft of their latest security patches is due on Tuesday. In the next few days you may receive an email purporting to be a security bulletin. This is what happens if you respond to it.

The e-mail messages claim to describe a "Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer" that fixes a critical security flaw in the browser. It comes with a link entitled "Download this update."

When users click on this link, they are taken to a server that attempts to install malicious software known as Trojan-Downloader.Win32.Agent.avk.

This Trojan software then attempts to reach out to other computers on the Internet in order to install more programs on the victim's computer.

Be on your guard.,132736-page,1/article.html

Privacy policies are potentially worthless:[ TOP ]
A court ruling in Californis (where else!) threatens to invalidate the privacy policy of any organisation that becomes a defendant in a law suit. Yes, that's right a DEFENDANT.

TorrentSpy, a popular BitTorrent search engine, was ordered on May 29 by a federal judge in the Central District of California in Los Angeles to create logs detailing users' activities on the site.

Some will argue that if you have nothing to hide there is nothing to fear. Others will see it as a fundamental erosion of a freedom. Many will not give a damn. But should we care? should our surfing habits be a matter between us and our consciences, or is it for the greater good that our every move be logged and sometimes scrutinised?

I'm undecided and open to persuasion:

A world without wires?[ TOP ]
At school (many years ago) I struggled to grasp the concept of electricity. It had something to do with ions and conductivity, but it wasn't until I dropped a whirring hair dryer into my mother's fish tank that the principles of conductivity and the destructive power of electricity began to take shape in my head.

Electricity needed something to conduct it from one place to another. Copper wire was good, water was a little random in its choice of direction for the current.

I knew you couldn't conduct electricity through certain materials, and fresh air was one of them. If you left a bare wire exposed it would remain dead until you touched it.

Now it seems these simple laws of physics are being re-written. You can make electricity travel through the air to power a lightbulb or run your toaster. Oh the wonders of modern science.

Live dangerously with Yahoo![ TOP ]
A recent survey found that Yahoo, of the top 5 search engines, was the riskiest. 5.4 percent of Yahoo searches returned links to "risky" internet sites. AOL was found to be the safest of the top five, with 2.9 percent of sites.

Google already has some filtering devices in place, it looks as though Yahoo may be forced to follow suit. I haven't seen an AOL installation for years, but I suspect they came top of this poll because they prohibit their users from having any fun at all. :)

full story:,1000000189,39287373,00.htm

The shortcut arrow debate:[ TOP ]
There seems to be a debate brewing on the net about the overlaid arrow that Windows puts on shortcut icons. REmoving the arrow from these icons is something most geeks do as soon as they discover regedit.

It seems it can be done in Vista, but there are unwanted side effects!

As someone who believes Vista will go down in Operating system history as a worthy successor to Millennium Edition I'm staying out of the debate. But here, for those of you who have XP, is how you get rid of those damn arrows.

Backup the registry.
This is a necessary step in case you make a mistake and write off your system, but don't be put off.

Go to Start>Run, and type in
Press Enter.

Click the + beside HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT to expand the key and scroll down to lnkfile (it's a long way down)

Highlight lnkfile and delete the IsShortcut registry value, which you can see in the right hand pane. Right click on it and select delete.

That's it, get out of the registry editor, reboot the PC and hope it starts.

Trying to love Linux:[ TOP ]
I keep getting asked why there isn't more Linux news in this newsletter. It's a fair point so I set off in search of some Linux related articles of interest. I'm sorry to say i failed. The corduroy and cardigans brigade seem to write in a language that is mid way between Swedish and Martian.

I did find this from a geek waxing lyrical about the joys of Ubuntu.

"So what distant point on the horizon has Ubuntu shone a light on for me? Simple. Software will increasingly compete on ease of use in the total software experience more than on features. The future will be more about being simple than about any other dimension.".

Now do you see why there isn't more Linux stuff in

If you really must:

Worthy websites:[ TOP ] Is for those who like to play. If ropes figure in your life this is for you. :) For internet speed freaks! A fun explanation of bandwidth.

And finally......[ TOP ]
Do you want a source of 150+ downloads, all free and all useful? We have a downloads section at

Could you be a technician? Your knowledge of computers will soar and you'll meet a group of like-minded individuals from all parts of the globe (including me!)

Could you print and display an A4 poster promoting It would be a great help to us if you could, please write to me direct for this one.

Lastly, please remember is not just for problems. We'll answer anything, maybe you always wanted to know what a raid array was but were afraid to ask! Ask us.

Best wishes, Phil.

Credits[ TOP ] Editor: Phil Dodd,

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