Welcome to Medary.com Tuesday, April 16 2024 @ 11:53 PM CST


Firefox Browser Update Is Out

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If you're using Firefox as your web browser, an update (to 1.0.4) is available - - click the little red triangle update button at the upper right corner of the screen to download and install the update.

Just remember to unclick the "Use Firefox Home Page As Your Home Page" or whatever the heck it says. Boy, that annoys the heck out of me that they always want to redirect your home page back to Firefox's home page. That's user-unfriendly behavior that's almost Microsoftian in its hostility, in my opinion.

The Toughest Decision . . .

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From The Silicon Pines Assisted Computing Facility web site.

I'm sure Medary.com readers are savvy techology users and wouldn't be candidates for Silicon Pines. But someone close to you just might . . .

On second thought, it does sound rather restful . . .

New Top 20 Internet Security Vulnerabilities

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Up on SANS.org, the latest edition of The SANS Top 20 Internet Security Vulnerabilities.

The "Top 20" is actually two top 10 lists, one for Windows users, the other for Unix users. Obviously the Windows list has little impact on Unix and vice versa. Also, some of the Windows vulnerabilities are focused on Windows servers (which I imagine few people actually run at home).

The short recommendations for Windows users:

1. Stay current with the latest versions of operating systems and software, especially web browsers and anti-virus software.

2. Don't use peer-to-peer software (i.e. Napster, GNUtella, KaZaa) unless you know what you're doing (both technically and legally).

3. Implement a firewall between yourself and the Internet--either a software firewall on your computer, or a firewall on your network at the Internet connection point--preferably both (i.e. "defense in depth").

4. Avoid using the Microsoft products Internet Explorer (the web browser), Outlook, and Outlook Express (the mail clients) if at all possible. The Bad Guys target these programs, and they have a long nasty history of serious vulnerabilities.

5. Don't open any e-mail (the message itself or an attachment) from anybody you don't recognize. Delete suspicious e-mails immediately. Don't use the "preview feature" -- that's the same as opening the mail message. Turn on e-mail checking in your antivirus software. It will slow you down a bit. Getting infected will slow you down a lot more.

6. Don't use instant message unless you know what you're doing.

More on the SANS Top 10 for Windows:

Where's The Technology, Filbert?

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I haven't posted any stories in the Technology section yet (until this one). While this might be due to my slow recovery from a career as a network engineer and network security guy, it's probably due more to the fact that it's been a whirlwind of activity since I left corporate America at the end of March.

There are a couple of new computers (one desktop, one notebook) sitting in their boxes at the top of the stairs, waiting for me to do some pre-configuring before taking them over to my in-law's to 1) replace the father-in-law's sluggish, elderly Gateway, and 2) get my mother-in-law into the wireless/laptop generation. That should be entertaining, and I'll be posting that saga here.

Also on the Ideas list for articles is a review of my 2005 Acura RL. In short, a very nice car.

Elsewhere, I got my own notebook back from the fine folks at LinuxCertified. My motherboard fried itself earlier this year. I took it to the local MicroCenter, who tried their best, identified the motherboard itself as the toasted component, but couldn't locate a replacement. Fortunately, LinuxCertified (who I originally bought the laptop from) came through. Happy customer here.

Other topics which may find their way here may include:
Network management,
Network security,
Satellite TV,
Mobile computing,
Home automation,
and anything else which catches my fancy.