Monday 31 March 2003

Who are your site's most important visitors?

Who is blind, deaf and uses browsers it has never seen?  Actually, that would be Google!

A contributor over at alt.html had this in his/her sig:  "Your site's most important visitors are completely blind, totally deaf, and uses browsers you've never seen."

I never did work it out until I came upon this article titled: Google is god.  Don't piss her off.

Monday 24 March 2003

Microsoft quietly pulls Internet Explorer 5.5 from its download site

Betanews: "In an effort to push adoption of IE 6.0, Microsoft quietly yanked Internet Explorer 5.5 Service Pack 2 from its download site. Users running older versions of IE 5.5, which shipped with Windows Me, must upgrade to the latest browser release.

Ironically, IE 5.01 SP2 is still available as it is primarily used by businesses running Windows 2000. Because business customers are less prone to upgrade, Microsoft tends to offer such fixes longer than it does for consumer customers."

I picked this news up from news:// One of the contributors kindly offered an alternate link for Internet Explorer 5.5 users; that would be Computer Help Desk, University of Victoria.  This may be a good time to burn it onto a CD before it disappears!

Sunday 23 March 2003

...of Microsoft and Men

I borrowed this title from a newsgroup article hosted by

The subject was about an article written by Andrew Grygus and titled The Microsoft "Road Ahead".

I never got to the end of the article having given up at around the hour mark!  However, it does seem to be a well researched treatise on the dangers of future Microsoft products such as "Longhorn", Office 2003, and Digital Rights Management (DRM), Palladium, Dot.Net etc.

While I have been away...

Microsoft released the following Security Bulletins:

Opera released Opera 7.03 in response to another security bug as reported by Secunia

Mozilla released Version 1.3 of their browser

I haven't been "away" as such; I have been getting to grips with Perl.

Adware and Under-Wear - The Definitive Guide

I kept a link to this article way back in September/October when it was originally published, but I haven't been able to locate the link this then...until today. 

Anyway, here is a the link to Adware and Under-Wear - The Definitive Guide.

This article is a treatise on Spywares, Scumwares and underwares that come bundled on "free" software we all innocently download from the internet.

Sunday 09 March 2003

Latest on my Web Site

In an effort to combat spam on my email account, I have been playing around with the Form Submission Service offered by Response-o-maticResponse-o-matic offers a Form Template which the webmaster is supposed to copy and paste to his own site.  I found the default form a bit too clunky for my taste so I have amended it to suit my purpose.  Unfortunately, this meant getting rid of some surveys embedded by Response-o-matic into the form and I have no idea if this violates the Terms & Conditions or not.  In any case, adverts are shown when the form is submitted.  I have copied a test version of the Response-o-matic form to my test folder.

The Response-o-matic Form Submission Service is free, hence the adverts; however, there are other options available such as the Google Directoryand All My FAQs (a better list in my opinion)

For a few weeks now, I have been playing around with a new design template for  Windows Resources (my website).  Nothing Major.  However, the current design was done in FrontPage and includes a lot of redundant and deprecated HTML Tags.  With the new design, I hope to clean up the HTML, stick the presentation into a Style Sheet and validate to HTML Strict instead of HTML Transitional. 

Along the way, I may have to serve up a plain vanilla HTML page to Netscape 4.x users. 

At the moment, I have stuck with a Table-based design, but may opt for a Table-less design once I find a way to deal with the Footer, which doesn't work with Opera andSafari (when a Table-less design is used).  So far I have played around with Position: Absolute and Position: Relative but a simpler alternative may be the Float Properties.  I haven't had the time to test this out yet.  My efforts are documented in my test folder.

I haven't done any major stuff on my website this week except to clean up some of the web bots created by FrontPage.  I have also added a new STOP Article to my Resources for Windows XP page.

Wednesday 05 March 2003

Site Update

Resources For Internet Explorer was updated over the weekend.

New content was added to the "How to complete a task" Section and the "Description of Product Features" Section.  I hoped to add other sections to Resources For Internet Explorer but ran out of Regular Expressions for Windows Grep.

Regular Expressions

Have you ever tried searching for a particular phrase or keyword which you know exists inside some of the files on your hard drive and have the results of your search exported as a CSV file to MS Excel or Access?

Windows Grep is my favourite utility for extracting the Microsoft Knowledge Base Articles from my hard drive, but I have always struggled with the limitedRegular Expressions it offered.

Today, I downloaded and installed ActivePerl from ActiveState.comPerl is a Practical Extraction and Report Language and I hope to be able to write theRegular Expressions I need in order to extract the articles each section and have them sorted too.  I chose Perl because it is meant to be an easy to use programming language but just to be on the safe side, I have also ordered Programming Perl andPerl Cookbook from Amazon.

I will keep you up to date with my progress.

Saturday 01 March 2003

Zonelabs Personal Firewall vulnerable to User Input Circumvention Exploits

YTECH: The attacker may use a special trojan which use a unique system that passes ZoneAlarm's protection, and may give him an opportunity to run the trojan as a client\server, in order to remote control the targeted computer.

Zonelabs: Previous versions of ZoneAlarm products were vulnerable to a "proof of concept" demonstration application. This test application used various APIs to send keystrokes to the user interface of ZoneAlarm. User settings could then be changed, granting Internet access to the test application. Password protection made the products less susceptible to this attack. Both Zone Labs and the creator of the test application have confirmed that version 3.7 of ZoneAlarm, ZoneAlarm Plus, and ZoneAlarm Pro has fixed this vulnerability

Zonelabs also mention that "Most personal firewalls are vulnerable to this" (exploit).

I paid a visit to the Broadband Reports Security Forum in order find more about this exploit and came away with this article titled "Bypassing Personal Firewalls" which seems to have started it all.

This latest exploit also brings to mind the Too Leaky and FireHole demonstrations which were also "proof of concept".

In the mean time, please adopt a layered approach to computer security by upgrading to the latest versions of your Firewall and by keeping your Anti-Trojan and Anti-Virus Software up to date and by investing in anti-spyware such as Ad-aware orSpybot Search and Destroy.

Above all, practise Safe Hex.