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GOOGLE: Google Under Attack...Again

by HutchTech In reply to HutchTech Blog

<div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">As I wrote my previous entry I needed to check something on the web and naturally turned to Google. Here's what I saw:</div>
<div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml"> </div>
<div xmlns="a">http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml"><a href="img">http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/1242/149/1600/Google%20Attack.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/1242/149/320/Google%20Attack.jpg" border="0" /> </a><br />There's not much more I can say other than: SECURITY IS IMPORTANT. Are you secure? Google is protecting itself--can you? We'll talk more about this here on the blog and in upcoming podcasts.<br /><br />- Hutch</div>
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<div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://hutchtech.blogspot.com/2005/06/google-google-under-attackagain.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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INTERNET: Battle of the Personal Portals

by HutchTech In reply to HutchTech Blog

<div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">While Google has been amassing forward-thinking technologies and discovering how to give them away and still make money, don't think their rivals have been sitting still, weeping in a corner. Okay, so they have been weeping in a corner, but they haven't been sitting still. Yahoo!, Amazon/A9, and Google have all been putting together some amazing web-based personal portals for your perusal.<br /><br />Now, as a laptop user, I'm naturally skeptical of anything solely web-based. I need content available offline at anytime. But if I'm really honest, how often do I actually pull out my laptop in a location without some kind of connectivity? Though this isn't a formal statistical analysis, I would bet it's less than 5 percent of the time, maybe even less than 2 percent. So I need to fess up and be honest: I can live without a fat client, local version of my information. But only if I have to.<br /><br />Your choice of portal (though you can obviously use all three) really depends on what kind of content you want and how you want to use it. Here's a brief rundown on what these top three services offer:<br /><br />A9 (<a href="http://www.a9.com">www.a9.com</a&gt - Though you may not have heard of A9, you most certainly know their parent company Amazon.com. A9 really took the idea of personal portal a whole new level. They offer basic search capabilities, but also have range of tools you can select (I prefer to show mine as a list of buttons down the side of the browser window). You can save your searches, comment on various web pages, keep a diary, all with a free, password-protected account. If you've not tried it, take a gander.<br /><br />Yahoo! My Web (<a href="http://myweb.search.yahoo.com">myweb.search.yahoo.com</a&gt - Yahoo!'s tool allows you keep an online history and list of links similar to A9, however you can also decide if you want to share certain links with the outside world. Assuming you have friends and family that are interested in what you find interesting, this could be useful. Now you've got to use the Yahoo! Toolbar if you want to take advantage of some of the one-click features, but it could be worth it if you don't find too many web toolbars annoying, and yes, it works with both IE and Firefox. Overall, you can tell the site is still in beta, but it does tie together nicely with Yahoo!'s instant message and e-mail systems, so if you're already using those, consider this another extension to the suite. Another interesting feature is My Web's ability to save stored copies of websites--no more clicking old links that lead nowhere or loosing that really important information when someone updates/edits the site.<br /><br />Google Personalized Search (<a href=" -">http://www.google.com/psearch">www.google.com/psearch</a&gt - Still brewing in the labs (labs.google.com) is Google Personalized Search. After logging in and viewing a series of somewhat confusing pages, you'll have the option to choose between Google "classic home" or "personalized search". Now, I'm a huge Google fan, but I have to say that their personalized search is, thus far, just a google-esque version of My Yahoo! or My MSN portal sites from yesteryear. You get personal web news, weather, movie, and stock info while you search. Nice, but not yet impressive. Perhaps the stew's not done yet.<br /><br />All these services require you to sign up for a free account of some kind which provides you with a certain level of security, but I wouldn't consider using these services to store your important personal information. They do, however, make for great entry points into web searching and storage of favorites, comments, and search history. And let's not forget that free is always a nice price, so why not try all of them and see what works for you.<br /><br />- Hutch</div>
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<div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://hutchtech.blogspot.com/2005/07/internet-battle-of-personal-portals.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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COMMENTARY: Beware the Platform Zealot

by HutchTech In reply to HutchTech Blog

<p>I was reading of yet another IE flaw today on a tech website. Nothing new or exciting. An exploit is discovered, reported on. Microsoft responds. Patch is issued. YAWN... </p>
<p>Now, don?t take me the wrong way here, I believe Internet/network security is important (just see my rant against ignorant e-mail users below), but this is hardly breaking news. What really garnered my attention was the long list of comments from readers beneath the story. I didn?t even have to read the actual postings, the titles themselves were impetuous and inflammatory enough to stand on their own. What I don?t understand is the absolute zealotry some people have when it comes to technology platforms. For example, why would an avid Mac user bother to read, let alone comment on, a story about IE flaws? Why are the UNIX guys jumping up and down with glee at every mention of a Microsoft bug? </p>
<p>Let?s face it, right now it is a Microsoft Windows world. Maybe you can get away with running Linux servers on the back-end. Maybe you?re a single box user and prefer the Mac?s Aqua interface. But this doesn?t mean that those who don?t are somehow lesser humans upon which you should heap disdain. I?ve been waiting for a truly beautiful and functional laptop-ready Linux for several years now and it just doesn?t exist. I'd love to fully switch to the Mac, but I have to live in a cross-platform universe. I'd like Microsoft to adhere to messaging/calendaring standards that work with Linux and Mac. </p>
<p>I'm not loyal to any platform--I expect them to be loyal to me. I use both PCs and Macs. I like both for various reasons. If you?ve been reading my postings lately, you also know that I have a love/hate relationship with MS Exchange. However, I?ve looked at the Linux based alternative (yes, it?s cross platform, but commercial), and it cost?s much more per seat than MS Small Business Server (which is where I?m running Exchange now). My point is that technology is not about loyalty, it?s about function. Oh, and before you alternative techies get too high and mighty about your platforms, check out any listing of open-source, Apple, Unix, Linux bugs and security issues from the last 6-9 months and amazingly you?ll see more entries than Microsoft has for the same period. Because these other platforms don?t have as many users they don?t get as much attention. That doesn?t mean they?re immune. </p>
<p>Platform zealots tend to forget that most users of technology are just that: users. They don?t care about the command line. They?re not interested in kernels, compiling, or paying for annual service packs (yes, Steve Jobs, I?m talking to you). In fact, most users aren?t even interested in interfaces, back-end servers, etc. They just want the technology to work. If we put half the energy the zealots have into actually developing more secure and stable options for end-users, what a wonderful world this would be. [CUE SAPPY MUSIC] </p>
<p>Use the platforms you love. I do. But please have the courtesy to remember that your choices may not always work for everyone else. Vive la diff?rence. - Hutch </p>

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INTERFACE: Gushing Over GUIs

by HutchTech In reply to HutchTech Blog

<div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">If you miss your Apple ][ green screen, you're going to have to pull out some old manuals or computer mags, but if your favorite ancient user interface involves actual point-and-click technology, you'll probably find it at the GUIdebook (see the link below--as reported by our friends at <em><a href="http://www.attackoftheshow.com">Attack of the Show</a> </em&gt. While it doesn't have screenshots of my beloved Commodore 64, it does have pictures of some of the best GUIs of yesteryear. Besides, if you really need your C64 fix, go get an emulator and actually use it! <br /><br />So if you're pining for your old BeOS, OS/2 or even Windows GUI layout, check it out using the link below. <br /><br />- Hutch <br /><br /><a href="http://www.aresluna.org/guidebook/guis">GUIdebook > GUIs</a> </div>
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<div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://hutchtech.blogspot.com/2005/07/interface-gushing-over-guis.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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SECURITY: Return of the Night of the Day of the Hero Zombies...

by HutchTech In reply to HutchTech Blog

<div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">No, it's not a new horror flick, but it could become one. Zombies attacking zombies does sound like the plotline for the next George Romero film.<br /><br />Back in the golden days of worm and virus yore (you know, a year or two ago), some enterprising coder decided to turn a worm or two on its head and use it for good. "Why not," he thought, "use the same hole the evil worm is using to force unpatched systems to patch themselves?" At first, I was quite enthralled with the idea until I realized something: What if I'm unpatched on purpose? Perhaps I plan on doing other things to preclude infection and don't want outside interference.<br /><br />Most of us get inoculated from various diseases when we're young, but at least we see the doctor or nurse and know what's coming. Having someone else invisibly intrude into your tech domain without your permission, even with good intentions, is akin to doctors sneaking into your house at night to administer vaccinations to your children.<br /><br />Remember, no one would need to do this if we'd all take precautions to protect our own systems to begin with. And I'm not just talking about Aunt Erma who has her DSL hooked up but wouldn't know a firewall if it dropped on her head, no I'm talking about businesses that don't spend enough time on preventive measures and appropriate patching. If you want to use the tech you've got to carry out due diligence and secure your systems.<br /><br />Check out what Larry Seltzer at eWeek has to say about this tech-ethic phenom with the link below.<br /><br />- Hutch<br /><br /><a href="http://www.eweek.com/print_article2/0,1217,a=155015,00.asp">Return of the Anti-Zombies</a> </div>
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<div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://hutchtech.blogspot.com/2005/07/security-return-of-night-of-day-of.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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SPYWARE: Say It Isn't So, Uncle Bill

by HutchTech In reply to HutchTech Blog

<div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">When I first read reports that Microsoft was planning on purchasing spyware/privacy-invader Claria (formerly Gain) I assumed that it was a hoax. Now it look as if that may have been so much wishful thinking. Whether or not Uncle Bill ever buys Claria, it does seem as if someone is cozying up to the purveyors of anti-privacy programs and downgrading how Microsoft's own AntiSpyware Beta views these badies.<br /><br />Take a look, if you dare, at the eWeek article yourself with the link below.<br /><br />- Hutch<br /><br /><a href="http://www.eweek.com/print_article2/0,2533,a=155360,00.asp">Microsoft Downgrades Claria Adware Detections</a> </div>
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<div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://hutchtech.blogspot.com/2005/07/spyware-say-it-isnt-so-uncle-bill.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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SECURITY: Law and Order on the Net - eWeek

by HutchTech In reply to HutchTech Blog

I've really been enjoying Larry Seltzer's columns recently, and this one on legal issues and the Internet is another gem. I remember back in the '80s when, unless you actually destroyed or stole property, computer crime wasn't truly criminal--at least according to statute. Two decades later and we're still in a legal morass when it comes to cyberspace.<br /><br />Here's the introductory blurb that caught my attention (add your own "bum-bum" at the end):<br /><br /><em>
<blockquote>
<p><em>In the Internet criminal justice system the people are betrayed by two groups: the hackers and the legal authorities who don't take the offenders seriously. These are their stories. </em></em></p></blockquote>Take a gander at the whole story yourself with the link below.<br /><br />- Hutch<br /><br /><a href="http://www.eweek.com/print_article2/0,1217,a=155303,00.asp">Law and Order on the Internet</a>


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<div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://hutchtech.blogspot.com/2005/07/security-law-and-order-on-net-eweek.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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MEDIA: Slingbox-Will it Slay Orb and WinMCE?

by HutchTech In reply to HutchTech Blog

Check out the PC Mag review of Slingbox, a standalone DVR device that makes your content available online without a PC. While there are no monthly fees, it does cost $250. I still like the idea of having an actual PC (whether it's Windows or Linux based), but that's just me. What do you think? What do you use? If you're not yet capturing content for use away from your TV, what will it take to move you into that arena? Check out the PC Mag link below and leave your comments.<br /><br />- Hutch<br /><br /><a href="http://www.pcmag.com/print_article2/0,1217,a=155062,00.asp">Slingbox review by PC Magazine</a><br /><br />UPDATE: Check out the TechRepublic Blog post from CNet's sMoRTy71 on the new legal challenges Slingbox is facing by <a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5254-6257-0.html?forumID=99&threadID=1738**&messageID=1804352&id=2727770">clicking here</a>.
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<div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://hutchtech.blogspot.com/2005/07/media-slingbox-will-it-slay-orb-and.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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SPYWARE: Say It Isn't So, Uncle Bill

by HutchTech In reply to HutchTech Blog

<div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">When I first read reports that Microsoft was planning on purchasing spyware/privacy-invader Claria (formerly Gain) I assumed that it was a hoax. Now it look as if that may have been so much wishful thinking. Whether or not Uncle Bill ever buys Claria, it does seem as if someone is cozying up to the purveyors of anti-privacy programs and downgrading how Microsoft's own AntiSpyware Beta views these badies.<br /><br />Take a look, if you dare, at the eWeek article yourself with the link below.<br /><br />- Hutch<br /><br /><a href="http://www.eweek.com/print_article2/0,2533,a=155360,00.asp">Microsoft Downgrades Claria Adware Detections</a> </div>
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<div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://hutchtech.blogspot.com/2005/07/spyware-say-it-isnt-so-uncle-bill.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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SPYWARE: Say It Isn't So, Uncle Bill

by HutchTech In reply to HutchTech Blog

<div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">When I first read reports that Microsoft was planning on purchasing spyware/privacy-invader Claria (formerly Gain) I assumed that it was a hoax. Now it looks as if that may have been so much wishful thinking. Whether or not Uncle Bill ever buys Claria, it does seem as if someone is cozying up to the purveyors of anti-privacy programs and downgrading how Microsoft's own AntiSpyware Beta views these badies.<br /><br />Take a look, if you dare, at the eWeek article yourself with the link below.<br /><br />- Hutch<br /><br /><a href="http://www.eweek.com/print_article2/0,2533,a=155360,00.asp">Microsoft Downgrades Claria Adware Detections</a> </div>
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<div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://hutchtech.blogspot.com/2005/07/spyware-say-it-isnt-so-uncle-bill.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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