Archive for May 2008

Firefox Download Day~June 17th~Update~We did it!

Mozilla is trying to set a new world record for the most downloads in 24 hours for Firefox 3.0.
Read the full article here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/cmp/20080530/tc_cmp/208401028
Make your pledge here at http://www.spreadfirefox.com/en-US/worldrecord/
They have set June 17th for Download Day.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/20080612/tc_pcworld/147024
UPDATE: We did it, over 8 million downloads! Firefox is now in the Guinness World Records for most downloads in 24 hours.
Download Day

Episode 20 – Technibble

This week we will talk with Bryce Whitty, an IT professional who started his own computer business and then created a web site that became a very useful resource for service providers around the world to discuss the IT industry from a business perspective.

TechPodcasts Promo Tag :10
Intro 1:17
Billboard 1:56

News and Comment segment 5:35
The OpenOffice.org Community announced the release of OpenOffice.org 3 beta to the public May 7th. OpenOffice.org 3.0 is the latest release of the open source office suite originally developed by Sun Microsystems and is considered by many to be one of few serious competitors of Microsoft Office.

TheForceField.net has joined forces with TradePub.com to offer you a new and exciting, and professional resource. Now you can subscribe to complimentary Information Technology magazines such as PC World, Mac World, eWeek and others in one convenient location. You can also download white papers, webinars, podcasts, and more across 34 industry sectors. Best of all, it's free, and you can't beat free. No credit cards, coupons, or promo codes are required. Subscriptions to these publications are free to professionals who qualify. Visit http://theforcefield.tradepub.com today to browse our selection or go the www.theforcefield.net and click on the menu item labeled Free Publications on the right side bar.

A former security employee for Microsoft issued a fix for computers plagued by the constant reboot issue caused by Windows XP Service Pack 3 May 14th. In a series of posts in blog, Jesper Johanssen, Microsoft Security MVP and former Microsoft employee, discussed the reboot problem and released a script written in Visual Basic to resolve it. You can download the fix from his web site entitled Jesper's Blog.

Commercial Break 1:00
Alternageek Podcast Promo :30

The Caffination Podcast promo :30

Intro to Interview 1:44
This week we're going to talk to Bryce Whitty, learn about the differences and similarities of IT service and support in different parts of the world, learn about his web site Technibble and discuss the current trends in the industry from his perspective.

Bryce Whitty Interview 17:00

Wrap up and Close :46<

©2008 Savoia Computer. All rights reserved.

Read the rest of this entry »

NY State AG battles Dell

NY State has charged that the computer retail giant has engaged in “false and deceptive advertising” in regards to free financing and next-day/on-site service. State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has set up a web site where those who feel they were mislead by Dell can submit their complaints. These complaints will be used to gauge how much restitution Dell and Dell Financial Services owe these customers. New York residents can use the link below to contact Mr. Cuomo’s office and file an official complaint:

http://www.oag.state.ny.us/dell_comp/index.html

 

Free SEO Guide

Firefox is not a browser, it’s a lesson

The word is out. Mozilla announced that it would delay the release of Firefox 3.0 final a few days and release RC2 first, due to the discovery of over three dozen bugs in the latest version of the powerful web browser considered to be the prime contender to Microsoft Internet Explorer.

On the surface this seems like a setback. Those are a lot of flaws that require a lot of fixes and it would seem the open source application is no better than its proprietary competitor, which itself has been plagued by bugs and security flaws since initial release of its latest version, IE7.

In reality, however, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I no longer view Firefox as just another browser (as if it ever was), but a lesson in how a software company should operate and what software should be.

One of my beefs with the entire software industry is and always has been the shoddy way they write and support their products and the apathy and sometimes even disdain they hold for the customers who use them. Software is often released to market and sold to the public at premium prices containing bugs and errors that are often patched at the will and whim of the manufacturer, usually at in the next release, when the bug-weary user must pay again for the latest version with old bugs patched and new features – along with new bugs – introduced. It’s a vicious cycle and a never -ending one. That is what drives revenue for commercial software companies.

Software vendors seem to spend just as much, if not more, on marketing the product as they do developing it. That in itself is fine, if the funds for development are spent on ensuring a quality product. Often times that isn’t the case. Even so, when bugs are found one would assume the developers would want to fix them as soon as possible and distribute them to users in a timely manner – hopefully not at their expense, either. After all, the customer purchased the software in good faith that it would work as performed. If it doesn’t, the customer deserves a free fix.

One of the arguments made for commercial proprietary software vendors and against the open source community is the support, or the lack of it, for a given product. The popular wisdom is that proprietary software is vastly superior simply because it has the financial backing of rich and powerful corporate companies to hire the best and brightest programmers and attend to every detail of its development. As the curator of Jurassic Park would say, “spared no expense!”

But like Jurassic Park, this thinking is flawed. It equates a big budget with big results. Money does not always equal success. In fact, the bigger the budget, the greater the risk of failure. Why? Because now the focus is on spending the money on the project instead of the project itself. The programmers are no longer writing code for the application, they are writing it for a paycheck. They become lazy and slothful. Deadlines are missed, but no worries, they can handle it. They have a big budget.

Microsoft adopted this philosophy a long time ago. Here is a company with what seems like a bazillion dollars and when they are presented with bugs and security exploits in their browser it can take them months (and in at least one case, a year) to patch them. Then there is Mozilla Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that does not have wads of cash in their cubbies, yet can turn around a fix for Firefox within 48 hours. What is wrong with this picture?

It’s simple. It is all about attitude and focus on the real priorities, the product and the user.

It isn’t that Firefox is inherently a better browser than Internet Explorer (although in many ways I think it is), it is that it is better managed and maintained. Both Microsoft and Mozilla have popular products. Neither product is perfect. Both have bugs. Those bugs are discovered and reported regularly. The difference between Microsoft and Mozilla is in how they react to those bugs. Redmond is notorious for sitting on them and taking their sweet time to repair them. Mozilla doesn’t wait around.

It’s not about the money. It’s all about the effort. Microsoft is focused on serving their own agenda. Mozilla is focused on serving the community.

Mozilla will delay final release of Firefox 3 for about a week. So what? It’s only a week. When it is released it will be stable and it will work, and that’s what counts. On top of that, it will be free. You can’t beat that. Will the same be said for Microsoft Internet Explorer 8? Who knows? They are still patching old bugs in IE 7.

There’s a lesson in there.

 

 Groundwork Free Open Source White Paper

Episode 20 – Technibble

This week we will talk with Bryce Whitty, an IT professional who started his own computer business and then created a web site that became a very useful resource for service providers around the world to discuss the IT industry from a business perspective.

TechPodcasts Promo Tag :10
Intro 1:17
Billboard 1:56

News and Comment segment 5:35
The OpenOffice.org Community announced the release of OpenOffice.org 3 beta to the public May 7th. OpenOffice.org 3.0 is the latest release of the open source office suite originally developed by Sun Microsystems and is considered by many to be one of few serious competitors of Microsoft Office.

TheForceField.net has joined forces with TradePub.com to offer you a new and exciting, and professional resource. Now you can subscribe to complimentary Information Technology magazines such as PC World, Mac World, eWeek and others in one convenient location. You can also download white papers, webinars, podcasts, and more across 34 industry sectors. Best of all, it’s free, and you can’t beat free. No credit cards, coupons, or promo codes are required. Subscriptions to these publications are free to professionals who qualify. Visit http://theforcefield.tradepub.com today to browse our selection or go the www.theforcefield.net and click on the menu item labeled Free Publications on the right side bar.

A former security employee for Microsoft issued a fix for computers plagued by the constant reboot issue caused by Windows XP Service Pack 3 May 14th. In a series of posts in blog, Jesper Johanssen, Microsoft Security MVP and former Microsoft employee, discussed the reboot problem and released a script written in Visual Basic to resolve it. You can download the fix from his web site entitled Jesper’s Blog.

Commercial Break 1:00
Alternageek Podcast Promo :30<

The Caffination Podcast promo :30

Intro to Interview 1:44
This week we’re going to talk to Bryce Whitty, learn about the differences and similarities of IT service and support in different parts of the world, learn about his web site Technibble and discuss the current trends in the industry from his perspective.

Bryce Whitty Interview 17:00

Wrap up and Close :46

©2008 Savoia Computer. All rights reserved.

Technibble Webmaster guests on The Force Field

The Force Field episode 20 is scheduled for release Saturday night May 24, 2008 at 12 Midnight EDT. Our guest will be Bryce Whittly, creator of Technibble.com. Technibble is a site for techs who own or want to own their own IT business and is based in Australia.

In this episode we will discuss the differences and similarities of the IT industry in The Land Down Under, discuss the Technibble web site and find out where Bryce thinks the industry is headed.

You can download and listen to promos here.

15 second promo

30 second promo

I welcome everyone’s feedback. If you would like to call in and comment on any episode you can call the Skype line at savoiacomputer or call 407-CPU-JOY8 (407-278-5698) this weekend May 24 and 25, 2008.

 

Squishing Bugs

    It's Saturday morning and I just finished doing my weekly chores around the house. While I wait to swap the wash, I'm updating SSH on my Debian servers. It seems the random number generator within the application was broken, so that when the RSA keys are generated they may not be so “unique”. The fix was very simple; one command in a terminal and the application is updated, new keys generated, and the SSH daemon restarted. For those not comfortable in the shell, most GUI package managers either automatically updated the system or notified the user that an update was available. A simple click and you're safe once again.

    Why do I feel compelled to share this with you? Well, this recent vulnerability with SSH reinforces the fact that even those of us that choose not to use Windows must remain vigilant and keep our systems updated. More importantly, it points out a major difference between FOSS (free and open source software) and proprietary software; there is a marked difference in the way vulnerabilities are handled.

    Open source software is frequently criticized by its pundits as insecure and dangerous due to the very fact that the source code is freely available. The argument is that “since the source code is available, it's very easy for the bad guys to find the flaws”. The counter-argument by the FOSS folks is that “since the source code is available, it's very easy for the community to review and find flaws”. Basically, the code is reviewed by a large number of people on a regular basis which should result in an inherently safer product. Case in point: the vulnerability with the random number generator within SSH was discovered and announced on May 13. Within hours, the open source community had resolved the issue and had an updated version of the software available.

    Lets look at the other side now. Proprietary software does not make the source code available. It is up to the manufacturer of the software to review it for vulnerabilities and patch as necessary. We are left at the mercy of said manufacturers and must assume that the software has been tested and is safe to use. What happens when a user finds a security issue? While there is much debate on how this should be properly handled, the standard procedure is for the discoverer of the bug to notify the manufacturer. At this point the manufacturer will determine if there really is an issue, what (if anything) they are going to do about it, whether they should go public with the disclosure, etc. There is always the possibility that the manufacturer will never let the public know about the vulnerability, not issue a patch, and simply hope no one else discovers the flaw. A more common scenario is that the manufacturer releases an announcement of the flaw in conjunction with a patch, months (sometimes years) after they were initially notified or simply waits until the release of the next version to fix the flaw. This puts users of the software at risk for the whole period between the initial notification by the discovering party and the release of a patch.

    So, which do you prefer, FOSS or proprietary? I'll stick with the stuff that has nothing to hide, thanks.

SMB Best Practices Guide to Making a Network Connection

Request Your Free White Paper:

"SMB Best Practices Guide to Making a Network Connection"

Read about solutions that will meet your network needs today and tomorrow, at a price you can afford.

Building a scalable and efficient network infrastructure is more than just the equipment installed; it involves the type of network, size of the pipe, and Internet connection your business needs. With so many options, it's easy to get lost and not know where to begin.

Learn more about the technologies and network solutions designed specifically for your small or medium business. This free white paper presents you with the best practices on everything from infrastructure implementation to network management.

Geographic Eligibility: USA

Publisher: ADTRAN, Inc

Request Now  

Live Webinar June 5: Free Giveaway

subscribe

Achieving Process Optimization and Efficiency in Manufacturing – a BPM Best Practice

EBIZQ invites you to attend a MICROSOFT, PNMSOFT and NEUDESIC Virtual Event:

"Achieving Process Optimization and Efficiency in Manufacturing – a BPM Best Practice"

We welcome you to attend a complimentary, live virtual event sponsored by Microsoft that demonstrates an approach to BPM (Business Process Management), discipline of process optimization, and the technology to automate it all.

  • Do you need to deliver your products & manage customers more effectively?
  • Are you looking to strengthen your approach to audit & compliance?
  • Are manual processes causing inefficiencies?

Through an efficient process management, organizations can achieve a better performance while demonstrating cost reduction. Whether automating a process in the operational environment, supporting compliance or administration, the ability to design and automate processes in a simple way is not only powerful but is now achievable!

Transforming manual processes to automated workflows in areas such as shop-floor control, quality assurance, or customer requests, can provide the answer to both visibility and process improvement.
In a focused web seminar held by Microsoft and its preferred partners, we will discuss the most common issues in manufacturing while demonstrating a solution to overcome some of the most up-to-date problems that the industry faces.

During the web seminar we will demonstrate solutions, share the experience of other companies in the industry and answer any question that you may have.
Attend this webinar and learn:

  • Ways to achieve compliance and governance in manufacturing organizations while minimizing bureaucracy
  • A solution to constantly monitor and improve workflows and processes that are either mission critical or follow the business changes
  • If your company still have manual processes that are labor intensive and/or paper based
  • Ways to achieve process improvement while reducing cost

Attendee Giveaway – Sponsored by PNMsoft
One lucky attendee will win a full day's training on Business Process Management, Concept and Best Practices. Winner will be announced during the Q&A session.

Date: June 05, 2008
Time: 2:00 pm US Eastern
Duration: 60 minutes

Featured Speakers:

  • Colin Masson, Worldwide Industry Solution Director for Supply Chain & ERP, Microsoft
  • Tim Yocum, Senior Consultant, Neudesic
  • James Luxford, BPM Specialist, PNMsoft

Geographic Eligibility: USA

Publisher: PNMSOFT and NEUDESIC, Sponsored by Microsoft

Former Microsoft Employee offers fix for XP SP3 Reboot Issue

(TheForceField.Net) May 15, 2008 — A former security employee for Microsoft issued a fix for computers plagued by the constant reboot issue caused by Windows XP Service Pack 3 yesterday.  In a series of posts in his blog, Jesper Johanssen, Microsoft Security MVP and former Microsoft employee, discussed the reboot problem and released a script written in Visual Basic to resolve it.

The issue is caused when Windows XP Service Pack 3 is installed on a PC with an AMD processor. It affects certain OEM computers in particular, most notably HP. The problem was first reported the day after the re-release of SP3 to the mainstream and was the cause of much angst among Windows users in a Microsoft TechNet forum, leading to speculation that once again, Microsoft had released another buggy service pack.

In reality, it may actually be the OEM at fault. The problem appears to manifest itself after Service Pack 3 is installed on a computer with an AMD processor and pre-installed with an XP image that was originally created on an Intel based PC. The image installs intelppm.sys, a driver for power management in Intel PCs and amdk8.sys, a power management driver for AMD based computers. Running intelppm.sys on an AMD processor will cause it to reboot constantly. In reality it causes a STOP error 0x0000007e, however if the computer is configured to automatically restart it will endlessly reboot too fast to display the blue screen.  If you set the computer to "disable the automatic restart on system failure" and you see that error code, you have the issue.

You can download the fix from his web site at Jesper's Blog .

 

 

Put your business on TV with Spot Runner

Show Call-In Line
Skype Me™!

or call 407-278-5698 from any landline phone!

Techpodcast Network
Get it On Your Phone!

Listen to Stitcher

Audience Survey
The Force Field
Recognition
Rick’s Picks