As a newsreader, Windows Mail sucks worse than Outlook Express

First, let me explain briefly what a newsreader is – specifically, in this case, I mean a Usenet newsreader. Usenet is a community of systems that have chosen to exchange messages in ‘newsgroups’ organised and named as a hierarchy of topics – for instance, if you want to read about cats as pets, you’d head to the newsgroup “rec.pets.cats” – recreational, pets, cats. If you wanted to read about the biology of felines, you’d probably find a group something like – scientific, biology, feline. If you’re not into Usenet newsgroups, you should know that they are an excellent source of … Continue reading As a newsreader, Windows Mail sucks worse than Outlook Express

ReadyBoost – swap space on a stick.

  So, I’ve finally upgraded my laptop from Windows XP SP2 to Windows Vista. The upgrade process itself took over three hours – the first fifteen minutes of which was basically me uninstalling the applications that the Vista installation told me would interfere with the upgrade to Windows Vista – they were the Digital Persona application that comes with Microsoft’s Fingerprint Reader, Ahead’s Nero CD/DVD burning software, and something else that I can’t remember right now, and obviously am not going to miss. One of the neatest features of Vista that I’ve seen so far is the addition of “ReadyBoost”. … Continue reading ReadyBoost – swap space on a stick.

Finally, credit cards done right… maybe

For the longest time, I’ve been mystified at the way in which we as an information-based society conduct online transactions. Here’s how it goes right now: Customer sends secret information (card number and maybe CVV2) to vendor. Vendor promises not to disclose information to anyone but the bank. Vendor accidentally or deliberately discloses secret information to thieves. Thieves run up huge credit card bills with other vendors (call them “suckers”). Customer reports unapproved use of credit card. Bank takes money out of sucker vendors’ accounts in the amount of the theft plus a fine. Oh, and charges a percentage of … Continue reading Finally, credit cards done right… maybe

Everything you need to know about EFS

Okay, so it’s not quite everything about EFS, and this post should probably be titled “shameless self-promotion”, but I’d like to take this opportunity to suggest that readers of my blog go visit my article on “Data Recovery and Encrypting File System (EFS)” over in the Microsoft Security Newsletter. This article marks me as “MVP of the Month“, which is an impressive achievement in the same year that I won “Time’s Person of the Year“. On a serious note, it’s full of useful and important information that you should know before you implement EFS in your organisation – it’ll help protect … Continue reading Everything you need to know about EFS

A good man who made a mistake?

According to the “Great Falls Tribune” (covering Great Falls and northern Montana), Todd Shriber is “a good person who made a real big mistake” – okay, so that’s actually a quote from Erik Iverson, chief of staff to US Representative Denny Rehberg. A more detailed report is here. What’s the “real big mistake” made by this “good person”? Did he accidentally order a few too many reams of paper for the copy machine? Did he back into a road sign? Did he cross the road without looking both ways first? Did he send in his tax return without signing it? These are … Continue reading A good man who made a mistake?

Grisoft celebrates 15 years of success … by killing their free software. Not.

Don Patterson (aka DP) passes on a press release from GRISOFT, makers of AVG anti-virus software, noting that they are celebrating 15 years of success. Congratulations to them, and definitely it’s wonderful to see variety in the antivirus space, but I am surprised to see one statement in the press release:  “The AVG Free Edition and all-inclusive suite AVG Internet Security, which protects users against all common Internet risks like viruses, spyware, spam and hacker attacks, has helped raise awareness of the AVG product line.” So, if AVG Free Edition is such a helpful marketing tool, why is GRISOFT terminating … Continue reading Grisoft celebrates 15 years of success … by killing their free software. Not.

Clay Aiken wants my PC for Christmas

So my wife bought a Christmas CD – she likes Clay Aiken. Aw heck, I should admit I like Clay Aiken. The “geek turned good” from American Idol, poster-boy for special-education causes, and, well, the boy can sing. But this time, he’s gone too far – he wants to own my PC. Say wha? Yes, you heard me, he wants my PC for Christmas. Apprently, it’s not good enough that I buy his music and play it, he wants to make sure that I run some piece of software designed to prevent me from playing his CD in any normal media … Continue reading Clay Aiken wants my PC for Christmas