For POP3 I've always used Outlook Express on the Windows box, but recently I have been having a few problems in that some messages don't download and seem to hang the client. I've not figured out why, but they all seem to be destined for the same address, so I've just added local rules to ensure they are not downloaded. Also, the local rules don't seem to be working now, for some reason.
At work I currently use Evolution on Solaris, which is another nice client.
I've decided to give Mozilla Thunderbird a go on the Windows system at home. It seems to have the same problem with hanging on those certain spam emails, but that aside, it's a lot better. Another reason for me switching, is the total lack of proper spam filtering in Outlook Express.
Hopefully once trained Thunderbird will do a good job. Server side filtering is an option, which I will get round to, but having all mail delivered is better in some respects as it allows you to see all mail still, even emails that have been classified as junk - they might not be. Using server side filtering you don't really get this freedom unless you are alerted to blocked messages to check.
I've used 3rd party applications for local fltering, but have not found them to be any better, so using a built in function like in Thunderbird, should work just as well if not better.
Also, due to all the recent issues with IE, I'm probably going to start using Mozilla Firefox more. IE is lacking in a lot of features, such as tabbed browing, saved sessions and a lot more, Firefox and other good alternatives such as Opera fill these gaps in functionality. There are a whole host of things needed, MS really need to work on getting IE and Outlook back up there, by adding much needed functions that can be found in all the alternatives.
It's funny that the Microsoft offerings are still the most popular - due to the fact that they are bundled with Windows by default and are not better than the rest, but just easily available.
I find it annoying sometimes, like at the moment when I am waiting for a package or letter to come. Since couriers never tell you an exact time they will be delivering, I tend to find I miss them.
With the post, especially international it is even more hit and miss when mail is going to arrive. I'm currently awaiting a letter from the USA and I remember last time it took about five days, it seems to be taking a bit longer this time. Not that it is an issue, but when something doesn't turn up I start to worry - as I've had quite a few things lost in the post before.
Makes me wonder if we should always use recorded delivery or upgraded service to ensure our things arrive okay!
That is right, Johnathan Schwartz has launched his blog. You might think that being COO & president of Sun Microsystems would be enough, but obviously not. It's a good move I think, as he states in his initial post he can publish his thoughts to the world without having it pass through other channels. It's a more direct approach and more personal.
It would be good for other people to follow suit. Maybe they will, just like the companies follow each other like sheep with regards to new services and such.
Having a more direct approach to anything is usually better - be it having your opinion via a meeting or publishing your comments on a blog, for example. I usually tend to be direct about things and writing your own blog allows you to have this freedom. Jonathan and various other people have started, some have been writing a blog for ages. Let us see more. Think about it, we are all the same - human - we all think - we all have opinions.
So let us break down the wall of the upper management within companies, especially ones in the technology sector and see more people having their say.
Obvoiusly when working for a company, you need to exercise control when discussing certain things for various reasons but that aside - you are free to share comments and information about anything.
It looks like comments are disabled though, all the feedback would be interesting I'm sure & you could moderate the comments on your own, Jonathan!
Now, I think I'll have to login and create my own blog as I have not got around to it yet - but, since I already have one here I'll probably just link to this and maybe make the odd post or two over there too, who knows.
After noticing that Ben posted requesting a Gmail invite, I thought I would ask as well. I'll be able to get one from him at some point, but I'm not sure if they are given out at random or just every now and again.
If anyone does have one to spare, I'd appreciate it. If not, I guess I'll have to wait a while longer! Once I do get one, I'll be sure to distribute the invites I get via my blog as you know what they say, share & share alike and all.
You can find an email address of mine to use at the bottom right in case you can't find it.
Sun will release Project Looking Glass under the GPL, which is good news for people who may want to add to it. I saw PLG in action a few months ago in London and as far as eye candy goes, it was rather impressive. It opened up a whole new look to what the desktop could look like and no doubt will look like.
It seems that gone are the days when to have a better looking and easy to use desktop environment you would be forced to use Windows. Other projects will also be released open source, including Solaris in some shape or form in the future but details remain unconfirmed at the moment as of course in the case of an OS, it's a hard thing to just distribute open source without considering a lot of things.
Yahoo! is busy updating the protocol again, in efforts to try and stop people using 3rd party clients such as Trillian. It seems the efforts are wasted as patches are available shortly after.
There are reasons for the blocking, but it just seems like another one of those thing which will just go on & on. I suppose it is down to revenue from advertising as far as Yahoo are concerned, as well as allowing 3rd parties access to the network - which is fair enough.
Anyway, for the people that use Trillian, patches are available so it is all woking again now.
Well lets face it, the majority of servers on the Internet are powered by a non Microsoft OS, but the majority of users browsing the Internet are using Internet Explorer. The reports of some high traffic sites being hacked and distributing malicious code to visitors is probably going to infect most of the users running IE, but applying the patches from Microsoft and keeping your AV software updated should help reduce any risk of infection.
Since there are a lot less sites powered by IIS, compared to Apache the issue is not as bad as it could be, but all it takes is a few servers running IIS and distributing this code to infect all the visitors running IE.
I'm sure the various AV vendors will have updated their signatures now, but it might also be a good idea to use an alternative browser rather than IE. I can't help thinking if we went back to the core of the system - the design - we'd not have these problems.
As most would agree, to stop the constant supply of issues relating to MS products, the entire OS would have to be re-built, with more limits in place with regards to access and such so that exploiting these types of vulnerabilities does not allow for complete access to a system.
A system is only as secure as its weakest point and the weak point in this equation is Windows.
I'm looking forward to the release of Quake 3. Word has it that the release date has been announed as August 3rd 2004. From what I have seen in the way of still images, it looks very nice. But will it play as well? I think so. I still remember the days of Doom and Quake that started it all off. Now, I'll also be looking forward to the release of Quake 4.
Enter the arena, lock and load - or die.
It's going to be great!
It's quite amusing how one company does something and then they all follow suit. In this example, storage capacity for wed based email accounts. First Google introducing Gmail, so Yahoo! increases its offering and releases a new design & now last but not least Hotmail - again more storage, as well as AV scanning and disinfection.
It can only be good they all follow each other like sheep, it's better for the users, well in most cases. Now, what would happen if one provider decided to downgrade accounts? I'd like to think they would not all follow suit in that situation.
What is MS going to be offereing then? Well, read the announcement below:
"Upgrade announcement for ALL MSN Hotmail customers June 24th, 2004.
We are delighted to announce that MSN® Hotmail®, the world’s most popular free Web-based e-mail service, will be undergoing a major upgrade starting in early July. We will be introducing free e-mail anti-virus protection to all the 170 million MSN Hotmail customers worldwide, making MSN Hotmail the only free global e-mail service to both scan and clean incoming and outgoing e-mail for viruses and worms before they can enter your inbox.
All MSN Hotmail customers have, or will be receiving, a service update email detailing the new and exciting changes. Further updates will be sent over the next few weeks so keep an eye on your inbox.
Later this summer, all free MSN Hotmail accounts will receive 125 times their current e-mail storage with the introduction of 250MB inboxes, and have the ability to send attachments up to 10 MB. This is in addition to the new scanning and cleaning of incoming and outgoing e-mail for viruses and worms. MSN Hotmail customers will also receive MSN Calendar free, enabling both individual and shared diaries.
MSN Extra Storage to be upgraded to MSN Hotmail Plus
All current MSN Hotmail Extra Storage subscribers will be upgraded to our new premium web service, MSN Hotmail Plus due to launch later this summer.
MSN Hotmail Plus will be priced at £14.99* and will provide 2 GB of online storage for email and the ability to send 20MB attachments, as well as additional offline storage limited only by the size of your computer’s hard drive. MSN Hotmail Plus subscribers will also receive additional benefits, including a more streamlined Web e-mail experience with no graphical adverts and no account expiration.
For customers who need more storage for their Hotmail account in the weeks leading to upgrade then our MSN Extra Storage services will remain on sale until MSN Hotmail Plus is launched. However, we would recommend subscribing to the MSN Extra Storage 10MB at £14.99 service as this will be automatically upgraded to the MSN Hotmail Plus service and is also priced at £14.99 per year.
MSN Premium and MSN Plus upgrades
MSN Premium and MSN Plus subscribers will also receive 2 GB of online storage for email and the ability to send 20MB attachments. Click here for more.
We hope you find these upgrades exciting and continue to enjoy using MSN Hotmail and our premium web services subscriptions.
* You must agree to the MSN Subscription Agreement to access the service. For users of Windows® 98 or later operating systems only. Additional terms may apply."
250MB is quite an increase over the current 2MB and will be more than enough for most people. I find that I have to delete emails with attachements quite a lot at the moment but once the 250MB is introduced it should no longer be a problem.
Some better anti-spam filtering would be good or at least something which allows for more user interaction like Yahoo! does. As for the storage increase at least, well done to Hotmail as well. There have been other instances of companies following like sheep recently as well, I'm sure there will be more to come too!
Obviously leaks can occur for many reasons, one of them being the fact that people love to gossip and tell other people hot news and such and also it can sometimes be a nice marketing idea or to set some kind of expectation within the market and then beat it with something better in the end.
Time will tell. I'll be looking forward to the new console, I've got one of the next generation chips for my existing Xbox but have not got round to fitting it yet so that will be done quite soon so I can play about with the Xbox - I wonder if there might be as much fun to be had with Xbox Next with regards to modification?
Slackware 10.0 is now officially released, as per the announcement.
It includes amongst other things:
* Kernel 2.4.26 & 2.6.7 optional
* X.org 6.7.0
* KDE 3.2.3
* Gnome 2.6.1
* GCC 3.3.4
* Apache 1.3.31
* Perl 5.8.4
* Python 2.3.4
As well as a lot of other updated applications, bug fixes, new support for hardware and all the usual stuff you have come to expect from new Linux distribution releases.
Or buy it.
Well I've booked the flights for my 1st trip to Ibiza in early August and this time I'm flying from Coventry airport, which is about 20 minutes away. Birmingham International airport is under 10 minutes away from me but they don't do flight only from there, it's more all in package deals from Birmingham.
Usually I fly from East Midlands airport which is about 45 minutes away but the flights are very cheap if you book early. I've paid £122 for this return flight from Coventry because I've left it late to book. I don't mind though because it's just down the road so no messing about getting to and from the airport.
Now I just need to get a move on and sort out the last trip, which is going to be for two weeks.
It's going to be another great summer!
NTL recently announced that they will be blokcing inbound traffic to certain ports on their network, which are used by some of the recent worms. The blocking will not affect most users, but it may cause problems for certain users who use the services which also use some of those ports, such as Windows file & print sharing.
The ports being blocked at present are:
* 137 (UDP)
* 138 (UDP)
* 139 (TCP)
* 445 (UDP & TCP)
* 593 (TCP)
* 1433 (TCP)
* 1434 (UDP)
* 27374 (TCP)
It seems like a good move, I'm just wondering when other ISP's who are providing Internet connectivity to the majority of people (who don't know how to keep their Windows computer secure) will do the same - these same users are the ones who think that they know about computers when the reality of it is they don't even know Windows products really, let alone *NIX or anything else.
Windows needs AV protection built in and on by default - forget the anti-trust issues, include some AV.
If you're interested in Suse & or use it, you'll be interested to know that you can now get your hands on an ISO image of Suse 9.1 Personal Edition direct from the Suse FTP site.
Worth checking out, if you've got some time to kill.
I've watched a number of films over the past few days. Matchstick Men, Shattered Glass, The Cooler, Eurotrip & Lost In Translation. All pretty good, although I must say Matchstick Men had quite a good story and ending!
Eurotrip was funny & Shattered Glass based on a true story. The Cooler was quite good too, even though I don't think anyone could be that unlucky, I'm glad I'm not. Lost In Translation was different, but just goes to show the kinds of things that probably do happen when people are away on trips.
That's another selection off the list to watch, even though I make the list up as I go along.
I've been meaning to make some changes relating to my blog, which I've just got round to making. There are still some things on the list to do, like sorting out blogging from my phone and such.
Suppose I should sort that out before I start jumping on flights again this year, as it'll make blogging easier when not having easy access to a computer and Internet access on the move.
Still, once I get that nice new laptop and PDA, it'll make it a lot easier.
This is an episode of Blog Murder. It seems with some further reading that the sites have not been lost and will be hosted on another server. Good news for the people that had not got any backup of their data.
All in all though, it boils once again down to the fact you get what you pay for and when not paying anything, you can't really expect superior service.
I'm sure a few lessons will be learnt, which is the main thing.
This release fixes the recently discovered bug which can allow a local user with shell access to crash the system, if you're running 2.4.18-2.6.x. The bug affects both 2.4.2x & 2.6.x kernels on the x86 architecture so you would be advised to upgrade your kernel, especially if you give users or untrusted people access to your systems.
The group 29a have developed a worm which spreads via Bluetooth and infects mobile phones running the Symbian operating system. Although it does not have a dangerous payload, it is proof of concept code which is something that the 29a group tends to release a lot of.
This worm, called Cabir won't damage your handset - but future variants or other code maty well do. Just think how annoying it would be if you ran something that than wiped your handset or memory card, on the Nokia 6600 for example.
You are given a message asking if you want to run an installer, so this combined with the fact you would be receiving the "application" from an unknown source might stop some people from running it or a variant. Although from what we have seen with other things in the past, there will still be a large number of people that would accept the file and run it.
All very interesting, most POC projects usually are!
Yahoo are about to increase the storage capacity on accounts, which has been talked about for some time, in response to Gmail. I've had 6mb on my Yahoo Mail account because I've had it since 1998, I'm not sure if it started off with 6MB, I think it did and they lowered it down later. Either that or it got upgraded, I can't remember. Anyway, from the current 4MB a free upgrade to 100MB storage on a free account is good.
And if you pay, you get an even better deal - 2GB which is more than Gmail.
Maybe there will be an upgrade option on Gmail which will allow you to get even more space?
Hotmail needs to do something for the free accounts, the 2MB is quite low and I find I have to delete stuff quite often, usually attachments and things that people have sent which is annoying as usually I might want to forward them on at some point and it casues more work by having to forward them to POP accounts.
I'm rather pleased with Yahoo spam filtering and this in conjunction with the new storage limit and new design, can only be good.
Well done Yahoo!
What works? The gateway from our billing system to the payment processing system. Which is good, and required of course. More details to come, but for now things are all coming together. The projects we're working on are coming together, but are taking time as time available to work on them at the moment is limited.
It'll be great though when things are moving more!
I've just been reading some interesting stuff about Movable Type 3 over at Dichotomy's Purgatory. I was thinking about upgrading to 3 at some point for a number of reasons, but after reading more about it, I'm not so sure right now.
Any current issues will obviously be sorted out so I think I can delay in moving over to version 3 for a while. We all know what they say about not touching something if it isn't broken so I've got to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages at the moment. For now I think, I can leave it.
Sometime soon though I'm sure I will upgrade.
Tonight I'll be off to see John Digweed, at Godskitchen of all places. A year or two ago we would never have seen progressive and other styles at Godskitchen but these days there is a lot more variation which is good.
It's destined to be a wicked night!
The next generation of Bluetooth will support 2.1Mbps, which is quite an upgrade on what is currently available. Known as Bluetooth Enhanced Data Rate (EDR) it is currently in testing. Using compression allows for more data to be transmitted at the same time rather than increasing the rate at which the data is sent.
The current limit is 712Kbps so 2.1Mbps is quite an increase. It can be quite slow transmitting data from one Bluetooth device to another at the moment, but the new technology will not only speed things up but it might also allow new mobile gaming, such as proper gaming on hand held units playing via wireless over Bluetooth or even Wireless USB when it is released.
These developments in technology will certainly help improve what is going to be possible!
Well, normally I would not bother playing the casino games online for real money, but I had a go last night and made 95 pounds profit. A number of other people have made quite a lot of money too, mostly around the 100-150 pound mark.
The reason I decided to play was due to a little tip, that seems to be floating around the Internet at the moment, relating to certain promotions. In this case, you will almost 100% walk away with over 100 in your pocket. I'm not sure if this is a specially crafted marketing scheme to get more people betting online but for most of us this is another quick way to make some money.
So I guess you're wondering how to do it?
* Visit www.ladbrokescasino.com and download the casino.
* Load the software and reigster a new account but do not depoit any money.
* Visit www.ladbrokes.com & login with your details.
* Click "Your Account" and deposit £100.
* Log out of the website and return to the casino software.
* Select banking & change £100 to chips, from your Ladbrokes account.
* Select games and start Vegas Strip Blackjack.
* Right click the chip on the table until it is yellow, the other chip should be yellow too.
* Click expert then options & choose fastest mode then diable all sounds.
* Click autoplay & select deals as 400.
* Click start and wait for the hands to play.
* When finished head to the bank and withdraw your money.
* On Ladbrokes Casino website click on promotions then £100 bonus, enter your details.
* You should receive a bonus within 24 hours.
* On the Ladbrokes.com website, change this into chips then back again to cash.
* Now withdraw to your card.
You've just made 100+ for doing virtually nothing!
I just did it and ended up with my 100 pounds back plus 95 extra, most people I have read about end up with more than this! Note, you will need to sign up a new account to do this and this offer ends on the 30th June 2004.
You can also claim the 30 pounds bonus too, but I think you will need to leave 30 pounds in the account and claim that bonus before removing all of the money since I think you need to keep at least 30 pounds in there so they match it by giving you the 30 pounds bonus, this offer ends on the 13th June 2004.
You can probably put some money back in and claim, that's what I'll do if they don't pay it me now with nothing in the account.
Have fun and this is obviously done at your own risk, but plenty of people have done it now and they all gain money. I know I'll be keeping my eyes open for more opportunities like this in the future. Thanks to whoever posted this originally!
More exchanges are being SDSL enabled now as BT expand the rollout around the UK. More exchanges in Birmingham, Manchester, Coventry and London have been abled with more planned. Using the BT SDSL checker, it does not seem that I can get it yet. I've got 2mb ADSL and there is no reason for me to want more outgoing bandwidth really, but being able to send out at 2mb would be nice!
It seems that the weather is getting better, with temperatures expected around 30+ degrees tomorrow. So, it looks like we are going to have a nice hot summer here in the UK this year which is good, but even better that I'll be heading off abroad soon to better climates!
It's just shame we miss most of the weather, being inside in the office. I think a long trip away is in order, so that's the plan at some point.
A new worm is circulating which is spreading via multiple means. It uses exploit methods recently seen in other worms, such as Blaster & Sasser.
Plexus copies itself to the system as upu.exe. It then registers this file in the system registry under:
"NvClipRsv"=[path to the executable file]
Plexus opens port 1250, so it would be worth blocking this port at the firewall.
For a full analysis, go here.
Now, I'm thinking that if MS did more to include protection in Widows by default a lot of these problems could be reduced. For example, if there was an AV scanner included with Windows, at least all systems would have it and then users would not need to do anything. Most systems don't have any AV software and this is partly where the problem lies.
It would not solve the problem totally, but it sure would cut the amount of systems getting infected to a much lower number and at least notify users that something might be up.
Along the lines of OpenBSD as being secure by default. Microsoft could adopt the slogan of "AV protected by default".
I'm sure one of the AV vendors out there would like to have their application included by default and get a load of money from MS or Microsoft could just buy the company out, but then we would hear more about world domination and how it is unfair to make such a move, just like we have seen in the past regarding Internet Explorer being bundled with Windows.
Something needs to be done. If most users were not so stupid, things would also improve.
Tonight, I'm off for another dose of Atomic Jam - lots of banging Techno!
I can't wait, it's going to be a storm.
You would think that if someone you know wanted to be silly and posy dumb comments on your blog, they would at least attempt to hide the fact it is them.
I've just noticed another stupid comment which has wasted my time (all 5 seconds of it) to delete. It's not the first time, but since it has just been posted and I know the hostname, who is in the office right now, who knows about my blog and who has posted before - I have a good idea of who it is.
I'm not annoyed - I just think it is stupid.
I'd block this site from even being viewed by work addresses, but that ruins it for everyone, so does blocking posting from those addresses.
Sounds like you need me to give you some tips in the art of hiding in the shadows as you were busted before, but I just didn't bother discussing it.
Since reserved address space is now being used to post, I know exactly who could make that work, which means even if that knowledge was passed on, I know where it originated.
1 point for having a single skill. 2 points for making me laugh at the personal comments, 3 points for being lame. It's funny that person wouldn't say anything to my face but instead has to resort to electronic foul mouthing.
Lamers never admit it, let me see if I am wrong in this case.
You leave instructions, in this case for the courier delivery person and they don't follow them? My order came today but they never did what I had chosen on the form which should have been leaving the goods there and then as had already signed the form and this was an available option if the card was left for them to take, signed and dated.
I came home later to find the card gone and another one left. This time I have arranged it online on the Parcel Line site and told them exactly what to do.
If it does not get delivered this time, I'm going to be well annoyed. I would go and collect the package but this is not even listed as an option!
Tomorrow I should be taking delivery of my Nokia 6600. I already have the Bluetooth USB adaptor which means I have something to play about with tomorrow night. I've been waiting until now so that I can get the handset for free as part of my upgrade. It has been a long four months wait!
I've seen a load of applications that will be handy plus come over a good amount of information on the Internet, so will post up more on that later.
The Bluetooth and fact I'll be able to login to systems via my phone is what I have been looking forward to the most as it will makes things a lot easier when on the move.
It seems like to help protect revenue and stop copies of the new Harry Potter film hitting the Internet early, some UK cinemas will be having staff using night vision goggles to try and see recording equipment.
Well, if they think that will stop copies getting out, they are mistaken. For a start, a lot of pirated copies of films are screener DVD rips - so perfect quality. The ones that are recorded in cinemas obviously are not as good, but so many people could record - all it takes is one person to do it and put it online, which will happen as it always does. Maybe it might cut it down a bit for this new film and maybe others that they try it for, but of course it will never stop it.
Just using watermarking on the screeners and making each screener copy unique is a lot better, the same goes for the films in the cinema too.
As with all of these attempts, it is fighting a loosing battle and is all about one thing, mainly - greed.
In this day and age, nobody likes to pay for anything and most people will not pay if they are not forced to, which is usually the available choice and in the world of pirating, will always be an available choice - regardless of if it is right or wrong.
Spend the time doing something more productive, instead of chasing 99% of people because you know what they say - you can't chase people if they don't run & most people are not running.