Month: May 2005

Stopping zombies?

Interesting to see that it looks like the police are getting involved with contacting isps to ask them to do something about pc’s that are infected with viruses and acting as zombies according to net4nowt.
Wish they would do something about the french isp hosting phishing accounts. I received an email on Friday asking me to verify my ebay information and checking the website it is hosted on Amen’s servers. There was no email contact information on the website, their “online chat guide” is permanently engaged and the only way to contact the support department is to register with them or be an existing customer (I wonder if an EX customer like me is included in that latter category). An email to [email protected] has so far only come back with a (autoreply) statement saying they will take immediate action to stop spammers and to forward them the headers – which I did on the initial posting.

New church visit

We went to a new church yesterday, Fellowship Baptist Church in Dublin which seemed to be a much closer fit to the kind of church that we were looking for. I cracked up though when the first song that the (very talented) pianist played was the UK National Anthem – I almost felt like standing up and saluting. Apparently the national anthem is also a hymn over here. As it is Memorial Weekend they also faced the American flag and said the Pledge of Allegiance, the first time I’d heard it said in a long time and probably the first time that Kristen had said it in 6.5 years.
The church had powerpoint for the songs with none of the fancy animated backgrounds which was great AND they even had the projector mounted on the ceiling (fancy that Danny!!!!)
The music was an interesting mix of old hymns (but played at a good pace) and also new songs.
The preaching was excellent, with some humour at times but not too much with a pretty energetic pastor who walked around the platform but again, not too much that it was distracting. They are about to start a new series on Sunday evening with two disciplines – one of which is learning Greek!
They do need a new website (do I sense some steps forward?) but it is good to see that their calendar of events is uptodate.

HP rebates

We received the check from HP yesterday for the rebate for our computer which was nice and fast – less than 4 weeks from purchasing the computer and sending the rebate stuff off. The funny thing is that I received an email this morning to say that the cheque had been cleared for payment and to wait 2-4 weeks to receive it. It is not often that snail mail is quicker than email!
I’m still awaiting confirmation from all of the other rebates I’ve applied for – none of them have even acknowledged the receipt of the application. This area of shopping needs some serious looking at by government inspectors or something – either that or they should let me have a job where I can take 12 weeks to answer a letter of correspondance!

Another geographical blog service

Blogdigger can show recent posts by zipcode with mine highlighted with the link. The first post is one by Mike – way to go! Mine is nowhere to be seen though (yet). It has some new feeds that I’ve not come across, including one for OCLC and also has a feature to ignore a particular blogger if you don’t want their results. Maybe I should start another category for this.. Now posted to a category called geoblogging.
Thanks to Research Buzz for the information on this one (a worthy subscribe if you are interested in the latest goings on in the search engine world (and not just google)

Quicken or MS Money

Which would you choose (if any?). My first reaction would be to use MS Money as I’ve heard nasty things about quicken. So I fired up the free copy that came with the computer and it started to go through the wizard. Then the autoupdate routine kicked in, it needed to restart itself so I let it. On the restart the wizard didn’t resume (or even kick in). I tried to add my bank account to the system and although it recognises the bank, it will not download the data with a message saying set up the account again or contact technical support. As the software is an OEM version, this means contacting HP and we all know where that is going to end up….So I’m off to try quicken.

Microsoft Digital Blackbelt webcast

I sat through the Social engineering webcast from the Digital Blackbelt website which had some interesting ideas about how successful social engineering hacks can be. I had actually read/heard about most of them from various sites but it did have some good ideas. (Google Hacking for penetration testers is a great source for things like this and a very interesting read. Written by Johnny-I-Hack-Stuff)
The weird thing is that it was aimed at developers, but none of the things discussed were really aimed at developer accounts, more at physical security, passwords etc. I was really expecting things on how to code to avoid possible social engineering attempts – such as when providing “forgotten password” functions on the page, don’t insist that users have to use your secret questions as often mothers maiden names are not actually that secret. (I’m the Andy that gets quoted at the end of the talk (twice))

Music Meme

Kelly passed on a music meme and so here are my answers…

  • Amount of Music on my computer 14.6gb although 3.6 of that are talking books
  • The last CD I bought Keane’s hopes and fears. Some great songs although they do tend to sound very samey if you listen to them a lot.
  • Item playing right nowThe Call’s Let The Day begin – mainly because it was the last tape that I recorded to mp3 before the clearout before moving to the states. I first heard this whilst at Greenbelt in 1988 and loved it. Shame they didn’t go onto do anything else that got popular.
  • 5 songs I listen to a lot
    1. Dirty by Audio Adrenaline – in particular the Stoke On Trent remix where the local town was used over the normal lyrics when they were interviewed by Cross Rhythms radio. This new mix got played until the boss found out and pulled it for the official link.
    2. Something by the Newsboys – too many good tracks to mention and is often on my playlist.
    3. Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen – keeps popping up on my Yahoo launchcast (which is how I tend to listen to music most of the time when at the computer)
    4. Honestly by Stryper – can you tell I like the oldies?
    5. Manic Monday by Relient K although I’m reluctant to post that as I might get fan mail again from all the females who think that I am somehow in the band because I posted I got to see them in concert. Relient K topped Yahoo’s Who’s Next poll recently so they are starting to go places. (yep thats another 80’s hit)
  • Five people to whom I’m passing the baton
    Danny (good excuse to get blogging again!)