Archive for July 2006

Trojan Installs Self as a Firefox Extension

July 26, 2006

According to an article from ZDNet, “A new Trojan horse making the rounds has been installing itself as a Firefox extension, according to security company McAfee. The FormSpy Trojan attacks computers that have already been infected with the Downloader-AXM Trojan, according to a security advisory McAfee issued Tuesday. Once FormSpy is executed, it installs itself as a component of the Firefox Web browser.  To see the whole article, click here.  To learn what a Trojan horse is, click here.


Microsoft to Push IE 7.0 via Automatic Updates

July 26, 2006

Microsoft plans to release the final version of IE7 via the Automatic Updates and is listing it as a “high priority” update.  According to eWeek’s article on the IE 7 push, “Users and administrators will be prompted to opt in and accept the IE 7.0 download; it won’t happen automatically without notification, Microsoft officials stressed. Users who have opted to hide access to IE won’t be presented with the download option at all, officials said.  To obtain the IE 7 code, users will be required to validate that they are running a nonpirated version of Windows, via Microsoft’s WGA (Windows Genuine Advantage) authentication mechanism.”  For more information on eWeek’s article click here

What is Web 2.0?

July 25, 2006

The term Web 2.0 refers to a second generation of services available on the World Wide Web that lets people collaborate and share information online. In contrast to the first generation, Web 2.0 gives users an experience closer to desktop applications than the traditional static Web pages.  Many find it easiest to define Web 2.0 by associating it with companies or products that embody its principles. Some of the more well known Web 2.0 entities are Google Maps, Flickr,, digg,, and Technorati.  Many recently-developed concepts and technologies are seen as contributing to Web 2.0, including weblogs, linklogs, wikis, podcasts, RSS feeds and other forms of many to many publishing; social software, web APIs, web standards, online web services, and others.  For more information on what Web 2.0 is click here

Microsoft Announces A New Approach To Music & Entertainment

July 21, 2006

Microsoft officially announced a new approach to music and entertainment called Zune. Included is a series of portable music devices under the Zune name. This announcement was reported in Billboard magazine. For more information from ZuneNation, click here. This posting continues the earlier posting in the day about Microsoft’s “iPod Killer” which will be shown in August.

Fake version of Google hides Trojan horse

July 21, 2006

Apparently, someone has setup an exact copy of the download page for Google’s Toolbar plug-in in an attempt to lure users to download a Trojan back door.  “The Trojan itself — W32.Ranky.FW — is designed to turn the PC into a bot zombie, and is spread using the conventional technique of asking recipients of a spam email to follow an embedded link.”  For more information, click here.  This was posted as part of my ongoing series of “Protecting Your PC”.

Microsoft’s “iPod Killer” Due To Launch In October

July 21, 2006

According to an article on BetaNews web site, Microsoft’s “iPod killer” (called Zune) is due to launch in October and an unveiling may occur as early as August. The article states that Microsoft is working on at least two models as well as a syncronization service much like the interaction between iPod and iTunes. To see the full article from BetaNews, click here. This is my third report on the upcoming Microsft portable media player. While I like my iPod Nano, I hope this new media player will help Apple make better iPods and make for some good competition in this market.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking 9 Claims 99% Accuracy out of the box.

July 21, 2006

Nuance Communication, the maker of Dragon Naturally Speaking, claims that they have achieved a breakthrough in speech recognition capability and that their new version can achieve 99% accuracy right out of the box without the need to train the software first.  If this is true, that is a big leap in speech recognition software technology.  For a link to Nuance web site, click here.  To see Nuance’s Press Release, click here.