Archive for October, 2009

Probably not the attention Greensboro or this officer wants but the video is making the rounds on multiple websites that have a very large viewership. Basically it appears a small group was holding a “peaceful assembly” when Officer Miller approached the group accusing them of trespass when he saw a handgun on the videographer that submitted uploaded the video. The office then demands to see a State Issued Drivers License, demands to know the age of the person and so on including threatening to detain him. After it appears he understood he wasn’t going to bully the videographer or because of the camera he walks off and appears to radio somebody. Afterwards he returns the group, explains why he has concerns about the assembly and the gun then leaves without further mention or demand for any identification. Clearly if there was any violation of the law the officer would have acted or is he not enforcing the law because he didn’t want to be on camera?

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I can’t say enough on how technology is turning the average person into a field reporter with the advent of camera phones, the Internet and sites like Posterous, or Qik which allows for live broadcasting direct from the iPhone in real or near real time.

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I’ve had so many people get infected with variations of AntiVirus 2009 and each one has said they never loaded anything or “I don’t visit bad sites.” Well here is a perfect example of why what you think you did and what you actually did are not always the same when it comes to the web.

In this case I pulled up a site I think most would consider “safe”, The Christian Science Monitor. However within that page was a redirect to another server located in Germany owned by a guy in Norway. Of course the infected server I was being redirected to could easily be a legit site which has been hacked or a site setup to specifically try to distribute malware and in this case I suspect the latter as no website actually exist on that server. As to the source of the infection my bet is one of the Flash banners on the primary site was the source of the redirect and just one more reason to disable plug ins whenever possible. Instead of a hacker needing to attack Christian Science Monitor all they have to do is go after the company offering up the advertising banners or even sign up as an advertiser.

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I’ve seen a number of these hitting a less than public email address so that tells me there are probably a large number being sent out. Typical grammar issues abound in the subject and body, the alert came from and was emailed to the same address and of course included something you are suppose to run. Well do run, run away that is, Delete, Delete, Delete.

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In what was repeated over and over by every news source in the state Governor Bev Perdue was quoted as saying she expected Dell to pay back every “red cent” when in fact she never said that but rather she would “will go to bed every night hoping to get every red cent back that Dell has received.” Slight difference in the two which is neither here or there as the Governor now understands this is not the case and Dell will pay back on 1.5 Million of the 8 Million or more the state gave away. Of course this just refers to the money the state gave away and not the millions both Winston-Salem and Forsyth County handed over.

Governor Perdue may need to wake up to the real world.

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In one of the biggest blows to the promise of “Cloud” computing it appears an upgrade to the system has taken out customer data. In a total revelation of the service they state the data loss was caused by a single server failure. Where was the redundancy, the backups or recovery plan?

Sidekick customers, during this service disruption, please DO NOT remove your battery, reset your Sidekick, or allow it to lose power.

Updated: 10/10/2009 12:35 PM PDT

T-MOBILE AND MICROSOFT/DANGER STATUS UPDATE ON SIDEKICK DATA DISRUPTION

Dear valued T-Mobile Sidekick customers:

T-Mobile and the Sidekick data services provider, Danger, a subsidiary of Microsoft, are reaching out to express our apologies regarding the recent Sidekick data service disruption.

We appreciate your patience as Microsoft/Danger continues to work on maintaining platform stability, and restoring all services for our Sidekick customers.

Regrettably, based on Microsoft/Danger’s latest recovery assessment of their systems, we must now inform you that personal information stored on your device – such as contacts, calendar entries, to-do lists or photos – that is no longer on your Sidekick almost certainly has been lost as a result of a server failure at Microsoft/Danger. That said, our teams continue to work around-the-clock in hopes of discovering some way to recover this information. However, the likelihood of a successful outcome is extremely low. As such, we wanted to share this news with you and offer some tips and suggestions to help you rebuild your personal content. You can find these tips in our Sidekick Contacts FAQ. We encourage you to visit the Forums on a regular basis to access the latest updates as well as FAQs regarding this service disruption.

In addition, we plan to communicate with you on Monday (Oct. 12) the status of the remaining issues caused by the service disruption, including the data recovery efforts and the Download Catalog restoration which we are continuing to resolve. We also will communicate any additional tips or suggestions that may help in restoring your content.

We recognize the magnitude of this inconvenience. Our primary efforts have been focused on restoring our customers’ personal content. We also are considering additional measures for those of you who have lost your content to help reinforce how valuable you are as a T-Mobile customer.

We continue to advise customers to NOT reset their device by removing the battery or letting their battery drain completely, as any personal content that currently resides on your device will be lost.

Once again, T-Mobile and Microsoft/Danger regret any and all inconvenience this matter has caused.

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In just another one of many leaks of information that have happened over the past few years a Microsoft Programmer put just a little to much information about his job functions on his LinkedIn profile it appears. From what Robert Morgan included in his profile we know Microsoft is already working on it’s future releases Windows 8 and Windows 9. It’s probably no big deal to know that Microsoft is looking to the future but he goes on to say he is specifically working on 128bit architecture compatibility with the Windows 8 kernel. That was just a bit to much for Microsoft it appears as the profile is now gone but thanks to Google cache nothing is gone on the Internet.

imageOf course this is not the first time something like this has happened and Microsoft Corporate has been as guilty in the past by putting just a bit to much information into Job Listing by letting us know Windows 7 would have native VHD support:

Do you want to join the team that is bringing virtualization into the mainstream? In Windows 7, our team will be responsible for creating, mounting, performing I/O on, and dismounting VHDs (virtual hard disks) natively. Imagine being able to mount a VHD on any Windows machine, do some offline servicing and then boot from that same VHD. Or perhaps, taking an existing VHD you currently use within Virtual Server and boost performance by booting natively from it.

Of course my favorite was when Microsoft Partner Lead in Sweden blogged the upcoming Windows 7 release dates which was taken down within an hour of posting. We also had screen shots of Windows 7 builds posted by Microsoft on various Microsoft blogs showing internal build numbers well ahead of any Beta release builds.

So the take away from this is one even as we still can’t get Microsoft to email US Partners 64bit Windows 7 disk instead of 32bit it’s clear Microsoft is moving ahead with a 128bit OS. Second Microsoft already has a kernel or core OS it’s working on for Windows 8. Lastly and the biggest take away is to remember when your putting in that profile information or sending out a Twitter post double check what your putting down really should be public information.

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More news to follow but yes folks it’s all over, that Boondoggle, multi-million dollar tax give away is closing it’s doors!

Here’s the follow-up. Dell will lay off 600 workers by next month with the remaining workers to be laid on January. The number Dell cites is 935 total however some dispute there are that many employees currently at the plant. Frank Miller, Vice President for Public Business Unit Supply Chain, was quoted as saying Dell will meet all agreements it had in place with North Carolina, Forsyth County and Winston-Salem which should be interesting to see since the bulk of the agreement was to employ some 1,700 workers which it never did. There was at least $37 million in incentives directly given to Dell to locate in North Carolina not to mention the millions of hidden cost in road construction, rezoning, and such.

“The opening of this facility means hundreds of hardworking North Carolinians now have good jobs that bring better benefits and better skills to the transitioning Piedmont Triad economy,” said Gov. Easley. “In addition, the Dell project will provide more than $700 million in net revenue over 20 years to our state. This project makes good economic sense for North Carolina and we are proud to have such a well-respected global company in our state.” October 2005

Oh well just one more giant tax giveaway to private business. Of course this will certainly result in changes to the FedEx Hub plans which have already been pushed back in terms of it’s staffing. The loss of another 900 jobs on top of the 300 from PACE Airlines really spells out the trend for North Carolina employment which at this point is already above 10.8% and one of the highest in the nation.

On a brighter note Winston-Salem has released some of the 50 pages of documents associated with the tax payer funded baseball park so Billy Prim will get his nearly $50 million dollar stadium which he said would not cost the tax payers a dime.

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SMBs often do not see the big picture, and many tend to ignore the five immutable laws of SMB security, which are:

  • Small is not invisible
    Many SMB owners believe they are safe because they’re too small to be interesting to cybercriminal organizations. Nothing could be further from the truth. Cybercriminals target SMBs because they are easier to penetrate than large businesses. Some intruders successfully penetrate SMBs for years at a time before being detected, quietly siphoning off valuable information.
  • It’s not about threats. It’s about security
    Too often, SMBs focus on specific threats and not the "big picture" about protecting their businesses. There’s more to security than firewalls and intrusion protection devices. Too often SMBs can fall into a classic trap by responding to individual threats with knee-jerk reactions rather than examining their entire security stance.
  • Know what you need to protect
    Every SMB has a unique environment, and with that will have unique security vulnerabilities. SMBs must understand the risks in their environment before they can effectively protect against them. The best way to do this is to work with a professional risk assessment team. This assessment will tell SMBs exactly what their risks are, and how they can take steps mitigate.
  • To collaborate, you must mitigate
    Today, as the price of doing business, many SMBs open their networks to partners and customers to achieve efficiencies and value-add through electronic collaboration. But, these external partnerships introduce new security and compliance risks. SMBs must understand and mitigate these risks as part of their collaboration strategy.

  • You don’t have to go it alone
    Most SMBs cannot afford to pay a team of round-the-clock security experts. Partnering with an expert security outsourcing company can deliver big company protection for small company price. However, every business market has unique security and compliance challenges, so it is critical to partner with a security outsourcing company that also understands the SMB’s business model.

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