Saturday, 05 November 2005

Well, it's getting more and more interesting (and official) with each passing day. The anti-spyware team at Microsoft has announced the new name for their anti-spyware application (which really handles more than spyware). It's going to be called Windows Defender, and will ship with Vista. That's good news. Even more good news comes in the later part of the blog announcement, where Jason Garms explains the package will also be available to Windows XP users.

They'll be delivering the malware signature updates over Windows Server Update Service (WSUS), as well. As a result, "Windows Defender" will begin appearing in the WSUS product list and a category called "signatures" will also appear. It sounds like a beta will be released sometime in the future that will take advantage of those update facilities.

Read the announcement here.

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IT Security | Tech
Saturday, 05 November 2005 06:59:31 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Wednesday, 02 November 2005

Yahoo! released a new version of it's mapping web service today, and it has a bunch of notable changes and improvements. the first thing I noticed was the "ajax-y" UI, which lets you do the gotta-have-it, grab-and-drag scrolling that's all the rage, and which adds a fairly nifty animated zooming feature that's quite a bit fancier than the competition's. Plus Yahoo! Local is integrated. And you can mash-up with their APIs. Check out this cool mashed-up application that shows local events using maps, images, local search, and other services all combined.

Another cool feature of the new mapping service is live traffic conditions for major thoroughfares, color coded for easy analysis:

   Yahoomapsbeta1  Yahoomapsbeta4

I also like that I can get multi-point driving directions from Point A to Point B, then Add Point C and D and on and on - The result is one full set of directions for a full trip worth of driving, all on one map. Quite useful, and very easy to use.


Check it out at and provide Yahoo! with your feedback by clicking here.

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Wednesday, 02 November 2005 20:57:28 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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The security geek in me is a happy guy today. The Anti-Malware product team at Microsoft has fired up their new blog. They're "the team responsible for building Microsoft's antivirus and anti-spyware technology (along with anti-rootkit, anti-bot, and other stuff)." Malware, for those who are not yet familiar with the term, is short for "Malicious Software."

"We already have two pieces of technology our technology shipping: the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool, which helps to remove some of the most prevalent malware from a user's machine. We also are shipping a beta of the Windows AntiSpyware technology. We'll talk more about these in future blog posts. We also have a bunch of other cool stuff in the pipelines."

This will be one worth watching, I imagine. The security threat landscape has eroded, changed and reshaped itself significantly in the past year, and things are only getting more and more complicated. So, it's good to see the face of a critical team in Redmond and to have some insight into what they're addressing.


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Blogging | IT Security | Tech
Wednesday, 02 November 2005 20:15:13 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Tuesday, 01 November 2005

Do you live in or around Toledo? Are you a professional, experienced network administrator with Unix/Solaris experience? If you are, Corillian is looking for someone to join the Corporate IT department to support network and computing needs in the company's Toledo office, as well as other offices in the region.

If you or someone you know fits the bill, get in touch. I can be reached at 503-629-3771 (my desk number) if you have any questions. I'd be glad to chat. We're looking for experienced professionals that can operate both on their own and in a team. This is a terrific job for someone who has the self confidence and skills to own making all sorts of technology things happen reliably and well.

Note: I am posting this because readers of this weblog might be interested in the job opening mentioned here. This post is my own doing, and is not a communication by or on behalf of my employer. I am just trying to make people aware of some opportunities that I happen to know about. I won't be compensated for this hire or anything, since the position reports into an organization I manage, anyhow. Do not pass go, do not collect, etc...

Here's the high-level job description for the position:

LAN Administrator - Toledo

Manages and is primary person responsible for maintenance, setup and changes related to the corporate local area network infrastructure. Evaluates and/or recommends purchases of computers, network hardware, peripheral equipment, and software. Consulting management regarding use of computers and networks to satisfy business needs. Installs, configures, and maintains servers and workstations. Maintains proper levels of security of systems and information using patches, virus management, and domain-level security tools. Travel and providing after hours support on a rotating schedule is required

Essential Functions/Job Duties:

  • Manages operations and maintenance of corporate computer network infrastructure, along with associated systems and attached devices. Provides reports and maintenance of corporate computer network infrastructure, along with associated systems and attached devices. Provides reports and maintains physical, logical and information security related to all networked systems. Protects against internal information systems damage by viruses and users.
  • Assists users in-person with network and computer issues and questions.
  • Performs desktop and portable computer setup, maintenance and repair and associated record-keeping/tracking in Help desk issue tracking software, in support of desktop support personnel as-needed.
  • Keeps abreast of new developments and trends in areas of responsibility; makes recommendations to manager regarding enhancements, additions or replacements.

Knowledge, Skills and Ability Requirements:

  • Training and/or certification in computer network systems management and maintenance; extensive experience and/or training in LAN infrastructure and software, maintenance, configuration and troubleshooting; experience working with applications and performing system setup and network configuration on workstation- and server-role computers.
  • Specific knowledge, experience and training in Active Directory administration, setup and troubleshooting. Experience building, maintaining and troubleshooting LAN infrastructure equipment and software; Excellent organizational, decision making and communication skills.
  • Administration experience with Solaris 7, 8, 9, and 10, and HP-UX 11i Operating Systems.
  • Windows NT/2000/2003 Server, Server hardware, PC?s and other networked computer equipment.
  • Experience with Weblogic.
  • General office environment. Considerable stress may occur at times. Occasional lifting in excess of 50 pounds to an overhead position. Travel is required.

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Tuesday, 01 November 2005 14:46:16 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Sunday, 30 October 2005


Okay, so... When Microsoft says the XBOX 360 is a whole new level of gaming machine, they're serious.

I just played a couple shooters on a XBOX 360 game console and that's it, I'm sold. The graphics are GREAT. The visuals make the gameplay amazing, and it's clear the processing and video power is extreme. Add to that the Media Center connections and, well... Wow.

If you want to get your hands on one, go to the Best Buy in Beaverton, Oregon on Cedar Hills Blvd. Apparently, at least according to the sales guy there, that store is the second one to get a working display setup (the first one was a WalMart in California, he said). Some Microsoftie walked in with a bunch of boxes, set up the display, and just left. "No one knew what to do!" said the Best Buy kid. Heh. Cool.

The crowd was excited. A sign is taped to the end cap where the 360 resides that says "5 minutes, please." The crew of giddy people (mostly adults by the way) quietly contained themselves and politely took turns splattering people with their virtual firearms. It pretty much rocked. Ooohs and Aahhhhs abound.

Check it out if you can. I'll try to post some pics in the next day or two if I can get back there. This was the first day in months I didn't have my camera with me, go figure.

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Geek Out | Random Stuff
Sunday, 30 October 2005 16:41:55 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Thursday, 27 October 2005

I've been using my X41 for a few months now, and overall I like it a lot. It's one of the better portable computers I've used.

Charles Jade over at Ars Technica has put together an "unreview" of the X41 and it's a fun read, not to mention an interesting evaluation of this specific Tablet PC computer, as well as a commentary on the Tablet PC edition of Windows, which he frequently refers to (in his somewhat sarcastic but also accurate fashion) as "WXPTPCE2005."

He finds both good and not so good things to write about. I liked the review. Read it here.

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Humor | Tablet PC | Tech
Thursday, 27 October 2005 19:17:44 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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