Wednesday Wishbone

All the news that's fit to rant aboutLast news before Turkey Day. Mathematician and father of Cybernetics, Norbert Wiener, was born in 1894. Peanuts creator, Charles Schulz, was born in 1922. France became the third space power in 1965 with the launch of the Asterix-1.

  1. A Danish security company is warning users of IE 6 (which is nearly everyone) to turn off Active Scripting or use a different browser. A Chinese security researcher discovered five cross-site scripting vulnerabilities which would allow hackers to compromise affected PCs. The question now is whether Microsoft will break its new monthly update policy to offer a fix. The company is investigating.
  2. Don't rush to use Opera instead, however. Versions 7 to 7.22 of Opera have two security flaws that could also give hackers access to your PC. The company has released an upgrade to 7.23 and recommends that all users download it. I say stick with open source: Mozilla is looking better all the time.
  3. Some hackers prefer to use social engineering. According to Sophos, a new Trojan, sysbug-A, is being distributed as an attachment to a "saucy" email from a man who apologizes for not using a Trojan. He claims to be sending nude pix of Mary. You know the drill. Don't open attachments!
  4. The Senate approved the CAN-SPAM act yesterday, now all that remains is for Bush to sign the bill into law, which he has promised to do. It's not the bill many of us had hoped for, but it's better than nothing.
  5. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) are seeking permanent anti-trust exemption. Senator Orrin Hatch has introduced the EnFORCE Act: Enhancing Federal Obscenity Reporting and Copyright Enforcement Act of 2003 (how much time is wasted by Senate staffers working up these strained acronyms?) which includes a provision to offer permanent immunity to the kind of antitrust lawsuits filed by webcasters against the RIAA two months ago. Hatch says the protection is required by "market realities." Hunh?
  6. Having cell phone problems? AT&T Wireless's glitches continue. A software bug has been causing delayed connections and other issues. It prevented customers from switching carriers on Monday when number portability went into effect. How convenient.
  7. Andrew Morton says Linux kernel 2.6.10 is the last beta version. Expect 2.6 final in the second half of December. Commercial distros will incorporate the new kernel in early 2004. (Incidentally, I installed SuSE 9 last night using the 21 MB boot.iso and a network install and it came up beautifully. The YaST installer is the best I've used. And it recognized all the hardware that Red Hat 9 did not. It comes with Open Office and Ximian, defaults to KDE 3.1, and recognized all my NTFS partitions, too. Two thumbs up.)
  8. Now that Vivendi has sold the domain name to c|net, it plans to destroy all the files on the old servers. Michael Robertson, the founder and former owner, is trying to save what he calls "the largest collection of digital works ever assembled."