Author Archives: Brian Livingston

Workaround needed for IE hole

Microsoft acknowledged this week a new weakness that allows hacked
Web sites to infect PCs merely displaying specific images in the Internet Explorer
browser.

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Watch for our new logo

Our newsletter and Web site will sport a new logo, shown above,
beginning with our next regular issue on Sept. 14.

We wanted to surprise you, but we figured we’d better give you some warning. We didn’t
want you to open your e-mail next month and think unknown people were sending you some
new, weird newsletter. Nope, it’s just the same old weird
newsletter.

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How fast does Windows Update update?

Readers have asked me, “How quickly is my computer protected after Patch
Tuesday, if I have auto-updates turned on?”

The question arises because most of the patches that Microsoft posted on
Aug. 8 took a lot longer than
usual to download. It appears that Windows Update, when configured to
download and install patches automatically, didn’t start downloading most
patches until three days after Patch Tuesday. Some PCs didn’t auto-install all
of the security patches until nine days had passed.

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Questions arise on PC World tests

A sweeping review of 10 security suites published in a major computer magazine
last month featured some very unlikely rankings for this crucial category of products.
After examining the evidence, I’ve found that some material facts were omitted from
the article, rendering its ratings useless.

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Shavlik will lift download restrictions

I announced in the July 13 newsletter that Shavlik Technologies, a well-known
patch-management vendor, had released a free and capable
replacement for Microsoft’s Windows Update (WU) service.

The Shavlik program, known as NetChk Protect, is free for
up to one year, can remotely update 1 to 10 PCs from a single PC on a network, and
supports far more programs than Microsoft’s offering does.

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Free Windows Update alternative is released

In my last issue, I reported that Microsoft’s in-house Windows Update routine
is now likely to download marketing gimmicks such as Windows Genuine Advantage to your
PC. I advised all Windows users, other than novices, to turn off Automatic
Updates.

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Dump Windows Update, use alternatives

The Internet interprets Microsoft as damage and routes around it.

My apologies to John Gilmore for tweaking his famous 1993

quote about censorship. But the above statement just happens to sum up the
alternatives Windows users are adopting ever since Microsoft’s “Windows Genuine
Advantage” (WGA) debacle.

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