May 29, 2007

Tweaky Tweaky

If you have Firefox (which I do) and you're feeling like messing about with it - Computerworld has the article for you!

Hacking Firefox: The secrets of about:config

Discover more than 20 behind-the-scenes tweaks for speeding up page loads, reducing memory drain and making the interface behave the way you want it to

I don't have an issue with my Firefox operation. However, I know some people have been annoyed by some issues like "memory hog". This article will walk you through the tweaks and how to do them.

PLEASE NOTE!!! Pay special attention to the part about saving the original config file! In other words, if you go tweaking, screw it up AND you failed to back up the prefs.js file... you are an idiot - do not blame me. They tell you and I'm telling you - back up that file!

Now have at it.

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 03:09 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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May 25, 2007

More Phishing with IE7

Okay here's the deal... just stop using IE for browsing to sites where you need to log in.

Strange spoofing technique evades anti-phishing filters

So Hall was surprised recently when, after attempting to log in to a PayPal page that both IE and Norton had given a clean bill of health, he was prompted for his date of birth, social security number, mother's maiden name, credit card details and other sensitive information. Aside from the verboten solicitation for so much detailed information, about the only thing that looked suspicious was the poor grammar and awkward syntax of the accompanying text.

Please, please, please remember to never give out this information when you go to log in to Paypal or any other site. They do not need your SSN! I have logins with some sites that give you a list of questions to choose from for security questions. I never use questions that could be used by identity thieves, and I also make up answers to the questions they do ask. I put those answers into my "password safe" and they are available to me when I use the safe to get my username and password for that particular log on.

Also, I have walked (or clicked if you prefer) out of sites that ask for my SSN for setting up bill paying online. Repeat after me... IT'S NOT NECESSARY!!! If they ask for that information, it is not worth the ease of paying online. Period!

Here's the interesting thing though:

Hall said he's used Norton and AdAware to scan his machine and neither program has turned up any malware. He doubts his DNS has been hijacked because the problem only occurs when he uses IE. He can log in just fine using Firefox. [emph mine -- ed]

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It would appear the scam method isn't limited to PayPal, either. Hall has supplied screen shots of something very similar happening when he used IE to log on to his online account at HSBC (see screen shot below), and he says he also experiences variations on that theme when trying to access accounts on Barclays and eBay.

So there you are. There is something malicious in IE land. Be very careful. Personally I use Firefox to browse and (as I do have to use Microsoft for work) I only use IE to download patches... Microsoft refuses to let me do it via Firefox... BUT, even using Firefox, I am careful about what information I give out. Just because it hasn't happened yet, does not mean it won't happen at all!

Remember it's the Wild West out there, you have to take care of yourself. No one will do it for you.

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 08:35 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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May 17, 2007

Not Tech Savvy

What happens when you have a trial about modern technology... but the judge does not understand said technology?

"Web site" baffles Internet terrorism trial judge

Oops. I'm not surprised this is happening, but I have to wonder if he shouldn't recuse himself from this case because of insufficient knowledge of the subject.

Judge Peter Openshaw broke into the questioning of a witness about a Web forum used by alleged Islamist radicals.

"The trouble is I don't understand the language. I don't really understand what a Web site is," he told a London court during the trial of three men charged under anti-terrorism laws.

Prosecutor Mark Ellison briefly set aside his questioning to explain the terms "Web site" and "forum." An exchange followed in which the 59-year-old judge acknowledged: "I haven't quite grasped the concepts."

If he doesn't know even the most rudimentary parts of the current web technology, then I don't see how he can preside in a trial involving the use of that technology. It's like taking a judge from the 18th century and having him preside over a trial involving whether or not a car company should be held responsible for a car brake failure. Some of the tools are there, in other words, cars are a faster version of horse and buggy... but the total disconnect of not understanding machinery would be nearly insurmountable. There is too much of a learning curve.

This extends to all parts of the legal system. Lawyers without tech knowledge, juries without a clue... how do you surmount this problem?

How much do you have to "teach" during the trial to get your jurors up to speed and how much extra time will it take AND how many will simply not understand even if things are explained in words of one syllable?

As I happen to know many many people who have zero knowledge of computers - I see huge problems ahead of us in this area. I just wonder how many of the guilty will go free because of this lack of knowledge. In the case of these terrorists, the lack of knowledge could lead to the deaths of many innocent people.

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 11:00 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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