Archive | July 24, 2003

Antisocial Software?

I’ve seen this phenomenon at the last couple of FoxPro conferences: folks with laptops can be tuned in or way out of the presentation. At DevCon, I blogged the keynote live and made my one and only appearance on the Radio Top 100 blog list. OTOH, some folks tune out and miss the whole thing. Of course, they could do that with Solitaire, too. But now, with IM, they can join in a conversation… interesting. NY Times: In the Lecture Hall, a Geek Chorus. Mr. Aral discovered that he was not alone. The next day in the auditorium, which was outfitted with a wireless link to the Internet, a group of people booted up their laptops, opened their IM programs and spent the next three hours happily exchanging notes during the presentations. Link via Tomalak’s Realm

Business Intelligence market shake-out

BI, and closely related techno-buzzterms data mining and online analytical processing, are fields with lots of promise, documented paybacks for some big customers, and an exciting market with too many vendors, too many products, too many promises and too many buzzterms. A shakeout is occurring, with Business Objects purchaing Crystal Decisions, Cognos announcing new products, Hyperion buying Brio, and, as that second link points out, a lot of possible contestants – Microsoft, Oracle, SAS, PeopleSoft – still waiting in the wings. Going to be an interesting show to watch…

Microsoft issues security warnings…

MS03-29, MS03-30 and MS03-31 puts Microsoft one ahead of the rate of one per week for the year.

MS03-29 lists a “Moderate” problem with a normally un-exposed function that could lead to a denial of service attack on Windows NT 4.0 Server only. Read more at

MS03-30 deals with a buffer overrun which could allow a malicious user to run code of their choice on your machine, from a malformed MIDI file, web page or HTML e-mail. Rated as “Critical” for all to patch. Read details at

Finally, MS03-31, described as an “Important” cumulative patch for SQL Server, also patches three new vulnerabilities for SQL Server 7.0, SQL Server 2000, as well as MSDE 1.0 and 2000. While the patches seem to indicate that an attacker must have local logon access to execute these exploits, it’s not clear if another executable the victim could be tricked into running might be able to exploit these. has details.

As always, there is the danger with patching your system that the patch process could go wrong, crippling your machine, or that the patch might not work properly on your particular configuration, or that the patch fails to fix the problem. Use care in evaluating whether these patches are appropriate for you, and take precautions (backups, images or restore points) to minimize the effect of a patch gone bad.

Be careful out there.

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.