Saturday, December 20, 2003

JAlbum - web photo album software

JAlbum - web photo album software

recent update to this creative and very easy web album generator (automatically resizes pictures and creates thumbnails).

Monday, December 01, 2003

Advanced topics in SAS

set of lecture notes and code examples from a researcher in Sweeden. ddv

Advanced topics in SAS

Friday, November 21, 2003

Statistical Computing

Statistical Computing

"Overview of Statistical Consulting Group and Services
The statistical computing group is a team of five UCLA staff members who help UCLA researchers with problems with statistical computing using packages such as SAS, Stata, SPSS, or S-plus/R. We offer a variety of services, including web pages on statistical computing, statistics books for loan, classes and seminars, walk-in consulting and email consulting, described in more detail below. Our goal is to simultaneously help UCLA researchers solve their problems in statistical computing while helping them enhance their skills for performing excellent research. At the same time, we are able to online resources for researchers and other consulting centers around the world.

Many find answers to their questions or expand their knowledge using our Statistical Computing web site. Our site (which has recently Surpassed Six Million Hits) has over 3000 pages and a search engine that searches 25,000+ pages, but allows you to perform focused searches restricted to one or more statistical packages. We also have a library of over 300 Statistics Books that UCLA researchers can borrow, and for many of the books we have created Textbook Examples showing how to use common statistical packages to reproduce the results in the books. These resources serve as a database of knowledge both for the UCLA research community as well as the statistical consulting group."

Power Tools (Software) Forum - Championing the Best Software

Power Tools (Software) Forum - Championing the Best Software

Monday, November 17, 2003

Financial Executive, November 2003 Financial Execs Who Do the Right Thing

Financial Executives International: The world of corporate finance.: "Financial Executive, November 2003
Financial Execs Who Do the Right Thing
By Jeffrey Marshall and Ellen M. Heffes
Virtually every financial executive with years of experience has tales to tell about pressure to compromise ethics - and often to keep silent. The editors of Financial Executive sought out a few executives willing to relate their stories, with the hope that their lessons will help peers muster the courage - if and when it is needed - to take a stand and uphold ethical practices. "

Quatloos! -- Cyber-Museum of Scams and Frauds...

Quatloos! -- Cyber-Museum of Scams and Frauds...: "Quatloos.com is a public educational website covering a wide variety of financial scams and frauds, including wacky “prime bank” frauds, exotic foreign currency scams, offshore investment frauds, tax scams, “Pure Trust” structures and more."

Flash ScreenSaver Software, Screenswift for Flash, Create Flash Screensaver

Flash ScreenSaver Software, Screenswift for Flash, Create Flash Screensaver: "ScreenSwift V3.00 for Flash


ScreenSwift is an easy to use flash screensaver software that helps you to convert a Flash movie into an effective screensaver. You can customize display properties, settings window and the installation screen to completely re-brand your Flash screensaver. Screenswift has become the most recommended screensaver software to create Flash screensaver for Windows.
Unregistered version of ScreenSwift is Free for personal and non-profit use only. Screenswift is available for Windows 9x/ME/NT/2000/XP."

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Free Online Lookups

Very creative collection of lookup's. ddv

Free Online Lookups

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

NEW DEFENSE: THE COMPUTER DID IT

"NEW DEFENSE: THE COMPUTER DID IT
Prosecutors in computer hacking cases are facing a new defense strategy that likely will become more prevalent in the age of hijacked PCs: the computer did it. Defense lawyers in three cases recently tried in the U.K. successfully argued that the crimes committed by their clients were, in fact, the results of 'Trojan' programs placed on their computers without their knowledge. While it is relatively easy to trace a hack back to a particular computer, it's much more difficult to prove that the owner of that computer committed the crime. 'On the one hand, this is 100% correct that you can not make that jump from computer to keyboard to person,' says Bruce Schneier, chief technology officer for Counterpane Internet Security. 'On the other hand, this defense could be used to acquit everybody. It makes prosecuting the guilty harder, but that's a good thing.' But computer security consultant Dave Morrell says the defense also gives the green light to hackers. 'It sets a precedent now in the judicial system where a hacker can just claim somebody took over his computer, the program vanished and he's free and clear.' The Trojan defense has not yet been put to the test in the U.S. (Reuters/CNN.com 28 Oct 2003) "

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Odd mishaps cause computer grief - Top 10 Data Disasters

BBC News - Odd mishaps cause computer grief: "TOP 10 DATA DISASTERS
Although machine failure is at fault for the majority of lost data disasters, humans are increasingly culpable as well, according to recovery experts at Kroll Ontrack. 'Despite being the easiest problem to prevent, we are seeing more cases where human error is to blame. Interestingly, we see a 15 to 20% increase in calls to recover lost data on Mondays. This could be a result of the rush to complete work and leave early for the weekend on Friday afternoons, as well as a lack of staff concentration on Monday mornings,' says a Kroll spokesman. The Top 10 list of unusual data loss stories includes laptops being shot or thrown against the wall in a fit of e-rage; laptops suffering spills of red wine or latte because users were 'drinking on the job,' laptops falling off mopeds or car roofs, then being crushed by oncoming traffic; and PCs being thrown out a window or into a river to destroy evidence of theft or fraud. Our favorite? The laptop that slipped into the bathtub with its owner while he was working on accounts. Amazingly, Kroll Ontrack says in all these cases, it was able to rescue and restore computer files. (BBC News 16 Oct 2003) "

How to Build Your Own Web Server Using Things You Probably Have Around the House

The Making of justbrewit.net: "How to Build Your Own Web Server Using Things You Probably Have Around the House" The Making of justbrewit.net

parts out of the garage and the corner to build a server! The wonders of how easy it really is to get a server online even with very old hardware. ddv

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Natural Voice Reader Free standard version

Natural Voice Reader Free standard version

Free Natural Voice Reader Standard 2.9 [Windows Operating System]
http://www.naturalreaders.com/standard_version.htm

This handy program allows users to listen to emails, text selections, and other written materials via a number of voices included with the software. With this free edition, users can change the speed of reading, the voice of reading, the volume of reading, and can also read the text and have it saved to a .wav file. From the program's Web site, users can read a FAQ section, and view several screenshots. This edition of Free Natural Voice Reader Standard 2.9 is compatible with all systems running Windows 98 and higher.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Schneier.com: Twofish

Full level of detail about Twofish encryption code which was one of the 5 finalists (but not the winner) of the AES. There is an interesting set of links to numerous packages using Twofish for encryption (because it is free I guess!), including TreePad.

Schneier is also the author of the new book "Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly About Security in an Uncertain World" from September 2003.

Schneier.com: Twofish: "Twofish: A New Block Cipher
Twofish is a block cipher by Counterpane Labs. It was one of the five Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) finalists. Twofish is unpatented, and the source code is uncopyrighted and license-free; it is free for all uses. "

Thursday, September 25, 2003

SAFE & SOUND IN THE CYBER AGE: CODE RED FOR JET BLUE

Privacy concerns over who has access to electronic information and what they use it for continue to be an issue to our society. ddv

From: NewsScan Daily: September 24, 2003

"SAFE & SOUND IN THE CYBER AGE: CODE RED FOR JET BLUE
by Chey and Stephen Cobb
We had several interesting responses to our last column, concerning the blue TSA (Transportation Security Administration) tags that are appearing on airline baggage. So we stick with the travel theme this week. We even use the same color scheme: the story we want to cover concerns the airline known as Jet Blue.
Whether you read this story as it broke on Wired.com, or saw the Associated Press piece in your local newspaper, alarm bells had to be going off. Here was a U.S. airline giving its passenger records to a Defense Department contractor (Torch Concepts) working with the TSA to test the feasibility of combining such records with other commercially available data (like credit bureau records) to single out passengers for additional security screening, all documented in a set of PowerPoint slides titled 'Homeland Security -- Airline Passenger Risk Assessment,' presented at a public conference in February of this year and subsequently posted on the Internet.
If alarm bells did not go off, it may be because the media is now an irony-free zone. Tom Brokaw mentioned the Jet Blue story on NBC right before a "special report" on the insurance company practice of denying automobile coverage to people based on their credit records. NBC apparently missed the fact that the "Jet Blue project" could mean people getting frisked at airports, or even kicked off airplanes, based in part upon those same records.
So let's spell out what happened. At the end of 2001, Torch Concepts made initial overtures to airlines asking for passenger data, namely who flew what flights. We may take some comfort in the fact that American and Delta appear to have said no. In March of 2002 the DoD funded the Torch Concepts research and in April the company started meeting with the DoT and, via "Congressional Liaison," with TSA. In June of 2002 a DOT-TSA meeting addressed the Torch Concepts project and in July told the company it would soon receive "the necessary database being used by CAPPS II contractors."
Heavens knows what's in the CAPPS II database, currently the target of several lawsuits, but apparently Torch Concepts didn't get that database. What it got, in September, sounds like a consolation prize: the Jet Blue database. Torch Concepts complained that this was very limited in terms of the goals of the research, but went ahead with the project anyway. In October, Torch Concepts purchased additional demographic data from Acxiom, a company that sells a lot of interesting data, such as your social security number. That's right, you are probably among the 700 million individuals and companies on whom Acxiom keeps records, somewhere in its seven acres of computers.
What kind of records? For a start there's name, birth date, social security number, plus current and former address. There's a good chance that Acxiom also knows who you work for, the names of the people who live with you, and whether you own or rent.
What does Acxiom do with this information? It sells it, often in the form of data appending and verification services. Suppose I have some of the above pieces of information about a list of people, my customers perhaps, but I don't have all that information. Acxiom can provide the missing data (even if my customers declined to provide it when I asked for it). That's appending. Acxiom can also verify that the data I have on my customers is correct, by checking it against data on the same people held by other companies. In the wake of 9/11 and the Patriot Act, Acxiom has been keen to show that its database can also be used to fight terrorism, but the Arkansas-based company suffered an embarrassing setback last month when a flaw in its security led to a hacker accessing data being uploaded to Acxiom by a customer, something Acxiom only found out about when contacted by an Ohio law enforcement agency.
Anyway, back in 2002, Torch Concepts used Acxiom to increase the amount of information it had on the people who flew Jet Blue; then analyzed everything to see what could be learned. Here are some of the conclusions presented at the conference:
* Known airline terrorists appear readily distinguishable from the normal Jet Blue passenger patterns (that's a relief)
* The "Passenger Stability Indicators" that distinguish normal Jet Blue passengers from past terrorists include social security number, length-of-residence, income, and home ownership (terrorists tend not to be homeowners with social security numbers?)
These are hardly stunning revelations; we don't know how may taxpayer dollars it cost to reach them, but we are inclined to think it was too many. As for Jet Blue, which appears to have violated its own privacy policy when it handed over the data, the cost could also be too much. The Federal Trade Commission is apt to file suit when companies who do that, as in the cases of drug maker Eli Lilly and jeans maker Guess, Inc. Privacy advocates and state attorneys general are apt to follow suit, so to speak.
As we see it, even if amassing and analyzing huge databases is a reliable way to spot terrorists, which frankly we doubt, it wouldn't be a good idea. Apart from the very serious privacy concerns, as Acxiom demonstrated last month, you put the data itself at risk. The day when computer security practices are as good as they should be is a long way off. We should use that time to address the reasons why people commit acts of terror, not hunt for needles in haystacks.
[Chey Cobb, CISSP, the author of Network Security for Dummies, is an independent consultant (www.cheycobb.com) and a former senior technical security advisor to the NRO. She can be emailed as chey at patriot dot net. Stephen Cobb, CISSP, wrote his first computer security book twelve years ago. He can be emailed as scobb at cobb dot com.] "

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

InfoWorld: Expect the unexpected when it comes to security: September 19, 2003: By Chad Dickerson: Security

InforWorld columnist comment on security. ddv

InfoWorld: Expect the unexpected when it comes to security - Vigilance is the key to keeping your enterprise out of the security waste land: September 19, 2003: By Chad Dickerson: Security: "August was the cruelest month, breeding MS Blaster and Sobig out of moribund security policies, mixing buffer overflows with SMTP-based viruses, stirring vacation-focused minds with new worms. Winter had kept us warm, as our 1U Linux servers blanketed the datacenter with forgetful uptime, feeding us our e-mail through twisted cables. Summer surprised us …"

Monday, September 22, 2003

Gadwin PrintScreen - Screen capture software

Another option in the screen capture race! Also offers the abiltiy to capture a specific window. ddv

Gadwin PrintScreen - Screen capture software: "Want to create a screenshot suitable for saving or printing? Then just hit a key on your keyboard. Oh yeah, you'll have to download this program first.
There are several hotkey combos to choose from (PrintScreen is the default). Once you've chosen your favorite combo, head to the Destination tab and have the screen print out instantly, copy the capture to the clipboard, save it to a specific folder, or even send it through e-mail. You can perform full screen captures, or only capture a specific window.
There are also six different image formats to choose from, and each one can be resized. With all the customization capabilities, what more could you ask for? "

GrabClipSave - freeware

I need a better solution for pasting together help screens for an ACL tutorial. Looks interesting as it creates JPG's -- vs needing to compress the bitmaps that the Windows clipboard generates. ddv

GCS: "A freeware screen capture tool. As easy as this:
Start GCS
Press PrtSc
Done. Repeat at will.
GCS will save the screens to the directory you want, either in Windows .bmp or in .jpg format. You can grab standard applications, Direct3D or OpenGL games.
GrabClipSave makes use of standard Windows features: as soon as you press the PrtSc-key, the current screen is copied to the clipboard. GCS just sits in the background and waits for a bitmap in the clipboard. When there is a new one, it just saves it to disk; where You want and the way You want. So no more Alt-Tabbing out of your favorite game or fiddling with .tgas or stuff, just let GCS save it for you in .jpg!"

Friday, September 19, 2003

The Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations

Check out the publications link for fairly recent articles relating to NFP Form 990 and audited financial statements. ddv

The Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations: "The Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations is an interdisciplinary research center at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. The Center aims to illuminate the vital role that the nonprofit sector and nongovernmental organizations play in aiding societies to discover and accomplish important public purposes. "

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Plagiarism Detection Services

Plagiarism continues to be a major issue in a connected world. Just as the WWW can be used to easily cut and paste content - the Web can also be used to examine documents for the same. OrCheck jumps out as a very creative Java tool which interfaces with Google to examine text for possible plagiarism. Interesting approach in a very visible interface. ddv

JISCPAS - External Resources - Detection Services: "Detection Services



A number of systems are currently available providing electronic detection facilities by a variety of means. Links to companies providing these services are given here"

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Flawed Routers Flood University of Wisconsin Internet Time Server

Interesting security issues that is simply related to products communicating (router and Internet time server). This is a very written article that can be used to understand Internet connectivity. ddv

Flawed Routers Flood University of Wisconsin Internet Time Server: "In May 2003, the University of Wisconsin - Madison found that it was the recipient of a continuous large scale flood of inbound Internet traffic destined for one of the campus' public Network Time Protocol (NTP) servers. The flood traffic rate was hundreds-of-thousands of packets-per-second, and hundreds of megabits-per-second.
Subsequently, we have determined the sources of this flooding to be literally hundreds of thousands of real Internet hosts throughout the world. However, rather than having originated as a malicious distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, the root cause is actually a serious flaw in the design of hundreds of thousands of one vendor's low-cost Internet products targeted for residential use. The unexpected behavior of these products presents a significant operational problem for UW-Madison for years to come.
This document includes the initial public disclosure of details of these products' serious design flaw. Furthermore, it discusses our ongoing, multifaceted approach toward the solution which involves the University, the products' manufacturer, the relevant Internet standards (RFCs), and the public Internet service and user communities. "

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Process Mapping and Flow Charting

A select group of resources with information on both process mapping and flowcharting. Process mapping is becoming more common particularly in conjunction with ERP systems and their variants (CRM, ...). ddv

Process Mapping and Flow Charting: "Process Mapping and Flow Charting"

Barron's Online Stock Charts

Now that many "paper" investment sources have begun truncating their listings - here is the traditional paper version of Barron's charts including earnings information for the current year and estimates for the next year. Plus the company/fund is linked to the WSJ Briefing book if you really want more company information. Interesting to see the "traditional" information online in a paper format, but including some online advantages. ddv

Barron's Online: "Barron's Online now includes full weekly listings for stocks traded on the New York and American Stock Exchanges and the Nasdaq National Market. These listings are presented in the same format formerly used in Barron's printed edition, which has begun carrying modified versions of this information. Similarly, Barron's Online now offers comprehensive weekly mutual-fund data, again in the format formerly employed in the printed edition. The funds in these listings have at least 1,000 shareholders or $25 million in assets. "

Thursday, September 11, 2003

WSJ.com - Made to Measure: Invisible Supplier Has Penney's Shirts All Buttoned Up

Excellent example of effective use of information technology in the supply chain.

WSJ.com - Made to Measure: Invisible Supplier Has Penney's Shirts All Buttoned Up: "Made to Measure: Invisible Supplier
Has Penney's Shirts All Buttoned Up
From Hong Kong, It Tracks Sales, Restocks
Shelves and Ships Shirts Straight to the Store
By GABRIEL KAHN
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

On a Saturday afternoon in August, Carolyn Thurmond walked into a J.C. Penney store in Atlanta's Northlake Mall and bought a white Stafford wrinkle-free dress shirt for her husband, size 17 neck, 34/35 sleeve.
On Monday morning, a computer technician in Hong Kong downloaded a record of the sale. By Wednesday afternoon, a factory worker in Taiwan had packed an identical replacement shirt into a bundle to be shipped back to the Atlanta store.
This speedy process, part of a streamlined supply chain and production system for dress shirts that was years in the making, has put Penney at the forefront of the continuing revolution in U.S. retailing. In an industry where the goal is speedy turnaround of merchandise, Penney stores now hold almost no extra inventory of house-brand dress shirts. Less than a decade ago, Penney would have had thousands of them warehoused across the U.S., tying up capital and slowly going out of style."

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

O'Reilly Network: Dispelling the Myth of Wireless Security [Aug. 14, 2003]

O'Reilly Network: Dispelling the Myth of Wireless Security [Aug. 14, 2003]: "Dispelling the Myth of Wireless Security"

"Editor's note: In this first excerpt from Wireless Hacks, author Rob Flickenger shows how to find out just how "secure" your standard wireless network really is.

Related Reading


Wireless Hacks
100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools
By Rob Flickenger

Table of Contents
Index

Despite a few good online articles and countless alarmist news items decrying parasitic War Drivers and War Chalkers contributing to the moral decay of the country, a surprising number of people still install wireless equipment with all of the defaults enabled. There are a huge number of access points in use today that unintentionally advertise a default SSID, bridge directly to an Ethernet network, and use no encryption whatsoever (or a WEP key left on the factory setting, and therefore easily deduced).

But even if all standard precautions are in place, how much "security" do wireless access points actually provide? Having heard all sorts of widely varying estimates and assumptions from people who should be able to make an educated guess, I finally decided to see for myself what it would take to circumvent the security of my own standard 802.11b network"

Sunday, August 31, 2003

KnowledgeStorm - The Enterprise Software, Hardware, and Services Resource

KnowledgeStorm - The Enterprise Software, Hardware, and Services Resource


Serves as a web resource for technology solutions - including enterprise systems, industry, web, infrastructure, etc.

A Strategy for Finding the Right Accounting Software

Interesting article in the Journal of Accountancy (September 2003) on choosing accouting software.

A Strategy for Finding the Right Accounting Software

Monday, August 25, 2003

FinCrime - DATABASE TO FIGHT FINANCIAL CRIME

Financial Crimes Network

"DATABASE TO FIGHT FINANCIAL CRIME
Banks throughout the Midwest U.S. can make use of a computer database called FinCrime that allows financial institutions and law enforcement to share information about crimes and provide warnings. Once check fraud or some other financial crime is committed, bankers and law enforcement personnel can enter information about the crime and the suspect into the database. FinCrime looks for matching information. 'Obviously the more participants we have, the more data we can gather in this electronic database, the more valuable it's going to be for participants,' said John Sorensen, president and chief executive of the Iowa Bankers Association. 'We're trying to expand it widely and keep the cost of participation at either nothing or very small costs... One of the unique things about our network is that it's going to be owned by state banking associations and that it will be provided really as a service as members of these state banking associations,' Sorensen said. (AP/USA Today 22 Aug 2003)"

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Palm CyberPoche : the collection of Jacques'posts

Palm CyberPoche : the collection of Jacques'posts

---> definitely fits under the Palm based time management approach. Although you might go even further and think of "Palm based life-style"!!

Security Pipeline

New security newszine which is part of TechWeb / CMP. Seems to be a hot issue these days! hmm.....

Security Pipeline

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

IHMC Concept Map Software

IHMC Concept Map Software: "The Theory Underlying Concept Maps
and How To Construct Them
Joseph D. Novak, Cornell University

Concept maps are tools for organizing and representing knowledge. They include concepts, usually enclosed in circles or boxes of some type, and relationships between concepts or propositions, indicated by a connecting line between two concepts. Words on the line specify the relationship between the two concepts. We define concept as a perceived regularity in events or objects, or records of events or objects, designated by a label. The label for most concepts is a word, although sometimes we use symbols such as + or %. Propositions are statements about some object or event in the universe, either naturally occurring or constructed. Propositions contain two or more concepts connected with other words to form a meaningful statement. Sometimes these are called semantic units,or units of meaning. Figure 1 shows an example of a concept map that describes the structure of concept maps and illustrates the above characteristics. "

Monday, August 18, 2003

Byers research article on hidden metadeta in Word documents

Byers 2003 Scalable Exploitation of, and Responses to Information Leakage Through Hidden Data in Published Documents

Abstract
In considering the leakage of information through hidden text mechanisms in commonly
used information interchange formats we demonstrate how to automate and scale the search for
hidden data inWord documents. The combination of this scaling with typical behaviour patterns
of Word users and the default settings of the Word program leads to an uncomfortable state of
affairs for Word users concerned about information security. We discuss some countermeasures
employable by users and note more general consequences of these effects.

HOW TO: Minimize Metadata in Microsoft Word 2002

Back to the privacy questions of exposing metadata by passing on a file or publishing on the web. Microsoft is publishing documents such as the link below for various Office components / versions.

290945 - HOW TO: Minimize Metadata in Microsoft Word 2002

Saturday, August 16, 2003

JAlbum - web photo album software

JAlbum - web photo album software: "Free web photo album generator
Have you wished for a tool to help you getting your photos on the web? I did.
Have you found irritating shortcomings in existing gallery software? I have.
Are you simply annoyed by software fees on fairly simple programs? I am.
Wait no more! JAlbum does the tedious work for you - for free.
Drop a folder containing image and movie files onto JAlbum and press 'Make album'. JAlbum will create thumbnails of your images and display them in html index pages. You can also have JAlbum produce a slide show of your images for easy navigation one at a time. The output may contain scaled-down versions of the original images. Clicking on these images may bring up the original image (for printing etc). JAlbum does not touch or modify your original images in any way. It just adds some files and folders to the image folder you specify during web creation. JAlbum can also create a web of a hierarchy of image folders. JAlbum supports jpeg, gif and png image files and popular movie formats like .avi, .mpg and .wmv"

--------------------
Recommended by 8/15/2003 Scout Report:
JAlbum 3.5 [Macintosh and Windows Operating Systems]
http://www.datadosen.se/jalbum/
This latest version of this fine photo album program allows custom image and directory ordering, along with a feature that skips directories that do not contain valid images or media files. As with previous versions, users can modify the appearance of each album through the use of skins, add image filters, and add movie files with relative ease. Additionally, there is quite a bit of support available through the users forum and a FAQ section.

Online document search reveals secrets

This ties in very directly to what I found in early July 2003 relative to a University of Tennessee memo posted online!! Not surprising - interesting to think about going back to very simple ASCII documents, also relates to the clean HTML programs (HTML Tidy?).


New Scientist: "Online document search reveals secrets

WEALTH OF CORPORATE SECRETS ON THE WEB
Many documents posted online may contain sensitive corporate or personal information, according to AT&T researcher Simon Byers, who was able to unearth hidden information from thousands of Microsoft Word documents posted on the Web using an ordinary search engine and a random selection of keywords. Byers targeted Word documents because they're so common, but he stressed that other document formats, such as Adobe PDF, may contain similar hidden information. After downloading the Word files, Byer used the free software tools "antiword" and "catdoc" to convert them to plain text. Then, using a simple script he wrote, Byers was able to locate text that had been deleted from the original Word files, including people's names and other personal identifiers, e-mail headers, network paths and text from related documents. "The worst is erased text. This has bitten people surprisingly often," says Bruce Schneier, a security expert with Counterpane. Microsoft Office UK marketing manager Neil Laver says the company is working on ways to better ensure sensitive information is not inadvertently leaked in files. The next version of Office 2003 will include tools that will allow users to remove personal information from documents as well as new "information rights management" software that will enable an author to determine who can read or forward a document. Meanwhile, Schneier recommends converting documents to plain ASCII before publishing online: "I don't know of any programs that effectively clean out the extra text." (New Scientist 15 Aug 2003)

Monday, August 11, 2003

Innovation Network

Innovation Network

Creative website with articles on mindmapping and creative thinking. By Joyce Bycoff

How Audits Must Change - CFO.com

Interesting articles on the times that audit firms live in - demise of Anderson, SarBox, etc.

How Audits Must Change - CFO.com: "How Audits Must Change
Auditors face more pressure to find fraud.
Kris Frieswick, CFO Magazine
July 01, 2003


Auditors have been on the defensive since Arthur Andersen LLP was shut down in the wake of the Enron scan-dal. But by this point, with the massive accounting fraud revealed at health-care behemoth HealthSouth Corp., all the remaining Big Four have been tarnished. Today, auditors are fighting a battle on two fronts. On one, they must defend their battered integrity — their very stock in trade. On the other, they are challenged to explain why they should not be expected to find accounting fraud — although they have long maintained that they can't."

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Faster Methods of cracking Windows passwords

Improvements in cracking passwords or encrypted data will continue to push the envelope - limited only by processing power, memory and creativity.

"NEW METHOD CRACKS PASSWORDS IN SECONDS
A senior research assistant at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology's Cryptography and Security Laboratory has published a paper outlining a way to speed up the process of cracking alphanumeric Windows passwords to only 13.6 seconds on average. The previous average time was 1 minute, 41 seconds. The new method uses massive lookup tables to match encoded passwords to the original text entered by a person, thus reducing the time it takes to break the code. 'Windows passwords are not very good,' says researcher Phillippe Oechslin. 'The problem with Windows passwords is that they do not include any random information.' The only requirement for the cracker is a large amount of memory in order to accommodate the lookup tables. The larger the table, the shorter the time it takes to crack the password. Users can protect themselves by adding nonalphanumeric characters to a password, which adds another layer of complexity to the process. Any cracker would then need more time or more memory or both to accomplish the break-in. For more information on Oechslin's method, check out {{the post inserted below}} (CNet News.com 22 Jul 2003) "
Source: NewsScan Daily: July 23, 2003


LASEC: Search Results
Making a Faster Cryptanalytic Time-Memory Trade-Off
Philippe Oechslin

Published:
To appear in Lecture Notes in Computer Science (Proceedings of Crypto'03)

Abstract:
In 1980 Martin Hellman described a cryptanalytic time-memory trade-off which reduces the time of cryptanalysis by using precalculated data stored in memory. This technique was improved by Rivest before 1982 with the introduction of distinguished points which drastically reduces the number of memory lookups during cryptanalysis. This improved technique has been studied extensively but no new optimisations have been published ever since. We propose a new way of precalculating the data which reduces by two the number of calculations needed during cryptanalysis. Moreover, since the method does not make use of distinguished points, it reduces the overhead due to the variable chain length, which again significantly reduces the number of calculations. As an example we have implemented an attack on MS-Windows password hashes. Using 1.4GB of data (two CD-ROMs) we can crack 99.9% of all alphanumerical passwords hashes (2 37 ) in 13.6 seconds whereas it takes 101 seconds with the current approach using distinguished points. We show that the gain could be even much higher depending on the param-eters used.

Monday, July 21, 2003

POPFile - Automatic Email Classification

Opensource Baysian filtering of email to learn to catch all your SPAM.

POPFile - Automatic Email Classification: "POPFile automatically sorts your messages and fights spam. "

Also at Source Forge

YahooPOPs! :: Free POP3/SMTP access to Yahoo Mail!

Open source software tools to access Yahoo email. Free email is a good thing but problems eventually occur with space on the server for "sent" and "saved" emails. This is a potential solution.

YahooPOPs! :: Free POP3/SMTP access to Yahoo Mail!: "YahooPOPs! is an open-source initiative to provide free POP3 and SMTP access to your Yahoo! Mail account. YahooPOPs! is available o­n the Windows and Unix platforms.
YahooPOPs! emulates a POP3/SMTP server and enables popular email clients like Outlook, Netscape, Eudora, Mozilla, IncrediMail, Calypso, etc., to download and send emails from Yahoo! accounts."

Saturday, July 19, 2003

Another Security issue related to user and devious marketing company

VIRAL MARKETING' STOOPS TO NEW LOW
Internet security company Sophos is warning of a new marketing scheme reported by its Australian tech support team, which tricks users into visiting a Web site featuring free comic video clips and then installs software that sends out e-mails from their computers to people listed in their address book. The Web site, run by Curacao-based Avenue Media, uses ActiveX to display a humorous video clip and at the same time downloads an additional software component called 'Internet Optimizer' onto the PC, which then sends the e-mails. Peter Ducklin, head of technology at Sophos' Asia Pacific division, says: 'What tricks a lot of people is that the ActiveX control which kicks the process off is digitally signed. Many users assume that a program which has been signed in this way is automatically both trustworthy and desirable. Ironically, even though Internet Explorer presents a 'security warning,' many people treat this as some kind of a 'security approval' and are more inclined to go ahead.' (ZDNet Australia 16 Jul 2003)"
Source: NewsScan Daily: July 17, 2003

Measuring Computing Consumption

"HOW DO YOU MEASURE COMPUTING CONSUMPTION?
'We're looking for that single unit of measurement that will be the tech industry's equivalent of the kilowatt,' says Bernardo Huberman, a director at Hewlett-Packard's research laboratories. Identifying and agreeing on such a unit is essential to the future success of the much-hyped initiative called 'utility computing,' touted by tech giants HP, IBM and Sun Microsystems. Currently, the three companies offer a jumble of pricing schemes for their utility-computing offerings, but all agree that finding a simple and standard way to measure and charge for computer use would enable the nascent market to really take off. At HP's labs, researchers have coined the term 'computon' -- a mix of 'photon' and 'computation' -- to describe the unit, but coming up with exactly what a computon is, isn't as easy. The problem is that unlike a kilowatt, a computon can't be a strictly scientific quantity. It must cover aspects such as data-storage capacity and processing power, and must be flexible enough to accommodate the evolving needs of customers. 'Ten to 20 years from now, you might see computing companies as closer to the electrical utility of today,' says Nick van der Zweep, HP's director of utility computing. 'Tech companies will have big computer-processing generation stations all over the world, and there may be meters on everybody's houses measuring how much computing power they use.' (Wall Street Journal 17 Jul 2003) "
Source: NewsScan Daily: July 17, 2003

YESTERDAY A MICROSOFT FLAW, TODAY A CISCO FLAW

It had to happen eventually - the movement of very public hacks of computer networking to the backbone of the internet: Cisco. Microsoft has been beaten and abused over the years over security issues. Ok, so maybe that is what it took to get them to ship server software with defaults for "some" security rather than "no" security!!

YESTERDAY A MICROSOFT FLAW, TODAY A CISCO FLAW
Cisco, which makes communications routers and switches, has found a flaw in its software that could be used by network vandals to cause widespread outages; the company has released a free patch to fix the flaw in its Internetworking Operating System. No vandals have exploited the vulnerability up to this point, and Cisco says: 'We literally have people working around the clock right now to get this situation taken care of.' According to the company, the vulnerability could only be exploited by sending a 'rare sequence' of data packets to a device running IOS, the equivalent of Windows for routers and switches. (AP/San Jose Mercury News 17 Jul 2003) "
Source: NewsScan Daily: July 18, 2003

IMPLANTABLE MICROCHIP STRIKES A CHORD IN MEXICO

More news of the linkage between technology and humans. I'm not sure if these are advances or ...? Someday we'll figure out the privacy implications, advantages of the technology, etc. Untill then these types of news releases will cause concern on the privacy front, wonder for the technocrats, and mild amusement for everyone else.


"IMPLANTABLE MICROCHIP STRIKES A CHORD IN MEXICO

Palm Beach, Fla.-based Applied Digital Solutions, maker of the implantable VeriChip, is targeting consumers south of the border, where people see the tiny devices as a possible new way to thwart crime. The microchips, which are available in the U.S. as well, are implanted under the skin and can be used to link to information on identity, blood type and other information housed on a central computer. In Mexico, citizens hope the tiny devices could prove one more weapon in the arsenal needed to combat a rising wave of kidnappings, robberies and other crimes. The Mexican company in charge of distribution says it hopes to implant 10,000 chips in the first year and ensure that 70% of all hospitals contain the technology necessary to read the chips. Company officials say they are working on developing a similar technology that would use satellites to locate people who've been kidnapped, an application that is popular with Mexicans, but has raised privacy concerns in the U.S. (AP 18 Jul 2003) "
Source: NewsScan Daily: July 18, 2003

Friday, July 18, 2003

Adding a link /// Internet Traffic Report

Interesting visual information about the internet.

Adding a link /// Internet Traffic Report: "The Internet Traffic Report monitors the flow of data around the world. It then displays a value between zero and 100. Higher values indicate faster and more reliable connections."

SecurityFocus BASICS Columnists: Blogs: Another Tool in the Security Pro's Toolkit

Interesting column which seems to reach the same conclusions that I have about reasons to blog. I'm interested in following up on these ideas - looking for further improvements in efficiently handling information. Particularly the RSS feeds -- I've had that documentation printed out for about 3 months now and haven't really read it yet! I think that the actionable idea is to convert from an email push to a web feed push. Similar but different - but how? Benefits? Disadvantages? stay tuned.

SecurityFocus BASICS Columnists: Blogs: Another Tool in the Security Pro's Toolkit: "Blogs: Another Tool in the Security Pro's Toolkit (Part One)
By Scott Granneman Jul 16 2003 09:11AM PT

My name is Scott, and I'm an information addict.

I'll admit, I love information. No, make that I love and need information. If you're interested in keeping up with trends and changes in security, you're probably an information addict as well. You absorb security-related information and then ponder, examine, and analyze it before reshaping it in a way that helps protect your data, your systems, and your networks. "

Thursday, July 17, 2003

glish.com : CSS layout techniques

This is the css used in my web blog. There are great references and information sources here for making changes. In general this is a very clever method for web page layout.

glish.com : CSS layout techniques: "CSS Layout Techniques: for Fun and Profit"
"Look Ma, No Tables.
If you are looking for help making the transition to CSS layout (that's Cascading Style Sheets), you've come to the right place. I am cataloging here as many useful cross-browser CSS layout techniques as I can find, and some that I made up when I was bored last Thursday. All the examples on this site have been reduced to only their essential code, and you will find the source displayed on each page to hopefully make it quick and easy to understand the inner workings of the CSS. Feel free to steal all the code you find on this site, and consider linking back here on your site or in your source comments.

You will also find below links to various online CSS resources and tutorials, appropriate for both the novice and the seasoned CSS veteran.

I started this collection because of the dearth of resources I found out there when I went looking for information on how to translate typical table based layouts to CSS layouts. I know it is not nearly exhaustive, so if you see that there is something missing, whether it is a particularly good tutorial, or a site that is using a complex CSS layout, please let me know about it. I will pay you $3750 for each link you submit that I use.

If you don't have any idea why anyone cares about this topic, because like tables can do all that stuff and more, please read this: To Hell with Bad Browsers. And then read this follow up interview with Zeldman. And then read about the Web Standards Project's Browser Upgrade campaign. The future is bright, kids!"


McAfee Security - Anti Virus Security Updates for Computer Protection

The all important web site which lists the current DAT version for VirusScan. I'm surprised that the software I installed yesterday was DAT = 4246 when the current DAT is 4277? I'll have to watch the update process for a couple of weeks to get comfortable with the settings.

McAfee Security - Anti Virus Security Updates for Computer Protection: "Anti-Virus Updates"

And for UT specific information check out:
UT Antivirus Software Distribution

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Gnod - self adapting system for finding books, movies, and music

This is a very creative site with artificial intelligence to guide you to authors, music, web pages that are similar to what others like. Appears to be in development yet.
Gnod - The global network of dreams

Virus Bulletin - Independent Anti-virus Advice

This is the motherlode of virus information from an apparantly independent source.

Virus Bulletin - Independent Anti-virus Advice
"Virus Bulletin started in 1989 as a magazine dedicated to providing PC users with a regular source of intelligence about computer viruses, their prevention, detection and removal, and how to recover programs and data following an attack. "

Free Excel and VBA for Excel Newsletter Archive

Free Excel and VBA for Excel Newsletter Archive

This looks like an interesting resource for Excel tips and tricks - advanced features!!

RoboForm for pc and palm

RoboForm is free for personal use and includes a Palm version which syncs with the data from your pc
"AI RoboForm
http://www.roboform.com
RoboForm is an application that serves as a password manager and a one-click Web form filler. RoboForm has a variety of useful features, including its ability to generate Secure Random Passwords, the encryption of passwords, and the synchronization of passwords to a Palm device. Additionally, RoboForm contains no adware, and is available as an add-on to such popular browsers as Internet Explorer and Mozilla. Roboform is compatible with all systems running Windows 95 and higher."

current ver is 5.2.9 (7/16/03)

US Business on Data Disaster - Recovery

"BUSINESS/TECHNOLOGY DISCONNECT ON DATA DISASTER
U.S. business executives may be a bit overly optimistic in their estimates of the impact a major data disaster would have on their operations. A survey sponsored by data storage firm EMC indicates that only 14% of senior business executives regard their company's data as very vulnerable, compared to 52% of senior IT executives. And only 9% of business execs said it would take three days or more to get back to normal following a data disaster, compared with 23% of tech executives. 'Our customers tell us that their greatest challenge isn't backing up their information -- it's recovering and resuming operations in a timely manner. We don't believe U.S. business leaders are being misled by their IT teams. Instead, it is likely a misperception that, if the data is backed up, there is no issue,' says an executive VP for EMC. Meanwhile, European executives were more in synch with their IT counterparts regarding the likely vulnerability of their data -- 40% of business executives and 44% of technology executives regarded their data as very vulnerable. (CNet News.com 11 Jul 2003) http://news.com.com/2100-1009_3-1025121.html?tag=fd_top "

QUOTES

Writing comes more easily if you have something to say.
Sholem Asch

I am personally convinced that one person can be a change
catalyst, a 'transformer' in any situation, any organization.
Such an individual is yeast that can leaven an entire loaf. It
requires vision, initiative, patience, respect, persistence,
courage and faith to be a transforming leader.
Steven R. Covey

i thank You God for most this amazing day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes
e.e.cummings


Not everything that can be counted counts; and not everything that
counts can be counted.
Albert Einstein

Ever Lost a Pen??

Yes - I remember losing my Waterman roller ball that I bought in NYC on Lexington Ave. Lost it somewhere on the ASU campus - maybe at a quiet table in the architecture library on a summer day.

NewsScan Daily: July 15, 2003
"WORTH THINKING ABOUT: PEN BEREAVEMENT
Have you ever loved a fountain pen? Where did you lose it? Writer and editor Anne Fadiman recalls the attachment many people have felt for their favorite pens:
'Pen-bereavement is a serious matter. Ten years ago, my pen disappeared into thin air. Like a jealous lover, I never took it out of the house, so I have always believed that in rebellion against its purdah it rolled into a hidden crack in my desk. A thousand times have I been tempted to tear the desk apart; a thousand times have I resisted, fearing that the pen would not be there after all and that I would have to admit that it was gone forever. For a time I haunted shops that sold secondhand pens, pathetically clutching an old writing sample and saying, 'This is the width of the line I want.' I might as well have carried a photograph of a dead lover and said, 'Find me another just like this.' Along the way I learned that my pen had been a Parker 51, circa 1945. Eventually I found one that matched mine not only in vintage but in color. But after this parvenu came home with me, it swung wantonly from scratching to sputtering, unable, despite a series of expensive repairs, to find the silken mean its predecessor had so effortless achieved. Alas, it was not the reincarnation of my former love; it was a contemptible doppelganger. Of course, I continued to write, but ever after, the feat of conjuring the first word, the first sentence, the first paragraph, has seemed more like work and less like magic.'
*** See http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0374527229/newsscancom/ref%3Dnosim/103-5049436-4415068 for Anne Fadiman's 'Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader' -- or look for it in your favorite lib"

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Channel Verdana

Interesting information about Verdana fonts - but I also like the pinhole continuous feed paper concept in the webdesign (well ok it does have page breaks!).

Channel Verdana

Comic Sans Cafe

A creative "page" based format with links on the rights to the separate pages. Creative (from 1997!) web design.

Comic Sans Cafe

AxCrypt AES-128 Encrypt/Compress/Edit

Open source example of encryption software - actively updated.

AxCrypt AES-128 Encrypt/Compress/Edit: "AxCrypt - AES-128 File Encryption, Compression and double-click Edit/View for secure document storage on Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2K/XP, locally or remote.

Copyright (C) 2002 Svante Seleborg/Axon Data, All rights reserved.

This program is free software;"

Encryption for Files, Folders, and Virtual Drives

see clipped comments on choices

InformationWeek > Fred Langa > Langa Letter: Easy Encryption > June 2, 2003: "Langa Letter: Easy Encryption June 2, 2003
Fred Langa looks at the universe of products that help you protect sensitive files and data from prying eyes and hackers.
By Fred Langa



A recent change in federal privacy laws is causing huge numbers of IT departments to examine the steps they take to keep data secure. Although the specific law affects organizations that store or process medical records--hospitals, insurance companies, human-resource departments, and so on--the change actually touches on an even larger issue, that of keeping any kind of private information truly private, as this reader letter suggests: ...."


"The tool I use most is File2File, a free Windows utility by Cryptomathic. Like many current encryption tools, it uses AES, the "Advanced Encryption Standard" with a 128-bit key. Assuming you use a good passphrase--no less than seven characters long, containing at least one number and one symbol character (e.g., punctuation), not containing your name or user name or any simple variation thereof, and not a common word or name (nothing found in a dictionary)--128-bit AES provides reasonable security for most routine needs. (For more information on generating secure passwords. see the resources at Passphrase FAQs or see the section called "Passwords And Availability" on page two of XP Professional's "Remote Control".) Cryptomathic also offers many other security tools, including more advanced E-security suites and toolboxes. "

GnuCash - Open Source Accounting Software

GnuCash - Open Source Accounting Software: "Welcome to GnuCash.org
If you've been looking for a way to manage your personal finances using Free Software, you've found it! Designed to be easy to use, yet powerful and flexible, GnuCash allows you to track bank accounts, stocks, income and expenses. As quick and intuitive to use as a checkbook register, it is based on professional accounting principles to ensure balanced books and accurate reports. GnuCash is backed by an active development community and is blossoming into a full-fledged accounting system. Developed under the GPL, you have no need to worry about obsolescence: GnuCash will be there for you. "


Interesting to find free personal finance software when Quicken and Money are so inexpensive. Makes me wonder about the motivation to develop software when competing products already swamp the marketplace.

Monday, July 14, 2003

Free & Custom Excel Templates

Free & Custom Excel Templates
I've always wondered about salability of templates - I guess here is the model.

InformationWeek > Privacy > "Privacy Appliance" Seeks To Harness Government Snooping > July 14, 2003

Big news item but the research only began in April and is expected to last 3 1/2 years! Interesting note about TIA name change from "Total" to "Terrorism" hmmm!

InformationWeek > Privacy > "Privacy Appliance" Seeks To Harness Government Snooping > July 14, 2003: "A researcher is working on a way for the government's Terrorism Information Awareness system to work without trampling individual rights.
By Matthew Fordahl, AP Technology Writer



PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) -- The Pentagon's plan to sniff out terrorists from a sea of personal data collected by the government, banks, airlines, credit card companies and other sources has been criticized as the most sweeping invasion of privacy in history.
But Teresa Lunt believes that the much-maligned Terrorism Information Awareness system can work without stomping on individual rights. The researcher has proposed--and the government is funding--the creation of a device that could watch and rein in the watchers.
Civil libertarians aren't so sure about Lunt's so-called privacy appliance, which is being developed at the famed Palo Alto Research Center, now a subsidiary of Xerox Corp., under a $3.5 million, 3-1/2-year contract awarded in April. Critics question whether it will work, and if it does, whether clever snoops can bypass it.
'One of my civil liberties nightmares is that you have a system that sounds very good with a privacy appliance, but it's got some sort of a breaker switch that in an emergency is shut off,' said Lee Tien, senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Lunt's appliance is being developed under Project Genisys, one branch of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's wide-ranging TIA program.
The appliance would be controlled by whomever owns the data, Lunt says. With the owner's permission, government analysts would submit queries to the appliances, which would filter out identif"

Corporate Governance ? - Clayton Homes, Inc. Issues Letter to Stockholders

What is the duty of a BOD - to obtain maximum value for stockholders or to protect the company? Obviously there are conflicting responsibilities where a company's major shareholder's / management wishes are at odds with shareholders who will be cashed out when the deal is done. Interesting goverance issue - others also play a part: communities who wish for stability in their local employment opportunities, tax base, etc. And even universities which may benefit from financial gains from stock sales.


Clayton Homes, Inc. Issues Letter to Stockholders: "Clayton Homes, Inc. Issues Letter to Stockholders
Sunday July 13, 9:46 pm ET
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 13, 2003--Clayton Homes, Inc. (NYSE: CMH - News):
Dear Fellow Stockholders:
We would like to eliminate any confusion surrounding Cerberus Capital Management's expression of interest in the company three business days prior to the stockholders vote on the Berkshire Hathaway offer to acquire Clayton Homes. Since the vote is scheduled for Wednesday of this week, we want to provide you with the current facts.
Some would have you believe that there is now, or that there will be, a higher offer for your stock. The fact is, there is no offer--not from Cerberus or from anyone other than Berkshire--despite the fact that since announcement of the Berkshire Hathaway offer on April 1, 2003, it has been public knowledge that superior offers could be considered by our board. I repeat, there is only one offer on the table--the Berkshire Hathaway offer of $12.50 per share in cash.
Interestingly Cerberus waited until late last Thursday to advise the company that they were considering making a proposal that could provide greater value to our stockholders than the Berkshire Hathaway transaction. Cerberus is a company that specializes in acquiring the debt and other assets of distressed companies and is acting in its own best interests. First and foremost, Cerberus has not made any sort of binding offer for our company. Cerberus simply faxed, without any prior communication, a brief letter indicating that they wanted to perform due diligence, and possibly make a superior offer to that of Berkshire.
Why did a company with a significant new investment in a competing finance company (Conseco) wait until three business days before the vote on the merger to publicly state its"

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Forms for Daily Action Plan and Plan of Action

>> Success Digest <<
Volume 8, Issue 07.2 - July 9, 2003

1. Daily Inspired Action Plan ** BRAND NEW **
Manage, direct and inspire your day with this one-sheet
planner. It will help you stay focused on the things that
matter most.

Word Format
http://SuccessNet.org/files/DailyActionPlan.doc
Daily Action Word

PDF Format
http://SuccessNet.org/files/DailyActionPlan.pdf
Daily Action PDF


2. Plan of Action Template * * NEW * *
Use for each goal to help you get clearer, stay focused and
remain in action toward what you really want.
http://SuccessNet.org/files/PofA.pdf
Plan of Action PDF

Plan of Action in MS Word Format
http://SuccessNet.org/files/PofA.doc
Plan of Action
Word
"

RFID in retail stores / clothes

NewsScan Daily: July 9, 2003

TALKING CLOTHES: HARMLESS CHIT-CHAT OR VICIOUS GOSSIP?
RFID technology (the acronym stands for 'radio frequency identification'), which embeds tiny computer chips and radio antennae into products and transmits inventory and supply-chain data to manufacturers and retailers, is being criticized by Marc Rotenberg of the Electronic Privacy Information Center: 'Simply stated, I don't think most people want their clothes spying on them. It's also clear that there could be some very invasive uses of these techniques if merchants use the tracking technology to spy on their customers after purchase.' In rebuttal, Ron Margulis of the National Grocers Association says that privacy concerns are far outweighed by the benefits of RFID, which could help retailers respond much more quickly to product recalls and prevent people from becoming ill from tainted products: 'You do give up a bit of privacy but the benefit could be that you live.' (AP/USA TODAY 9 Jul 2003) http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2003-07-08-rfid-chip_x....
WAL-MART CANCELS 'SMART-SHELF' TRIAL
Bowing to criticism from consumer privacy groups, Wal-Mart has canceled what was billed as the biggest trial yet of a so-called smart-shelf system that would use RFID sensors to pick up data transmitted by microchips in partner Gillette's product packaging. The system would then alert store managers via computer when stock was running low or when items may have been stolen. A Gillette representative declined to comment on Wal-Mart's decision, but said it plans to focus on helping UK supermarket chain Tesco and German retailer Metro conduct similar trials in Europe. Meanwhile, Wireless Data Research Group analyst Ian McPherson says privacy advocates' concerns were likely overblown: 'Consumers that"

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Stephen Marq - International Steinway Piano Artist

Stephen Marq - International Steinway Piano Artist: "With the release of 'Time With You,' his second CD, he was telephoned by Steinway & Sons Pianos, in New York, requesting his portfolio and a sample of his music compositions. Upon hearing 'Time With You', he was added to the Distinguished International Roster of Steinway Piano Artists, including Billy Joel, Harry Connick, Jr., George Winston, Bobby McFerrin, Roger Williams-- Stephen's inspiration as a young boy, and classical artists all over the world."

Privacy statements on web sites (Chey & Stephen Cobb)

NewsScan Daily: July 8, 2003

"SAFE & SOUND IN THE CYBER AGE WITH CHEY & STEPHEN COBB
This week, security consultants Chey and Stephen Cobb devote their NewsScan Daily column to the question: 'Guess Who's Got To Do Better?'
*
Does your company Web site contain statements that assure consumers any personal information they impart to you will be secure and protected? Do you visit Web sites that offer such assurances? Well, those assurances had better be more than mere words, otherwise the Federal Trade Commission may come knocking. Which is good news for consumers, on whose behalf the FTC has become an Internet security watchdog with teeth.
And it's also good news for companies that go the extra mile to get security right. The FTC has now established, very firmly, that it is not only unfair for competitors to gain an edge by skimping on the security budget, it is also illegal. The FTC accomplished this with three landmark settlements, the third of which was handed down last month, although the decision was somewhat eclipsed by excitement over the commission's Do Not Call list.
The first of these settlements was with Eli Lilly (see NewsScan, December 12, 2002) and we should point out that Stephen and his colleagues at ePrivacy Group assisted the FTC in that case, helping to assess the problem and determine what form the settlement should take. That case involved the inadvertent disclosure of PII or personally identifiable information (specifically the email addresses of persons who had expressed and interest in Prozac). The second of the three cases was Microsoft, which was not accused of exposing PII, but"

NewsScan Daily: July 8, 2003 THUMBNAIL IMAGE LINKING IS FAIR USE

NewsScan Daily: July 8, 2003

"COURT SAYS THUMBNAIL IMAGE LINKING IS FAIR USE
A federal appeals court ruled that a search engine's display of miniature images of copyrighted works is allowed under fair use, upholding a similar ruling in February 2002. The plaintiff in the case, photographer Leslie Kelly, had sued image search engine firm Arriba Soft over thumbnail images of her works that were accessible via Arriba's Ditto.com search engine. Yesterday's decision, however, failed to confirm the legality of displaying full-size images in search results -- a practice known as in-line linking or framing -- and that case is now ordered to go to trial. 'As to the first action (on thumbnails), the district court correctly found that Arriba's use was fair. However, as to the second action, we conclude that the district court should not have reached the issue because neither party moved for summary judgment as to the full-size images,' according to the opinion. The framing technique is used by a number of visual search engines, including Google, Lycos and AltaVista. Nevertheless, the ruling was viewed as a victory by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which had filed a brief in favor of Arriba. 'Web site owners can rest a bit easier about linking to copyrighted materials online,' said an EFF staff attorney. 'By revising its ruling, the court removed a copyright iceberg from the main shipping lanes of the World Wide Web.' (CNet News.com 7 Jul 2003) http://news.com.com/2100-1025_3-1023629.html?tag=lh "

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Mother Goose & Grimm
Comics archive
AWStats - Free log file analyzer for advanced statistics (GNU GPL).

Use this log file analyzer for the Agile server and for the Faith Lutheran website to analyze traffice. The Agile server logs should be "full" and have lots of data to analyze. I wonder if I can automate the retreival of the logs from the Yahoo server every 14 days for Faith??
First post of a new blog - not very interesting, but when has it ever been interesting to establish initial settings? My intent is to use this private blog hosted on blogspot to link with the "blog this" on the new Google toolbar.