Archive for July, 2006

Live Messenger Yahoo Contacts Bug

Thursday, July 20th, 2006

Windows Live Messenger now allows you to add your Yahoo contacts too – great news!  

One bug I’ve found with it is if your Yahoo contact is in the UK, then Live Messenger seems to think they have a .com email address rather than address, and although you can chat with your Yahoo contact just fine, if you send email to them at that address it gets bounced.

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Blackmail Pop-ups? Whatever next…

Wednesday, July 19th, 2006

I was on earlier looking for a link for a class I’m teaching, when I got this popup: popup screenshot - click for larger image 
[click for larger image] 

What caught my eye with this one was the language … Sure it’s not the first such popup to say it’s tracked all the adult sites it says I’ve visited (which I must point out indignantly, I haven’t, but that’s not the point) this is the first one I’ve seen that seems to be quite so blatant in threatening to compromise my career and my marriage.  Should I be expecting the cyber equivalent of some 50s private eye in a trench-coat to come sidling up to me armed with a brown paper envelope and saying in a husky voice that he’s ‘got the negatives’ some time soon?? 

Hmmmm.  It’s certainly taking on a different tone … but then psychology and social engineering are the greatest tools in the hackers, spammers, and online scammers’ arsenal these days, praying on our fears, weaknesses, greed and guilty consciences too. 

Another issue I have with this type of popup appearing on a legitimate site is that it is aiming to trick you into thinking it’s a legitimate error message from Windows.  I expect you’ve seen this type of popup before, but where do you click to get rid of it?  If you’re suckered into thinking it’s a Windows message (and you don’t have a guilty conscience about having visited any adult sites lately) then cancel will probably be your first choice or the red X ‘Close’ button.  In this instance both of these take you to the software that tries to download on to your computer, as does the OK button. So once you’re in  there’s no way out.  Better double check the popup blocker’s on!

I’ve gotta say I’m really not impressed with having these type of ads.  I’ve linked to them many times in the past from online classes and blogs, but I won’t be doing so in future …

Update: Adrian checked it out and he got a different popup and get this actually downloaded a trojan onto his PC.  Definitely off my list of sensible trustworthy sites!

Back from my blog Vacation…

Thursday, July 13th, 2006

OK so I didn’t actually go anywhere.  Just didn’t feel like blogging.  But just because I didn’t feel like blogging, didn’t mean I wasn’t thinking about blogging, just that the words never made the conversion from brain to keyboard. 

So what have I been doing?  I built a new PC, which I’m very pleased with.  Well I love the performance I’m not overly in love with the case.  It comes with a smart door on the front to hide up the drives and the on switch etc, but I’m not overly big on appearances, so I whipped the door off so that I could get to the DVD drive easier and the combined card reader, temperature & fan monitor, USB & firewire port that I installed.

It’s been good to be goofing off for a few weeks while I installed everything as well as putting the system through some hard-core Oblivion benchmarking!  

(currently leading a couple of video and digital photography classes over at CNET )

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