Thursday, March 26, 2009

Free Microsoft support for Windows XP, Office 2003 ends next month

Microsoft will end official free support for Windows XP Home Edition and Microsoft Office 2003 on April 14th. That doesn't mean the help center on your computer will stop working, but you won't be able to get free answers to your questions from Microsoft anymore. You will be able to pay for extended support for both products through 2014.

Microsoft will also continue providing free security-related hotfixes to non-subscribing customers. So unless you frequently make calls to Microsoft support, the April 14th deadline might not really affect you.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My son John

I talked to my son John last evening. John is on leave right now and is at my parents house in Port Orange, FL until Saturday when he will return to base in Mayport, FL, as most of you know John is an OS3 on the USS Doyle. My Dad picked him up yesterday morning and is going to store his stuff while his ship is on deployment. Here are some pictures that my parents sent last night.

Monday, March 16, 2009

20 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Time

The beginning, the end, and the funny habits of our favorite ticking force.

Wonder why you have to set your clock ahead in March? Daylight Saving Time began as a joke by Benjamin Franklin, who proposed waking people earlier on bright summer mornings so they might work more during the day and thus save candles. It was introduced in the U.K. in 1917 and then spread around the world.

Read the rest at

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Good morning, It looks like a great weather week

Good morning, It looks like a great weather week here in South East Kansas with temps in the 70s for several days. It will be nice to be able to turn off the heat and open the windows and doors for a few days. :) I talked to my son John this morning on WLM and he played some songs that he was learning on his keyboard and I got to see his barracks room in Mayport, FL via Webcam. It was nice to see him. John is going to the mall today with some friends. We hope to find out if John will be able to come visit us this month in the next day to two. His ship is going out next month sometime for six months. That's about all for know. I am just finishing up my pot of coffee and listening to music. Hope everyone has a great day.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

It's PDF Patching Day

It's PDF Patching Day

Get the patches while they are hot:

Update Foxit Reader if you have it already.

Update Adobe Reader if you still have it.

APSB09-03 - Security Updates available for Adobe Reader 9 and Acrobat 9


A critical vulnerability has been identified in Adobe Reader

9 and Acrobat 9 and earlier versions. This vulnerability would cause the application to crash and could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system.

There are reports that this issue is being exploited.

Adobe recommends users of Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9 update to Adobe Reader 9.1 and Acrobat 9.1. Adobe is planning to make available updates for Adobe Reader 7 and 8, and Acrobat 7 and 8, by March 18. In addition, Adobe plans to make available Adobe Reader 9.1 for Unix by March 25.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Firefox 3.0.7 targets security issues

Mozilla on Wednesday released an update to the Firefox Web browser that its developers said fixes eight security issues found in Firefox 3.0.6, six of which were rated critical.

The most serious of the vulnerabilities fixed in Version 3.0.7 could allow attackers to run arbitrary code on a victim's computer, Mozilla warned in security advisories Wednesday.

The six critical flaws affected the browser's garbage collection, which monitors how Firefox modules use the computer's memory, as well as the browser's PNG libraries and in the layout and JavaScript engines.

Firefox 3.0.7 fixes several issues found in Firefox 3.0.6:

* Fixed several security issues.
* Fixed several stability issues.
* Official releases for the Estonian, Kannada, and Telugu languages are now available.
* Items in the "File" menu show as inactive after using the "Print" item from that menu - switching to a new tab restores them (bug 425844). This issue has been fixed.
*For some users, cookies would appear to go “missing” after a few days (bug 444600).
* Mac users of the Flashblock add-on, experienced an issue where sound from the Flash plug-in would continue to play for a short time after closing a tab or window (bug 474022).
* Fixed several issues related to accessibility features.

Mozilla developers said they weren't sure the layout and JavaScript flaws could be exploited.

"Some of these crashes showed evidence of memory corruption under certain circumstances and we presume that with enough effort at least some of these could be exploited to run arbitrary code," Mozilla said in an advisory.

Updates for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux are available at the Mozilla site. Firefox 3 users will receive an update notification within 48 hours, or they can download the update manually by selecting "Check for Updates" from the Help menu.

The update, Mozilla's second this year, comes as Firefox continues to chip away at Internet Explorer's market dominance. Mozilla now has 21.77 percent of the global browser market share, compared with IE's 67.44 percent, a drop of more than 7 percentage points in a year.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Obama said, buying stocks now may be a "good deal."

President Obama told Americans to take a look at investing in the stock market yesterday afternoon, a remarkable utterance for an American president, especially as the Dow Jones Industrial Average proceeds on its course Southward.

"What you're now seeing is profit and earning ratios are starting to get to the point where buying stocks is a potentially good deal if you've got a long-term perspective on it," the president said on a day that trading continued to hover under 7,000.

The president predicted that Americans' consumer confidence would improve as they see the stimulus bill "taking root."

So in my opinion if you voted for and trust President Obama go and buy stocks and help boost our economy.... As for me, I voted for the other guy....

The Senate voted overwhelmingly to preserve thousands of earmarks in a $410 billion spending bill on Tuesday, brushing aside Sen. John McCain's claim that President Barack Obama and Congress are merely conducting business as usual in a time of economic hardship.

McCain's attempt to strip out an estimated 8,500 earmarks failed on a vote of 63-32. The Arizona senator's proposal also would have cut roughly $32 billion from the measure and kept spending at last year's levels in several federal agencies.

While Republican opposition in the House focused more on the bill's overall spending, McCain and allies turned the Senate spotlight squarely on earmarks.

"How does anyone justify some of these earmarks: $1.7 million for pig odor research in Iowa; $2 million 'for the promotion of astronomy' in Hawaii; $6.6 million for termite research in New Orleans; $2.1 million for the Center for Grape Genetics in New York," he said.

He also noted the legislation includes 14 earmarks requested by lawmakers for projects sought by PMA Group, a lobbying company at the center of a federal corruption investigation.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Square Root Day revelers to party like it's 3/3/09

Count on today's alignment of the calendar to add some excitement to the lives of at least a few math geeks.

Today is Square Root Day, a rare holiday that occurs when the day and the month are both the square root of the last two digits of the current year. Numerically, March 3, 2009, can be expressed as 3/3/09, or mathematically as √9 = 3, or 3² = 3 × 3 = 9.

"These days are like calendar comets, you wait and wait and wait for them, then they brighten up your day and poof they're gone," Ron Gordon, a Redwood City, Calif., teacher who organized a contest intended to publicize the event, told the Associated Press. The prize, or course, is $339.

Celebrants are expected to mark the occasion by cutting root vegetables into squares or preparing other foods in the shape of the square root symbol.

Square Root Day occurs only nine times in a century. The last one occurred on February 2, 2004, and the next will occur in seven years on April 4, 2016.

Square Root Day isn't the only humorous holiday celebrated in the math world.

Pi Day is observed each March 14 (3.14), while Pi Approximation Day falls on July 22 (roughly equal to 22/7). The first Pi Day was observed in 1988 by staff at the San Francisco Exploratorium, who walked around in circles.

Monday, March 02, 2009

President's Helicopter Blueprints Leaked to Iran Via P2P

President Obama isn't very excited about his fancy new helicopter, but that's not his fault, he just hasn't seen its super-neat blueprints yet, because he's not allowed to have Limewire.

Right, I'll back up for a second. The embattled chopper(s)—under fire for their cost and alleged foreign manufacture have been trotted out by republicans as an example of government spending spun out of control. Just as that controversy seemed to be subsiding, reports surfaced that the blueprints and avionics package for Marine One have been leaked over a peer-to-peer network, to Iran. Oops?

The leak wasn't at all intentional, unless you consider trusting technical illiterates with such sensitive material "intentional". No, the leak happened because an employee at a unnamed defense contractor (The Register thinks it's Lockheed) accidentally stored the files in a P2P folder, or, and this is more likely, just set his entire hard drive to share. Before long, the files had been uploaded to ~~xOsamaFanIran74x~~ and the intelligence community fell into a tizzy, all because some guy wanted to catch up on Big Love during his lunch break. In an interview with WXPI, Wesley Clark summed up the situation—and then, hilariously, the internet—for all of us:

We found where this information came from. We know exactly what computer it came from. I'm sure that person is embarrassed and may even lose their job, but we know where it came from and we know where it went. Once it's out there, it's hard to get it back. I don't think the full ramifications of this have been understood by the watchdog agencies.

Read more at DSL reports

US Contractor Follows Japanese Example: Leaks Military Secrets Via P2P

Nearly four years ago, it was reported that a contractor in Japan who had plans for a nuclear power station leaked them via a file sharing app on his personal computer. It was never clearly explained why he had those classified work-related materials on his personal computer, but it led to quite a mess, with the government begging people to delete the nuclear secrets, if they found them. You would hope that with that as a guide, other government and military contractors around the world would be more careful. No such luck. Apparently no one takes things like basic computer security seriously anymore.

A step by step narration about the evolution of Internet

Ever wondered how the Internet evolved? I'm sure the answer is yes, almost all of us at some point of time wanted to know this. This 8 minutes and 10 seconds long video will roughly reply all your queries you ever came across, regarding the evolution of Internet.

Microsoft offers a simple online tool to help evaluate the functionality of routers.

The Internet Connectivity Evaluation Tool checks your Internet router to see if it supports certain technologies. You can use this tool on a PC running either the Windows Vista or Windows XP operating system. If you're planning to run Windows Vista, this tool can verify whether your existing Internet router supports advanced features, such as improved download speeds and face-to-face collaboration using Windows Meeting Space.

The tool is intended to be run from a home network behind a home Internet (NAT) router. Running this tool from behind a corporate firewall or on operating systems other than those specified above won't produce accurate results. This tool requires administrator privileges to run.

The tests can require up to 10 minutes to complete and do not make any permanent changes to your router. For the most accurate results, your computer should be connected directly to your Internet router, using a wired connection.

Note Although it is unlikely, testing might interrupt your Internet connectivity or cause your router to stop responding. If you require uninterrupted Internet access at this time (for example, if you are in the middle of downloading a large file, bidding on a time-sensitive Internet auction, or playing an online game), you should wait and do this testing at another time