Archive for June, 2007

Had a blast yesterday!

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

I had a blast yesterday - we spent several enjoyable few hours chucking various cases (from Stormcase, Otterbox, Peli and Seahorse) over a 90ft cliff and capturing the action on video.  It was a great deal of fun and the results were interesting (and spectacular).  We also answer the question "can you throw an egg off a 90ft and have it survive?"

I'll post the results of this test (and a few others) in a couple of days when we've had time to sort through the video and photos!

Fake Microsoft Office security warning email

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

Be on the lookout for a fake Microsoft security bulletin email making the rounds:

If you (or someone you know) receives an e-mail about a zero-day exploit affecting Microsoft Outlook do not, under any circumstances, click on the links embedded in the message. It’s a phishing scam folks. The Security Bulletin (MS07-0065) it points to doesn’t exist. And just because it can never be said too often, I’ll say it again here. Microsoft does not alert users to security issues via e-mail. Ever. That’s what Windows Update is for. Details from Sophos are available here.

How do I remove VirusHeal?

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

Over the past week I've had a few questions along the lines of:

Question: How do I remove something called VirusHeal from my PC?

Here's how ...

The deal with VirusHeal is that it's a rebranded version of a rogue antispyware apps - specifically SpyHeal and SpywareQuake.  What VirusHeal does is offer a free antispyware scanner and then fake the discovery of spyware on the PC and then try to get the user to pay for a removal program.

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To manually remove VirusHeal you have to do a bit of work.  You have to kill a few processes, delete a few registry keys, unregister a few DLL files and delete a few files and folders.

  1. You'll need to start off by killing a few processes.  You can do this by starting up Windows Task Manager (right-click on the Taskbar and choose Task Manager).  Then find the following process (don't worry if you can't find them all, that's normal) and right-click on them and choose End Process:
    - Virusheal.exe
    - Virusheal 3.7.exe
  2. You now need to find and remove the following registry entries:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\"VirusHeal 3.7" = ""%ProgramFiles%\VirusHeal 3.7\VirusHeal 3.7.exe" /h"
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\RFC1156Agent\CurrentVersion\Parameters\"TrapPollTimeMilliSecs" = "3A98"
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\VirusHeal 3.7.exe
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\VirusHeal 3.7
    To fire up the Registry Editor click Start > Run (or press they Windows key and R on Vista). Type in regedit into the field and click on the OK.  Then use the tree in the left-hand pane to navigate down the the appropriate registry entry and then right-click on the rogue entry and select DeleteBe careful!  Making erroneous changes to the registry can be bad for your system!
    Again, don't worry if you can't find them all.
  3. You now need to unregister a few DLL files.  To do this click Start > Run (or press they Windows key and R on Vista). Type in cmd into the field and click on the OK. Now, into the Command Prompt window that appears type the following lines, pressing ENTER after each line:
    regsvr32 /u msvcp71.dll
    regsvr32 /u msvcr71.dll|
  4. Finally, find and delete the following files:
    - Virusheal.exe
    - VirusHeal 3.7.exe
    - antispy.vh
    - msvcp71.dll
    - msvcr71.dll
    And the following folders:
    - Virusheal
    - VirusHeal 3.7
    Again, don't worry if you can't find them all.

After this kind of infection it's also a good idea to downloads and install an effective antivirus program (such as Kaspersky Anti-Virus 6.0).  To get a massive 15% off Kaspersky Anti-Virus 6.0 buy it using the link above and when prompted use this coupon code: DOC-IJJE

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iPhone reviews hit the web

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

Planning on standing in line Friday to get an iPhone?  Then you want to read the initial reviews which have hit the net.

To be honest, I was expecting the reviews to change my mind about the iPhone and make me want a phone that's going to cost me $2,000 over two years.   They didn't change my mind, in fact, now that the initial reviews are out the iPhone has become the iYawn as far as I'm concerned.

Technically, the iPhone is a marvelous achievement, but as with the PS3, it’s not just what’s crammed into the gadget that matters, it’s how it’s implemented.  The other day I mentioned how I thought that the iPhone was a convergence device, well, these initial review back this up.  Worse still, it’s a device that’s works hard to convince you that the things that it can do well are actually what’s important to you in a cellphone.  Of course you don’t want 3G, a GPS, MMS messaging and a removable battery, what you actually want is a touch-screen iPod hybrid that allows you to view YouTube videos and surf Google Maps and be stuck with AT&T as a provider.  What makes this situation worse is that the block on running third-party apps means that you’re stuck with Apple’s view of what a cellphone should be and have little hope of seeing choice.  For years Apple has accused Microsoft of being inflexible and dictating to customers what they need, well, with the iPhone Apple’s doing exactly the same thing.

Overall, I’m disappointed.  When I look at the iPod of the MacBook, I see real cutting-edge innovation.  Sure, you can buy cheaper but it’s hard to buy better.  The iPhone lacks this cutting-edge feel and is missing key cellphone features present if phones which cost less than half the price Apple expects you to pay for the iPhone.  It’s not a tool, it’s a shiny bauble.

How much will the iPhone cost?

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

Want an iPhone?  Here's what the plans will cost you:

iPhone plan prices

  • $59.99 buys you
    - 450 minutes
    - Unlimited data
    - 200 SMS messages
    - 5000 night/weekend minutes
  • $79.99 buys you
    - 900 minutes
    - Unlimited data
    - 200 SMS messages
    - Unlimited night/weekend minutes
  • $99.99 buys you
    - 1350 minutes
    - Unlimited data
    - 200 SMS messages
    - Unlimited night/weekend minutes

1500 SMS text messages will cost an extra US$10 per month and unlimited SMS will cost an extra US$20 per month.