Spam takes bad spelling to new depths

November 21st, 2008

Just quickly scanning my spam box for any ham (there's rarely any in there) and came across this:

A top team of British scientists and medical doctors have worked to developp the state-of-the-art Peqis Enlargemknt Patgh deliveery system which automatically increasess penns size up to 3-4 full inches.

The patches are the easiest and must effegtive way to increasee }our penis size.

You won't havei to take pills, get under the kniife to perform exphnsivh and very painful surgery, use any pumps or otherr devices.

No one will ever find out thaat you are using our product.

Just applyy one patch on your bodyy and wjar it for 3 days and you willl start noticing dramatic resuIts.

Millions of men are taking advantagee of this revolutionary new product - Don't be left behmnd!

Which brings me back to a question I Asked a few days ago - who falls for this crap?

Upgrading to Intel’s Core i7

November 21st, 2008

Question from today's mailbag ...

Will the new Intel Core i7 fit on my Core 2 Quad motherboard? Will I need a BIOS update?

You'll need more than a BIOS update to make the Core i7 work. In fact you'll need a new motherboard. The reason is that Intel has, after several years of using the Socket LGA775 changed to a new socket - Socket 1366.

Not only is the new CPU bigger (as you can see from this image) but it has more pads on the bottom (remember, Intel CPUs don't have pins on the CPU like AMD, they're built into the socket instead). So no, the CPUs aren't interchangeable.

On top of that, unless you are using DDR3 RAM, you will need to buy new RAM to go with the new motherboard.

Taking the cheap route, here's what an upgrade will cost:

  • Core i7 920 2.66GHz | Price: ~$320
  • X58 Platinum | Price: ~$220
  • 2GB DDR3 RAM | Price: ~$75

Minimum upgrade price: ~$615

For more info on what you need to upgrade to the Core i7, see this post.

Microsoft OneCare to be replaced by free security product

November 21st, 2008

Some of you seem concerned by the news that Microsoft is planning to replace the OneCare security service with a free security product. Time for a quick Q&A ...

Q: Is my OneCare going to suddenly become useless and will I be left with no antivirus?
A: No. OneCare will continue to work for now. According to Microsoft it will discontinue selling new subscriptions during 2009. For now, everything is as normal and your protection won't vanish overnight!

Q: When's this free product going to be released?
A: The information I have so far says "the second half of 2009."

Q: Will this just be OneCare but without the price?
A: Not according to Microsoft. Here's what Amy Barzdukas, senior director of product management at Microsoft, had to say:

This offering is not a free version of Windows Live OneCare. “Morro” represents a new offering that is designed in response to market changes and consumer needs. We hear from consumers that they need core malware protection in low-bandwidth scenarios, or that will run on less powerful machines. That's why we will design “Morro” to have a smaller footprint and to use fewer computing resources.

Note that "Morro" is Microsoft's code-name for this new product.

Q: What will this free product protect out PCs from?
A: Microsoft says it will provide protection from a variety of threats, including viruses, spyware, rootkits and Trojans.

Q: Will this mean I won't have to buy an antivirus program?
A: Hard to tell at this stage, but I'm guessing that this new offering from Microsoft will be pretty basic.

Holiday stuff …

November 21st, 2008

That time of year when we bring trees indoors, put up lights and foil, and generally eat and drink too much is just around the corner. It's also the time of year when I'm inundated by requests for gift lists and tech gift ideas.

Well this year, rather than take my usual scatter-gun approach to this most important to topic, I've decided to put together a whole raft of posts for ZDNet covering Holiday gift ideas from different angles.

So far, I've published two posts:

Both these lists are crammed with great hardware upgrade ideas, ranging from a $1,000 Core i7 processor, to $15 RAM modules!

Here's an excerpt:

As of Monday this week, the high-end processor list is dominated by Intel's new Core i7 range of processors.

Core i7 component gallery

The Core i7 processors represents a new era in architecture for Intel. Gone is the LGA 775 socket, instead replaced by the larger Socket LGA 1366.

The Core i7 processors currently come in two flavors and three clock speeds:

  • Core i7 920 2.66GHz | Street price: ~$320
  • Core i7 940 2.93GHz | Street price: ~$600
  • Core i7 965 “Extreme Edition” 3.2GHz | Street price: ~$1,070

With the Core i7 Intel has also reintroduced Hyper-Threading, giving the desktop CPUs the power of eight virtual cores. You also get the brand new X58 chipset and support for DDR3.

How can I put how powerful the Core i7 processors are in context? Well, let's put it this way. the lowest speed Core i7 (the 920) is faster in almost every benchmark than the previous CPU speed-king, the Core 2 Extreme QX9770.

I'll be posting more lists over the coming days, so stay tuned!

November’s Patch Tuesday

November 11th, 2008

Two patches from Microsoft this Path Tuesday:


  • Microsoft Security Bulletin MS08-069
    Vulnerabilities in Microsoft XML Core Services Could Allow Remote Code Execution (955218)
    This security update resolves several vulnerabilities in Microsoft XML Core Services. The most severe vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user viewed a specially crafted Web page using Internet Explorer. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.


  • Microsoft Security Bulletin MS08-068
    Vulnerability in SMB Could Allow Remote Code Execution (957097)
    This security update resolves a publicly disclosed vulnerability in Microsoft Server Message Block (SMB) Protocol. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution on affected systems. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.