Links for the Week of April 20, 2009

Lot of catching up to do this week. Here goes…

Get 9 free audiobook MP3s from Barnes & Noble from CNet

Heard any good books lately? Here’s your chance to hear eight short stories from well-known authors and one complete novel from no less than Mark Twain, all free for the download.

Newly remastered Bob Dylan CDs from CNet

Just received four remastered Bob Dylan albums, "New Morning," "Before the Flood," "The Basement Tapes," and "Dylan and the Dead" to explore. Nice!

Is Twittering safe? from Dana Epp’s ramblings at the Sanctuary

Dana Epp’s 5 Rules of Safer Twittering

  • Never share information in a tweet that you wouldn’t share with the world.
  • There is no assurance that a Twitter account is the person you believe it is.
  • Never click on links in a tweet, unless you trust the URL.
  • Use a 3rd party Twitter client instead of using the website directly.
  • You never know who is following you. Remember that.

Project Server 2007: Service pack 2 (SP2) Webcasts from Brian Smith’s Project Support WebLog

Next week, on April 28th,  Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Microsoft Office System – including Project and Project Server 2007 will be released, along with SP2 for all the other office applications, including Office SharePoint Server and also WSS.  We have a couple of webcasts organized on the morning of the 29th and the evening of the 30th which hopefully allow us to cover most time zones.  Join Adrian Jenkins and Christophe Fiessinger as they give an overview of this important release, best practices for deployment and also time for questions and answers. 

Please note we will deliver the same webcast twice to accommodate different time zones, we will also record these webcast and will make them available on EPMConnect:

  • Wednesday April 29, from 8-9 am Pacific Time
  • Thursday April 30, from 5-6 pm Pacific Time

Meeting URL

Dilbert Comic for April 19, 2009


Reminds me I need to send off for my Verizon Wireless $50 rebate.

Network Monitor 3.3 has arrived! from Network Monitor

Ladies and gentlemen … the Microsoft Network monitor team is excited to announce the release of Network Monitor 3.3. A record 7 months after version 3.2 this is our quickest release ever, but also one of our most functionality-rich. We have added some innovative features that will simplify your network troubleshooting needs. As always, we have also continued to fix bugs and improve the product in those little but important ways.


I just ran a speed test using from my old desktop. Not Bad:

Average was 15.43 Mb/s down and 1.90 Mb/s up.

Run from my new fast laptop with Gbit network I/F I got up to 59 Mb/s down (avg. 25.49). 

5 Minute Security Assessment from Information Security Short Takes by Bozidar Spirovski

A security assessment is a big deal. It takes a lot of time, requires a good chunk of budget since it is done by independent consultants and the outcome is at best ‘OK, but could be better’.

For all these reasons, as well as some egoistic ones which won’t be mentioned here, a lot of companies avoid hiring a security consultant and doing this assessment.
While the real thing may take time, budget lobbying and guts to admit that you are not perfect, here is a very fast self-assessment which will give you a feeling where are you standing. You can do this assessment on your own time, and no one needs to know the outcome.

Project Spectrum: recognizing the talents of children with autism from Official Google Blog

A couple of years ago, the Google SketchUp team began hearing from a new group of users — people on the autism spectrum. After consulting with some experts, we learned the connection between autism and SketchUp isn’t particularly surprising. Many people on the autism spectrum have visual and spatial strengths, and 3D design software plays to them. With this in mind, we started a program called Project Spectrum.

As part of Autism Awareness Month in April, we’ve launched a new webpage showcasing some great SketchUp artists (Rachel, Jeremy, JP and others). We’ve also created a Getting Started with Google SketchUp video for anyone who wants to learn the basic tools to start modeling. More of the Project Spectrum models can be seen in the Google 3D Warehouse collection. Watch the video below to hear the story behind Project Spectrum and meet some of the kids involved…

Detecting UPnP With Nessus & PVS from Tenable Network Security by Paul Asadoorian

Conficker Attacks UPnP

The Conficker worm behavior has been analyzed by many security professionals who have shared their findings with the community (the paper from SRI is a great example). One of the common findings is that Conficker will connect to the local route/gateway via UPnP and make changes to the firewall, if the firewall supports unauthenticated UPnP. If so, it uses UPnP to open a high numbered port in the firewall, allowing access to that port from the Internet. It then opens the same port on the infected host, and uses it to distribute the worm further across Internet. The use of UPnP as well as insecure UPnP devices can be detected by Tenable’s Nessus and PVS products.

Auditing Linux, Apache, & MySQL Against CIS Benchmarks from Tenable Network Security by Paul Asadoorian

Stacking Up to CIS Benchmarks

The Center for Internet Security (CIS) establishes consensus benchmarks for a large variety of applications and operating systems. These benchmarks are a valuable aid to evaluate the security of your systems. Tenable has produced a number of Nessus audit files that have been certified by the Center for Internet Security to perform audits against the CIS standards. These audit files are available to ProfessionalFeed and Security Center customers through the the Tenable Support Portal.

D-Link Release HD MediaBridge DXN-221 Ethernet to Coaxial Networking Kit from We Got Served by Terry Walsh

Previewed at CES 2009, The D-Link HD MediaBridge Starter Kit (DXN-221) comes with two adaptors, each with a wired Ethernet port and coaxial F-type connector for bridging the two adaptors together. You simply connect one of the adaptors to your router and a nearby coaxial outlet, and the second between the network device and another coaxial outlet.

dxn221 back D Link Release HD MediaBridge DXN 221 Ethernet to Coaxial Networking Kit

The D-Link HD MediaBridge Starter Kit (DXN-221) is available now at $239.99

More Info: D-Link

Microsoft Office Word 2007 "DAISY Translator" Add-in Updated: Save as MP3 from The Road to Know Where

Microsoft & the DAISY Consortium have released their second version of the DAISY Translator for Microsoft Office Word supporting users with disabilities. (Thanks Gray)

QUOTE – Michael Hingson, the President of The Hingson Group: "The DAISY navigation system is one of the most significant developments to be made available since the development of Braille. DAISY allows people who are blind to move around recorded and electronic documents easily and seamlessly in a way so far only available to sighted readers."

–> Download "DAISY Translator" Add-in for Word 2007

Products and Families and Versions – Oh, My! from Oracle E-Business Suite Technology by Steven Chan

I spend a depressing amount of time explaining the relationships between Oracle marketing brands, products, product families, versions, and patchsets to customers as well as internal Oracle staff.  You’re confused too?  Don’t worry, you’re not alone.  Here’s a cheatsheet for the things I spend the most time explaining…

MSBlogs – Directory covering all different Microsoft technologies from Brian Smith’s Project Support WebLog by BriSmith

As Project uses an extensive range of Microsoft technologies many of you will often need information on SQL Server, SharePoint, Windows Server and beyond.  A great source of blog sites covering virtually all Microsoft technologies is  I’ve also added a link to my site – so if you read this and forget the URL, then go to the links rather than searching for this posting.  Another great resource on this same site is a directory of free downloads and free online services from Microsoft –  I left the word “free” out of my title to avoid spam filtering of my RSS feed, but have probably used the word too often and this might end up there anyway.

Thanks to Daniel Good for this really excellent resource!

Steve Mullen has been involved in information technology for over 35 years. He is also actively involved in the music program (voice and English hand bells) and Vestry of St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Damascus, MD.

Posted in Autism, Bob Dylan, D-Link, Dilbert, IT Security, Microsoft, Microsoft Project, Microsoft Project 2007, Nessus, network, Oracle, Security

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