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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Jul 4, 2005 (Vol. 10, #27 - Issue #532)
Is Microsoft Buying The Claria Adware Company?
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • Live In the USA? Happy Independence Day
    • Is Microsoft Buying The Claria Adware Company?
    • Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
    • Remote Desktop Settings
    • USB Flash Drive Manager For XP
    • Microsoft Offers Final W2K Server Rollup. Get It!
    • Protecting The Enterprise From Disaster With AD
    • Best Practices: Desktop Disaster Recovery
    • Does Your Company Send E-Newsletters? Legal Alert
    • SUS: No More Downloads, But Updates Till June 6, 2006
    • Microsoft's Website Does Have Compliance Covered
    • Some Spyware "Did You Know?" Ammo Items
    • PC World August 2005 Confirms: CounterSpy Wins
  6. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
    • Tom and Deb Shinder's Configuring ISA Server 2004
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Live In the USA? Happy Independence Day

This W2Knews is officially the July 4-th issue, but we send it on the Friday before, so you can read it over the weekend. Hope all of you have a good long weekend without downtime at the office, and time to see War Of The Worlds, Awesome movie.

And now back to work! The eMarketer site has a good writeup on spyware -- with nifty charts and graphs. eMarketer always does nice high-level overviews of various issues. This latest report from them highlights the spyware issue and you can use this data as ammo to get budget, as a whopping 87% states they have experienced productivity losses. Here is a link to the graphs:

The Radicati Group also just came out with a new report that shows the administrative cost of dealing with spyware-infected computers will reach about $265 per user in 2005. Check here:

Is Microsoft Buying The Claria Adware Company?

Now here is something that baffles me. I hear noises that in its feverish quest to beat Google, Redmond seems to have gone nuts. I can hardly believe my ears, but it seems for the last two weeks, Microsoft has been in talks to buy Claria (formerly known as Gator and one of the most hated companies in the world). A year ago BillG railed against spyware, but now SteveB seems to be trying hard to become part of the problem instead.

Claria is widely penetrated (40 million PC infected) and nasty piece of adware. Microsoft's own antispyware beta tags the Claria code and removes it!! What's even worse, allegedly they were willing to pay 500 Million bucks for it. Why? It's the world's largest database of personalized data on the surfing behavior of those 40 million people. Shadows of Big Brother...

Let me get this right...umm, they say that spyware is bad. They buy Giant company and give away antispyware beta code for free. OK, I get it up to here. Now they plan to buy one of the largest adware outfits on the planet for half a billion?? I'm suddenly totally lost. It's wrong from so many angles I don't know where to start!

Steve Ballmer can't be serious by rewarding an adware outfit for their unethical behavior and the aggravation they cause. What message does this send to the rest of the spyware industry?

Fortunately, it looks like at least a few people in Redmond have kept their sanity, as there seems to be internal opposition to this deal. Perhaps these rebels leaked it to the media? Keep up the good fight, you few remaining Redmond heroes that are PR-savvy and have not gone to the dark side. Microsoft, please say it ain't so...

Quotes Of The Week:
"Do or do not. There is no try."-- Yoda
"Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance." --Will Durant

Warm regards,
Stu Sjouwerman (email me with feedback: [email protected])


Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without


Remote Desktop Settings

If you use remote desktop, you sometimes need to connect to the console session. Here's a way through the RDP settings file to do just that. Quite useful:

USB Flash Drive Manager For XP

You may have missed it, but Microsoft released a utility that helps Manage flash drives. You can copy files to and from flash drives; create backups, configure autorun capabilities, and store wireless configuration settings.

Microsoft Offers Final W2K Server Rollup. Get It!

Microsoft last week released a final security rollup for W2K Server just two days before the software transitions from Mainstream to Extended support. You should get this! More detail at the SearchWin2000 site:

Protecting The Enterprise From Disaster With AD

How can you prevent an administrator from harming your computer environment by using his or her rights inappropriately? Delegate administration rights carefully, says AD expert Gary Olson. And ultimately you have to trust the administrator. If you don't trust an individual's judgment and skills, then you should not grant them the rights. Here's more on Directory Service Restore Mode (DSRM), and how to use it. Useful!

Best Practices: Desktop Disaster Recovery

A desktop system crashes. Critical data is at stake. What steps should you take? Here are 5 Best Practices that lay the groundwork for what you should do over at SearchWinSystems.com.

Does Your Company Send E-Newsletters? Legal Alert

How the new Michigan and Utah email laws affect you (perhaps more than you think) SUMMARY: Blech! Two new state laws come into effect Friday, July 1st. Both:

  • Directly impact permission mailers
  • Carry nasty penalties
  • Launch new state Do Not Email registries
  • Are not circumvented by CAN-SPAM compliance

Here's the Marketing Sherpa practical FAQ for permission emailers including links to the text of both laws. (Access until July 10)


SUS: No More Downloads, But Updates Till June 6, 2006

Less than a month after the Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) enterprise patch-management platform was RTM-ed, Redmond has turned off downloads of the previous version (SUS).

According to Microsoft, SUS will be supported through June 6, 2006 though. After that date, no new update content will be delivered to SUS. This means you have just short of a year to update a SUS deployment to WSUS, but some admins are grumbling that Redmond did not provide adequate notice of the forced upgrade.

"If I have a SUS deployment in the works, Microsoft is now telling me that I must change right now. Microsoft is making the assumption that customers have fully deployed SUS 1.0 and have no further deployment plans. They're now making budgeting decisions for us," said one enterprise IT administrator with a high-profile company, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Jason Leznek, senior product manager in Microsoft's Windows and Enterprise Management division, argued that the company has been "strongly encouraging" users to download Windows Server Update Services in place of SUS 1.0 for the last year and a half, saying that it "should come as no surprise".

"We have strong feedback from customers that they were deploying WSUS RC [Release Candidate] in production, so they didn't want to wait for the final code before they migrated from SUS."

My view on this that it's a gift horse, and a pretty good one, so don't look it in the mouth. I see admins drop their third party patching solutions and implement WSUS as it's free which is good strategy if you run a Microsoft-only network.

You can discuss WSUS, its installation, use and problems at the NTSYSADMIN list that Sunbelt hosts at no cost:

Microsoft's Website Does Have Compliance Covered

I found a good article in InfoWorld that you might like when your company needs to comply with the new Sarbanes-Oxley laws: "Recently, a fellow IT geek was complaining about Microsoft's lack of information regarding the compliance bogeyman. His face flushed, he practically spit the last drops of his beer across the table at me, snapping "Where is their compliance guide? You can't find anything on their site.". Read on!


Some Spyware "Did You Know?" Ammo Items

Did you know?
- That some of the most harmful spyware and adware threats use multiple ways to subvert uninstallation, including the creation of random file names, resuscitators, rootkits, and hiding themselves from normal Windows system processes.

Did you know?
- That the EULAs for some adware vendors state they will charge you $300 an hour in legal fees if you file suit against them - whether you win or lose.

Did you know?
- That adware companies make as much as $90 million a year in revenue.

Did you know?
- That adware vendors pay their distributors per installation but do very little to police their distributors' affiliates, which leads to forced/stealth installations without the user's knowledge.

Did you know?
- That using a virus scanner will not protect you from most adware and spyware threats?

PC World August 2005 Confirms: CounterSpy Wins

Mary Landesman states in the new August 2005 PC World Magazine: "We tested new versions of three anti-spyware apps and like them, but an old favorite stands out. I looked at new install-ments of three anti-spyware applications: a prerelease version of Sunbelt Software's CounterSpy 1.5, plus shipping versions of Webroot's Spy Sweeper 4 and FBM Software's ZeroSpyware 2005.

CounterSpy's DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) technology sounded particularly interesting. While both Spy Sweeper and ZeroSpyware put in a good showing, CounterSpy continues to impress me the most. Add to that its unobtrusive alerts and its $20 price (including one year of updates and online tech support), and CounterSpy is a clear winner.


This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff


Tom and Deb Shinder's Configuring ISA Server 2004

Tom and Deb Shinder's best selling books on ISA Server 2000 were the "ISA Server Bibles" for thousands of ISA Server 2000 network administrators. Tom and Deb Shinder present you with their next ISA Server book, Configuring ISA Server 2004. This book leverages the over two years of pre-release experience Tom and Deb have had with ISA Server 2004, from pre-alpha to RTM and all the versions and builds in between. They've logged literally 1000's of flight hours with ISA Server 2004 and they have shared the Good, the Great, the Bad and the Ugly of ISA Server 2004 with their no holds barred coverage of Microsoft's new one of a kind application layer inspection firewall.

While the ISA Server 2000 books were good, Configuring ISA Server 2004 is even better. Tom and Deb bring their unique "insider's perspective" to provide you with information that isn't and won't be available anywhere else! Order your copy of Configuring ISA Server 2004 by clicking the link. You'll be glad you did.