Sunbelt W2Knews Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Oct 31, 2005 (Vol. 10, #44 - Issue #549)
The New Certifications Are Here!
This issue of W2Knews contains:
- EDITORS CORNER
- Results of: "Tell Me, How Am I Doing?"
- Big Brother Is REALLY Watching...
- ADMIN TOOLBOX
- Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
- TECH BRIEFING
- Storage For 2 Bucks Per Gig!
- E-mail Archiving: One Size Doesn't Fit All
- Best Practices Checklist: Exchange DR Planning
- Four Patch Management Myths
- Skype Could Pose Security Problems For Companies
- NT/2000 RELATED NEWS
- The New Certifications Are Here!
- Microsoft Q1 Does Well, Profits Up On Windows Sales
- Redmond Retires Exchange 5.5 by Year's End
- NT/2000 THIRD PARTY NEWS
- NSI Software On Inc. 500 List For 2005
- VMWare: New Free Player
- W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
- This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
- PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
- New CISSP Cert Exam Guide: All-in-One is All You Need
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Results of: "Tell Me, How Am I Doing?"
First of all, more than two thousand of you took the time to answer
the survey, thanks very much. It was enlightening, and very helpful.
Let me give you some of the highlights.
- 22% of you have read it 1-2 years, 46% have read it 2-4 years
and 24% have read it 4-6 years. Thanks for the loyalty!
- 28% spent 1-5 minutes reading it, and a whopping 45% spends 5-10
minutes. Then, 26% spends 10 minutes or more.
- Not entirely unexpected, the most popular sections are the Editors
Corner and the Fave Links, but Tech Briefing and NT/2000 News are
not far behind!
- And now for a surprise. 53% wants to keep TEXT format, but 47%
want HTML back. So you're going to get both!
- And for a blog format, 9% said they'd like to see that. But 91%
preferred to keep it in a weekly "magazine" format. So that's
what we'll do, we'll stick to the current frequency.
- I got some great feedback about the content of the different
sections, and we'll improve this in the coming issues. We'll
also tone the marketing hype down just a bit. [grin]
- The biggest news is that a whole bundle of you said that "W2K"
was getting dated. They associate it with something now being
phased out. So we are going to change name. The name that a lot
of you proposed was WinServerNews, and so we'll call it that!
We already own the domain and we'll make the change in the next
few weeks. Make sure that this does not get caught in your
spam filters though.
You will get the option to get the new WinServerNews in TXT or
in a brand new HTML version which will be a surprise. We will
make all these changes soon and you'll hear more about it in
coming issues. For now, thanks for all your excellent feedback.
Big Brother Is REALLY Watching...
A research team led by the Electronic Frontier Foundation recently
broke the code behind tiny tracking dots that some color laser
printers secretly hide in every document. The U.S. Secret Service
admitted that the tracking information is part of a deal struck
with selected color laser printer manufacturers, ostensibly to
identify counterfeiters. You can see the dots on color prints from
machines made by Xerox, Canon, and other manufacturers of the
printers investigated so far. The dots are yellow, less than one
millimeter in diameter, and are typically repeated over each page
of a document. In order to see the pattern, you need a blue light,
a magnifying glass, or a microscope (for instructions on how to
see the dots, see):
Quotes of the Week:
"IT is like the CIA. Nobody knows our successes, but our failures
are public knowledge" -- Shawn Schwegman, CIO, Overstock.com
"The only thing that ever interfered with my education was going
to school." -- W2Knews subscriber Rick Burner
"The time is always right to do what is right".
-- Martin Luther King Jr
(email me with feedback: [email protected])
Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
Storage For 2 Bucks Per Gig!
News.com has a pretty good story! You can build your own multi-terabyte storage system. Here goes: "Enthusiasts learned to build
their own PCs decades ago. Now you can assemble a storage system
in your living room that could make the Pentagon jealous."
San Francisco-based Capricorn Technologies has crafted blueprints,
available from the Internet Archive on an open source basis, which
effectively lets people build multi-terabyte and multi-petabyte
storage systems fairly inexpensively. The company also builds its
own line of storage systems, called the PetaBox, and has landed
deals with several universities and research departments with
its low-budget approach." Here is the link:
E-mail Archiving: One Size Doesn't Fit All
The rules for e-mail archiving vary from one organization to the
next. IT should start the ball rolling on rules for message archiving
before it gets the legal department involved. At SearchWin2000.com.
Best Practices Checklist: Exchange DR Planning
Whether you are new to Exchange or a seasoned administrator, the
prospect of designing an e-mail disaster recovery plan can be
intimidating and overwhelming. The latest checklist by Exchange
guru Richard Luckett offers nine tried-and-true practices for
creating an Exchange disaster recovery plan at SearchExchange:
Four Patch Management Myths
Well-known Windows security author Orin Thomas dispels four common
myths surrounding patch management. Myth #1: You should always wait
a month before applying a new patch. For three more, read the
article at the SearchWindowsSecurity site:
Skype Could Pose Security Problems For Companies
ComputerWorld reported that the growing popularity of Skype free
Internet telephony software could soon pose the same kind of
security challenges for companies that other peer-to-peer (P2P)
software technologies have created in recent years, according
to security experts. The warning comes after the disclosure
this week of two critical flaws in Skype's software, one of
which could allow malicious hackers to take complete control
of compromised systems.
One of the flaws is a buffer overflow error in Skype's user client
for Windows that could allow attackers to execute arbitrary code
on compromised systems, according to a statement from the company.
The other vulnerability is a heap overflow flaw in a networking
routine affecting Skype clients for all platforms. That flaw could
crash the client software. More at:
NT/2000 RELATED NEWS
The New Certifications Are Here!
This week, Redmond announced their new three-tiered certifications
for IT pros and developers. They claimed they are more focused on
real jobs in real organizations, more than the MCSE cert, which
The "big" MCSE will be split up in smaller parts, so that one
can look deeper into a specific technology required for a more
dedicated job role. New are the Microsoft Certified Technology
Specialist, the Microsoft Certified IT Professional or Professional
Developer and the Microsoft Certified Architect.
The 'Professional' certs indicate a higher level of expertise;
compare it to a Masters Degree. To get the Architect cert, you
need apart from the IT knowledge, also in depth insight into
issues that are more general business-related.
There will be modules for Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005,
Windows Vista, Office 12 and BizTalk Server 2006. A trainer called
the new program an improvement compared to the old scene, as these
modules were a bit too generic. In the future, people will better
understand what for instance a certified Web developer really can
do, as opposed to the current MCSE, which encompasses a bit too
much. MCSE does continue its life though. In the coming 6 months
a lot of new material will be developed that you can use to
orient yourself on the new certs. More at MS PressPass:
Microsoft Q1 Does Well, Profits Up On Windows Sales
Microsoft posted an increase in their Q1 on robust sales of its
Windows software but offered a forecast of revenue for the current
quarter that was below the Street's expectations.
Microsoft earned $3.14 billion, or 29 cents a share, up a comfortable
24% in the September quarter, on revenues up 6% to $9.74 billion.
Excluding the legal settlement with RealNetworks (which snipped two
cents off earnings), Redmond said it earned 31 cents per share in
the first fiscal quarter. Revenue rose to $9.74 billion from $9.19
billion a year earlier.
They also said they would accelerate their stock repurchase plan,
planning to complete the remaining $19 billion buyback no later
than December 2006.
Expectations for 2005 are $1.26-$1.30 per share on revenues of
about 44 billion, with an operating income of roughly 18 billion.
Microsoft bases its assumptions on PCs being up 9%-11% and servers
Redmond's Server and Tools unit posted very healthy double-digit
revenues of 13% year-over-year to $2.53 billion, which they said
was due to SQL Server, up 15%, Exchange and Windows Server. And
another management shuffle has Bob Muglia running Server and
Tools, reporting to Jim Allchin, until he retires next year.
Redmond Retires Exchange 5.5 by Year's End
Yup, it's finally happening. They are retiring V5.5--along with
support for the product--at the end of this year. And they
want you to upgrade to E2003.
According to Redmond, the number of E5.5 users dropped by roughly
40% over the past 12 months, which shows that customers have been
upgrading, knowing about V5.5's phase-out.
They also reminded customers that E2000 will be moved out of their
mainstream tech support and into extended support, end of this year.
Once it does, you have to pay for support and non-security-related
hotfixes. Ouch. They are serious about it.
They plan to release the next version of Exchange (code-named
Exchange 12) to manufacturing late in 2006 or early in 2007.
THIRD PARTY NEWS
NSI Software On Inc. 500 List For 2005
Inc. Magazine, the premier publication for small/medium businesses,
released its annual Inc. 500 ranking of the fastest-growing private
businesses in the country. NSI Software, the developer of Double-
Take made the list ranking #464.
The Inc. 500 ranks privately held companies according to sales growth
over the past five years. NSI's growth is a direct result of major
sales from their award-winning software, Double-Take.
Double-Take is the solution of choice for thousands of customers,
from SMEs to the Fortune 500 in a range of information intensive
industries, including Financial Services, Legal Services, Government
and Healthcare. From remote availability to centralized backup to
disaster recovery, Double-Takes protects your business critical data.
VMWare: New Free Player
I saw something earlier about VMware coming out with a new free
player. I didn't pay it much attention - didn't quite know what it
was and didn't have time to check it out. Then I read ToaSecurity's
mention of it and realized...this is a VMware that anyone can use.
If you do ANY spyware research, beta testing, playing with software,
you need this. We run Vmware ourselves but it's usually too pricey
for the average user. So now is your chance - get the free VMware
Player. And hats off to VMware for doing this wonderful service.
(Tip 'o the hat to Alex)
This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
New CISSP Cert Exam Guide: All-in-One is All You Need
Now you can prepare for the Certified Information Systems Security
Professional (CISSP) exam with help from this in-depth reference.
This comprehensive resource fully covers all exam objectives--as
developed by the International Information Systems Security Cert
Consortium --and offers essential information on IT security. Each
chapter contains practice questions, sidebars with technical
discussions, real-world examples, and test-taking tips, making this
book a premier study tool. You'll also get valuable information on
current trends in security, disaster recovery, and the benefits
of obtaining this highly-coveted and advanced security certification.
Get complete details on all ten subject areas covered on the exam:
I just received it a few days ago, and have not had time to look
into it in depth, but the first impression is pretty good. I took
the blurb from the back cover, as that pretty well describes it!
- Access control systems and methodology
- Applications and systems development
- Business continuity and disaster recovery planning
- Law, investigation, and ethics
- Operations security
- Physical security
- Security architecture and models
- Security management practices
- Telecommunications and network security