Sunday, August 12, 2007

Another future Linux user

We have been talking to our neighbors about Linux for the last several weeks as they are less than happy with their Windows boxes. It seems that they are tired with the viruses and trojans that keep trying to get on to their machines and the effort they have to take removing them. Last night they came over to see a quick demo of Linux on our home network and a copy of Linux for their machines. We explained what it is and the packages and what a 'distro' was. They were suprised at what they could get free and that it looked almost like Windows with the KDE window manager running. They were also impressed with OpenOffice and the fact that it can read/write Word and XLS files.

We explained to them that not everything for hardware may work and we gave them PCLINUXOS and KNOPPIX on live CDs to try out. We also pointed out that they could make their two machines 'dual boot' and keep Windows, but, use Linux as their main O/S. That way any special programs they can keep and run. I suspect that they will probably be over soon to get our help with setting them up with Linux on their home network.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

State of spam - August 2007

It has now been two months since the spam king Soloway was arrested in the U.S. For a bit my spam volume went down, but, that was only temporary. Other spammers have picked up the slack and the volume is almost back to 'normal' levels. It goes to show that sutting down the spammers won't work, the government should also be going after the ones purchasing the services... follow the dollars and it may help reduce the spam load!

The big trend now is the phony 'greeting card'. It appears that it now is used to insert the payload of the spammers into your machine. When you get one delete it, don't even open it. Part of the spam I have been getting is these and I don't even open them. One good article about it is in the Washington post (July 21st, you can search for the article at

Again I will stress don't open the cards and keep on patching your system, updating your AV software, run a firewall and if something doesn't sound right delete the email without opening it and send the person a short note asking to send it again.

Current stats for my spam:

2007 ---> SPAM = 67.4%, LEGIT = 32.6%

2006 ---> SPAM = 78.0% LEGIT = 22.0%

2005 ---> SPAM = 49.9% LEGIT = 50.1%

TOTAL ---> SPAM = 70.9% LEGIT = 29.1%