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You have probably read about how well known blogger and author Kathy Sierra canceled speaking engagements because of death threats posted to some blogs. That's right - death threats. And not just death threats but some very demeaning comments and pictures of a sexual nature as well. Robert Scoble has chosen to support Kathy by taking some time off from blogging. While I support Kathy's decision and also Scoble's, I don't agree with them.
While I am not discounting the fact that death threats should be taken seriously, I feel that the end goal of the ugly posts was to disrupt and damage the ability of a person to interact in the blogosphere. By canceling engagements and not blogging, this allows the perpetrator to achieve their goal. Disruption achieved.
The obvious analogy here is the state of world terrorism. Terrorists wish to instill fear as a means of controlling the actions of others. Personally, I am not going to allow terrorists to change my plans. Example....
My wife and I were supposed to travel to Florida on September 15, 2001 to visit my wife's mother. The September 11th attacks grounded flights. Our flight had to be rescheduled and we made the flight exactly one month later. There was also the anthrax scare going on in Florida at about the same time. My wife and I discussed this and we decided that staying home and canceling the trip meant the terrorists achieved their goal. We were not going to be a part of that.
Fast-forward to July 2005.
On July 7th, 2005, terrorists bombed the London tubes. My wife and I, were supposed to fly to Ireland and make our way down to London over the next two weeks. We discussed canceling plans and again felt that doing so allowed the terrorists to achieve their goal. So we made the trip. On July 21st, our tour bus was making the drive from Edinburgh to London. This is just 16 days after the bombings in the London tubes and the same day as the failed bombing attempts in London. We had already decided we were going to ride the tubes, get on a double-decker bus, and do what we wanted to do. We were not going to let terrorists deter us from making plans, following through on them and living our lives.
Now I do realize it isn't a direct analogy. In the cases of the the September 11th and London bombings, the terrorists were making indiscriminate attacks. They didn't care who died as a result. In the case of those blog posts, they are directed attacks at an individual. But the end goal is still the same - instill fear, disrupt life.
What happened to Kathy sucks. The person(s) responsible for the postings should be held responsible to the fullest extent of the law. I respect Kathy's decision to cancel appearances. I respect Scoble's decision to stop stop blogging for a week in support. However, by doing so, the "bad guys" have gotten what they want. Fear. Disruption.
I will not live in fear. I will not be disrupted.
Chris - 1.
Terrorists - 0.
The Microsoft Across America IT Pro Evangelist team is meeting this week. Well....most of us are anyway. Some of us, myself included, are in Orlando delivering presentations at Techmentor and Windows Connections. But I am taking a couple days off to meet the rest of the MSAM ITE team to review the content we are delivering to the public starting in April. A part of that is a discussion around what topics we want to deliver in the quarter following.
This is where you come in.
Realizing I should have posted this a month ago and given much more time for you to comment, I would like to know what you want to know about. I can sit in a fluorescent light lit room isolated from the real world and say make a reasonable guess at what you - the REAL IT Pro - want to know about, but the fact is, I don't actually do what you do (at least not on the same scale....12 machines in the basement does not an enterprise scale network define). I would like your direct feedback on what you would like to see us presenting to you.
What do you want to know about?
To clarify this, what I am talking about is the Live Technet Briefings that my team delivers around the US. We usually have 2-3 topics we talk about at these briefings. I would like to get your direct feedback on what you want us to talk about. The time frame for which your suggestions are relevant are from July 1 through Sept 30 - that is the time frame we are going to be deciding content for.
Speak now or....let us decide for you!
The Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer is a fantastic tool for scanning machines for missing hotfixes, security updates, and security configurations. I have used the MBSA since it's original release to scan my home LAN that has 7-12 machines at any given time. It is an invaluable tool, especially for smaller networks that reduces the amount of time it takes to figure out what machines need to be updated. When used in conjunction with Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) it is a perfect solution for patch management for smaller networks.
It only recently occurred to me that the 3-4 Vista machines I run at home have never been scanned with MBSA because there hasn't been a Vista version of the MBSA available. I have also been very pleased with the Automatic Updates on Vista and have not had to perform many manual updates to my machines. Of course there haven't been a lot of updates released for Vista either to date. The latest beta release of MBSA enables the scanning of Vista machines.
I just installed the new MBSA 2.1 to my corporate laptop. I knew I was missing an update to SQL Express (MBSA 2.1 identified it), and due to the nature of testing I do, I suspected I might have a few other anomalies. Sure enough MBSA identified a weak password for a local account I used for some testing a few weeks ago (account is now gone) and also reminded that I had IIS installed on my Vista machine from back when I was testing Virtual Server (IIS removed now along with the IUSR account).
If you are looking for some extra information and support on MBSA and other patch management technologies, check out the MBSA Newsgroups. Also check out Captain's Blog from Mark Shavlik. His company originally developed MBSA.
Wow. This one snuck up on me.
First...the download link for Windows 2003 SP2.
Second...did it sneak up on you too?
I have been so heads down with...well....everything that I have not bothered to keep up on the release schedule. That being said, it is time to remote into the home servers and start updating!
...how much like a singles ad does that sound? (I am sure it doesn't at all if you are native to Alaska).
I was chatting with my friend Glen Gordon yesterday and it came up that I was heading to Anchorage to deliver a Technet Seminar on Vista, Office 2007 and Exchange 2007 - btw, Glen will be in Charleston, SC on Thursday. ANYWAY.....he said I should pick up an Ulu knife while in Anchorage. I had never heard of one so I fired up the Laptop, typed "ulu knife" into the Vista Search bar, and clicked Search the Internet. Simple.
I was a little bummed to see that the ulu.com online store is actually.....offline. But I did find theulufactory.com and they have a storefront right here in Anchorage. Now I don't know a thing about ulu knives so when I walk into the store tomorrow the salespeople could have a good time with me, but I do find the knives interesting enough, and I do need a unique souvenir to bring home to Jeanne. So it looks as if that is what I will be bring home this trip.
Not exactly in my backyard, but having met a few of the evangelists from around the world, and them being nice enough to link back to my blog now and then, it seems to be a good idea to help promote their events.
You can register for the event here - Developer Roadshow 2007 in Cape Town, Africa. The name "roadshow" tipped me off there may be other events in the area as well. So with a little searching I found the following posting over at sadevelopers.net. Looks like there are a few dates coming up in South Africa for this.
On a side note.....I am posting this while sitting in a hotel room in Anchorage, Alaska - Current Temp - 16 Degrees Fahrenheit. I left Seattle, Washington, US today around 12 noon and it looked like it was going to be a gorgeous day. Not exactly warm at 50 degrees but it isn't Anchorage. That is my luck.
I am increasingly getting more question about IPv6. Especially now that IPv6 is installed and turned on by default in Vista. So I want to post a few resources for those of you starting to ramp up on IPv6.
For a little bit more information.....IPv4 is what most people are using today when they connect to the Internet, their home LAN/WAN, and even at work. IPv4 is what most people would refer to as the current TCP/IP implementation and comprises the combination of the TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) and IP (Internet Protocol) for networking applications and routing of packets. IPv4 has been around for a long time and over time, it has become constrained by some inherent scalability issues as well as security exploits and vulnerabilities.
IPv6 is the next generation TCP/IP stack that promises to alleviate the IP addressing issues we have as well as plug some of the holes that exist today. I have gathered just a few resources on IPv6 to help get you up to speed....and you need to get up to speed. Unlike Window XP where IPv6 could be implemented but only from a command prompt and usually only if you knew exactly what you were doing, in Windows Vista, IPv6 is installed and enabled by default. It is also managed through the GUI instead on only through the command prompt.
So here are a few resources for you....
Intro to IPv6 Webcast
IPv6 information on Technet
Intro to IPv6 Whitepaper
IPv6 Transition Technologies Whitepaper
Why Deploy IPv6? Webcast
Intro to IPv6 Webcast
IPv6 information on Technet
Intro to IPv6 Whitepaper
IPv6 Transition Technologies Whitepaper
Why Deploy IPv6? Webcast
Here are the resources I promised from the UAC session I delivered today --
User Account Control Resources on the Technet Site
Understanding and Configuring User Account Control
Application Compatibility Tool and the ACT 5.0
Windows Vista Security Guide
Vista UAC Requirements for Application Developers
If you look in the left column of my blog, I have added a new list for books I am reading. Right now I only have a single book in the list because I am only reading the one book. Typically you will see 3-5 in the list. I will rotate them out as I start and finish. You will quickly see what kinds of reading I like to read because those will come an go quickly. Books that stay in the list longer are either tough reads or far less interesting to me. To be fair, I have been working on the current book, Lisey's Game by Stephen King for over a month now. I read more when I am traveling but my travels this past month have kept me busier than normal. It doesn't help that American Idol just started and that chews up 3 evenings a week...
I would also welcome your suggestions on books you have found interesting. What are you reading?
...not really, but if he did, he would have a great bedside manner. My good friend and fellow evangelist Matt Hester has written a few small articles for Technet Magazine. His most recent article compares ITPros with Doctors and has a humorous twist. I have done what he describes in his article so I know his frustration and the coolness of the resolution.
...you can now register online for Live Technet Events in your area of the US. We are going to be talking about new management Features in Windows "Longhorn" Server, new Security and Reliability features in Windows Vista, and do some further introductions of the Forefront Security Technologies.
If by chance you have not heard of Roundtable, check out this post by Carl Tyler. Now that you are back and itching for more, I will save you the time in searching the Microsoft site. There isn't anything there. A few press notices and a passing reference on a Unified Communications site. The two video's show it better than anything else.
...these videos posted over at on10!
I was trying to come up with a witty title for this post and all I could come up with was a shout out to the TV show "Fantasy Island" from the 1970's. Viva Herve.
I am delivering a webcast tomorrow on Windows Vista Deployment if you are interested. If you are interested in some pre-reading, check out the Desktop Deployment site which is where the bulk of what is in the webcast can be found. The webcast specifics can be found on the Technet Site. One thing to note is the reference to the "ximage" utility. It is actually "imagex" and that is what you will see in my session. I will be doing slightly different demos than the videos so it would still be beneficial to grab them.
You might also want to grab the Vista Deployment Step-by-Step Guide. It goes into much greater detail about the deployment process than we will be able to go during the webcast.
...not really. But with all the buzz about the DST changes, I suppose I should help get the word out about how to get some information on the DST changes and how it might impact you.
Q. I think I have a DST problem that I need to get fixed. Can I call someone for help?
A. Yes! If you are a Premier customer (you will know if you are) call 1-800-936-3100. If you are not a Premier customer call 1-800-MICROSOFT (1-800-642-7676)
Q. I don't know if I will be impacted by this or not. How can I find out?
A. We have a DST Help and Support Center that helps you to get answers based upon what kind of computer user you are.
Q. I would just like to get up to speed on what might happen with the changes. Where can I get more information?
A. We have some technical chats and webcasts that are available on-demand to help. More Info Here.
Q. We use Exchange and Outlook and have heard there could be some issues with appointments in the Outlook calendar. Is there a fix?
A. Yes! Check out this KB article on what the fix does and how to obtain it. *PLEASE* read the KB article before taking any action! AND make a BACKUP!