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  • Blog Post: Security Theatre - enter the Biometric authenticated USB memory stick

    I was in a meeting earlier today where my machine was connected to the projector and someone wanted me to display their presentation for them. In normal circumstances I'd expect to be passed a USB memory stick ("thumb drive") containing the PPT which I'd copy to my local disk and display as requested...
  • Blog Post: Last chance to sign up for the UK System Center launch event

    Click here to register for the event titled "Manage your core infrastructure from Desktop to Data centre" The event takes place on the 15 January 2008 from 9am until 5pm in London. The details of the event are as follows: A new style of launch event from Microsoft – multiple presenters demonstrating...
  • Blog Post: I'm NOT a Girl!

    ...but I have been to a Girl Geek Dinner and plan to go to more. As the name suggests they focus on the female perspective of technology. Of course I have no idea how many of you are Girl Geeks - if you are one then you can add your name to the WIKI and join the Geeky Girls @ their next gathering in...
  • Blog Post: What will it cost to own and run an iPhone v2/3G/whatever it's going to be called?

    Note: thanks to cnet for the image from their iPhone 3G First Take Thanks to Neville Hobson’s post titled Data costs could make the new iPhone an expensive proposition I now have a much better understanding of both the upfront and ongoing costs of an iPhone v2. By the sound of it the killer cost...
  • Blog Post: Thanks to everyone who joined us at the Technical Roadshow

    Hundreds of you joined the TechNet team at our first roadshow of the year in Edinburgh earlier this week. I thoroughly enjoyed our discussions and look forward to meeting more of you at the next session which takes place in Birmingham on 24th and 25th May. Full details of the Roadshow can be found...
  • Blog Post: I've fixed a config problem with my blog so now you can post comments

    Several of you have sent me email complaining that you were unable to post comments to my blog - my apologies but I had a configuration problem in my blog set up - thanks to Eileen for helping me fix the problem. For me the beauty of blogging is that I can learn from your feedback and engage in public...
  • Blog Post: How to Manage a Microsoft Infrastructure Webcasts covering Systems Centre

    There is a wealth of information available via the Managing a Microsoft Infrastructure webcasts area of Microsoft.com . There are webcasts on Microsoft Systems Centre including Operations Manager(SCOM), (SCE) Essentials and Configuration Manager(SCCM) - it's a great place to become familiar with the...
  • Blog Post: How to get hold of Windows Vista Beta 1(code name Longhorn)

    As of just a few moments ago there is content on the Windows Vista site which announces the limited availability of Beta 1. The software itself is being released to a limited number of official beta testers and hence you can't browse there and start pulling down a version to play with yourself - unless...
  • Blog Post: Fancy Winning an Xbox 360? Do you have what it takes to prove that you're a TechNet Supremo?

    OK so this is clearly a "Marketing thing" but it's aim is pure and simple - to encourage people to browse the wealth of information on TechNet to help everyone get the most from the features of our products. The competition is free to enter and the overall winner will receive an XBox 360. The four...
  • Blog Post: I keep seeing phrases like "secure firewall friendly connection" on products - what does it really mean?

    Like many of you I keep seeing and hearing statements like "secure firewall friendly connection" on numerous products. Just think about what this really means - the firewall has little chance of doing anything useful as traffic is being tunnelled through in encrypted form. This is not necessarily...
  • Blog Post: IIS 7 will have even better security than IIS 6 due to it's enhanced modular architecture

    IIS 6 (Windows Server 2003's web server) has a good security track record as it was developed under Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing initiative. I dare say I'm courting fate by writing about it! Unlike it's predecessor there haven't been any high priority vulnerabilities and there have been very few...
  • Blog Post: Is perception reality? The Mojave Experiment sheds some light

    If you think Windows Vista sucks then I suggest you take a moment to view the recordings on the Mojave Experiment’s website – it’s where a large number of people who hadn’t tried Windows Vista for themselves were shown a sneak preview of a “brand new version of Microsoft Windows” and asked for their...
  • Blog Post: Which companies are more successful due to blogging? which are held back?

    I think this is an interesting question. OK so I’m rather biased seeing as though I asked it! Some companies encourage their employees to talk openly about the products and services they work with – other companies try to control all outbound messages with the aim of “letting the public relations experts...
  • Blog Post: The Microsoft Network Access Protection (NAP) Team have a blog at last

    Thanks to Jeffrey Centex for posting about the NAP team's blog . There are some interesting posts discussing Network Access Protection (NAP) including comment from the RSA Security show.
  • Blog Post: How to deal with risk?

    Following on from my Effective Security Means Doing More with Less Risk post we need to consider how to deal with risk. The options are quite simple. Ignore it and hope the bad thing won't happen. Accept it as being manageable. Take steps to mitigate it thereby reducing the risk to a manageable level...
  • Blog Post: How to dramatically reduce your system's Attack Surface - Use Security Configuration Wizard

    SCW is an abbreviation for Security Configuration Wizard which is a means of turning off the features of Windows Server that aren't required by YOUR applications. SCW takes the guess work out of which services you can turn off, which network ports can be disabled, how much backward compatibility can...
  • Blog Post: Things to do at London Heathrow airport if you get stuck due to bad weather

    Like many people in the UK today James has had a nightmare attempting to travel - in his case to Seattle - due to the flooding and crazy weather in England. I'm very glad that I flew out a day early for an extra day's training prior to our internal Technical Conference. Whilst accessing the news coverage...
  • Blog Post: News from the consumer awareness campaign - GetSafeOnline

    We've been evangelising to the good people of Birmingham today - local radio, the main library, the BullRing shopping centre, the University and the Town Hall. We met the Major and showed in the demonstrations and material we're using around the City. It's been a very busy day but a great deal of...
  • Blog Post: How to set up "Presenter View" in Powerpoint

    Earlier this afternoon I helped a friend (Tony) with a couple of Microsoft Outlook problems (mainly due to the immense size of his .pst file!) when I happened to show him a couple tricks of the trade. Tony has used Microsoft Powerpoint to present to audiences all over the place for years hence I was...
  • Blog Post: No I don't want any additional auto insurance, free ring tones or sexual embelishment

    Like Steve Riley I'm fed up with receiving a large number of spam comments on my blog. I've just returned from a lovely holiday in the Yorkshire Dales to a large number of nonesense spam comments on this blog. Also like Steve I believe in free speech and hence I post all comments except those which are...
  • Blog Post: Free money from Microsoft - I don't think so - Ignore emails claiming to be from the Microsoft Award team

    Several people have forwarded me email messages like the following which is bogus - if you receive something similar then disregard it. We don't have a "Ken Gate", nor do we send emails from "yahoo.co.uk" addresses either. From: "KEN GATE" < fiduciarymicrosoftclaimsagent_14@yahoo.co.uk >...
  • Blog Post: What fun - browse the bookshelves of people you know online

    I've just stumbled across Steve Clayton's BookRabbit - Facebook for your bookshelf post and given it a whirl for myself. I don't use much paper at all but like Steve I do still enjoy reading good books. BookRabbit is cool as not only can you easily browse the book shelves of your friends, you can see...
  • Blog Post: How to fix the problem of: Since enabling WPA my wireless client can't connect

    I recently helped a friend of mine to implement Wireless Protected Access (WPA) at his home. I made the classic mistake of telling him that it would only take a couple of minutes to set up. Enabling WPA on his wireless router was really easy - particularly so as he as the same device as I use at home...
  • Blog Post: How to find your way around London - here's a free journey planner for bus train tube and boat

    Anyone who's visited London is likely to have used many of the available transport options including the tube (underground), bus, train (over land) and possibly the river taxis too. If you visit as a tourist then you may have time to amble around and try the various alternatives - those of you on business...
  • Blog Post: Teaching Security to Developers

    Thanks to everyone @ VBUG Birmingham last night for making me so welcome. I was greated with lots of Halloooween pumpkins - one of which was carved with a semi-colon in it rather than a face - a C# joke apparently! I delved into how Malware gets onto machines, how it works and how to avoid it....