This newsletter has been produced to help
you get the most out of the Internet,
and to keep you, as an Actrix customer, informed of developments and services within the company.
Past newsletters may be viewed at http://editor.actrix.co.nz/
Newsletters are now archived by article at http://editor.actrix.co.nz/byarticle/
Questions and comments about the newsletter can be e-mailed to email@example.com
Other inquiries should be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Using Browser Bookmarks with Netscape 4.7
Last month, you'll remember we wrote about how to set up personal web page bookmarks using Internet Explorer, and how (if you wanted) to mount those conveniently on your Links bar so that all you have to do is click them to be taken to your desired page. You can do the same thing using Netscape Navigator, almost as easily.
To create a general bookmark using Navigator:
Now all this does is add a link with the page's name to the bottom of the grey Bookmark box. To access your list of saved bookmarks, you'd still have to click Communicator and then Bookmarks. All the bookmarks you've created will be found in chronological order near the bottom of this box. By the way, you don't really have to go through those three steps. To add a simple bookmark in Netscape, just load up the page and then click Control D.
Adding Links to Your Personal Links Bar
It is more convenient still to add bookmarks to your Links bar, right there on the screen so that only one click is needed to get to them. The picture (left) shows where Netscape's personal toolbar is, just below the location field. This picture contains personal links to Alta Vista New Zealand and Jammer's Star Trek Reviews.
Getting a bookmark onto your personal links bar is relatively easy. It just involves a whole lot of mouse-clicks.
Once you've done all this, the new bookmark should now be appearing on your personal links bar as pictured above.
There's a problem with Netscape's personal links bar, though. You'll remember from last month that with Explorer, once you've filled your links bar, you can continue to add links. They just appear in a drop down box to the left. With Netscape, it seems, you cannot. Once your bar is full, that's it. The problem is worsened by the fact that Netscape comes with a whole lot of its own pre-loaded bookmarks. Now would be a good time, then to spend a few sentences on how to edit bookmarks in Netscape.
Editing Bookmarks in Netscape
Using Internet Explorer, you can just right-click on a bookmark to find, delete or edit its properties. Unfortunately, Netscape doesn't make it that easy for you. If you need to delete a bookmark either from the general list or from your personal links bar, you need to click Communicator/Bookmarks/Edit Bookmarks (or you can simply press Control B on your keyboard). A list of all your Netscape bookmarks will appear, sorted into their folders. Here you can right-click on individual bookmarks, and delete them, change where they point, and so forth. My recommendation is that you do this and delete all the bookmarks Netscape gives you by default unless you find you use them. That way you will have more room on your personal links bar to include the ones you really need.
Next month we'll have a quick look at how to
make and manage bookmarks using the new (and recommended) Opera browser.
Hacking 101.7 - Anti-Virus Programs
by Dean Moor
I am again grateful to Dean Moor for this next article in his series on hacking and security. To many it is a fascinating topic. It really would be a good idea for those interested but new to computers or the net to read over Dean's articles in previous newsletters. -Editor
Hi Folks, over the last couple of months we
have been discussing what you can to to keep the "Bad Guys" of the Internet out
of your machine. This month we'll continue with this theme.
Viri, virus's (whatever spelling or pronunciation you choose) - everyone has been or will be affected by one sooner or later. "How?" you ask. "I am protected. I have my AntiVirus Product installed." That may well be the case, but my question is, "Are you using your product properly, or to its full potential?"
Your Anti Virus Protection is perhaps the single most important component in your defense strategy on the Internet, and perhaps the most overlooked. The reason I say this is that the overwhelming majority of "Hackers" still use Trojan Viri to take control of your machine, to spy on you, or just to annoy you.
Now, firstly, lets cover the basics of what a virus is. My definition of a virus is:
A small program, application or segment of code that executes (runs) on your machine with out your knowledge or consent and is designed to reduce or remove security, data, or destroy hardware. A virus can either be just annoying, or can cause downtime due to incorrect operation of your computer or damage to either data or hardware.
I am talking here about programs such as the NetBus
Trojan, or code segments such as the Kak Worm Virus. I have briefly discussed the NetBus
and other Trojans in a previous article, and the Kak Worm virus is a script that can
easily be incorporated into almost any web page (Also briefly talked about here.)
Some viri will simply display web pages, documents, or open your CD-Rom tray, while others will send out your possibly confidential documents to any one in your address book. Take for example the recent Homepage virus. One company I know of was virtually crippled due to this virus with hundreds of copies of the virus constantly circulating through their entire network. Another example is the Magistr virus that seems to be making the rounds recently. This virus will infect programs and some versions could destroy your Hard Drive FATS or Flash (wipe) your BIOS (Basic Input Output System). Without your BIOS, your Processor doesn't know how to "talk" to your Hard Drive or Ram, and you are effectively left a brand new multi-thousand-dollar paperweight until you replace your motherboard.)
Sound scary? It shouldn't if you have your AntiVirus Product correctly installed, and running. You also NEED to update your product's virus definitions on a regular basis, and I recommend AT LEAST once a week. So how does it all work?
Well, think of your AntiVirus Program and a policeman. Now, we all know that the police have a list of known offenders, and should one be discovered the arrest is made. This list of offenders is exactly like your virus definitions, a book of thumbprints if you will. Now each file has a thumb print as well, determined by several factors such as size, type and CRC. So, when you install your brand new "policeman", with his list of thumbprints, you are protected from all past and present viri. Some programs do have a limited ability to detect new viri. however, I recommend that you do not rely on this feature.
Now, if you do not update your list of thumbprints, or don't let your policeman patrol the neighbourhood, you are wasting your time even having him there, and you will fall victim to another virus. I have seen this all to often in my business, people who do not update, or in some cases who fail to use their anti virus product to its full potential. They always end up with a virus.
So, to sum up, your Anti Virus Product is the single most important part of your defense online, and you need to be fully aware of how it works, and what needs to be done to ensure that your protection remains at the highest possible level. Think of it this way, if every one was to have an up-to-date program, and definition list, it would become extremely difficult for viri to spread, and you could have been responsible for saving money and hassle for yourself, someone else, or for your company.
If you're not sure about how to update your anti-virus
program, open it up. You'll probably find its little icon down by your clock to the bottom
right of your screen (double-click). Look under the various menus for live update
functions. If you have no joy, try the Help menu. Anti-virus software writers usually
provide help files with step-by-step instructions that are written for novices. They will
help you understand how to set your program to update itself (by connecting to the
company's website and downloading information about the very latest viruses).
Next month I will cover the last line of defense in our battle against the Cyber Attacker, and follow up with a recap. Please understand that there is just so much to explain, and I may lose some of you from time to time, but if you bear with me, you will get the general idea, and hopefully avoid becoming a victim of the next Cyber Punk surfing past you on the Internet.
Until Next time, safe browsing and good luck. Most of all have fun! Just remember- don't click anything attached to your e-mail that you're not absolutely sure of.
|Maintaining Your Account
The Actrix web page allows you to do a number of things to maintain your account online. If you'd like to add block time to your One Cent Per Minute account, or pay a bill by credit card, you can do it all online in your own time. Check out our Services section by going to our homepage (www.actrix.co.nz) and clicking Services. This may well save you some time and be more convenient than calling the help desk. It is, after-all, an online world.
Cyberspace News Snippets
Hackers to Release Anti-Censorship Tool: Cult of the Dead Cow plans to launch a peer-to-peer tool at this summer's Defcon to fight government censorship of the Web. A computer hacking group best known for creating tools for hijacking computer systems is turning its hand to civil disobedience and plans to release an application that could scupper government and corporate censorship around the world. Click the link below for more.
E-mail Users Warned Over Spy Network: Computer users across Europe should encrypt all their e-mails, to avoid being spied on by a UK-US eavesdropping network, say Euro-MPs. The tentacles of the Echelon network stretch so far that the UK's involvement could constitute a breach of human rights, they say. Click the link below for more (includes interesting photos).
Microsoft Quiet on Outlook 2002 Upgrade: Microsoft has beefed up the security on Outlook 2002 for its release this week, but is strangely reticent to discuss the changes. A press release about the new features fails to mention anything about security. "I'll bet their legal department has said that the less said about security the better," said Giga Information Group analyst Rob Enderle. Click the link below for more.
Microsoft Awash in Cash: Microsoft has $30 billion in cash and adding $1 billion a month. Business Week says the behemoth has never looked better, with a stunning product lineup. On May 31 it launches Office XP, the latest update of its word processing program. Then comes Stinger, a new operating system for mobile phones Xbox, its entry into the game console arena and on October 25, Windows XP, its new operating system.
English Still Rules on Web, But The Times, They Are a-Changing: English has dominated the Internet since it became widely available in the past decade. But things are changing, and as businesses reach out to a world of potential customers, they are increasingly making content available in multiple languages. Click the link below for more.
Internet Revolution in its Early Stages: The Internet revolution has only just begun, the head of IBM's European, Middle East and Asian division, Mike Lawrie, told delegates at an IBM conference on e-business in Sandton yesterday. The conference was part of the one-day IBM South Africa Executive Forum held in the Sandton Convention Centre. Click the link below for more.
Judge OKs FBI Hack of Russian Computers: Upholding the rights of law enforcement to cross national borders in pursuit of cyberspace criminals, a federal judge has ruled that FBI agents did not act improperly when they tricked a pair of suspected hackers out of passwords and account numbers and then downloaded evidence from their computers. Click the link below for more.
Computer Virus Tackles Child Porn: This could be the year of the "helpful" computer virus. First there was the cheese worm that fixed security holes in some computers, and now comes one that looks for child pornography. Click the link below for more.
Vatican to Rule out Online Confessions: While businesses fight to keep commercially-sensitive information from leaking across the Internet, the Catholic church is preparing to ban traffic in information of a more personal nature: on-line confession will be off the menu for connected members of the congregation. Click the link below for more.
Calling Help Desks: You'll have to call a help desk sooner or later. It's usually not a lot of fun, and you often end up hanging on the line for a long time listening to awful piped music. So before you pick up that phone for `help'..... Click the link below for more.
MP3 Format Sings a New Tune: The online world will get its first glimpse of the new MP3 format soon, with the first major update to a technology that has become synonymous with both digital music and online piracy. Thomson Multimedia and the Fraunhofer Institute, the companies behind the MP3 digital music format, are releasing an upgraded version of their music format called MP3Pro. Click the link below for more.
Net Promises Closer Ties: Cherish those moments when you can't be reached by e-mail, mobile or pager while you can, because net experts are working on ways to ensure people can always get a message through to you. Internet engineers are joining forces with phone regulators to develop a system that ties almost every communication network together. Clink the link below for more.
Is Microsoft Secretly Using Open Source? Microsoft even while mounting a new campaign against open-source software, has quietly been using such free computer code in several major products, as well as on key portions of a popular Web site -- despite denying last week that it did so. Click the link below for more.
Dialup Networking Error #3 Error: 630
by John Kontopos
Error 630: The port was disconnected due to hardware failure.
This error indicates a communications
problem between Windows 95/98 and your modem.
Interesting Sites (Click the picture links to access the sites)
Please note: Actrix supplies links to these sites for your interest and possible use. We cannot endorse or take any responsibility for their contents. Got a site you think would be neat to share with other readers? Let me know and receive a free Norrie the Nerd chocolate bar courtesy of Actrix!
|The International Shark Attack File
http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/Sharks/ISAF/ISAF.htm - Here is another fascinating site dedicated to sharks, and their attacks on humans in particular. All known attacks on humans are documented. The site comes complete with many sections and many pictures. It would be a great resource for school homework assignments or just for general interest.
http://www.ancestry.com/ - This is yet another genealogy site. It focuses particularly on American sources, so readers with United Kingdom ancestry may find it less useful than other genealogy sites. However, the ancestry,com home page does link to a number of interesting articles on various topics to do with the processes of genealogy searches. There's even one for complete beginners, so I thought it might be useful for those just making a start in this area.
|Hubble Heritage Space Pictures
http://heritage.stsci.edu/public/gallery/galindex.html - At this site you'll find an amazing array of thumbnail pictures. Click these to get a large picture view. Each picture also comes with a link to an explanation, more display options, biographical information about scientists and astronomers, and supplementary information. Once again; a great page for space related homework, or for anyone staggered by the immensity and beauty of the Cosmos.
www.faddiet.com/ - Here you will find a summary of all the well-known fad diets, and quite a few that aren't so well known. The site includes what you can and cannot eat on each plan, miscellaneous items, humour and cheater's tips. You can even take their survey, if you're inclined. There are tips, too, on how to create your own fad diet. The site is quite a bit of fun.
www.quoteland.com/ - Here's a site to try and remember for all those times when you're struggling for just the right thing to say, or perhaps when you know what was said, but you'd love to know who said it. Quotes are arranged into a number of categories, and there is search feature. The first 10 to e-mail me with who said, "I do not fear computers, I fear lack of them." will be sent a free Norrie the Nerd chocolate bar courtesy of Actrix. Click - email@example.com.
|Gateway to Better
www.nzliving.co.nz/ - NZLiving offers itself as a collection of categorised information about enhancing your life in New Zealand. There are tips, fashion and gardening guides, craft ideas, and much more. There are nine main categories, each with a heap of sub-categories. No matter who you are, you'll probably find something "enhancing" here.
| FBI Home
www.fbi.gov/homepage.htm - This is an interesting page, designed, I guess, as one way for the FBI to interact with the American public in their fight against crime. New Zealanders should find it interesting as well however. There are photos and descriptions of their 10 most wanted, information about international kidnapping rings and a whole lot more. There is even a section of kids and teachers.
|British Newspaper Library
www.bl.uk/collections/newspaper/overview.html - An overdose for news junkies: The British Library Newspaper Library. Boasts a catalogue of more than 52,000 newspaper and periodical titles, making it the only large, integrated national newspaper service in the world.
| Unclaimed Baggage
www.unclaimedbaggage.com - if you've ever lost your luggage or left something on a plane, then you may not be too thrilled about this site. It's devoted to a shop that started 28 years ago and is now a multi-storey shopping complex. Guess what they sell? Unclaimed baggage, of course!
|Truth or Fiction?
www.truthorfiction.com - Your email reality check! When you get e-mails with warnings, virus alerts, inspirational stories, business opportunities, and pleas for help... check them out to see if they are Truth! or Fiction!
|NZ Animal Welfare Links
www.webel.co.nz/animals - Here's one for animal lovers. The site is a collection of links and addresses for New Zealand based animal welfare organisations and web sites containing useful New Zealand related information.
www.nzskateboarding.com - The Intro states: "If you're into skating, old school, new school, vert dog, street skater, long boarder, or even downhill racer, your gonna love NZSKATEBOARDING.COM." Well, I don't even know what half that stuff means, but if you're into skateboarding in New Zealand. This site's no doubt for you.
Bringing It All Back Home
Okay, so that's it from me for another month. Thank you if you've read this far. I hope you found something here to be useful or enjoyable.
I've changed the layout of the table of interesting sites so that it should now print properly. Some customers complained that the table went off the page when they attempted to print the newsletters. Let's hope the new format works a little better.
We have a new shipment of Norrie the Nerd chocolate bars in, and we'd love to give them to you. Norrie has gone into hibernation for a while. I guess he's recuperating from all the stress of his jetsetting technical life style, but he e-mailed me to say he is happy for me to give his chocolate away. There are a couple of ways for you to get yourself a chocolate bar, sent to you courtesy of Actrix. Go back and read again if you have a sweet tooth and you missed them.
If you're not sure who Norrie is, you can check out his site at www.actrix.gen.nz/users/norrie.
Take care through July,
Actrix Newsletter editor