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Thoughts on many things Posts

Stoppering GMail’s default security problem

At this year’s DefCon, a security problem inherent to the default settings in GMail was unveiled. The problem is that, by default, GMail does not use encrypted sessions.
This can be a problem if you use public computers, because the session key might be retrievable. With the session key in hand, access is apparently simple enough to gain.
Luckily, this is simply corrected. Here’s how:

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WLAN problems after Windows Update

I’ve been seeing a problem lately with a few computers. After installing the latest security updates, their WLAN card stops working. It is unable to acquire a dynamic IP address from any router, and setting a static IP address does not work either.
The cause
The cause of the problem is a Microsoft recommended hotfix, (815485). The hotfix is part of an optional, though recommended update to Windows XP.
The solution
Resolving this problem can be done in one out of two ways, either by uninstalling the specific hotfix, or by rolling back to a previous system restore point.
Uninstalling the hotfix:


Windows Vista SP1 – First impressions

Windows Vista UltimateSo, I finally bought a new computer. It’s a pretty smooth bit of kit if I might say so. It’s a HTPC, with a 3GHz CPU and 4GB RAM. It also runs Windows Vista Ultimate, and is my first real day-to-day encounter with said OS.
The computer arrived at my place a little more than a week ago. Setup was quick (quicker than the setup of a preinstalled Windows XP machine) and simple (simpler than the setup of a preinstalled Windows XP machine). It boots quickly (well, it’d better with the amount of CPU and RAM I got for it), and seems stable.
I went for Vista Ultimate, because I wanted all the bells an whistles of Vista, and so it seems I have got. First off, is visually very appealing. Windows Vista is pure eyecandy, no doubt about it. When that’s said, most of the tips, tricks and hotkeys I know for Windows XP Professional, seems to work in Vista as well.
Vista has a handfull of new features, compared to Windows XP. Though I haven’t tried them all out, I have found the following particularly useful:

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Why restarting your computer resolves many problems

As a Desktop Support Technician, one of my most common answer to a problem a user is having is “Reboot the computer, call me up if that doesn’t clear it for you.” The reason for this is as simple as it is self-evident. It usually does the trick. Why it works, now that’s another matter altogether…
There are several reasons that rebooting your computer, either a hard or soft reboot (the difference is whether you use the “restart” or “shut down” options) helps resolve software related problems. Off the top of my head, here’s a few:
A reboot:

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Firefox saving your tabs

With the release of Firefox 3, users have gotten a few nifty little tools to use, a few of which I noted in a previous post. Another tool, which I had missed was the ability to save the tabs of your current session, so that they’d open the next time you’d open Firefox. Before Firefox 3, to achieve this, you’d have to open the Windows task manager and kill the process.

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