Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rise of Email spam

The Sophos Report on spam in Aug 08 will really make many companies re-look at their anti spam capability, in particular MS Windows based systems.
There are a few employees who attempt to inform or complain in the increase number of spam to the ICT managers, but these are ignored or placed in a low level of importance. Worst, I heard that one MS Exchange based organisation decided that nothing much can be done and employees were to delete spams on their own.

Some of the spams are Agent-HNY Trojan Horse, is disguised as the Penguin Panic arcade game for Apple iPhones, EncPk-CZ Trojan which pretended to be a Microsoft security patch, and the Invo-Zip malware, which masqueraded as a notice of a failed parcel delivery from firms such as UPS.

Spam origins are ranked highest from US, Russia, Turkey and China. If more desktops for critical areas are migrated to Linux, then these desktops can be proctected.

Friday, October 17, 2008

OpenOffice.org 3.0 Released!

Installed Windows OOo 3.0 (OOO300m9) on Ubuntu Linux 7.10 with Wine 1.0 successfully! Downloaded from http://mirror.oscc.org.my for faster download. Already there is a 300m10 within the week.

But the Check for updates button isnt working.

Others look good!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fresh install of OpenOffice.org

Downloaded and installed OpenOffice.org (OO0) 300m8 on the following platform.

Wine 0.9.46
Sun Java Runtime Environment (JRE) 1.6.0_04
Ubuntu Linux 7.10

Filed bugs:
#94603 because the File ->Open dialog didnt appear till I reboot.
#94604 because the drag and copy did not show a plus sign.
#94605 because the solver tool in Calc doesnt allow slection of multiple cells for "By Changing cells" option.
#94607 because the Impress is not able to play slides with graphics smoothly. See Image below.

#94609 because the Drawing tool didnt allow wrapping of images around 3D objects.

Noticeable changes in OOo3
  1. Start Centre Dialog (appears when OOo is open without any documents).
  2. Native Tables can be added to Impress slides. This includes Table design styles in the Task Menu.
  3. Calc sheet names can now contain non alphanumeric characters like % $ ' .
  4. Calc includes a solver tool that works.
  5. Writer notes feature that is displayed at side of the document with different colours for each user.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A CMS called Drupal

Content Management Systems (CMS) like Drupal have been popular as it provided a relatively powerful framework for customisation. As Drupal is upgraded, the user customised modules are protected to ensure that it can continue to work. Currently many CMS administrators fear upgrading their CMS as things will break due to extensive customisations.

Drupal version 5.x and 6.x currently supports PHP 5.2. This provides better security and performance. Did I mention performance? Currently due to Drupal modularity, it can be tweak for performance to the max. This depends on the web server, PHP and MySQL settings. By default, non registered visitors use Drupal cached pages which reduces load on Drupal.
See a typo3, Joomla and Drupal and part II comparison.

Drupal provides regular security updates at http://drupal.org/security and through mailing list.

Following are general precautions on installation of CMS, refer to http://tboxmy.blogspot.com/2008/08/cms-called-joomla.html
Additional precautions you can take:

Use only modules that is proven secure. Drupal security problems revolve mostly on poorly written additional modules.

Example of vulnerability:
Plugin Manager - Access Bypass, allowed any user to uninstall and remove modules.
Mail handler - SQL injection, allowed malicious users to gain administrator access.

Fax server on Linux

Installing Hylafax to achieve mass faxing. You need to know what is a fax and how it operates before proceeding here.

Currently the Ubuntu does not detect Lenovo R60's built in modem. So I did not get to actually test if the fax server works. The Thinkwiki site didnt show that R60's modem can work. However 2 years ago, Hylafax could what I tried to set out doing today on a PC with Modem attached.

Hylafax Homepage, Documentations. Listed here are the basics for Hylafax on Ubuntu.

Step 1: Installation
sudo apt-get install hylafax-client hylafax-server libfax-hylafax-client-perl transfig
[OPTIONAL]
sudo apt-get install mgetty-viewfax mgetty psrip libtiff-opengl

Step 2: Configure server
faxsetup

[NOTE] This will result in the file /etc/hylafax/config.ttyS0

Step 3: Auto server
vi /etc/default/hylafax/

Remove comment (#) for RUN_HYLAFAX=1

[TODO] Create links to
/etc/hylafax/getty-link
/etc/hylafax/vgetty-link
/etc/hylafax/egetty-link

Sending faxes
sendfax -f "myname@mydomain.com" -R -r "faxsubject" -c "coverpage comments" -x "Recipient's company" -d "Recipient@1234567" tofax.ps

Standard HylaFAX-compatible file formats are ASCII, TIFF, PostScript, and PDF (in versions newer than 4.1beta2)

Notes:
Modem support is in /var/spool/hylafax/etc/setup.modem
Configuration parameters written to /var/spool/hylafax/etc/setup.cache
Add modems with faxaddmodem command

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Malaysia moves to OSS - Will it help the economy?

With the OSCC MAMPU success of the MyGOSSCON 2007, lots of government OSS projects have started to be highlighted. This year's MyGOSSCON 08, will be held on 5-6 Nov 2008 at the PICC, Putrajaya.

Economy and jobs for OSS

Will all this move to OSS help the economy? Malaysia is a country surrounded by Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand and depends a lot of its revenue from trades. Malaysia have a modest broadband availability and quality of service with a largely open Internet policy.

In regards to any ICT procurements, the cost can be reduced by;
  1. Preference of alternative/cheaper software
  2. Preference of software that reduces maintenance and security
Currently Malaysia buys too much of software. This leads to:
  1. Lost opportunity of exposure to building enterprise/advanced applications
  2. Preference of foreign systems to local ICT solutions when making procurement decisions
If more OSS is introduced;
  1. Malaysia can be a net exporter of ICT solutions (increase in jobs, more revenue)
  2. Increase in skilled ICT workforce (increase in local and foreign jobs)
  3. Collaborative work on a global level (increase job opportunities)
  4. Nature of OSS is productivity (a wider number of solutions will be available, more busines/jobs)
  5. Increase in home based workers. Freelance, home makers, students, retiree and those with lots of free time can take part in many more business as the barrier entry is lowered. Cheaper software on any platform can be easily accessible for Internet based business.