Thursday, May 29, 2008

Flash, AGAIN 

Youtube videos, and a lot of those annoying flashing ads, come to you courtesy of a third-party plugin ("Flash") in your browser. Sometimes it has security vulnerabilities that let the files it shows take over your computer. It's got one now, and last I heard there was no patch available. Meantime bad guys are taking over legitimate web sites and using them to send you hostile Flash files.

You're fairly well protected if you're a Firefox user and have the NoScript extension installed.

If you run Internet Explorer, you can either temporarily disable or uninstall Flash. I recommend uninstalling it and then, if you want, reinstalling it later after there's a fix for the current problem. Here are instructions for uninstalling the Flash plugin. Youtube, a number of games, and a lot of annoying ads will stop working until you reinstall.

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Monday, May 05, 2008

If you're not doing anything wrong, why worry about privacy? 

One answer to that question is that you might have just broken up with someone who has access to a government database. Information Week reports on a Federal agent indicted for stalking an ex-girlfriend using a government database.

What we have to insist on as citizens is accountability. That case could have been much worse if it had happened in secret.

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