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            Issue 37 - 1st October 2000

Welcome to PC Alert, the email newsletter that
keeps you informed of the best new tech support
resources on the Internet.

PC Alert is free. If you like it, why not share
the good news and email a copy to a friend or
colleague?

PC Alert is sponsored by PC Support Advisor and
PC Network Advisor, the standard reference sources
for support professionals.  Find out how much
easier your tech support job can be - get free
copies of PC Support Advisor and Network Advisor now.
Just point your browser at http://www.itp-journals.com.

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FROM THE EDITOR

A new breed of software is threatening the very existence
of the Web.  No, not viruses, but programs which block
banner ads on Web sites.

There are 2 ways of making money directly from a Web site.
Either you sell something, such as books or porn, or you
carry other people's adverts on your site and charge
the advertisers each time one of your visitors clicks
the advert.

But banner ads are getting larger and more irritating.
They frustrate visitors to Web sites with flashing
pictures and bright colours, and the latest ad-serving
engines introduce delays so that the visitor stares
at the advert and no other content for a few seconds
before the remainder of the page loads.

Companies don't like staff clicking on ads, because
the users get redirected to sites which are nothing
to do with the reason for being on the original site.

It's easy to understand why the market for software to
block the adverts grew up.  And there's now a large
collection of products filling that market, both
shareware/freeware and traditional commercial.  The
programs, some of which are stand-alone and some of
which work with existing proxy servers or firewalls,
result in banner ads being replaced by empty boxes,
or by nothing at all.  There's even talk of someone
developing a proxy server for use within companies
that will replace banner ads with local content.

The use of ad-blockers is certainly going to grow.
This means that the ability to make money from
adverts on Web sites will diminish.

So how will the Web marketeers choose to make money
next?  I can't wait to find out.
 

Robert Schifreen

PS:  Do you have a favourite site that you'd like to
see featured in PC Alert?  If so, send details to me
at editor@itp-journals.com.

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IN THIS ISSUE

1. TOP SUPPORT SITES
    - The IT Portal
    - Technick.net
    - Password Crackers

2. SUPPORT UTILITIES
    - Antivirus for Linux
    - Catch-UP
    - Ad-Aware

3. SERVICE RELEASES AND PATCHES
    - Windows Media Player 7
    - CiscoSecure ACS
    - Windows 2000 Telnet

4. OTHER USEFUL STUFF
    - RAID for Firewalls
    - PaintShop Pro 7
    - Vulnerability Databases
    - Motion Detection

5. TECH SUPPORT RESOURCES
    - Windows 2000 Security Features
    - Third-Party Windows Defrag Tools

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1. TOP SUPPORT SITES
====================

The IT Portal
The IT Portal is a general IT site containing information
on hundreds of topics.  If you need to brush up your skills
in a certain area, or a user needs fast information on a
topic, you'll probably find it here.  Includes news, reviews,
white papers, analysis and more.
http://www.theitportal.com
PC Alert Rating: Recommended

Technick.net
Technick is a huge online database of hardware tips,
including pinout details for dozens of cables and
connectors.
http://www.technick.net
PC Alert Rating: Highly Recommended

Password Crackers
There are lots of programs around that will automatically
crack passwords.  We all know the common ones such as
the L0pht cracker for NT.  But what others are there?
Are your own systems using hardware for which easily-
available password crackers exist?  Check this list
of password crackers, and consider trying them yourself
before the hackers do.
http://members.aol.com/jpeschel/crack.htm#ktools

2. SUPPORT UTILITIES
====================

Antivirus for Linux
Kaspersky Lab, a Russian software house, has released
a Linux version of its AVP (Antivirus Pro) tool. The
product is available in both server and workstation
flavours.  The server version includes tools for centralising
antivirus support within a company.
http://www.kaspersky.com

Catch-UP
Catch-UP is a free program which connects to a Web
site that checks your PC and tells you whether there
are any important patches, drivers or upgrades
available for your particular configuration.
It will then compile a list of files you need,
and the sites to download them from.
http://www.manageable.com

Ad-Aware
Among the best programs for blocking Web site banner
ads from users' browsers is Ad-Aware.
http://www.lavasoft.de

3. SERVICE RELEASES AND PATCHES
===============================

Windows Media Player 7
Microsoft released version 7 of the Windows Media Player
last week, and almost immediately issued a security patch
for it.  The patch is nothing to do with playing media
files such as MP3s, but could allow someone to send an email
message which would crash the email application.
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/fq00-068.asp

CiscoSecure ACS
Cisco has released a large set of patches for CiscoSecure
ACS for Windows NT Server.  All releases of the product
up to 2.4(2) are at risk, and are fixed in 2.4(3).
http://www.cisco.com

Windows 2000 Telnet
Microsoft has re-issued an earlier patch that fixed
a problem with the Telnet application in Windows 2000.
If you installed the patch issued on 14th September,
you are advised to install the new one too, which was
released on September 21st.
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/fq00-067.asp

4. OTHER USEFUL STUFF
=====================

RAID for Firewalls
A new company called Rainfinity claims to do for firewalls
and VPNs what RAID does for hard disks.  If there's a problem,
the Rainwall program automatically switches to a backup
firewall or VPN system to ensure that traffic continues
to get through.
http://www.rainfinity.com

PaintShop Pro 7
Version 7 of PaintShop Pro, our favourite image file editor,
is now out.  Download your copy today.  Ideal for editing
pictures, and for converting between dozens of image
file formats.
http://www.jasc.com

Vulnerability Databases
SecurityFocus.com maintains a very useful site which contains
details of all known security vulnerabilities for all the
major operating systems.  Well worth a browse to ensure that
you're protected from the most important dangers.
http://www.securityfocus.com/vdb/stats.html

Motion Detection
CoffeeCup Software, the people behind a rather good
HTML editor, have added a new feature to their WebCam
software.  It now includes motion detection, which will
send an email to a designated address when the camera
detects motion.  It'll even send you a picture of the
scene.  Ideal for keeping tabs on the office at night.
http://www.coffeecup.com/webcam

5.  TECH SUPPORT RESOURCES
==========================

Windows 2000 Security Features
The October issue of PC Network Advisor has just been
published, and includes a feature on the new security
features in Windows 2000.  You can read the complete
article online.
http://www.itp-journals.com

Third-Party Windows Defrag Tools
In the newly-published issue of PC Support Advisor,
there's a detailed article that examines the hard disk
defragmentation tools available for all of the Windows
platforms.  If you're looking for the best tool, check
out the article.  You can download it for free.
http://www.itp-journals.com
 

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                  ABOUT PC ALERT

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