Archive 17

office    MapPoint and Streets and Trips Construction Update (Dec 10)

Download the construction information update to keep your maps current.

Save the file in the Data folder, located where you installed the program files for MapPoint or Streets & Trips. For example C:\Program Files\Microsoft MapPoint\Data\.

Download: MapPoint 2001 and Streets and Trips 2001 Construction Update
Download: MapPoint 2002 and Streets and Trips 2002 Construction Update
Download: MapPoint 2003 and Streets and Trips 2003 Construction Update
Download: MapPoint 2004 and Streets and Trips 2004 Construction Update

office    Celebrate the Holidays with Microsoft (Dec 9)

Use templates for writing letters to Santa, creating cards and labels for Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the New Year, and more.

View Microsoft Office website templates: Celebrate the Holidays

info    Congress passes anti-spam bill (Dec 9)

Congress yesterday passed a much-criticised anti-spam bill, after the House voted to approve minor Senate amendments. The Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act does more harm than good in the fight against spam, according to critics.

The bill criminalises common spamming tactics, such as using false return address. But it overrides Californian laws which had allowed spam recipients to sue their tormentors. The bill requires online marketers to act on requests to “opt out” of future emails. This is much less strict than the ‘opt-in’ approach adopted by European Union legislation, which means e-marketers must seek the permission of consumers before they send out commercial emails.

Unfavourable comparisons between the two approaches has led anti-spam group Spamhaus to dub the bill the YOU-CAN-SPAM Act. The Can-Spam Act is expected to be signed into law by President Bush before the start of next year.

View: Congress passes anti-spam bill

info    Mafia muscles in on spam and viruses (Dec 9)

Organised crime is moving online into spam and virus writing – which means attacks may become less common but more dangerous, a Russian antivirus expert has warned. As criminal gangs get involved, the ‘independent’ operators that currently dominate the spam and virus market will be squeezed out, reducing the total number of attacks.

The latest MiMail worms were the first in a new type of attack aimed at deriving financial profit from viruses and malware, according to Eugene Kaspersky, co-founder of Kaspersky Lab and head of its antivirus research.

Recent MiMail variants collected and forwarded PayPal account details to the worms’ creators.

“The business of the mafia is business, and there could be a lot of money to be made from malware and spamming,” said Kaspersky. “As they consolidate control of the business of hacking and virus writing they will squeeze out independents. Spam will be an early target.

“If you are a spammer or malware developer, sooner or later the mafia will come knocking on your door.”

View entire article: Mafia muscles in on spam and viruses

office    Exchange Server 2003 Resource Guide (Dec 9)

Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine and have teamed up to create the Exchange Server 2003 Resource Guide. This FREE guide provides essential information on Exchange Server 2003 for IT professionals and IT managers who must make informed decisions about Microsoft’s major new messaging and collaboration system. Contents include:

  • Quick Analysis: Exchange Server Comparison

  • 4 Dependencies of Exchange

  • Building a Case for Making the Upgrade

  • Exchange Server 2003 Configuration Spotlight

  • Knowledge Base Articles Worth Reading

  • Essential Links

  • Anti-Spam Features in Exchange Server 2003

  • Third-Party Products That Use the Anti-Spam API

  • The Best Microsoft Documentation on Exchange Server 2003

  • Exchange Server 2003 Skills Assessment and Certification

  • Exchange Server 2003 Training

  • Sins of Omission

Free download after registering
View: Exchange Server 2003 Resource Guide via

info    Wicked Sun forces final death of Win98, Office 2000, etc (Dec 9)

Microsoft will pull the plugs on MSDN downloads of a range of products, including Windows 98, Office 2000, SQL Server 7 and NT Workstation, next Monday. These contain the polluted Java which, according to the settlement with Sun, Microsoft has to stop supporting. So it’s all Sun’s fault, really.

Up to a point. The deal with Sun doesn’t actually require Microsoft to completely kill off its JVM finally until September of next year, so it’s clearing the decks early, and perhaps conveniently. The demise of Office 2000, SQL 7 and ISA Server 2000 in particular will help usher users along the company’s recommended upgrade paths. Microsoft will be issuing new, settlement compliant, versions of Office XP Pro, Publisher 2002, NT Server 4.0 and Small Business Server 2000.

Officially, the issue for Microsoft is one of support rather than availability. Windows 98 and NT 4.0 Workstation licences, for example, ceased to be offered through system builders earlier this year. Developers use the MSDN download facility, however, for support and backward compatibility purposes. Prudent developers will therefore be spending the next week grabbing images ‘just in case’, while the surreal-minded among you might care to conjure with the notion of Win98 ISOs showing up on P2P networks, with Sun lawyers in hot pursuit.

View full article:  Wicked Sun forces final death of Win98, Office 2000, etc

office    A First Look At the Exchange Intelligent Message Filter (Dec 8)

In most organizations, unsolicited junk E-mail, or SPAM, is a huge problem. SPAM consumes Internet bandwidth, eats up disk space on your mail server, decreases employee productivity, and can expose your corporation to potential legal liabilities if the recipients find SPAM in their inbox to be offensive. In Exchange Server 2003, Microsoft has implemented a lot of features that help to address the SPAM issue. Exchange 2003 includes anti SPAM features such as real time block list service provider support, black lists and white lists, sender filtering, inbound recipient filtering, and the ability to restrict mail relaying.

Even with all of these built in features, it’s possible that the best Exchange SPAM protection may be yet to come. Microsoft intends to release an Exchange Server 2003 add on product in the first half of 2004 that is intended to dramatically increase Exchange’s ability to deal with SPAM. The product is called Exchange Intelligent Message Filtering.

Exchange Intelligent Message Filtering will be implemented at the Exchange Server level. The software will use something called Microsoft SmartScreen technology to analyze each individual inbound message. Each message is assigned a number which is the software’s SPAM confidence level for that message.

View full article: A First Look At the Exchange Intelligent Message Filter

office    XML opens up Office 2003 (Dec 8)

Royalty-free XML schema promises to ease integration of Office into workflow applications.

Microsoft has opened up some of its Extensible Markup Language (XML) schemas to customers and partners developing solutions based on Office 2003. The move will help firms implement document management systems using XML technology and is being offered under a royalty-free licence to encourage use of the XML specifications, Microsoft said.

The Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas, announced last month, are now available to firms looking to build products or solutions to work with the latest version of Microsoft’s productivity suite. The schemas available under the licensing agreements consist of WordprocessingML, SpreadsheetML and FormTemplate, which apply to Word, Excel and the InfoPath XML forms creation tool, respectively.

Microsoft said the initiative follows discussions with the Danish government over its plans to use XML to manage documents. “The Danish government’s use of standards-based XML technology shows its commitment to forward-thinking IT infrastructure and management,” said Microsoft’s European chairman, Patrick De Smedt. The Danish government wants to encourage better exchange of data across the public sector by creating a repository of XML schemas. Using Microsoft Office and XML may set a precedent for other European governments, he said.

One of the major new features in Office 2003, launched in October, is its support for XML. While Word and Excel are compatible with previous Office file formats, they can optionally save documents as XML files, using Microsoft-defined schemas that describe how data is stored within them. Other XML-enabled applications can use the schema to access the data in such documents.

View entire article: XML opens up Office 2003
View article below for download information

office    Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas (Dec 8)

This download contains the Microsoft Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas and related documentation and now includes:

  • Overview articles on WordprocessingML (the XML file format for Microsoft Office Word 2003), SpreadsheetML (Microsoft Office Excel 2003) and FormTemplate XML schemas (Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003).

  • Reference documentation on the Microsoft Office 2003 schemas, detailing every element and types.

Download: Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas

about    Subscribe to the Newsletter! (Dec 5)

It was a bit of a hassle but finally it’s here; the Outlook Newsletter!

A lot of credits go to my provider and more specifically Guido Nijland who helped me a great deal with the script.

So what can you expect of the newsletter subscription?

  • News updates and links to the latest Microsoft Office updates and add-ins about every two weeks

  • How To article about once a month

  • Specials whenever I feel like one! These could be about anything as long as it is fun and computer related! Like at the moment I’m working on a review Windows XP vs. Mac OS X.

  • Got any other cool ideas? Send them to me! (See About page for address)

So when can you expect the first issue? Well basically that depends on two things; whether the live test succeeds and how much time I’ve got left to get the first issue out. I’m planning before Christmas and otherwise I’ll be one of the first to wish you a Happy New year! :-)

One final thing;
I’ve been testing with the subscription all night but if you still found something broken about it please mail to me so I can look into it. So if you get an error please try again later it’ll be worth it, promise!

Till soon!

Robert Sparnaaij

info    New e-mail worm targets antispammers (Dec 4)

Antispam organizations are the target of a new Internet worm outbreak that tries to knock them offline with a crippling data barrage, computer security experts said Tuesday.

Virus experts believe the worm, W32/Mimail-L, is the work of a vengeful spam e-mail peddler bent on paralyzing organizations that try to deal with spam, the torrents of get-rich-quick schemes and body-enhancement deals that clog in-boxes daily.

“It’s the third Mimail variation to come after us, except this one is trying to do more,” said Steve Linford, founder of The Spamhaus Project, a British-based group that singles out spammers. Spamhaus was hit by Mimail late Monday. According to antivirus and spam-filtering company Sophos, the Mimail-L program comes as an attachment to an e-mail purporting to be from a woman named Wendy who details an erotic encounter and then offers naked photographs. Clicking on the attachment activates the virus. Once triggered, the worm forwards itself to other e-mail users. The worm can also turn the affected PC into a “zombie,” which can then be remotely commanded to bombard one of eight targets, such as Spamhaus, with a disabling blizzard of data–a so-called denial-of-service attack.

View full article: New e-mail worm targets antispammers

office    Outlook 2003 Add-in: Video E-mail UPDATED! (Dec 4)

Use a Web camera to easily send a video e-mail to your friends and family. It takes just two clicks on the Video E-mail for Outlook 2003 add-in.

NOTE: This is a new version, updated December 3, 2003, that fixes an issue with a link in the body of the video e-mail.

If you installed the previous version of Video E-mail, please uninstall the program first.

Download: Outlook 2003 Add-in: Video E-mail

office    Help Publisher for FrontPage (Dec 4)

With this 3rd party FrontPage add-in, you can create full-featured HTML help files as easily as making a Web site. Help Publisher can produce HTML Help 1.x and MS Help 2.0 format help files as well as publishing help topics to Microsoft Word for proofreading and the production of manuals. Automatically creates the help file’s table of contents from the web’s navigation structure and can even create an expandable/collapsible JavaScript contents for website hosted help. Automatic index generation from keywords associated with each topic page. Simple inclusion of context sensitive help and ‘See Also’ menus. Easy import of existing HTML Help Workshop projects and a comprehensive help file and tutorial are provided.

Download: Help Publisher for FrontPage

office    Microsoft Office Visio 2003 Resource Kit Tools (Dec 4)

Tools to support deployment of Microsoft Office Visio 2003

Download: Microsoft Office Visio 2003 Resource Kit Tools

info    Hijacked PCs blamed for a third of spam (Dec 3)

PCs that have been compromised by Trojans are being used by spammers to relay vast amounts of email and avoid detection. One third of all spam circulating the Web is relayed through PCs that have been compromised by Remote Access Trojans (RATs), according to corporate spam and antivirus company, Sophos.

Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant for Sophos, said on Wednesday that the increasing use of broadband Internet connections and a general lack of security awareness have resulted in around one in three spam emails being redirected through the computers of unsuspecting users. “There are lots of people on cable modems and broadband connections that haven’t properly secured their computer. They don’t know it, but their PC is being used as a relay for sending spam to thousands and thousands of other people. We believe that 30 percent of all spam is being sent from compromised computers,” he said.

Cluley said that if a RAT is able to get into a PC, an attacker could take full control of that PC, as long as it is connected to the Internet. “They can steal information, read files, write files, send emails from that users name — it is as though the attacker has broken into the office or home and is sitting in front of that computer,” he said. There is also very little chance that the PC’s owner will have any idea their system is being used by a third party, said Cluley, who warned that an attacker could remove any traces of their activity, so that there would be no obvious record: “It is really just network and Internet bandwidth that is suffering — there is no permanent record left on the PC that you can look up — you wouldn’t see anything if you checked your Outlook sent items folder,” he said.

Sophos is also concerned that there may be a connection between the virus writers and spammers. Cluley pointed out that both groups have similar interests and he said he has known of worms that have attacked anti-spam Web sites: “Anti-spam Web sites have been knocked out by these viruses, why is that? We all suffer from spam. Virus writers are either working with spammers or they are the spammers,” he said.

View: Hijacked PCs blamed for a third of spam