Archive for January, 2008

2003 SP3 security functionality-ecotmy (featurectomy)

Friday, 4th January, 2008

I’ve seen it a few places now, but I’m still not totally clear on the actual impact.

Basically SP3 disables a load of file formats that 2003 used to support ‘for security reasons'(tm).

It adds a bunch of stuff to the registry to enable you to re-enable them if you need to. (and you want to edit your registry freehand (and your admins didn’t set it by policy)).

Here are a few links to keep you busy:

http://www.betanews.com/article/Microsofts_planned_obsolescence_smacks_Office_2003/1199306131

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/938810/en-us

[psst don’t tell the bad guys – I’m still on 2003 SP1, everything since then has been security by removal (featurectomy is the technical term)].

Has anyone actually had a problem with this? I know they did a ton of fuzzing as part of the 2007 development, I assume this is the security issues they found in prior versions being closed (the easy way).

I don’t blame them for cutting stuff out rather than fixing it, but I do find it amusingly ironic. The standard MS response to any accusation of bloatware is always that all those features are there because someone is using them – not any more though, hey? I guess the new ‘more hostile environment’ justification come into play though.

Incidentally I have read a few problems with COM add-ins too after SP3, one to avoid installing if possible I reckon. If security is that much more important than functionality in your organisation you may want to consider pen and paper, or maybe an abacus.

Anyone got any real world experience of actual problems to share?

Cheers

Simon

New words

Thursday, 3rd January, 2008

I learnt a couple of new words recently from our friends at El Reg.

Blogtard – a blogger who is not at the pinnacle of intellectual capacity.

Celebtard (or celebutard) – a celebrity who is not the pinnacle of intellectual capacity (Paris Hilton seems to be the classic example)

In fact it seems you can remove the ‘re’ from retard and put tard of the end of anything for an instant mild insult.

I havent come up with a decent ***tard that might describe a spreadsheet user who is not at the pinnacle of intellectual capacity. Any suggestions?

Hope you had a good break, we did (/are doing), although the smurflings are beginning to go mildly stir crazy. Surprising as they haven’t completely broken every Christmas toy yet.

cheers

Simon