Monday, July 27, 2009

NY Times Launches Own Version of DiggBar?

So I clicked on a Digg article link for an NYT story this morning, and to my surprise I didn’t get the DiggBar at the top of the window as I’ve come to expect.  In its place was the message “Welcome to TimesPeople”.  It would appear that the NYT has launched its own toolbar for its TimesPeople social network. At least I don’t have two site bars at the top of my screen…


Check it out for yourself:

Digg story link I saw this morning: http://digg.com/d3yhY9

TimesPeople home: http://timespeople.nytimes.com/home

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Undo SQL 2000 hardening by restoring potentially dangerous xp_* proecdures

ArcServe backup uses some of these xp_* extended stored procedures to execute SQL agent backups.  I can never find this quickly (took me over an hour searching the web today) so I’m re-posting this script here.

Disclaimer: Before you run either of these scripts, please know exactly what you’re doing.  I’m not responsible if you use these and break your SQL server installation.  Remember that with great power comes great responsibility.  Use yours wisely.

Scripts after the break.

SQL Script to restore potentially dangerous stored procedures:

use master
exec sp_addextendedproc xp_cmdshell,@dllname = 'xplog70.dll'
exec sp_addextendedproc xp_enumgroups,@dllname = 'xplog70.dll'
exec sp_addextendedproc xp_loginconfig,@dllname = 'xplog70.dll'
exec sp_addextendedproc xp_enumerrorlogs,@dllname = 'xpstar.dll'
exec sp_addextendedproc xp_getfiledetails,@dllname = 'xpstar.dll'
exec sp_addextendedproc Sp_OACreate,@dllname = 'odsole70.dll'
exec sp_addextendedproc Sp_OADestroy,@dllname = 'odsole70.dll'
exec sp_addextendedproc Sp_OAGetErrorInfo,@dllname = 'odsole70.dll'
exec sp_addextendedproc Sp_OAGetProperty,@dllname = 'odsole70.dll'
exec sp_addextendedproc Sp_OAMethod,@dllname = 'odsole70.dll'
exec sp_addextendedproc Sp_OASetProperty,@dllname = 'odsole70.dll'
exec sp_addextendedproc Sp_OAStop,@dllname = 'odsole70.dll'
exec sp_addextendedproc xp_regaddmultistring,@dllname = 'xpstar.dll'
exec sp_addextendedproc xp_regdeletekey,@dllname = 'xpstar.dll'
exec sp_addextendedproc xp_regdeletevalue,@dllname = 'xpstar.dll'
exec sp_addextendedproc xp_regenumvalues,@dllname = 'xpstar.dll'
exec sp_addextendedproc xp_regremovemultistring,@dllname = 'xpstar.dll'
exec sp_addextendedproc xp_regwrite,@dllname = 'xpstar.dll'
exec sp_addextendedproc xp_dirtree,@dllname = 'xpstar.dll'
exec sp_addextendedproc xp_regread,@dllname = 'xpstar.dll'
exec sp_addextendedproc xp_fixeddrives,@dllname = 'xpstar.dll’


And to remove them, you can execute this script.

SQL Script to remove potentially dangerous stored procedures:

use master
exec sp_dropextendedproc 'xp_cmdshell'
exec sp_dropextendedproc 'xp_enumgroups'
exec sp_dropextendedproc 'xp_loginconfig'
exec sp_dropextendedproc 'xp_enumerrorlogs'
exec sp_dropextendedproc 'xp_getfiledetails'
exec sp_dropextendedproc 'Sp_OACreate'
exec sp_dropextendedproc 'Sp_OADestroy'
exec sp_dropextendedproc 'Sp_OAGetErrorInfo'
exec sp_dropextendedproc 'Sp_OAGetProperty'
exec sp_dropextendedproc 'Sp_OAMethod'
exec sp_dropextendedproc 'Sp_OASetProperty'
exec sp_dropextendedproc 'Sp_OAStop'
exec sp_dropextendedproc 'xp_regaddmultistring'
exec sp_dropextendedproc 'xp_regdeletekey'
exec sp_dropextendedproc 'xp_regdeletevalue'
exec sp_dropextendedproc 'xp_regenumvalues'
exec sp_dropextendedproc 'xp_regremovemultistring'
exec sp_dropextendedproc 'xp_regwrite'
drop procedure sp_makewebtask

Monday, June 1, 2009

Remove (Annoying) AOL Email Footer

I regularly get a few calls a month about this issue, so I decided to (finally) write a post about it. If your anti-spam software or appliance is set to block ad links to doubleclick.net (as mine is), you’ve undoubtedly faced this issue as well.  Some, but not all messages from aol.com mail users will be blocked. This is caused by AOL’s automatic message footer which includes ads from various online ad services, doubleclick.net being the most prevalent.  This reminds me that I need to tune the filter to block the other ad agencies footer content as well.

All is not lost, there is a way for the average AOL mail user to disable the problematic message footer. Thanks to Microsoft MVP Bill Pytlovany who has provided clear and concise instructions on how to disable the message footer, which I have reproduced below based on his original post:

AOL users can click the following, remove the check box next to Show the message footer at the bottom of each email you send. and click Save.


The original post on Bill’s blog can be found here.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Weather site for HDTVs and other large format displays

Weather_1300x700I needed to find a website that displayed quick weather info on a 1920x1080 display as part of a series of  websites that cycle through every 30 seconds. Various IT systems status, news headlines, company facts, etcetera.

I couldn’t find something out there that I really liked, so I decided to craft my own with the help of the Yahoo! Weather RSS Feed. Although I had to get past Yahoo including some field names “yweather:condition” that don’t validate when using LINQ, I was able to coax the RSS feed to my will using plain old XML parsing into a dictionary object.

The code’s attached (documentation is little to none), and provided without warranty of any kind.  YMMV.  Let me know what you think.

paperclip Download

This code is released under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

How to prevent Boot Camp help from launching on first logon to Windows

As part of preparing a Mac Mini/Boot Camp/Windows XP deployment, we needed to prevent the Boot Camp help from running each time a new user logged into the computer.  There are two ways to do this. 
Disclaimer: While I have proven that the content of this post works for me, this information is provided without warranty of any kind. And remember the standard registry editing disclaimer applies. As always, have good backups before changing system settings.

Method 1:

The first is to remove the Apple_KbdMgr entry from the HKLM\…\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run registry key.  This change will affect all users who log on.


Sunday, February 15, 2009