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WE’RE BACK!!!   After nearly one full month of being unable to restore the main database, the problem was finally traced to a defective CPU cooling fan. You know, that little gizmo about 2″ (5cm) square, worth about $5.00 that spins and blows barely enough air to feel with your hand? Many thanks to the fanatical team at Rackspace for finally solving the mystery. Also thanks for the saint like patience of iWeb CEO John Cokos who helped me resurrect from the ashes the once hopelessly corrupted database.Without his help we might still be down. There were 1,200 new sites waiting which have been added and 25,000 more pages spidered from those sites which will be added to the main database shortly. Now that’s progress! Now maybe I can get some restful sleep again.

This month’s headline is really the computer virus watch. It bears some serious reflection.

I’ve posted a new online poll at SurfSafely.com.   Please take a moment to vote early so I know it’s my readers voting first.  I’m very curious how this one turns out.

That’s really about it for now. Sorry I don’t have much more for you than this but In my defense I have been pretty busy. Now that the dust is settling at SurfSafely.com it’s back to the task at hand, helping parents create a safe and wholesome computing environment for their children in the home and in their schools. Of course SurfSafely plays a major role but I’ve got more cooking than just this. Be watching for some exciting announcements very soon. 2004 is going to be a very good year for online safety initiatives.

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Computer virus watch.

If anyone doubts the serious nature of email viruses just talk to the execs over at SCO. The MyDoom virus that infected well over 500,000 computers worldwide unleashed it’s destructive payload from over 200,000 of them on February 1st by sending http requests to the SCO web site effectively rendering it unusable and will continue to do so until it’s programmed to stop on February 15. After that, unless it’s removed using antivirus software it will lay in wait on unrepaired computers for hackers to utilize as “open relays” (an electronic veil of anonymity) for attacking other computers placing the home computer user in the sights of law enforcement until cleared when it’s discovered that they were used as a pawn in a much bigger game. Yes folks, if your computer is infected with MyDoom, there is a chance (albeit remote) that the FBI may come knocking if a hacker uses it to do serious harm and the first place the trail leads them is to your home.

MyDoom is particularly sinister in that it reveals the true motives of the author. If the name SCO isn’t familiar to you it may be soon. They’re suing IBM for 5 billion dollars over alleged copyright infringements of Linux on SCO’s Unix operating system. Linux is a server based operating system similar to Unix supported and developed by the open source community at large and by far the most popular OS for web servers in the world. SCO’s lawsuit has the open source community up in arms because if they win it would likely force the Linux open source project underground and place other open source OS projects in peril. The virus attack on SCO is clearly a warning shot across the bow and likely an indicator of worse things to come.

Who knows what else the hackers have in mind for SCO that the virus makes available to them simply because it lays in wait as a tool for them to unleash? It is cyber terrorism at it’s very worst. I’m not happy with SCO’s lawsuit either because I too rely on open source Linux for my web servers but terrorism is not the way to respond and not likely to cause SCO to back down any time soon. I will watch with vested interest to see how it all shakes out. In the mean time I do not plan to become a pawn in someone else’s twisted games. My antivirus software IS up to date.

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