Dour prognostications for the new year have failed to materialize, but other troubles abound: we look at Apple’s OT Tuner 1.0, the problem that sparked it, and cover sources of network security information. We also note updates to Microsoft Excel 98, Internet Explorer 4.51, Outlook Express 5.01, and Now Up-to-Date & Contact. Changing topics, we interview Neil Shapiro about the Internet reappearance of MAUG, the first online Apple community. This week’s poll queries your Y2K experience, and we have a schedule of staff appearances at this week’s Macworld Expo.
TidBITS Appearances at Macworld SF -- We may be a virtual organization, but we love meeting you in person at Macworld Expos. If you're attending the show this week in San Francisco, stop by one or more of the events below and say hello.
Wednesday, 05-Jan-00: Adam will be signing copies of his Eudora VQS book at the Aladdin Systems booth (#2217) from 1:00-2:00 PM
Minor Y2K Fix for Excel 98 -- Microsoft Corporation has released a minor update to Excel 98 for Macintosh to address a problem exporting date information to text files using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA)
Now Up-to-Date & Contact Are Now Up to Date -- Power On Software is delivering on its promise to continue development of Now Up-to-Date & Contact, its calendar and contact combo purchased from Qualcomm earlier this year
MWJ Mac OS 9 Coverage at Fatbrain.com -- GCSF, Inc., the publisher of the weekly Macintosh journal MWJ, has made its extensive Mac OS 9 coverage available as a free 76-page PDF file
Poll Results: Buying Digital Cameras -- From 06-Dec-99 to 31-Dec-99 we ran three polls about digital cameras, and for once, I'm pleased to say that barely anyone participated at all
Poll Preview: A-OK for Y2K? The world did not end at the stroke of midnight on 01-Jan-00 - nor did the world's computer systems come crashing to a halt, even in regions that had taken Y2K-preparedness lightly
Apple Computer has released OT Tuner 1.0, a tiny patch which disables an option in Open Transport that could enable Macs connected to the Internet to be used as traffic amplifiers (see below) in a distributed denial-of-service attack
Like many Mac users, I've been busy this last week installing Apple's Open Transport Tuner 1.0. This patch blocks a potential denial of service attack that can be launched from Macintosh systems running Mac OS 9 and certain CPU configurations running Mac OS 8.6 - see Geoff Duncan's piece in this issue for details on the vulnerability and Apple's fix.
John Copeland, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, identified this potential attack after detecting a port scan on his home network
Some years ago we published a couple of interviews in TidBITS, including one with Peter N Lewis of Anarchie fame and another with Daryl Peck, founder of Outpost.com