NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Users dis Dell, IE security hell

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Users dis Dell, IE security hell

For someone so well connected, my social networking diva has been impossible to reach lately. I spend more time talking to her voice mail than to her. My emails get rejected by her spam filter, and her IM client says she's offline. If I didn't know any better, I'd think she was trying to avoid me.

Dude, you're getting screwed: Consumers have given Dell the finger, and it's a thumb pointing due south. A University of Michigan survey notes that Dell's customer satisfaction rating has dropped like a rock - although it's still higher than HP's. No surprise there. The phrase "getting Dell'd" refers to being pilloried by bloggers frustrated by poor customer service. And don't hold your breath waiting for the Round Rockers to change their evil ways. Profits were up 28 per cent in Q2, topping $US1 billion. Those are the numbers Dell really cares about.

Arrtez-moi if you've heard this one: The French Security Incident Response Team has identified yet another Internet Explorer security hole that could zombify your PC, if you've got the wrong version of msdds.dll installed.

At press time the SANS Internet Storm Center had put the Net on "yellow alert" (shields up, all geeks to battle stations), declaring an exploit to be imminent. Microsoft had no fix at hand but offered a few work-arounds. Strangely, none of them included dumping IE for Firefox, Netscape, Opera, or two tin cans and a piece of string.

On a clear day you can see Tacoma: Alternate titles for Windows Vista - the operating system formerly known as Longhorn - continue to trickle into Cringe HQ. John L suggests Windows Vishnu - the fully outsourced OS, while Jonathon S asks how I could possibly have forgotten Windows Pain. I can't believe I missed that one either. I must be slipping.

Keepin' it real: Cringester Robert L says he recently got a Dada-esque email from Real Networks saying that they did not receive an email message he never sent them, and if they had received it, they would certainly not respond. I understand the company will soon be changing its name to Surreal Networks.

Got hot tips or untapped IE vulnerabilities? Send them to and you may get a highly secure bag.

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