NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Microsoft honours worms, Creative Labs squirms

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Microsoft honours worms, Creative Labs squirms

I'm feeling philosophical about the social networking diva. We laughed, we partied and I expanded my network of professional contacts. It was a good thing. Now it's time to take a vow of celibacy - voluntarily, for a change.

Tunnel vision: When Rodney K recently discovered his Net connection was dead, he was flummoxed until he found Microsoft's Teredo Tunnelling Pseudo-Interface running on his system.

Teredo allows data packets using Internet Protocol 6 to reach machines located behind IPv4 network address translators by tunnelling over the UDP (User Datagram Protocol). (Yes, I am a geek.) Part of Windows XP Service Pack 2, Teredo is normally inactive but inexplicably turned itself on, killing any non-IPv6 traffic in the process. Rodney solved the problem by uninstalling Microsoft's TCP/IP version 6. Ironically, Teredo is named after a "shipworm" (actually a mollusk) notorious for gnawing through boats, causing them to sink. Leave it to Microsoft to name a technology after the termite of the sea.

Creature feature: Speaking of worms, Creative Labs may have shipped Neeon MP3 players containing the Wullik.B email worm to its Japanese customers. Creative said only two customers in Asia got the virus, and that it replaced a small number of potentially affected units. Creative's Japanese website tells a different story, claiming as many as 3700 Neeons may have been infected. Maybe it will become part of Creative's newly patented MP3 player interface; you could organise files by artist, album, song or payload.

Insecurity blanket: In June, Cringester Jeff A received an email from Symantec thanking him for renewing his antivirus and security suite subscriptions, along with a bill for roughly $US70. The problem? He's not a Symantec customer. The company said its customer service reps attached someone else's order to his email address by mistake. Two months later he gets another bill for the AV software and two subscriptions to Norton Internet Security. Symantec said it's fixed the problem (again). It was probably just desperate for attention. I know the feeling.

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