Notes from the Field: Microsoft fixes nixed, D-Link routers bollixed

Yahoo has been accused of ratting out yet another Chinese dissident (, according to Reporters Without Borders. The search giant's Hong Kong division allegedly turned over emails written by Jiang Lijun to authorities three years ago. Jiang is now doing four years in the slammer for promoting democracy. This may be the only area where Yahoo isn't playing catch-up with Google. However, there's no truth to the rumour that Yahoo CEO, Terry Semel, ( will star in the new TV series, "Law and Order: Beijing".

The hole enchilada: Two critical Windows fixes have put some machines in critical condition. Proving that Microsoft is an equal opportunity bugmaker, the patches affected users of HP photo sharing software, Google Toolbar, Kerio Personal Firewall, and Siebel 7. Not to worry, though. Microsoft says it plans to patch the patch ( that was patching IE's unpatchable security holes.

Time out: Poul-Henning Kamp just wanted to keep accurate time for a few Danish ISPs. Then he discovered his Network Time Protocol server on a list of NTP sites built into the firmware of D-Link routers, which collectively ping his server ( three million times per day checking to see what time it is. (Thanks to James P and Mike B for the tip.) The self-described "time geek" estimates the D-Link traffic will cost him nearly $US9000 per year in bandwidth charges. Kamp wants D-Link either to pony up ( or put an end to the "clocksuckers". The router maker says it's looking into Kamp's claims but cannot comment about an ongoing investigation. Sounds like Scotty McClellan got a job at D-Link.

Ink different: When not handling payouts from Sony BMG's rootkit debacle (, Rust Consulting is managing proposed settlements for an Epson class action suit (, notes Cringeman Tom C. Disgruntled users claim Epson's printers portrayed ink jet cartridges as empty when they really weren't. Epson has offered to shell out $US45 per printer - a darn site more generous than Sony's offer. Of course, it will be months before the ink is dry on this one.

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