All posts for the month June, 2009



We has a rather severe thunderstorm on Friday morning.  Lightning, lots of rain and high winds – and we were just on the edge of the storm.  After the storm we discovered our apple tree had been uprooted.  The combination of wind and saturated soil were responsible, plus the tree was getting quite old.  No other damage found other than small limbs from other trees being broken off.

At least apple is pretty decent for firewood…

Now distributed raman amplifierSun is getting into the game of secretly futzing around with FireFox!  A recent Java Runtime update added something called Java Quick Starter to FireFox and just like with the Microsoft one, they did it without telling you or giving you a way to say “No Thanks”.  Again, the uninstall option is not available.

I’m not sure if there is any security risk with this add-on but I’m getting a little tired of having updates to one piece of software go and screw up some other, unrelated, program.  How do we tell these pushy companies to keep their cotton picking hands off FireFox?  Maybe the folks at Mozilla need to block add-ons that aren’t explicitly requested by the user.

Anyway, if you find it in your list of add-ons, here is a link to information on what it does and how to get rid of it if you want to.  They seem to work but require a reboot.

If you are like me you use the FireFox web browser for security reasons.  If so, here is something you really should be aware of.  In a recent Windows update, Microsoft quietly slipped in an add-on for FireFox that makes that browser much less secure.

This add-on allows a web site to quietly install software on your computer without your knowledge or permission!  Avoiding things like this is one of the main reasons people switched from IE to FireFox to begin with.  Worse, this add-on has its uninstall button DISABLED so it cannot be removed once discovered.

Here is a link to another article with more of the gory details.

This situation has caused a huge brouhaha on the net – enough that MS finally put out a patch to allow people to uninstall the add-on (knowledge base article: KB963707). Go to this URL to download the appropriate file (32 or 64 bit).   You may have to use IE 🙁 to download the file.

Once you run this update, the uninstall button for the .NET add-on will be enabled and you can get rid of this  nasty little bit of Microsoft junk in the usual way of uninstalling a FireFox add-on.

What I can’t understand is why Microsoft thinks it is justified in tampering with non-MS software.  Just one more reason not to trust them.