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ZIP might be the gold standard of consumer file compression, but if you’ve ever downloaded fonts, freeware, or any number of other things there’s a good chance you needed to uncompress a RAR archive somewhere along the way.


WinRAR is a shareware “(Trialware”) application for making and extracting RAR and other kinds of archives.
Security researchers discovered some old code in WinRAR which could allow malicious software to be executed upon decompression if it is delivered in a certain format.


It’s very unlikely that you’ll be affected by this vulnerability, but it’s dead simple to fix the flaw. RARLAB have already removed the offending code from the latest version.

Check if you have WinRAR on your machine.
If you don’t find it in this step, stop-you’re done.

If you found it, navigate to

Download the installer for the latest version (5.70 as of this writing).
Run the installer, which will update WinRAR on your computer.
In case you want more information, here’s a list of the versions affected.
And I recommend you listen to the latest episode of Security Now!, where I initially heard about this.

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Attach a file in gmail

I’m often asked little questions about technology. Here is an example.

How do I attach a file to a message in gMail?

Thank goodness I know this one.

I know that the asker uses gmail regularly, and knows how to compose a new message. That’s where we’ll start.

If you have a modern browser, you can just find your file and drag it to the green bar.

What green bar? I don’t see a green bar!

gMail's drag-n-drop attaching
This green bar.

If you’re using an older browser, or prefer to do things the old-fashioned way (as I often do), then just click on the ‘Attach a file’ link.

gmail compose message screenshot

Then, pick your poison.

File selection dialog
Choose the correct file to upload

Click ‘Select’.

gmail upload progress bar

Wait for the little blue bar to fill up.

Make sure you’ve filled in all the other information you need, like recipients and subject.

By the way, it is perfectly okay to send me a message without a body, especially if you’re sending me an attachment I’m expecting.  It is NEVER okay to send me a message without a subject.  Messages without subjects are headless blobs of nonsense.  I have no way to find them, no way to know what they mean, and no way to remember them.

And that’s all there is to it. Simple, straightforward, and fast. Isn’t that why you use gmail?

If you have any little questions about technology, drop me a line.

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World Cushing’s Awareness Day

Chesterfield, MO–This afternoon at the Samuel C Sachs branch of St Louis County Library, Mayor John Nations of Chesterfield proclaimed today ‘World Cushings [sic] Syndrome Awareness Day’.

Mr Nations presented this proclamation to Ms Susan K Findley, a survivor of the syndrome. She said ‘It was an honor to be recognized by the mayor today. I greatly appreciate him taking time to attend our Cushing’s Awareness event and for issuing and presenting me with the proclamation. He has helped to stoke the fire for my endeavor of speading the word about Cushing’s. I will continue my fight against this brutal condition that could have ended my life and has ended many lives of people around the world, including a couple friends of mine. Lingering symptoms continue to affect me in most of my daily activities, though I am very fortunate to have support of fellow ‘Cushies’ in groups like ‘Cushies on Facebook’. My hope is to spread knowledge and awareness about Cushing’s Syndrome, starting online and in my local community, and not stop until there is global awareness so that no more lives are claimed by this horrible condition that doesn’t care who it ambushes.’

Cushing’s Syndrome is named after the doctor who discovered it, Dr Harvey Williams Cushing, nearly 80 years ago. It is an endocrine disorder caused by high levels of cortisol in the blood. It also has many causes and can manifest over a very short or long time. The symptoms are often misdiagnosed as a combination of other ailments.

Susan Kate Findley is still fighting Cushing’s and intends to continue her advocacy on a global level. She invites everyone to visit the ‘Cushies on Facebook’ group at .

Cushings Proclamation 2010

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iPhone and tethering

Let’s say you pay $1/month for a kettle full of water. It’s your water, and you’re free to drink it all. Now, let’s say you also own a tea bag and want to make a cup of tea with it and the water. Can the water company tell you, “Oh no, we said you can DRINK the water. If you want to make tea with your water, the monthly cost for the same kettle full is $2”?
For those not good at understanding analogies, the water is the data every iPhone user’s paying for, and the tea bag is the tethering capability built-in to every modern iPhone.
If ATT wants to at least double my transfer cap with a tethering plan, I might be willing to pay extra for it. Barring that or some other kind of really compelling value-add, I can’t justify paying more than once for the same data transfer. Can you?
I’ve been thinking about this for a long time as I use my now ancient HTC Kaiser WinMo phone. No tethering might be a deal breaker on a new device at this stage of the game. I also found that there are relatively easy ways to enable tethering on the iPhone…

I’m still torn, but I think my next mobile is going to be an iPhone 3G?S?, that’s why this has been on my mind. The other option I’m giving serious consideration is the Samsung Omnia HD. Thoughts on either, or on the state of ridiculous bandwith use restrictions by ISPs?