October 23rd, 2008


It's cold out

Still around freezing, though the sunshine as the clouds clear away should warm things up over the course of the morning. I may walk to campus for my 11:00 meeting instead of taking the shuttle.

Last night was going to be a quiet night with leftovers and TV at home, but Sally e-mailed Leslie and me to say she had a duck to share since she was cleaning out her freezer. We ended up dining at Leslie's, so as not to mess up Sally's townhouse, which she's trying to sell. :-) I made something resembling spinach risotto, and when I got down to Leslie's, the duck was roasting. Jonathan (Leslie's son) did a very good job with it.

Tonight I'll catch up on more TV and eat leftovers, probably. I may or may not hit Pixel for cask night first. We'll see.

Please update your Windows computer now.

If you own or use a Windows computer, running Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, or Windows Vista, you need to be aware that Microsoft has released a critical patch today. Microsoft patches security flaws all the time, waiting until the monthly "Patch Tuesday" to release nearly all of them. The very fact that they are releasing a separate patch rather than waiting a couple of weeks makes it clear to me how urgent Microsoft considers the situation.

Please install this update to your Windows computers today. You can do so by choosing "Windows Update" from your Start menu, or visiting http://www.windowsupdate.com/ in Internet Explorer. (That's the only time I'm ever going to tell you you should be using IE instead of another web browser.) Or, if you don't have control over the Windows computer you use at work, please ask your IT staff to install the update today.

I've already patched the Sony Vaio I have at work. Please patch your computer now. Thanks.

More details are available here. The upshot is that unpatched Windows computers could be easily taken over by an attacker, who could then use your computer to attack other computers.

(Details added based on discussion in comments. Yes, I take this seriously. I'm not a Windows security expert, but Windows security experts whose opinions I trust are concerned enough about this vulnerability that I felt it worth my time and energy to spread the word.)