10/30/2005

U.S. Investigates Sale of MREs on eBay

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Uncle Sam has tried to feed millions of hurricane victims this year with Meals-Ready-to-Eat, or MREs, only to fear that some of them have become Meals-Ready-for-eBay.

The government is looking into whether eBay sellers in Gulf Coast states are trying to profit from military foodstuffs handed out for free following hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma.

Representatives for eBay, the online auctioneer company, say it is impossible to prove that any of the meals were meant for hurricane victims. They note that MREs can be bought in camping stores and Army-Navy surplus outlets.

But at least some of the MREs advertised on the Web site are being sold from Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and other Gulf states, and are individually packaged with a disclaimer that clearly notes: “U.S. Government property - Commercial resale is unlawful.”

“If it’s true, that’s pretty reprehensible,” said Cheryl Guidry Tyiska, deputy director of the National Organization of Victim Assistance. “There are a lot of pretty hungry people down there who could use the food for free.”

One seller, identified as from “Louisiana Cajun Country,” described being hit “with the eye of Rita.” Bidding had reached $50.99 for the seller’s unopened case of MREs by Saturday.

The Homeland Security Department’s inspector general has asked investigators to examine the suspicious MREs on eBay, spokeswoman Tamara Faulkner said. In the past, the Pentagon has complained about MRE sales on eBay, Defense Logistics Agency spokeswoman Marcia Klein said. The agency has not decided whether to pursue the current eBay sales, though officials are considering all avenues, she said.

Source: AP

Tip: Customize Windows Explorer View

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Windows explorer is one of the most useful tools in Windows. But if you are like me and don’t like the default view of Windows explorer, and want for instance that every time you open Windows Explorer it fill focus on D:\ you can easily customize it to your own needs.

You can use the following switches with the Explorer.exe command.

  • /n - Opens a new single-pane Window for the default selection. This is usually the root of the drive on which Windows is installed.
  • /e - Starts Windows Explorer using its default view.
  • /e, - Starts Windows Explorer using its default view with the focus on the specified folder.
  • /root, - Opens a window view of the specified object.
  • /select, - Opens a window view with the specified folder, file or program selected.

In order to user your own customize Windows Explorer simply create a new shortcut with the appropriate parameters.

  • Right click the location you want to create the new shortcut (your desktop for example)
  • In the context menu select New->Shortcut
  • In the location name field type %windir%\Explorer.exe /e,c:\. You can change the parameters to anything you like (see some examples below)
  • Click Next
  • Type Windows Explorer in the name field (You can type any other name you like)
  • Click Finish

You can now drag this shortcut to anywhere you want (I like to put it on the quick launch bar)

Here are some examples:

  • Explorer /n - This command opens an Explorer window using the default setting. This is usually the root of the drive on which Windows is installed.
  • Explorer /e - This command starts Windows Explorer using the default view.
  • Explorer.exe /e,D:\ - This command starts Windows Explorer with focus on drive D:\
  • Explorer /e,C:\Windows - This command starts Windows Explorer using the default view, with the focus on C:\Windows.
  • Explorer /root, C:\Windows\Cursors - This command starts Windows Explorer at the C:\Windows\Cursors folder. This example uses C:\Windows\Cursors as the “root” directory for Windows Explorer.

    NOTE: Note the comma after the “/root” switch in the command.

  • Explorer /select, C:\Windows\Cursors\banana.ani - This command starts Windows Explorer with the “C:\Windows\Cursors\banana.ani” file selected.

    NOTE: Note the comma after the “/select” switch in the command.

  • Explorer /root, \\server\share, select, Program.exe
    This command starts Windows Explorer using the remote share as its “root” folder, along with the Program.exe file selected.

Weekly Software Updates

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Popular software titles updated in the past week

Oracle To Offer Free Database

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Oracle intends to release a free version of its database, a reaction to the growing competitive pressure from low-end open-source databases.

The database heavyweight on Tuesday is expected to announce the beta release of Oracle 10g Express Edition (Oracle Database XE), which will be generally available by the end of the year. It is targeted at students, small organizations and software vendors that could embed the Oracle database with an application.

The latest edition is the same as other databases in Oracle’s lineup but is limited in usage. It can only run servers with one processor, with 4GB of disk memory and 1GB of memory.

The new low-end edition is aimed squarely at free and open-source alternatives to Oracle’s namesake database, said Andrew Mendelsohn, senior vice president of Oracle’s server technologies division.

Source: News.com

Dell To Preload Trend Micro Software On PCs

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Starting next week Dell will load free 90-day trial versions of PC-cillin on PCs shipped to North American consumers.

In February, the computer maker will designate Trend Micro’s PC-cillin software as “Dell Recommended” on its Web site catalog, said Trend Micro’s president of North American operations, Lane Bess. Dell currently recommends a rival product from McAfee Inc. It puts Symantec Corp.’s second.

The arrangement does not automatically funnel sales to Trend Micro, but could help the Japanese software company’s efforts to boost its North American market share, which stands at 7 percent — far behind Symantec and McAfee.

Dell has been selling PC-cillin with its PCs since July.

Source: Reuters

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