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PraxIS newsletter contents for 2003-2004

Index to current year issues is at

Contents for 2000-2002 are at

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Patrick O'Beirne, Editor

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December 2005

1) Risk & Security
    US Military removes Word documents from the Web?
2) ICT and Development
    ICT for Poverty Reduction: Necessary but Insufficient
    $100 laptop: hope or hype?
    Jhai PC and Communication System
3) Euro
    Preparations in the new EU member states adopting the euro
4) Spreadsheets
    David Heiser's analysis of Excel statistics & mathematics
5) Off Topic
    'Not Valid in Kansas' poster
    'God's Debris' free ebook
 13 Web links in this newsletter

November 2005

1) Risk & Security
    Secret tracking codes in laser printers cracked
    Security Awareness - survey and measurement
2) Quantitative Ecommerce
    Amazon Sales Rank tracking and estimation
    The Long Tail of markets
    Used books, Amazon marketplace, special offers
3) European & Irish news
    SoftTest Ireland half day conference software testing case studies
    Irish subsidiary lets Microsoft slash taxes in U.S. and Europe
    Euro convergence
4) Spreadsheets
    Training course in spreadsheet auditing methodology - Dublin, London
    'Spreadsheet Check and Control' book reviews
    Free MS Office certification tests
    SCANXLS listed on Microsoft Marketplace
5) Off Topic
    Pakistan appeal
    The laws of Murphy and others
    Use MS Maps for your mileage allowance calculation

30 Web links in this newsletter

October 2005

1) Risk & Security
How to break software security
Mail loop
2) IT quality
pPARs for the course in IT project oversight
3) Irish Computer Society
Events for October
4) Spreadsheets
Spreadsheet Check and Control - book launched
David Gainer's blog on the new Excel 12
5) Off Topic
Hippo, birdie, two ewes
14 Web links in this newsletter

September 2005

1) Risk & Security
Lessons from Hurricane Katrina
Global Security Week & Security Awareness
2) Software Testing
James Whittaker talks to SoftTest Ireland on Breaking Software Security
Cracking good books
3) Mobile Spammer fined
Fined for deceptive calls
4) Spreadsheets
Audit Course
Book Launch
5) Off Topic
Auction sites and academic studies

9 Web links in this newsletter

August 2005

1) Risk & Security
     Companies unclear on credit-card security requirements
     Hold off on ZoneAlarm 6.0 for a while
     European Spreadsheet Risk Interest Group 2005 conference

2) Spreadsheet Check and Control
     Magazine and Journal Reviewers wanted

3) Training course in how to audit spreadsheets

4) Off Topic
     Fun with numbers

7 Web links in this newsletter

July 2005

1) Risk & Security
40M Credit cards security breached
Indian call centre fraud
Forensic Acquisition Utilities
Bug Me Not
Passwords stronger than pAsSwOrD or 0qww294e

2) Tech stuff
PC remote control, remote desktop access
A telephone gizmo

3) Europe
UK Govt factsheets 'The euro: it's your business' updated
What the French and Dutch really think about the European Constitution

4) Spreadsheets
European Spreadsheet Risks Interest Group conference
Spreadsheet Check and Control book
Excel User Conference Sep 16-17, Fort Worth, Dallas, Texas
ScanXLS spreadsheet catalogue utility

5) Off Topic
Eudora time machine broken
Project Awry: a list of all the risks

19 web links in this newsletter

June 2005

1) Risk & Security
The watchdogs nod

2) Software Development and Testing
Agile & Evolutionary, rights and responsibilities of testers
Project Intelligence
CSE Software Engineer's Seminar Series at ICS

3) Eusprig 2005 Draft Programme
Register now!

4) Spreadsheet Check and Control
New book due September 2005

5) Off Topic

20 Web links in this newsletter


May 2005

1) Risk & Security
Spoof and mail list vulnerability

2) Spreadsheets
Best practice - range names?

3) Business
The publishing business

4) Off Topic
 Universe to subatomic in powers of ten
15 Web links in this newsletter

April 2005

1) Risk & Security
Compliance: SOA, SOX, COSO, CobiT, ITGI, FDA, ODCE, FEE, SLAs, FLAs, TLAs...

2) Data quality
IQ conference presentations available

3) Search Engine Optimisation
The not so obvious stuff

4) Spreadsheets
Course in Auditing Spreadsheets May 17-18

5) Off Topic
April Firsts

24 Web links in this newsletter


March 2005

1) Risk & Security
   New Information Quality Special Interest Network Launched
   UK Public Virus Alert web site launched
   Wanna be president of Microsoft?
   The Weakest Link

2) Web researching
   Test their Y!Q

3) Europe
   EU Constitution newsletter
   Cyberlaw: EU Law on Spam

4) Spreadsheets
   Course on auditing spreadsheets, Salford, May 17-18

5) Off Topic
   Philology and Numerology

16 Web links in this newsletter

Feb. 2005

1) Risk & Security
    Microsoft AntiSpyware free beta
    Spam or scam from

2) Software Quality
    Bug collection
    Yahoo Desktop Search (YDS)

3) Europe
    EU to equip parents with internet safety tools
    UK Draft Managed Transition Plan
    Eurobarometer survey: "The Euro, 3 years later"
    EU Eighth Directive on statutory audit
    EU couldn't make it up (straight bananas etc)

4) Spreadsheets
    Eusprig's 65 stories of embarrassing spreadsheet moments
    ScanXLS spreads in the marketplace

5) Off Topic
    Haugesund to Trondheim, the scenic route ;-)
    How To Sleep in an Airport

22 Web links in this newsletter

Jan. 2005

1) Risk & Security
  The Information System Security Assessment Framework Draft
  Rice University computer scientists find a flaw in GDS
  A chess-playing "bankomat"
  Security Books

2) More Internet Tools
  MSN desktop search
  Google Suggest
  Babelplex - searching in tongues
  What's in those pesky Winmail.dat files?

3) Europe
  UK Euro preparations updated Dec. 2004
  TRY, try again...

4) Spreadsheet Quality
  SCANXLS spreadsheet inventory utility now available
  Spreadsheets with more than 256 columns?

5) Tsunami

21 Web links in this newsletter


Dec. 2004

1) Risk & Security
Home PC Security
End of the domain name hostage saga?
Should European companies pull up their SOX?

2) Software quality
The D-word: Documentation
Software testing presentations downloadable

3) Information science
Book: 'Web Search Garage'
Speegle im Speegle
Google Scholar

4) Spreadsheet Quality
EuSpRIG Annual Conference July 7/8 2005
Auditors: "Spreadsheet controls not sufficient"
Agile Spreadsheet Development

30 Web links in this newsletter

Nov. 2004

1) Risk & Security
'Make IT Secure' initiative launched in Ireland
Checklists for Technology Risk
'Spitzer risk'
Google Mail Insecurity
Google Desktop Search Insecurity

2) Searching your desktop and the web
Google Desktop Search enhancements
User-Guided Search Refining in Google
Unsure about web searching? Use your Noodle...

3) Europe
EU presses newcomers to work harder to join euro
Dot-eu Domains
I say eiro, EU say euro

4) Spreadsheet Quality
Spreadsheet SOX
XLSpell - spreadsheet style checker
Foundations of Spreadsheets (FoS'04) Papers available

5) Off Topic
DotCom, DotOrg, what a difference.
You don't want to see this (any more)

33 Web links in this newsletter

Oct. 2004

1) Risk & Security
End user computing risks
Hacking into online photocopiers
CyberSecurity Awareness Month
Culling unpopular colleagues?

2) Quantitative methods
My recommended course book

3) Euro
Faint stirrings of interest

4) Spreadsheets
New Statistics on Model Error Rates

5) Off Topic
Actuary jokes

14 Web links in this newsletter



Sept 2004

1) Risk & Security
 Open Source IS Security body of knowledge
 ICS CPD autumn lectures on Risk Management

2) Local disk drive index/search utilities
 Copernic Desktop Search

3) Will (does?) the Real Economy Stand Up?
 Job search - networking drying up?

4) Spreadsheets
 Foundations of Spreadsheets: Workshop, Rome
 Excel range name curiosity
 Spreadsheet Control and Sarbanes-Oxley

5) Off Topic
 Business Books
 Explorer error message ;-) Software
 Project Cartoons

18 Web links in this newsletter


August 2004

1) Risk & Security
    Are P2P networks leaking military secrets?
    Audit programs - freely shared
    Newsletter on risk management

2) Another Government IT project story
    $500 million and counting

3) European affairs
    The PetroEuro?
    Eurobarometer - the future European Constitution

4) Spreadsheets
    Eusprig 2004 Conference report

5) On the lighter side
    Inspirational posters
    Preparing for emergencies - the unofficial guide

14 Web links in this newsletter

July 2004

1) Risk & Security
    IT Governance document available from ITGI
    Business Continuity Maturity Model

2) Sites of interest
    Amazon's A9 search service
    The Irish inventor of the ISBN scheme

3) Ageism in IT's discussion for the older IT professional 

4) Spreadsheets
    My talk to ISACA on Spreadsheet Quality
    My article on Agile Spreadsheet Development (ASD)
    Last reminder: Spreadsheet Risks Conference July 15-16 2004

5) Review
    Spreadsheet Detective auditing add-in   

6) On the lighter side
    Correspondence from the taxman

14 Web links in this newsletter

June 2004

1) Risk & Security
   Gathering forensic computer evidence
   Morality, Ethics, and Corporate Governance
   Weak and Strong Passwords

2) Emergent Design Seminars
   June 1,15,29, Dublin, free to ICS members

3) Euro Archives DVD
   Links to massive archive of legacy euro websites

4) Spreadsheets
   EUSPRIG 2004 provisional programme
   Free spreadsheet software and templates

5) Auditing
   Financial Literacy Quiz
   Review of ActiveData Excel analysis toolkit

6) On the lighter side
   Pagina quam tu quaeris abest.

15 links in this newsletter


May 2004

1) Risk management
    Sasser worm update
    The Challenges of Complex IT Projects (BCS paper)

2) Electronic Voting
    Commission on E-Voting report: "unable to recommend"

3) EU Enlargement
    Celebrations, and a challenge for readers
    Euro Conversion Calculator updated for new EU member currencies

4) Spreadsheet Testing
    Typo costs University $2.4M
    "Testing Spreadsheets" presentation available for download
    Review of XLSior, Excel testing and auto-documenting add-in

5) On the lighter side
    Annals of Improbable Research
    James Joyce - Bloomsday centenary 

21 Web links in this newsletter

April 2004

1) Risk management
   Irish Computer Society submission to Commission on E-Voting 
   Security awareness and training materials 

2) Internet and e-business
   Eurobarometer Survey: Issues Relating To Business And Consumer E-Commerce

3) Contractors talk about rates
   What's the average rate for contract IT work? 

4) The Devil's guide to spreadsheet creation

5) On the lighter side
   Euro myths and European stereotypes 

14 Web links in this newsletter

March 2004

1) Risk management
   Irish Computer Society favours e-Voting review 
   OCTAVE Catalogue of good security practices

2) Internet and e-business
   Skype Launches Free Conference Calling

3) Software Quality
   Software bug contributed to US Aug-03 blackout
   Worst run software project of 2003?
   Computer Weekly's campaign against government incompetence

4) Excel add-ins freeware
   XLAnalyst, Master Tool, Navigator Utilities, Excel Utilities
   Range Name curiosities
   Beta testing auditors for ActiveData by March 5th

5) On the lighter side
   Programmer's Drinking Song 

26 Web links in this newsletter

February 2004

1) Risk management
   Irish Citizens for Trustworthy E-Voting

2) Internet and e-business
   W32.Novarg.A@mm (aka MyDoom)
   Gone Phishing

3) Software Quality
   SoftTest Ireland Quarterly Event: 9th Feb, Dublin
   Disk full on Mars

4) European affairs
   Eurobarometer : The €uro, two years later
   Italians sue over cappucino euro conversion
   UK Treasury publishes euro compatibility guidance

5) On the lighter side
   Marvin can't find the page

20 Web links in this newsletter


January 2004

1) Risk management
   Benford's Law - detecting fraud in invented numeric amounts
   Phone Fraudsters exploit a developing country's dialing code 

2) Internet and e-business
    Enterprise Ireland OpenUp campaign to promote e-business

3) Software Quality
   Lee Copeland & David Parnas presentations now online
   Excel 2003 RAND() bug
   Powerpoint considered harmful to communication?

4) European affairs
   Ireland's presidency
   News sources on the Euro

5) On the lighter side
   A model view of life      
   Pictures from Mars Rover

25 Web links in this newsletter

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December 2003

1) Risk management
  EuSpRIG 2004 Call for Papers
  Spreadsheet risk stories
  Security awareness resources 
  Electronic Voting risks

2) Internet issues
    Privacy and Electronic Communications EC Directive  

3) Software Quality
   Lee Copeland & David Parnas To Address Irish Software Testers

4) The Euro and the UK
   UK Treasury's seventh report on euro preparations  

5) On the lighter side
   Virtual Economy - Story Games   

11 Web links in this newsletter

November 2003

1) Risk management
   Spreadsheet risk stories
   Building Integrity In Business
2) e-Voting questions
   Labour party proposes audit trail for e-voting
3) Software Quality
   Recommended: James Bach Rapid Software Testing Workshop
4) Internet
   Anti-virus favourites
   Skype free internet teleconferencing
5) On the lighter side
   Choral humour
24 links in this newsletter

October 2003

1) Risk management
   Stupid security
   Swen mail clogging up my inbox
   Spam fighting by robots?
2) The Euro
   Silly mistakes still
3) Software Quality
   How to make money from bad quality
4) Web marketing
   Google Adsense
5) Irish news - SoftTest event
   Two presentations and an AGM
6) On the lighter side
   Truth Picks
   The Office
15 Web links in this newsletter


September 2003

1) Risk management
Emergency Planning Society of Ireland inaugural meeting
2) The Euro and pre-Euro countries - a question for readers
What countries have heavy cents?
3) Course in spreadsheet auditing/testing Sep 26, Dublin
For auditors and end-user trainers and developers
4) Weblog for more frequent PraxIS updates
My new "best practice" blog launched
5) Irish Computer Society: refurbished PCs for charity
6) On the lighter side

7 Web links in this newsletter

August 2003

1) Risk management
   Windows Password cracker
   Windows XP Product Activation - what it tells MS 

2) UK & The Euro
    Another news service

3) Eusprig 2003 conference report
   The best European Spreadsheet Risks Interest Group conference yet!
   A short "best practice" spreadsheet guide from NZ Treasury

4) Paris holiday apartment website

5) On the lighter side     

12 Web links in this newsletter

July 2003

1) Internet and risk management
    Patenting Software
    Online VAT

2) Euro & UK:
   '£700 per household gain by joining the euro'

3) $24-million spreadsheet "clerical error"
   Transalta's cut-and-paste cut $24m and pasted the shareholders
   Eusprig 2003 discusses methods and tools for auditing spreadsheets

4) Holiday travel
    Web sites to find an apartment in Paris

5) On the lighter side
    On the difference between Marketing and Spam  

20 Web links in this newsletter

June 2003

Internet and risk management
   '419' scams punished
   10 Risk Management tips for professionals

Euro notes
   Extra security RFID speculation

Spreadsheet testing and auditing  

James Bach course on "Exploratory Testing" Report

On the lighter side  

14 Web links in this newsletter

May 2003

Strategies for coping with burnout

European Research Projects Mail List

ICT Development and Africa

Internet and risk management
   Breakfast Seminars on legal issues with spam and online selling
   Online Precedents for Domain Name Disputes
   Honeypots reveal what attracts Spam
   A free email address obscuring script
   Tarpits for Spammers
   Risk and Fraud Management of Internet Payments

Technical stuff
   Linux for Windows users
   Disk usage charting utility
   An old Word trick: the =rand() function

Project Management
   Cost overruns

Local news for Ireland
   Irish Computer Society (ICS) ICT Stakeholders Group
   ICS Skills Framework for IT job descriptions
   Software Testing free half day seminar
   James Bach course on "Exploratory Testing"
   Inaugural Agile Special Interest Group

On the lighter side
   Y2K bug alive and working for Macdonalds (Risks Digest)
   Stress causes strong language
   "Thirty Signs That Technology Has Taken Over Your Life"

24 Web links in this newsletter

April 2003

The Business case for I.T.
Finance and I.T. should be friends

Internet - Spam avoidance
   Double wrapped for double protection
   Safe Surfing - a guide for parents

Software Testing
   Testing resources for free download

Euro news
BBC helps UK viewers make up their mind.

On the lighter side 
   Microsoft and the "hackers"

13 links in this newsletter


March 2003

Internet Security
  ISSA talks by Winn Schwartau and Lance Spitzner
Software Quality
  A report on XP Pair Programming productivity improvements
EURO news
  Malta says yes
On the lighter side 
  Is this an error?
15 Web links in this newsletter

February 2003

   Prizewinning browser from a 16-year old
   Almost cost-free email for Africa

Software Quality
   Getting back to basics

   UK Treasury select committee euro inquiry

Risk Management
   The first Shuttle tragedy
   Slam the door on Slammer
   And finally .. some good news on fighting SMS Spam! 

On the lighter side 
   If Microsoft had been the first to invent books

17 Web links in this newsletter


January 2003

   Practical EBusiness guide
   Web site usability counterexample

Software Testing
   SoftTest Ireland Quarterly meeting 27 Jan 2003 18:30

   Before corporate memory fades completely...
   Analysts question Ireland's EMU entry
   The Marta Andreasen saga rumbles on
   A long bet ... your starter for 2003

Risk Management
   Change management

On the lighter side 
   The @ sign around the world
   Christmas Quiz answers

10 web links in this newsletter

Contents for earlier years are at

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Patrick O'Beirne
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Revised: January 09, 2006 .