Blog - About

About All things tech

Hi there and thanks for visiting my blog.  My name is Ahmad Mahdi, I work as a Security Technologist on the ACE Team (Application Consulting & Engineering).  I started working full time at Microsoft in Aug. of 05 and worked as a contractor for 2 years before that.  I'm originally from Canada and moved to Redmond in 03.  Feel free to write, leave comments or click on contact.  Thanks for dropping by.

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    Hi IAMA Mods.

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    This is me.
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    Virtual Team Building - Managing employees in 5 countries

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    One of this years great challenges for me has been that my team is spread out geographically over five countries and two continents. In addition, a lot of the guys work from home and don't get the opportunity to interact face to face with other team members...
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    Social Networks as Advertising (click here for a free non-DRM Groove Armada Track!!)

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    I'm sure you're all familiar with social networks and sure some of you may have even clicked on an ad or two (or three) on there... of course there's all kinds of intricate issues around display ad relevance to "Party at Jen's @ 7!!!!!" among other problems...
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    TechJunkie is back.

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    Hello boys and girls.... yes... it has been a long time, yet I've decided to re-start blogging and this time (I hope, gulp) I can keep up with it on a continuous basis. Feeding the monster, as one colleague calls it… is tough. It requires a lot of time...
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    Microsoft Conference Calls

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    Thanks to Mark Brown for forwarding to all the bloggers :) This is hilarious, if you've ever worked for Microsoft you'll recognize the music... its awesome http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUSJiI4L5lw try this one instead since its still up: http...
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    Managing a team acoss time zones

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    Akshay, my collegue from the ACE team has written a great post about managing a team across 5 time zones . Its always a difficult challenge to manage a team of 10 regardless, but spreading them across the world definitely adds many complexity dimensions...
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    Attracting the twentysomething worker

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    Attracting the Gen Y worker, I really enjoyed reading this article; if you're over 30 and wonder what the hell is going on with the new kids coming into the workforce, you might find it a bit of an eye opener :) http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune...
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    Data Encryption Toolkit for Mobile PCs Now available

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    The Data Encryption Toolkit for Mobile PCs has just been released by the SA-SC (Solutions Acelerators - Security & Compliance) team and I highly recommend pretty much any IT administrator that has a mobile workforce (and who doesn't these days?) to...
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    Steve Ballmer is my hero.

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    So on Friday I went to the Microsoft IT all hands, led by Stuart Scott our CIO. Stuart's done some amazing things in a very short amount of time in cleaning up some of chaos around here and he also did something extraordinary which I'm sure might have...
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    LinkedIn? ;)

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    I've recently started using LinkedIn and I'll tell ya; it can be addictive. Anyway so here's an open invitation; go ahead and add me to your network - I'm open to anyone adding me (as long as you are real and not a spam bot). If you're a fellow Microsoft...
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    Channel 9 video should be available soon

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    As I mentioned in an earlier post, the ACE Team did a Channel 9 video with Robert Scoble (in fact, its very possible we were the last one he did before leaving Microsoft). It should be posted very soon, I'll put up the link to it here. It'll probably...
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    Wow its been a while... & IE7 beta 3 thoughts

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    Well I'm back. Ya, its very exciting. A lot of things have been happening around work, personal life + vacation that has held me up from posting anything new in quite some time but I'm happy to be back blogging. I'm currently using IE7 beta 3 and I...
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    ACE Team's Channel 9 experience

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    So, we just wrapped up our session with Robert Scoble for our team's Channel 9 video, it was a really cool experience. We had people from our team talk about security in general, our process and what we do, security code reviews and we demo'ed in depth...
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    Ever want to open Office documents in Office *instead* of IE??

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    This was a really annoying *feature* of Office. If I click on a link to a Word doc, it opens the document in IE. Here at Microsoft a lot of our docs are stored on internal SharePoint sites, which are webpages. When I try to open one of these docs, it...
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    The single best feature in Outlook 2007

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    Although I haven't installed the latest Beta 1 refresh of Outlook 2007 yet, I've already decided what my favorite feature of Outlook 2007 is. Hands down, its the To-Do Bar. Outlook has had task integration for the longest time but it just hasn't been...
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    Wanted: Senior Level Mentor

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    Recently, I sent out an email to some folks soliciting an informal mentor here at Microsoft. Keeping in mind that many Microsoft employees also read the blogs here, I've decided to make the posting public. If you are a former Microsoft employee or retired...
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    Web Service & Web Application security becomes more and more key

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    A very generic overview about yet another area to remember when thinking about Information Security: your web services. Interesting fact here was: "Of all vulnerabilities disclosed in the last six months of 2005, nearly 70 percent were associated with...
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    Upgrading the Audiovox SMT5600 to Windows Mobile 5.0 (or not)

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    I just got an email form someone asking me how I did this and whether I could help them also do it. Unfortunately, as far as I know, there is no easy way of doing this, unless you happen to work at Microsoft! :) And even then, its probably not easy to...
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    The top 10 Information Security Myths (supposedly)

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    While kind of light on depth, this article does bring up some good points. My commentary on some of these: #3 - External consultants know more about information security then in-house personnel This is a good one, people think they need to bring...
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    One time pad generation using Intergalactic RF signals

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    This article discusses a way of generating one time pads using the frequency and strength of Quasar radio signals. Supposedly this is new but I think some government agencies are already using this or similar methods. Thanks /. for the link! http:...
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    Outlook Kung Fu: Mastering your Inbox - Part II

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    One of the biggest features of Exchange in an enterprise environment is the shared calendering and collaboration features. I can see when other people are busy or free, and setup meetings with them and even book a conference room all right from a Meeting...
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    A lil security history & is phishing pronounced "fizzing" or "fishing"?

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    A while back I was talking to someone who was delivering a talk on security when an odd thing happened. Whenever he was talking about phishing, he kept calling it "fizzing". I spoke to him afterwards, apparently he had no idea what the significance of...
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    How to use your Mini SD card for Emails & Attachments with WM5

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    Mike Poulson posted this quick registry hack to move your attachments and emails from your device's own memory to a storage card. A registry editor is included with some of the devices shipped out there; some not. If you know of a good (free) one that...
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    Microsoft to offer cheap Xbox 360 game development kit?

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    I have no knowledge of this from Microsoft internally whatsoever, all i know is what is posted in this article. But if it's true, I think it's a great idea. Why not let anyone who wants to develop for your platform? It's what has made Windows so successful...
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    [updated] Ten hacker tricks to exploit SQL Server systems

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    [Updated: 3/23/06: Welcome Digg users. If you are interested in information security, please check out the rest of this blog , as well well as my team's blog and our threat modeling blog . Happy digging :)] This article is a good read. Generally, most...
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