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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.

  • All things tech

    Bluehat Blog now up!

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    I talked about Bluehat in an earlier post here and here ; at the time I didn't know how much or how little we were supposed to share about it but looks like the Bluehat team is going to be publically blogging about the sessions which is great!! You can...
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    Preet's: Casual Indian dining in Redmond / Seattle

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    If you happen to be in the Redmond/Seattle area and enjoy good Indian food, you should definitely drop by Preet's . India has many regions, with many different peoples, languages and food types, Preet's serves Punjabi style food that is different from...
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    Outlook Kung Fu: Mastering your Inbox - Part I

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    Over the years of using Microsoft Outlook, I’ve become quite proficient at using Outlook and I thought I’d share some of those lethal techniques with you. Several of my collegues came to me recently asking for help with their influx of email and the following...
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    So apparently, NBC uses tech support from India :)

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    This is hilarious. So apparently NBC uses tech support located in India. What happens when someone tries to figure out where exactly to get personal support? Enjoy :) Link off my personal blog here: http://allthingstech.wordpress.com/2006/03/11...
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    BlueHat '06 @ Microsoft - Day 2

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    I wasn't able to attend the morning sessions because I was busy interviewing some folks but caught the afternoon Vista Security Review presentation. The security for this session was especially tight, everyone (several hundred people) were asked to leave...
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    BlueHat '06 at Microsoft

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    Today was the second day of bluehat at Microsoft. bluehat is basically the Microsoft version of blackhat. Various security researchers and speakers trek to Seattle and talk to Microsoft employees about different topics related to security. I was able...
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    Threat Analysis & Modeling at Microsoft

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    I'd like to introduce you guys (who haven't already seen) the Threat Modeling blog my team has recently started. There's a lot of great information already up and there will be more and more details posted as we get closer and closer to the v2.0 launch...
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    The Code Room: Hacking Las Vegas

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    " The Code Room: Hacking Las Vegas " is a mini-movie slash seminar that shows in a fun (and slightly cheesy) way the real impact of security vulnerabilities in web application code. In this edition a group of hackers steal $400,000 dollars by exploiting...
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    Bill Gates at RSA '06 - In 45 Minutes

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    8:15AM PST- If you have some time, check out Bill Gates' keynote at RSA '06. It's starting in 45 minutes. It's being webcasted here: http://www.microsoft.com/events/series/mikenash.mspx . If you happen to be at RSA '06 yourself, make sure to check...
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    So you want to be a CISSP?

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    Recently a friend of mine from Toronto emailed me asking about the CISSP certification that I had spoken to him about; he asked me some questions about it and when I was replying thought, there may be actually a lot of people out there with similar questions...
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    Firewall Security

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    Recently Larry Osterman posted on his blog this excellent post: Firewalls: A history Lesson . And I must say, I agree with him completely. Recently I was reading an article (sorry lost the link) which reported that the top security concern for InfoSec...
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    What's your favourite security blog?

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    Since I work on a Security team , I have a deep interest in security related issues. I haven't purposely made my own blog here too security specific although I will be jumping into some of those topics in the coming weeks and months. My questions to you...
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    New UI for blogs.msdn.com!

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    Well many of you may have noticed that the blogs look a little different after Sunday, that's because the blogs.msdn.com servers were updated to a new version of Telligent's Community Server! So far so good, I'm happy with the new functionality. (If you...
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    Interested in free MSN Services for Windows Mobile devices?

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    One of the ways we here at Microsoft internally communicate a lot across groups is through email distribution lists (DL's for short). Recently Michael Smuga a Program Manager here at Microsoft posted a very good brief summary of what we offer currently...
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    Want to change your Windows Mobile theme to something cool?

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    If you are running any of the various Smartphone OS's and would like to change up the look and feel of your phone then check out ThemeChanger from here: http://homepages.inspire.net.nz/~gambit/ . This cool little tool does more then change your profile...
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    Martin Luther King Jr.

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    In honour of Martin Luther King Jr. day, I thought I'd share with you a small excerpt of his famous "I've been to the Mountaintop" speech. Please go here to read it in its entirety. While most everyone has heard a few of the highlights, not everyone has...
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    Security Professionals' Salary Survey

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    As I work in Information Security; sometimes I get asked questions around what certifications, if any, are worthwhile. I recently completed the CISSP certification & found it worthwhile. There is a lot of material to cover which is all relevant in...
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    New Smartphones coming from T-Mobile...

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    I've just heard some exciting news that I'm sure all of you out there waiting to land Windows Mobile 5.0 phones will be excited to hear about. T-Mobile in the US is apparently launching two Mobile 5 phones near the end of Feb similar in spec to the SP5...
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    Ever been to Whistler?

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    If you've never been to Whistler you don't know what your missing... sure its the best place in North America to ski and snowboard, but its also just a fun place to visit and see the sites. Here' a picture I took during an ATV tour through the mountains...
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    Hacker Timeline: 1970's to Present

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    This is an interesting walk down memory lane... If you know what a bluebox is or what 2600hz signifies, I'm sure you'll enjoy taking a look. Who knew Steve Jobs and The Woz used to make and sell blueboxes before Apple? :) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki...
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    IE 7, Beta 2 Thoughts

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    I must say that IE7 is shaping up to be the best browser in the market once again. And its about time because IE6 was getting a little long in the tooth! :) Quite simply it includes all the modern features that you'd expect from a browser: Tabbed browsing...
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    Windows Mobile 5.0 Security Model FAQ

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    Windows Mobile Team Blog : Windows Mobile 5.0 Security Model FAQ . Although not for everyone, its definitely an interesting read for people who are Smartphone/PPC junkies such as myself. Specifically if you decide to write your own applications, you may...
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    You better recognize... Chuck Norris

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    This is awesome and hilarious. Link off my personal blog here: http://allthingstech.wordpress.com/2005/12/29/4/
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    How to ensure 3rd party solutions you purchase are secure

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    A little about what I do: I work as part of the ACE Security Team (Application Consulting & Engineering) which is now a part of Microsoft IT's Information Security group. Our mandate includes the evaluation from a security perspective all the software...
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    Asimov's 3 Laws

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    Isaac Asimov was a very interesting author in the world of Sci-Fi. A lot of the ideas he had in his stories have influenced either directly or indirectly writers that have come after him. Some of his first stories were written for "pulp" sci-fi magazines...
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