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Christmas Gift Guide
Culture

IE lost its keys, and the Demos aren't home

Internet Explorer 3.0 has an annoying bug that can prevent users from connecting to secure Web sites that use the SSL protocol.

Halloween has come and gone, leaving dozens of Snickers, Hot Tamales, and Kit Kats detonating in my stomach like calorie grenades. My son Vermel and I made off like sugar bandits last night. We trick-or-treated in tandem, with the kid dressed up as an email message and me as a bloated, oversized attachment.

Vermel suggested that we go as encrypted email, but I vetoed the idea as being too abstract. Speaking of encryption, Internet Explorer 3.0 has an annoying bug that can prevent users from connecting to secure Web sites that use the SSL protocol. When they set up a server-side SSL key, Web sites are required to fill out a form from VeriSign that asks for company name, location, and other information.

Some of the information requested by VeriSign is optional, but someone forgot to tell Microsoft that. IE 3.0 won't connect to secure Web sites if the sites haven't filled out all of their SSL information, though Navigator will. As a result, some sites have had to buy brand new $75 SSL keys from VeriSign.

It may still have its keys, but the Democratic Party was not in the driver's seat of its news mailing list yesterday. This week a wily hacker spammed members of the Demo list with, apropos of Halloween, a parody of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" cleverly update for the election season:

"For the surcease of sorrow/For there's Whitewater trial on the 'morrow/Could your hanky I seek to borrow?/Sorrow for the VP named Al Gore/Tis a White House patron, I muttered, gaffing on my channel four." The only thing that scares me more than Poe is the weight I'm gaining from Halloween candy. Email me your tales of Halloween gluttony and your rumors.