Saturday, August 27, 2005

Public largely ignorant of Web threats, but women less so

Girls RULE! ;)

"StreamShield measured online fraud, viruses, spam, unwanted pop-up ads, spyware, phishing and keyloggers. The firm said, in fact, that in all categories women experienced fewer difficulties than men, even though a higher percentage of men are aware of computer viruses, spyware, adware, et al."

I'm soooo proud of us!

Tom's Hardware Guide PCs & HowTo: Windows Spyware Survival Tools - Winsock XP

"A very common problem that exists is the loss of Internet connectivity after being infected with or removing spyware. A free utility exists that will completely rebuild your WinSock and restore your Internet connectivity. "
This have a free tool to fix your network connections if spyware breaks it.
Thanks Curtis for this link!

PC World-FCC Extends VoIP E911 Deadline

The FCC announcement Friday acknowledges "significant efforts" made by VoIP providers to gain customer responses. The FCC also asked VoIP providers to detail any plans to use so-called "soft" disconnect options for customers who have not responded to the advisories by September 28. Under a soft disconnect, all non-911 calls would go instead to the VoIP provider's customer service line, while 911 calls would continue to be routed to emergency dispatch centers.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Arrests made in probe of worm that hit ABC, others | Tech News on ZDNet

"Microsoft hails the arrests as an example of a successful partnership between the private sector and law enforcement. 'Our entire industry, especially in partnership with law enforcement, is able to move much more quickly and in a more sophisticated way today than was the case, say, two years ago, and that is certainly part of what made it possible to get to this point within two weeks,' ".
Good job Microsoft and the FBI!

Cell Processor Details Released

Don't worry. I'm not pointing you to hundreds of pages of technical documents. They are available, should you want to read them, though.

Instead; this is a two page overview of the Cell architecture and it's capabilities, written by Dr H. Peter S. Hofstee. I found it readable enough to inform, without being overly dense.

It is obvious that the Cell is every bit as exciting a development as is appeared early on. Peter and I were right, I guess. This is likely the future of much of our computing.


Thursday, August 25, 2005

Some Net phone customers may be cut off

Do you have VOIP and have you registered with 911?
"NEW YORK - Providers of Internet-based phone services may be forced next week to cut off tens of thousands of customers who haven't formally acknowledged that they understand the problems they may encounter dialing 911 in an emergency."

Spitzer: AOL to reform customer service, pay penalties - Aug. 24, 2005

AOL to reform customer service, pay penalties - Aug. 24, 2005: "America Online, the world's largest Internet service provider, has agreed to reform the way it handles customers who want to cancel service, New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said Wednesday."
Thanks to John_B

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Another Good Reason to Dump Bluetooth

Bluetooth could be a very useful technology. I don't dispute that. But the link above will take you to an article about plans to "bluecast" ads to mobile devices, particularly phones. Yes, when your device is queried, you have the opportunity to say "no" by not accepting the advert, but who wants to be queried right and left as they walk, drive or what have you?

My wife's laptop is equipped with bluetooth capabilities. We have disabled them because we really don't need it, but also because it is a huge security risk. The best rule is to disable anything you don't use, regardless of risk level. You can always re-enable it when needed.

There have been unconfirmed reports of bluetooth hacks against laptops recently. It is my intention to check this out in detail and try to inform you of what I find, either on the show, our site, or here.

If a device will not let me disable bluetooth, I don't want it.


Server Upgrade

We are in the process of migrating the media server over to a new box.

This has become somewhat of an urgent issue as there appears to be a hardware issue that may or may not cause us to go down while we are in the process of the migration.

If this happens prematurely, please know that we will be doing our best to get mission critical services back up and running quickly, but there may be some lag and some pieces, ie websites and the newsgroups, may take longer to get up.

We are attempting to back everything up as of TODAY, August 23, 2005, but we aren't sure if we will have everything. This migration should be complete by mid September.

Again, we are hoping to make it through the migration without any issues, but we aren't sure if we will make it. Please take this as notice if there is any unexpected downtime.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Works for Me: First, do no harm - CNET reviews

This is a good way to try to fix a small problem on your computer. It doesn't fix a Harddrive going south on ya. But it might be a way for you to fix your own computer without having to pay someone to do it for you.

Google planning IM service, report says | Tech News on ZDNet

Are you ready for another IM? Google Talk!
I'm not sure I am.

Google set to release new toolbar

The link above is to a short article in The Inquirer. You can, of course, also get details at Google, though it is much more of a sales pitch.

There is also an article at The Register "">here.

My wife and I just discussed installing the new desktop on one computer and decided against it, despite being attracted by the functionality it offered. So why did we decide against it? Well, we decided we did not want Google, or anyone else, for that matter, so closely supervising our surfing habits and collecting data about us.

No, I'm not especially paranoid. You know that, if you've listened to me on the show. But I do wonder at all the information that has been collected on me through the use of the Internet and worry both about it's accuracy and what uses it could be put to. In a purely personal decision, I'm drawing the line.


Moog dies - NY Times

Robert Moog, the creator of the electronic music synthesizer that bears his name and that became ubiquitous among experimental composers as well as rock musicians in the 1960's and 70's, died on Sunday at his home in Asheville, N.C. He was 71.

Monday, August 22, 2005 - Power-Line Networking: The Next Generation

I used a Power-Line network at a motel in Canada on my drive down the Alcan. It was slick!

Some great info about the new Zone Alarm

From the Fred Langa newsletter, some warnings about installing the new "full of features" (aka bloat) ZA. The bottom line as I see it:
"I suggest waiting a bit when the new ZoneAlarm is offered (some users are getting the update notices right now...). The pre-update version is fine, and works well -- there's no urgent need to upgrade. Let other braver or risk-loving souls take the plunge, and watch for feedback." The article also includes examples of experiences with the new Zone Alarm.


Sunday, August 21, 2005

OnComputers Radio show Podcast 08-21-05

This is the On Computers Radio show podcast for 08-21-2005. If you prefer, you can download the same file here via ftp.