September

THE ONION: THE AMERICAN RESPONSE TO TERRORISM

The Onion has done its usual fine job of reporting on the WTC bombing and the American response. This article is a good place to start: U.S. Vows To Defeat Whoever It Is We’re At War With. (NOTE: If you’re not familiar with The Onion, please be warned – it is profane and tasteless. […] continued

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PRIVACY

One of the pieces of legislation being reviewed to deal with terrorism would permit Internet surveillance without a court order. The scope of that surveillance was debated at a Congressional committee meeting on Tuesday. The bill’s advocates argue that prosecutors should be able to intercept e-mail headers (TO: and FROM:), since it’s analogous to what they can discover about incoming and outgoing phone calls. […] continued

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PRESS DEMOCRAT AND MICROSOFT-BASHING

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat has somebody working their Business section with an anti-Microsoft grudge. The paper has been more and more bold about printing articles bashing Microsoft as if they’re straight news items. It’s confusing to people – a combination of misinformation and half-truths, with no indication that there’s another side. […] continued

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AMAZON OPENS TRAVEL STORE

Amazon has added a travel store, appearing as a new tab on Amazon’s home page. It links services from Expedia and Hotwire (a discount agency), presented in an Amazon design and with Amazon handling the transactions. Amazon has cut several of these deals where it provides the storefront (and customer base), and another retailer handles inventory and order fulfillment. […] continued

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REAL NETWORKS INTRODUCES NEW MEDIA PLAYER

Real Networks is introducing a new product today that blends RealPlayer and RealJukebox into a single program – and starts a steady flow of money out of your pockets. This is the first real demonstration of the future as envisioned by the copyright holders. Instead of selling the software, RealNetworks will claim to be selling a “service” on a subscription basis, starting at $9.95/month – with lots of additional services available, each and every one at additional cost. […] continued

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DVD ON A COMPUTER

So far there have been very few compelling reasons to put a DVD player into a computer. There’s only three things you might do with it:

You can watch movies. Your computer monitor will display the movie at a higher resolution than your television, but most people just don’t feel right sitting at their computer watching a movie.

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FUN THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR BROADBAND CONNECTION

You’re probably wondering what to do with all the bandwidth that your cable or DSL line supplies. Well, how about watching a scene from Monty Python And The Holy Grail, created with Legos? This is what the Internet is for, as far as I’m concerned.

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HAS EVERYTHING CHANGED?

There’s an interesting perspective in this column by Michael Kinsley about whether we should automatically accept the notion that life in America has permanently changed for the worse after the terrorist bombing. He says, “Life was riskier than we realized before Sept. 11 and is not as risky as we fear now. […] continued

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CHEAP FLAT PANEL MONITORS

Prices are still dropping all over. Costco has two 17″ flat panel monitors for $599.99, the Princeton LCD17 and the Sylvania L17. That’s awfully tempting if you’re short on space. I can’t find reviews of either monitor anywhere, so I can’t vouch for their picture quality or problems – but they look awfully pretty in the store! […] continued

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MSN WEB-BASED E-MAIL WOES

MSN subscribers are being forced to use web-based e-mail, instead of the standard POP3 e-mail that was previously available. It’s similar to Hotmail, although the default installation of the MSN software on your own computer gives you a highly customized screen for viewing your mail. If you’re an MSN subscriber, the advantage is that your mail can also be viewed from any Internet browser anywhere – you’re not limited to viewing your e-mail on your own computer. […] continued

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NO WINDOWS XP BUSINESS SYSTEMS UNTIL OCT 25

Most of the PC manufacturers have started to take orders for Windows XP systems targeted at home users. Dell is selling home systems from its web site with Windows XP Home Edition. But apparently the manufacturers have agreed not to sell business systems with Windows XP Professional until the official Windows XP release date on October 25. […] continued

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INTERNET UNDER ATTACK

There’s at least one nasty new worm attacking Windows 2000 Servers today, and as near as I can tell it’s causing problems all over the Internet. Details are hazy, but apparently the worm travels as an e-mail virus that is not covered by current antivirus definitions. Some of my clients have DSL lines that are down, at least one has a dialup account that’s gone dead, and browsing seems to be slow all over. […] continued

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CHRISTMAS IN THE PC INDUSTRY

This is a fairly silly article from The Nation written by a Linux zealot – and my, they do get overwrought about Microsoft. But I think it’s generally right about the upcoming Christmas season in the hardware industry:

“The most important are Microsoft’s erstwhile enemies, the hardware manufacturers-Intel, HP, Compaq and the rest of the PC-makers, who, although still determined to drive down the share of any new PC’s price paid to Microsoft, are very temporarily in its corner. […] continued

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PRICE CUTS ON PENTIUM III SYSTEMS

If you’re looking for a new computer, you should wait another two weeks and then buy a Windows XP system from Dell. But if your budget simply requires a discount, look for cheap Pentium III systems for the next 60-90 days. Inventories are being cleared out and by the end of the year the only processors on the market will be the Celeron and the Pentium 4. […] continued

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DISASTER: MORE ON BIN LADEN

I mentioned a couple of background articles on Osama Bin Laden earlier this week, but here’s what wasn’t covered by those articles – a concise (and scary) description of what he believes and why he hates the U.S.

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