December

XMAS FRUSTRATIONS – ANECDOTE 2

The Linksys WMLS11B Wireless Music System fit my needs perfectly. I have an existing wireless network and a large music library on one computer; I wanted to play that music in the garage. There are lots of devices to play music over a wireless connection, but the Linksys is the only one that includes built-in speakers. […] continued

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XMAS FRUSTRATIONS – ANECDOTE 1

Products are appearing on the market faster than we can understand them – and manufacturers are moving so quickly that the products are too often half-baked, or not documented well, or not supported well. Technology is bringing us wonderful things, but too much of it comes with a full measure of frustration. […] continued

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DIGITAL CAMERAS

Lots of you own digital cameras or will get them for Xmas. Each camera will come with proprietary software to unload photos from the camera and handle simple editing – fixing redeye, making dark pictures brighter, and the like.

Life with new technology is full of choices, perhaps more than you realize. […] continued

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MPAA TO SUE MOVIE DOWNLOADERS

The MPAA announced last month that it would follow the example of the RIAA and sue individual movie file-swappers. Here’s an article about their announcement, a few days before the first round of lawsuits was filed. Today the MPAA further announced its intent to file lawsuits against web sites listing links to movies available using BitTorrent or through the eDonkey network. […] continued

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MORE TOOLS FOR DESKTOP SEARCHES

Microsoft unveiled the MSN Toolbar Suite on Monday, its new free program for searching Outlook folders and the contents of your My Documents folder. This follows shortly after the release of Google Desktop. Here’s a news article about the release, and here’s a lengthy description of its features.

There are modest differences between the two. […] continued

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CELL PHONES AND THE “DO NOT CALL” LIST

The last few months have been slow for e-mail hoaxes. DId you get any of the messages last week about registering your cell phone numbers with the national “Do Not Call” list to avoid waves of telemarketers? I got a few from well-meaning friends. It was a hoax. No deadline, no telemarketers getting lists of cell phone numbers, no worries. […] continued

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HP DIGITAL ENTERTAINMENT CENTER z545

HP has introduced a device for the living room that comes closer to a vision of the future than anything else on the market. The HP Digital Entertainment Center z545 ($1,999) is a computer at its heart, but that’s almost incidental. It’s a 480-line progressive scan DVD player, mp3 jukebox, dual-tuner DVR with free program guides, digital photo player, Web browser, and a moderately high-end personal computer with ultra-quiet cooling fans and a wireless keyboard. […] continued

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MICROSOFT INTRODUCES BLOGGING TOOL

“Blogging” has been named the “word of the year” by Merriam Webster. Blogs are online tools designed to allow easy sharing of opinions and information, typically in short entries presented chronologically. This news page is based on Blogger, now owned by Google, one of the original blogging sites.

Microsoft is hoping to attract non-technical people to its new blogging service MSN Spaces. […] continued

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SECURITY PATCHES FOR MACS

I’m sure this will get lots of attention in the paper tomorrow as a gesture of fairness, given all the criticism of Microsoft Windows and Internet Explorer lately. But hey, perhaps you’ll be busy and miss the headline.

Apple Computer released security updates today for seventeen security holes in open source and proprietary components of the Apple operating system, including fixes for two security vulnerabilities in Apple’s web browser. […] continued

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THE GADGET EXPLOSION

We’re entering the golden age of gadgets. Walking the aisles at Best Buy is an eye-opening experience – there’s already an overwhelming range of choices, innovations, and features at rapidly falling prices, and the pace is only increasing.

The level of complexity is rising even more quickly. It’s already virtually impossible to make an informed choice, and setup is becoming exponentially more difficult. […] continued

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SPYWARE – A CAUTIONARY TALE

A columnist for the Los Angeles Times wrote the story of his experiences when his computer was hijacked by adware and spyware. It’s a good summary of the pervasiveness of the problem and the difficulty of recovering once the bad stuff is on your system. Here’s a link to the article, and here’s the web site that came to his rescue with good analysis and advice. […] continued

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KAZAA/SKYPE & ADWARE

As I noted a couple of days ago, Kazaa has released of a new version of its software bundled with Skype for Internet telephony. Don’t do it! They’ve gone completely over the top on bundling adware and unwanted crap. Here’s a column today by a tech guy who discovered 2,509 files identified as adware by PestPatrol after installing Kazaa/Skype on a clean system. […] continued

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GOTOMYPC

Remote access to an office computer is becoming a top priority for many people. Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 includes remote access options that are rich and satisfying; even very small businesses are putting servers in place to take advantage of the remote tools.

Individuals in home offices or very small businesses have more choices than ever before. […] continued

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GLORY DAYS FOR GAMING

A few years ago the gaming industry was in the doldrums. I recall articles predicting that computer gaming was on its last legs. New games looked like tired rehashes of old games. Gaming magazines were shrinking.

The turnaround is complete. The sales numbers are huge. Halo 2, a hotly anticipated game for XBox, had sales of $125 million in its first 24 hours on the market – and analysts see so many other big releases on the horizon that they weren’t sure Halo 2 would set the record for 24-hour sales this year. […] continued

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LCD PRICES DROPPING

Slowly but surely LCD prices are coming down. An example in today’s junk mail: Costco Online has a good price on some highly rated Xerox flat panel monitors – a 17″ model (Xerox XL775D) for $329.99 or a 19″ model (Xerox XL795D) for $429.99.

[…] continued
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