January

PICASA PHOTO ORGANIZING SOFTWARE

Google seems genuinely committed to making the world a better place. (Example: A client just mentioned this news story from last week – Google’s AdWords division, responsible for the contextual ads that appear alongside search results, insists that advertisers use standard English grammar and correct punctuation.)

A few days ago Google released version 2.0 of its Picasa photo management software, an improved version of software from a company acquired by Google last summer. […] continued “PICASA PHOTO ORGANIZING SOFTWARE”

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MEDIA HUBS

A followup to my notes on moving music around the house.

The Netgear MP101 fit my needs, but knowing that doesn’t simplify your shopping. I wanted something (1) dirt cheap, (2) wireless, (3) music only, (4) no TV display required, and (5) able to work with my preferred music software, J River Media Center. […] continued “MEDIA HUBS”

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COMCAST IN SANTA ROSA

A year ago the city of Santa Rosa announced it had settled its dispute with Comcast and Internet service would be rolled out promptly.

Last week Comcast announced that it had given up on trying to resolve its differences with the city, but it had installed sufficient equipment to roll out Internet service anyway, within the next ninety days. […] continued “COMCAST IN SANTA ROSA”

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THE APPLE REALITY DISTORTION FIELD

What is it with Apple that causes the press to gush? It’s embarrassing. Well, nothing embarrasses the press these days, but is a sense of perspective too much to ask for when Steve Jobs says something?

The Mac Mini caused gushing about its cheap price. Why? For $499, you get a system with a 40GB hard drive, 256MB of DDR333 memory and an ATI Radeon 9200 with an execrable 32MB of video memory. […] continued “THE APPLE REALITY DISTORTION FIELD”

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SPYWARE RESEARCH

The folks responsible for spyware are constantly looking for new ways to get their programs onto your computer. Windows XP Service Pack 2 continues to be reasonably safe, although it will not prevent you from things you do voluntarily. Don’t install unnecessary programs or free software unless you are 100% convinced that it is not harmful! […] continued “SPYWARE RESEARCH”

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MICROSOFT SPYWARE TOOLS

Microsoft continues to attack security issues on the Windows platform with impressive vigor.

This week Microsoft released Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware, a program that cleans out existing adware/spyware and then runs continuously, monitoring to prevent new infestations. This is good stuff! Many reviewers are coming away impressed with its performance compared to stalwarts like AdAware and Spybot, and Microsoft’s program is free for the next seven months. […] continued “MICROSOFT SPYWARE TOOLS”

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YAHOO DESKTOP SEARCH POWERED BY X1

Yahoo released its free desktop search tool for lightning fast searches through Outlook folders and documents on your computer. It’s following closely behind the Google Desktop and the MSN Toolbar Suite.

Yahoo purchased very appealing technology from X1 for its desktop search program. The interface is intuitive and the program produces results literally as you type in the search terms. […] continued “YAHOO DESKTOP SEARCH POWERED BY X1”

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REGIONAL BELLS MANEUVER FOR MONOPOLY

USA Today has a story today about the efforts by the regional Bell companies to make it impossible – or at least expensive – to compete with them in building broadband networks across the country.

It’s a potent combination of pressure on federal, state and local legislators and regulators, based on threats to slow down the Bells’ plans to roll out fiber networks for higher capacity and speed. […] continued “REGIONAL BELLS MANEUVER FOR MONOPOLY”

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EXTENDING A WIRELESS NETWORK

Here’s a story about a new device that has a happy ending. If you’ve ever used a wireless network, you know the range is never as far as you thought it would be, and they’re just not quite troublefree. I had spots in the house that were out of range of my wireless access point, so I grabbed an impulse purchase off the CompUSA shelves – the Netgear WGXB102 54Gbps Wall-Plugged Wireless Range Extender Kit. […] continued “EXTENDING A WIRELESS NETWORK”

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XMAS FRUSTRATION FOLLOWUP

The Linksys WMLS11B Wireless Music System has been boxed up and returned after a few more fruitless hours of testing.

The replacement is the Netgear MP101 Wireless Digital Music Player. There’s no built-in speakers but powered speakers are cheap and easy to come by. Netgear’s server software is far friendlier and less buggy than the lame version of MusicMatch required by the Linksys. […] continued “XMAS FRUSTRATION FOLLOWUP”

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SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM

It’s not your imagination – the volume of spam is constantly rising and the spammers continue to find new ways to get through the filters. Here’s an article that lays out the figures – almost half of all corporate e-mail is spam and the percentage is higher for non-corporate e-mail users. […] continued “SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM”

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