August

WINDOWS LIVE ONECARE FAMILY SAFETY

Windows Vista will include deeply integrated parental controls to assist parents in monitoring kids’ time online and preventing access to inappropriate web sites.

A more limited service for Windows XP is now available under the name Windows Live OneCare Family Safety. This is a beta release without all the features planned for the final product; at some point it will be more or less integrated into the Windows Live OneCare security service. […] continued

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WINDOWS VISTA IS COMING

Microsoft is putting the final touches on Windows Vista, the next-generation operating system scheduled for early 2007. Delays are still possible but recent builds of Windows Vista have dramatically improved and there is relentless pressure on Microsoft to get it out the door.

There will be much to say about Vista before it goes on sale. […] continued

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INTEL CORE 2 PROCESSORS

The people marketing to consumers are malicious and hostile. Or possibly they’ve been kidnapped and replaced by aliens bent on driving us crazy. Those are the only explanations that make sense.

You may have read the media coverage of Intel’s blazing new processors, the first significant jump in processor technology in five years. […] continued

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RESIZE DIGITAL PICTURES

Images from a digital camera are too big to share casually – you’ll quickly clog up an e-mail recipient’s inbox. Here’s a nifty free utility to help you reduce the size of your photos.

After you install it, right-click on a photo in My Pictures and click on Resize Pictures. […] continued

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AOL 9.0 IS BADWARE

I’m still occasionally asked why tech support people hate America Online. Here’s part of the answer.

StopBadware.org evaluates software to determine if it presents any risks to your computer or your privacy. It is funded by major tech companies – Google, Lenovo Group, Sun Microsystems – and runs out of well-respected departments at Harvard and Oxford. […] continued

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APPLE BATTERY RECALL

Apple has announced a recall of 1.8 million Sony lithium-ion batteries, supplied with some iBook G4 and PowerBook G4 notebooks. Here’s an article with details about today’s announcement.

Other manufacturers used the same batteries – this may not be the end of the recalls.

When Dell announced its recall, analysts speculated that Dell’s reputation would be battered. […] continued

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VERIZON EVDO BROADBAND

Travellers love Verizon’s EVDO service. You can get a reasonably speedy broadband connection for your cell phone/PDA or for your notebook computer, almost anywhere there’s cell phone coverage.

For a computer, the service requires a new piece of hardware – “high speed cellular card” is as good a name as any. […] continued

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MCAFEE TOTAL PREVENTION

The deterioration of Symantec and McAfee products continues. Seems like every week I solve someone’s problem by uninstalling a Norton product. (This week a client’s outgoing e-mail was suddenly blocked, with an incomprehensible error message. After flailing away for a while, everything went back to normal after turning off NAV’s outgoing mail check.)

Here’s the final review by PC Magazine of McAfee’s new Total Protection suite. […] continued

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WINDOWS MEDIA CENTER EDITION AND ADOBE PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS 4

Personal computing feels sometimes like an arcane science, filled with secrets that are passed along in furtive, whispered conversations. We have too many choices, it’s too hard to make things work – and it’s not getting better.

Here’s an example of what it means to tie together two widely used programs. […] continued

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SONY FAILS AGAIN

Although Dell is the featured name in the headlines for its notebook battery recall, don’t overlook that this is Sony’s fault and Sony is paying for the embarrassing cleanup. It continues Sony’s nearly unbroken record of technology failure.

Sony’s Blu-ray DVD format is off to an amusing start – the first Sony Blu-ray disc drive for computers was announced in Australia a few days ago and the Sony product manager was forced to admit that it won’t play commercial movies in the Blu-ray format. […] continued

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OPERATING SYSTEM MARKET SHARE

OneStat.com reported yesterday that Windows XP is responsible for almost 87 percent of all Web usage, while all Windows versions combined account for 97 percent of Web usage. These days that’s a fair measure of an operating system’s market share.

The second most popular OS on the Web is Windows 2000, at more than six percent. […] continued

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DELL BATTERY RECALL

Dell has announced a recall of 4.1 million notebook batteries because of a production flaw that can result in sudden fires. Six Dell notebooks have exploded or burst into flames, and I’ve seen reports claiming there are hundreds more. The defective batteries were supplied by Sony, which is paying for the recall. […] continued

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AUTO-COMPLETE ADDRESSES IN OUTLOOK

When you type a name into the TO: field in a new e-mail message, Outlook looks it up and completes it automatically, if possible.

It doesn’t look where you think.

The list that drops down immediately is NOT from your Contacts folder. That first dropdown list is Outlook’s memory of names from prior messages, stored in a “nickname cache.” The most recent ones are at the top. […] continued

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BLOGGING GROWS AND GROWS

Are you reading blogs? Are you contributing to one? Time to get busy, according to this report on the state of the blogosphere. Technorati is currently tracking 50 million weblogs. Since it began tracking three years ago, the number of weblogs has doubled every six months, and as of today the growth shows no signs of slowing down. […] continued

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CORY DOCTOROW ON DIGITAL RIGHTS MANAGEMENT

Cory Doctorow, one of the chief contributors to popular web site BoingBoing.net, has written a compelling article about digital rights management for Information Week. It’s a nice overview of the effects of DRM on consumers. There’s a compelling argument that DRM is bad business – bad for the music and video industries, bad for consumers. […] continued

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