April

GRAND THEFT AUTO IV (AND A RABBITY THING)

If you are young or young at heart, and have the luxury of free time, it’s worth noting the release tomorrow for the PC, XBox 360, and PS3 of Grand Theft Auto IV, latest installment in an increasingly important franchise. Early reviews are flowing in and GTA IV seems on its way to becoming the best-reviewed game in history – currently standing at 99% at metacritic.com. […] continued

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MICROSOFT LIVE MESH

In 2006, Ray Ozzie took over the title of Chief Software Architect from Bill Gates at Microsoft. Ozzie was instrumental in the development of Lotus Notes and his company Groove Networks was folded into Microsoft in 2005, leading to Microsoft Groove, one of the less well known programs included in the Microsoft Office family. […] continued

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CELL PHONE SPAM

The advertising industry is starting to turn its attention to advertising on cell phones.

Here’s an article that forecasts a “perfect storm” of annoying advertising. “It audibly interrupts your life like telemarketing. It�s cheap to mass-produce like e-mail spam. And it holds you hostage like TV ads.”

“eMarketer projects that the $421 million spent on cell phone ads in the United States in 2006 will grow to $4.7 billion by 2011 and exceed $6.5 billion in 2012.

[…] continued Read more

AUTOMATIC DISTRIBUTION OF VISTA SP1

Microsoft has begun pushing Vista Service Pack 1 out through the Windows Update service. If you have automatic updates turned on, you’ll get an alert that an update is ready to be installed; when you check, it will be Vista Service Pack 1.

My installations of SP1 have been taking 30-45 minutes, with several automatic restarts. […] continued

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MICROSOFT & THE CLOUD

Microsoft is working on a package of software and online services that might be exactly right for students and home computer users.

Although Vista includes important features out of the box, it does not include Microsoft Office – Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. That’s surprising to many people. (Dell will preinstall Office if you remember to check the box, but all the other manufacturers leave it off to keep the computer sale price down.) I talk to a lot of people about why they have to make an unexpected trip to Costco or Office Depot to buy a copy of Office. […] continued

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FIXING WINDOWS VISTA

Columnist Ed Bott was curious about a friend who complained bitterly about the way Vista ran on his brand new Sony Vaio laptop last year, so he asked permission to look it over. Recently he got a similar new Vaio from Sony to see what had changed in a year.

He describes the experience in this article – interesting reading because it describes the process I engage in all the time on your behalf, evaluating how much time will be required to give you a better experience with your computers. […] continued

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WINDOWS XP SERVICE PACK 3

Microsoft announced today that Windows XP Service Pack 3 will be released on April 29, although there will be a delay before it is pushed through the Automatic Update process.

The service pack incorporates the hundred or so patches that have been released since Service Pack 2, which have been making it a time-consuming slog to set up a new WinXP computer for the last year or more. […] continued

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MICROSOFT OFFICE LIVE WORKSPACE

There are many visions of our online future. Google and many others envision a world of cloud computing, where our programs and our data are both hosted online. Google Docs provides a word processor and spreadsheet, and online storage of files, all accessible from any computer anywhere. At the moment these services are mostly presented in an Internet browser but the technology is already appearing to let online programs run in their own windows like any other program, giving us access to programs that look elegant and can be accessed from anywhere. […] continued

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AT&T: PROUD TO BE STUPID

Jim Cicconi, vice president of legislative affairs for AT&T, made some extraordinarily stupid comments in London this week.

ISPs are doing a full-court press to ensure they can shape our Internet traffic to maximize their revenue. They want to do deals with media companies for preferred delivery of certain web services, or charge you for “excessive” use of your connection – basically converting your Internet connection into something more like your cable television service where your choices are restricted and metered. […] continued

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Outlook Shortcuts

Did you know you can have multiple Outlook windows open? Try right-clicking on “Calendar” or “Contacts,” then clicking on Open in new window.

This will be very exciting for some of you. But wait! There’s more!

By default, Outlook opens into your Inbox. You can change the default folder by clicking in Outlook on Tools / Options / Other / Advanced Options. […] continued

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NDR SPAM

I’ve gotten several calls recently about an odd type of spam attack that also happened to me a few days ago.

As other clients had reported, I began getting “non-delivery reports” – messages from mail servers all over the world that messages from me had not been delivered. Typically the sender is “System Administrator” or the like. […] continued

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BLUE JEANS CABLE STRIKES BACK

This is for my lawyer friends and clients – and anyone who enjoys seeing a lawyer smack down a company that deserves it.

Monster Cable makes high-end, expensive audio and video cables. It’s not obvious that Monster Cables are worth the price – recently blindfolded audio aficionados could not distinguish between audio delivered on Monster Cables, on the one hand, and coat hangers, on the other hand. […] continued

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APPLE & GATEWAY

I had a feeling of deja vu when I was talking to a friend about a new computer last week.

093002gatewayboxes3 In the late 1980s and early 90s, I set up dozens of Gateway computers. They were comparatively inexpensive, they were pioneers in the business of custom configurations for mail-order computers, and they shipped everything in way cool cow-spotted boxes. […] continued

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BAD GUY UPDATE

Many of you practice safe computing – you install security updates from Microsoft and other vendors, you run antivirus and adware/spyware programs and keep them current, your email program has a spam filter and blocks .EXE and other potentially dangerous attachments, and you don’t click on strange links in email messages or on web sites. […] continued

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REMOTE DESKTOP FOR MACS

Microsoft has updated its Remote Desktop software for Macs, allowing them to connect to a computer running Windows XP Professional or Vista Business and control the Windows computer just as if sitting in front of it.

rdpmac

Remote Desktop has been so thoroughly optimized on Windows computers that menus pop up and down, windows appear and disappear at virtually full speed, sounds are played, until it’s easy to forget that the computer under control is in a different office (or across the world). […] continued

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