September

Wireless Networks – Useful, Annoying, Insecure

linksyswirelessrouter

Wireless networks are convenient and likely to be the way most of us get our network and Internet connections in the future.

Wireless networks are a huge pain and nearly incomprehensible.

Both of those things are true.

Wireless technology has come a long way since the first consumer routers with wireless access points appeared on the market almost ten years ago. […] continued

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Norton Antivirus 2011 – Won’t Get Fooled Again

nortonantivirus2011

I occasionally say critical things about Norton security products. I guess that’s because I occasionally run into computers that seem happier when I remove the Norton security products.

In fact, now that I come to think about it, every computer seems happier when I remove Norton security products. I’ve never seen a computer that wasn’t slowed to a crawl and crashing and throwing up and rendered limp and lifeless when Norton security software was installed. […] continued

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LastPass – The Essential Utility

lastpasslogo2

LastPass has moved to my short list of essential utilities. If you’re not familiar with it, go read my original article about the concept behind the program, then go to the LastPass web site and watch some of the videos explaining how the service works.

The design of the LastPass program is very reassuring. […] continued

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Microsoft Security Essentials Licensed For Small Business

microsoftsecurityessentialslogo

Microsoft Security Essentials is simply the best security program currently available for Windows computers. Installing MSE is on the short list of chores that I insist on doing for every computer I work on.

The license terms are being changed to permit it to be used by small businesses, although that’s not hugely significant since it has been used happily by small businesses all over the world ever since its release. […] continued

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Postscript – Some Notes About Skype

googlevoiceskype

Previously:
Understanding Google Voice
Fully Committed to Google Voice – Part 1
Google Voice Interlude – Background About Voice And Data
Fully Committed to Google Voice – Part 2

Skype is best known for its program that runs on a computer to call other Skype users for free anywhere in the world, but Skype is able to do several other things now – things you’ll recognize from what I’ve been writing about Google Voice. […] continued

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Fully Committed To Google Voice – Part 2

googlevoicemobile

Previously:
Understanding Google Voice
Fully Committed to Google Voice – Part 1
Google Voice Interlude – Background About Voice And Data

If you’ve been following along, you understand the tension between new services like Google Voice and Skype that move your voice from place to place, and the telcos and cell phone carriers that feel threatened by that technology. […] continued

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Google Voice Interlude – Background About Voice And Data

voicedata

Previously:
Understanding Google Voice
Fully Committed to Google Voice – Part 1

Now things get really interesting.

Well, they do to me, anyway. I’m odd.

This is at best wildly simplified, and at worst completely inaccurate, but pay attention anyway – you’ll need to know this to understand a lot of headlines in the next few years. […] continued

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Fully Committed To Google Voice – Part 1

googlevoice2

Previously: Understanding Google Voice

All of this started because I don’t have a reliable cell phone signal at my home office west of Sebastopol. Verizon coverage is erratic and the area has no coverage at all from AT&T, Sprint, or T-Mobile.

If I could, I’d use my cell phone as a single point of contact. […] continued

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Understanding Google Voice

googlevoicelogo

Google Voice is a free service that gives you a phone number.

When you dial my phone number, (707) 703-1601, you’re dialing a Google Voice number. Thanks to the Google Voice service, at the same moment my office phone rings, my cell phone rings, and Skype starts bonging on my computer. […] continued

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Google Instant Search

googleinstantsearch

Google made a simple but profound change to the way that search results are delivered to you from the Google search page. It changes the world in a small but significant way.

You will now get two things while you type:

  • Predictions of what you’re most likely to be looking for, appearing in light grey text in front of the cursor.
[…] continued Read more

Poisoned Web Sites

malware

Almost all malware now is installed by poisoned web sites. If you haven’t installed the latest updates for Windows / Office / Internet Explorer / Firefox / Java / Flash / Acrobat / iTunes / Quicktime, you’ll click on an innocent-looking link to find, say, lyrics to a Katy Perry song and be confronted by something unexpected – typically an official-looking window that pops up claiming that your system is infested with terrible diseases. […] continued

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Reconsidering Firefox

iefirefoxchrome

or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Google Chrome

I am conservative about installing software. I don’t want programs on my computers unless I intend to use them. The first thing I do with a new computer is remove unnecessary utilities and cruddy photo programs and the like installed by the computer manufacturers. […] continued

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Annoying Checkboxes

javabingtoolbar

This week’s installment of Annoying Checkboxes is sponsored by Microsoft, which has already brought you the annoying checkbox to install the “Bing Toolbar” – the one that has to be unchecked every single time you install an update to Java. Since Java is updated approximately once every 72 hours, you’ve probably seen that annoying checkbox frequently. […] continued

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Details About Microsoft Online Services

microsoftonlineservicesbanner

Previously:
Fear of Exchange
Moving Mail Online With Microsoft Online Services

Small businesses should strongly consider having their Outlook mailboxes hosted on Exchange Servers run by Microsoft for a small monthly fee. I’m going to recommend this to a number of my clients and I encourage anyone interested to contact me to talk it through. […] continued

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