Buy.Com And “Customer Loyalty”

This is a cautionary tale to make you careful online shoppers. It strikes close to home for me because it involves, a favorite of mine at one time, but the scam is also used on Orbitz, Fandango and other sites.

When opened its online doors in the late 90s, I thought it was a great resource for computer peripherals and software. […] continued

Read more


Ace consultant Brian Dent of CompuDent Systems points out an interesting corollary to the speed increases from Comcast:

Just one caveat I’ve run into.  A lot of the existing routers can’t handle a 50Mbps incoming signal.  I have a 50Mbps account with a SonicWALL TZ 180e 25U.  The ports are 100Mbps but the throughput is limited to 20Mbps.  So you can get all this speed but it doesn’t do you any good if the equipment in-between can’t accept it.

[…] continued

Read more


Comcast Internet subscribers in the North Bay are getting a free speed increase, and some new choices for even faster Internet connections. Here’s today’s press release. The increase covers much of Northern California, including all of Sonoma and Marin counties.

Residential customers are supposed to have their speeds doubled for free, effective immediately. […] continued

Read more


firefox Lots of people have installed Firefox to do their Internet browsing. Sometimes, out of curiosity, I ask people why they use it instead of Internet Explorer. There are people who can give an articulate, well-reasoned answer to that question, although as it happens I haven’t met any of them yet. (“My brother knows somebody who said it was cool.”) But that’s fine – it’s a lovely Internet browser. […] continued

Read more


This is not directly related to computers but it’s a nice thing to know about.

feynman Bill Gates announced today that he has made a classic series of lectures by Nobel prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman available online for free on the Microsoft Research web site.

Richard Feynman was one of the world’s truly interesting people. […] continued

Read more


Bing is Microsoft’s new service for Internet searches. As I wrote last month, its search results are more or less comparable to Google and it has some nice design touches that can make it easier to use than Google. You may want to give it a look, especially if you’re doing searches in the categories of travel, shopping, health, or local business information – Bing has particular strengths for those searches to help you narrow in on useful information. […] continued

Read more


googlechrome Google announced tonight that it plans to turn its web browser, Google Chrome, into a full-fledged operating system. Its first target is netbooks, which will primarily be used for web browsing and email and which can benefit from a lean OS that starts quickly and has little superfluous content.

The press will be all over this. […] continued

Read more


At some point on Tuesday, the web host for will change from XO Communications to GoDaddy. In theory it’s going to go smoothly and you won’t notice. If disappears for a while, rest assured that I’m going nuts trying to fix it.

I can’t unravel the mysteries of domain registration and web hosting in a few paragraphs. […] continued

Read more



Does your technology memory extend back to the 80s? If so, you may shed a nostalgic tear at the news that the last remnants of CompuServe have been shut down by its current owner, America Online. I spent many hours listening to the dialup modem make its bong-bong sounds connecting to a local CompuServe number so I could scroll through text screens of online forums and download little DOS utilities and games. […] continued

Read more


If you have five minutes free, click here for a moderately amusing video from Microsoft about the history of the Internet. […] continued

Read more


Small businesses should pay close attention to this article about a recent change in the way Google reports search results. Apparently Google recently began analyzing the IP address where a search originates and giving higher placement to local businesses, even if the search doesn’t include a particular location.

For your business, the process begins by putting information into the “Google Local Business Center.” Someone from your business has to log in with a free Google Account and put in a few details about the business. […] continued

Read more


There’s no shortage of places to create an online presentation of yourself – Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Windows Live Spaces, and many more.

When you’re going to look for someone online, though, you still probably start by typing their name into Google. Today Google took a step to increase the visibility of your “Google Profile,” by making your Google profile visible at the bottom of the results that come up in a search for your name. […] continued

Read more


Internet Explorer 8 is the latest version of Microsoft’s web browser, released in final form a few weeks ago. Starting soon, it will be offered to you by the Automatic Update system. The rollout will begin in the third week of April but it will not hit everyone at the same time – you may not see it for several weeks after that. […] continued

Read more




The press coverage of the Conficker malware has caused some fear and created the teensiest bit of an overreaction.

Here’s some common sense advice.


  • You can use your computers on April 1. You can browse the Internet on April 1.
  • If your computer has been automatically installing Microsoft’s security updates, you are protected against the Conficker malware.
  • […] continued

Read more


When our first child was a year old, we had a childproofing company come to our house and give us a presentation about the threats that might endanger our baby. By the time it was finished, we had closed the college savings account because it seemed so unlikely that he would survive into his teens. […] continued

Read more