CODE RED & SIRCAM

The SIRCAM virus may have come your way – I got several copies in my mailbox. The usual precautions apply – don’t open file attachments to e-mail, keep your antivirus software up to date. And if you’re running Microsoft Office 2000, visit the Office Update site and install Service Pack 1 or 2 plus the Outlook E-Mail Security Update. […] continued

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NET ADVERTISING

Ready for the Internet to get more annoying? Watch for several changes in advertising on the web. A number of sites have been experimenting with bigger advertisements, taking up more of the onscreen area. Another kind of ad will be widespread soon – advertisements that play when you click on a link, preventing you from seeing that link for fifteen or twenty seconds. […] continued

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AMAZON FINANCIALS

The Los Angeles Times put together an interesting story about whether Amazon.com can survive. “On Monday, Amazon is expected to report its 17th consecutive unprofitable quarter, a money-losing streak with few precedents for a company its size in American business history.” As always, analysts look at Amazon’s numbers and draw different conclusions, but the tone is increasingly pessimistic and some are now predicting bankruptcy lies ahead. […] continued

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FLAT PANEL MONITORS

Lots of people are interested in LCD flat panel monitors now that the prices are dropping. I’ve gleaned a few things from the coverage I’ve seen.

  • Prices for 15″ LCD monitors have fallen to the $500 range. The current guess is that they won’t drop much further – might even go up a bit over the next six months or so.
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COPY PROTECTED CDS

A timely news article today after my rant yesterday about the copyright wars. Turns out the record industry has been slipping copy-protected audio CDs into stores for a few months now. The copy protection prevents you from making .mp3 files from the CD – your files will be full of audible clicks and pops. […] continued

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HOTMAIL UPGRADE

Hotmail users will notice that the service has been redesigned. I don’t see any important new services, but Microsoft has beefed up the junk mail settings. Everyone will want to bump the junk mail filter from “Low” to “High” to deal with the unbelievable volume of spam that Hotmail seems to attract. […] continued

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MEASURING CONNECTION SPEED

I ran across a handy little utility that lets you measure the true speed of your Internet connection. It puts a little icon down by the clock with a tiny graph, and lets you pop up a window with more details at any time. Download it here.

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WINDOWS XP PRODUCT ACTIVATION

Just so you know, the software pirates are hard at work trying to figure out how to break Windows XP Product Activation. The Register reports today on a particularly easy way around the product activation requirements in the release candidate that’s available now. Perhaps this will be less intrusive than we thought! […] continued

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WESTLAW CITELINK

Lawyers: there’s a new version of Westlaw Citelink, a free utility that works with Word and WordPerfect to check case citations, construct a Table of Authorities, and the like. If you’ve got Office XP, the new version of Citelink also turns on “smart tags” for your citations, giving you right-click access to the wealth of West resources related to your cases. […] continued

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DIGITAL COPYRIGHT

Here’s an example of the future as envisioned by the megacorporations that are trying to turn copyrights to their advantage. Imagine that you open the cover of your summer reading and find this notice:

“By opening the cover of this book, you agree to the following license terms: You do not own the book, you are merely licensed to read it.

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SATELLITE UPDATE

It’s been a tough week for the satellite service. Typical of startup services that are still trying to squash bugs. Lots of downtime this week, lots of unplugging the satellite modems to reset them, lots of failed downloads and pages that won’t load. Reportedly the people that lived through the startup of the original one-way satellite service had similar experiences until one day the network settled down and started behaving well. […] continued

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KICK OUT THE JAMMIES

If you’ve got kids and a broadband Web connection, you might want to check out Kick Out The Jammies, a new online radio station for kids. The playlist ranges from “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “Purple People Eater,” to Mozart, the Rolling Stones and Steven Sondheim. It stands out a bit because it’s created and operated by David Bowie. […] continued

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MP3 FILE ORGANIZATION

Thanks to overwhelming demand, I wrote some notes about how to organize .mp3 files. If your collection is growing, it might help you get started on the housekeeping that’s necessary to keep track of things. Take notes as you read it, there will be a quiz next period.

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NAPSTER ALTERNATIVES

If you’re looking for a source of online music now that Napster is gone, here’s a good article about the alternatives that have arisen in the last few months. I’ve gotten the best reports about AudioGalaxy and MusicCity, for what it’s worth, although it’s a little worrisome that AudioGalaxy has already started some “filtering” of the songs available. […] continued

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KODAK vs. MICROSOFT

Here’s an article about Kodak’s contention that Microsoft is using its monopoly power unfairly to “pry its way into new businesses” with Windows XP. A lot of companies are currently getting a sympathetic ear in the press with their complaints about Microsoft, and this looks like a perfectly good example of what the fuss is all about. […] continued

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