THINGS TO WORRY ABOUT

MSNBC has a wonderful article about an unexpected side effect of global warming – huge ice blocks, 22 lbs or more, which form in the upper atmosphere on clear days and fall to earth, smashing car windshields and ripping holes in houses. Don’t look at me like that – I’m serious. […] continued

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PRICE DROP ON FLAT PANEL MONITORS

For a change, it looks like prices are going to drop a bit on flat panel monitors, with some good deals in place for your holiday shopping. Dell is the first to announce lower prices – a 17” flat panel for $599 (or $550 with a Dimension computer purchase), and a 15” flat panel for $399 (or $280 with a computer). […] continued

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KAZAA UP TO ITS OLD SCUMMY TRICKS

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

You may not know that commissions are paid by some online stores to web sites that provide links to the stores. Small businesses use affiliate links for some extra income; charities use them for fundraisers. When you click on the link to Amazon from my Web Favorites page to do your shopping, I get a trivial amount of money from Amazon. […] continued

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WIRELESS FUTURE

The wireless world is coming up faster than you realize. The equipment is getting cheaper and easier to set up. Microsoft announced it is going to manufacture home wireless networking equipment that will be cheap, secure, and ridiculously easy to set up. Wireless standards are settling down and devices are starting to flood the market. […] continued

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GOOGLE NEWS

Google is bringing its remarkable technology to harvesting the news. Here’s a link to Google News, presenting the top news stories of the moment without any human intervention. Google News software continuously crawls more than 4,000 Web news sources, looking for the most relevant articles from the most reputable sources. […] continued

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DICTIONARIES

The Press Democrat just did a feature about the abbreviations invented for text messaging – they’re becoming second nature to many kids, and teachers are seeing them turn up in school assignments. FYI, here’s a dictionary that covers many of the basic text messaging abbreviations FWIW. If U R like me, it will make you feel old. […] continued

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CHEAP COMPUTERS

Look for cheap Emachines and Compaq Presarios in the stores for your Christmas shopping pleasure. They’ll each have systems at various price points – $399, $499, $599, $750 – with remarkable specs. Here’s an article with details on the lineups. Example: The Compaq Presario 6320US will sell for $629, equipped with an Athlon XP 2000+ processor, 256Mb RAM, 60Gb hard drive, and both CDRW and DVD drives. […] continued

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VIDEO ON DEMAND IS HERE TODAY

The New York Times has an article today with an intriguing premise: the world of video on demand is here, and it’s being delivered by . . . the Post Office.

DVDs hold digital versions of movies. Netflix is mailing out digital data on DVDs – an estimated 1.5 terabytes per day. […] continued

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NEW VERSION OF KAZAA

Kazaa introduced a new version of its file sharing software today. It should be available at download.com. I don’t have any information yet about any spyware included in this version – Kazaa was packing spy programs in pretty seriously for a while.

There are some new ways for the Kazaa software to display paid advertising when you search, but the new version also has some nice enhancements that are going to enrage the recording industry. […] continued

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NEW HP PRINTERS

Hewlett Packard has a line of color printers for business – including “business Deskjets” that don’t turn up often at the neighborhood stores. They feature faster speeds and bigger paper trays than the home units, but they aren’t quite as well suited to printing photos as the amazing new home inkjet printers. […] continued

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HOTMAIL SPAM FILTER

It’s not just your imagination – Hotmail accounts get far more spam than any other mail service through any other ISP. Microsoft has finally signed a deal that might cut down on the junk. Brightmail is a third party filter that will be installed on Hotmail to stop the spam before it reaches the mailboxes. […] continued

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DIGITAL IMAGES

For consumers, the world of graphics software breaks down roughly into two categories:

Photo editing programs – for working with images from your scanner or digital camera. Examples: Adobe Photoshop Elements, Paint Shop Pro.

Home publishing programs – for creating projects like greeting cards, signs, labels, etc., with clip art and photos.

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ON SALE

Costco has been carrying Sylvania conventional and flat screen monitors for a while now – and they’re perfectly good, in my experience. Today, though, the 17” monitors in stock were manufactured by Princeton Graphics – with fabulous specs, and on sale dirt-cheap at $129.99. And they’re black, so they color-coordinate with your new Dell or Gateway. […] continued

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HOW COMPUTER MANUFACTURERS SURVIVE

Here’s an article about rumors that Gateway is receiving unsolicited takeover bids. Gateway’s public stance is that it has no interest in being acquired, but there’s no way to know what’s going on out of public view.

As the article explains, two other well-known names are surviving in the computer industry by finding niches that allow them to avoid Dell’s dominance. […] continued

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MAC OS X – THE MANDATORY UPGRADE

Apple has a problem – its users aren’t flocking to the new operating system, OS X, as fast as Apple needs. So Apple came up with a plan to fix their problem. Guesses, anyone? Innovative new features? Lower prices? No, no. Apple is going to release a new line of Macs starting early next year that will refuse to boot Mac OS 9 or any OS other than Mac OS X. […] continued

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