HOME MEDIA CENTERS

There’s an exploding market for home media centers. I can’t cover all the new equipment, but maybe this will help.

I have a huge digital music library on my computers, which I maintain scrupulously – all sorted into folders, with ID3 tags for artist and album and genre, all carefully groomed. […] continued

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COREL DEATH WATCH

Microsoft bailed out of its investment in Corel a few days ago. Now Corel has announced that it is soliciting takeover bids. Its stock price has been trading at the cash value of the company for much of the past year – last week, the stock market valued the company at $85 million, almost exactly equal to the company’s cash and accounts receivable. […] continued

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TOP TEN DYING GAME GENRES

If you’re a long-time gamer, you might get a nostalgic kick out of an article over at Gamespy listing ten types of PC and video games that are dead or dying. Number one, of course, is the late, lamented graphical adventure game – all those hours spent with King’s Quest, Space Quest, Zork, Monkey Island, Grim Fandango, and the rest. […] continued

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REBUILDING SERVERS

When my server crashed, it looked like an easy problem. Seventy-two hours later, my eyes are bleary, my fingers are bleeding – but everything is up and running. In the end, almost all the data was saved – the only casualty is three days of e-mail that disappeared into the ether. […] continued

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CISCO BUYING LINKSYS

Linksys equipment has become ubiquitous in homes and small businesses. Its inexpensive routers and wireless equipment are stacked to the ceiling in any store that sells computer peripherals.

Cisco Systems has been looking for a way to break into the consumer networking market, and it announced today that it is acquiring Linksys. […] continued

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SLATE – TODAY’S PAPERS

Every day the online magazine Slate presents a wonderful selection of articles on politics, news, and culture. It’s one of my daily stops. One of its best features is Today’s Papers, which analyzes and compares the front pages of the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. […] continued

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SBC YAHOO DSL

If you get a letter suggesting that you must “upgrade” your SBC DSL to “SBC Yahoo DSL,” burn it. It’s a fraud. Here’s some history to explain why.

For a brief moment last year, Pacific Bell’s broadband service and support was going pretty well. Techs were knowledgeable and problems were handled reasonably promptly. […] continued

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MUSICNET ON AOL

This week sees the debut of another horrible online music service, MusicNet on AOL. After years of failed litigation against file sharing services, with 60 million people using Kazaa to obtain the music they want for free every hour of every day – after all that, this is what the recording industry has to offer in a big, highly publicized rollout. […] continued

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PIRATED SYMANTEC SOFTWARE

I get a spam message or two every day offering to sell Symantec software at ridiculously low prices. This article confirms that the software is pirated, which is what you’d expect. Two additional details are worth noting.

First, many of the counterfeit software scams are also credit card scams, set up to harvest your credit card number and do bad things with it. […] continued

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COREL DEATH WATCH: MICROSOFT BAILS OUT

In October 2000, Microsoft acquired a 24.6% share in Corel for $135 million.

It has now signed a deal to sell its shares – for a total of less than $13 million.

Microsoft’s cash infusion had saved Corel from going bankrupt a couple of years ago. The Microsoft purchase was characterized as a partnership for Corel to make applications for Microsoft’s .NET platform. […] continued

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RIAA CERTIFIABLY INSANE

A quick followup to my item on March 1. You’ll recall that the RIAA had placed its heavily attacked web site in the hands of a disabled individual doing his first web hosting from his house. Not surprisingly, it was immediately taken out of commission by hackers.

It’s still down. […] continued

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WIRELESS NOTEBOOKS

Intel, Dell, and a host of others are rolling out notebook computers based on Intel’s Centrino chip set on Wednesday. Intel is also set to launch a massive advertising campaign to promote Centrino and establish it as a brand name.

Intel is betting that wireless technology will be huge and that it will fuel a demand for portable devices. […] continued

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WINDOWS XP STATUS BAR

The status bar is the bar at the bottom of Internet Explorer and Windows Explorer windows. It shows all kinds of interesting things – the number of files in a folder, or the progress in loading a web page, for example. In Windows XP it has a tendency not to appear at all by default in Windows Explorer, or to appear only on the first Internet Explorer window but not subsequent windows. […] continued

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THE SEVEN WARNING SIGNS OF BOGUS SCIENCE

Robert L. Park is a physics professor at the University of Maryland, and the author of Voodoo Science: The Road From Foolishness To Fraud. He has written a wonderful short article on how to recognize scientific nonsense – an important skill for all of us in these confusing times.

“The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is investing close to a million dollars in an obscure Russian scientist’s antigravity machine, although it has failed every test and would violate the most fundamental laws of nature.

[…] continued Read more

BE CAREFUL OUT THERE

Don’t respond to unsolicited e-mail. Don’t click on links that say “Click here to be removed from this mailing list.” And especially – never, ever put passwords or credit card information into e-mail messages.

I’ve used PayPal once. I got a message this morning. The sender shows as info@paypal.com. The message is laid out nicely, displays PayPal’s logo and has this text:

Dear PayPal Customer:

PayPal is currently performing regular maintenance of our security measures.

[…] continued Read more