MUSICMATCH DOWNLOADS

MusicMatch Jukebox is the most popular program available for playing and organizing mp3 music files. Personally, I find it confusing and difficult to use, but millions of people use it to play their tunes.

MusicMatch rolled out a digital music download service yesterday which parallels Apple’s iTunes Music Store in many ways. […] continued

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BUGGY SOFTWARE

Even though Windows XP is solid and stable, it’s still possible to write bad programs – and sometimes it seems that buggy software is on the rise. The Register has an article today complaining about programs that too often rely on patches delivered later to fix obvious problems.

The article leads off with an interesting example. […] continued

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DELL MOVES INTO HOME ELECTRONICS

Here’s an interesting article about Dell’s move into home entertainment. Dell is conservative and only goes into new areas that it intends to dominate, so expect a big marketing push later this year for the new lineup.

The new products include a digital music player, an online music service, an LCD TV / computer screen, and a new, thinner PocketPC device. […] continued

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SONIC DSL SALE

Sonic is passing along reduced prices on DSL to match SBC’s recent promotions. Basic DSL service is $34.95/month from Sonic – similar to SBC’s price, but with none of the hassles of SBC’s service. Here’s the details of Sonic’s offer, and here’s some reasons to avoid SBC.

Note the fine print: there’s a one-year commitment ($200 penalty for early cancellation), and the price goes up to $57.95 after the first year. […] continued

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HAVE YOU DONE A BACKUP LATELY?

Hard drives stop working sometimes. It doesn’t happen often, but it happens.

Sometimes a system can’t be started because files are damaged that Windows relies on. That can be inconvenient and expensive, but much of the time it’s not a disaster. The data on the drive can still be recovered without too much difficulty. […] continued

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KAISER AND YOUR HEART

This has nothing to do with technology, but these statistics are too extraordinary to miss.

Kaiser Permanente shed its poor reputation decades ago and is now well known for the high quality of its health care. The National Committee on Quality Assurance recently singled out Kaiser Permanente Northern California in its annual report, and noted these astonishing accomplishments:

”Health care professionals at Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC) have accomplished something remarkable: they have reduced death from heart disease among KPNC’s 3 million members so significantly that it is no longer the leading cause of death in this population, though it remains so in the general population.”

“Adjusting for age and gender, death from heart disease is more than 30 percent lower in KPNC population than in the non-KPNC population in California.”

“The mortality rates from heart attacks (treated) at KPNC hospitals are up to 50 percent lower than at similar hospitals across the state.”

[…] continued Read more

AFFORDABLE COLOR LASERJETS

HP has an overlooked line of business color inkjet printers – here’s the 1100 series, and here’s the 2230 series, for example. There are more expensive models as well. They’re fast and sturdy.

Nonetheless, many offices are more comfortable with laser printers. Color laser printers are finally coming down in price and quality has significantly improved. […] continued

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ORSON SCOTT CARD ON MP3s

Popular SF/fantasy author Orson Scott Card has written a nice article deflating the recording industry rhetoric and explaining why mp3s are not necessarily to blame for the industry’s decline. Nothing terribly new, but an articulate reminder of things about copyrights that should not be forgotten.

[…] continued Read more

ANOTHER WINDOWS CRITICAL UPDATE

Go to http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com and install Critical Updates.

There is another important security update. Another vulnerability has been discovered, very similar to the hole exploited by the MSBLAST worm. Here’s a link to Microsoft’s web page about the update.

As before, this particular problem only affects Windows 2000 and Windows XP, and it will not affect you if you are behind a firewall – a Linksys router, Windows XP’s built-in Internet Connection Firewall, or a company firewall. […] continued

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OPUS RETURNS!

Life is worth living again! Opus the penguin is returning to the comics pages! Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Berkeley Breathed, creator of Bloom County and Outland, will begin a new Sunday-only strip featuring Opus, starting in November. Here’s the details.

[…] continued Read more

TOYNBEE TILES

I love stuff like this. For years, a reporter for the Kansas City Star had noticed an odd tile embedded in the street near a favorite restaurant. Made of a rock-hard material, embedded in a way that can only be done with heavy-duty machinery, and displaying the message: “TOYNBEE IDEA IN KubricK’s `2001 RESURRECT DEAD ON PLANET JUPiTER.”

This article describes what happened when the reporter did some research. […] continued

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SUBPOENAS AND COMPUTER CRIME

Here’s a fascinating – and chilling – article by a former head of the Justice Department’s computer crime unit describing a recent decision by a federal appeals court in California. A routine discovery dispute has produced a decision that potentially expands the scope of federal computer crime law to include many activities that have nothing to do with computers. […] continued

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GOOGLE TRICKS

You know how valuable Google is for web searches, but take a look at this page for other equally valuable Google services – among others, a price comparison service, an index of online shopping catalogs, indices of Usenet discussion forums, and a Yahoo-style Web directory. My favorite is Google News – headlines from hundreds of news services. […] continued

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MICROSOFT SMALL BUSINESS SERVER 2003

Microsoft will release Small Business Server 2003 in October. It is a huge release. It will transform computing for small offices.

The reason? It’s simple and it’s cheap.

A new “standard edition” includes Windows Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2003, and costs only $599. Hardware manufacturers will sell a server with SBS pre-installed for under a thousand dollars. […] continued

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SPAM AND VIRUS TSUNAMI

I’ve used the same e-mail address for years. It’s listed on my web site and I’ve used it to subscribe to several mailing lists. That makes it a prime target for abuse – but I’m still appalled at what is going on.

I was out of my office for four days, from Friday morning until Monday afternoon. […] continued

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