WHAT TO DO IF YOUR INTERNET CONNECTION GOES DOWN

As we grow more dependent on the Net, it’s important to have contingency plans. Here’s a useful collection of tips and tricks in case your Internet connection goes down.

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MICROSOFT VS. GOOGLE

Microsoft has begun testing a news service to aggregate headlines from a variety of publications. The new service, MSN Newsbot, is currently targeted at the UK and three European countries during beta testing.

The new service competes with Google News. It’s the first salvo in a bigger war. Microsoft is investing heavily in search technology. […] continued

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WEB BROWSER HIJACKING

I just ran into a browser hijacking that wasn’t repaired by AdAware. “LuckySearch” came up as the browser home page and default search engine every time the system rebooted, even after a thorough cleaning.

It turns out there’s new methods of hijacking a computer that are even more insidious than the adware and spyware addressed by AdAware. […] continued

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MSN SEARCH

If you use MSN’s web search for “linux windows,” it returns sixteen web pages with both those words on them. Try it!

If you use Google for the same search, it returns almost nine million web pages.

What’s going on? This author makes a mistake and argues that it demonstrates Microsoft’s censorship of its web search results. […] continued

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GRAPHICS PROGRAMS

I wrote up some notes about programs for editing and organizing images on this page – comparing Adobe Photoshop Elements with Microsoft Digital Image Pro. Fascinating, insightful stuff. (Or possibly just opinionated and annoying. I’m too close to it to be sure.)

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FREE WINDOWS DOODADS

Microsoft has free “Winter Fun Packs” available for download. Greeting card templates, screen savers, effects for Movie Maker 2, visualizations for Media Player 9. Whee.

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OUTLOOK 2003 AND SPAM

(I hate to jinx anything by mentioning it, but the spam filter in Outlook 2003 is catching 98% of my spam. And there’s been close to zero false positives. I spent about a week watching the junk mail folder and adding a few newsletters to the “safe senders” list, then bumped the filter from “low” to “high.” […] continued

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NEW MEMORY DEVICE

Engineers at Princeton University and Hewlett Packard have come up with a combination of cheap materials that might result in a very small card capable of storing far more data than a CD – the example is a gigabyte of information in one cubic centimeter, about the size of a fingertip. […] continued

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iTUNES ECONOMICS

The Register’s article today helps us understand the online music services.

Apple’s iTunes store charges 99 cents per song. Apple claims it is the most popular of several competing services selling authorized downloadable music.

Apple is losing money on the iTunes Music Store.

Steve Jobs admitted to financial analysts that the service is a loss leader for Apple. […] continued

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WINDOWS XP KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS

Everybody can use at least a few keyboard shortcuts. Here’s a chart that summarizes all the Windows keyboard tricks.

Many people know about CTRL-C, X & V for cut/copy/paste, but make sure you also know CTRL-A for “select all.” And it shouldn’t only be old-timers who use ALT-TAB to cycle through running programs. […] continued

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RIAA DOUBLETHINK

The recording industry filed 80 more federal lawsuits around the country Thursday against people using file sharing programs. Here’s a wire service article about the lawsuits. The RIAA sent out warning letters to 204 people before filing suit, seeking to avoid suing any more PR fiascos resulting from suing 12-year-olds and grandfathers. […] continued

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PHISHING IS FOUL

“Phishing” is a new buzzword for an old scam. Crooks are sending e-mails posing as legitimate businesses asking users for personal information – passwords, account numbers, credit card numbers, and social security numbers. E-mail messages are sprayed by the millions to random addresses using domain names of popular e-mail services such as aol.com, […] continued

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MICROSOFT OFFICE 2003 STUDENT EDITION

Microsoft Office 2003 has arrived in the stores. The “Basic Edition” includes Word, Excel, and Outlook. The “Standard Edition” adds Powerpoint. There’s increasing interest in Powerpoint – think about it before you decide which version to buy or order with a new computer!

The same software is packaged as “Office 2003 Standard for Students and Teachers” – again including Powerpoint, and selling for $130-150. […] continued

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DELL MP3 PLAYER

Dell will be unveiling its MP3 player and online music service tomorrow, in another direct shot at Apple’s iPod and iTunes. Like the iPod, the Dell Digital Jukebox is a high capacity disk-drive based device. The accompanying software is a Dell-branded version of the MusicMatch software, with access to MusicMatch Downloads. […] continued

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