AOL AND SPAM-BLOCKING

Everybody complains to their ISP about spam, even though it’s not really the ISP’s problem. They’ve responded with spam filters and message blocking which occasionally goes awry.

AOL seems to get it wrong a bit more often than most. I belong to a mailing list whose messages have been blocked periodically by AOL in the last few weeks. […] continued

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DIGITAL PHOTOS ON THE ROAD

A friend just pointed out a device that fills a need in an elegant way. When you travel with a digital camera, it can be hard to know what to do with the images you accumulate. You can carry multiple memory cards but they’re expensive, and carrying a laptop is frequently inconvenient. […] continued

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SETBACK FOR DVD COPYING

After eight months of deliberation, a San Francisco federal judge ruled that popular DVD-copying software from 321 Studios has to be yanked off the market within seven days. Here’s an article with more details and a bit of the technical background. The ruling encompasses any product that breaks the copy protection on commercial DVDs. […] continued

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MORE DVD FORMAT WARS

There continues to be chaos in the world of recordable DVDs. The blur of acronyms has not changed in the last year or two – DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-Ram and the rest. There is some movement to reduce the impact on consumers by making players that can play all the formats, but you’re still well advised to stay away from digital video until you’re ready to study hard. […] continued

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OUTLOOK ADD-INS

Here’s an interesting collection of add-ins for Outlook that might solve some issue for you. I don’t have any experience with them so I can’t vouch for their quality, but they do address some real life problems.

Example: if you enter fax numbers for your Outlook contacts, Outlook will display both e-mail addresses and fax numbers in the same list when you display your address book – for example, when you click “TO:” in an e-mail message. […] continued

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BRUCEB VACATION

Bruce and his loyal staff will be out of town during the week of February 16.

Now, now, don’t panic – but as always, don’t take any unnecessary chances. To be safe, unplug your computer until February 23.

If you think it’s worth the risk, then feel free to use your computer normally, but try to avoid clicking on the mouse or striking keys on the keyboard. […] continued

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AOL INSTANT MESSENGER ADWARE

There’s a new irritant spreading in the AOL Instant Messenger network, pretending to be a web-based game named “Night Raptor” from a service named “BuddyLinks.” DON’T CLICK ON IT! Once installed, you are barraged with popup advertising, which is bad enough – but it also starts bombarding everyone on your buddy list with ads, which is unforgivable. […] continued

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SBC DSL & FIREWALLS

The software supplied by SBC for its DSL customers makes me angry. I’ve described some of the reasons on this page – the sole purpose of the software seems to be to ensure that DSL subscribers will be bombarded with popups and toolbars and solicitations for unwanted services.

SBC sells “PPPOE” DSL service, which is not “always on,” despite SBC’s advertising to the contrary. […] continued

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SHOULD YOU SHUT THE COMPUTER DOWN AT NIGHT?

A new article addresses the perennial question of whether it’s better to leave the computer on all the time, or shut it down at night. In the past that question has focused on energy consumption, but now an additional question is whether leaving the computer on increases your security risk, by exposing your PC to more attacks than if you were to shut it off. […] continued

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MYDOOM REMOVAL TOOL FROM MICROSOFT

Microsoft released a small, free tool that will remove the MyDoom and MyDoom.B viruses from computers running XP and Windows 2000. According to the company, “the tool automatically checks for infection and removes the worm(s) if found. If a machine is infected with MyDoom.B, the tool will also provide the user with the default version of the ‘host’ file and set the ‘read-only’ attribute for that file. […] continued

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JUNK MAIL FILTERING

Outlook 2003 continues to do a good job of filtering out spam. There’s so much spam coming in to my mailbox that I simply stopped looking in the Junk Mail folder.

I just turned on the option to permanently delete spam instead of moving it to the Junk Mail folder (Tools / Options / Preferences / Junk E-Mail). […] continued

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IMPORTANT WINDOWS UPDATE

Microsoft released an update today that should be installed at your earliest convenience. Go to Windows Update and apply all Critical Updates. (Some of you will see the “Windows Update” icon down by the clock today or tomorrow, notifying you that new updates are ready to install. Click on the icon and install the update, then go to Windows Update after your computer restarts to see if that’s everything.)

If you’re new to Windows Update, keep in mind that “Critical Updates” are important security fixes – download and install them all. […] continued

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