RealNetworks unveiled a new version of its Rhapsody service for music. Here’s an article about the launch. Rhapsody has been marginally successful in its basic incarnation, which is still offered – for ten bucks a month, you can stream audio from a reasonably large library of songs. The quality of the streaming audio is pretty good and the software is reportedly stable, so it’s not a bad deal if you frequently sit at a computer listening to music. […] continuedRead more
Palm and PocketPC devices have been fading in the last couple of years. Sony dropped out of the market, Palm has had financial struggles, and there’s been no buzz for new features because almost no one uses the devices for anything except address book and calendar functions. There’s been increasing demand for devices that also display e-mail on the road; many PDAs began to incorporate 802.11 wireless networking, but that means the device is only updated when an open network is nearby. […] continuedRead more
Here’s an article about Firefox addressing the misconception that Firefox is somehow “more secure” than Internet Explorer. It’s not. It has its own security problems – more than Internet Explorer – and it is under increasing attack. It’s also got bugs that have been driving me nuts. Don’t be fooled by the evangelists. […] continuedRead more
Symantec finally released an antispyware program, filling an embarrassing hole in its lineup of security products. The Norton Spyware Protection program will be free and downloadable separately for the next couple of months; after June 1, it will only be available as part of the $70 “Norton Internet Security Antispyware Edition.”
Now as it happens, Norton Internet Security makes me crazy. […] continuedRead more
Ivan Seidenberg, CEO of Verizon, gave an interview to the SF Chronicle yesterday. In a shocking and unexpected development, he was critical of San Francisco’s interest in building a city-wide wireless network offering cheap or free Internet service. By an extraordinary coincidence, Verizon hopes to provide its own wireless Internet service, although Verizon seldom uses the words “cheap” or “free” to describe its own plans. […] continuedRead more
This isn’t new, but it was another Google feature that I had overlooked. If you enter a package tracking number into Google – nothing else, just the number – you’ll be taken to the UPS/Fed Ex/USPS tracking page for that package. Google’s page about searching by number points out that you can also get useful information by doing a search for vehicle ID numbers, UPC codes, telephone area codes, patent numbers, and more. […] continuedRead more
There is an update available for the junk mail filter in Outlook 2003. The direct link is this page, but the recommended way to get the update is through the Office Update page, where you’ll also be able to get any service packs or security updates for your copy of Office. […] continuedRead more
Here’s a good article about the rebate game. Whether you believe in rebates or disdain them, never forget that they don’t want you to get them. The process is intentionally difficult and fraught with error, and you don’t stand a chance if you treat it casually. If you don’t have the patience to take rebates seriously, then don’t consider them when you evaluate prices. […] continuedRead more
EasyTree was a well-known site for downloading live recordings of popular bands. It was scrupulously careful never to list anything that had ever been commercially released in any form, and it responded instantly to any request by any band that did not want people sharing its music.
EasyTree closed voluntarily two days ago when it was threatened by expensive lawyers. […] continuedRead more
Whenever you go online, you are at risk of having adware and spyware installed on your system. Well-funded companies are seeking to invade your computer without your knowledge or consent; their software can slow or crash your computer, overload your Internet connection, and potentially invade your privacy or permit personal information to be stolen. […] continuedRead more
Google Maps has quietly been updated to include satellite images. It’s pretty extraordinary – click on the word “satellite” to switch from traditional maps to satellite photos for a particular place or for a display from one location to another. Here’s an article about the new feature.