Internet telephony – “voice over IP” or “VOIP” – is just now approaching the mass market. Consumer products are hitting the market from the likes of Linksys designed to work with AT&T and Vonage systems, for example, and Skype has built up millions of users.
John Dvorak, a long-time contrarian tech columnist, predicts that the phone companies will eventually own VOIP and charge their traditionally high rates, after pressuring regulators and legislators to put competitors out of business. […] continuedRead more
The “Norton” brand name used to be synonymous with high-quality computer utilities. Sadly, there are almost no programs in its consumer lineup now that are good enough to recommend.
Norton Internet Security is the suite that includes Norton Antivirus along with a firewall, parental controls, and some other features. It’s priced aggressively and it’s pushed hard as an “upgrade” when it’s time to renew an antivirus subscription. […] continuedRead more
There have been a string of security breaches this year involving the theft of personal information stored by banks or other big companies.
The latest is the largest US banking security breach in history. A New Jersey cybercrime ring accessed bank account information for at least 676,000 people with consumer accounts at four New Jersey banks. […] continuedRead more
Yahoo is following on the heels of Napster and Rhapsody, offering a service permitting unlimited downloads of songs for a fixed cost every month. The songs can be played on your computer and can be played on a handful of compatible mp3 players, but they can’t be burned to a CD or played on other computers – and they stop playing completely if your subscription expires. […] continuedRead more
WalMart is getting out of the rental DVD business and turning its customers over to Netflix.
WalMart only made a half-hearted effort to compete over the last two years, developing a hundred thousand customers who drew from a comparatively small selection and got slow service from a single distribution center. Netflix has five million customers, a deep selection of movies, and dozens of distribution warehouses. […] continuedRead more
Frustrated by voice mail systems? Here’s a list you might find useful. It’s the phone numbers for several dozen large companies – banks, cell phone carriers, credit card companies, insurance companies, and more – with instructions for each one to bypass the voice mail systems and get to a live human being. […] continuedRead more
The Apple and Firefox evangelists won’t make eye contact with you for a while, since all the latest news of security flaws and exploits is aimed at them. Here’s a summary from Paul Thurrott, tech columnist:
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“There’s a certain poetic justice in the news that Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger’s new Dashboard feature–which Apple ripped off from the cool Konfabulator folks–is responsible for one of the worst security failures to ever hit the Macintosh.
There have been several recent incidents where personal data stored on computers has been compromised. On Monday, Time Warner announced it had lost backup tapes with names and social security numbers and other personal data on 600,000 employees.
That followed similar reports of lost backup tapes from Bank of America in February and Ameritrade in April. […] continuedRead more
Maybe you saw the news item – classified information about the shooting of an Italian intelligence agent in Iraq was found by journalists in a PDF document given to the media by the US military.Read more
It’s a bit of software that takes your requests for web pages and serves them up from Google’s cache with compressed graphics and some other tricks to speed up page loading. […] continuedRead more