WINDOWS ONECARE LIVE

Microsoft’s antivirus program, Windows OneCare Live, is now open for general beta testing by anyone running Windows XP with Service Pack 2. Go to the Live.com web site (http://ideas.live.com/) and click on Windows OneCare Live Beta / Sign Up.

This is a potentially huge development that will eventually affect almost every computer user. […] continued

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RIAA BANS TELLING FRIENDS ABOUT SONGS

In the news today:

“LOS ANGELES-The Recording Industry Association of America announced Tuesday that it will be taking legal action against anyone discovered telling friends, acquaintances, or associates about new songs, artists, or albums. “We are merely exercising our right to defend our intellectual properties from unauthorized peer-to-peer notification of the existence of copyrighted material,” a press release signed by RIAA anti-piracy director Brad Buckles read.

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CYBER MONDAY

The retail industry built the day after Thanksgiving into a cultural icon as “Black Friday” – the must-shop day when consumers are meant to feel a nearly physical need to get to the stores. The media’s obsessive coverage of Black Friday is bolstered by incessant advertising, heavy newspaper inserts, and small quantity special deals to build a feeling of urgency. […] continued

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VIRUS OUTBREAK

Update your virus definitions and stay away from e-mail attachments! There’s a new virus out there, the “SOBER” worm, that’s generating an unusual amount of virus-laden e-mail traffic. Two clients were hit with it in the last 48 hours. Don’t spend Thanksgiving wrestling with a virus!

The latest virus definitions will stop the SOBER worm from getting on your systems, or remove it if you do a scan and then restart the computer. […] continued

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QUICKTIME INSTALLATION

Quicktime has a special place in my heart, along with America Online and RealPlayer, for its annoying and nonstandard installation routine. Here’s a blog that provides a pretty good summary of what it’s like to install the latest version.

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SONY ROOTKIT OFFICIALLY MAINSTREAM NEWS

Sony is having a bad month. They’re still trying to sweep the whole thing under the rug, but their malware has even hit the comics page.

If you haven’t been following this, here’s my note about the first report that some Sony audio CDs secretly installed a “rootkit” without disclosure – basically a virus that cloaked itself in an unsafe way by changing Windows behind your back and monitoring all CD activity, as well as reporting to Sony. […] continued

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QUICKBOOKS PRO 2006

Intuit has been working on an improved interface for Quickbooks for years, and the result just hit the shelves this week. The first review is very positive and it’s the first time I can remember than an Intuit product has gotten more than one star from Amazon reviewers.

If you’re a Quickbooks user, take a look at the screenshots accompanying the review. […] continued

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PANEXA AND THE IMPORTANCE OF READING SAFETY INFORMATION

The web can be a valuable resource for researching heavily advertised pharmaceuticals. Case in point: the ads for Panexa may look tempting, but it’s a clear example of how important it is to read the safety information and possible side effects before deciding to take a new drug.

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SONY POSTSCRIPT: DRM FOR MACS

With reports of viruses in the wild taking advantage of Sony’s malware, Sony has agreed to drop the DRM software it licensed and take a deep breath before jumping back into copy protection.

Sony’s overreaching has ensured that every move intended to lock down an audio or video disc will be scrutinized under a microscope for years to come. […] continued

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BABY NAMES WIZARD

Great technology and a fascinating way to while away a few minutes: The Baby Name Wizard: NameVoyager has a wonderful visual display of the frequency that names have been used in the United States over more than a hundred years. Try it!

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SONY FLAILS

The Sony DRM debacle will continue to be in the news. Sony was hit with a class action lawsuit in California yesterday, and new information has emerged about the software that Sony has made available to uninstall its malware – namely, that Sony has made it difficult to obtain, and harvests your e-mail address and requires the installation of additional suspicious software before you’re allowed to download it. […] continued

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SONY’S LICENSE AGREEMENT

Sony is taking a lot of heat for the malware installed on people’s computers by Sony’s DRM software. Here’s my writeup and links, and some followup information.

Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing.net has dissected the license agreement on Sony CDs, which is full of provisions that make the DRM software look mild. […] continued

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SBC LOOKS FOR CONTROL

There is something about the communications industry that makes its executives go crazy – at our expense, and to our detriment. It happened to the CEO of Verizon in an interview in April (“Why in the world would you think your cell phone would work in your house?”). Now the CEO of SBC has given an interview to Business Week while he was off his medications, and it’s even more scary. […] continued

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SONY IN HOT WATER

There’s a lot of talk online today about the malicious software installed when you play a protected Sony CD. Here’s my first reaction to it a few days ago, and here’s an article in the Washington Post and one from PCPro, for example.

Watching Sony’s home entertainment division implode with one poor decision after another is sad. […] continued

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