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.

[…] continued Read more

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

Read more

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!

[…] continued Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

SONY AND AUTORUN IN A WORLD GONE MAD

The “Autorun” feature on your CD and DVD drives is starting to be abused and now creates another opportunity for bad people to damage your computer. I recommend disabling it. Here are instructions about how to disable Autorun in different versions of Windows.

This article is the specific example that causes me to make this recommendation; there will be more examples soon, and they won’t be limited to the music industry. […] continued

Read more

POINTLESS UPGRADES

The constantly increasing rate of change in technology has created a difficult time for consumers. It is very difficult to decide what trend is meaningful and what is trivial; difficult to learn what products work and what products are poorly designed or buggy; difficult to look at an upgrade and decide whether it’s worthwhile. […] continued

Read more

XBOX 360 & MEDIA CONNECT

When XBox 360 is released in a few weeks, Microsoft will be doing two different promotions.

The gamers will be told that the XBox 360 is the best gaming console yet, combining raw power and a huge video card with high definition output. Some new game will be promoted as the best-thing-ever, the way Halo carried the original XBox. […] continued

Read more

ACROBAT UPDATE

Adobe’s PDF format has become the universal standard for exchanging business files. Here are some things you might not know.

  • Acrobat 7.0 is virtually identical to Acrobat 6.0. There is one difference, but it is a critical one: Acrobat 7.0 opens like lightning. Click on the icon and bang! the program is onscreen.
[…] continued Read more

VIDEO iPOD – GUSHING REVIEWS, MEDIOCRE PRODUCT

The new video iPod is a mediocre product. Similar products have been on the market for months, some (like the Sony PSP) with far superior screens. Battery life is low and it’s deliberately crippled by copy protection. And think about it – are you interested in watching an episode of Lost on a two and half inch screen? […] continued

Read more

SYMANTEC HIKES NORTON RENEWAL PRICES

Yesterday Symantec announced increases in the price of renewals for its Norton products, as much as a 33% hike to renew the annual virus deinition subscription for Norton Antivirus, Norton Internet Security, and others.

Symantec says the reason it is defying the trend to lower prices is because its products are so darned swell and they’re getting better every day. […] continued

Read more

YAHOO AND MICROSOFT INSTANT MESSENGERS TO INTERACT

It’s not confirmed yet but rumor has it that Microsoft and Yahoo will announce a deal on Wednesday for their respective instant messenger programs to exchange messages with each other.

If you’re under 25, that might be a big deal – running AIM, Yahoo, and MSN messengers means three different screen names, three different passwords, three different programs to keep onscreen simultaneously, making it almost impossible to find room onscreen for homework. […] continued

Read more

ANTIVIRUS PROTECTION FROM MICROSOFT

Norton’s products are steadily deteriorating – I’ve written about some of my frustration with Norton Internet Security for single PCs and Symantec Antivirus for server-based networks. Last week I installed Norton Antivirus 2005 on a typical desktop PC and got a phone call within a few hours complaining about how the computer had slowed down to the point of being nearly unusable. […] continued

Read more