SHIFTING LANDSCAPE FOR ONLINE & OFFLINE GIANTS

The landscape is changing for new and old players. It’s interesting to watch the ground shift and wonder where our world of information is going.

MySpace and Facebook have reached plateaus. The Wall Street Journal reports that MySpace is facing a backlash from users weary of being marketed to incessantly through fake friend requests, messages, and endless ads for Asian porn. […] continued

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MICROSOFT WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER 11

Microsoft released the final version of Windows Media Player 11, a free download for Windows XP. It features deep integration with the URGE online music store (similar to iTunes integration with Apple’s online store), and a very attractive interface.

I don’t plan to go near it. I don’t like it one little bit. […] continued

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WINDOWS LIVE ONECARE – COSTCO DISCOUNT

If you haven’t gotten a copy of Windows Live OneCare yet, it’s worth the drive to Costco – they’ve got an “instant rebate” deal going. Final price out the door: $12.99.

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APPLE IPOD SERVICE

When my iPod stopped working correctly, I did all the troubleshooting I could before turning to Apple for support.

The experience was brilliant. Apple has a well-designed web site to answer support questions and to begin the return process. Two days after reporting the problem, I received a shipping box for the defective iPod, including a return shipping label and a cute little pack of tape to close the box. […] continued

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FIRST STEP INTO VIDEO – WINDOWS MOVIE MAKER

Many people are staring at their digital camcorders, wondering how to get video off the camera for a DVD or some other project.

Adobe Premiere Elements is the software of choice for the long run. It’s the best designed software on the market, relatively easy to get started but capable of complex tasks as you grow into it. […] continued

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WINDOWS VISTA UPGRADE COUPONS

Windows Vista wasn’t ready in time for Xmas shopping and the computer manufacturers got worried that people would begin to put off their new system purchases until the spring. Microsoft cooked up a coupon deal to entice you into buying your new computer now instead of waiting for Vista: beginning today, most PC manufacturers will give you a coupon for a discounted version of Windows Vista when you buy a new computer. […] continued

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WINDOWS DESKTOP SEARCH 3.0

Microsoft has released a significant upgrade to its Windows Desktop Search program. It should now be considered a core component of Windows XP and should be installed on every computer. (Exactly the same technology is a core component of Windows Vista, inseparable from the rest of the operating system.) Here’s the page for downloading new version 3.0, which should also soon be available on the main Windows Desktop Search web page. […] continued

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E-DISCOVERY AND FRCP

Lawyer alert: amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure take effect on December 1 governing electronic discovery. Here’s an article from a technology news site about the upcoming changes, and here’s a legal blog with a few more details.

Lawsuits in federal court have always required massive document productions at the beginning of the proceedings. […] continued

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WINDOWS DEFENDER – FINAL RELEASE

Microsoft has now taken the “beta” label off Windows Defender with the release of a modestly updated build of the program. Changes are minimal – a new color scheme is about the only change you’ll notice.

If you’re not running Windows Defender for protection against adware/spyware, you should be. It should be considered a core component of Windows XP, as important as any other security mechanism in the operating system; it will be included by default in Windows Vista. […] continued

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SAM & MAX RETURN

Productivity is overrated. Close the e-mail program, shove those piles of paper aside, there’s more important things to do: Sam & Max are back in a new game, their first appearance on computer screens since the late, lamented Sam & Max Hit The Road in 1993. Here’s the web site for Sam & Max Episode 1: Culture Shock. […] continued

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WINDOWS VISTA IS PURTY

Windows Vista has an updated interface with a lot of eye candy, especially on new systems with hefty video cards to support the Windows Aero look – transparency on window borders, windows sliding and bouncing around, icons morphing and changing color.

Let’s all soberly agree: the eye candy isn’t important. All we care about is the increased security, improved functions, and compatibility, right? […] continued

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DELL DELAYS

What’s up with Dell lately? The last few computers I’ve ordered from Dell have been unusually slow to ship and slow to arrive. I had gotten used to seeing computers ship instantly, frequently the next day, and shipping was typically running 2-3 days. When I ordered a new system in September, it took three weeks for it to leave Dell and another full week to arrive. […] continued

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TRACKING SHOT

Tracking Shot is a free online service that deserves a look. There’s no easier way to build videos and slideshows from your photos, movies and music. Here’s a glowing review of Tracking Shot from CNet.

There’s no shortage of sites for sharing photos, with interfaces that are frequently cumbersome even for the simple tasks of uploading photos and sharing them with friends and family. […] continued

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MICROSOFT DIGITAL IMAGE SUITE

I’ve used Microsoft Digital Image Pro for years. Its controls are easy and comfortable but its organizer is weaker than Adobe Photoshop Elements and I’ve never felt completely comfortable with Microsoft’s commitment to photo editing software. (Years ago I was burned when Microsoft abruptly abandoned its PhotoDraw software and left me with hundreds of files in an unsupported proprietary format.)

It’s impressive, I guess, that Digital Image Pro is able to celebrate its ten year anniversary with a special Anniversary Suite. […] continued

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ADOBE PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS 5 & PREMIERE ELEMENTS 3

Adobe has now released upgrades to its consumer photo organizer and editor, Photoshop Elements, and consumer video editor, Premiere Elements.

Photoshop Elements 5 is a minor upgrade from version 4. (If you have an earlier version, upgrade immediately – the improvements are dramatic.) It continues to be the richest photo organizer available, as well as having unparalleled editing tools – if you don’t mind a learning curve and some initial confusion. […] continued

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