Imitation is the sincerest form – you know the drill, right?

America Online has just unveiled the new design for its home page, after years of development, feedback, and testing.

The problem is, all the development was done by Yahoo, the page that AOL copied for its own site. […] continued

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This article has a nice collection of links to online information about the Bay Area freeway collapse – newspaper articles, Google satellite images, suggestions for alternate routes, and more.

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The Wall Street Journal has a front-page story today following the path of an e-mail message by a 22-year old Kaiser employee criticizing the technology being rolled out by Kaiser for patient records. The article isn’t so much about the pros or cons of Kaiser’s Health Connect system. Instead, it’s a sobering reminder to reflect before pushing the Send button, because information can spread further than you might guess. […] continued

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I’ve mentioned Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Home Server appliance before, but it bears repeating – this has the potential to define a new category of home appliance that will be more interesting than you expect. It’s hard for you to imagine why a product with “server” in the name will enter your house, but it addresses some common problems in imaginative ways. […] continued

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An important announcement today: Spinal Tap is going to reunite and appear at Wembley Stadium on June 7, as part of the worldwide Live Earth concerts.

Director Rob Reiner has prepared a 15-minute film explaining what the band has been doing since its last appearance:

“Nigel has been raising miniature horses to race, but can’t find jockeys small enough to ride them; David is now a hip-hop producer who also runs a colonic clinic; and Derek is in rehab for addiction to the Internet.”

You’re probably as excited as I am. […] continued

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LogMeIn was one of the first remote control services, and continues to be one of the best. Like GoToMyPC and others, it relies on a small program running on a desktop computer, maintaining a connection with an online server. From any other computer, you can go to the service’s website, log in with a name and password, and launch a session controlling the desktop computer, seeing its screen as if you were sitting in front of it. […] continued

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Here’s a blog item that we can all sympathize with, written by a Microsoft employee.

“Why can’t it ‘just work’?…

“(subtitled – Isn’t technology supposed to be making our lives easier? Simpler? Less complicated?)

“I hear that all the time – why can’t it just work? I say it all the time – why can’t it just work? […] continued

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Only two years ago, Google and Yahoo earned the same revenue and it wasn’t obvious which one would predominate for Web searches.

You probably saw the business news. Google’s first-quarter revenue was more than twice Yahoo’s, and the gap is widening. Here’s an article comparing the two companies’ performance. (Microsoft also wants to be a player in the world of web searches and advertising, but it’s barely mentioned any more.)

Yahoo attempted to draw people to its web sites by featuring original content, including media created by the entertainment industry – and it has had some success doing that, but not enough to stay competitive with Google. […] continued

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Netflix is rolling out its “Watch Now” service, for watching movies immediately on your computer. If you’re a Netflix subscriber, the tab will appear with no fanfare on your Netflix web page – all subscribers should have it by the end of June. If you want a head start, Gizmodo has a couple of suggestions that have caused it to appear right away for some people. […] continued

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Here’s two good tips to configure the junk mail filtering in Outlook 2003 and 2007. There’s an easily overlooked checkbox that will automatically add everyone you e-mail to your “Safe Senders” list. There’s also a list of countries whose mail can be turned off – most of us can turn off mail from all countries except the US. […] continued

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Adobe and Microsoft each announced new technology for playing back video on your computers, setting up yet another format war. As always there are appealing features promised in the technology, but make no mistake: the goal, the only goal, is to seduce us into watching online videos for the purpose of exposing us to advertising. […] continued

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PC World has a marvelous article on the twenty most annoying tech products ever made.

The number one slot is appropriately awarded to the carpet bombing of free AOL CDs, estimated at 1 billion discs distributed over a period of 13 years.

Others on the list that particularly deserve their place in the hall of infamy: Norton and McAfee security suites; RealNetworks RealPlayer (with the unforgiveable blinking icon); and Apple Quicktime, with the startup process that can’t be killed. […] continued

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A prediction of things to come:

MAY 12, 2017 – BUSINESSWIRE. Mountain View-based search giant Google Inc today announced they’ve acquired the internet for the astounding sum of $2,455.5 billion in cash. The deal had been rumored in various search blogs since the beginning of the year and was now confirmed by the company’s CEO.

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There’s a massive spam blast in progress. ComputerWorld reports that the spam outbreak is setting records, 50 to 60 times the normal volume of spam, with subjects like Worm Alert!, Worm Detected, Spyware Detected!, and Virus Activity Detected!, and carrying ZIP file attachments containing the “Storm Trojan” virus.

“Postini has already counted nearly 5 million copies of the spam in the last 24 hours, and calculated that the run currently accounts for 87% of all malware being spread through e-mail.

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I have long insisted that scanners had to be tethered to a computer because it wasn’t feasible to control a scanner across a network.

That began to be eroded by the floor-standing copiers that could scan sheet-fed documents at the speed of light and deposit PDFs onto a server, into a folder on a workstation, or into a hard drive built into the copier. […] continued

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