GOOGLE MAPS STREET VIEW

Google Maps has introduced a very cool new feature, Google Maps Street View. In selected cities, the Street View button allows you to get street-level photographs in high resolution, capable of being zoomed and rotated thru 360 degrees. It may not be terribly useful but it’s hard to resist killing a few minutes saying ooh and ah. […] continued

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GRANDCENTRAL – FUN WITH PHONES

If you have more than one phone, then you should know about GrandCentral – genuinely cool technology to unify your phones in ways that are close to magical.

I have a cell phone and an office phone. I can’t drop either one – there’s no reliable cell phone service in my home office. […] continued

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THE FUTURE OF SONIC

Sonic.net, everyone’s favorite Internet service provider, faces an uncertain future.

AT&T has been working for many years to undo the 1984 telco breakup and once again have the advantages of a monopoly. It has bankrupted many competitors with unfair business practices and it has aggressively worked the legislative and regulatory processes to get the rules changed in its favor. […] continued

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BROTHER PRINTERS

I don’t want to jinx anything, but I’ve actually had a couple of good experiences with printers lately. I’ve set up several models of Brother laser printers that look sturdy, print quickly with a minimum of fuss, and install only simple, unobtrusive software.

When my Samsung color laser printer died prematurely, I bought the Brother HL-4040CN, a brand new model that is built compactly and handles paper and envelopes in straightforward ways. […] continued

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DELL, GOOGLE, AND MONEY

Dell installs less crapware on new computers than any other manufacturer, but one of their latest money-making tactics is annoying. Dell and Google have partnered to install the Google Toolbar and Google Desktop on most new computers – along with some trickier under-the-hood stuff to present unexpected pages of ads during your Internet browsing. […] continued

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THE END OF THE PALM OS

The new Palm Treo 755p from Sprint is probably the last device that will run the aging Palm OS, according to reports discussed in this article. Palm is working on a Linux-based operating system but its glory days are behind it and it’s hard to imagine that Palm will ever be important again in a market dominated by Windows Mobile and Blackberry devices. […] continued

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MICROSOFT MALWARE PROTECTION CENTER

Microsoft continues to make progress with its security software.

A preview is available of the Microsoft Malware Protection Center, a long overdue web site to gather information about viruses and adware/spyware, as well as information about the definitions and status of Microsoft’s security programs.

The OneCare team has made significant progress in beefing up the program’s detection rates to make it score better in tests run by the labs that grade security programs. […] continued

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VISTA PROGRESS REPORT

It’s time to embrace Windows Vista.

Programs will run and hardware will work. There are a handful of exceptions – businesses should still check on business-critical programs. Frequently new hardware drivers will have to be downloaded and program upgrades will have to be purchased. But in general, everything can be made to work. […] continued

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PRESS THE OK BUTTON, DOLT!

I got a kick out of this – a short history of the OK button, helping to explain why your computer doesn’t constantly call you a dolt.

[…] continued Read more

NORTON 360 WOES

Software for security and computer maintenance is in sad shape. I wrote about some of the recent problems with Microsoft Windows Live OneCare (which has managed to avoid drawing attention to itself for the last couple of months, thank goodness).

In fairness, then, I should draw attention to this writer’s story about Norton 360, which took a perfectly nice computer and left it unusable. […] continued

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WINDOWS LIVE FOLDERS

Microsoft is about to begin beta testing a new online service, Windows Live Folders. Similar services have been around for a while, but the screen shots make it look like Microsoft’s service will be particularly easy to use.

Here’s the first information to emerge about the upcoming beta and here’s some more details and screen shots. […] continued

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I SHACKED UP WITH WINDOWS VISTA

Wonderful post from a blogger about his experiences using Vista instead of Windows XP or a Mac – well worth reading the whole thing.

“At least Vista has better habits than WinXP. Vista may be outgoing, but she’s cautious, too. She won’t just talk to anybody, and she’s pretty good about sizing up trouble.

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NEW “SANTA ROSA” NOTEBOOKS

Intel has unveiled a new motherboard chipset for notebooks, and the new generation of notebooks are just hitting the market. Here’s an article with details about the “Santa Rosa” chipset, which will be marketed under the brand names “Centrino Duo” and “Centrino Pro.”

You can read the PC Magazine article for technical details – basically the new notebooks have these new features: faster memory and faster speeds as little data molecules (or sparks, or neutrinos, or whatever the hell they are) move around the motherboard; better built-in graphics, crucial for running Vista; a gigabit network connector, capable of speeds that are not yet built into most consumer/small business routers and switches but which will be standard in a couple of years; and the next generation of wireless technology, adding support for “draft 802.11n.” (It may be good to have “draft 802.11n” support, assuming you run into compatible equipment and nothing changes when it becomes “final 802.11n.” In the meantime it’s compatible with 802.11g, which is what you’ll likely use.)

Dell just added the Latitude D630 and D830 to its line of business notebooks, built on the Centrino Duo platform and looking quite nice – the linked article includes a review of the D630. […] continued

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EXTRA LINE SPACES IN WORD

I don’t use Microsoft Word all that often, so I’ve lost a deep knowledge of its features. I’ve never fully understood the paragraph formatting that inserts an extra line between paragraphs, all too frequently leaving something double-spaced that’s intended to be single-spaced. Eventually I learned how to hit Shift-Enter for a single line space, but I know there’s a better way to handle it buried in paragraph styles or somewhere. […] continued

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