THE BAD GUYS NEVER STOP

Google has just purged its index of thousands of malware sites that were being displayed in results lists for hundreds of innocuous search phrases. It’s a quick end to a huge attack that could have caused a global uproar.

The criminals registered tens of thousands of domain names and set up servers, almost all within the last few days. […] continued

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PLUGIN POSTSCRIPT

As if to emphasize my paranoia about plugins, yesterday I got a call from a client who has successfully used the YouSendIt Outlook plugin for months. It stopped working for no particular reason; when she pushed “Send” on a message with an oversized attachment, YouSendIt’s dialog box would pop up and the message would be moved to YouSendIt’s special Outbox folder, where it would sit, immobile, doing nothing. […] continued

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UNPLUGGING PLUGINS

We’ve become familiar with the slowdowns and crashes associated with programs and services that start up automatically when a computer is turned on. Now I’m running into problems caused by the links between programs – the “add-ins” or “add-ons” or “plugins” designed to make programs work together.

  • Skype is a quirky but useful program for online phone calls.
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YOUSENDIT OUTLOOK PLUGIN

YouSendIt is one of the best-known services for moving large files from place to place – a persistent problem. I just learned about a way to set up Outlook to transmit large files through the YouSendIt service almost invisibly.

I’ve tried various things to dissuade people from attaching huge files to outgoing e-mail messages – coaching, gentle persistence, scolding, acts of violence, property destruction, mocking, cash payments, you name it. […] continued

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COMPUTER SHOPPING 2007

Thinking about a new computer – home, home office, small business? Let me give you some generalizations that will help you get started. (As always, gamers will be looking for faster processors and hard drives, more memory, and – particularly important – choosing from an array of high-end video cards. Notebook computers also require consideration of size and weight, which will trump some of the considerations below.)

  • PROCESSOR  Intel’s Core 2 Duo processors are significantly better than the other Intel and AMD processors.
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VISTA FEATURE: DREAMSCENE & DESKSCAPES

Vista Ultimate includes “Dreamscene” as an optional extra installed through the Windows Update system. It’s a completely frivolous bit of eye candy that animates your desktop – instead of a pretty picture of a waterfall, your desktop can display a pretty moving picture of a waterfall. Yeah, it’s trivial, but I like eye candy. […] continued

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

turkey

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at bruceb consulting! All my best wishes for a happy holiday filled with family, food, and computers that stay running long enough to show off the latest photos!

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PAYPAL FOR NON-PAYPAL SITES

PayPal has a new service for making payments through its system on websites that don’t take PayPal directly.

When you set up a free PayPal account (a login name and password), it’s linked to one of your bank accounts. When you pay through your PayPal account on a web site, PayPal withdraws the money from your bank account and takes responsibility for getting it to the merchant securely. […] continued

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FOLDERSHARE OUTAGE

Foldershare is an invaluable free service from Microsoft for sharing files and folders among several computers, keeping the folders in sync with each other automatically. Although the concept is simple, it’s a bit confusing to get started; once you get it, it becomes an invaluable tool. Here’s some background and my best effort at explaining what Foldershare can do. […] continued

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WINDOWS LIVE ONECARE 2.0


At some point next week, computers running Windows Live OneCare will automatically be upgraded to OneCare 2.0. Apparently the intent is to make the update automatic and invisible; it’s free to existing subscribers.

New features are integrated into the familiar OneCare layout, so little will change for many of you. The most significant new feature permits creation of a “circle” of computers running OneCare on the same home or office network, allowing some OneCare features to be centralized. […] continued

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VISTA FEATURE: READYBOOST

Here’s another Vista feature worth knowing about.

To perform well, Vista requires 2Gb of system memory. That’s partially because Vista is more demanding than Windows XP but it’s also because we’re all running more programs simultaneously as the years go by. 2Gb of RAM is enough memory for solid performance for almost everyone. […] continued

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Vista Feature: Snipping Tool

Vista has a built-in utility for taking screenshots of all or part of the screen on the fly. The “Snipping Tool” is so compact and well-designed that some of you will feel it’s enough of a reason by itself to buy Vista on your next computer.

If you have a Vista computer, click on the Start button and type in “Snipping” – the tool will turn up right away. […] continued

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BLOGLINES MOBILE

Some of you may have another reason to consider setting up Bloglines to organize your list of the websites that you read daily: it’s immediately useful on a mobile device with an Internet browser. (Here’s my short introduction to blogs and Bloglines.)

More and more people are paying expensive monthly fees to Verizon and Sprint for unlimited data plans so their cell phone/PDAs can check for e-mail regularly. […] continued

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HP MEDIASMART SERVER

Here’s a review worth reading of HP’s MediaSmart Server, built on Windows Home Server. It’s got a nice summary of Windows Home Server features and the added features supplied by HP to both simplify and extend it.

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WINDOWS HOME SERVER DEBUTS


Microsoft’s Windows Home Server just arrived on the market – and it’s what you want for Xmas.

I’ll give you a short overview and some links for you to click on, but let’s do some superlatives first. Windows Home Server is the coolest technology to arrive in years! It’s innovative, it’s beautifully designed, it does a lot of exceptionally useful things in elegant ways, and it’s open for third parties to extend it in the future. […] continued

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