Buy.Com And “Customer Loyalty”

This is a cautionary tale to make you careful online shoppers. It strikes close to home for me because it involves Buy.com, a favorite of mine at one time, but the scam is also used on Orbitz, Fandango and other sites.

When Buy.com opened its online doors in the late 90s, I thought it was a great resource for computer peripherals and software. […] continued

Read more

COMCAST POSTSCRIPT

Ace consultant Brian Dent of CompuDent Systems points out an interesting corollary to the speed increases from Comcast:

Just one caveat I’ve run into.  A lot of the existing routers can’t handle a 50Mbps incoming signal.  I have a 50Mbps account with a SonicWALL TZ 180e 25U.  The ports are 100Mbps but the throughput is limited to 20Mbps.  So you can get all this speed but it doesn’t do you any good if the equipment in-between can’t accept it.

[…] continued Read more

COMCAST SPEED INCREASE

Comcast Internet subscribers in the North Bay are getting a free speed increase, and some new choices for even faster Internet connections. Here’s today’s press release. The increase covers much of Northern California, including all of Sonoma and Marin counties.

Residential customers are supposed to have their speeds doubled for free, effective immediately. […] continued

Read more

iPHONES AND CARRIERS

iphone_att I ran across an interesting article about the effect Apple is having on the wireless business. The conventional wisdom has been that AT&T and Verizon are abusing their market power when they enter into exclusive arrangements with handset manufacturers. A letter from four senators got the FCC looking into the exclusive handset deals, and the Department of Justice has started an “initial review” that potentially could lead to antitrust action.  Realistically, it’s only AT&T’s exclusive right to sell the iPhone that causes concern, although there are similarly restrictive deals for the Palm Pre (Sprint) and devices built on Google Android (currently T-Mobile). […] continued

Read more

FIREFOX, CHROME UPDATES

firefox Lots of people have installed Firefox to do their Internet browsing. Sometimes, out of curiosity, I ask people why they use it instead of Internet Explorer. There are people who can give an articulate, well-reasoned answer to that question, although as it happens I haven’t met any of them yet. (“My brother knows somebody who said it was cool.”) But that’s fine – it’s a lovely Internet browser. […] continued

Read more

DISABLE INTERNET EXPLORER SECURITY WARNING

There’s some new wording on a security warning in Internet Explorer 8 that nearly drove me nuts. If you don’t like it either, instructions to disable it are below.

All too often after I installed Internet Explorer 8, I’d click on a website and Internet Explorer would stop dead to ask: “Do you want to view only the webpage content that was delivered securely?”

ie-newsecureitemsmsg

It happened all over the place, including sites that I trusted. […] continued

Read more

VISTA VS. WINDOWS 7

I’m frequently asked whether to buy a computer now or wait until Windows 7 is available in late October.

If you buy a Vista computer now that has the hardware I recommend, you will have a fabulous time. It will be speedy and responsive and you’ll have a secure and compatible operating system with some wonderful improvements over Windows XP. […] continued

Read more

INSTALLING USB DEVICES

Microsoft has accumulated a remarkable library of drivers for all the hardware devices and gadgets and gizmos that we hook up to computers with USB cables. The drivers that are built into Vista/Windows 7 and the drivers available online are so complete now that I’ve changed my recommendation when you get a new device:

When you’re setting up a USB device on a Vista or Windows 7 computer, put the manufacturer’s CD in the drive but don’t run the setup program right away.

[…] continued Read more

TIPPING POINT TO 64 BIT

We’ve reached the tipping point. Many of you will buy 64-bit versions of Vista on your new computers from now on, and almost all of you will buy a 64-bit version of Windows 7. Here’s Microsoft’s description of what that means, and here’s an article boosting the 64-bit version of Windows 7. […] continued

Read more

ERRONEOUS SECURITY WARNINGS IN VISTA

Starting on July 14, some Vista computers began displaying erroneous warning messages from the Windows Security Center. If you run Windows Live OneCare on a Vista machine, you may see a shield with an X in the lower right corner. Opening the Windows Security Center will display two warnings: “Windows Firewall is turned off,” and “Windows Live OneCare is on but is reporting its status to Windows Security Center in a format that is no longer supported.”

vistasecuritywarning

As long as OneCare is green, you are fully protected. […] continued

Read more

RICHARD FEYNMAN AND PROJECT TUVA

This is not directly related to computers but it’s a nice thing to know about.

feynman Bill Gates announced today that he has made a classic series of lectures by Nobel prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman available online for free on the Microsoft Research web site.

Richard Feynman was one of the world’s truly interesting people. […] continued

Read more

MICROSOFT OFFICE 2010 – DETAILS HAZY, ASK AGAIN LATER

office2010logo The bloggers were buzzing about Microsoft Office 2010 today, after Microsoft gave a nice presentation at a Partner Conference. The new Office suites won’t be on the market until early next year and there are some important questions that were not answered today, so most of the excitement is premature.

The most interesting new offering will be web-based versions of Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote that look identical to the desktop versions. […] continued

Read more

MICROSOFT OFFICE 2010: THE MOVIE

I’ll write about the features in Microsoft Office 2010 later. For the moment, take these two clips as evidence that Microsoft might actually be able to do cool advertisements. The first clip is a 30 second preview, the second is a longer trailer. Fun stuff!

 

[…] continued Read more

CHANGE COMES SLOWLY

One of the things that kept Vista from being adopted quickly was a simple problem: once we are used to doing something a certain way, it’s difficult for many people to change. Vista was deliberately made very similar to Windows XP in most respects but there are a few things in different places or designed differently, and many Windows XP users still find that difficult to accept. […] continued

Read more

BING AND SEARCH RESULTS

Bing is Microsoft’s new service for Internet searches. As I wrote last month, its search results are more or less comparable to Google and it has some nice design touches that can make it easier to use than Google. You may want to give it a look, especially if you’re doing searches in the categories of travel, shopping, health, or local business information – Bing has particular strengths for those searches to help you narrow in on useful information. […] continued

Read more