Friday, June 30, 2006

IE 7, Firefox 2.0 Prepare to Do Battle—Someday

A beta version of Internet Explorer 7 and the first alpha of Firefox 2.0 look promising, but aren't yet ready to rumble.

It's the browser battle of the future: Some time in the next year or so, Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 2.0 will battle head-to-head for the hearts and minds of Web surfers.

Right now, however, it's more like a kindergarten scuffle in the sandbox, as Microsoft's IE 7 is still being beta tested and Mozilla's Firefox 2.0 is at its first alpha stage.

Go to eWeek Labs to read the rest of the review.

Opera 9 wins eWeek Labs Analyst’s Choice award

eWeek award the Opera 9 browser with the eWeek Labs Analyst’s Choice award, saying “we found Opera 9 to be one of the best Web browsing tools we’ve used in a long time, which is why we are giving Opera 9 an eWeek Labs Analyst’s Choice award”.

Go here to read the Article

Unable to sign into Windows Live Messenger – Error 80004005

The Inside Windows Live Messenger Blog has some tips for people that are getting an error message when they try to sign into Windows Live Messenger.

"If you are encountering error 80004005 when signing in, please try the following:

I. Verify if you have the latest version of Windows Live Messenger by clicking on Help-->About Messenger and reading the Build number. You should see "Build 8.0.0792.00"

II. If you see any other number listed there, install the latest version of Messenger from .

III. Attempt to sign into Messenger again.

If you are still unable to sign in:

IV. Change Windows Explorer settings

a. Right click on the "Start" button and choose "Explore" from the short-cut menu to open the "Windows Explorer" window.

b. In the "Windows Explorer" window , click on the "Tools" menu followed by "Folder Options". Click on the "View" tab. In the Advanced settings list, check"Show hidden files and folders" and uncheck the option "Hide extensions for known file types" under Hidden files and folders. Click on "OK" to close the "Folder Options" window.

c. In the "Windows Explorer" window, click on the "View" menu followed by "Explorer bar" and ensure that the "Folders" option is checked. This will ensure that you are able to see the folder list on the left side of the Windows Explorer window.

V. Delete the Contacts Cache folder by following the steps below:

a. Right click on the "Start" button, choose "Explore" from the short-cut menu to open the "Windows Explorer" window.

b. In the "Windows Explorer" window, goto the Folder list on the left pane and navigate to the folder C:\Documents and Settings\\Contacts\ where is the login name you use to sign into windows and is the address that you use to sign into Messenger

c. Delete all the files that are within the folder.

d. Right click on the "Start" button, choose "Explore" from the short-cut menuto open the "Windows Explorer" window.

e. In the "Windows Explorer" window, goto the Folder list on the left pane and navigate to the folder C:\Documents and Settings\\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows Live Contacts\ where is the login name you use to sign into windows and is the address that you use to sign into Messenger.

f. Delete the "real" and the "shadow" folders that are within the folder.

VI. Sign into Messenger again."

Flash Player 9 is available for download

The final version of Flash Player 9 is available for download. Flash Player 9 is a 1.5 MB Download, You can get more details about Flash Player 9 from Adobe’s Website.

Download Flash Player 9 here.

BumpTop 3D Desktop Prototype

BumpTop 3D Desktop Prototype,“pushing the desktop metaphor with physics, piles and the pen”.

How To Cancel Your AOL Service In 3 Minutes or Less

Most people spend 30-60 minutes trying to cancel their AOL service. This will tell you what to say to the AOL reps to get them to cancel your service.

Go over to Seth-Tech to read what he did. :)

Thursday, June 29, 2006

IE ( Internet Explorer ) 7 Beta 3

IE ( Internet Explorer ) 7 Beta 3 released to public.

Download it here.

Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) Beta 3 has been designed to make everyday tasks easier, provide dynamic security protection and improve the development platform and manageability. End user improvements include a streamlined interface, tabbed browsing, printing advances, improved search functionality, instant feeds (RSS), dynamic security protection, and more.

Just to let you know that I won't be switching to IE7, I love Firefox. 2.0.3: Ready For Download!

The latest version of, the free alternative to Microsoft Office, has been released.


Windows: 93 MB
Linux: 121 MB
Solaris (S): 122 MB
Solaris (x86): 113 MB

Download here.

read more | digg story

RIAA Lawsuit Insurance - For $19 per year....

broadband » News » RIAA Lawsuit Insurance - For $19 per year....:

"Both Slashdot and Techdirt discuss a company in Sweden that is offering broadband users insurance to protect them in the case of an RIAA lawsuit for file-sharing. For a mere 140 SEK ($19 USD) per year, they will pay all your fines and give you a t-shirt if you get convicted for file sharing."

AOL Tech Support

This is pretty funny. Some guy taped his conversation with AOL tech support. They banned his account because he was sending emails for business purpose and AOL is for personal use only.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Firefox 1.5 vs. Opera 9 - Round 2

Yesterday I posted about the Browser debate between Opera 9 and Firefox 1.5 and mentioned that you should go over to Will Langford's site and read his write-up. I am telling you this again today because he did another write-up "Round 2" that is more in depth. Go on over and take a look at what he has to say.

Firefox 1.5 vs. Opera 9 - Round 2

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Tired of having problems with Blogger rendering my Blog incorrectly in Internet Explorer

I was tired of having problems with Blogger rendering my Blog incorrectly in Internet Explorer so here is what I did. I went to the Template in Blogger and changed a few things. Namely, I changed the fixed width from pixels to percentages. Now when I put something that is too long for Internet Explorer it will resize itself. I changed the fixed width to percentages in the two places that are in red. Understand that I don't use IE, I am an avid Firefox fan but I want people that still use IE to see my Blog the way that I see it. This will not work with all Blogger templates but it can be modified to work with most.

@media all {
#content {
margin:0 auto;
#main {
#sidebar {
@media handheld {
#content {
#main {
#sidebar {

It was originally like this

@media all {
#content {
margin:0 auto;
#main {
#sidebar {
@media handheld {
#content {
#main {
#sidebar {

The Fixed vs. Fluid width debate has been answered with this Blog. It's Fluid baby....

Coffee Website

Good morning, as I was sitting here drinking my second cup of coffee for the day I ran across this website. It's called Cuppin. is a social coffee tasting website to help people find, compare, and enjoy coffees from around the world.

Check it out.

Playing with the Master Volume

Here is something for you to try. If you go to the volume tray icon ( it looks like a little speaker ) down by your clock on the taskbar and double click on it it will bring up the master volume window. Now when it is up click Ctrl+S and see what happens, to un-do the change just click the Ctrl+S again.

Bill Gates Gives Smart Cards to 500 Hookers - Gizmodo

Bill Gates Gives Smart Cards to 500 Hookers - Gizmodo:

"Bill Gates, who recently announced his phased departure from Microsoft, said that one of the things he plans to do after leaving is to focus on his charity organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Now it seems that 500 Indian prostitutes can thank Gates for all his charity with reports that a project under the foundation’s auspices recently gave them free smart cards. The smart cards, which are embedded with chips, will let the prostitutes from the city of Mysore (insert STD-related joke here) receive discounts in hotels and shops as well as earn “loyalty points,” which can later be exchanged for more discounts. Isn’t charity great?

It’s not all free candy and soda pop for Mysore’s ladies, however, given that the smart cards will hold their medical history. Obviously, the idea here is to encourage the prostitutes to get checked for sexually transmitted diseases more often. The smart cards will interact with an Indian computer known as a Simputer, letting doctors easily look up the prostitutes’ medical data.

See, Bill Gates isn’t evil — he’s trying to make the world safe for everybody, one prostitute at a time"

Monday, June 26, 2006

Microsoft blames malware on 'stupid users'

Open source gets results, while Microsoft blames malware on 'stupid users' . He goes on to say that phishing is a problem because "there really is no patch for human stupidity".

read more | digg story

More Firefox vs. Opera debate

I played with Opera 9 yesterday for a few hours. Opera 9 is an excellent browser, but I'm not sure I'll switch. Firefox serves my needs well.

If you want some good information Will Langford did a nice write-up of Firefox vs. Opera.

Go here to read his post.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

My Son's view on the Opera 9 vs. Firefox 1.5 Web Browser Debate

My son John A. posted this as a comment on another post of mine but I feel it is worthy of it's own post. What is your view?

My Son's view on the Opera 9 vs. Firefox 1.5 Web Browser Debate:

"A lot of people say they like Firefox because of "Firefox’s easy to use interface". The truth is, Opera is just as easy to use and there are more ways to do things with more keyboard shortcuts (which you can edit), mouse gestures (you can edit those too), and even voice control. With all of those you can browse the internet a lot faster.

Opera also has some other nice features including page zoom (can zoom in on text, images, java, flash, and some other things), 'fit to window' (Makes websites fit into a smaller screen without needing horizontal scrolling), sessions (the session includes the history of each tab, the settings for each tab, and the web page of each tab. sessions include as many windows/tabs as you want and it is easy to save/manage them), tabs, pop-up blocking, easy searching, (has a search box that includes Google, Ebay, and some other search engines.) themes, and a download manager (lets you list, pause, resume, or restart the downloading of different files. You are able to open the download right from the download manager and it can keep a history of recent downloads. ), widgets and BitTorrent downloading.

Opera is also one of the best browsers (if not the best) at meeting internet standards.
If you're a Firefox user you should just give Opera a chance, use it for about a week to get use to it and see what you think, when you go back to Firefox you will most likely be annoyed at how slow it is and how you can't do mouse gestures.

I’ve gotten to the point where I took off the back and forward buttons because I never use them. Why go all the way up to the back button when you can just do a mouse gesture anywhere in the browser window to go back/forwards?"

What is your view?

Free Web Browser May Give You More Than You Asked For

Free Web Browser May Give You More Than You Asked For - Yahoo! News:

"A free Web browser that bills itself as a tool for privacy protection is, in fact, a click-fraud engine for pornographic Web sites, security vendor Panda Software warned today.

Browsezilla, whose name and Lizard-like mascot are reminiscent of the open-source Mozilla browser products, claims to help surfers cover their tracks when visiting pornographic sites. It does not use browser history or save data to a cache, and it allows users to save their bookmarks on a remote server, according to the product's Web site.

However, Browsezilla also secretly installs adware that boosts the page view counts on certain pornographic Web sites, according to J.J. Schoch, director of marketing with Panda. 'It's being used deceptively to get more hits on their site,' Schoch says. 'This adware opens a series of adult web pages, although they are not visible to the user.'"

Read the rest of the article here.

Screen resolution 800 x 600 significantly decreased for exploring the internet - About Us - Press Box:

"Amsterdam - June 25 - ( ), the number one provider of real-time intelligence web analytics, today reported that the screen resolution 800 x 600 pixels has signficantly decreased since July 2005. More and more internet users choose for screen resolution 1024 x 768 or higher.

The finding has important implications for web site designers because most web sites are designed for a screen resolution of 800 x 600 pixels.

The screen resolution 1024 x 768 has reached an all time high of 56.15 percent. Users with monitors set to the most common resolution 800 x 600 for web sites have an approximate 12.04 percent global usage share. Almost a year ago this percentage was 18.23 percent."

Mozilla Firefox Cheat Sheet

Do you want to learn how to use Firefox more effectively? If you do you might want to study the Mozilla Firefox Cheat Sheet. This is a great list of keyboard commands and shortcuts to make any novice look like an experienced Firefox user.

Link to the Firefox Cheat Sheet

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Opera 9 vs. Firefox 1.5 - The Complete Battle

An in depth look on how Firefox 1.5 holds up to new Opera 9.

read more | digg story

Tech Gurus Say They'll 'Switch from Mac'

Click Image for Larger Version

Tech Gurus Say They'll 'Switch from Mac':

"Playing on Apple's past 'Switch' ad campaign, which was aimed at getting Windows users to migrate to Apple's Mac OS X-based computers, a few longtime Mac and open-source gurus are vocally publicizing their switch away from Apple's platform to more open-source solutions."

Read the rest of the Article here

Friday, June 23, 2006

Congratulations all around....

My son John called the college that he plans on attending this Fall and found out that he has a full Academic Scholarship ( Tuition and books ) thank God. So first of all Congratulations to him. His first day is August 21st. :)

I also wanted to say Congratulations to my friends daughter Sarah on her invitation to attend the National Youth Leadership Forum on Law in Washington DC this fall. I took some time this morning and looked up the website and it looks like she will have a very busy and rewarding week when she goes. Again Congratulations to Sarah on this outstanding opportunity.

Online photo editor "Free"

Snipshot is a free online photo editor. Features include: Edit images up to 5000x5000 pixels, Import from anywhere, crop, rotate, resize, and unlimited undo and redo.

Try it here.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Report: High Schools Fail To Meet Needs Of Tech-Driven World

Roughly a quarter of U.S. high schools require students to take computer science courses, due in part to a misperception that computers are for video games and surfing the Internet, says a new report.

read more | digg story

Wired News: Laptops Give Hope to the Homeless

Wired News: Laptops Give Hope to the Homeless:

"Happy Ivy doesn't have a bathroom or a kitchen in the bus he calls home. He does, however, have a video-editing station.

Living in a squalid, Woodstock-style bus parked in a Fillmore, California, orange grove, the 53-year-old homeless man charges a power generator from a utility shed and uses Wi-Fi from a nearby access point. From this humble camp, he's managed to run a 'round-the-clock internet television studio, organize grassroots political efforts, record a full-length album and write his autobiography, all while subsisting on oranges and avocados.

He claims he created one of the first handheld computer scanners and played a major part in the data transmission industry in the early 1990s. 'I've always been trying to stay up on internet technology,' Ivy said.

Ivy isn't the only homeless person who makes it a priority to keep gadgets handy even when a cooked meal is hard to come by.

Many of those now living without a permanent roof over their heads have cell phones in their pockets or laptop computers at their hips. While people living in shelters and alleys have found it difficult to cross social divides, the digital divide seems to disappear on the streets. Nearly all homeless people have e-mail addresses, according to Michael Stoops, director of the National Coalition for the Homeless. 'More have e-mail than have post office boxes,' Stoops said. 'The internet has been a big boon to the homeless.'

Helping the homeless get e-mail addresses has been a priority for years at shelters across the country. And in an age when most every public library in the nation offers internet access, the net has proven a perfect communication tool for those without a firm real-world address.

'Because of technology, people are able to keep in contact with their families,' Stoops said. And perhaps most importantly, they are able to get some footing in society regardless of how removed from it they may feel."

Read the full article here

Music Videos From the 80's

Do you like 80's music? If you do go on over here and check out these 80's music videos.

Music Videos From the 80's - Local News - On Tape: Rep Won't Let Customer Quit AOL - Local News - On Tape: Rep Won't Let Customer Quit AOL:

An incredible video from CNBC shows an AOL customer trying to cancel his account, but a phone rep won't let him do it. What customer Vincent Ferrari got when he tried to cancel his account was a lot of frustration.

It took him 15 minutes waiting on the phone just to reach a real, live person.

And, what happened next was recorded by Ferrari on audio and lasted about four minutes:

Watch the Video.

AOL Refuses to Cancel Service for Deceased Woman

In the Why am I not surprised category. When this woman's mother died in a car wreck, and tried to cancel her AOL service, AOL refused and said that her mother would need to call and cancel the service herself. Outrageous! Just another reason not to use AOL.

read more | digg story

Comcast technician falls asleep while on hold

This video is pretty wild. It shows a Comcast technician who came to a guys house to fix his high-speed service, spent an hour on hold with his own company and fell asleep. The state of customer service these days is awful, and this is one area where companies really need to make a difference and do a better job.

Watch the Video

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Remove the Windows Genuine Advantage reminder

Get rid of the following notification error message.

“This copy of Windows is not genuine. You may be a victim of software counterfeiting."

To stop this annoying pop up do the following.

If you are using XP Home,then open Task Manager and stop wgtray.exe.

If you are using XP Professional then enter into the Safe Mode and stop wgtray.exe.

Now delete the wgtray.exe from the following locations.



Now tweak the registry.

Start / Run / regedit / OK

Now naviagate to the following location.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Notify and delete the entire folder WgaLogon, close the registry editor and restart the system.

After the restart if it again prompts to reinstall those services then Start / run / msconfig / ok

Click Services tab and uncheck from there. Apply and restart.

Yahoo Messenger 8 Beta Released

Yahoo has released Yahoo Messenger 8 Beta. Download Yahoo Messenger 8 here. Make sure that you do the Custom Install and take the check marks out of the Yahoo toolbar and homepage change.

The COMPLETE command line list for Linux, Windows, Oracle, and MacOS

Complete list of command line tools you would need. Check it out!

read more | digg story

U.S. activates missile defense system amid N Korea test launch.

"The United States has moved its ground-based interceptor missile defense system from test mode to operational amid concerns over an expected North Korean missile launch, a U.S. defense official said Tuesday."

read more | digg story

MSN Messenger is the most popular instant messaging client

Globally, MSN Messenger is the most popular instant messaging client, with 204.6 million users in April, according to comScore Media Metrix. Yahoo is No. 2 with 76 million users, while Time Warner Inc.'s AIM and AOL messaging products together had about 51.3 million users.

Opera Officially Releases Opera 9 Browser

News From PC Magazine: Opera Officially Releases Opera 9 Browser:

On Tuesday, Opera Software officially announced the release of Opera 9, the new browser which includes support for 'widgets,' adds a security toolbar, and integrates support for the BitTorrent file-distribution system.

The official release follows a preview version, where Opera tipped its plans to add widgets, small snippets of code that serve as plug-ins, as well as the BitTorrent support.

Meanwhile, Opera's new widgets can be downloaded from Opera's widgets site, where the company has already collected a few examples, such as a circular version of Tetris, several clocks, and a built-in reader for comics sites.

Other features, such as the security toolbar, however, appear to be new. That feature is designed to stop phishing attacks, and is similar to the other anti-phishing plugins introduced by rivals, including Google. The company also said that it had strengthened its pop-up blocker.

Other features to enhance usability include the ability to save sessions and restart at the site when the browser was closed, as well as a "trash can" to restore a saved browser session.

Opera CEO Jon von Tetzchner said that it has reached a new record with downloads of the desktop browser.

The previous download record for Opera was when it removed the ads with Opera 8.5, which had more than one million downloads in the first two days.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Windows Live Messenger 8 is now available

The release build of Windows Live Messenger 8 is now available from Microsoft ( build 8.0.0787.00 - 15.3MB ). Click here to get it.

Tech people love their food

It seems to be a well knows fact that Tech people love their food. Microsoft sure knows it. At Tech Ed Microsoft lavished all kinds of food (much of it candy and junk) on the attendees. Remember only about 13,000 people attended. Here is the list. :)

More than 1,250,000 pieces of Mikes and Ikes were consumed over the course of the week.

83,700 ice cream novelty bars and fruit and yogurt bars were served.

60,000 (or 5,000 dozen) eggs were eaten by attendees at breakfast.

At least 1.6 million ounces of coffee were poured.

More than 50,000 pounds of carbohydrates were consumed at Tech·Ed.

7,500 table cloths were used and reset on a daily basis.

But the health conscious where there in force. Salads and water were consumed:

The total amount of fruit ordered for this week would fill three-quarters of a full-size tractor trailer.

18,750 pounds of salad were prepared and offered at meals.

It took four tractor trailer trucks to transport the 150,000 bottles of water that were consumed this week.

For the rest of you go on over to my buddies Blog "The Cook Shack" and take a look at the recipes he has been cooking.

Download DirectX and also avoid the Windows validation

Good morning, last night one of my sons friends came over because they were having problems downloading DirectX ver 9. They kept having problems with the Windows validation. To download DirectX and also avoid the Windows validation you can go here.

For those of you that don't know what DirectX is DirectX is a set of APIs ( Application Program Interface ) developed by Microsoft to allow all programs to write instructions for hardware without knowing exactly what hardware is within the computer. Games which include DirectX will have the capability of utilizing multimedia and graphics accelerator features more efficiently. The latest version of DirectX from Microsoft can be found here.

To find out what version of DirectX you are running if you have Windows ME, 2000, or XP can click Start / Run and type "dxdiag" and press enter to get full information about your system, DirectX, and other related helpful information.

A lot of issues that DirectX may cause, such as error messages, lockups, and or crashes, can be resolved by completely shutting down the computer, waiting a couple seconds, and turning the computer back on.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Microsoft is going to take Windows Live Messenger out of beta

According to, Microsoft is going to take Windows Live Messenger out of beta and officially launch it today or tomorrow ( 19th / 20th ). Keep an eye out on this page for when it goes live.

Techdirt: What Do You Do When 80 Other People Are Using Your Social Security Number?

With so many data leaks these days, whatever little belief you had that your social security number was private should now be completely shattered. It's a joke that anyone still uses SSNs for any form of identification and yet it's still considered the standard. Perhaps a few more cases like the following one will help rectify that. A woman who had not worked in a few years was surprised recently to receive a note from the IRS about taxes she owed. As she tried to get to the bottom of the situation, she discovered that her social security number was being used by at least 80 individuals around the country to help them get jobs. What happened after that demonstrates just how screwed up the system is. While she continued to run into various problems due to others using her SSN (including being held at customs because someone using her SSN was wanted for a felony and having trouble getting a new job), the IRS basically told her that she was going to face the same set of problems every year, and there was basically nothing she could do about it (other than get a new SSN, which she eventually did). In the meantime, can someone explain why Social Security Numbers are still being used for identification at all?

Do you use IE? I bet I can tell you what is on your clipboard!

With a simple line of code you can display ( at a minimum ) what is on a persons clipboard that uses IE ( Internet Explorer ) with standard security set. Also directions on how to turn it off.

read more digg story

80's Music: 101 Free MP3s

There are no ads or commentary, just 101 popular tunes from the 80's, listed alphabetically by artist, and ready for download.

read more | digg story

Top 10 Myths of College Funding

Top ten Myths of College Funding
College is not a luxury for anyone seeking a lucrative career; the difference in lifetime earnings between a high school graduate and a college graduate is over $1 million and climbing.

read more | digg story

Sunday, June 18, 2006



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Saturday, June 17, 2006

BlackAngel.B worm spreading via Microsoft's MSN Messenger

A new worm that carries a message reminiscent of movies such as 'The Ring' or 'FearDotCom' is currently making rounds in the MSN Messenger community according to antivirus specialist Panda Security.

Once it has infected a computer BlackAngel.B uses the instant messenger to send messages to all the contacts in a user's list, disguising itself as a video called 'Fantasma' (Ghost). If opened, an image carrying the caption 'En el 1er día te espantas, en el 2° te desesperas, en el 3° buscas ayuda y en el 4° mueres' - 'on the 1st day you get scared, on the 2nd you get desperate, on the 3rd you look for help and on the 4th you die' appears on the screen, Panda said.

Besides showing a picture, the BlackAngel.B code makes several modifications to the system, which include closing different security applications (antivirus programs, firewalls, etc.) to avoid detection. It also tries to close a number of windows (Windows Task Manager, Control Panel, Registry Editor, System Configuration Utility, System Restore) so that the user cannot use operating system configuration tools, according to Panda.

To be impacted with the worm, users have to actively download the code. Messenger conversations initiated by the worm carry texts like "jaja look a that" or "mira este video" as well as a web address from where it is downloaded.

Panda did not provide information about the payload of the BlackAngel.B worm.

MS06-025 (KB911280) The Microsoft patch that prevents users from using a dial-up connection

Click Image to see a larger version.

The Microsoft patch that causes problems this month is MS06-025 (KB911280). This was supposed to fix critical vulnerabilities in the Routing and Remote Access Service. As well as fixing these issues, the patch also prevents users from using a dial-up connection. It also breaks dial-up functionality in software applications and also prevents scripts from running.

This puts dial-up users in a bad spot. Install the patch and be safe (so safe in fact that the Internet is totally out of bounds), or try to patch up the vulnerability manually using a firewall (by restricting access to TCP ports 135, 139, 445, and 593 and UDP ports 135, 137, 138, and 445 and monitoring inbound traffic on TCP/UDP ports greater than 1024).

If you have installed this patch and have problems then go to Add / Remove Programs in Control Panel and put a check mark in "Show Updates" see image in this post, click remove and then re-boot to fix the problem.

Microsoft has reissued a critical security patch, MS06-025, after users of dial-up Internet systems that use the terminal window or dial-up scripting experienced incompatibilities. The patch addresses known vulnerabilities in Windows 2000 and XP routing and remote access functionality; it does not affect Windows 98 or Me editions. The updated patch can be obtained here.

Food that we gave out yesterday

I took some pictures of the food that we gave out yesterday through TEFAP "The Emergency Food Assistance Program". Here is what we had when we started. We got there at 6am to get ready and started handing it out at 8am and ended at 5pm. We were able to help 70 families with about 128 people. It felt so good to be able to do that. I had three people cry when I gave them the food, they were literally starving. It is so sad that in this country we have people that go hungry each day.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I wont be posting much today or tomorrow

Good day everyone, sorry to say that I wont be posting much today or tomorrow. I am local coordinator for TEFAP "The Emergency Food Assistance Program" for my area. Tomorrow is distribution day so I will be busy today getting ready for that and then I will be busy all day tomorrow giving out the food. Hope everyone has a great day.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Major Microsoft Patch Releases Block Infected E-Mail

Network administrators were busy today as Microsoft released its largest collection of security patches in more than a year.

The monthly security update includes 21 vulnerabilities on 12 updates, the most since February 2005, said Jonathan Bitle, product manager with Qualys.

The update is so large because hackers are exploiting 'client-side' weaknesses instead of automated services that run in an operating system. That type of attack relies on PC users' tendency to open e-mail attachments and other files from unknown senders.

Read more here.

End of Support: Microsoft's Service Pack 1

End of Support: Microsoft's Service Pack 1

On July 11, 2006 and October 10, 2006, Microsoft will end all public assisted support for Service Pack1 (SP1) (see affected products). After this date, Microsoft will no longer provide any incident support options or security updates for this retired service pack under the policies defined by the Microsoft Support Lifecycle policy.

To enhance the security of your computer and to continue to receive updates for the products, it is recommend you upgrade your computer, for free, to newer Service Pack.

End of support (Oct 10, 2006 and July 10, 2006):
SP1 for Windows
Windows Tablet PC Edition Service Pack 1
Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 1
Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 1a
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2002 Service Pack 1
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 Service Pack 1
Windows XP Professional Service Pack 1
Windows XP Professional Service Pack 1a
Windows XP Tablet PC Edition Service Pack 1
SP1 for Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1 on Windows XP Home Edition
Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1 on Windows 98 (end of support for this is on 11-Jul-2006)
Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1 on Windows 98 SE (end of support for this is on 11-Jul-2006)
Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1 on Windows Millennium (end of support for this is on 11-Jul-2006)

SP1 for Office
Office Professional Edition 2003 Service Pack 1
Office Professional Enterprise Edition 2003 Service Pack 1
Office Small Business Edition 2003 Service Pack 1
Office Standard Edition 2003 Service Pack 1
Office Students and Teachers Edition 2003 Service Pack 1
Office Visio Professional 2003 Service Pack 1
Office Visio Standard 2003 Service Pack 1

SP1 for Server
Windows SharePoint Services Service Pack 1
Content Management Server 2002 Ente"

Delete or Move Locked Files in Windows With This Utility

Windows is notorious for locking media files while it's trying to read meta-data. Sometimes other programs can lock your files, making it impossible to delete or move them. Release your files WITHOUT REBOOTING with this awesome utility, aptly named Unlocker.

read more | digg story

Picasa Web Album launched

The title says it all. Google launched their Picasa Web Album. Looks very neat.

read more | digg story

Yahoo Says E-Mail Worm Now Contained

"Yahoo said it has contained a malicious program aimed at the millions of people who use its e-mail service, which ranks as the world's largest. The worm, dubbed "Yamanner," infected a recipient's computer as soon as the toxic e-mail was opened. It then scanned contact lists for additional targets, according to security software maker Symantec."

read more | digg story

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Firefox To Drop Support For Windows 98, Me

Mozilla will drop support for the nearly obsolete operating systems when it releases Firefox 3.0 in 2007. Some users criticized the decision.

read more | digg story

Windows gets big security update today!

One of the biggest security updates for more than a year is due to released today by Microsoft to fix 12 software flaws.

Nine of the updates apply to the Windows operating system and one is deemed critical, a rating reserved for the most serious security problems.

At least one of the loopholes being patched is already being actively exploited by malicious hackers.

Windows users are being urged to download the patches as soon as they become available on Tuesday June, 13th.

Microsoft issues its security patches on the second Tuesday of every month and June's update will be the biggest for more than a year.

Go to Windows Update to get the patches.

Browser wars are over ... Firefox has won.

Browser wars are over ... Firefox has won.

The Browser Wars was the ongoing battle between Internet Explorer (from the blood-sucking programmers at Microsoft) and everyone else. Everyone else includes a bevy of web browsers from front runner Firefox to Opera, Netscape, and Safari. All of these competitors offer great alternatives to Internet Explorer but have fallen short in adoption due to Explorer's monopoly-like control in most computers that run Windows."

Read More About Firefox’s Browser War Win!

Inside China's iPod sweat-shops

A British paper sent a reporter to "iPod City," the plant in Longhua, China, where iPods are assembled by women who earn $50/month for working 15 hour days.

The report claims Longhua's workers live in dormitories that house 100 people, and that visitors from the outside world are not permitted.

Read more of the story here at Macworld

Coffee may cut alcohol liver damage

Could Irish coffee be the perfect drink?

Researchers reported on Monday that drinking coffee cuts the risk of cirrhosis of the liver from alcohol by 22 percent per cup each day but they stopped short of saying doctors should prescribe coffee for that reason.

The report from the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program in Oakland, California, was based on a look at data from 125,580 people."

Read more here.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Apple iPod Nano alternatives - CNET reviews

"Sure, the iPod Nano is easy to use, ultraslim, and beautiful, but it lacks an FM tuner, plus it's fairly pricey and overly scratch-prone. Luckily, if you're not convinced you want to hop on the Nano bandwagon, there's a handful of worthy alternatives, and all the ones listed..."

Read the rest of the article here.

Worm Attacks Yahoo E-Mail

A mass-mail worm that exploits a vulnerability in Yahoo's Web-based e-mail is making the rounds.

The worm, which Symantec calls JS.Yamanner@m, is different from others in that a user merely has to open the e-mail to cause it to run, said Kevin Hogan, senior manager for Symantec Security Response. Mass-mail worms have usually been contained in an attachment with an e-mail note encouraging a user to open it.

The infected e-mail sent to Yahoo! users look as follows:

Subject: New Graphic Site
Body: Note: forwarded message attached.

This type of worm is not a surprise - it has been theorized since at least 2001. Yamanner is however the first worm to be realized in the wild.

Read more at Yahoo News

How Widespread Is Malware?

Microsoft is set to release research today showing, among other things, that its security tools find malicious software on about 1 in every 311 times it scans a PC.

Microsoft's data is remarkable because it comes from such a large sample group, the more than 270 million users of the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool, which ships with Windows.

Read more at Yahoo News

Music and your PC with Mara Gulens

Watch as Mara Gulens shows Karen how to turn her living room into a home entertainment haven. The only problem is that you will need to view the video with Internet Explorer.

Groove to your music collection after Mara explains how to organize songs on the PC, plus learn how to listen to them in different ways, from portable music players to your home theatre system.

Click here to go to Microsoft Home Magazine and watch the videos.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Best of Firefox extensions .... Web browser

CNet has put together three volumes of the “best of Firefox” as far as extensions go. All three lists have useful extensions, some I have tackled and some I have yet to try. Here is more Firefox extension love than you can shake a stick at.

Check Out Volume 1

Check Out Volume 2

Check Out Volume 3

For those of you that don't know Mozilla Firefox is a fast, full-featured Web browser that makes browsing more efficient than ever before. Firefox includes pop-up blocking; a tab-browsing mode that lets you open several pages in a single window; integrated Google searching; simplified privacy controls that let you cover your tracks more effectively; a streamlined browser window that shows you more of the page than any other browser; and a number of additional features that work with you to help you get the most out of your time online.

Get Firefox

Saturday, June 10, 2006

101 Stairways to Heaven Led Zeppelin

Over one hundred covers of the Led Zeppelin classic song, "Stairway to Heaven". Includes versions by The Doors, Frank Zappa, Dolly Parton, Heart, Redd Kross, Pat Boone, the Gregorian Masters of Chant and the London Symphony Orchestra.

read more | digg story

Access the Administrator account in Windows XP Home Edition

My son has a friend that either forgot his XP login password or someone changed it and he didn't know what to do to access his computer. What he has to do is login in using the Administrator account .

The Administrator account is not displayed in User Accounts unless the computer is in Safe mode. To change the password for the Administrator account:

1. Click Start, click Turn Off Computer, and then click Restart.
2. After the computer completes the Power On Self Test (POST), press F8, and then click Safe mode.

NOTE: If you have difficulty getting to the Safe mode menu command, press F8 repeatedly after you turn on the computer.

3. Log on as an Administrator, or with another account that has Administrator permissions.
4. Click Start, click Settings, click Control Panel, and then click User Accounts.
5. Click the Administrator icon.
6. Click Create a Password or Change my password.
7. Type a password for the account, and then retype the password to confirm it.
8. Type a hint to help you remember the password in the event that you forget it.
9. Click Create Password or Change Password.

For additional information about how to create and configure user accounts in Windows XP, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

279783 HOW TO: Create and Configure User Accounts in Windows XP

There is also a great post over at on how to change your password from the command prompt. Go take a look at it.

Techdirt: Can We Start A Detox Center For People Addicted To Calling People Addicts?

Techdirt: Can We Start A Detox Center For People Addicted To Calling People Addicts?:

"Can We Start A Detox Center For People Addicted To Calling People Addicts?

We've talked in the past about how certain psychologists seem addicted to coming up with new addictions for things that probably aren't actually addictive. Usually, this seems to include some new technology. So, there's email addiction, web addiction, online porn, mobile phones or the whole damn internet. Of course, in most of these cases, the addiction word is used to create an emotional response. It makes people think of chemical dependencies, such as to illegal drugs or smoking. In many cases, the 'addictions' described aren't really addictions, but an indication of a different problem, such as depression."

Read the rest here.

Microsoft to ease up on piracy check-ins | CNET

Microsoft is cutting the cord on its antipiracy tool.

The software maker this month plans to update the Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications program so that it only checks in with Microsoft once every two weeks, instead of after each boot-up, a company representative said Friday. By year's end, the tool will stop pinging Microsoft altogether, the representative said.

Read more here

Slashdot | Microsoft Stops Supporting Win98 Early

Microsoft Stops Supporting Win98 Early

Christopher G Lewis writes 'Today Microsoft announced that it is 'not feasible to make the extensive changes necessary to Windows Explorer on Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition (SE), and Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (ME) to eliminate the vulnerability' to fix Security Bulletin MS06-15. Granted, the vulnerability is easily prevented by basic firewalling, but this basically is the first time Microsoft has admitted that Windows 98 is so broken that it's crazy to be running it on today's Internet.

Eating pizza 'cuts cancer risk'

Who knew all the pizza was good for me :)

Italian researchers say eating pizza could protect against cancer.

Researchers claim eating pizza regularly reduced the risk of developing oesophageal cancer by 59%.

The risk of developing colon cancer also fell by 26% and mouth cancer by 34%, they claimed.

read more | digg story

Basic Things to Know When Switching to a Linux Desktop

"New users get stuck on their new Linux machines trying to figure out what went wrong, or as a better way to say it.. what they didn't know. From different questions that I get from new users, I have come up to a collection of the basic things that a new Linux user must know."

read more | digg story

Can you buy an American PC?

"Most people assume that their PCs were made overseas, but a few manufacturers such as Dell and Gateway have brought some, but not all, of their manufacturing work to the U.S. Here, they assemble components made and manufactured all over the world."

read more | digg story

PC WIZARD 2006 *Free*

PC WIZARD 2006 is a powerful utility designed especially for detection of hardware, but also some more analysis. It's able to identify a large scale of system components and supports the latest technologies and standards. This tool is periodically updated (usually once per month) in order to provide most accurate results.

PC WIZARD 2006 is also an utility designed to analyze and benchmark your computer system. It can analyze and benchmark many kinds of hardware, such as CPU performance, Cache performance, RAM performance, Hard Disk performance, CD/DVD-ROM performance, Removable/FLASH Media performance, Video performance, MP3 compression performance.

Hardware Information

* Mainboard / Bios (Connectors, ID String, MP Support, ...)
* Chipset (FSB Frequency, Norhtbridge, Hub, Direct Media Interface...)
* Main Memory (FPM, EDO, SDRAM, DDR SDRAM, DDR-II SDRAM, RDRAM, Timings, ...)
* Cache Memory (L1, L2, L3, Size, Frequency, ...)
* Processors (Type, Speed, Multiplier coeff., Features, Model Number, Vanderpool Technology, ...)
* Coprocessor
* Busses : ISA, PCI, AGP (2x, 4x,8x), SMBus/ i2c, CardBus, Firewire, Hyper-Transport... )
* Mainboard Sensors, Processor, Hard Disk & Battery (Voltage, Temperature, Fans)
* Video (Monitor, Card, Bios, Capabilities, Memory, Integrated Memory, Frequencies...)
* OpenGL & 3Dfx
* DirectX (DirectDraw, Direct3D, DirectSound (3D), DirectMusic, DirectPlay, DirectInput, DirectX Media)
* Keyboard, Mouse & Joystick
* Drives (Hard Disk, Removable, CD-ROM, CDRW, DVD, ...)
* SCSI (Card, Controller, Adapter, Devices, ...)
* ATA/ATAPI & S-ATA (Devices, Type, Capabilities, S.M.A.R.T. Features, RAID)
* Ports (Serial, Parallel, USB, IEEE-1394)
* IDE & SCSI Devices
* Twain & WIA Devices
* PCMCIA (PC Card) Devices
* Bluetooth Devices
* Sound Card (wave, midi, aux, mix, AC'97 codec, High Definition Audio)
* Printers (Local & Network)
* Modem (Features, Speed, ...)
* Network (Server, Connexion, Firewall, ...)
* Security (Scan Ports, ...)
* PocketPC & SmartPhone Devices

System Information

* MCI Devices (mpeg, avi, seq, vcr, video-disc, wave) & ACM
* Passwords (Outlook, Internet Explorer, MSDN,...)
* DOS Memory (base, HMA, UMB, XMS, EMS, DPMI, VCPI)
* Windows Memory
* Windows (Version, Product Key, Environment, Desktop, XP Themes,...)
* Windows UpTime (Boot, Shutdown, BlueScreen, System Restore Points,...)
* TrueType & OpenType Fonts
* WinSock (Internet), Telephony et Remote Access
* OLE (Objects, Servers,...)
* Microsoft® Applications
* Activity (Process, Tasks, Threads)
* Modules (DLL, DRV, 32 & 16-bits) & NT Services
* Internet Navigator (Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape, Mozilla, FireFox)
* Ressources (IRQ, DMA, E/S, Memory)
* System files (.ini, .log, .bat, .nt, .dos,...)

System Benchmarks

* Processor (MFLOPS, Whetstone, ...)
* L1, L2, L3 Cache, RAM (Bandwidth, Latency ...)
* Main Memory (Bandwidth, Latency ...)
* Hard Drives
* CD/DVD Rom
* DirectX 3D
* Video
* Removable/Flash Support
* MP3 Compression

Get PC WIZARD 2006 here.

Microsoft Provides Additional Clarity About Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications

"Recent public discussions about WGA Notifications have raised questions about its operation. Shortly after logon, WGA Notifications checks whether a newer settings file is available and downloads the file if one is found. The settings file provides Microsoft with the ability to update how often reminders are displayed and to disable the program if necessary during the test period. This functionality enables Microsoft to respond quickly to feedback to improve the customer's experience. Unlike validation, which sends system information to Microsoft, this operation is limited to the download of the new settings file. No additional information is sent to Microsoft. There have been some questions on this issue, and Microsoft is working to more effectively communicate details of this feature to the public."

Read the answers to Frequently Asked Question here:

Support for Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition, and Windows Millennium Edition (Me) ends on July 11, 2006

While official support ends in mid-July, Microsoft looked at fixing MS06-015 and said screw it:

Specifically, after extensive investigation, we’ve found that it’s not feasible to make the extensive changes necessary to Windows Explorer on these older versions of Windows to eliminate the vulnerability.

This is because during the development of Windows 2000, we made significant enhancements to the underlying architecture of Windows Explorer. The Windows Explorer architecture on these older versions of Windows is much less robust than the more recent Windows architectures.

Due to these fundamental differences, these changes would require reengineering a significant amount of a critical core component of the operating system. After such a reengineering effort, there would be no assurance that applications designed to run on these platforms would continue to operate on the updated system.

We do strongly recommend that customers still using Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition (SE), and Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (ME) protect those systems by placing them behind a perimeter firewall which filters traffic on TCP Port 139 which will block attacks attempting to exploit this vulnerability. This is discussed in the "Workarounds" section of the vulnerability.

Support for Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition, and Windows Millennium Edition (Me) ends on July 11, 2006, which is the July 2006 Monthly Bulletin Release date. This means Microsoft will end public and technical support on July 11, 2006. This also includes security updates. As an advance reminder, Windows XP SP1 will also reach a similar end of support date on October 10, 2006. There’s more detail about this and other Support Lifecycle dates on the Support Lifecycle Website:


Friday, June 09, 2006

On 13 June 2006 Microsoft is planning to release a dozen security bulletins covering flaws in Windows, Office and Exchange

On 13 June 2006 Microsoft is planning to release a dozen security bulletins covering flaws in Windows, Office and Exchange.

Nine Microsoft Security Bulletins affecting Microsoft Windows. The highest Maximum Severity rating for these is Critical. These updates will be detectable using the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer and the Enterprise Scan Tool. Some of these updates will require a restart.

One Microsoft Security Bulletin affecting Microsoft Exchange. The highest Maximum Severity rating for this is Important. These updates will be detectable using the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer. These updates may require a restart.

Two Microsoft Security Bulletins affecting Microsoft Office. The highest Maximum Severity rating for these is Critical. These updates will be detectable using the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer. These updates may require a restart.

Microsoft will release an updated version of the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool on Windows Update, Microsoft Update, Windows Server Update Services and the Download Center.

Additionally, the June patches will permanently alter the way Internet Explorer handles Web programs called ActiveX controls. Microsoft introduced the change, which may affect how certain Web sites are displayed in the browser, two months ago It gave Web developers a "compatibility patch" to give them time to adjust to the new process, but the June security updates will end that respite, Microsoft said.

Microsoft said it will host a Webcast about the new fixes on Wednesday at 11 a.m. PT.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Techdirt: AOL Keeps Working Overtime To Drive Away Subscribers

AOL Keeps Working Overtime To Drive Away Subscribers

From the what - can - we - do - today - to - piss - off - our - users... dept

AOL seems to have a knack for doing exactly the wrong thing for its users, from ignoring the rise of broadband, to building up walled gardens just as the rest of the internet was embracing a more open internet. The latest is that they're pissing off a bunch of long term paying customers by suddenly inserting advertisements right below emails. Obviously, there are plenty of email services that are ad-supported, but this is for paying AOL customers, who for years have been able to read email without ads getting in the way. And, of course, these aren't just any ads, but (of course) intrusive ads that users complain are distracting. Considering that plenty of people seem to have kept their AOL subscriptions going for many years just to keep their email address, pissing off a bunch of those people doesn't seem like the smartest strategic move.

Final Windows Live Messenger release on June 16th?

German tech site WinFuture seems rather confident that the final version of Windows Live Messenger will be launched on June 16th.

The Messenger team doesn't usually communicate release dates, but in case our German neighbours are right we'll have our hands on a new ( Yahoo Messenger - enabled? ) version by the end of next week!

Keep checking at Windows Live.

Get rid of Thumbs.db in Windows XP

Get rid of Thumbs.db Windows XP

There’s a file called Thumbs.db in almost every one of the folders on my computer. What is it and how do I get rid of it?

Thumbs.db is a system file generated automatically by Windows XP when you view the contents of a folder in “Thumbnail” or “Filmstrip” view. Thumbs.db contains a copy of each of the tiny preview images generated for image files in that folder so that they load up quickly the next time you browse that folder. Thumbs.db also stores your settings with regard to thumbnail and filmstrip view.

Despite the fact that Thumbs.db is a hidden system file, it annoys people because it tends to show up in places where it’s not wanted. Many times you’ll try to zip up a folder full of images and e-mail them to a friend or upload them to an FTP site, and Thumbs.db goes along for the ride.

To stop your computer from generating and regenerating future Thumbs.db files, do the following:

If you’re on the desktop…

1. Click Start
2. Double-click Control Panel
3. Double-click Folder Options

Or, if you have My Computer open and are browsing any folder in your system…

1. Click Tools (next to File, Edit, View at the top of the screen)
2. Click Folder Options

After performing either of those two operations, the “Folder Options” window will open up.

1. Click on the View tab
2. Check off the circle next to Do not cache thumbnails
3. Click the Ok button

Once you click the Ok button, your computer will cease to generate Thumbs.db files. If you delete any of the existing Thumbs.db files, they will not return. Be forewarned though, if you browse a folder that contains a large quantity of image files (or extremely large image files), it will take a long time for that folder to load even if you have previously browsed it because the thumbnail images will not have been cached in Thumbs.db.

The Best Google How - To Ever

Complete guide to all the most advanced features of Google search. It demonstrates how to easily find & download mp3s and complete albums too.. heh, when will the RIAA be suing Google?

read more | digg story

Microsoft releases public download of Vista | CNET

Microsoft releases public download of Vista

CNET After months of limited testing, Microsoft late Wednesday made a beta version of Windows Vista publicly available for download.

The company kicked off what it called its 'Customer Preview Program,' a testing period in which the software maker hopes millions of tech enthusiasts will kick the tires on the new operating system.

People can either download the software from Microsoft's Web site or pay a small fee to get it on DVD.

Read more here

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

AOL Users: You've Got Ads

For the first time in its history, AOL is displaying ads along with e-mail messages to its paying subscribers, to increase the delivery mechanisms of its online ad inventory, an AOL spokesperson has confirmed.

This practice is common in free Webmail services but generally not in fee-based e-mail accounts, where the absence of ads is normally considered a perk of being a paying subscriber.


My Smokers Rights

My Smokers Rights:

Tobacco Taxes and Payments for Kansas

Kansas's excise tax per pack of cigarettes: $0.790

Kansas's excise tax collection for the fiscal year ending June 2004: $121,266,000

Sales tax on tobacco products: 5.30%

Tobacco products sales tax collection for the fiscal year ending June 2004: $30,828,000

Local tax on tobacco products: $0

Federal excise tax per pack of cigarettes: $0.39

Total federal excise tax collections in fiscal year 2004:

Number of six-packs of beer that must be sold in Kansas to produce the same state excise tax and settlement revenue generated by one carton of cigarettes: 113

Number of bottles of wine that must be sold in Kansas to produce the same state excise tax and settlement revenue generated by one carton of cigarettes: 190

Master Settlement Agreement Payments Received According to the GAO*

$294,456,886 has been paid to Kansas through Fiscal Year 2004 since the Master Settlement Agreement was signed on November 23, 1998.

Stop using Internet Explorer

Firefox browser is safer, faster on most Web pages and has more features

Special to State

It’s old, outdated, creaky and leaky and maybe it’s time you kicked Internet Explorer (IE) to the curb.

IE has not had a major update since early 2002, when it shipped with Windows XP. A new version, 7.0, is rumored to be released sometime this fall, but whether it will be more secure remains doubtful.

If IE has all these problems, why aren’t users flocking to other browsers? In fact, many are, and its market share has fallen from about 99 percent to 85 percent. Firefox, open source and free, is taking up most of the slack, but fighting IE is hard because it ships with every Windows computer and most use it because it doesn’t need to be installed.

If you are still using IE, you are not as safe on the Web nor are you enjoying the fruits of a modern browser. With Windows’ Automatic Updates turned on, there is no reason to use it unless you visit a Web site specifically written for IE.

You need to get Firefox because:

• It is safer. Firefox security updates are released almost as soon as a problem is discovered, while IE updates are delayed for weeks.

Firefox also is safer because it is not integrated into the Windows operating system like IE, which allows worms, spyware or Trojan horses more chances to enter a system.

• It is faster on most pages.

• It has more features, such as tabbed browsing which lets you have more than one Web page open at once. If you use tabbed browsing once, you will never go back.

Quick directions on downloading and installing Firefox:

• Search at Google for Firefox. One of the first links will take you to the Firefox page. Or just type

• Click on the big green link labeled Download Firefox. It is less than five megabytes.

• Uncheck the box that says “Close this dialog box when download is complete.” When the download is complete, click on “open” and the install begins.

When asked to make it your default browser, click on no for now. I’m betting in a few weeks you’ll want it to be your default browser.

Now, go to the Control Panel and turn on Automatic Updates, and the only time you’ll need to open IE is for a Web site written specifically for it.

For sale: surplus hotel room funiture and art

Hotel Surplus sells used hotel furniture including some really hilarious 80s headboards, and no doubt stained chairs. The best part might be the art section: So the walls in your own home can now look like Motel 6! :)


Drinking coffee makes you more open-minded

The coffee you drink as a pick-me-up in the morning could also make you more open to persuasion, researchers say. Evidence from a new study suggests that this happens because caffeine revs up the brain, not because it generally boosts mood.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Catch Illegal Aliens Using a Web Browser

Webcams on the border + A free hotline + Millions of volunteers = ?

read more | digg story

Microsoft CEO Ballmer unable to rid PC of spyware after 2 days

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer attempts to remove some spyware from a friend's machine, and after 2 days, gives up. He then passed the PC over to a group of top Microsoft engineers and they failed as well.

read more | digg story

Monday, June 05, 2006

It's "Mandy" vs the hotrods

It's 'Mandy' vs the hotrods

Sick and tired of souped-up cars with loud engines and pulsing music? Barry Manilow may be the answer.

Officials in one Sydney district have decided to pipe the American crooner's music over loudspeakers in an attempt to rid streets and car parks of hooligans whose anti-social cars and loud music annoy residents and drive customers from businesses.

Following a successful experiment where Bing Crosby music was used to drive teenage loiterers out of an Australian shopping center several years ago, Rockdale councilors believe Manilow is so uncool it might just work.

Councilor Bill Saravinovski said local authorities plan to install a loudspeaker and pipe in Manilow music, interspersed with classical pieces, over a car park favored by car 'hoons,' or hooligans.

There are restaurants nearby and people can't park in the car park because they're intimidated by these hoons,' Saravinovski told The Daily Telegraph newspaper Monday.

Daggy music is one way to make the hoons leave an area because they can't stand the music,' he said.

The Oxford Concise Australian Dictionary defines 'daggy' as unfashionable, or lacking style, even eccentric or stupid.

Follow Habitat's progress online CNET

As part of this year's Home Builders Blitz, Habitat for Humanity will feature live Webcams and blogs tracking the progress of home construction. The new features will be up for the duration of the building event, which started Monday and lasts through Friday. The live Webcams will be in four U.S. cities: Denver, Oklahoma City, Portland, Ore., and Raleigh, N.C. The blogs will be written by professional builders taking part in the event and will cover 10 cities.


AOLeave - export your AOL data

The fact that AOL does many things in a non-standard way, and makes it difficult to leave and maintain a lot of YOUR data.

What data?

Do you have a couple of hundred people in your Address Book? Do you have a multitude of bookmarked websites? No doubt you have countless messages in you AOL Personal Folders. If you leave AOL, how are you going to take YOUR data with you?

You aren't!

Until now that is.

Having taken pity on a poor beleaguered AOL'er this website has decided to liberate the masses from their shackles. Well, at least provide some tools to help the enlightened few liberate themselves.

Link to the website

Damn Interesting » Number Stations

Short wave radio enthusiasts worldwide have heard of the strange and elusive Numbers Channels. It is a name that refers to any one of several of unusual broadcasts that usually start at a very specific time, though often from different locations. The broadcasts contain some odd elements like excerpts of music, a regular attention message, and a sting of phonetic letters or numbers for which they are named. For the most part, the signals make no sense at least not to most people the messages are fairly random, and there is not enough information in the broadcast itself to allow one to decipher it.

Such transmissions are fairly common. They are most often reported in Europe, but can be found anywhere. Each adheres to a strict schedule, and often begin at either the hour or half-after. Most of the time the voice reading these letters is female, though sometimes male or a child’s. Despite being without any obvious function, they seem pretty harmless. So why does no licensed radio station admit to sending them, no government will admit to sanctioning them, and no one will confess to being responsible for them?

According to The Conet Project, a group which has taken to sampling and distributing recordings of these stations, this type of transmission has been observed since World War I, making them one of the first and oldest of all radio broadcasts. With no evident source or purpose for these signals, imaginations have taken reign, and a wide number of ideas have spawned ranging from plausible to tittering - alone - in - the - woods - wacky.

Among the most popular and most viable theories is that the Numbers Stations are a covert means by which government spy agencies use to maintain contact with their operatives. That would explain the need for the official obfuscation of their source, and why the messages are so cryptic; an extremely high level of coding would be required for spies. Perhaps the transmitters must occasionally move as the field agents relocate in the course of their duties.

Read the rest here.

McDonald's gets a new look

A comfortable armchair. Cool hanging lights. Funky graphics and photos on the walls. Wi-Fi access. Premium coffee. Isn't Starbucks great? Except. . . this is McDonald's.

See the pictures

Read the story

read more | digg story

Sunday, June 04, 2006 Old versions of software

There is a great website I have not posted about and I thought it was about time I did. It's called Sometimes upgrading to a newer software version can be a good thing. Other times, your computer may not be compatible with the new version, the new version is bloated, or all the good options are no longer available. has been supplying the online community with old versions of various programs since 2001. The service is utilized by thousands of users every day and has been featured in newspapers and magazines as well as on radio and television.

Go ahead and check it out

Bandwidth Speed Test

Want to test your upload/download speed? Give this test a try.

Link to test.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Windows Vista Home Page

Windows Vista Home Page: "Windows Vista Beta 2 is now available for IT professionals and developers with MSDN and TechNet subscriptions. In the coming weeks, Microsoft will start the Windows Vista Customer Preview Program (CPP) for developers and IT professionals who are not members of the subscription services."

Dell hooks up PC customers with online support | CNET

Dell hooks up PC customers with online support | CNET

"Dell is hoping to stanch criticism of its tech support program with a service that lets technicians remotely troubleshoot balky PCs over a high-speed Internet connection.

All U.S. Dell customers under warranty will receive the one-on-one online tech support for free, the company announced on Friday."

Dell customers will not be charged for the DellConnect service as long as they are under warranty. Users will need a high-speed broadband connection to connect to the service.

SwapTree, a new way to get value from old books and CDs | | CNET

In SwapTree, there are no credits. All trades are person-to-person. You list on the site what you want to trade out and what you want to get, and whenever there's a match, the system will enable you to do a direct one-to-one trade with a person who has something you want and wants something you have. SwapTree will also enable three- and four-way trades, coordinating the shipment of multiple items between its members so everybody unloads what they don't want and gets what they do, even if there's no pair of users with precisely correlating wishes.

SwapTree, a new way to get value from old books and CDs | | CNET

Over 200 extremely useful Firefox extensions

Over at they have a list of over 200 extensions and the problems that might be related to them. From advertising to blogging, there is almost a Firefox extension to answer any of your issues. Check out the list and see if there are any that you might want to add.


Friday, June 02, 2006

18 Days of Reckless Computing

Someone over at wired gives tests his new Dell to see how many viruses and how much malware it takes to get the Geek Squad to call it a total loss.

Click here to read the article.

read more | digg story

Winamp Tweak Guide

My Desktop with Winamp open: Click on pictures for larger version.

When it comes to media players there is no doubting on the popularity of Winamp. Its ease to use and extensive customisation via plug-ins have made it quite a legendary piece of software, being one of the most downloaded programs ever.

Go here to read the Winamp Tweak Guide.

read more | digg story

Best Buy sells couples hard drive - turns up in Chicago flea market

Henry Gerbus said Best Buy assured him the computer's old hard drive -- loaded with personal information -- would be destroyed.

"They said rest assured. They drill holes in it so it's useless," said Gerbus. That wasn't the case.

read more | digg story

Mozilla Firefox Released

Firefox is a security update that is part of the Firefox ongoing program to provide a safe Internet experience for their customers. The new version features improvements to product stability and several security fixes.

Read more here.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Police investigate angry eBayer's revenge site

First of all never buy a computer on Ebay. That is my advice and I have been saying that for years. There are some reputable people out here but it's hard to figure out those from the scum.

Police are investigating a disgruntled eBayer who took online revenge after paying £375 for a laptop which, he said, did not work.

The buyer recovered the hard drive from the malfunctioning notebook, finding it full of personal details, allegedly including access to email accounts, 90 voyeuristic leg shots taken on the London Underground and gay porn. He posted the material on a website, naming and shaming Barnet 19-year-old Amir Tofangsazan as the seller.

The buyer has been named as Thomas Sawyer, a 23-year-old student from Exeter. He offers to pull the site sown voluntarily in exchange for a refund.

Meanwhile, The Daily Mail reports that Amir allegedly pulled a similar scam on Newport Pagnell woman Debbie McInerney, who says she paid him £147 for an iPod which never arrived. Amir said: "The police are investigating the iPod case and I can't comment on it."

The revenge site is available here for your viewing.

A Beginner's Guide to Everything that Goes on Inside a PC

Before building a PC properly, it's important to understand the what goes into creating a working personal computer. It's also important to understand the roles that components play, and how various factors in one component can impose requirements and trade-offs on selection of other components. Here's the perfect guide.

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AOL subscriber has mail & $1,595.69 bill!

A broadband subscriber is convinced by an AOL rep to remain with AOL for the low price of $4.95 a month. What he wasn't told was that the $4.95 plan only covered the first three hours of service! That's AOL for you!!!

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Tom's Hardware Gives Windows Vista Thumbs Up!

"Microsoft's new Vista is surprisingly entertaining. The new look of the operating system is good, and lets it outshine its Linux and Mac OS competitors. One notices repeatedly while working with this software that Microsoft scoped out its competition very carefully."

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Dell designs a "desknote" Desktop / Notebook

Dell's new XPS M2010, which starts at $3,500, includes two hard drives with up to 120GB capacity each, a Core Duo processor and 4GB of dual-channel (667MHz) memory.

The Dell XPS M2010 comes with a detachable wireless Bluetooth-enabled keyboard. A remote acts as a mouse. At nearly 20 pounds, the new Dell XPS M2010 is almost twice the size of compact laptops. In addition to executing expected computer functions, the XPS M2010 is designed to be a multimedia device. It sports a combination DVD+RW drive, a built-in video camera and digital microphone, and a 256MB video card for DVDs, 2D gaming and most high-end 3D gaming. For easy transport, the Dell XPS M2010 features a handle attached to the case. Attached to the flat horizontal PC, which remains on the desk, is a 20.1-inch wide-screen monitor

The concept behind Dell's luggable XPS M2010 harkens back to the early days of the PC era, when just about anything smaller than a mainframe could be considered a portable computer. The original Compaq Portable, seen here, even matched up to the new Dell in price ($3,590, according to and weight (OK, at 28 pounds, it was still a little chunkier).

For that price, back in 1983, you got this: a 4.77MHz Intel 8088 processor, 128K of RAM, two floppy drives, a 9-inch monochrome monitor and MS-DOS.

See more at Cnet

Read Cnets Review of the XPS M2010


XPize is a GUI enhancer that replaces most of the non-XP icons, avis and bmps that Microsoft has always overlooked. It also includes some extras and a reloader, which you can use after visiting Windows Update.

Check it out here.

First StarOffice Virus Detected

Researchers at Kaspersky have come across the first macro virus to target Sun's StarOffice/OpenOffice suite. The macro virus, named Virus.StarOffice.Stardust.a, is written in StarBasic and downloads adult images from the Internet and opens them.

Troubleshoot Internet connection problems yourself.

If you're having problems getting your Windows XP computer to connect to the Internet or browse the Web, there are numerous possible causes. The best way to determine what your problem is (and fix it) is to take a methodical approach. KB article 314095 walks you through the steps to help diagnose what's interfering with your connection, whether it's a configuration on your computer or a problem with the server.

Click here to read the Microsoft article