August 2007 Show Summaries
August 29, 2007  August 22, 2007  August 15, 2007  August 8, 2007  August 1, 2007 
August 29, 2007 Show

We followed up on the data theft at The company was very slow to react and not very forthcoming about their problems. Even now, 12 days after they were first notified of the problem, they have yet to contact the effected customers.

Acer is buying Gateway and Gateway was bidding against Lenovo for Packard Bell. A teenager in New Jersey unlocked the iPhone from the AT&T network. New battery technologies are on their way (but don't hold you're breath): paper and sugar water.

Via released a very very low power x86 processor that uses only one watt and does not require a cooling fan. Chicago gave up on citywide WiFi. EarthLink was their partner and they just announced the firing of 900 of their 1,900 employees.

Here you can download the document we mentioned on the show with advice on speeding up a computer that focuses on three areas: controlling the programs that run automatically at startup, defragging and cleaning the registry. Download: Speeding up your computer

Listener phone calls. On the show were Hank Kee, Alfred Poor and Michael Horowitz.


August 22, 2007 Show

Our guest was Brian Krebs, reporter for Brian writes the Security Fix column (access to the website of the paper requires free registration). We discussed the security problems with and other jobs databases. These websites hold a treasure trove of personal information so they are prime targets for identity thieves. Personal data was stolen and spyware software was installed on the machines of thousands of users. For more see Brian's story Would You Like A Job With That Virus?.

David Perry of Trend Micro was also on the show.

Skype was knocked offline for about two days. Was it the fault of Windows Update?

Many shareware and download websites were shown to be a scam. They awarded 5 stars to a program that does nothing, one that doesn't even run. For more see Brian's story Beware of Five-Star Vaporware. Michael also blogged about this: Be careful when downloading software.

Alfred filled us in on the high definition DVD format wars. Paramount and DreamWorks are dropping the Blu-ray format to go with HD DVD exclusively.

Listener phone calls. On the show were Joe King, Hank Kee, Alfred Poor and Michael Horowitz.


August 15, 2007 Show

Microsoft released another clump of bug fixes, many for critical problems. Be sure to run Windows Update or Microsoft Update. The fixes are for bugs in many versions of Windows and Office.

There was a legal ruling regarding the copyrights for the Linux OS. Nokia will replace up to 46 million batteries in their cellphones - but it is not a recall. There were 100 reported incidents of them overheating while being charged. The model number is BL-5C.

There will be a service pack 3 for Windows XP. Is this a sign that XP will continue to be supported for a long time? It is still selling well and we all recommend buying a new Windows computer with XP rather than Vista. Windows XP is the official operating system of the upcoming Olympics in China. Why? Lenovo felt it's reliable.

We discussed whether Vista supports High Definition video. Star Office from Sun, the big brother to Open Office, is now available for free as part of the Google Pack suite of software. Previously it was only for sale.

Registry cleaners: Hank uses Eusing which is free. Michael and Alfred don't use anything. Joe uses System Mechanic 7 which is a commercial product.

Michael recently wrote about a free security program called DropMyRights on his CNET blog:

Listener phone calls. On the show were Joe King, Hank Kee, Alfred Poor and Michael Horowitz.


August 8, 2007 Show

The show starts its 24th year this week.

No one topic, instead we went over assorted computer stories in the news.

Sony is recalling some of their digital cameras due to, essentially, poor quality control. Do laser printers make office smog? Epson printer cartridges force you to replace all of them when one runs out of ink. Apple released a new line of iMacs starting at $1,120. Hank compared the prices to Windows machines and found the iMacs were much more expensive. Joe told of a Dell telephone salesperson that tried to sell someone much more than than they needed and more than Joe told this person to buy.

Do you have an IDE or SATA hard drive? IDE is the old interface between a hard disk and the rest of the computer. It is also called ATA and PATA. SATA is the new interface. If your computer is designed for one type of interface you have to buy a hard disk that has the same type of interface (ignoring PCI based adapters that are only available for desktop machines, not laptops). You can use free programs to tell which type of hard disk connection your computer has. Among these are the Belarc Advisor and Everest. We like SIW - Technician's Version 1.68 which is not only free but portable. Look for storage devices in the Hardware section.

New! You can now order a Gold Card at any time via the WBAI website.

Listener phone calls. On the show were Joe, Hank, Michael and Danny.


August 1, 2007 Show

Back to our normal format. No one topic, instead we went over computer stories in the news.

More on the patent office and royalty payments by online streaming radio stations. New York State and Chicago are complaining about the battery in the iPhone. Ethernet will be getting faster. Samsung is opening a new plant to make huge LCD HDTVs and solar panels. The head of Acer is complaining that Windows Vista stinks. We all endorse XP over Vista. Joe told a Dell salesperson story: he told someone to buy one of their new Vostro systems with specs that put the computer at about $500. This person did not have an Internet connection, so instead spoke to Dell over the phone and came away paying $1,200.

Listener phone calls. On the show were Joe, Hank, Alfred, Michael and Danny.