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If you win our Lucky Word contest, you have until midnight
of the Sunday following the show acknowledge that you won. Send us an email
message from the email address you provided when you entered the contest and
tell us your full name, where to mail your prize and a phone number.
Remember, when providing the lucky work, spelling counts! This weeks prizes are
the same as last week.
John Diebold passed away.
Diebold, 79; Pioneered Computer Use in Automation of Businesses LA Times
December 30, 2005
While the next generation of DVDs will soon be released with competing
formats, it is felt that consumers may bypass the technology altogether and
instead get high definition movies using video-on-demand.
Up to now, Podcasts were mostly a guy thing. But, women may be catching
Podcasts: A guy thing?
News.com December 27,2005
Question of the day: Over the last year, what was the most significant
invention/trend in the world of
Alfred: People bought more computers than they realized they did. There
are CPUs (computer processors) in
many devices and appliances. For example, the iPod, cellphone, automobile,
network attached storage.
Danny: A trend started yesterday - GPS. The European union launched their first
GPS satellite. The system is not yet ready, it may take a year or so. This will break
the US monopoly in GPS.
Hank: Computer electronic games are booming -
bigger than the movie industry. It grosses over $65 billion a year.
- Joe and Stevie: Podcasting. In January of this year it was interesting, but
esoteric. The one day, everyone was doing it. iTunes was a big part of this when
a free Podcast index. There are many other indexes too. Now there are millions of
Podcasts, including this show. At
the bottom of every page on this site is an orange XML logo that you can use
to subscribe to our Podcast. You can listen to a Podcast on your computer or on
an MP3 player, any MP3 player. Hank uses a Palm Pilot.
Alfred discussed TVs. He does not expect a drastic decline in the prices of
LCD or plasma models in the near future. However, by the end of 2006 he does
expect prices to be drastically lower than they are now.
While plasma and LCD televisions get the most press, Alfred is a big fan of
rear projection models. They are cheaper and it's what Alfred bought for his own
use. They can even weigh less than a plasma TV. Depth is now typically 8 to 10
inches thanks to new micropanels. A 40 inch rear projection High Definition TV
is about $1,800 to $2,000.
If you are buying a 40 inch TV, Alfred suggests rear projection.
If you are buying a 32 inch or smaller model, Alfred prefers LCD because it
offers more bang for the buck.
If you want over 40 inches, Alfred suggests plasma. Not
all Plasma is High Definition.
A flat panel TV can also be a computer monitor, if it has either a standard
analog VGA port or, better yet, a DVI digital connector. If you see a TV with
USB ports, it's an un-powered bus. Like the USB ports in a monitor or keyboard,
they let you plug USB devices into the TV/monitor in front of you, instead of into the
computer at your feet and under a desk.
How can you send email attachments over 10 MB? Gmail from Google limits
attachments to 10MB. Alfred suggested using www.yousendit.com. Joe suggested
a free Streamload account.
An AOL user sent email to Yahoo user by mistake. Can it be taken back? No.
Only when sending email from an AOL customer to another AOL customer can you
take back an email message. If you plan ahead, there are services
that allow this. Joe suggested not sending email messages immediately. He routes
sent emails to an outgoing folder, which gives him a buffer so he can change his
We are glad to answer questions off-line by email. However, if you use a
challenge / response type SPAM blocker it will bounce back our reply to us and
you will never see it. The bounce-back is because the replies do not come from
the same email address you write to initially. In fact, they may come from quite
a few different email addresses.
Dell is voluntarily recalling and offering free replacements for certain notebook batteries that were sold for use with some models of Dell Latitude TM, Dell Precision TM and Dell Inspiron TM notebook computers. It is possible for these batteries to overheat, which could pose a risk of fire.
There is new malicious software making the rounds, this time with a Christmas
theme. Be sure to update the virus definitions in your anti-virus program. We
are also big fans of the online anti-virus scan from Trend
Micro called Housecall. Beware of a message from Santa Clause. And never
open a file attached to an email message, unless you were expecting it.
Google, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems are together putting up $7.5 million
to fund a research lab with the goal of making more reliable computers.
AOL and Google cemented their existing relationship. Google paid $1 billion
to AOL for a 5% stake in the company and the right to handle all AOL
advertising. Also, AOL's Instant Messenger software will communicate with
similar software from Google called Talk.
We briefly discussed the online mapping programs from Google and
Seagate bought out Maxtor, both companies make hard disks for computers. Hank
was concerned about the effect of reduced competition.
Our guest tonight was Dr. Rebecca Mercuri and we discussed electronic voting.
It's bad. Her personal web site is Notable
Software. She recommended www.wheresthepaper.org
- a web site dedicated to election integrity.
New York City and State will be using new electronic voting machines soon. Oy.
There were new standards enacted for voting machines but due to the nature of
government, the standards will not be in place until after all the new
electronic voting machines have been purchased.
Florida continues to lead the nation in voting issues. Dr. Mercuri
pointed out that it is illegal to count ballots by hand in Florida. When Iraq
wanted an honest election, they counted paper ballots by hand. But not in
The new voting machines will not be very reliable and that's because the specs
for them say they don't have to be. The mean time between failure only has to be
163 hours. With a little math, Dr. Mercuri said that on any given election nine
percent of the voting machines are expected to fail. And possibly eat the votes.
Bye vote, bye.
Sometime in mid-January our guest will be Tony Bove author of: Just
say no to Microsoft How to Ditch Microsoft and Why It's Not as Hard as You
A couple callers complained that their anti-virus programs were greatly
slowing down their computers.
For buying a new CPU, Hank suggested zipzoomfly.com and newegg.com.
AOL offers a $300 computer made by SystemMax. The catch is you have to commit
to using AOL for a year, at $24 per month. Alfred said Tiger Direct, which sells
SystemMax machines will sell you the same price hardware without the AOL
Our guest was David Perry of Trend Micro. This was a fund raising show and,
as is our pattern, there were no listener phone calls. Most of the show was
pretty normal, just a few fund raising requests.
White knight rescues Kerio's free firewall
CNET News.com December 1, 2005. Quoting: "Sunbelt Software, best known for its CounterSpy
anti-Spyware product, said on Thursday that it has agreed to acquire the Kerio Personal Firewall from Kerio Technologies, saving the popular consumer desktop firewall product from the
chop ... Sunbelt will continue to offer a basic, free version of the firewall for home users and plans to announce reduced pricing for the full version of the product..."
Again! Yes, Sony shoots itself in the foot yet again. The previous outrage
about Sony copy-protected audio CDs involved software called XCP. But Sony
also uses another software product for copy protection, called Media Max (from
SunnComm Technologies). The latest trouble is with the Media Max software.
PC World magazine just released the results of their poll of 35,000 readers
about reliability and service. The top two companies for desktop computers were
Apple and Alienware. The top two companies for laptop computers were Apple and
Skype does video VoIP
The Register December 1, 2005
NBC teams up with iTunes
CNET News.com December 6, 2005. Quoting: "The iTunes store will offer 11 shows from NBC, USA Network and the Sci Fi Channel that range from oldies such as the 1950s cop show "Dragnet" to current shows such as "The Tonight Show with Jay
Leno ... $1.99 per episode for the television downloads ... The newly produced shows will be available for download a day after they air on TV."
We chose a single holiday gift for under $50. Hank chose a book, Joe chose a
portable, folding laptop computer stand, Danny opted for a USB thumb drive,
Michael suggested having your own domain (such as michaelhorowitz.com) and
Alfred opted for a Sirius radio receiver, despite the ongoing $13 a month (more
or less) fee. There was however, speculation that any satellite radio receiver
was as low as $50.
A caller had what she thought was a haunted computer. Every now and then she
would hear sounds through the speakers like a door opening or closing. We gave
her advice on how to tell if the problem was with Windows or mechanical. She had
taken the computer back and had it worked on, but the problem persisted. Later
in the show, others callers suggested that the problem might be AOL's Instant
Messenger program, which uses door opening and closing noises when buddies log
on and log off. A listener emailed later that even had this problem when not on
the Internet, the program sometimes randomly emits the open/close door