The Personal Computer Radio Show  WBAI-FM 99.5
New York City



July 2008 Show Summaries
July 30, 2008  July 23, 2008  July 16, 2008  July 9, 2008  July 2, 2008 
July 30, 2008 Show

This was a fund raising show, there were no caller questions.

Great space photos are available at nasaimages.org. Yahoo music online store is shutting down and taking some of its DRM with it. Assorted other stories, ripped from the headlines.

Michael explained about the current DNS flaw on the Internet: what the flaw means to you, how to test if your computer is vulnerable and what to do if it is. You can test if your computer is vulnerable to the DNS problem at https://www.dns-oarc.net/oarc/services/dnsentropy and at www.doxpara.com. However, the best approach is not to use a website name because the nature of the problem is that you can't trust names. Instead, you can access the test at dsn-oarc.net with http://149.20.3.33/test/.

A review of some of the software on our DVD toolkit, a collection of free software we offer as a membership premium.

 

July 23, 2008 Show

This was a fund raising show, there were no caller questions.

Hank told of a problem installing software on Windows Vista. What worked for him on the Ultimate version didn't work on the home version for his daughter. An admin user needs to grant themselves authority to install software. Microsoft's suggestion is to turn off all security, install the software and then all the security back on. But, that doesn't work in the home versions. This could have been an ad for Windows XP.

Sandisk is losing money as the price of flash ram falls, so they are expected to temporarily close a factory to limit supply and stabilize prices. That means, buy flash ram now as the price is likely not to continue to fall.

A new scam email message purports to be from UPS. Andrew Cuomo is after Comcast to block 88 Usenet newsgroups that have carried child porn. eBay will make the identity of counterfeiters available to the legitimates manufacturers.

 

July 16, 2008 Show

Alfred will be on Fox Business news network discussing How to buy an HDTV. Centrino 2 is a marketing ploy. Two more ISPs will block newsgroups. A new fast computer from IBM. Is it time yet to install Windows XP SP3? Price drop on the Asus 900 Eee PC. ZoneAlarm knocked Windows XP users offline, there is a fix from vendor. eBay is changing their business model, they signed a new agreement with buy.com. The MagicJack terms of service. Who is responsible for fakes being sold on eBay?

 

July 9, 2008 Show

Kodak released a new camera sensor. Microsoft will provide bug fixes for Windows XP until 2014. Microsoft started renting Office for $70/year. Heat problems with nVidia graphics processors.

Joe reviewed Magic Jack, a USB thumb drive that does VOIP for cheap. You plug one end of the thing into a USB port and a normal telephone into the other end. The initial cost is $40 for one year of VOIP service and the hardware. After the first year, VOIP service will be $20/year. They offer unlimited calling to the US, Canada Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. You can call to normal phones and you get your own phone number - in an area code of your chosing. Joe got a 917 number but New Yorkers can also get a 718 number. Like other VOIP services, the hardware device is your phone number. Wherever it is, your phone number is. Joe found that the sound quality varied, but that's true of all VOIP services. If you only use it as a phone, Joe said it was wonderful. However, the extras were another story. In particular, Joe had problems with voicemail. MagicJack supports Windows XP, Vista and Macs. Joe only tried it with Windows XP.

Joe reviewed the Amazon Kindle a handheld device for reading books. It has a bi-stable screen that uses no electricity once an image is on the screen. The screen is very readable for text, graphics are poor. You can change the font size and there is no scrolling, the entire page reflows. The screen is 6 inches diagonal and the device weighs 10 ounces. Over two hundred books can fit in a Kindle which comes with free bult-in wireless broadband (the Sprint network) that's used to download books purchased from Amazon (about $10 each) and newspapers. Books take 2-3 minutes to download. It would be great for college kids carrying many textbooks around. You can highlight words and add a note that will stay with the book page forever. There is an SD card slot for backup that takes up to 4GB. It also has a USB cable to xfer data to a computer. You can use the wireless broadband to browse the Internet and read email but there isn't a full featured web browser. It costs about $350.

If you use ZoneAlarm and installed bug fixes from Microsoft yesterday, you may no longer be able to get online.

Listener phone calls.

 

July 2, 2008 Show

To be a computer technician in Texas you have to be a licensed private investigator. In a huge rebuke of Microsoft, Intel is not going to install Vista on the computers of their 80,000 employees. They evaluated the pros/cons and costs in detail. Hank and Alfred felt that Microsoft has to change their business model. There is a big demand for the desktop Atom CPU from Intel which uses very little electricity.

Rhapsody, a download music site, will now sell the 5 million songs in their library in non-copy protected form (no DRM). Alfred felt that Apple will have no choice but to follow suit as almost everyone knows how to defeat their DRM. The prices of flash ram memory. Yesterday was a huge patch day for Mac OS X Leopard. This was the fourth major release of bug fixes for Leopard.

There are many ways to still get Windows XP, even though it was sort-of, maybe, somewhat discontinued a couple days ago. Retailers can continue to sell computers and copies of the OS they have in stock. The major PC vendors will sell you a computer with XP Professional pre-installed if you first buy a business edition of Vista and then ask them to "downgrade" it. This is currently scheduled to end January 31, 2009. Some retailers, such as NewEgg, sell OEM copies of Windows XP in shrink-wrapped boxes. These copies are intended for System Builders but anyone can buy them and install it on a new PC. However, there is no tech support. This too, is scheduled to end on January 31, 2009. To fight off Linux, XP Home will continue to be available on low end laptop computers until 2010. All the major PC vendors sell "refurbished" machines and many of those still have Windows XP.

Sometimes Windows Vista will step down it functions if its running on a computer without sufficient horsepower. The difference between backing up and synching. What is an incremental backup. Your PC is not off when it's off.

Listener phone calls.

 

 
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