November 2008 Show Summaries
November 26, 2008  November 19, 2008  November 12, 2008  November 5, 2008 
November 26, 2008 Show

A survey said people will buy a lot of electronics on black Friday. Smaller flat panel TVs are more popular now has ads.

A substitute teacher in Connecticut was unjustly accused installing porno pop-up ads on a computer maintained by the school She was facing 40 years in prison and was wrongly convicted. There seems to be no lack of incompetance and corruption in the state of Connecticut.Forunately she was exonerated. See The Julie Amero forensic analysis.

Opera mini is now available on smart phones. There's a new version of Apple's Safari browser. Joe reviewed a bluetooth headset. Microsoft patched a bug that they have know about for 7 years. Atlantic Records now gets more than half their revenue from downloaded music.


November 19, 2008 Show

There won't be any more PC magazine in magazine format. None of the editorial staff are being layed off. It started way in 1982 and is based in Manhattan. It was the gold standard, the one by which other computer mags were judged.

In July 2009 Microsoft plans to release another free antispyware product. They already give away a program called Defender. Intel released a new CPU that is, of course, faster and but also uses less energy. It has more stuff built into the processor.

Microsoft is being sued regarding the marketing of XP based machines as "Vista ready" vs. "Vista capable". As a result some dirtly laundry being aired. They originally were going to go with a simple yes/no on whether a computer could run Vista but gave in to Intel which had a large supply of hardware that was not yet able to run the Aero interface. Many in the company felt this was a mistake but they did it anyway.

Vista has been both an artistic and financial failure.

Alfred explained some techie stuff about HDTVs such as why a TV with a resolution of 1366x768 is advertised as a 720p TV. As he explained, you always have to consider both the resolution of the TV set and of the picture being fed into the TV. Inputs are either standard definition, 720P or 1080I.

To display 720 pixels as 768 the TV does some fudging. Usually this is not noticable, if it is then its referred to as a scaling artifact. Doing this well is one thing that defines a higher quality TV. Alfred explained why sometimes a picture has black bands on all four sides.


November 12, 2008 Show

Circuit City filed for chapter 11 and will continue operation, for now. If you have a gift card from Circuit City use it now. Be careful on service agreements from them. Alfred doesn't think they will survive after the upcoming holiday season. already has some of the black friday ads. Prices are expected to go lower. Is Asus really phasing out their Netbook computers with the smallest screens, 7 and 9 inch screens? Three makers of LCD televisions were price fixing their panels and just agreed to pay a large fine.

IBEC hired IBM to deliver the Internet over electric power lines in rural areas. Basic service is going to be $30/month for 256k downstream. 1MB is $50 a month, pretty expensive. Panasonic is considering buying Sanyo. Hank told of a problem getting windows XP drivers for an HP laptop that shipped with Vista but he installed XP on it. AMD is laying off 25% of their staff. They own ATI so Hank wondered about driver development.


November 5, 2008 Show

There was another recall of Sony batteries for laptop computers. Digital Railroad, a site for professional photographers, went out of business. No more 7 and 9 inch Asus Netbooks will be sold. Windows XP can only be sold on Netbooks with a maximum screen size of 10 inches. Circuit City is closing 20% of their stores. More ISPs are testing limits on download bandwidth. Listener phone calls.

PC Notebook Computer Batteries Recalled Due to Fire and Burn Hazard from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Oct 30, 2008

Steve Bass, author of PC Annoyances, no longer is writing for PC World, and is now publishing his own newsletter, TechBite. Sign up for free at

For downloading YouTube videos, Alfred likes the RealPlayer Web Download and Record. Hanks preferred video downloader is the Eusing YouTube downloader.

Hank noted that Vista Basic can emulate the Aero glass interface if you know where to zap the registry. See enabling aero glass on Vista Basic.

Court Rules Business Concept Cannot Be Patented AP October 30, 2008