Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Effect of Dell buying Alienware ? As you may recall, the upscale PC manufacturer was bought by Dell last March. Now it turns out they've childlishly cut off a reviewer because they didn't like a review written. Not that it was wrong, just it pointed out a unit was overpriced for what it offered.
Details here.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

More info on Firefox 2.0: All is not lost. Upgrading to 2.0 keeps your prior configuration, and if that was blocking 3rd party cookies, that functionality remains. That feature can be added anytime by the arcane method of entering about:config in the URL window, and hitting enter. Then set the key : network.cookie.cookieBehavior; the default value is 0 (all cookies allowed) you want a 1
(no 3rd party cookies).

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Delay for Vista: Microsoft has announced that Vista will be delayed and is not shipping to computer makers at the end of October. It still has 500 known bugs. Story here .
Apparently the retail versions, to be released in January will be released on time ready or not. We can safely predict that as Microsft working with Computer manufacturers will provide upgrade coupons for Vista to anyone now buying a new PC with Windows XP installed. The coupon will provide a free or reduced price copy of Vista (when available). Story here .
What will be interesting is to see what happens with these coupons. Will they be counterfeited out of Ukraine? Will they, or can they be resold on eBay?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Whither Firefox 2.0: I can no longer recommend Firefox, and I will not use Firefox 2.0.
They have removed the ability to block 3rd party cookies/tracking cookies/Spyware.
Others have noticed this perfidy also. Read here: I will continue to use Firefox, and perhaps being open software, someone will add back the necessary feature Mozilla has removed from Firefox 2.0. The released final version of Internet Explorer 7 still allows blocking of 3rd party cookies.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

No Salespeople Needed ? At a Macy's in Houston, TX, I happened across an iPod vending machine. Swipe your credit card, and select an iPod or any of a large variety of accessories. Strangely it was placed at the edge of the shoe department. Such machines apparently have been around for 18 months.
See here.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Internet Explorer 7 released: A non beta, non Release Candidate "Final Version" is now available from Microsoft. Download it here.

Followup : Less than 24 hours later, Security Flaw identified. And soon another.

Monday, October 16, 2006

I HATE SPYWARE : Yet many of the most "reputible" Internet Sites stick your computer chocky fulll of spyware in the form of "Tracking Cookies" so they'll know where you're going. They don't ask permission, they just do it, and in addition to violating your privacy, it slows your Internet connection down. Luckily it's easy to stop it all. Just configure your browser to not allow "Third Party Cookies", and that will stop Yahoo and others from their perfidy. Instructions here . I think all Browsers should as a default block 3rd party cookies; the only one I know that does that is Safari. Ironically, the Washington Posts' (home of the just linked instructions) web site is one of the worst offenders for sticking you with third party cookies (and tricks your browser into accepting some even when 3rd party cookies are blocked!) aka tracking cookies, aka Spyware, so make sure you clear your cookies after setting your browser and leaving that website; Instructions here. Cookies can helpful for a website, for instance to retain information as you navigate within the website, i.e. what State you live in, that you're already authenticated, etc. Therefore some websites won't work if you blocked all cookies. In theory websites could block you if you refused to accept third party cookies. Any such website, you shouldn't be visiting anyway.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Running MS Windows Vista RC2 on a Macintosh: Not too hard to do on a MacPro. Runs fast, doesn't seem all that different or better from Windows XP. In fact:
MS Windows Vista is likely to be the most insecure Operating System ever published.
Two main reasons.
1. Microsoft wants a piece of the antivirus program market and has locked competitors out of its Security Control Panel in Vista. Symantec and McAfee are playing chicken, and refusing to release a Vista compatible AntiVirus product. Not easy finding antivirus software for Vista RC2.
2. For security reasons Microsoft makes the user confirm EVERYTHING whenever you run an executible or download a plug-in. It's so annoying that quickly a user will likely blindly click OK for everything, thus totally negating the benefit of Microsofts' planning.