Sunday, March 20, 2011

Weekly News (2011-03-19)

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Editorial


Events in Japan have shown us how fragile life is and how much we can depend on impermanency. Even the best laid-out plans will sometimes fail; mother nature has a funny way of reminding us that we should be humble and ready for the worst. At the same time, these tragedies reinforce our human resiliency and highlight the strength of the human spirit. ~Victor

SAFETY


ABOUT ELECTRICAL HAZARDS IN THE HOME: Summertime increases the demand for electricity and raises the risk of fire in homes with older or damaged wiring systems. Air conditioning equipment, electric grills, and attic fans are some of the seasonal appliances that can place added stress and strain on a home's electrical wiring and cause a potentially tragic fire.

SECURITY


RSA SECURITY BREACH DEMANDS CAUTION: RSA SecurID partners seeking answers about warning of compromised devices.
CAN YOUR BROWSER REALLY STOP SITES FROM TRACKING YOUR WEB BROWSING?: The latest versions of Firefox and Internet Explorer support a standard designed to stop the kind of tracking that spawns targeted ads. Whether it’ll work, though, is unclear.
ONLINE SCAMMERS USING JAPAN QUAKE AS A LURE: Scammers and online criminals are exploiting the disaster in Japan to lure in unsuspecting victims in order to steal personal information or load your PC with malware.
NEW HACKER TRICK DUCKS ANTI-PHISHING MEASURES IN FIREFOX, CHROME: A new phishing scam that targets bank and PayPal passwords and other consumer data that criminals use to loot private accounts is designed to beat security built in to Firefox and Chrome Web browsers.
BACK UP YOUR WEB E-MAIL ACCOUNT: Don't get caught in the next Gmail crash. Here's how to back up your cloud-based e-mail accounts.

WORTHY WEBSITE


BoingBoing: You can waste away many a happy hour at ├╝ber-blog BoingBoing, your one-stop shop for all things popular on the Internet (give or take a Goatse obsession). From goofy pictures of kids in robot costumes to erudite disquisitions on copyright and privacy, BoingBoing has its thumb on the zeitgeist, and it won't let up. And if BoingBoing's obsessions with DRM and robots start to grate on you, head over to http://www.xenisucks.com to indulge in a whole 'nother obsession.

WORTHY DOWNLOAD


KEEP YOUR PC INSULATED FROM INTERNET THREATS WITH FREE BUFFERZONE PRO: This simple "sandbox" tool creates a virtual environment that protects your PC from viruses, spyware, and the like. It used to cost $40; now it's free!

WINDOWS


WHAT IS A THUMBS.DB FILE?: Find out what purpose the Thumbs.db file has in a Windows XP folder.
MICROSOFT STREETS & TRIPS 2011 WITH GPS LOCATOR: Microsoft Streets & Trips 2011 offers updated maps but virtually no other upgrades, making it a dubious purchase at best.
MICROSOFT FOILS BOTNET; NEW INTERNET SHERIFF?: Analysis: Grandiosity, self congratulation after Rustock takedown don't bode well for future "operations."
MICROSOFT URGES OFFICE USERS TO BLOCK FLASH PLAYER ATTACKS: Microsoft Thursday urged users of older Office suites to install and run a complicated tool to protect themselves against ongoing attacks exploiting an unpatched bug in Adobe's Flash Player.
EIGHT FREE WINDOWS 7 TOOLS YOU HAVE TO TRY: Our Windows blogger recently found these utilities, which have made his PC environment that much more capable
INTERNET EXPLORER 9 SPEEDS PAST COMPETITION: Throw away what you think you know about Internet Explorer -- because the just-released IE9 will turn it all on its ear. Think IE is sluggish? Think again.

MAC


TAME YOUR TABS WITH KEY COMMANDS: If you sometimes find your desktop cluttered with multiple browser windows, try using tabs in Safari.
IPAD 2 COMPONENTS MAY BE IN SHORT SUPPLY: Analysis: The iPad 2 is already on back-order in many markets, and now Apple may find it difficult to replace certain parts in light of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
15-INCH MACBOOK PRO: SAME LOOK, MORE SPEED: Apple's new MacBook Pro line of laptops was lost in the publicity around the iPad 2. Virtually all of the changes in the MacBook Pro family are under the hood.

LINUX


10 WAYS TO E-PUBLISH WITH LINUX: "If you're looking for a low-cost way to create, publish, and market an e-book, be sure to check out these Linux tools."
NEW LINUX KERNEL GOES FASTER: Linux kernel 2.6.28 has been released, bringing performance improvements.
5 OF THE BEST FREE LINUX ROBOTICS SOFTWARE: LinuxLinks: "Linux has a good range of open source toolkits for building robotic control systems. To provide an insight into the open source software that is available, we have compiled a list of 5 of our favorite robotics software. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for anyone who wants to conduct research in robot systems."
53 OPEN SOURCE REPLACEMENTS TO SPICE UP YOUR DESKTOP: "We've collected 53 different open source projects that can make your desktop environment faster, prettier, easier to use or just a little different. They run the gamut from small utilities that do just one thing to open source operating systems that can replace Windows."
TROUBLESHOOTING LINUX SERVERS WITH TELNET: "The venerable Telnet is still a useful tool in the server administrator's toolkit. Juliet Kemp shows how to test basic SMTP, IMAP, HTTP, and IRC server functions with Telnet"

GENERAL/NON-COMPUTER


6 MISTAKES THAT KEEP YOU FAT: Start by performing triage on the six eating habits listed here. But don’t try to banish them all at once. "Target just one or two behaviors at first—ones that you can make the most difference by changing," says Jennifer McDaniel, R.D., of St. Louis University.

DID YOU KNOW?


WIZARD: (1) A utility within an application that helps you use the application to perform a particular task. For example, a "letter wizard" within a word processing application would lead you through the steps of producing different types of correspondence. [More …]

OFFICE RELATED


RECLAIM SPACE IN MICROSOFT EXCEL BY CHANGING TEXT ALIGNMENT: Having just a column or two extend past the right edge of the screen is annoying. A simple way to reclaim text is to angle column labels.

SELF-IMPROVEMENT


TEN REASONS WHY HOLOGRAPHIC CREATION IS MORE POWERFUL THAN VISUALIZATION: Creating reality in the moment is holographic creation. You can also call it manifesting in holographic time. You create what you want on a spiritual level (quantum level), and then it grows until it becomes crystallized into physical reality.

WEEKLY VIDEO


A SOLAR PROMINENCE ERUPTION FROM SDO: One of the most spectacular solar sights is an erupting prominence.

OTHER NEWS


SEAGATE BARRACUDA GREEN (2TB): The pricey 2TB Seagate Barracuda Green is feature-loaded and faster than competing low-power hard drives.
WESTERN DIGITAL INTRODUCES 6TB DUAL-DRIVE STORAGE: If running out of room to store your data is a concern for you, know that Western Digital aims to make that a thing of the past with its new My Book Studio...
GNU FREE CALL: AN OPEN SOURCE SKYPE ALTERNATIVE: This planned service could add security while preventing any intervention or interruption of communications.
EXPERTS SEE WIDE USE OF FLASH-HARD DISK HYBRIDS BY 2016: A quarter of new laptops and half of new desktop PCs will adopt an emerging data storage method by 2016, pairing flash memory with traditional hard disk drives...
CHINA SHUTTERS 130,000 INTERNET CAFES AS IT SEEKS MORE CONTROL: China shut down more than 130,000 illegal Internet cafes in the country over a six year period, as part of crackdown to control the market
THE COST OF CHROME OS: $250 OR LESS?: When I wrote about Google's experimental CR-48 Chrome OS notebook last December, I guessed that it might cost about $449 if it were a commercial product. That seemed high for a device that was entirely dedicated to accessing the Web (and nearly useless when you couldn't get online).
10 THINGS TO DROOL OVER IN FIREFOX 4: Speed, simplicity, privacy, security and HTML5 support are among the features that promise to make Mozilla's new browser a winner.
PHOTOWORKS SHUTS DOWN APRIL 4: Customers get a $30 credit to transfer their images to Shutterfly, in the latest website hand-off.

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