You no longer have to be an involuntary beta tester. Dr Dave guides you through the technology maze, separating the hype from technology that actually adds to the quality of your life.

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Practical pain free case mod.

Why do computer manufacturers still put most of the connections on the back of the computer? With Sunbeamtech's 20-in-1 superior panel I don't care. It moves many of the connections to the more convenient front panel of your computer.

It's relatively easy to install. (Those of you who need help with lightbulb replacement, toothbrush battery replacement and such, may need help.) Works well, looks good and is very affordable.

It's available at NewEgg , ComputerGeeks and other on-line retailers for around 25.00. Great Christmas gift idea!

Dr Dave

Outrageous political posturing to protect the children.

House Bill Requires Even Personal Hotspots to Report Certain Activities or Face Massive Fine

As usual the politicos who haven't a clue how technology works have passed a bill to require ANYONE with a wi-fi system to report a VERY wide range of images that may be viewed or transmitted on that connection, or face huge fines. This may encourage many community and public wi-fi providers to shut them down rather than face the legal liability. All in the name of protecting the children.

Rather than research the full potential effects of the bill prior to passing it, the legislators have rushed it through on a technicality and made significant changes to the bill prior to public scrutiny. I am not against protecting the children. I have a couple myself that need protecting. But a bill like this allows for much subjective judgement by prosecutors as to what images should be reported, and what is required in the way of reporting to be in compliance with the law. We could end up with many wi-fi "Duke Lacrosse" cases as the result.

When will we learn?!

Lenovo - Notebook computers - ThinkPad

25% discount on selected Lenovo ThinkPads + XP!

I have been a big fan of IBM's Thinkpad line of notebook computers. I own some myself. But I have become much less enthusiastic about them since the Communist Chinese takeover of IBM's Notebook and Desktop business.

I still think these are among the best built and performing notebooks available. The availability of the XP Pro upgrade and a 25% discount is very compelling indeed.

Most americans have false sense of online security

Verizon study reveals huge gap in Americans sense of online security and reality

We continue to battle user ignorance about on-line safety and what that requires. Most of us find the whole topic daunting, troublesome and irritating.

Fortunately we have many free tools that work quite well, and I talk about the techniques required every week on ComputerTalk with Dave Mason. But I'll revisit this now, because the majority of 'Netters obviously still don't get it.

Software you MUST have installed AND updated:
Firewall sucha as ZoneAlarm, Comodo, or Kerio
Anti-virus like AVG or Avast
Ad and spyware scanners and removers. I recommend Ad Aware and Spybot.
Rootkit tool such as Panda Security's Pavark.
All of these tools are FREE!

  • Update your operating system consistently.
  • Keep all anti-virus and ad/spyware remover software updated as well.
  • Run manual scans for viruses and ad/spyware periodically.
  • Know what protection software is on your computer.
  • Use multiple tools and layers of protection
  • Utilize IDVault to protect your secure Internet access for things like Online banking and shopping.
  • Protect yourself with an umbrella service called Lifelock. If somehow you are compromised, it almost won't matter.

All of the best tools or protections can be compromised with careless behavior, so...
  • click on links included in emails. Manually type the correct URL in your browser yourself.
  • visit high risk sites like porn or warez (pirated software) sites.
  • ignore potential threats. If you think there might be a problem, check it out.
  • count on your children to do it.
  • count on your ISPs products or services to protect you.
  • assume the hardware or software vendors will accept any responsibility for any problem.

ISP services and software and built in Windows XP SP2 features are better than nothing, but I prefer the modular 3rd party software and services for the most robust efficient and nimble protection. You may also opt for comprehensive products like Windows OneCare or Norton 360, but these are often bulky, cranky and in the case of Microsofts product, just poor protection. If you insist on using one of these "all-in-one"products, select Kapersky's or ZoneAlarm's. Of course these are not free.

If you are unwilling or unable to stay on top of the details of your updates and protection, pay someone you trust to do it. Perhaps you could sign up for my new personal service, Dr Dave's Housecall, and you'll have the peace of mind knowing I'm doing it for you...

Dr Dave