In May of this year, Windows XP will no longer be supported by Microsoft. Then, the release candidate for Win7 will be downloaded by millions of people and the transition will begin, leapfrogging the ill-conceived Visa OS. Except for the skilled, it is going to be one tremendous slap around for most of the country. Those who were learning, and those who thought that they knew are going to be in for one big setback. Their newly acquired and hard earned computer skills will be once again. obsolete. Computer literacy has, in the main, been explained in terms of ability to work within the Microsoft product family. Right now, there are hundreds of thousands in job-retraining programs and in remedial instruction to give basic computer skills. Once those machines begin to flow throughout the system, a lot of marginally skilled workers who are just now being able to...
Monthly Archive: March 2009
Reuters reports that, as the economy worsens all over the world, cyber crime is increasing dramatically. Read the full story here. The crimes include old friends, such as the Nigerian scam and auction fraud, as well as credit card fraud, Ponzi schemes, and, according to sources I have read elsewhere, mortgage relief schemes. Here is an excerpt: Scammers in the United States comprised 66 percent of complaints referred to authorities, followed by Britain at 11 percent, Nigeria 7.5 percent, Canada 3 percent and China 1.6 percent. Within the United States, the bulk originated in California (16 percent), followed by New York and Florida. Fraudulent sales on online auction sites like eBay Inc and classified sites like craigslist.com contributed to a 32 percent rise in the hottest area of online fraud — non-delivery of promised merchandise, the report said. That area alone made up about 33 percent of all...
This week, the Podcasts will be done using a Blue Snowball Microphone. We will show how a USB and a XLR mic works in Podcasting.
Geekazine is implementing a simple survey to find out what you think of the weekly Podcast. This is for the main Podcast only (Quickcast survey will be done later). It will give you an opportunity to voice what you like or dislike on the show. The survey does have an option for you to say who you are, however you can remain anonymous. I do ask that if you do not put in your name, to at least put in your location. The link is below. Thank you for your input! Take the Geekazine Podcast Survey
The latest answer, the latest of many, to the question of “earth, the universe, and everything” in computerdom seems to be cloud computing, in which users’ applications and data exist not on their local machines, but up there, somewhere, in the “cloud.” (Aside: In the olden days, when I was a young ‘un, it was called “networking,” but “networking” is not a new, marketable term, so the marketeers disdain it.) I am as skeptical of this as I was of doing grocery shopping via the internet.
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSIn 1993, Chris Clark purchased Pizza.com. He figured it would be a great domain to have. Boy was he right, but it took him 15 years to realize it. After a couple attempts he decided to squat on the domain for a while – That is until last year. Chris decided after he heard Business.com was sold for 7 Million to try auctioning off his domain. He contracted the domain selling site Sedo.com to help out. The end result: Chris sold the domain for $2.6 Million. Other items on the Quickcast: Week in Tech History include Netscape forming, Netscape forming the Open Source initiative called “Mozilla”. Gmail goes into beta and also incorporates Google Calendar. All this and a lot more tech history in the Podcast. Brought to you by GotoMeeting. www.gotomeeting.com/techpodcasts for a 30 day free trial
I have been reading on Conficker for a while now. It’s basically a worm that uses your computer to spread itself. The newest variant is feared to wreak havoc come Wed, April 1st. But if it does, how much damage are we really talking about? First of all, lets throw it out on the table: if you have your Anti-virus and Windows updated, then totally scanned your PC, you should be good to go. If your Anti-Virus hasn’t been updated in a while (Some IT people feel they are impervious to getting a virus. Silly people), then update now.
Keep those firewalls up and those computers updated. The New York Times reports on a cyber-spying ring originating from China. Read the full story here. An excerpt:
The best part is this is the last snow of the season and hopefully it won’t be as bad as they say. Just wet slush. Just a small annoyance, then warm weather. Now on to some cool stuff. I stopped by SWAP – Surpluss with a Purpose the other day. Basically, it’s a shop that gets furniture, computers and other interesting stuff from the University and other government offices. They then refurb and resell. I was at the shop the other day and picked up a couple SATA hard drives for a few bucks. I went there looking for office chairs and couldn’t resist the deal. Didn’t get a chair though. Keeping my eye open for the right one. We have some cool stuff happening. The big news on Tuesday in which I cannot really talk about, but some other great news is that we are starting another...
Geekazine.com will have a Big announcement sometime on Tuesday. I cannot say what it is, only that it’s big news. Please check in for the Video announcement on Tuesday, March 31st. apx 1 PM.
Reuters reports: The company is preparing to offer commercial accounts in which corporations and other types of businesses pay a fee to receive an enhanced version of Twitter, a free service that allows people to send short, 140-character text messages to their network of friends. Read the full story here. There were hints that this might be on the way in this radio interview two weeks ago.
According to Bloomberg News, the FCC reports that viewer ratings for stations that have already switched to digital only over-the-air broadcast signals have dropped nine per cent. Read the full story here. Most stations are waiting for the June deadline, which Congress earlier this year pushed back from February. I suspect that, whenever this goes down, some people are going to have problems. Delaying the switchover isn’t solving anything; it’s just delaying the problems.
A security expert testifies that electronic voting machines are insecure, not that this will surprise anyone who has geeky in-depth knowledge of computers. This story comes, though, not from a source sanctioned by or connected with a political party, but from a CIA security expert testifying before a Congressional committee. Note that, in his testimony, he stated that he was not speaking for the CIA. This story led me to think about moving to new technology just because it’s there.
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSEye Issues – Tech Roundtable – IE8 – Following new Bloggers Try GoToMeeting free for 30 days – No CC needed: GoToMeeting.com/techpodcasts. Get IT Certified – Careersaver.com – 25% off with Code “Geek08” 877-654-2265 Put Your Financials into order – Edward Jones All Show Notes are also on Delicious
Another company has joined the Facebook world, Reuters reports. Read the full story here. Here’s an excerpt: Starting on Tuesday, Netflix users can use Facebook Connect — software that links individual Facebook pages to third-party Web sites — to share their ratings of Netflix rentals with their Facebook friends, the companies said in a statement.
I have a friend. He is looking for a new computer, but is not sure whether he wants a PC or Mac. Since I have lived in both worlds, I could tell him the pros and cons for both. However, I am a techie. I suggest a computer based on my techie knowledge. We both agreed that he wanted a “Everyday” opinion. We went out to the coffee shops and talked with the people and the computers they used. Some have it for work, others either got their computers as gifts. Those that did buy their own computer got the info from another IT person. There was one that did use Consumer Reports to choose his computer. He was happy with his machine and it weighed in on my friends decision. But he wanted a lot more.
Michael White, from Washington University Medical School, considers why mediocrity is so common and answers the question with a Plinko game. Read the full story here. There’s an excerpt below the fold.
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSThe Amiga has been sort of an enigma in the computer industry. It started in 1982 as the Amiga corporation, then Commodore purchased the line to put in their family of computers. The computer was held high for video production – with a video toaster, the system could do as much as a mac or PC, but for less price. Commodore of course folded up, but the Amiga line still tried to thrive. On March 27th 1997, Gateway 2000 decided to take over the reigns and be the home to this great machine. We have since seen Gateway come and go. Other historical notes for this week – the EU lands a fine on Microsoft, Microsoft splits into 5 while Motorola splits into 2. Seagate gets bought by Veritas and Kevin Mitnik pleads guilty to wire fraud. Finally we see Excel 4.0...
So last week on Thurs. I got sick. Didn’t think much of it, took some nyquil and slept the day. That night I was feeling much better, but Friday was a different story. That night I was ok and Saturday I was good until I wasn’t. We did a show and when I got home, I knew it was something more. Sunday was a blur. Monday was a semi-blur.
Saturday March 21, 2009 – 4pm Eastern – 1pm Pacific We have three presentations * United Plastics – Soundproofing the Home Theater and Podcast Studio * OReilly Technical School – Online Certification Programs thru University of Illinois * Geekazine Podcast – Jeff Powers Secrets of Microphone Placement and EQ Free TV : Ustream
Almost everyone has gotten a pop-up somewhere along the line warning us that our computers may be at risk. Then, with a little investigation, we find that our computers are not at risk but our wallets are. If we accept the offer that the pop-up beckons us to, we get nothing, except possibly more ads and spyware and a bill. The USA outlawed that stuff several years ago. The Guardian reports today that a company which has tormented computer users in the UK for years with that type of popup has mysteriously disappeared. Read the full story here. Here’s an excerpt: For two years, Technology Guardian has reported on the pop-up biller Micro Bill Systems Ltd and its successor, Platte International Ltd, based in the British Virgin Islands (but with a “management company” in the UK). Now, Platte International (UK) Ltd has shut down, leaving behind it a...
The New York Times speculates on what the Conflicker worm is all about. Read the full story here: Speculation about Conficker’s purpose ranges from the benign — an April Fool’s Day prank — to far darker notions. One likely possibility is that the program will be used in the “rent-a-computer-crook” business, something that has been tried previously by the computer underground. Just like Amazon.com offers computing time on its network for rent, the Conficker team might rent access to its “network” for nefarious purposes like spamming. Make sure your Windows boxes are updated, your firewalls are secure, and your anti-malware programs are current.
Bloomberg quotes Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft’s efforts to become a player in internet searches. Read the full story here: “Google does have to be all things to all people,” Ballmer said yesterday in an interview in New York. “Our search does not need to be all things to all people.” Google may be tentative about changing the look of its search pages, causing the company to take fewer risks, said Ballmer, 52. The challenge is similar to what Microsoft faces with its Windows operating system, which needs to appeal to a broad range of customers, he said. I find Mr. Ballmer’s position interesting for a number of reasons.
From MarketWatch, which reports that Microsoft “unveiled Internet Explorer 8, the newest version of its Web browser. The software will be available for download in 25 languages at noon Eastern Time on Thursday at Microsoft’s Website.” Here is a link to the IE 8 webpage.
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFlu – WiFi issues – Colin – Mountain Dew – Voicemail – Last of CES VideoIf you like the CES Coverage, please support the site. Use Pod125 at GoDaddy.com Try GoToMeeting free for 30 days – No CC needed: GoToMeeting.com/techpodcasts. Get IT Certified – Careersaver.com – 25% off with Code “Geek08” 877-654-2265 Put Your Financials into order – Edward Jones All Show Notes are also on Delicious