Welcome to the 282nd issue of the PC Improvement News. PCIN consists mainly
of news and tips. There is something for everyone, and if this is your first
issue, I'm sure there will be something for you. If you give me two or three
issues, I know that you will come back for more!
Nothing much to report on this week. The weather has been improving nicely.
All of that snow we got in January is finally gone. The sun is rising earlier
and setting later. It certainly brings a brighter feeling to the day.
Chris and I are still working on some reviews. We hope to have them done soon
so we can move on to some new things. Stay tuned!
"Imagine doing a Google search for a phone number, weather report or
sports score. The results page would be filled with links to various sources
of information. But what if someone typed in keywords and no results came
That's the scenario critics are painting of a new bill wending its way through
Congress that would let certain companies own facts, and exact a fee to access
"Microsoft has been mailing free copies of its pricey Office productivity
software to government employees, but CNET News.com has learned that at least
two federal agencies are warning recipients to return the gifts or risk violating
federal ethics policies.
Since the launch of Office 2003 last year, Microsoft has given out tens of
thousands of free copies of its flagship software, which retails for about
$500, to workers at its biggest customers. The giveaway was expanded to government
workers this year, but ethics offices at the Department of the Interior and
Department of Defense have said the offers constitute unauthorized gifts
and must be returned.
"Employees are still swapping music and other files on peer-to-peer
applications at work despite the legal threat from the record industry, a
survey released on Wednesday said.
Forty-two percent of the 300 respondents said they continue to use file sharing
applications like Kazaa and networks like Gnutella, and 38.6 percent said
they do their file swapping on company networks, according to the poll conducted
by security provider Blue Coat Systems Inc."
"A misconfigured spam filter blocked Comcast Corp.'s five million high-speed
Internet customers from reaching Russia for four days.
Until the filter was corrected Tuesday, customers could not send e-mail to
users with Russian ".ru" domains, the company said."
"This web site is devoted to what stinks about computer products (hardware,
software, web sites); specifically to the problems I've experienced in using
them. It exists because the errors, bugs, poor documentation, and occasional
stupidity in the field drives me nuts.
These gripes are not product reviews, which typically describe the features
of a product and what's good about it. Instead they fill in the gap, focusing
exclusively on what's bad about a product. The intention here is not to rate
or judge products, in fact, I continually use many griped about products."
Check it out at http://www.computergripes.com/
Experience Google's new look
From Jesse Ruderman's blog (Posted on March 06, 2004 at 08:50 PM in Bookmarklets,
"Google has been testing a new look with a small percent of visitors. I
wrote a bookmarklet that lets you make Google show you the new look:
toggle google look
(Drag it to your bookmarks bar, visit google.com, and click on the bookmark.)
It works by changing the ID in your Google cookie to 102c51875a8839e9, the
ID of one of the visitors Google randomly selected to test the new look.
If your ID is already 102c51875a8839e9, it sets it 0000000000000000 (anonymous),
letting you switch between the old and new looks quickly. Since the bookmarklet
only changes the ID part of the cookie, it preserves your settings, such
as the number of results per page.
Thanks to jcurious for pointing out the Neowin thread in which "poind" posted
the ID from his Google cookie."
Get the bookmarklet at http://www.squarefree.com/archives/000369.html Note: A bookmarklet is a bookmark that is also a script. When you add
the bookmark to your Links toolbar, you will get a warning, but I have used
this and have found it to be safe. When you visit Google, do a search, then
click on the toggle google look and you'll see a whole new look
Burn your labels right on to your CD/DVD without using a printer
PCIN is brought to you by Graham Wing. The opinions expressed are those of
the Editor, Graham Wing and the Assistant Editor, Chris Empey. Graham Wing
and Chris Empey accept no responsibility for the results obtained from trying
the tips in this newsletter.
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