Welcome to the 288th 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!
The weather has been a lot nicer lately as you can see by the pictures above.
We have been getting a lot of rain, but the grass is green and the flowers
are growing. When it's dry, it is fun taking Andrew out to play.
"More than 70% of people would reveal their computer password in exchange
for a bar of chocolate, a survey has found.
It also showed that 34% of respondents volunteered their password when asked
without even needing to be bribed.
A second survey found that 79% of people unwittingly gave away information
that could be used to steal their identity when questioned.
Security firms predict that the lax security practices will fuel a British
boom in online identity theft."
"If recent research projects bear fruit, it won't be too many years
before magazines play videos and semiconductors roll out of inkjet printers.
Workers at Xerox and TDA Research independently unveiled methods this week
for making transistors out of plastic rather than silicon, in ways that could
be commercially viable.
Such a shift in materials could drastically reduce the cost of computer displays
because chipmakers would not have to build multibillion dollar factories
to make semiconductors to power these devices."
"The net is being used by racist and extremist groups trying to recruit
new members and spread their message.
A report detailing 200 of the websites monitored by the Wiesenthal Center
shows how sites have become key fund-raising and marketing outlets.
Some sites feature games that let visitors 'shoot' illegal immigrants, Jews
and black people, said the report.
In 2004 websites seeking to recruit youngsters to join holy wars and become
suicide bombers have surged, it said."
"Researchers have set a data transmission record over the Internet2's
The record, announced Tuesday at the Spring 2004 Internet2 member meeting
in Arlington, Va., was for transmitting data over nearly 11,000 kilometers
at an average speed of 6.25 gigabits per second. This is nearly 10,000 times
faster than a typical home broadband connection. The network link used to
set the record reaches from Los Angeles to Geneva, Switzerland.
Internet2 is a consortium of more than 200 universities working with industry
and government to develop next-generation Internet technology. The Internet2's
contest, which began in 2000, is open and ongoing, and it tests researchers'
ability to build the highest-bandwidth, end-to-end Internet Protocol network."
"We've all heard the cliche, 'There's no such thing as a free lunch.'
This is as true on the Internet as anywhere else. Whether it's through advertising,
or through the use of your personal information, you're going to have to
pay somehow. The key is to understand what you're agreeing to and what you're
willing to pay for something that claims to be free.
There's a new type of software out there that you may have heard about. It's
called spyware and the most common way it gets on your computer is when you
are downloading something else that claims to be free."
Check out this article from the Microsoft Security web site at http://www.microsoft.com/security/articles/spyware.asp
Benchmarks and Scoring Tool
"The Benchmarks are compilations of security configuration actions
and settings that "harden" Windows 2000, NT and XP operating systems.
The CIS Scoring Tool provides a quick and easy way to evaluate your host
systems and compare their level of security against the Benchmarks. Tool
reports guide system administrators to harden both new installations and
active production systems. The tool is also effective for monitoring systems
to assure that security settings continuously conform with the Benchmark."
Compare your system at http://www.cisecurity.org/bench_win2000.html
I received this email recently from subscriber Prasanta Das Gupta:
" am a regular reader of your e-news letter. I have developed an Addin for
Excel which contains 76 utils and is called powerutils. The earlier version was
voted "Best Software of the Month" by PCQuest India (feb04) and also
featured in IC Chip(feb04) & Think Digit (apr04). The current version is
1.8 beta stage. My website is http://www.powerutilsnet.com.
If you feel the utils are useful you may please share my web address with your
readers so that they can use my addin for free and save some of their valuable
I haven't tried the utilities, but they sounded good. Check it out at http://www.powerutilsnet.com/
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.
If any of the links are too long to fit on one line, you may have to cut
To subscribe another address or unsubscribe, please visit http://PCIN.net/ and
follow the appropriate links.