Welcome to the 350th 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!
350 issues! I think I've only missed 1 or 2 issues, so I've been doing this
for almost 350 weeks or almost 7 years! On one hand, I didn't think that PCIN
would allow me to meet so many great people, and to get some much great software
and hardware. Then on the other hand, after almost 7 years you would think
I'd have more than 2069 subscribers. Hmmm. I guess I'll keep plugging away
In 1994, people had to call the bank to check their balances. Or inquire
in person, or wait for a paper statement to arrive in the mail. Baseball
box scores were found in the newspaper. Weather forecasts came over the phone
from the weather bureau, or on TV.
Back then, most Americans still had to lick a stamp to send mail.
Then along came the Internet, and an experimental browser called Mosaic,
followed by an improved browser from Netscape. And if you had a computer,
you discovered a new way to this cool, new thing called the World Wide Web.
Mosaic and Netscape were the first popular connection to what came to be
called the information superhighway.
According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, less than one
in five Americans were online in 1995. Today, the majority of Americans are
surfing the Web, exchanging e-mail, reading bank statements and ball scores,
checking the weather. Today, Pew says, two out of every three Americans spend
The year was 1986 and Bud Ballos was an eighth-grader, a proud owner of
a brand-new computer with what was to him "a weird thing" called
Remember the Apple II? It was a fixture - in the library, next to the card-catalogue
filing cabinet - in many a middle school beginning in the 1980s.
This was the start of the new computer, and at the time, I didn't really
know what it was," Ballos says of his very first desktop, its screen
no bigger than 7 inches by 5 inches, its color off-white, the kind of
plastic that starts to yellow after a while. In the early years, not
too many families actually had a computer at home. "I thought it
was cool. My friends thought it was cool. We'd look at it and go, 'Wow,
A new version of the Bagle virus is attempting to turn PCs into zombies
for use in cyberattack networks.
The variant surfaced over the weekend and was spammed to tens of thousands
of Internet users, Ero Carrera, a researcher at F-Secure, said Tuesday. The
antivirus software maker is calling the offshoot Mitglieder.CN, but it is
known by other names, such as Bagle.BQ or Tooso.J, at other security companies.
The latest Bagle behaves in a similar way to its predecessors that don't
self-propagate. It arrives in an e-mail with a attachment. When the file
is executed, the malicious program tries to disable firewalls and antivirus
software. It then attempts to download and run a Trojan horse that hijacks
the infected PC for use as part of a botnet.
Botnets are groups of compromised PCs, often numbering in the thousands per
network, that are rented out to relay spam, to launch denial-of-service attacks,
or to perform other malicious acts.
The number of internet users in China has risen above 100 million for the
first time, according to reports in the country's state media.
Only the US now has more web surfers as young and old Chinese take to the
internet in record numbers.
The figure is expected to grow rapidly in the next few years.
China's economic boom is behind the dramatic rise as increasing personal
wealth means more people are able to buy computers and go online.
As I'm sure many of you have heard, Google purchased a company called Keyhole
several months back. They just released their own version of that software,
and it's quite nice. I've had a chance to play with Google Earth briefly,
and it seems pretty much the same as the Keyhole software that Google bought
out. The user interface has been changed a bit, but the same basic features
are there. Of course the biggest change from Keyhole to Google Earth is that
Google Earth is free! You can pull up maps of the entire world, and depending
on the location pull up hotels, restaurants, street names, etc, get directions,
prepare a slideshow-type flyover, and much more. Besides the free version
there are versions that costs varying amounts of money. The Plus version
allow you to integrate a GPS. The Pro version is for businesses, and the
Enterprise version lets you integrate a lot more data.
Hey, the software is free. Go to the site, download it, and install it.
Play with it. It's fun! You can get more details and download it at http://earth.google.com/
As an amateur photographer who
likes to compete with
my work, I have been a member of a few websites where I can compete with my
photography, or show it off.
a very large member base that allows me to present my work to a group
of people and have them critique the work. Those critiques often
point out areas in my photography where I could improve.
a weekly challenge to keep me shooting a variety of subjects and
often has 500 or more entries for the challenges that start each
week on you guessed it, Friday.
Another website the I frequent has both weekly and monthly assignments; http://www.fredmiranda.com (look in the
forums, free registration necessary).
DPChallenge.com is another
site that offers weekly challenges. DPChallenge offers both free
challenges (requires free registration) or member challenges for
paid members of the site.
All things baseball
I'm a huge baseball fan. Lisa thinks it's boring; I could watch or listen
all day. Unfortunately I don't get many games, so I end up listening to the Toronto
Blue Jays on the radio almost every night for at least a portion of the
game. I love the history, the stats, and the sounds. I heard about a great
site today (on the radio) called Baseball Almanac: The Official Baseball
History Site. I'm not so sure that it is any official site, but it is
a phenomenal resource. It has stats, history, this day in history, polls,
jokes, a forum and much more. If you are interested remotely in baseball,
then you should check out http://www.baseball-almanac.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.
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