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Archive for May, 2007

Eset Smart Security Suite beta – Mini Review

Landlord, one of our Geeks in Training has done a mini-review of Eset’s new Smart Security Suite now in beta. Smart Suite adds a firewall and anti-spam function to the NOD32 anti-virus scanner.

I’ve just downloaded the new Eset Smart Security Beta to check it out, and see if Eset continue their tradition of low-memory consuming products. It offers anti-virus protection with the successful NOD32 engine along with a firewall and anti-spam protection. I haven’t checked its detection rates and success, but seeing as it’s based on the excellent NOD32 engine I know what to expect from it.

I’ve got a very good first impression: the interface is much better than it was in the original anti-virus product, which was very confusing and unfriendly. The new interface is uncluttered and better suited to the current Vista look.

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Linux Distribution Guide

This is a brief 4 page guide to the world of Linux distributions, primarily aimed at individuals who are new to the Linux scene, and who are thinking about taking the plunge and trying Linux for the first time.
Read the Guide

Windows Live Folders – beta

live folders beta (currently offline)

That’s the URL for the soon to be announced Windows Live Folders beta. What’s are Live Folders? According to Microsoft, “Password-protected online file storage. Always available where you need it.”

User will be able to access up to 500 megabytes of free storage (50 mb max per file), with either IE or FireFox, using a Windows Live account. There are three options for allowing access to these folders: private, shared, and public. The 500mb limit is rumored to be changed to unlimited after the beta.

Looks like Microsoft beat Google out of the gate this time! (Google’s gdrive project is similar).

More screencaps after the jump…

Windows Live Folders beta – more info [Live Side]

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Reminder: Laptop Battery Recalls

laptop battery

A reminder about some major laptop battery recalls over the last year:

The batteries have been identified by the manufacturers as having the potential to catch fire or explode. Although the chances are low, it worth a couple of minutes to click a link above and see if your laptop is affected.

EA unveils “The Simpsons Game”

simpsons game

There have been at least 21 tries before to make a successful video game based on the hit Simpsons TV show. All have flopped. The Simpsons Game is now under development by EA and will release for the PS2, PSP, PS3, Nintendo DS, Wii and the Xbox 360 in the fall of 2007.

So what’s different this time? Scot Amos, Executive Producer, The Simpsons Game says,

Our goal in developing THE SIMPSONS GAME is to create the most original game ever, which is a lofty goal and only possible given the close collaboration with ‘The Simpsons’ creative team. We’re also especially proud of the game’s warm visual feel, which captures – for the first time ever in a game – the look of the TV show.

Powerhouse EA badly needs an original hit. It’s also getting great support from the TV show cast and crew. All the characters voices will be represented, and the writers contributed over 8,000 lines of dialogue for the games 16 “episodes”.

The plot of the game is not based on the upcoming Simpsons movie, but instead revolves around the Simpson family finding that without its advanced knowledge or consent, it has become the basis of a new video game.

‘Simpsons’ game leads EA summer preview [ZDNet]

Microsoft oPhone

Spoofing the Apple iPhone, Microsoft pokes some fun at Apple, but mostly at itself.

The Windows Mobile oPhone Video [Inside Microsoft]

HDTV the new PC?

Mark Cuban, the outspoken owner of HDNet and the Dallas Mavericks recently blogged about the TV replacing the importance of the PC in US households. Among his claims are that in 18-24 months every HDTV will have a built-in web browser. That Web 2.0 content like YouTube is better geared toward the 10 foot from your TV experience, rather than 10 inches from your monitor. He’s not the only one, Arnie Berman, technology strategist for Cowen & Company wrote this:

In the past, consumers replaced their PC’s every 3 years and their televisions roughly every decade. Is this trend poised to reverse? Hint: Yes.

Interesting this talk is happening while network ratings are at their lowest point ever, especially among the 18-25 demographic. More people are tuning out their TV, and spending their prime time hours in front of PCs.

What do you think? Is the importance of the PC about to be replaced by the HDTV? Or, is it the other way around?

The Maturity of Web 2.0 and The HDTV is the PC [blog maverick]

30 – 50 times faster Internet?

No, it’s not a commercial for switching from dial-up to broadband. It’s the potential speed increase for existing cable Internet customers using a new standard DOCSIS 3.0. Download speeds of 160mps and upload speeds of 120mps are possible.

South Korea and Singapore are already deploying the new technology, and at least one US cable company (Comcast) plans to start next year. It will be rolled out first in areas where it competes with FiOS (fiber optic Internet). It’s estimated that by 2011 , DOCSIS 3.0 will be available to 40% of US cable customers.

160Mbps downloads move closer for US cable customers [ArsTechnia]

Geeks gone bad?

GeekSquad, the well marketed, much advertised, but seldom recommended tech support team at BestBuy is no stranger to bad publicity. A GeekSquad agent was recently caught video taping a client in the shower. Prior to that they were sued for using unlicensed software by Winternals.

Now it seems current and former agents are joining the chorus. (registration required) has some interesting information. For example, a new “agent”, Johnny Utah. He’s not an agent at all, but is simply a remote connection to techs in The Philippines and Malaysia. Plunk down $199 to have a virus or other malware removed, only to have the tech connect it to a remote connection, walk away and then collect your money?

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Dumbest Moments in Business

Business 2.0 is a technology business magazine published by Time. It periodically reminds readers the importance of backups, and publishes an annual list of the “101 Dumbest Moments in Business.”

On Monday, April 23, the magazine’s editorial system crashed, wiping out all the work that had been done for its June issue. Good thing they have a backup server. Oops! The backups server had never been needed before, and now that it was being called upon, it was discovered that no backups existed. It hadn’t been functioning properly.

Not all was lost. The text had been sent to the legal department, but all the layout and artwork was gone. Luckily, it’s a monthly magazine, and they still had a week until deadline. They will be able to get the issue to press.

Moral of the story? A backup plan is not enough. Periodically test it, to make sure it works. They may also have to make room in their annual list of 101 102 Dumbest Moments in Business.

Business magazine fails to heed its own tech advice []