Confusing, Sleazy Checkbox Syndrome

(Please see update below) I am always amused by how even those companies you would think wouldn’t stoop to the foot-in-the-door tactics of spammers, do. Like this one from IBM, at the foot of a submission form — specifically for journalists, no less: (The text reads: This data may be used by IBM or selected …

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ThinkPad Joins the Exploding Laptop Parade?

Looks like the days of the laptop (and perhaps other gizmos) on airlines are numbered. First, Virgin becomes the third airline [CNET news] to place restrictions on Apple and Dell laptops, allowing them on planes only if the battery [Virgin site] has been removed, wrapped and stored in carry-on luggage. (Qantas and Korean Air have …

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Cupid’s (Possibly) Poison Arrow

Could Valentine’s Day be a phishing day? Internet Security Systems, Inc. reckons so, saying in a press release (no URL available yet) that the number of dating sites across the world has increased by 17 per cent within the last twelve months. ISS reckons this rise “is partly attributed to the increase in malevolent websites …

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IBM. It’s About the Service, Stoopid

I’m no great fan of big companies. They’re rarely innovative, their products are lousy, and unless you know how to get around them, they don’t like talking to customers. But some get it. Or at least, they used to. When I came out to Indonesia a second time, in 1998, I did two things. I got …

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Another Kind of Portable Device: The SoulPad

ZDNet reports on an interesting tool being developed by IBM — the SoulPad: The SoulPad could let users carry their computer’s data, applications and personal settings on their mobile phone or digital music player Researchers at IBM are testing software that would let you tote your home or office desktop around on an iPod or …

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RAMming Home An Old Point

For many of you this is a no-brainer but maybe some folk might find it helpful. I had to switch laptop the other day while one was being fixed and was horrifed to find how slow the replacement was. Every program, every file, every function loaded slowly and the hard drive was stuttering along despite …

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Interview With Firefox’s Ben Goodger

I was fortunate to be able to fire off some questions to Ben Goodger, Lead Engineer of Mozilla Firefox by email, for this week’s column on browsers in the Asian Wall Street Journal/WSJ.com (subscription only). Here’s a full transcript of the interview. 1) How different has it been, getting Firefox into shape, than if the …

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Keeping Out The Worms

Can we really keep out worms? An interesting piece from Information Security Magazine takes a look at a range of “antiworm” products which promise to contain worms by weeding out bad traffic. Among them: Mirage Networks, ForeScout, Check Point Software Technologies, Silicon Defense and IBM. They use different approaches, from looking for unfulfilled Address Resolution Protocol …

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HandyMan.Com, Coming Your Way

Here’s something for U.S. readers only: Find a computer repair guy online. For individuals and companies that can’t afford IT support personnel, ComputerRepair.com offers access to more than 3,000 technicians in all 50 states, and counting. It’s a kind of eBay of tech support: Users are encouraged to post their feedback and rate those computer repair …

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Apple Excites, Disappoints With iPod Mini

As expected, sort of, Steve Jobs has unveiled a new Apple iPod — smaller, more colourful and cheaper (but not as cheap as people thought). About 3.5 inches long and just half an inch thick, the iPod mini looks a bit like the old iPod, with the same jog dial, but comes in five colours, …

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