GNC-2007-11-23 #319

I am your special guest Jeffrey Powers from Geekazine to help Todd out. Tons of news including Top 10 Gadgets for Geeks this Holiday Season.

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DoorBuster Day Deals:
Wired Top 10
CNet Top 10
ZDNet Top 10
About.com Top 10
LinuxDevices.com Top 10
Scientific American 20
BBSpot Top 11
TopTenSources.com for Geeky Girls
WindowsforDevices.com Top 10

News:
AMD Spider Debuts Monday
Hush Technologies HS1
KDE 4.0 Final Stretch
Amazon Kindle Sells Out in One Day
PSStore and PS3 Firmware
Verison FIOS Boasts 50 Mbps
OLPC Extended to Dec 31st
Remote Controlled Nanoparticles Deliver Drugs to Tumors
Half Million Databases Have No Firewall
Firefox Leaving 80% of Bugs for 3.0 Release
Google Asking People to Perfect Maps
T-Mobile to Sell iPhone Without Contract
T-Mobile Replaces Faulty Sidekick
How Facebook IS turning the Blogging Community around.
G-Mail Crashing Browsers
Worlds Smallest Projector
White Dwarf Embodies New Category of Star
Leopard Tweaks
California Sues E-Voting Vendor
Free Software Files Copyright Lawsuits
How to Make a Green Tree Greener

Caught My Eye:
This Ladybug Cleans
Titanium Toothbrush
The Whole Internet on One Page
GoldMail
Procrastination Flowchart
Space Invaders Alarm Clock

Windows XP SP2 is a Must-Have Upgrade

Microsoft is readying the Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) upgrade for release in mid-2004. The upgrade will address many of the security problems that currently plague the company’s flagship operating system.

For example, the current Internet Connection Firewall is disabled by default and most users find it difficult to configure. In WinXP SP2 the feature is renamed Windows Firewall, enabled by default, and is prominently displayed. The new Windows Firewall will offer many of the features of third-party firewalls, such as ZoneLabs’ ZoneAlarm, a product that I currently recommend to all clients.

WinXP SP2 modifies the operating system’s wireless networking (Wi-Fi) service, allowing users to select primary Wi-Fi networks to which the system should always connect when within range. This will make laptop systems much easier to manage.

All users will be glad that Internet Explorer now blocks pop-up ads, negating the need to purchase a third-party web browser or ad-blocking application. Next to spam, I find pop-ups the most annoying downside to life online.

Outlook Express and Windows Messenger will block many dangerous file types by isolating file attachments so that they aren’t automatically executed upon receipt. By default HTML-formatted e-mail messages won’t display images, this will prevent web bugs embedded in e-mail messages from confirming your e-mail address to spammers.

Dave’s Opinion
I’m not a Pollyanna, believing that Windows is now a secure operating system, but Microsoft’s efforts will make it more difficult for crackers and spammers to ruin our online experience. But as my students constantly remind me, there’s no better line of security than an educated user. Learn all that you can about how to secure your system, keep your antivirus definitions updated daily, and don’t ever open a file attachment that you didn’t expect.

Call for Comments
What do you think? Leave your comments below.