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Technology in the News

Technology is constantly changing and providing the casual user with challenges never dreamed of. Technology in the News is provided in an effort to assist you in getting the most out of your computer, while avoiding some of the pitfalls. Your computer really isn't out to get you. Why not learn to be friends?

      
 Title   Date   Author   Host 

heise.de

May 7, 2005

Google's e-mail service Google Mail is no longer issuing addresses for Germany from the domain gmail.com.

The service now only provides addresses for the domain googlemail.com because of a legal dispute over the brand name Gmail. Hamburg entrepreneur Daniel Giersch, holder of the brand "G-Mail ... und die Post geht richtig ab" (G-mail... the best way to go postal) has been granted a temporary restraining order to prevent Google from using the designation "Gmail” in Germany. In particular, Google has been banned from providing e-mail addresses with the domain ending gmail.com to German users. The service has therefore been moved from www.gmail.com to the server at mail.google.com.

Technology Marketing Corp.

by David Sims

April 28, 2005

One of the nation's leading cyberschool providers will soon be implementing a new text-to-speech component in which text can be highlighted by the student and the computer will audibly read the text back to the student.

Homeschooling, the oldest form of schooling in American history, is a dynamic, mushrooming multimillion dollar industry in the United States today, currently serving approximately 2 million students. It relies on the Internet more than traditional schooling and, according to advocates, is more adaptable to the latest technology than cash-strapped and cautious school boards.

MSNBC

by Michael Rogers

April 24, 2005

Will America's favorite technology really go dark next year? Depending on the outcome of discussions in Congress, television as we know it may end at exactly midnight Dec. 31, 2006.

That's the date Congress targeted, a decade ago, for the end of analog television broadcasting and a full cutover to a digital format. If enforced, that means that overnight, somewhere around 70 million television sets now connected to rabbit ears or roof-top antennas will suddenly and forever go blank, unless their owners purchase a special converter box. Back when the legislation was written, New Year's Eve 2006 probably looked as safely distant as the dark side of the moon.

MSNBC

by Alorie Gilbert

April 21, 2005

Think your kids spend too much time online? The organizers of the first annual National PC-Turnoff Week hope families will soon learn to kick the habit.

Kids between the ages of eight and 18 spend an average of nearly 6.5 hours each day, or 44.5 hours each week, using computers, watching television and playing video games, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation study. The study, released in March, also indicates kids are spending an hour more each day with video games and computers than they did five years ago.

MSNBC

by Rueters

April 18, 2005

IRS security flaws put taxpayers at risk, study finds. The IRS promised to fix any problems and find out if tax returns had been exposed to outsiders.

Computer-security flaws at the U.S. tax-collection agency expose millions of taxpayers to potential identity theft or illegal police snooping, according to a congressional report released Monday.

Circle ID

by Suresh Ramasubramanian

April 17, 2005

Larry Seltzer wrote an interesting article for eWeek, on port 25 blocking, the reasons why it was being advocated, and how it would stop spam.

This quoted an excellent paper by Joe St.Sauver, that raised several technically valid and true corollaries that have to be kept in mind when blocking port 25 -- "cough syrup for lung cancer" would be a key phrase. Yes, port 25 blocking is a good thing, but virus infected PCs can be hijacked by net abusers, and used for anything from hosting childporn sites to participating in DDoS attacks.

Uncle Fed's Tax Board

by National Tax Services, Inc.

April 15, 2005

"Where's My Refund'," the popular Internet-based service used by taxpayers to check on their federal income tax refunds, now offers a safe and easy way to trace refund checks and update a flawed mailing address.

These enhancements allow taxpayers to start a trace for lost or missing refund checks and notify the Internal Revenue Service of an address change when a refund check goes undelivered.

ZD Net

by George Ou

April 11, 2005

Larry Seltzer of eWeek, whom I have great respect for and usually agree with, wrote this article on dealing with spam using the controversial tactic of blocking all outbound port 25 access.

The logic behind this is that the vast majority of spam in the world comes from "zombies" (millions of computers that have been hijacked by professional hackers and spammers and are used as attack or spam platforms) that spew out tons of spam directly over TCP port 25 (a standard communication channel used specifically for e-mail). I think this is a bad idea. Here's why:

Eweek

by Larry Seltzer

April 8, 2005

The time has come for ISPs to block port 25 for consumer accounts. The rewards for this and other ISP management techniques could be large, but ISPs need to be careful about how they do it and tell users why.

Do you run a mail server on your home Internet account' If you do, it's probably without your knowledge, such as in a mail worm or a zombie spambot. Few if any people running these programs intend to do so, and it's time for ISPs to close the door through which they operate. I think there's a consensus developing among anti-spam researchers, many of them responsible for fighting spam on ISP networks, that unrestricted use of TCP port 25 must be shut down to the average Internet consumer. There are those who disagree, but their arguments sound obtuse and defeatist rather than actual justifications to not block port 25.

The Inquirer

by Burt Carver

April 6, 2005

No magic bullet, not yet, no-how

Recently there have been some previews of the Dual Core Intel chips, one at Anandtech and another over at HardOCP. Both reviews focussed on the strengths of the dual core chips, with currently available applications, and there are no real surprises: Heavy multitasking and currently multithreaded programs thrive under that environment.

      
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