Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Good News. Not-so Good News. And Friday Fun.

Best Security Software?

Let’s start with some good news (for the true Geek, at least) …

Welcome Back BYTE! BYTE, the most venerated tech media source of all time, is back!

Authoritative, trusted and deeply technical, BYTE set the bar for tech coverage for decades. And I’m thrilled and so pleased to announce its return today, right in the middle of summer 2011. It’s been too long!

Originally launched in 1975, BYTE ushered in the personal computer revolution. It was midwife to the birth of the Mac and the PC. In its pages, readers devoured each delectable detail. No one covered tech like BYTE.Read more..

Now for some not so good: earlier I brought to your attention an article on the [IMHO] dangerous HR 1981 data retention bill, and urged readers to click the link that provided means to voice your concerns to your representative. (To do so now, click here.) In case you missed it..

How The New ‘Protecting Children’ Bill Puts You At Risk

A bill now makes the online activity of every American available to authorities upon request under the guise of protecting children from pornography.. Protecting Children” forces ISPs to retain customer names, addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and dynamic IP addresses..

I filled in the form on the Electronic Frontier Foundation site, and I heard back from my rep, Anna Eshoo

“Child pornography is a scourge to our society, and I’ve consistently worked to combat it during my time in Congress.  As you may know, H.R. 1981 would strengthen child pornography-related provisions in the federal criminal code, and would require all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to retain, for at least 18 months, a log of all temporary IP addresses which are assigned to users. The collection of these records is intended to aid local and federal law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of child pornography-related offenses.”

.. which sure sounds to me like she will vote for it; and seems to this lil ‘ole country boy to prove the theory that if you put “protect the children” in the title, you can enact any idea, good or bad; and that no politician has the desire to be seen as “anti-child” or “soft on crime”. I certainly am not against helping law enforcement, nor am I against helping law enforcement go after those who traffic in child pornography. But I am against H.R. 1981. Please read the article (above).

And I hope more folks here in my area will write to Ms Eschoo — if enough do, I believe she will re-examine the possible ramifications of this particular law, should it be enacted.. And I hope, maybe, ask the Information Security industry what they think of it. And take a look at History, and see how many things actually were used as they were intended to be used.. and how many were misused.
I am not the only one who deems that H.R. 1981 is ripe for abuse.

• It is nice when I see my opinions stated by others.. Yesterday, I read an article, and I thought, “wow.. has this guy been following me?” (ha!) See, Who makes the best Windows security software? Surprise …

“Does antivirus software work? Online criminals have beaten traditional security software that relies on signatures and scans. But there’s an alternative: smarter software that turns the bad guys’ own actions against them. I found some refreshing new ideas from one of the oldest brand names in personal computing.Read more..

Best for last…

Winners Announced

And also, this week, the folks at Softland generously donated 10 licenses for novaPDF Professional to me, to award to my readers. I sincerely thank them for that.

novaPDF is a PDF creator for Windows that allows you to easily create PDF files (searchable and optionally PDF/A compliant). With novaPDF, everyone from novice users to professionals can create high-quality documents in industry-standard PDF format, by simply selecting the “Print” command from virtually any application.

Without further ado: The lucky winners are….

Congratulations to the winners, and, again, my thanks to the folks at Softland for making the giveaway possible!
(Winners, check your Inbox [and maybe your Junk folder] for the Subject novaPDF Winner)

Today’s quotable quote:Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” ~ Winston Churchill

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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August 12, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, Internet, tech | , , , | 13 Comments

Says it all…

This notice of a topic thread sort of had the unintended consequence of speaking most eloquently… and I have to agree with the “top answer”.

Related: Yesterday, I put up a link to an article that I think everyone who uses the Internet should get hopping mad about.. yet less than 1% of visitors thought to click the link and take a look-see.

The U.S. House of Representatives is currently considering H.R. 1981, a bill that would order our online service providers to keep new logs about our online activities, logs to help the government identify the web sites we visit and the content we post online. This sweeping new “mandatory data retention” proposal treats every Internet user like a potential criminal and represents a clear and present danger to the online free speech and privacy rights of millions of innocent Americans.

Please, take an interest, click here, and take a look at what I am talking about. It is talking about you.. not some faceless, unknown “millions” in some other state. You and I.

… shoulda called this bill H.R. 1984

Today’s quote:Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”  ~ William Shakespeare

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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August 3, 2011 Posted by | Internet, News, privacy | , | 2 Comments