Free Anti-Spyware software from the makers of Zone Alarm

free-antispyware-download-from-the-makers-of-zone-alarm.jpgCheck Point Software is offering a free download and install of its basic version of ZoneAlarm Anti-Spyware. You may recognize the ZoneAlarm brand from their award winning and industry leading Firewall application. I used to sell security software and I didn’t want to compete against them because they make a good product.

Go to this website to get a download link. You must do so before 5pm PST (8pm EST) on November 14th, although the link you get will be good for a week. This product includes both a spyware “finder” and “remover”, and you get free updates for a year.

This is their entry-level product, if you want more features you need to break out some cash. This can be good even if you already think you are pretty well protected by your own software. Spyware is a sneaky little vixen and no product finds all of it all of the time.


Great article on finding help with your troubled electronics

Wow. I have been trying to figure out exactly which part of this article I want to write about. I finally decided it is so good that honestly I think the best thing to do is just post the link for the article and tell you to read it yourself. So here it is:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/08/technology/personaltech/08basics.html?_r=1&ei=5087&em=&en=b64c75ceb17262d8&ex=1194670800&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print

Hopefully, I can post about a few different things in that article in the future in more detail. I have been wanting to replace the battery on an old iPod anyway so maybe I will try that.


Comcast is listening.

It is true–well, I am pretty sure it is technically true. I looked at the stats from this blog over the weekend and found a pretty unusual link. I followed it and was taken to this page. To me, it looks like someone is using this service. The URL that came into this blog seems to contain search terms like, “Comcast, Threat, Tracking, bandwidth, bandwith, (sic) bittorrent, bit torrent, downloadcap, trafficshaping.”

Either Comcast or someone who needs to research Comcast has subscribed to a service which aggregates the content of blogs to see what people have written about those search terms I listed above.

My bet it is Comcast themselves, but if so, why are they so interested? Do they just want to have their digital fingers on the pulse of the interblog? Once they find what they are looking for, what do they plan on doing?

Update: I thought this story would have more to it, but so far I have not seen anything else about it.


Just a video today

This clip is pretty funny. Hope you enjoy. (Safe for work.)


gOS

gOS Screenshot

So I downloaded the ISO for the newest Linux distribution to hit the scene. It is called gOS and Wal-Mart is selling a $200 computer with this instead of Windows which would cost about $100 more. The OS is really a modified version Ubuntu. I only played with it for a little while but it doesn’t seem too bad. It did not immediately recognize my wireless connection and I had trouble finding a wireless utility. I will give a more involved review but I can tell you that it is going to take a change of mindset. This is an OS designed for grandma to have a computer just to get on the internet, email kids and see pictures. It is buttoned down pretty good to prevent things from getting screwed up. Of course the first thing I wanted to do was start hacking around, changing things. I will have to get into character of a computer barely-literate user in order to see what I think. Watch this space!


Comcast insider goes too public?

Comcast has been in the news because of allegedly partnering with a company called Sandvine to disrupt Comcast’s customers use of BitTorrent downloads. Comcast has denied this and denied working with Sandvine. An internal Comcast memo has since surfaced that is alleged to show that Comcast does indeed have a contract with Sandvine, but it does not say what the contract requires Sandvine to do.

Someone claiming to be that insider started a blog and promised to continue to expose the seedier side of the cable-internet giant. So he or she said: “… I am just trying to help spread the truth about how screwed up Comcast is and I am sure we all know this.”

Evil version of the Comcast logo

The problem is, when that person registered their website, they did not choose to have the registration information private. A simple web search shows the name and address of a person, apparently the person who was writing this “anonymous” blog. Have you ever seen a small news story and wondered if it was the pre-cursor of something bigger?

The site is down at the moment but the URL is below regardless.

http://shortnamenowitsgettinglong.com/


Print anything to PDF

One of the best tools I have been using is the “Print to PDF” application, CutePDF Writer. The program allows you to print anything to PDF–websites, documents, images, etc. Maybe that doesn’t sound like a huge deal, but here’s how I use it, see if you have anything in common with any of these:

  • Web pages. I use the web for a lot of research and information gathering. Sometimes I want to hold onto the information I see on a web page, but I don’t want to add to a long list of book marks just for one web page. Also, what if the web page is altered or the URL changes? I could print it to hard copy but then I would have to store that somewhere. I could save the whole web page to my hard drive but that can be messy. Instead I print the page to PDF and store that to my hard drive in a nice small package. I have done this with articles like “Confessions of a former Verizon Sales Rep, “How to turn cheap steaks into prime meat” and “Hide your email address from Spam Bots“. Think of it as digitally tearing an article from a magazine.
  • At work, I create price quotes and proposals using Excel and Word. I then email these documents to customers. It could be a sticky situation for me if someone altered the price on one of those and then tried to buy from us. Also, some folks use some old security practices and still don’t allow Word documents to be mailed to them. After creating the document, I print it to PDF and not only to I have a much harder to alter document, but it is also smaller in size for emailing.
  • Using a computer that doesn’t have a printer but need to print something anyway? Print it to PDF, email it to a computer that has a printer, then print a hard copy when you get to that computer. When I did my taxes at home, I did not have a printer there as well. I could not do the return and print it at work because I could not load the tax software on my work computer. So I printed it to PDF on my home computer, emailed it to myself, then printed it up at work and dropped it in the mail.

Go to CutePDF’s web site and download CutePDF Writer. You actually have to download and install 2 items, the print portion and the PDF converter tool. Once you have downloaded and installed them, open document or a web page and select “File” then “Print”. (You want a command which brings up the print options window, some applications have a button which just sends the document straight to the printer–you probably don’t want that.)

When the print window opens, click the drop down to select which printer you want to print to. Make sure to select “Cute PDF Writer” as the printer you want to print to. (Click the below image for a better look.)

Print to PDF Small

The program will do it stuff and then ask you where you want to save the PDF you just created.

saving a print to pdf

As you can see, I save all mine in a folder appropriately called “Web PDFs”. There you go. You now have a convenient way of saving information, and it is paperless. (Note: Apparently not all “Print to PDF programs are created equal, and some may include malware. This one has won awards and is rated pretty well on CNET.)