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There are risks facing computer users today, particularly broadband users. A good defense plan can help address these threats:

Computer Viruses: Viruses are programs designed to spread to unsuspecting users, often as e-mail attachments. Some are also designed to cause damage to your computer. This resource area will help explain how your use of antivirus software can help to identify and eliminate threats from viruses, worms and Trojan horse programs. Read more

Intrusions and Attacks: When connected to the Internet, hackers can attempt to gain access to your computer. Learn how to protect your computer system from unauthorized intrusions and attacks with a simple firewall defense. Read more

Unsolicited Email (spam): Spam is defined as the mass distribution of many copies of the same message, in an attempt to force the message on people who would not otherwise choose to receive it. Most spam is commercial advertising, often for dubious products and get-rich-quick schemes. Read more

Hackings, viruses and unwanted intrusions into your PC are illegal, right? Well, yes--and no.

A last-minute addition to a proposal for a Department of Homeland Security would punish malicious hackers with life in prison. The U.S. House of Representatives approved the bill, which would reshape large portions of the federal bureaucracy into a new department. Inserted into the Homeland Security bill, the 16-page Cyber Security Enhancement Act (CSEA) expands the ability of police to conduct Internet or telephone eavesdropping without first obtaining a court order, and offers Internet providers more latitude to disclose information to police.

Citing privacy concerns, civil liberties groups objected to portions of CSEA. "There are a lot of different things to be concerned about, but preserving Fourth Amendment and wiretap standards continues to be a critical test of Congress' commitment of civil liberties," said Marc Rotenberg, director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

Speaking of the Fourth Amendment, a federal judge has ruled that law enforcement officials went too far when they tried to use evidence gathered by a known hacker to convict someone of possessing child pornography. The decision is believed to be the first to say that hacking into an Internet-connected home PC without a warrant violates the amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures.

The decision came out of a case in which a hacker uploaded a file to a child porn newsgroup that made it possible to track who downloaded files from the service. The uploaded file contained the SubSeven virus, which the hacker used to remotely search people's computers for porn.

On the other side of the spectrum is an electronic greeting card that has all the hallmarks of a mass-mailing computer virus. The FriendGreetings e-mail misleads a victim into downloading an application--ostensibly to view a Web card--and then sends itself to every e-mail address in the victim's Outlook contacts file. A few systems administrators already blame the mass-mailing e-card for swamping their network.

Yet it will be hard to prosecute the company that created the card: The viral card is protected by a license agreement that tricks unsuspecting users into clicking "Yes" and consenting to have the program send itself to all their e-mail contacts. Without the license agreement, the program would be considered a virus, but with the code wrapped in what could be a prosecution-proof vest.

Capellas leaves HP
After helping along the $20 billion merger between Compaq Computer, where he was chief executive, with Hewlett-Packard, HP President Michael Capellas jumped ship to the capsized WorldCom to take over as CEO. Capellas said he is leaving in part because the merger integration is ahead of schedule, and he tried to reassure his colleagues of that in an e-mail sent to all HP employees.

HP Chief Executive Carly Fiorina said that Capellas had "reached a natural transition point" with the company, which he joined when HP swallowed Compaq earlier this year. Fiorina said that her company won't hire another president.

Register today for the CNET Networks 'Building a Web Services Foundation' conference, held December 10-11 in San Francisco. This unique new conference is a practical, actionable program designed to help you start or accelerate your web services activity. Register here.

Valley companies without a clear No. 2 executive. Beyond the question of succession, some analysts wondered Monday whether Fiorina might be taking on too much responsibility by not replacing Capellas. But Fiorina said she can handle the dual roles as chief strategist and day-to-day operations chief.

"The position of president will not be replicated, period," Fiorina said during an interview alongside Capellas. As for who her likely successor would be, Fiorina said it's "way too early" to start thinking about such plans. "I've only been here three years and I'm not yet 50." But, she added, "We have a very deep bench here."

Oracle flexes muscle
As Oracle kicked off its annual OracleWorld conference this week in San Francisco, there were still plenty of IT managers fuming over an impending ultimatum over a key software upgrade. This summer, Oracle plans to discontinue support for version 10.7 of its business applications, giving customers the choice of paying for a costly upgrade to version 11i--or losing technical support for the older software.

After the "de-support" date, clients using version 10.7 will not be able to call Oracle for help when they encounter problems with their systems. Nor will they have access to electronic documentation and software patches. "We're doing the upgrade, but we're not happy about it," said one IT executive. "It's expensive, and we expect very little return on investment."

Oracle launched another assault as it urged thousands of IT managers to ditch Microsoft and IBM e-mail systems in favor of Oracle's Collaboration Suite. A new version of the collaboration program--a set of e-mail, calendar, Web conferencing and voice-mail tools--is set for arrival in June. Oracle plans to add instant messaging, online whiteboard and other online teamwork applications to the new release.

In launching this product, Oracle is gearing up to give Microsoft a run for its money. Introducing special prices here, Oracle sought to persuade customers of Microsoft Exchange Server version 5.5 to switch to Oracle Collaboration Suite rather than upgrade to Exchange Server 2000, the latest version of Microsoft's e-mail server.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison used his keynote speech at the convention to chide the information technology industry for making life difficult for corporate IT managers. An industrywide lack of software interoperability, reliability and quality, as well as overly complex products have resulted in "a scarcity of information at the dawn of the information age," Ellison said in an address beamed via satellite from Auckland, New Zealand, where he's competing in the America's Cup sailing race.

Ellison said information fragmentation, brought about by businesses installing ever-greater numbers of incompatible computer systems, is among the biggest problems facing companies today. He urged companies, as Oracle itself has done, to consolidate their IT operations onto fewer databases and to quit customizing packaged business application software.

Gadget goings-on
The price may be right for Gateway's $3,000 plasma television, but the company is having trouble filling orders, prompting some grumbles from early customers. The company said that it is seeing "minor delays" in shipping the 42-inch screen Plasma TV that was introduced earlier this month as part of a broader push into digital electronics.

Analysts noted at the time that the $3,000 price was seen as groundbreaking for the plasma screens, which often fetch thousands more. But shipping delays caused by the recent port strike have been compounded by higher-than-expected demand, Gateway said.

Sony will attempt to break some ground of its own when this spring with RoomLink, which allows networking of PCs, TVs and stereo receivers with relative ease. RoomLink, which is already available in Japan and which will hit U.S. shelves next spring, is essentially a networking hub for swapping data between disparate devices.

With it, music or digital photos stored on a PC hard drive can be played on a stereo or TV. Likewise, the hard drive can function as a personal video recorder. Connections can be made with cables or wirelessly through Wi-Fi. It will sell for around $199, Sony said. Eventually, these networks will likely expand beyond the home so customers can download music from home to a cell phone or MP3 player.

HP plans to introduce on Monday two iPaqs: One is the smallest, most affordable iPaq yet, and the other, a deluxe model with fingerprint recognition and two forms of wireless connectivity. The iPaqs offer a new high end and a new low end to HP's lineup. The low-end model is far slimmer and lighter than previous iPaqs.

The iPaq Pocket PC h1910 will sell for $299, in line with a new handheld from ViewSonic. However, it is still considerably more expensive than a low-end Dell Computer device that will debut next week for $199 after rebate. A slightly more powerful Dell model will sell for $299.

Also of note
Microsoft unveiled a new instant messaging service aimed at corporate customers, jump-starting belated efforts by the software giant to tap the fast-growing new market for the hugely popular technology...The software giant also confirmed that is has scratched plans for a major overhaul to an upcoming version of its Windows operating system for servers...Actor Kevin Spacey unveiled an online initiative to help aspiring filmmakers and screenwriters get their foot in the door...Internet wine sellers won a courtroom victory when a federal judge struck down a New York state law banning wine shipments from out-of-state wineries to New York state residents...Microsoft raised its stakes in the gaming market with an elaborate new online service for its Xbox video game console...Intel hopes that its recently released 3GHz Pentium 4 will give computer buyers something they haven't had in a while: a reason to buy a new computer.

IBM supercomputer looms large
Bringing new meaning to the term "big iron," IBM has begun selling a new supercomputer that weighs nearly two tons in a full-fledged configuration. Each p655 Unix server is a four- or eight-processor module measuring seven inches high, 12 inches wide and 40 inches deep. When 16 of these modules are packed into a six-foot-tall rack designed for the servers, the collection weighs 3,600 pounds, said Jim McGaughan, director of IBM eServer product marketing.
November 15, 2002, 10:56 AM PT | Read Full Story

Tomorrow's tech: Crunch the numbers
What will be the technology of tomorrow? Imagine a network made of special materials that could transfer data at speeds up to 145GHz. Also: A supercomputer that can crunch trillions of mathematical calculations per second.
November 15, 2002, 4:00 AM PT | Read Full Story

Register today for the CNET Networks 'Building a Web Services Foundation' conference, held December 10-11 in San Francisco. This unique new conference is a practical, actionable program designed to help you start or accelerate your web services activity. Register here.

Intel delves into life sciences
Intel has created an internal group devoted to developing technology for the life sciences market, one of the remaining hot areas in the computer world. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based chipmaker said this week that it is working with universities, software developers and server manufacturers to come up with supercomputer-class systems, built around Intel technology, for pharmaceutical engineering, genetic research and other biotech projects, said Rick Herrmann, Intel's manager for worldwide high-performance computing.
November 15, 2002, 11:40 AM PT | Read Full Story

Qwest sells online pharmaceutical unit
Qwest Communications International announced Friday that it has sold its online pharmaceutical marketing business. The sale is part of the troubled telecom company's effort to rid itself of nonessential operations--and shows just how far it had strayed beyond the telecommunications industry.
November 15, 2002, 12:27 PM PT | Read Full Story

Comdex 2002 to spotlight wireless, handhelds
Comdex Fall 2002 is around the corner! Bill Gates will kick off festivities in Las Vegas Sunday night with his vision of the digital home. The show floor is sure to be chock-full of the latest gadgets. Can't go? Don't worry--we'll cover the latest from the show.
November 14, 2002, 4:00 a.m. PT | Read Full Story

Deal rescues fee break for Webcasters
A last-minute political deal has salvaged portions of a legislative bid to ease the effects of new online music fees on small and nonprofit Webcasters. In a late-night congressional vote Thursday, legislators approved a compromise bill that will allow small Webcasters and nonprofits such as college radio stations to pay substantially lower royalty rates for online music than will large companies such as America Online or Microsoft.
November 15, 2002, 9:51 AM PT | Read Full Story

Technology after the bubble
IT will rise again, but only if the providers learn how to help their customers make money.
The McKinsey Quarterly--free registration required | Read Full Story


What is the Internet, Web-page and Desktop Publishing?

In 1994 the Internet emerged with an array of browsers and Hypertext Transfer Protocol (known as http://) and other standards used. Now, it is the year 2001 and in the computing world there are many forms of programming languages. It is just common sense that the standardization of software application comes as a natural progression. The core languages used to date are HTML, JavaScript, Java, XML and C++. The are other languages emerging and perhaps get recognition in the future, but for now the preferred language is one  that interface with the internet and desktop applications (software).

PC Hobbyist are looking for that ultimate in CPU's, applications and devices. It can only get easier as we turn to a user friendly - plug and play format. The introduction of technology is rapid and depreciation of these devices are high. So do your research before getting your feet wet and there is nothing like having a computer in front of you to learn. 

Many schools locally are providing training but not really getting the desired results. The Internet and world of computing is vast and talent is scarce. The market at the moment is attractive to the ones looking to expand themselves in this trade. Especially south of the border where you can earn in excess of  $75K US dollars.

So what is this so called Internet, which we refer to as "CYBERSPACE". It is simply the inter-connection of many computers in a global scale. The connection of these computers enables communication back and forth rapidly. We are able to access information from bigger computers known as servers, which has one specific function. The connection of computers are referred to as a "NETWORK". You can access all sorts of enormous amount of information. The sources of these information can vary from an individual, groups and organizations. The topics cover literally from "A to Z", and it is a good learning tool with many applications both good and bad.

Now, what is a webpage? To use a metaphor it is like a page in a magazine. If you are familiar with the Internet the moment you open your Browser, something appears in the screen and that is a web-page. A basic web-page consist of text information, graphics, sounds and/or a combination of the above. The basic languages used are HTML and Javascript, which works well with Netscape and Microsoft Internet Browser. There are many degrees of sophistication with web-pages, so be prepared to be dazzled.

And Desktop Publishing, is simply creating your work with the use of a publishing tool/application ( ie, MS Word, Word Perfect, Front Page and etc.) installed in your desktop computer. There are many forms of media for example Print (newspapers, books and magazines), Radio, Television, Motion Pictures and the Internet.

Many homes in North America are not equipped with computers and we are about 300 million in population. Just think of the numbers and the opportunities. Are you interested in this trade? Do you fit in? Perhaps the best way is to find out is to do your research.

Related Links:

Address, Email, URL & Newsgroup

How to Create a Web-page

Recommended Download

Connecting Families to the Internet Program

The Quebec Government program "Connecting Families to the Internet" is available to people receiving family allowance from the Régie des rentes du Québec. This program offers partial financial assistance to purchase or rent a multi-media computer (Desktop/Notebook) and connection to the internet.

The subsidy for a desktop computer is a maximum of  $500. The internet connection is $16.66/month  for a 2 year period. There are limitations and it is better that you do your homework before you purchase a computer. Best advice that we can give is do not go overboard and spend over a thousand to purchase a computer. You can purchase a complete set for under $800 not including taxes. Remember when you apply the G.S.T. and the P.S.T. YES TAXES!!! the real cost of the supplement after taxes is not a lot. Be a smart consumer and pay only for what you can afford or get the best deal for your money. This program is available only with participating retailers. Do your research and do not be pressured into buying outside of your budget and purchasing blindly. After all it's money from your pocket not theirs, and one other thing the program ends on March 31, 2001. More information on "HOW TO SHOP FOR A COMPUTER"

For further information on Connecting families to the Internet surf the following site:

Related Links: Web Creation



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