Tico Byte, September, 2007

Dear PC Club members,

This month's general meeting will be held this coming Saturday, Sept. 15th (even though it IS Costa Rican Independence Day) at the usual place, the Pan American
School in Belen. However, there is a change in the time of the meeting; this time we will begin at 9am instead of 8:30am. The meeting will go til 11am. We will be discussing all that is new in computers and computer life in Costa Rica as well as have clinics on hardware and software. You are welcome to bring any issues concerning your computer and we will discuss them, trying to help you resolve them. There will be general discussion by all members as well as presentations on specific topics by individuals. We will talk about photo reduction, Google Talk, and two tiered Internet, among others. So come and participate and have fun.

Now, on with the Byte:

Item 1: Skype worm problem
Skype is cautioning its Skype for Windows users of a worm called "W32/Ramex.A" that is spreading fast within the service's instant chat application as a link in an instant message. The message is "cleverly written and may appear to be a legitimate chat message, which may fool some users into clicking on the link," said Kurt Sauer, the company's chief security officer.

The worm spreads through the peer-to-peer phone service's instant chat application and is activated when a user clicks in a link in an instant message they receive, Skype said.

Those messages may appear to be from someone on a Skype user's contact list or from an unknown party. The messages contain an attachment that appears to be a JPEG photo but in reality is executable code.

Story: http://www.technewsworld.com/story/59267.html

Item 2: IBM contributes to Open Office
That IBM is to contribute code marks a departure from 2005, when IBM took source code from OpenOffice to build parts of its Workplace, but did not contribute back. "The community always wants work to be contributed back to the source, and so we are all the happier that IBM announced their interest in doing so," Louis Suarez-Potts, OpenOffice.org community manager, told LinuxInsider.
IBM has announced that it is moving closer than it has ever been to the OpenOffice.org community with stepped-up support in its Lotus product line of collaborative software and a commitment to contribute code.

The announcement suggests a win-win for IBM and OpenOffice.org, a seven-year-old project created by Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: JAVA) and widely recognized as the open source contender to proprietary office software.

"With downloads of more than 100 million, this is the first real competitive grassroots office productivity suite that rivals proprietary alternatives," Sun spokesperson Terri Molini told LinuxInsider.


Story: http://www.technewsworld.com/story/59270.html

Item 3: Walgreens offers free ink refills on Wednesday
Walgreens customers will be able to do more than stock up on toilet paper and cough medicine Wednesday during a free, one-day printer cartridge refill program.

Walgreens has been offering cartridge refills for a year - $10 for black ink and $15 for color. To promote the program, on Sept. 12 the drugstore will fill one black or color cartridge per customer for free at its photo counter.

The store is pushing the program as a low-cost, more eco-friendly alternative to purchasing new cartridges. "For small business owners, students or anyone who prints a lot of documents or Web pages, the savings can add up fast," John Sugrue, Walgreens photofinishing general merchandising manager, said in a statement. "And people feel good about keeping printer cartridges out of landfills."



Item 4:  Yak 4 ever
I haven't tried this out yet; but it's a site that allows free calls overseas. Some of you might want to look at it.

Item 5: Computer vs human intelligence (I think we lose)

Some technologists believe that rapid advancement in computer hardware and software could at some point lead to a hazy future for humans.

The so-called point of technological singularity has a number of definitions. In one, it's the point at which advances in artificial intelligence bring about self-improving machines that are smarter than humans
"There are different definitions of singularity. But the most useful way to think about it is that we're in a period of accelerating technology change that our species has never faced before," said Christine Peterson, vice president of Foresight Nanotech Institute, a public interest group focused on advanced technology. "So the question is how do we address the issue of change so rapid that it becomes difficult to project how it will affect us?"

Story: http://news.com.com/Coming+to+grips+with+intelligent+machines/2100-11394_3-6206637.html

Item 6: Club members receive latest info by simply coming to meeting
I guess you will have to come to find out. Hope to see you there this Saturday.