Tico Byte - November, 2007

Good day, club members,

Your next PC Club meeting is this Saturday, Nov. 17, starting at 9am at the Pan American School in Belen. This will be the last meeting of the year and we will discuss the upcoming annual party, scheduled for Dec. 8th. We will also discuss news and reviews of computer hardware and software. As always, you can bring your computer for repair or software questions; and we will try our best to fix it or give you advice. We will be talking about our enhanced website, URL's you can't live without and a lot of other good stuff. So come and bring a friend. Save room for coffee and donuts. See you there.

By the way, our annual membership drive starts this month. Ken Booth will be collecting your dues and issuing membership cards. Dues for 2008 will remain at $30 or 15,600 colonies. Please make life easier for Ken by bringing the exact amount.

On with the byte:

Item 1:
One Laptop Per Child's long-awaited "Give 1, Get 1" program launched Monday at www.laptopgiving.org. For the next 15 days only, geeks and other supporters of computing for kids can pay $399 to get two XO laptops -- one of which will automatically be sent to a child in the developing world. Wayan Vota, editor of the OLPC News Web site, said his site is getting heavy traffic from readers talking about their experiences in making the purchase. "Everyone I know is buying one," he said in a telephone interview. The purchase process was quite simple, Vota added. OLPC is using PayPal for online payments, so it was "click, click, you're done," Vota said. The purchase price is $399 plus $24.95 in shipping.

Full article: http://www.toptechnews.com/story.xhtml?story_id=031001TNHNXE

Item 2:

Microsoft plans to release just two security updates next week to fix problems with Windows and other software. Meanwhile, the company says it has received reports from Windows XP and Windows 2003 users that criminals are targeting an unpatched flaw in those operating systems.

Microsoft said it is aware of "limited attacks" targeting a vulnerability in a Windows component that handles Macrovision copy protection technology. Macrovision has separately released a patch to plug the security hole, and Microsoft says that it is working with the company to push out an update to fix the problem through its regular monthly patch process.


Full article: http://blog.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/2007/11/patch_tuesday_preview_and_wind.html?nav=rss_blog

Item 3:

Microsoft and the GSM Association are promoting 3G (third generation) mobile telecommunications by asking companies to build laptop PCs that automatically connect to the Internet wirelessly over mobile phone networks. They're hosting a contest challenging companies to design mobile phone-like connectivity into easy-to-use laptops aimed at mainstream users looking for a hassle-free device able to connect them to the Internet wirelessly anytime, anywhere. These laptops will be aimed at the mass-market consumer laptop PC segment in the $500 to $1,000 price range, the GSMA said in a statement. The group, a promoter of mobile phone networks and technology, points out that mobile phone networks offer far greater range than competing wireless technologies.

Full article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/infoworld/20071113/tc_infoworld/93355;_ylt=ArTRENs.YCw_I5PmZd91TFsjtBAF

Item 4:

Red Hat is partnering with Amazon to offer Linux-based computing power as an on-call computer resource, letting companies scale up applications without building a bigger data center. That Linux-on-demand idea has sizzle, but there are other interesting pieces in Red Hat's latest batch of products, including more virtualization support and one audacious goal.

 The Amazon partnership is part of Red Hat's Linux Automation initiative to make it easier for companies to deploy Linux applications. With it, Red Hat will have its version of Linux powering over half of the world's new servers by 2015 while doubling its current market share, says Scott Crenshaw, Red Hat's VP of enterprise Linux business. That's a "goal, not a prediction," Red Hat clarified--probably wisely so, given that IDC says Linux has just 15% of operating system revenue.

Full article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/cmp/20071111/tc_cmp/202804403;_ylt=AiJ2BlU7i8dWDKihBKoZzK4jtBAF

Item 5:

Microsoft and the DAISY digital talking books consortium are to work together on a tool for the blind and otherwise print-disabled that translates Microsoft Word documents into a digital audio standard. The two organizations said on Tuesday the collaboration was aimed at producing a free, downloadable plug-in that would translate documents based on Open XML -- the default file-saving format in Microsoft Office 2007 -- into DAISY XML. The DAISY XML file can then be processed to produce digital audio and other formats. The plug-in is expected to be available in early 2008.

Full article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/microsoft_documents_blind_dc&printer=1;_ylt=AlTLVXn1qjbAJM8AuBkYaCQVkmwF

Item 6:

About two weeks ago, Wal-Mart began selling $200 Linux-based PC.  The initial run was around 10,000 units.  Now Wal-Mart is sold out.  Has Linux now found a niche? The system sold by Wal-Mart was an Everex’s TC2502 gPC and is the first mass-market $200 desktop PC.  The spec of the system is very low - 1.5 GHz VIA C7 CPU embedded onto a Mini-ITX motherboard, 512MB of RAM and an 80GB hard drive - but this doesn’t matter because the system does pretty much everything that your average PC users wants.  With the gPC you can surf the web, send and receive email, work with word processor and spreadsheet documents, chat with friends, keep a blog updated, edit photos and pictures, even burn DVDs thanks to the built-in DVD burner.

Full article: http://blogs.zdnet.com/hardware/?p=926

Item 7:

“Deleting” a file does nothing of the sort: the file is still on your hard drive, you just can’t see it anymore. Cheap file recovery software will reclaim the data in a flash. Which is why smart folks sanitize their disk drives before selling them. Overwriting your hard drive with meaningless data is the basic concept behind disk sanitization. But it isn’t easy to overwrite ALL the data.

Full article: http://blogs.zdnet.com/storage/?p=236

Item 8:

Lots of fun at the next meeting. This Saturday. 9am. Be there or be square.