Actrix Newsletter August 2003

This newsletter has been produced to help you get the most out of the Internet,
and to keep you, as an Actrix customer, informed of developments and services within the company.
Past newsletters may be viewed at
Newsletters are now archived by article at
Questions and comments about the newsletter can be e-mailed to
Other inquiries should be e-mailed to

Customising Internet Explorer Part 2

by Rob Zorn

Last month we looked briefly at ways in which Internet Explorer (IE) can be individually customised by tweaking some of the options found under the File menu. This month we'll continue looking at getting the most out of Internet Explorer by examining some of the possibilities under the General tab of your Internet Options feature.

0308custie1.jpg (6122 bytes)You can access your Internet Options by opening Internet Explorer and clicking Tools on the File menu, and then Internet Options. You'll notice this will invoke a large box called Internet Options which contains a series of tabs: General, Security, Privacy, Content, Connections, Programs and Advanced. You can click on each of these tabs to access various functions and features that may be tweaked. For this article, we'll limit ourselves to the General tab. This is because this is the one you'd be most likely to use in order to tweak Internet Explorer a bit, and most of what is here is pretty harmless. We'll leave the other tabs for now because they contain some options that probably shouldn't be played with unless you;re pretty sure of yourself.

Home page

0308custie2.jpg (10803 bytes)The Home page section under the General tab allows you to set what page IE will open to automatically when you start it up.  You can type any Internet address you like in here, but there are easier ways. If you click the Use Current button, the Address field will change to the address for whatever page is currently open. So, if you're on a page that you like and want IE to go to that page each time you open it afresh, just get you Internet Options box up and click this button.

If you click the Use Default button, the Address field will change to Microsoft's default home page for New Zealand. which is actually Xtra's home page (who?) so we don't recommend that as an option. If you click the Use Blank button, the Address field will change to contain the words about:blank. The next time you open IE, no page will be loaded automatically. Instead a fresh, blank page will come up waiting for you to type in an address.

If you make changes to the Home page Address field, remember to click the Apply button at the bottom of the Internet Options box. This will save your changes. Click OK to close the box. If you want to back out of your changes, click the Cancel button.

Temporary Internet files

0308custie3.jpg (9713 bytes)The next section under the General tab will allow you to alter what IE has saved in terms of History. IE has its own cache, which is a directory full of the content you have recently visited on the Internet. IE also saves all the cookies you have gathered as you have surfed. (If you'd like to find out more about cookies, click here for a plain English article from the May 2000 Actrix Newsletter. Use the Delete Cookies button to delete all the cookies that IE has saved recently. There is no harm in doing this. Some people, especially those who feel that cookies are an intrusion upon their privacy like to do it just before they shut down each time they use IE. If you're not sure, have a read of the article mentioned and decide for yourself.

Clicking the Delete Files button will delete all the Internet files IE has saved from your recent browsing. Remember, it's not really accurate to state that you visit web sites. In reality, the sites are downloaded to your computer, so technically, they visit you! IE saves the images and text in your Temporary Internet files folder and keeps them there for some time. Again, there is no real harm is deleting them. It's a good thing to do if you want to free up some space on your hard drive, but with the size of most modern hard drives these days, freeing up space is not really an issue. Another reason why you might want to delete these files is to protect your privacy. If you don't want other users of your computer to see where you have been, you should delete your Temporary Internet files. By the same token, if you want to check where IE has been lately (e.g. you want to see where your kids have been surfing recently) then you will be interested in the Settings button.

The Settings Button

Clicking the Settings button will take you through to three different options:
Move Folder: This allows you to move the location of the folder in which your temporary Internet files are stored. There is no need make any changes to this at all and this option is of little use to the average surfer.
View Files: This is a very useful and powerful feature. It allows you to see the names of various files and images that your computer has visited/downloaded recently. You will notice that the information under this section is displayed in columns that tell you the name and type of file, as well as the Internet address of the file. This makes it pretty easy to tell what sites your version of IE has been visiting lately. You can doubleclick the name of the file in order to have it open up for viewing.
View Objects: This button allows you to see what are generally called "classes." It's a bit beyond the scope of this article, but this is where IE stores information about other programs it may use to display web page content. Shockwave would be one example. Have a loo here by all means, but you are probably best advised to leave the content here alone.
Amount of disk space to use: The last feature under Settings that I'd like to elaborate on is the slider bar you can use to set how much space you'd like IE to use for storing historical content. One Megabyte is usually the minimum you can set this at. The smaller you set this limit, the quicker IE will start to overwrite previous information stored. Of course, if you're concerned about others viewing your IE history, you should set this as low as possible. If you are wanting to check on someone else's history, you should set this a little higher. Keep in mind, though, that the higher you set this, the more of your hard drive space you are using up.


0308custie4.jpg (9753 bytes)As indicated, IE keeps a record of all the pages you have visited for the period of time you specify. This section allows you to specify how many days you want that history kept for. Again, if you want to protect your privacy, set the limit low. If you want to checkup more extensively, set it higher. You can clear your history by clicking the Clear History button. This will permanently delete IE's record of sites you have visited.

You can easily view your IE's history by clicking the little picture that looks like a sundial near the top of your IE display. This will provide you with a list of sites visited recently, organised by day. Simply click the links provided in order to revisit those pages.

Colours and Fonts

0308custie5.jpg (2282 bytes)There are a few more buttons or functions available under the General tab of the Internet Options box, but we're probably best off limiting ourselves to Colors and Fonts at this point. Clicking the Colors... or Fonts... buttons will allow you to set how IE displays colours for hyperlinks or fonts for the text on web pages where they haven't been specifically set a certain way in the original code. I can explain this a little more as follows.

When someone is creating a web page, they can choose to specify the font (e.g. Arial, Times New Roman, Verdana etc), the colour and size of the font, and/or the colour that links to other pages are displayed in. Most web designers do this because they have a certain "look" in mind that they want you to see when you visit. Sometimes, though, the designer is not interested in "fixing" these things and makes no specifications in his or her original code. By default, IE will usually display unspecified fonts in Times New Roman. Links will be underlined in blue, and visited links are displayed in a sort of purple. You can also set the hover colour for links. This refers to the color the links will change to when you hover your mouse over them. These buttons will allow you to override those default settings to whatever you want them to be. Remember, though, that this will only affect the display of pages that don't have font attributes assigned by the original designer.

Lastly, under the Colors... section, you'll see a tickbox allowing you to choose or unchoose "Use Windows colors." Ticking this box means that your IE will use the Windows colour scheme for background and text when those attributes haven't been specified in the original code. Usually this means that backgrounds will be rendered in white and text in black. If you untick this box, unspecified backgrounds will be rendered in grey.   

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inContact makes TUANZ Award Finals

inContact.gif (4637 bytes)inContact - Internet Call Waiting has made the finals of the TUANZ Telecommunications Innovation Award 2003.

Developed by NEC New Zealand, inContact works over a modem dial-up connection to tell you when someone is trying to call your phone. By popping up a screen on your computers monitor, you are given the choice of answering the call online, disconnecting from the Internet to answer the call, or diverting the call to voicemail or a cell-phone.

At this time inContact is only available in the Auckland and Wellington free calling areas, but there are plans in place to offer the service nationally by the end of the year.

inContact works with any dial-up Internet connection, and will work with any Internet provider. Currently the service is re-sold by two companies, Actrix Networks Ltd and WebWorld.

Click here for more info about inContact Internet Call Waiting.

Readers' Forum - Why The BCC Field?

question.jpg (4013 bytes)If you'd like to ask a question or request some help on any Actrix or Internet-related matter. Simply send me an e-mail with the word "forum" in the subject line and check back next month to see the results! By the same token, if you read something here and think you may have something to suggest, please feel more than free.

Hi Rob, I thought an excellent topic for one of your monthly newsletters would be to tell people how to forward e-mails properly, i.e. how to tidy them before they send them on, and how they should use BCC instead of CC when sending on jokes etc which stops your and your friends' names being sent around the world for some unscrupulous person to give to a Spammer. We are making it too easy for these Spammers if we don't learn how to protect ourselves. Regards Teresa

Hi Teresa, Thanks for what is really a very good idea. I've written on the reasons for using the BCC field before (see Using the CC and BCC Fields in E-mail), but I haven't really touched on it with regards to Spam protection. In the article I just mentioned I explain the difference between the CC field (Carbon Copy) and the BCC field (Blind Carbon Copy), and suggest some reasons you may wish to use either. You can click to read that article if you're interested, but for now we'll just touch on what the BCC field is, how to turn it on in Outlook Express and in Outlook, and why we should usually use if for the forwarding on of jokes and other entertaining or informative e-mails we think all our friends will also benefit from.

The BCC field is useful for just the reasons that Teresa mentions. Imagine you send a funny e-mail to 25 people and you put all those people in the CC field of the e-mail. Those people forward the e-mail on to 25 more people (and all the previous addresses it was sent to remain intact in the e-mail itself). We now have an e-mail travelling around the net that contains 50 valid and readable e-mail addresses. How many more forwards before 100s of e-mail addresses can be gleaned from this e-mail for use by a Spammer? The answer: not long!

If you want to copy lots of people in on an e-mail it is much better to use the BCC field. The BCC field excludes all other e-mail addresses from being listed with the e-mail, except for the one receiving it (unless these e-mail addresses are already included in the text of the e-mail itself). People who operate mailing lists often use this method. They leave the To: and CC: fields empty, and just put all the addresses they want to send to into the BCC: field. The people on the list receive an e-mail that is addressed to "Undisclosed Recipients." If you receive such an e-mail, the chances are you have been put into the BCC field.

By using this method, you ensure that e-mails circulating around the world don't have all those e-mail addresses in them for Spammers to harvest. Of course, this has other benefits as well. How often do we receive a funny or interesting e-mail, and we have to scroll down past screeds and screeds of e-mail addresses from previous forwards before we get to the bit that we're supposed to want to see? It's probably good practice on the whole, when forwarding e-mail, to remove the original sender's details unless there is a good reason to keep them included.

Outlook Express and Outlook do not have the BCC field showing by default, but with each program it is easy to turn this feature on.  To get the BCC field to appear in Outlook Express, open up a fresh new e-mail. Click the View Menu and then click a tick next to "All Headers" in the drop down menu. From now on all your new e-mails will have the BCC field included by default. To stop the BCC field from appearing, just click the View menu again in a freshly opened e-mail and click to remove the tick. In Outlook, you can turn the BCC field on by opening a fresh e-mail, clicking View, and then BCC Field. Be mindful that Outlook sometimes contracts its drop down menus hiding features that are rarely accessed, so you may have first to click the expansion arrows to get the whole drop down menu to appear.

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Actrix Home Page Stats for June 2003

Some people may find the following statistics to be of interest. They reveal quite a bit about what sorts of software is being used by Actrix customers. During June experienced the following:

96.5% of visitors used MS Internet Explorer;
2.5% of visitors used Netscape;
0.3% of visitors used Opera;
0.7% of visitors used an unknown browser;
28.1% of visitors used Windows XP;
25.5% of visitors used Windows Me;
25% of visitors used Windows 98;
11.8% of visitors used Windows 2000;
3.6% of visitors used Windows 95;
3% of visitors used Windows NT;
1% of visitors used a Mac OS;
0.6% of visitors used Linux;
1.4% of visitors used an unknown operating system.

Mac Basics Chapter 6 - E-mail Settings

by Jim Breen

Actrix has many customers who are using Macintosh systems and some information and tips on how these customers can get the most out of their internet experience and be able identify and rectify common problems should be useful.

Last month Jim Breen Connection Settings. This month he writes about E-mail Settings. Next month will be Jim's last piece and will cover Macintosh browser tips. - Ed.

Email Settings

There are many different e-mail programs and versions of these being used on Macs and the procedure differs for each. However, they all require the following settings to be added if they are to send and receive e-mail.

E-mail address
Incoming mail server address (POP3) - Type in:
Outgoing mail server address (SMTP) - Type in:
Account name, this is the first part of your email address before the @

To find the place to enter these details in different e-mail programs:

Outlook Express
Select Tools from the menu and click on Accounts.
Click on New to set up a new account or Edit to check or change an existing one.

Netscape Communicator 4.xx
Select Edit from the menu and click on Preferences.
Choose Mail and Newsgroups from the list on the left.
Select Identity and type in your email address.
Select Mail Servers and either add or select what is showing in the incoming mail server box and click on Edit.

Select Special from the menu at the top and click on Settings.
Select Getting Started from the left and type in the required boxes.

Version 1 - Select Setup and go to Internet Setup, Version 2 - Select Setup and go to Accounts.

Go to File and click on Network Connections or Tools/Internet Options depending on your version.

Mac OS X mail
Select Mail from the Menu and click on Preferences.
Select Create Account or Edit to check or change current settings.

Netscape 7 Mail
Select Edit from the menu at the top and click on Mail and Newsgroups Account Settings.
From the menu at the left you can select Server Settings or Add or Remove an account.

Mail Tips

macbasics6image.jpg (12051 bytes)Netscape Mail

If you can’t see your mail folders or you have a toolbar missing, go to View/Show and tick the missing items.

Clean up wasted space by selecting all your mail folders in turn (inbox trash etc) and then select Edit/Get info and click on Clean up wasted space.

You can sort mail in your mail folders by clicking on the Subject, To, From or Date showing at the top of your message pane. If you click again on the date you can change the order to either show latest at the top or the bottom of the list. The same applies to Subject and To/From which will sort alphabetically.

Outlook Express

To change toolbars, folder list or preview pane go to View and select the item.

If you want to monitor progress of messages being sent or received go to Window on the menu at the top and select Progress.

To remove quoting characters when you reply or forward, go to Edit/Preferences and click on the Compose Tab.

As in Netscape mail you can sort by clicking on any of the headers at the top of the message pane.

There are very comprehensive rules and schedules settings that can be applied in various ways by going to Tool/Schedules and Tools/Rules. There is also a Junk mail filter available from here as well.

If you ever find that a message has not been sent from the Outbox for whatever reason, and will not go with a further Send/Receive, you can avoid writing it up again by dragging the message to Drafts. Open it from there and click on Send.

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Interesting Sites (Click the picture links to access the sites)

Please note: Actrix supplies links to these sites for your interest and possible use. We cannot endorse or take any responsibility for their contents. Got a site you think would be neat to share with other readers? Let me know and receive a free Norrie the Nerd chocolate bar courtesy of Actrix!

GhostStudy.Com - GhostStudy purports to be the largest free ghost photography site on the web! Here you can learn how to find ghosts, photograph and record them. There are lots of galleries (updated monthly) stories (true... oh yes!), live ghost cams and so forth. Lots of fun and interest for believers and sceptics alike!
Body Language Pages - Humans - Power, Seduction and Persuasion - Dogs - Cats
Art or Junk? - Is it art or is it just junk? This short quiz tests your ability to distinguish art from everyday objects that may or may not be art. Everyone has their opinions, but they won't help you. For the purposes of this quiz, "art" is something that has been exhibited as such by an artist. If you enjoy this one, there are links to similar quizzes. The one testing your ability to distinguish Michael Jackson's nose from other "material" looks intriguing...
Distinguished Women - "This site has biographies of women who contributed to our culture in many different ways. There are writers, educators, scientists, heads of state, politicians, civil rights crusaders, artists, entertainers, and others. Some were alive hundreds of years ago and some are living today. We've heard of some of them, while many more have been ignored by history book writers."
Connect 4 Online - This game is exactly like the plastic version you can play in your own home. The online version here was written for Flash MX developers to help them understand and practice some of the principles required when creating an artificial intelligence for a game, but you don't have to be concerned about that. You can choose a two-player game if there are two of you, or you can play against the computer. Your score, wins, losses and draws are tracked as you go.
Hooked On Facts - Here you'll find a never-ending fountain of facts. Some are amusing, but they're almost always interesting. Did you know that Elvis Presley got a 'C' in his eighth grade music class or that Marilyn Monroe had six toes? Did you know that there are 92 known cases of nuclear bombs lost at sea? Well, you do now!
Laugh.Net - Suggested by Karen Plimmer, this site features a whole lot of laughs organised by category, with very little in the way of advertising, which is rare for a free collection of jokes and funny stuff such as this one. This is the Internet, so you will have to use your discretion if you want to keep things 100% clean, but the way this site is organised makes it pretty easy to do so. The Bloopers are among my favourites.
Can You Believe Your Own Senses? - Here you'll find a 10 minute quiz containing 20 timed questions to do with your own senses courtesy of the BBC. You have 20 seconds to complete each question, some of which are quite a challenge to the senses. Each question also comes with an explanation giving further information on why it was so hard for your poor grey matter to master what was being asked. If you score highly enough you can enter a competition to win a picture of your own brain!
Illustrated Catalogue of Acme Products - This site is a wonderful stroll down Memory Lane for those of us raised on Warner Brothers cartoons. Here you can see all the wonderful Acme products used by Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Foghorn Leghorn and others, especially Wiley Coyote. There's the atom re-arranger, the giant rubber band (designed for tripping road-runners), the Correspondence School of Boxing, Earthquake pills, instant girl, hitch-hiker's thumb, invisible paint and so much more!
Luciferous Logolepsy - Dragging obscure words into the light of day, Luciferous Logolepsy is a collection of over 9,000 words that are adopted, derivative, archaic or abandoned in what we loosely define as the "English Language." Words are included that may stretch any basic definitions. Particular attention has been paid to archaic words, as they tend to be more evocative - as if their very age lends additional meaning or overtones.
CoverUps.Com - Here we go again with a great site for both conspiracy theorists and for those who like to laugh at/with/about conspiracy theorists. All sorts of cover-ups are covered, from the serious to the silly. The list includes: JFK, Princess Di's death, the Loch Ness Monster, Big Foot, Roswell - all the usual favourites. There are also organised sections on Great Cover Ups, Silly Cover Ups and Media Cover Ups.
The World will End in 2012 - This site reads like the complete FAQ for the end of the world. Various denominations have differing views on just what will happen at the end of the world before and after the Second Coming, and this seems to be a Catholic view. It's pretty detailed and specific in its series of events and makes for interesting reading from that perspective, no matter what your religious views.

Cyberspace News Snippets

New Zealand

IT survey ranks New Zealand sixth: New Zealand jumped to sixth place in an annual survey of 55 countries designed to measure which best uses information technology to enhance and expand economic, social and technological growth. Click here for more.

Attack casts shadow over school: Hackers defaced the website of Taumarunui High School on Monday and declared their "ownership" of the site. The principal was not amused. Click here for more. to go on sale next month: The country's latest second level domain (2LD) has passed its final hurdle, being voted in by the council of InternetNZ on Friday. Only one councillor abstained from voting and none voted against the proposal which will see domain names ending in available to anyone from late August. Click here for more.

School using internet in ground-breaking moves : A Tauranga school is posting student reports on the internet and also plans to allow parents to check online if their children are skipping classes. Click here for more.

Bogus website worries for ANZ: ANZ Banking Group has identified an imitation of its website in the United States and is trying to close it with help from the Australian Federal Police. Click here for more.

New Zealand Speed Camera Information: New Zealand uses the AutoPatrol™ SP-200 pole mounted camera. The following table contains information as to the whereabouts of these camera's in various locations around the country. Click here for more.

Patent threat to NZ e-tailers: A tiny Montreal-based company with patents covering international e-commerce transactions is flexing its muscles, demanding New Zealand internet retailers pay licensing fees to avoid being shut down. Click here for more.

Fight the Patent: On the 9th July 2003 in the NZ Herald there was an article about a Canadian Company that has been granted a NZ patent (and for other countries) covering the "process" of e-commerce. This site will be used to co-ordinate the response to the issue. Click here for more.

Massey christens Helix supercomputer: That New Zealand got a supercomputer up and running in November, just weeks after the parts arrived in New Zealand, is testimony to the number eight wire mentality. Click here for more.

inContact makes TUANZ Award Finals: Developed by NEC New Zealand, inContact works over a modem dial-up connection to tell you when someone is trying to call your phone. By popping up a screen on your computers monitor, you are given the choice of answering the call online, disconnecting from the Internet to answer the call, or diverting the call to voicemail or a cell-phone. Click here for more.

Net friends not only for the lonely: People who have internet friendships are not losers, says a researcher who has studied the issue for the past five years. Click here for more.

More Kiwis working in IT : The value of computer imports and the number of people employed by information and communications technology firms in New Zealand both edged up in 2002. About one in every 21 working New Zealanders is now either employed by an ICT firm or does an IT job – up from one in 25 in 1996. Click here for more.


RIAA goes after the little guys: When Karol Franks, a mother of two teens in Pasadena, Calif., heard Wednesday that the music industry was threatening to sue average folks who swap music online — like her kids — she posed a question that must have been on many minds: "How can there be a lawsuit when there are tens of thousands of people who use file-sharing programs?" Click here for more.

Online dating dumps its reputation : Of the 120 men she traded messages with online in her first four months of Internet dating, Kristen Costello, 33, talked to 20 on the telephone at least once and met 11 in person. Of those, Costello dated four several times before realizing she had not found "the one." Click here for more.

Would a "Do Not Spam" List Work?: Conducted after the FTC's implementation of the "Do Not Call" registry, the study determines that 83% of consumers would like to see the same action taken for spam. Over 50% of respondents also told InsightExpress they would like the same principles of the registry extended to government agencies, religious organizations and even charities. Click here for more.

Porn spam set to flood inboxes: More than half of all emails sent to individuals and businesses by September 2003 will be spam, and a fifth of these unsolicited mails in the UK will be pornographic, an industry vendor claimed yesterday. According to monitoring by spam filtering firm Brightmail, during the past five years spam attacks have rocketed from a few hundred a month to nearly 7.5 million in May 2003. Click here for more.

File Swappers to RIAA: Download This!: The Recording Industry Association of America's announcement on June 25 that it will start tracking down and suing users of file-sharing programs has yet to spook people, say developers of these applications. "Forget about it, dude -- even genocidal litigation can't stop file sharers," said Wayne Rosso... Click here for more.

Pop-up ads provoke a turf battle over Web rights: A series of legal skirmishes over who owns the real estate on a computer user's screen is turning into a war. A court decision in the United States late last month gave a victory to online advertising companies like Gator and WhenU over the Web sites of bigger companies. The legal wrangling involves pop-up ads that appear over a Web site without the consent of the Web site publisher. Click here for more.

Lawmakers debate antispam plan: The Bush administration on Tuesday urged Congress to enact a new law criminalizing pornographic and fraudulent spam. William Moschella, an assistant attorney general, said the Department of Justice supports a bill called the Reduction in Distribution (RID) of Spam Act. Click here for more.

New Directions for eBay: The view that many people have of eBay is actually a couple of years behind the times. For example, eBay is often referred to in the press as "the online auctioneer," but that’s not entirely accurate anymore. In fact, in Q1, nearly 26% of our sales were settled in a fixed price format, called Buy it Now. Click here for more.

Is the end near for Netscape?: America Online cut about 50 jobs from its Netscape Communications' Web browser development team, as the Internet division of AOL Time Warner cuts costs and tries to recharge growth, a spokesman said Wednesday. Click here for more.

File swaps seek cloak of secrecy: What's the world coming to? It's getting so that you can't steal music any more without being busted. That's the kind of reaction coming from Internet file-swappers now that the recording industry has vowed to file lawsuits and maybe even criminal complaints against people who trade pop tunes without paying for them. Click here for more.

File-sharing dips after threat to sue: The number of people using several Internet file-sharing services declined by several thousand the week after the music industry threatened to sue online music swappers, an Internet tracking firm said Monday. Kazaa and Morpheus -- two popular file-swapping services -- had 15 percent fewer users during the week ending July 6, according to Nielsen/NetRatings. Click here for more.

Cyber sex lures love cheats: Growing numbers of married people are turning to internet chat rooms for sexual thrills, a US study has found. Can marriage vows survive in the internet age? Most spouses who got involved with the opposite sex over the internet did not think they were doing anything wrong, said the report by a University of Florida researcher. Click here for more.

New music download service launches: A new Internet music download site for PCs debuting Tuesday boasts the cheapest per-song rates yet but many of the same restrictions on copying that have stymied wider use of other music services. Click here for more.

Mainly Microsoft

Microsoft urged to fry its own spam : Microsoft recently launched a high-profile campaign against spammers, but some critics say the company should be more introspective if it is serious about reducing the scourge of unwanted e-mail. Click here for more.

Will Microsoft's browser engine backfire?: Microsoft may have unwittingly started a revolt against its Internet Explorer (IE) browser by discontinuing it as a standalone product and blurring the future of the current version, IE 6. Click here for more.

Microsoft Feels Your Pain: A thousand points of light. A kinder, gentler country. These are mottos from the first Bush administration's attempt to connect with ordinary citizens. Microsoft seems to be appropriating the elder Bush's efforts with a multi-pronged effort to soften its take-no-prisoners image. Click here for more.

Microsoft says three security flaws found in Windows software: Microsoft Corp., the world's largest company by market value, issued three security fixes to plug gaps in its Windows software, including one that the company called "critical." Click here for more.

Unix/Linux Line

Mozilla releases last 'fat' browser: On Monday the Mozilla project released its latest open-source browser, version 1.4, its last incarnation before developers switch their efforts to a new, slimmed-down version of the software. Simultaneously, AOL Time Warner has released version 7.1 of the commercial Netscape browser, based on the Mozilla 1.4 code. Click here for more.

Open source trade clash: Open source trade clash Simon Hayes and James Riley JULY 01, 2003 THE growing love affair of Australian governments with open source software may sour trade negotiations with the US. An anti-open source group backed by Microsoft is lobbying furiously to stymie open source moves by some states. Click here for more.

SCO sues IBM for $1 billion for 'devaluing Unix': What could be stranger than one Linux business suing another Linux business for devaluing UNIX™? The SCO Group (formerly Caldera) has filed suit against IBM for investing in Linux and giving away proprietary technology in the operating system. Click here for more.

Microsoft: We pay the legal fees: Microsoft has a new sales pitch for Linux users: Buy our software and stay out of court. The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant has expanded the indemnity provisions that go with its software licensing agreements to remove a perennial sticking point in sales negotiations: who picks up the tab if a Microsoft customer gets sued because of Microsoft's products. Click here for more.

Mac News

Apple steps into the future with Panther and G5: Apple on Monday passed its Intel-based competition in processor power with the release of the much-anticipated Power Mac G5 desktop computer. The company also used the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) to show the advanced features of Panther. Click here for more.

Apple Stakes Desktop Claim: Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs unveiled last week what he called "the fastest desktop computer in the world," and promised to make the Mac OS X operating system easier to work with, at the opening of Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco. Jobs said Apple would henceforth compete with top-of-the-line Intel/Windows machines... Click here for more.

Security and Safety

How viruses (and your PC) are used to send spam : UNFORTUNATELY, it appears spammers have found another creative way to avoid being caught: using millions of virus-infected PCs--one of which could be yours--to send out their junk e-mail messages. Click here for more.

Virus turns PCs into spam machines: It’s part-spam, part-virus and becoming a complete nuisance. The latest version of the “SoBig” virus continued to worm its way around the Internet on Thursday. Click here for more.

Making it tough on digital thieves: For most people, a broadband Internet connection costs $35 to $50 a month. But Brian Ford can get all of the bandwidth he wants simply by strolling the streets of Cambridge with a handheld computer and a wireless Internet card. Click here for more.

Spying abounds at Internet sites: Theres a good chance that if you knew how often and how much personal information is gathered about you while youre online, and sometimes using your computer offline, too, you'd want to stop visiting many sites. Click here for more.

The threat posed by hacker hype: After a widely publicized hacking contest failed to cause as much damage as expected last weekend, computer security experts are advocating a novel response for Internet hackers out for a digital joy ride: ignore them. Click here for more.

ZoneAlarm "flaw" is a bunch of hooey: If you pay any attention to news about software or PC security, you've no doubt heard of a severe flaw discovered recently in the popular ZoneAlarm personal firewall. You may have heard that Zone Labs initially refused to fix this flaw in the free version of their software. Click here for more.

Virus marketing reaches new lows: Anti-virus company Sophos has warned that its Australian technical support have been receiving reports from people who receive an e-mail inviting them to visit a Web site -- run by Avenue Media NV, based on Curacao in the Caribbean -- containing free comic video clips, including on of Bill Gates copping a pie in the face. Click here for more.

Could your computer be a criminal?: One thousand home computers hijacked and used to serve up pornography. Perhaps tens of thousands co-opted by the “SoBig” virus, many of them turned into spam machines. Hundreds of other home computers loaded with secret software used to process stolen credit cards. If your biggest computer crime fear was lost or stolen files, think again... Click here for more.

Internet scams linked to identity theft: Stealing identities and credit card numbers with bogus e-mail and Web sites that appear to come from legitimate companies is an increasing problem on the Internet, federal officials warned Monday. Click here for more.

The Weird, Weird Web

Web site asks child-killing mom to pull ad: The Web site that accepted a personal ad from convicted child killer Susan Smith seeking pen pals from her prison cell asked her Friday to withdraw the ad because the result has been "kind of a freak show." Click here for more.

Man fined for Internet kidney sale: A German court has sentenced a man for trying to sell one of his kidneys on the Internet to a four month suspended jail sentence and fined him 2,000 euros authorities said Tuesday. He was hoping to use the proceeds to ease his girlfriend's financial worries, said court spokesman Theodor Weber. Click here for more.

Man charged with eating Net friend: German prosecutors have charged a 41-year-old man with murder for allegedly killing, dismembering and eating the flesh of another man who consented to the arrangement over the Internet. Click here for more.

French Government Bans Term 'E-Mail': Goodbye "e-mail," the French government says, and hello "courriel" - the term that linguistically sensitive France is now using to refer to electronic mail in official documents. The Culture Ministry has announced a ban on the use of "e-mail" in all government ministries, documents, publications or Web sites, the latest step to stem an incursion of English words into the French lexicon. Click here for more.

A Little Levity

The Internet is a great way to get on the Net. -- Bob Dole

If it's green, it's biology. If it stinks, it's chemistry. If it has numbers it's math. If it doesn't work, it's technology.

A TV can insult your intelligence, but nothing rubs it in like a computer.

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Bringing It All Back Home

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Take care through August,

Rob Zorn