Friday, January 13, 2006

January 06 Tech Update: The "I Wish I Was At ATIA" Edition

Steve’s Word Of The Month:
Bluetooth Sniping
Definition: The practice of nabbing information from passers by through direct antennas to devices like cell phones. The record for stealing info off a Bluetooth device is 2 miles. Mind you it was in the desert but generally a good black hat hacker can take your info from a football field away. Solution? Don’t use Bluetooth 24-7. Only activate your antenna when you need to use wireless connections.

Lightning Round Strikes!

* ATIA: Can’t make it to Florida? Nope me either. But pretend your there by reading what products will be announced at the conference. Hint; Pac Mate 4.0.

* Zoom Text: Expect a patch in 2 weeks to take the program to 9.02. Version 9.1 is in the works but probably won’t be talked about until the summer. Chances are, just like everyone else, it will the the Vista compatibility upgrade.

* Kurzweil: I was asleep at the wheel last month and I forgot to mention that 10.3 arrived on Dec 8th. Get the patch here:

* Braille Sense: Here are the release notes for what changes were made to the unit:

* Keysoft 6.2 Patch: Humanware has released a new patch for the mPower that takes care of some more battery and speech freezing issues. Get it here:

* Dolphin Products: Dolphin has released Dolphin Producer. They really have some neat and innovative products for Daisy production. Take a look at the info here:

* Access World: The January 06 edition is on line with articles on mobile phones and a showdown between the three major screen readers. Read it here:

* Windows Update: The new desktops going into the field are wildly out of date on their hard drive images. Check for the latest updates when hooking up these units for the first time. And the latest patches for Windows January update are small and painless. Even for dial up users. Two updates are up, however, as usual your mileage may very depending on how often you update Windows.

* Norton Anti Virus: Recently Samantech admitted that they used a root kit to save information and settings. This hidden file can now be exploited and a new patch can be downloaded from Live Update or Norton’s site to clear this up.

* Blue Ray: The format war heated up at CES. Check out the following link to read more about something that won’t replace DVD for at least two more years.

* Computer Hardware: In a quiet story with big ramifications Seagate bought Maxtor. Not much to some but to others who remember the good old days the temperature below ground dropped a few degrees.

~ “Tabbing Your Sidebar Through Vista”

The December build of Vista is in the hands of private beta testers and developers now. It’s almost feature complete which means it WILL MAKE it’s 3rd quarter 2006 release date. An update to Office, called Office 12 for now, is coming along for the Vista slay ride. Learn more about both here:

Vista December Build Review

Office 12 Preview

~ “Blind Patriotism Means Open Source?”

I haven’t decided if this article is propaganda for the GPL community or a really naïve person writing about a subject that he is moderately versed upon. Either way seeing an article where blind people are called socialists because of the need to run Windows and JAWS is worth a look.

~ “Vegas CES Rolls Up 7 For Microsoft”

Bill was lampooned pretty hard by G4 this week. They did a Macworld skit where Jobbs made full of Bill’s entrance at CES. For those who missed it Bill Gates runs like a girl. The footage of his running on stage was then shown in a long loop to emphasize this fact. But beyond that Bill demonstrated Vista, the new Windows Media Player 11 and some Xbox 360 goodness. Here’s the highlights of his keynote.

~ “An Apple A Day .. Is Tracked For Your Buying Pleasure.”

Oh my Apple is so secure. Ooo. I hardly ever get hacked. Ah my life in the cult of Apple is wonderful. Well a recent ZDNet article shows that Unix/OSX hacks are on the rise, IPOD hacks are every day occurrences and even ITuens has a big brother plug in working in the server side of things.

~ “You’ve been Googled”

Wal Mart and Google are working on a $200 laptop. No word if this will meet that directive to have a hand cranked, no kidding, unit that will meet the needs of low income families. But these units will be running an operating system created by Google not Windows.

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