July 2005

Microsoft now protects downloads with Windows Genuine Advantage

Check out this article from Windows IT Pro. It gives a good introduction to the Windows Genuine Advantage program and a link to the Microsoft website that explains it. Briefly, all downloads from Microsoft, including Windows updates (but not including security updates, from what I hear) will require this. The good news: you don’t need to enter your 25-character product key. This is supposedly the way of the future!

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Antispyware apps

On the strength the recommendations from a few friends, I bought and installed Spyware Doctor. PC Magazine has supposedly recommended it but I can’t find the article for the life of me. Spywareinfo has a review of the product here along with a $10 discount code, good until July 28, 2005. Since I had just had a spyware scare, I took the plunge.

Why Spyware Doctor and not one of the others? Well, it seems that all of the good ones are going commercial and I’m not certain that Microsoft’s is as good as it could be. I use it at work and it seems to do a fine job but I dont’ get any positive feedback that it’s found anything, even though I do a full scan every day — and I just can’t believe I’m that clean. Anyway, if I’m going to pay for something, I want to make sure it’s doing the best job possible. Yes, I know the leaderboard changes frequently but, like I said, I had a scare and I wanted the best solution I could get NOW!

My results? So far, so good. It’s constantly removing cookies from a few of the more aggressive ad sites and I’ve already gotten one spyware update. It writes to other processes’ memory, though, and my firewall (Agnitum’s Outpost Firewall Pro) catches and complains about it. A small tweak to one of the firewall options shuts it up but I’m curious what Spyware Doctor’s doing. I’ll have to research that and post my findings.

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Free RADIUS server for WiFi authentication

WiTopia is offering a free year of RADIUS service to the home user. This gives Enterprise-level authentication to the home WiFi user/administrator. Their free service provides RADIUS authentication for one wireless access point/router and up to 5 users. When a WiFi card attempts to connect with your router, it prompts the user for his/her userid and password, connects to WiTopia’s Radius server and authenticates the user.

Overkill? Probably. The biggest problem that I can see with it is that my Internet connection has to be up for me to even get onto my wireless network. But, still, it’s good technology. Window Secrets has this article on the service.

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Internet Radio: A few sites

EverybodysMusic.com looks like a nice mix of stations. An all-Beethoven channel, a Big Band channel, an eclectic music channel (Radio Kava — Brad Kava, perhaps?) and classic country (KRTY Classic).

Another great eclectic station is Radio Paradise. All the way from a 128K MP3 stream to a 20K WMP stream suitable for dial-up. Free, or, actually, listener supported, and started up, I believe, by the original engineer who put KPIG on the Internet waaaaay back when.

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