June 2006

Windows Genuine Advantage is Spyware according to Windows Secrets

According to the 06/15/2006 edition of Windows Secrets Microsoft’s Genuine Adfvantage is spyware. I agree with him to a limited extent. And I find I’m getting more and more uneasy (less and less easy?) about dealing with Microsoft. I’ve got a spare laptop … maybe it’s time to install a good Linux distro on it.

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Google Browser Sync for Firefox

Google Labs has come up with another cool idea — browser sync. What is it? In their words:

“By default, Google Browser Sync continuously synchronizes your bookmarks, history, persistent cookies, tabs, windows, and saved passwords across computers.”

You can get it from this page and discuss it in the Google-Firefox-Extensions group.

Your information is stored on their servers and, yes, they will encrypt your data with a “PIN” or password that you specify. You need to have a Google account but the PIN doesn’t have to match your Google password and, in fact, you can set up a new account just for this if you’re feeling paranoid (yeah, some folks have the feeling that Google is the next Microsoft when it comes to privacy). You have some flexibility about what data is synched but note that to sync you must be connected to the net. That’s not a problem for most people but folks on dial-up probably don’t want to participate.

No, I haven’t tried it yet because … well, I’m just not ready yet. I don’t use the Google toolbar (in fact, I don’t use any toolbars) but I do use a lot of other Firefox extensions. I guess I just have to get used to the idea first. And I’ll let you know when I adopt it.

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Shared calendaring via web and phone

Just came across AirSet and I like it! It’s a shared calendar and contact application. Maybe there are a lot of them out there that compare favorably to this but I’m not aware of them. There are a couple of nice things:

1) it’s calendar and contacts
2) you can set up multiple groups and have calendars for each of them
3) you’ve got a personal calendar which can show all of the appts from all of the groups
4) you can control what shows up
5) updates you make, regardless of whether it’s on your cell phone or the web site, show up immediately in everyone’s view

Update 6/12/2006: Just spoke with my brother and he told me about Planzo. Doesn’t look like it does phone but I haven’t really checked it out yet. GW Bush has a Planzo calendar here and so does Condi so it looks like they have a sense of humor.

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