This newsletter will be for inexpensive fun ... and some tools that you may even find helpful.
One serious topic ... if you have not installed your software firewall, there is a new service that has a very good, free product. I have been using both the free and the 'pro' version of Agnitum's Outpost firewall. Both are very good. I have had some initial difficulties with pcAnywhere and setting up my own FTP site, but it seems that could be solved.
Weird Web Links
Useless Information - Stuff you never needed to know but your life would be incomplete without. Any interest in Bat Bombs? Electric pickles? Ever hear of President David Rice Atchison of the United States of America?
Google Zeitgeist - Search patterns, trends, and surprises. This neat page changes every month. What is everyone else searching for? If this is not enough, try out the Lycos 50 Daily Report, listing the top 50 items searched every day on Lycos - complete with analysis. Yahoo! Buzz List for the top Yahoo! selections.
I personnally do not use instant messaging very often. But when I do, I get frustrated by the incompatibilities between each of the vendors. No matter what instant messaging service that you use, it does not talk to users of other services. Of course, whoever I want to talk with uses one of the 'other' services. Trillian solves that problem. Get validated for any of the services that you want to communicate with. Then use Trillian. Trillian will talk with all of the major services.
Click here for a real weird web site. Rabbit thinks that your cursor is a carrot and tries to grab it. If he catches it, you have to really shake him off. Sounds weird - but lots of fun.
Google Whacking is a new internet game. All it requires is your browser and an internet connection.
If you get exactly one entry, you win! This is far more difficult than it seems. Most of the time, you will get either a zillion answers or nothing. Getting one is really tough.
If you do get a result, celebrate! Then go to googlewhack to see if what you found is unique (of course, submit your find if it is not already on this site).
My kids ...
This is addicting. I refuse to participate - I do not have time. I want you to have fun with this - but NOT before you get your homework done and something productive done around the house (including having your rooms clean).
If you are having difficulties finding links in Google, maybe it is because you aren't using your native language. Try one of these special sites:
Great Free Downloads
If it's a graphic, IrFanView can view it! Huge number of graphic formats that can be displayed. Download the plug-ins for an even larger number of graphic formats.
Very fast and easy to use.
Create slide shows, thumbnails. Basic image manipulation.
View from your scanner. 'Copy shop' printing.
Even plays sound and videos!
Imports over 340 graphic formats. Exports over 40 formats.
Excellent graphic browser. Create a web page. Create a contact print.
Scan and view.
Very powerful and flexible screen capture. Capture an area from your screen. Capture a window. Capture your screen.
Supports a wide variety of graphic formats. Nice graphic editor.
Graphic browser. Photo library. Image viewer.
Neat little Personal Information Manager. Notepad, calendar,
Go to Easy Noter's web site and they charge for this tool (Shareware). This link gets you to the previous version - licensed by ZdNet as a give-away advertisement.
Very powerful software firewall. I have always been a fan of ZoneAlarm Pro. But the extensibility included in Outpost's rule-based structure makes this a long term winner. Good information to show what is blocked and what is passed.
Excellent 'learning mode' to customize itself for how you use your computer. However, there are signs of immaturity. The system suggests configurations for situations that it runs into. However, although extensive, the list of formally named configurations is still limited. The system attempts to 'guess' what comes close to your needs when there is not already a specific configuration.
Includes 'plug-ins' for content control, attachment filter, attack detection, and window pop-up's. Most of these plug-ins are not as good as what you can get in stand-alone applications. However, it does save resources to include all of these under a single 'umbrella' resource. And integration with your firewall does provide some unexpected benefits (for example, the pop-up ad application removes the graphics from many of the ads that are sent via email).
Ad killer (or whatever it is)
Everything you wanted to know about about an internet address. Plug in the address and there are more fast 'who is' analysis than anywhere else. RDNS, DNS trace, fingers, pings. URL decoders. Return not only the source behind a web page, but capture the 'header' data. Analyze the type of sites a web site comes from. Analyze email headers for sources. Website crawling.
Complimentary capabilities are available at Sam Spade's web site (in case you don't have your Sam Spade application with you). The site also contains a lot of help information to learn how all of this protocol stuff works.
This is one that I just found. Your computer is probably not optimized for the type of communication that you do. DFUeTweaker will let you define your primary means of communicating, and will update system settings to optimize.