Niwot-based Crocs Inc. announced today that it has donated 100,000 pairs of shoes to Feed The Children and other organizations, which will work to distribute to those hardest hit by the recent earthquake and resulting tsunami.
. . . just links from HayYoo.com and DanKostecki.com
UPDATE – 3/31/2011
Just one day after this story spread across the internet, it has been found to be erroneous. A false positive by Vipre Antivirus software caused the issue. Vipre has accepted responsibility for the error.
A user discovered a keylogger pre-installed on two brand-new Samsung laptops that the company admitted was there to “monitor the performance of the machine and to find out how it is being used.” Mohamed Hassan wrote in Mich Kabay’s Security Strategies newsletter that as soon as he received his Samsung R525 laptop, he ran a full system scan and found a commercial keylogger called StarLogger. StarLogger claims it records every keystroke made on the computer, even on password-protected boxes, starting up whenever the computer starts up. The software emails results at intervals to a specified email address and will even include screen captures. Hassan ended up buying a second Samsung laptop, a model R540, and found the same keylogger installed on that one. “The fact that on both models the same files were found in the same location supported the suspicion that the hardware manufacturer, Samsung, must know about this software on its brand-new laptops,” he writes.
– and in another post …
The supervisor who spoke with me was not sure how this software ended up in the new laptop thus put me on hold. He confirmed that yes, Samsung did knowingly put this software on the laptop to, as he put it, “monitor the performance of the machine and to find out how it is being used.” In other words, Samsung wanted to gather usage data without obtaining consent from laptop owners.
He said, “If this doesn’t get me laid, I give up.”
Internet Explorer 9 was up first. Things started going downhill during the installation. Even though I had all programs closed, the installer insisted on closing 7 background programs. This list included Microsoft’s antivirus program – Security Essentials. That’s right, IE 9 shut off my antivirus protection to install itself. My second issue with IE 9 was with importing of bookmarks. I have a large collection of bookmarks, arranged in folders. Internet Explorer would import only a small percentage of the bookmarks and most of the ones that were imported were pulled out of their folders(the folders were not imported). The most serious strike against IE 9 is that it is only available for Windows 7; all earlier versions of Windows, including XP, cannot use IE 9. Overall, IE 9 seemed to perform well – it never crashed or had any page rendering issues. The interface is quite stripped down and atractive, but I cannot recommend IE 9.
Firefox 4 jumps on the minimalization bandwagon by replacing the Menu Bar with a single button and disabling the Status Bar by default. Those are the major interface changes and both are easily reversed, if you prefer a look more like Firefox 3. Another major upgrade is the improved Add-ons Manager. Firefox 4 seems faster and it did not crash. Of course, extensions are the reason to use Firefox. All of my extensions from FF3 were available on FF4, and I found 2 more I had to have. If you like to browse your way, Firefox is the browser for you. With a large library of extensions, themes and other add-ons, Firefox can be personalized like no other browser.
Last year, I gave Chrome a very poor review. I decided to give Chrome 10 another shot. Speed is still Chrome’s strong suit. I did not experience the crashes that had occurred frequently last year. My major complaint with Chrome is the lack of customization. This has not changed since last year. Almost nothing on the interface can be altered and the selection of extentions is pathetic. Chrome takes the minimalization to the extreme – the Home Button, Bookmarks Bar and Status Bar are all disabled by default. The Home Button, Bookmarks Bar can be enabled, the Status Bar cannot. Chrome’s worst feature may be the Downloads Bar. It is 2 or 3 times the size of a standard bar, it is activated and animated with every download and it cannot be disabled. I just realized that Chrome is the browser equivelant of OSX – do it their way or don’t do it at all. My opinion of Chrome is much improved due solely to the improved reliability.
– – The Bottom Line – –
Firefox 4 is the best of the lot. Speed and reliablity have improved and it offers the most personal browsing experience. Chrome is the right choice if the lack of customization is not important. I can’t recommend Internet Explorer 9.
LifeHacker presented this interesting article about how to re-purpose that old thumb drive that you have laying around. I’ve already done two of the suggestions (Emergency recovery drive and Portable Apps drive) and I’m planning to try the Digital time capsule. Most of the suggestions are excellent, except for the Virtual RAM drive. A Virtual RAM drive requires a very fast (new) thumb drive and even then it does very little to improve the performance of Windows.