Note: This column represents the opinions
of the writer and as such, is not represented as fact|
It's currently being referred to by several names: Goner, Gone, and Pentagone --
yet another new virus running fleet-footed through the PCs of Internet
users all across the globe.
the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook
are revealed for all to see!
This one spreads via email or ICQ's instant messaging and, according to at
least one report, it disables several of the most popular computer security
Of course (as usual) it only affects MS Windows users and just loves
taking advantage of MS Outlook.
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It usually arrives as an attachment (gone.scr) to an email that carries the
subject line "Hi" and claims to be a screensaver.
Anyone stupid or naive enough to run the attachment will find themselves
However, perhaps the most worrying thing about this menace is that it disables
a long list of products which are supposed to protect MS Windows machines
from such dangers.
The virus installs a back-door program which your personal firewall won't
detect or block -- because it will be disabled as part of the infection.
Reports indicate that this piece of malevolent code has already spread like
wildfire -- so be on your guard -- and don't let your trust in anti-virus
and firewall programs allow you to ignore basic email-handling safety:
Renting Music Not Without Problems
- Do not open unsolicited attachments -- even if they appear to be from
someone you know.
- Make sure you regularly check that your Windows and email software have
all the available security and update patches applied
If you read the headlines today you'll notice that the first of the
long-awaited and much-touted online music services has been launched.
For just US$9.95 a month (less than the price of a single album on CD),
you'll get access to more than 100,000 music tracks from a range of
contemporary pop artists.
Sounds pretty good eh?
Well maybe -- but there are some significant limitations:
So will this service fly?
- You can't burn the music to CD -- so unless your PC sits in the living
room and is connected to a decent stereo, the convenience and quality of the
music is somewhat compromised. Likewise you won't be able to listen to the
music in your car while stuck in a traffic jam on the way home from work.
- Although there are 100,000 tracks available -- you're only allowed to
download 100 per month.
- If you cancel your subscription -- your right to listen to the music
you've downloaded disappears -- remember, you're only renting the tracks.
Yeah, it will probably appeal to a large number of people who want legal
access to a wide range of music that can be played on their computers.
I know that, as a programmer, I was always listening to music as I worked,
and since I wore headphones, the PC-only playing restriction wouldn't matter
What about you -- would you consider paying almost NZ$25 a month for such a
Have your say
Save The Aardvark Fund
Yes, I have had several donations to the Aardvark fund and I thank those
who put their money where their mouse is :-)
If guilt is gnawing away inside you then there's still time to donate.
Just drop by and
hand over your loot.
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