Note: This column represents the opinions
of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact|
Yes, it's time for another weekly dose of the unusual, oddball or just plain
stupid stuff from the web.
Never work with kids or animals. Well that's what they say. However, I can't
help but wonder whether someone had trained and was working in concert
with this bird
so as to keep themselves in Maars bars.
Here's a link for Helen Clark
which is particularly topical in light of recent events. You've got to keep
an eye on these things you know and there's no better way than over the Net.
Not for the squeamish but great proof that
you are what you eat
Be Careful With Wireless
It's the buzzword of the year: "Wireless", and chances are that you'll
be using some form of this technology in the near future.
If you are anything like me your home or office has more than one PC
and if you're unfortunate enough not to have any kind of networking
then transferring files from one machine to another is a real pain.
Back in the days when an entire program would fit on a single floppy,
such transfers were trivial - but these days even a whole CDR sometimes
isn't big enough to transfer some bits of data.
Besides which -- have you noticed that the 3.5" floppy disks you buy
these days are incredibly unreliable? Maybe it's just me but I find that
brand new floppies are only good for about six months before they start
losing data and won't reformat reliably. The strange thing is that I have
quite a few floppies I bought more than a decade ago and they're still 100%
But I digress...
Networking computers together, even in a home or small-office environment
offers huge benefits over stand-alone operation. That file-transfer problem
is solved and you also get the ability to share a single internet connection.
One of the big down-sides however, is the need for extra cabling and, as anyone
who has visited my place knows, creating a "carefully concealed network of cables"
is sometimes one of those things that always gets put off until "tomorrow."
Wireless networking offers to solve that problem and allow you to roam freely
around the house with your laptop, PDA or other portable device -- and that's good.
I often listen to overseas streaming radio stations when I'm out in the
workshop -- but in order to do this using my existing setup I have to plug
a little home-made FM transmitter into the soundcard on my PC so that I
can transmit the signal to a radio in the shed. Wireless networking would
allow me to simply take the laptop out there and listen directly through
a shared Internet connection.
There are numerous other areas where wireless networking will probably make
life a whole lot more convenient for most of us.
If you don't believe me -- just look at how cordless phones have effectively
replaced the old hardwired handset in so many homes.
The down-side however is that, as in the case with cheap cordless phones, you
really need to be aware that anyone nearby with the same type of gear, tuned
to the same frequencies might be able to hear everything you say or use your
Given the price of over-cap DSL traffic, how long before we find people
cruising the suburban streets in their cars, armed with a laptop and a wireless
networking card -- looking for someone with poorly configured security on their
home PC that also has a wireless network and a JetStream connection?
And, in case you hadn't figured it out -- don't leave your cordless phone
out of the cradle when it's not being used. If you do, a passer-by could easily use
your phone line to make any number of long-distance or 0900 calls -- and it'll
be the same for a poorly configured home wireless network.
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