We directed a caller today to AVG Anti-Virus as a free antivirus program. It's one of many free programs that you can use to improve your computing experience. There's a wide range of open-source programs available for free that can do things like replace Microsoft Office and allow you to create your own audio files. A couple of former Microsoft execs are starting up their own open-source software firm.
The "month of browser exploits" is apparently irritating both the good guys and the bad guys. It's an effort by a "white-hat" hacker who's mad because Microsoft hasn't been keeping up on patching security holes.
Firefox users probably don't know enough about one of the greatest tools around: Live Bookmarks (technically called RSS). Live bookmarks show up in the address bar of Firefox as an orange box with a little radar-like icon. Click on that icon and you can add a Live Bookmark to your Firefox bookmarks list -- it'll show you the latest content added to your favorite sites. Not all sites have them, but you can see an example at Brian Gongol's website. It's only available in Firefox for now, but Internet Explorer 7 will have integrated live bookmarks and Opera has an RSS reader.