Find out if your name is available as a "vanity domain" (something like BrianGongol.com): You can use a free search tool on Brian's website to search for yourself. If your name is available, it costs less than a dinner out at a mid-scale restaurant. Brian uses PairNIC to register domain names, and Dan uses 1and1.com. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. PairNIC tends to be a little more expensive up-front, but it comes with more features, like the ability to manage your e-mail without ever setting up a full website. 1and1.com tends to be cheaper up-front, but Dan doesn't like their automatic re-registration.
A good example of a person who ought to get a vanity domain is Dan Tullis, the guy who voices some commercials you hear on WHO. He identifies himself at the start of the commercial, but nobody knows who he is.
Our Wise Guys podcast has some new content we hope you'll enjoy from recent shows, just like our Twitter accounts let you follow the show in real time. Funny side note: The word "podcast" hasn't even been around for five years yet. The government has denied several requests to trademark the word.
Technical glitches have created a huge mess at Heathrow's new Terminal 5. 54 flights were cancelled yesterday because of the mess, which includes problems with the automated baggage-handling system, parking shortages, and glitches with the computerized check-in system. China, meanwhile, is planning to build 97 new airports in the next 12 years. Try wrapping your brain around that...especially after seeing how much work went into expanding the Des Moines International Airport over the last couple of years.
On a related note, a think tank has recommended that China start building megacities at a rapid pace to keep up with its rising population and rapid urbanization. It's pretty hard to believe, though, that building new cities of 25 million people or more will be better for the environment, more efficient, or more humanizing than some of the alternatives. New York and Los Angeles aren't even that large, and the amount of corruption, danger, and social isolation that we've experienced in those places hardly bodes well for a plan to build cities like that from scratch.
People using Windows Vista may have noticed that it's a pretty significant memory hog. That memory use tends to keep the computer from performing as well as it could under optimal circumstances. We've been Vista skeptics for some time now, and having had time to check it out for ourselves, it seems like our early suspicions have been more or less confirmed. There's nothing wrong with Vista, per se, but there's not a lot of reason to upgrade from Windows XP to Vista if you don't have to.
That being said, you shouldn't necessarily downgrade from Vista to XP, either. Here are some thoughts to consider before downgrading:
- Windows XP was similarly buggy until Service Pack 2 came out. After Service Pack 2, Windows XP became a pretty reliable operating system -- some would say Microsoft's best. Vista probably just needs another service pack upgrade or two to come to maturity and become truly better than XP.
- After getting the bugs worked out of XP, Microsoft ceased support for Windows 98 and Windows ME in July 2006. If you take that as an indication of future behavior, then there's a good chance that whenever Microsoft comes out with Windows 7 (maybe in 2010), it may cease support for Windows XP. It would be unfortunate to have a relatively new computer that suddenly goes unsupported by the maker of the operating system.
If you're a laptop user, you might like these suggestions for do-it-yourself laptop stands. Brian has long used a straight piece of copper pipe with a 90-degree angle attached at either end to help elevate the fans and improve air circulation to the machine.
Some researchers in Utah think they've found a cure for macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness in the Western world.
We revived our debate on client-based e-mail (like Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird) versus webmail (like Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail). Dan prefers client-based e-mail for its features. Brian strongly recommends going with webmail because it adds a very strong layer of security protection by keeping spam and virus-laden attachments off your computer.
E-mail question of the week:
I have taken your advice and run now as a limited access account. Since I have done this my McAfee software gives me a balloon telling me "your computer is not fully protected." When I click this I get the McAfee site saying "internet and networks need attention". Clicking the fix button clears it up for that session. The next time I log on it starts over again. I do not have this problem when running as an administrator account. What's up?Good question, Warren. Here are some thoughts:
- First, it's great that you're using a limited access account. That's one of the easiest and most effective steps anyone can take to make their computer more secure.
- Frustrations like this are part of the reason why I don't really like McAfee's antivirus software, though similar problems affect many of the antivirus programs.
- In all probability, what's happening is that when you login under your limited-access account, the McAfee software on your computer is trying to communicate with the McAfee servers to find out whether any new updates to the virus definitions have been released. When it's not allowed to update those definitions, it issues that warning about your computer not being "fully protected."
- Two ways around this problem come to mind. First, you could simply get into the habit of logging on as a computer administrator every couple of days to update the definitions, then log out and do the rest of your browsing from the limited-access account.
- Alternatively, you may be able to use the "Run as..." command. Try right-clicking on the McAfee program link (either on your desktop or from your Start menu). You should see a pop-up menu of options, starting with "Open". The second option is usually "Run as..." You can use "Run as..." to set the computer to run McAfee in administrator mode, even if you're using a limited-access account. Your mileage may vary, but this method usually works.
It's not really that the antivirus software makers want you to get malware all the time, but they also tend not to make it easy for you to use their software while using those safe computing practices that we so often recommend. So it shouldn't be a surprise that they don't make it easy to update your virus definitions from a limited-access account. But keep using that kind of account anyway -- it's extremely effective at reducing your risk of trouble.
Keywords in this show: airports • antivirus software • baggage handling • blindness • China • client-based e-mail • construction • corruption • domain names • domain registration • environmental protection • Heathrow • infrastructure • laptops • laptop stands • limited-access accounts • McAfee antivirus • macular degeneration • malware • megacities • Microsoft • operating systems • planned obsolescence • podcasting • social isolation • support services • trademarks • urbanization • vanity domains • viruses • voice recognition • webmail • Windows Vista • Windows XP