The WHO Radio Wise Guys
Brian Gongol

Find out if your name is available as a "vanity domain" (something like 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 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. 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: There are some good things to be said about Vista, though: Its built-in speech-recognition software is surprisingly good. It's a far cry from the Star Trek universe of "Computer on!" commands, but it has some real potential for people who have difficulty typing or those who can get used to dictation techniques.

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: The irony involved in antivirus software is that they have a built-in incentive to discourage you from following safe computing practices. After all, if you were to run your computer on a limited-access account, get your e-mail through a webmail service, and use an alternative Internet browser like Firefox or Opera, you'd significantly reduce your chances of getting viruses and spyware. But that would mean you wouldn't perceive as much of a need for antivirus software. From a marketing standpoint, it's much better (for the antivirus makers) if you do a bunch of ridiculous and unsafe things on your computer, allowing their programs to pop up with "Virus blocked!" messages all the time. That makes it seem like their software is working. But you're much better off if you do the safe things that prevent you from encountering viruses and other malware in the first place.

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.

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