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20 Things They Don't Want You to Know 403

theodp writes "PC World spills the beans about a bunch of things technology companies would rather you didn't know, including the lowdown on exploiting Windows' bad security, unlocking cell phones, using an IPod to move music and useless specs." Nothing groundbreaking, but might be a good primer for the non-techie in your life.
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20 Things They Don't Want You to Know

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  • by ReformedExCon ( 897248 ) <> on Saturday September 10, 2005 @04:57AM (#13525300)
    "Know anyone who uses Windows Messenger as their instant messaging client? Me neither."

    That's strange, because I don't know anyone who doesn't. Except for a new guy who uses Trillian, but he'll come around when he gets tired of fighting the firewall.

    PC World seems to be in a kind of limbo. It's not technical enough for anyone serious about computers, and it's way over the head of anyone who isn't familiar with computers. I guess that makes it prime reading material for CIOs.

    But seriously folks. I was at the bookstore the other day and picked up a Computer Shopper. When did this new thin format happen? What happened to 500 pages of advertisements?

    I wonder why Slashdot never gets any links to Dr. Dobbs Journal.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 10, 2005 @05:03AM (#13525319)
      Windows Messenger != MSN Messenger.

      • Windows Messenger is sometimes worth keeping because you can run it and MSN Messenger simultaneously - handy if you have two MSN accounts.
      • Additionally, Windows Messenger supports SIP and MSN, whereas MSN Messenger only supports MSN. I use Windows Messenger so that I can talk on both our company's SIP service, and to the rest of the world.
    • by gotr00t ( 563828 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @07:05AM (#13525536) Journal
      I think you're getting MSN confused with Windows messenger. While the former is a popular chat service that I must admit has a huge user base and lots of features, the latter is a built in "feature" of windows that allows people to display messages on your desktop.

      Many spammers have taken advantage of "windows messenger" spamming by throwing packets at windows messenger in hopes that it will appear on the users' desktop. Disabling the messenger effectively eliminates this.

      • Actually, there are three messengers.

        MSN Messenger is the ad-ridden MSN client
        Windows Messenger is the version without all the blinkety blink, but it's still a MSN client
        Windows Messenger Service is the thing that displays pop-up messages from other conmputers.
      • :P That's Windows Messenger (IM client).
      • You're confusing "Windows Messenger" with the "Messenger Service".

        MSN Messenger - instant messenger with a lot of doodads, a new version to be downloaded every day. AKA "msn".

        Windows Messenger - instant messenger that can log on to the MSN Messenger network, but also to Exchange/SIP servers, doesn't have many doodads. AKA "that crappy ancient version of msn that won't go away even if you install the newest version".

        Messenger Service - runs in the background on NT and higher, displays irritating "press OK" d
      • Popular? Huge user base? Who uses MSN Messenger? I know no one, but my AIM buddy list has 150 people on it. I don't know where all this pro-MSN Messenger sentiment is coming from, but it must be a localized clique.
        • I think you and the GP are both right. It really depends on your peer group. I would not choose to use MSN Messenger, but sadly since everyone I know uses it I have no choice. I could switch to AIM or Yahoo or some obscure client but I would have to also search for new family and friends, which isn't really practical. And they are not all going to change with me, because they also have their own family and friends who would have to be persuaded to change.

          I'm pretty sure that most people I know are not "pro-

        • by Inf0phreak ( 627499 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @10:54AM (#13526094)
          This localized clique you're talking about is called "Europe". Yes, AIM is widespread in USA (*AOL* Instant Messenger... not really surprising considering all those CDs and whatnot they pollute the world with, now is it?), but the rest of the world has to the best of my knowledge welcomed our messenging overlords.
    • by Alex P Keaton in da ( 882660 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @08:34AM (#13525728) Homepage
      I don't think any of us really choose our instant messenger. At work I use ICQ because everyone else at work uses it. BUt I also use AIM, because my little sister is away at school, and she uses AIM. I hate AIM, but if I choose not to use AIM, I am only hurting myself because then I couldn't IM my sister.
      The next logical Question- Why can't I get my sister to switch? All her friends use AIM. And so it goes.
      • It's too bad. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Inoshiro ( 71693 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @12:32PM (#13526405) Homepage
        Let's look at this from another perspective:

        "I don't think any of us really choose our mailer. At work I use Compuserve because everyone else at work uses it. BUt I also use AOL, because my little sister is away at school, and she uses AOL. I hate AOL, but if I choose not to use AOL, I am only hurting myself because then I couldn't mail my sister.
        The next logical Question- Why can't I get my sister to switch? All her friends use AOL. And so it goes.

        If only there was some kind of simple message ttransport protocol that could communicate between servers, allowing the server type itself to be abstracted out of the equation. People on different ISPs could mail people on others! It'd be a miracle.

        Why do we have the same problem we had with email in th 80s, now with IM clients? The Jabber protocol is designed to work just like SMTP was designed to allow messages between servers. Google's talk service is Jabber (mind you, their Jabber won't connect out to other Jabber servers, which is a pretty lame thing to do).

        Personally, I'm looking into setting up a Jabber server on the same system that does my email/web stuff. When it's working, I'll begin to try and migrate people over (Kopete works with it just fine).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 10, 2005 @04:58AM (#13525306)
  • by snotclot ( 836055 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @05:00AM (#13525310)
    BITTORRENT...! o_O

    / bet you were expecting something creative like Linux eh? // bleh, 3rd post!
  • by Monte ( 48723 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @05:06AM (#13525332)
    You mean my speakers can't sink 1,000 watts?!? The deuce you say!

    I love the power ratings on speakers. If those numbers were half true, playing an MP3 would make the streetlights dim in time to the music. And all that power somehow coming from a little 500 mA wall-wart. Science, wonders, and miracles!
    • by HateBreeder ( 656491 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @05:43AM (#13525410)
      they usually are true.

      But most users don't know how to interpret the numbers.

      For instance, when they said you speaker system is "1000 Watts" I'm pretty sure they meant the PMPO (Peak Music Power) rating, which means:
      (According to _power.html [])
      "So called "music power". This power figure tells the power which the amplifier can maximally supply in some conditions. PMPO rating gives the highest measuring value, but this info is quite useless, because there is no exact standard how PMPO power should be measured.

      The reason for this power rating was to show the max capability of equipment for recreating strong musical transients like kettle drums and the like. Similar thing (music power rating) was used in the sixties, and I think it assumed a square wave that swung the whole supply range of the output stage. This alone gives them a factor of two over a clean sine wave note. But the ugliest thing they did was to assume that the high power lasted such a short period of time that the power supply caps would hold the voltages steady without any drooping. In the real world, an under powered PS could be hidden by this ruse and the PMPO might be a factor of 10 or more higher than what could be sustained on a nice instrumental performance.

      Forget what adverts say about peak power or other "power terms" because they are not standardized and anyway comparable between equipments. Just look for "RMS continuous Power" or other reliable power rating (like DIN power). "

      Generally, there isn't any direct mapping between PMPO and RMS (Root Mean Square) since every manufacturer formulates his own PMPO measurements....
      Most of the time the RMS value of a speaker is about 10 times lower than the PMPO rating.
      Which in your case, Means ~100 Watt RMS (This is VERY good for a single channel... but it's kind'a low for a large multi-speaker system).

      Hope this helps.
      • by Handyman ( 97520 ) * on Saturday September 10, 2005 @06:34AM (#13525492) Homepage Journal
        Also, when comparing speaker performance, Watts are definitely not the complete picture.

        The first thing you need to find out is the efficiency of speakers. For instance, my speakers have an efficiency of 92 dB/W, which means that at a power level of 1 W, they will produce 92 dB of sound. As dB is a logarithmic scale, doubling the wattage will increase the number of dBs by 3, so a power level of 64 W will get me a 92 + 3 * 6 = 110 dB sound level. However, a speaker with an efficiency of 80 dB/W will only produce 98 dB for the same amount of power. I've seen efficiencies ranging from 70 dB/W up to the high ninety-somethings, so be careful to check these numbers.

        The second thing you need to find out is the impedance of the speakers, combined with the impedance your amplifier is rated for. For instance, my amplifier is not simply rated as 50 W, but as 50 W for speakers with an impedance of 8 Ohms, and 100 W for speakers with an impedance of 4 Ohms. This can make some difference. Watch out with getting a speaker with very low impedance though: if your amplifier wasn't designed to handle that, they will probably draw too much power, causing the amplifier to get overheated. In addition, you will not be able to open up your volume knob more than a couple of millimeters -- and volume is probably something you like to have detailed control over.
        • by Lonewolf666 ( 259450 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @07:21AM (#13525562)
          The average small to medium hi-fi loudspeaker tends to have an efficiency in the mid eighty-something dB/W. With something like 50 W of power, this is is quite sufficient for moderate volumes.
          If you want something loud for the party cellar, look for something with 90 dB/W or better. This kind of efficiency is usually found in larger loudspeakers, which can also handle 100W RMS or more. I guess Handyman's speakers belong in that category and would do fine in the party cellar.
          Big P.A. systems for rock concerts tend to have around 100 dB/W, combined with a few thousand watts of power. The resulting volume is quite impressive even in a large hall.
        • The first thing you need to find out is the efficiency of speakers. For instance, my speakers have an efficiency of 92 dB/W, which means that at a power level of 1 W, they will produce 92 dB of sound.

          Everything you wrote is true, but I have to nitpick just a little ;)

          The effeciency of a speakers is given in terms of output per watt at a reference distance (e.g. 92 dB 1 watt at 1 meter). It's generally understood that the sensitivity is measured at 1 meter, but if a loudspeaker specification doesn't give

      • by zootm ( 850416 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @06:59AM (#13525530)

        RMS continuous Power

        Great. Now I have a mental image of Richard Stallman transforming into a fire-breathing, behemoth-sized Godzilla-style Free Software monster.

        "No! Free Software must prevail! I need CONTINUOUSSSS POOOOOWWEEEEERRR"

        Sparks, flames, etc.

  • by squoozer ( 730327 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @05:13AM (#13525346)

    We all know this but I can't believe that PC World are actually saying it. They are one of the hardest sellers of extended warranties that I know. They once tried to sell me a warranty for a £10 mouse. IIRC the warranty was £15 but covered me for 3 years! No I don't shop there on a regular basis I just needed a mouse quickly.

    As far as I can tell they make their money from running virus scanners on ill informed customers PC's. Their customer service is awful at best even when they are taking large sums of your money. I suppose that is the result of them being the only show in town. The last thing that really bugs me though is that they always have a security guard on the door.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      I think I'm right in saying that the PC World (US) publication and the PC World store you're thinking about are completely different.

      Still, you're right about PC World being pretty useless, highly inflated prices etc.
    • by Monte ( 48723 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @05:19AM (#13525364)
      I would agree that extended warranties on PCs aren't worth it, but my rule is:

      1) If it's something that goes on the shelf/table and just sits there, forget the warranty: TV, DVD player, stereo, laptop, PC, etc

      2) If it's something you carry around, small, expensive and likley to break when dropped, consider the warranty: CD player, tape system, mini-disc, PDA, etc

      This has served me in good stead, the two or three extended warranties I have gotten have definitely paid for themselves. But then I'm a klutz.
      • by Savage-Rabbit ( 308260 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @07:29AM (#13525577)
        I'd add laptops to that list. I have had three of them, my first was a Toshiba which developed a broked LCD display (a month before the 1 year warranty expired) and a loose power connector (After warranty expired). The next one was an IBM laptop which I had for a loooooong time that also developed a broken LCD (After standard warranty expired but this time I bought an extended one). My current machine is a Powerbook which so far has gone through two defective LCD's (Factory flaw which Apple fixed without complaint) and an improperly re-assebled CD/DVD drive that assassinated a Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac disk (Original not pirate copy, also replaced without complaint by Apple although it was not a warranty issue). So does it pay to have an extended warranty? My opinion is a big fat YES but then perhaps I am phenominally unlucky with laptops. I am actually looking forward to finding out what will break down on the Intel-Mac PowerBook I am planning to buy as soon as they become available. One thing is for sure I will buy all the extra insurance for it that I can get.
        • Yes! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by volsung ( 378 ) <> on Saturday September 10, 2005 @08:07AM (#13525659)
          Between my iBook and my friend's Dell, we've each averaged about 3 serious warranty repairs over the 3 year extended manufacturer's warranty. The first 18 months were usually flawless, and then all that carrying to and fro started to make things fail. Failures included main boards, LCDs, and optical drives, any one of whch could have easily cost more than the $250 warranty to fix.

          I build all my desktop machines with crap parts and no extended warranties, but laptops need the 3 year full service warranty.

          • Me to, desktop machines that's fine but I'd always buy an extended warranty or an insurance for a laptop. Furthermore I would be very hesitant to buy a laptop on Ebay, especially not over a national border, precisely because I would have no warranty except the International one which can sometimes be very hard to cash in.
          • I'd go as far to say that a new notebook is only as good as its warranty. Anything beyond that is bonus time.

      • 2 might not work. When I got my Palm, I asked if the extended warranty would cover the screen breaking, and they said no (Future Shop). So it covers basically nothing that needs covering.
      • The warranty on my last laptop, a Compaq (long story), cost $100 and saved me $1000 in repairs to a busted LCD in the first month of extended coverage. If you carry your laptop to and from work every day, even if you have a padded case for it, a one-year warranty is simply not enough.

        As for TVs, I took some advice from a coworker when buying a projection TV: buy the floor model for $500 less than the new model, then buy a $400 four-year warranty. The extended warranty covers parts like the lamp that might
    • Extended Warranty? How can I lose!
  • Another thing wrong (Score:5, Informative)

    by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @05:13AM (#13525348)
    They recommend buying things from Dell. For those who are already stuck with things from Dell it is possible to get replacement parts from third parties (even Dell laptop batteries) without having to spend hours on the phone.
  • by flyingsquid ( 813711 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @05:16AM (#13525352)
    Soylent Green is PEOPLE!
  • Not clever (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ronald Dumsfeld ( 723277 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @05:17AM (#13525356)
    Is it just me, or does anyone else think this is dumb...
    I keep my Windows system pretty well secured, but somehow that doesn't prevent Windows' Security Center from informing me that 'Your computer might be at risk' every morning when I turn on my computer. That message gets old fast. To banish it for good, go to Start, Control Panel, Security Center. Then click Change the way Security Center alerts me in the resources box and uncheck all of the boxes on the resulting screen.
    Your average user should not be doing that.
    • Your average user should not be doing that.

      Come on, it's not going to make the slightest bit of difference. The average user ignores these messages and carries on using IE with an admin account anyway.

    • Re:Not clever (Score:5, Insightful)

      by B1ackDragon ( 543470 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @07:07AM (#13525538)
      I like the other replies, but I think the answer is less "the user doesn't care" and more "it trains the user not to care." The operating system crying wolf every 10 minutes for things that aren't problems (yes, Windows, anti-virus is updated) only serves to mask real security concerns.

      I guess, as always, if you want it done right don't leave it to Windows.
      • by Bastian ( 66383 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @10:28AM (#13526018)
        Heh, doesn't everyone ignore those little speech bubbles? Windows spams me more than the v1@gr@ people.

        My personal favorite: On a Windows XP box at work which has no USB2.0 bus that, I get a warning from Windows about having plugged a high-speed USB device into a low-speed USB port every time I plug my USB2 key in.

        Come on, that's not helping me. That's just mocking me for not having the latest hardware.
    • Re:Not clever (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tim C ( 15259 )
      If security centre is popping up that message regularly, that would seem to indicate that he is not keeping his system well secured.

      The only time I ever see that is if AVG hasn't had a chance to update itself for a couple of days (eg the machine just hasn't been on at the appropriate time, I've been away, etc) and warns me about it.
  • by stoolpigeon ( 454276 ) <bittercode@gmail> on Saturday September 10, 2005 @05:21AM (#13525367) Homepage Journal
    well I can't come up with 20 but here is a start

    • no matter what piece of hardware I buy, at any price, a faster and cheaper one will be out a week later
    • I really do look like a middle aged dad/geek- regardless of my #insert cool tech gadget here#
    • I spend more time getting my apps 'dialed in' than I do actually using them
    • I'll continue to upgrade every time my distro puts out a new release, even though everything works just fine now and my old hardware is having a tough time keeping up
    • At least once this week I'll continue explaining to someone about relational databases long after they have lost all interest.
    • I'll be showing my dad how to burn a cd at least 3 times in the next 2 months
    • my blog peaked that time 3 people read it in one day
    • When I 'signed' that one web petition for 'that cause' nothing happened
    • I'll get to use this in a couple days when this story gets posted again
    • Once again, I'll spend too much time at slashdot
    • by bhiestand ( 157373 ) * on Saturday September 10, 2005 @06:53AM (#13525518) Journal
      my blog peaked that time 3 people read it in one day

      Sorry to be the one to tell you, but that was just a faulty counter. The first page hit was when you went to the site to post to the blog. The second was from you viewing the page after posting it, just to make sure everything came out right. Then the third was when you returned a few hours later to check for any replies.
  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @05:21AM (#13525368)
    I always wondered where they got this shit. The first time I encountered it, I literally did a double take. I was poking around computer speakers, I don't remember why, and I came across a little set of desktop speakers. Nothing remarkable except that they were rated to about 300watts.

    Ok now WTF? As it happens, I own professional speakers. They are about 5 feet tall, dual bass drivers, 3-way, etc. Serious speakers in other words. I check on them and they are rated to 200 watts a peice. Sounds reasonable for their size, but would still be pushing it. I'm sure they could handle 200 watts of RMS power, but I really wouldn't want to try it.

    So how the hell can these little speakers handle 300 watts? I mean I can't even figure out a peak computation that would figure it. So I find that it's "PMPO" power. I don't know what PMPO means, Peak Momentary Power Output I've heard but I think SWPOOA would be a better term, Shit We Pulled Out of Our Ass. It seems to have no relation to reality, purely somebody's fantasy.

    For that matter I can't figure out why you'd want that kind of power out of computer speakers. I drive my speakers with a 150 watt amp, that's 75 watts per channel so a little less than half of what they are rated to take. It's overkill in the purest sense of the word. For normal, modern music I rarely drive them beyond 1 watt each. For classical dynamic music, maybe 5 watts. This drives it to nearly painful levels.

    More power is useful in large venues but for computers, who the fuck cares? Speakers are right next to you.
    • by Babbster ( 107076 ) <> on Saturday September 10, 2005 @06:08AM (#13525452) Homepage
      The truth is that people who care and know anything understand the situation and are not fooled, while the people who care and don't know anything will never tell the difference. It's always seemed like a nonissue to me...
    • I think I once heard that they simply multiplied the actual Watt ratings for the speakers by the number of speakers. So a pair of 10W computer speakers would be 10W * 10W * 2 = 200 MarketingWatts!

      I saw these from a brief Google search: "According how audio industry seems to use the term PMPO (peak music power output), in can be anything from 5 to 100 watts of PMPO that equals one real RMS watt." and "The vendor of the product calculates PMPO based on the maximum power output of the device under perfect cond
      • As an aside, would most computer users be better off getting a real amplifier and real speakers and using them for 10 years rather than dealing with shitty PC speakers?
        In terms of audio quality, yes. Even a mediocre hi-fi system will beat the typical computer speaker hands down.
        Ther are, however, two small caveats:
        1) The "real" amplifier plus speakers tends to use up more desk space.
        2) If you still use a CRT monitor, make sure that the speakers are not too close to the tube. The magnetic fields from the spe
      • I've been using a nice pair of mid-end "real" speakers (~£300/pair) and a nice ~£100 amp for a year or so, and even to my untrained ear they blow the crap out of even high end computer speakers. Fair enough, that setup cost maybe 3 times what an integrated computer speaker system would have done, but the quality is great, they look very nice indeed and they should last for god knows how long. Seems like a good purchase to me.
    • So how the hell can these little speakers handle 300 watts?

      They simply add up the wattages of all the speakers. Chances are what it was a 5.1 set rated at 300 watts. This could break down to 30 watts for each satellite with a 150W sub. Of course, those are all peak ratings, too...
    • I don't know what PMPO means, Peak Momentary Power Output I've heard but I think SWPOOA would be a better term, Shit We Pulled Out of Our Ass. It seems to have no relation to reality, purely somebody's fantasy.

      Indeed. A couple of posters try to explain somewhat reasonable ways to define the number, but the ratings are clearly utter nonsense. To dissipate 50 W peak power (100 W PMPO over 2 speakers) through an ordinary 8 ohm speaker cone, you would need 20 volts and a current of 2.5 amps. Neither the tiny

    • I don't know what PMPO means, Peak Momentary Power Output I've heard

      Sorry, you heard that wrong. It's Putrid Marketing Power Optimism. While some other posters still try to give a definition of it, I think your SWPOOA comes closest. There might be an official definition of it, as far as I remember it involves measuring the power of a ridiculously short pulse. Even your standard PC case speaker could probably endure 1000W, if it was only applied during 1 microsecond (1000W*1e-6 = 0.001 joules, that surely

  • by Nightspirit ( 846159 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @05:30AM (#13525392)
    I've found that printers typically only last a year, at most (I'm in college, so I use them alot). I've tried most brands (canon, HP, epson, lexmark) and not one of them have lasted over a year.

    Finally I bit the bullet and got a 3 year extended warranty on an all-in-one, and couldn't be happier. Whenever that thing finally breaks (and it will be soon) I'll simply turn it in for a new one.
    • I've found that printers typically only last a year, at most

      If you don't need colour, get a laser. If you have the room, get an old HP5 (NOT 5L). You can get these for less than $40, they literally have a lifetime of millions of pages, and refill toner is cheap.

      • Or if you really have the room, get a LaserJet 4Si. Built like a tank, heavy (40 kg or so), damn near indestructable, and easy to service yourself.

        I bought mine for EUR 125 two years ago, it was discarded by the local tax office. It still runs, but damn, it is big.

    • by bladernr ( 683269 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @06:50AM (#13525514)
      I've found that printers typically only last a year

      I've had an HP 4000 since 1997. I've printed lots, and I've never had a problem. I know someone who still has an HP 4si (circa 1993). Its not cheap to buy a quality laser printer, but, since I've only bought one printer in 8 years, I think it works out cheaper to buy quality.

      Or, as with anything else, you get what you pay for.

    • I've found that printers typically only last a year, at most (I'm in college, so I use them alot). I've tried most brands (canon, HP, epson, lexmark) and not one of them have lasted over a year.

      If I buy another Epson in my lifetime I totally plan to get an extended warranty on it. In fact, i'm seriously considering buying an Epson r200, a printer I have direct experence with clogging and running amuck, leaking, and doing all sorts of crap other than printing with an extended warranty just so I can bug the
    • Hmm, I just get me a shitty cheap all-in-one device every 2 years or so, thats how long they seem to last for me anyway..

      Getting a new one every 2 years is about as expensive as getting the extended warranty and then still having to replace it every 3 or 4 years anyway... and it gets me 'newer technology' on a regular basis.

      Interesting enough, the utterly cheap and crappy HP PSC 1200 I have now is way past its expected lifetime of 2 years already, without any signs of giving up.

      There is one reason why I hap
    • by panurge ( 573432 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @10:44AM (#13526073)
      If you are a college user, bet you hardly use printers at all. (BTW I work for a printing consultancy, and I do happen to know what I'm talking about.) A cheap laser printer is typically designed to last for a couple of hundred thousand pages, a Kyocera will do 350-400000 before even the drum needs replacing, and HP LaserJet 5 and 5M, and the 4000 series, will just soldier on and on. A good ballpark is that a printer is close to optimal loading if it goes through an ink cartridge or a toner a month, and under those conditions with minimal care you are likely to throw it away only when you get tired of it for some reason.

      The probable cause of your problem is that you don't use your printer very much and it dries out/gets full of dust/gets dropped.

      Most cheap all-in-ones are actually designed for low use SOHO owners, but a Canon LIDE series scanner, a cheap base model photo printer and a basic laser together are more capable, more reliable, and cheap to fix if something goes wrong (replacing one item is cheaper than buying the extended warranty on the all-in-one.)

  • 21... (Score:4, Funny)

    by advocate_one ( 662832 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @05:31AM (#13525393)
    how to survive a slashdotting...

    they're not gonna let that one out...

  • BAD fib
    You know Upstream & downstream stuff they will say you will get 256 kbps, 512kbsp and so on. Few weeks back I was at friends place. When sales guy of local DSL Company came to give all info and started to explain how good DSL is from Dial up. He told my friend *DSL is your own lease line* :/? So I interrupted him and said you mean LL? He said like that... Hee so this is how they sales connections and they don't Want to know much about technology. Okay don't explain technology but don't fib... co
    • by Anonymous Coward

      A few weeks ago, while at a friend's house, I heard the local DSL company's salesman trying to convince by friend to purchase their product. When trying to explain how fast an ADSL line could be when compared to a standard dial-up modem, he said that "DSL is like having your own leased line".

      On another occasion, I overheard a conversation in a shop between a salesman and an old lady. The salesman was trying to explain the difference between 2GB and 2GiB. Rather than use numbers, he said the diffe
      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 10, 2005 @09:58AM (#13525933)

        Yet Another Translation, by a professional:

        "Sometime Fibs are Good"

        An example of a bad fib:

        Marketing representatives often use fibs to misrepresent the speed of communications service. For example, while visiting a friend a few weeks ago, I heard a local DSL company's sales representative pitching his company's service. He began to explain the advantages of DSL over a dial-up connection, and in doing so he told a fib: he said that DSL is the same as having a leased line. I interrupted him and asked him for confirmation, using the standard acronym "LL" for "Leased Line" to make it clear that I wanted to know if he was suggesting that DSL and a Leased Line were equivalent. The marketing representative replied that DSL and Leased Lines were the same thing, which is patently untrue.

        This example of a bad fib demonstrates the underhanded marketing tactics some sales representatives choose to employ. These fibs lead the customer further from the truth, in the hope that the customer will make an ill-informed and unwise purchase. This tactic is unwise, however, because customers will grow unhappy with their service once they learn the truth.

        An example of a good fib:

        Hardware salespeople, especially the owners of stores and technically oriented sales representatives, sometimes tell less harmful fibs. Once, a merchant was pitching a 2GB USB pen to an older woman who did not seem to understand much about storage space. The merchant, being at heart an honest man, did not want to give his client the impression that he was selling her a full two gigabytes of storage space, because that was untrue, despite the manufacturer's claims. So, he disclosed the truth by telling a small fib: he told her that some of the space on the USB device was already used by software needed by computers accessing the device.

        Although the owner said did not fully explain the difference between the product advertisement and the truth, he did make an effort to show his client that the packaging was misleading and that the product would not fully live up to the expectations advertised. By telling a small fib, he avoided allowing a client to believe a larger lie or allowing her to become confused by technical jargon and unfamiliar concepts. In this case, the result of telling the fib was to bring the client closer to the truth so that she could make an informed purchase.

    • by lahvak ( 69490 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @09:02AM (#13525797) Homepage Journal
      what language is the parent written in?
    • by LordKaT ( 619540 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @10:55AM (#13526096) Homepage Journal
      I've got some Mod points, and if there was a "+1 What the fuck?" you'd get it.
  • find-a-human (Score:5, Informative)

    by krunk4ever ( 856261 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @06:00AM (#13525440) Homepage
    i found the find-a-human section quite helpful: []

    You Can Get a Human on the Phone

    Follow the directions at Paul English's Find-A-Human IVR Phone System Shortcuts site to reach a human operator at any of more than 60 cell phone, PC, and travel firms.

    when i know i can find the info online, i won't bother. i need some help that an automated system can't provide or wastes too much time trying to get it to recgonize what i'm saying.

    another winner i thought was:

    Useless Specs: Digital Zoom

    definitely the most useless spec i can't think of at the moment. it tricks unsuspecting buyers into believing their digicam has more 'zoom' than it really has.
  • by aelbric ( 145391 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @06:11AM (#13525458)
    From the article:

    "My PC's firewall, antivirus scanner, spyware remover, pop-up blocker, and spam filter all agree: Windows is sorely lacking in PC security. That situation may not change until Windows Vista (formerly Longhorn) comes out sometime next year."

    Wonder if Vegas is giving any odds on this. Might be easy money.
  • There are inkjet printers where it would have been cheaper to buy a brand new printer than buying ink to the old one...
  • by Dangero ( 870946 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @06:35AM (#13525493)
    I think part of the reason that the non-tec savy people stay non-tech savy is because they get so much conflicting bad information. Of course the DSL sales guy lies. He only knows enough about what he's selling to sell it. If he knew more, he wouldn't be selling it or installing it. He'd be doing something much more interesting. But regarding hard drives, I can't believe they are saying that the burst rate does not matter. With a 10 MB+ hard disk cache you better believe that a lot of the information you request is coming burst transfer from the cache. Sounds like they just ran out of good ideas for their list, but they are complete morons for making such an unsubstantiated claim.
  • by Ravatar ( 891374 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @07:20AM (#13525557)
    TFA states that your Windows Product Key being retrievable is a security risk. What??

    Not to mention the fact that the author uses Windows to manage his passwords, which he cites as another of the software's "security risks". The only security risk in this situation is the article's author.
  • by SynapseLapse ( 644398 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @07:26AM (#13525574)
    If you don't want to pay the ridiculous rates that cell phone companies charges for the luxury of putting .jpg/.png/.mid/.mp3/whatever on your cellphone, try out this site: []

    I've spent the last couple hours uploading Mario .mid files to my phone, it's way too much fun.

    • I.e. a phone with IR, BlueTooth or even a USB cable interface that allows you to put exactly those kinds of files (and others) on your phone.

      I have a Sagem my-V55 (Vodafone special*) that cost around $100 and allows me to do all that and then some.

      Compared to my girlfriend's old phone (some Samsung clam model with T-Mobile), which doesn't even have a third of the features - most importantly of which is that you -have- to use T-Mobile to get anything on or off it.
      It was more around $300.

      She now as a SONY/Eri
  • by Trogre ( 513942 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @07:52AM (#13525615) Homepage
    When shopping at Dell
    always, and I mean always, remember to never actually buy your computer there.

  • by mkro ( 644055 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @08:10AM (#13525666)
    What PC World doesn't want you to know, is that you can read articles how Tim intended by going straight for the printable version []. I give you gold here.
  • by n01 ( 693310 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @08:57AM (#13525784)
    Just wanted to let you know that there are lots of site's on the internet that let you unlock your cell phone for FREE (especially Nokias). All you have to do is to enter the IMEI of your phone in some web form, plus some additional info. There's a list at: []
    It worked great for 'a friend of mine', who had an older Nokia phone.
    Not sure how legal it is to do this, after all you OWN the phone after you bought it, you are allowed to through it against a wall and destroy it, why shouldn't you be allowed to unlock it?
  • I have been trying to get IMEI Unblocking codes for my Motorola and its impossible.

  • Hmm...Secrets (Score:5, Informative)

    by GreyOrange ( 458961 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @09:22AM (#13525846) Journal
    Secret #576:

    That if you switch to the printer friendly version of most websites you can read the full article without switching pages or having to go through tons of advertisements.
  • Bad assumption (Score:5, Insightful)

    by laing ( 303349 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @10:49AM (#13526080)
    From TFA: "You Too Can Exploit Windows' Bad Security
    My PC's firewall, antivirus scanner, spyware remover, pop-up blocker, and spam filter all agree: Windows is sorely lacking in PC security. That situation may not change until Windows Vista (formerly Longhorn) comes out sometime next year. Meanwhile here are a few ways to turn Windows' poor security to your advantage."

    As most people here already know, Microsoft does not focus on bug fixes in their new releases. Their primary focus is on new features. Sure, some of the old bugs may be gone -- but some new ones will be sure to pop up with the new functionality. Just because Longhorn is newer, that doesn't make it better or more secure.

      In my personal opinion, Microsoft deliberately ships shoddy software so everyone will flock to the new releases. It's human nature to believe that "newer is better" but that is not always the case. It has proven to be a highly successful business model for M$.
  • Awesome! (Score:5, Funny)

    by CarbonJackson ( 540580 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @12:13PM (#13526336) Homepage
    "Nothing groundbreaking, but might be a good primer for the non-techie in your life."

    Cuz that's what I read slashdot for anyway, finding good primers for my non-techie friends to read.
  • oh god (Score:3, Funny)

    by kronchev ( 471097 ) <> on Saturday September 10, 2005 @12:20PM (#13526365) Homepage
    "Your CPU May Be Much Faster Than You Think"

    In related news, the resulting fires from morons trying to overclock their Dells can be seen from space!
  • How-To Paginate (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FEEBLE*BMX ( 695853 ) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @12:25PM (#13526381)
    This article is in the How-To section of the PCWorld site for some reason. They should write another article called 'How to paginate a 4 page article into 20 pages to maximize your ad revenue.'

Evolution is a million line computer program falling into place by accident.