Top Story

These speedup utilities aren’t worth your money

Can you really get the extra oomph you want for your system just by shelling out a few bucks for a speedup program?

Many effective utilities do exist, but in my testing I found three that I consider to be just a waste of your hard-earned cash.

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Expect attacks via latest Windows security hole

Following Microsoft’s release last Friday of a critical, out-of-cycle patch, only sporadic reports of attacks based on this weakness have been received — but that may not last.

Apply the patch referred to in MS08-067 right away, because Trojan horses that take advantage of this security breach are sure to hit us soon.

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The best way to merge your contacts with iPhone

Many people find that synching a new iPhone with their contact and calendar data from applications like Microsoft Outlook just doesn’t work easily.

Fortunately, there are techniques you can use to make sure that your devices are sharing data smoothly.

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All browsers are vulnerable to clickjacking

The latest Internet threat cloaks Web links so a wayward click can download malware to your PC without your knowledge.

What’s worse, all browsers and other Web software are susceptible to clickjacking, but you can take steps to reduce the risk.

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Bugs and lack of apps plague 64-bit users

Vista boosters say that the 64-bit edition of the operating system runs applications faster and can address a lot more system memory than its 32-bit counterpart.

Just don’t tell that to Vince Heiker, a retired IT executive in the Dallas area who has used 64-bit Vista for some time — and hates the OS.

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Does Vista already have Windows 7′s new kernel?

For those waiting for a faster, better-performing version of Windows, you’ll have to wait at least nine months for Windows 7.

But if you can’t wait, Vista Service Pack 1 may provide a peek into Microsoft’s plans to equip Windows 7 with a dramatically smaller, more agile operating-system kernel.

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Don’t go from XP to Vista unless you go 64-bit

Early indications are that Windows 7 won’t be a major upgrade from Vista.

But the real choice isn’t between Vista and Windows 7; it’s between moving to a 64-bit version of Windows now or later.

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Cloud computing puts your health data at risk

The advent of “in the cloud” medical records services, such as Microsoft HealthVault and Google Health, promises an explosion in the storage of personal health-care information online.

But these services pose sticky privacy questions — unless you know how to protect your personal medical records.

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Don’t let XP Service Pack 3 hose your system

From the moment Microsoft released it, Service Pack 3 for Windows XP has been the subject of almost daily reports of bugs, incompatibilities, and general headaches.

You can install SP3 with confidence — providing you take certain precautions — or, if you prefer, use Windows’ Automatic Update settings to keep the service pack off your system.

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Don’t fall for bogus antivirus downloads

A new virus strain pretends to remove malware but actually does just the opposite: it infects your system.

Fortunately, you can use a few simple steps to tell the difference between these rogue antivirus programs and legitimate security software.

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