Ask Leo: Can Hackers See My Data?

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By Leo Notenboom

I’ve heard that instant messages through AOL/Yahoo/MSN can be read by hackers that “sniff” the messages leaving my network. Is this true?

Yes.

It’s actually true for all the data that comes and goes on your internet connection: web pages, emails, instant messaging conversations and more.

Most of the time it simply doesn’t matter. Honest.

On the other hand, there are definitely times and situations when you really do need to be careful.

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Technologizer: The State of Windows 7 Satisfaction

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By Harry McCracken

Windows 7 is scarcely more than a month old. Most of the people who will eventually use it haven’t gotten around to trying it yet; those that have are still settling in. And the Win 7 experience will change rapidly as remaining bugs are squashed, missing drivers arrive, and compatibility glitches are ironed out. Even so, it’s not too early to start gauging what real people think of Windows Vista’s replacement.

So to riff on Ronald Reagan’s famous question from his 1980 debate with Jimmy Carter, Are Windows users better off today than they were a few weeks ago, back in the Vista era? We decided to ask the Technologizer community, a group of tech enthusiasts with a high propensity to acquire new operating systems quickly and push them to their limits. Starting on November 16th, we surveyed our readers (and Twitter followers) about their experiences with Windows 7. Our goal: to do a reality check on the mostly favorable initial reviews of the new OS (as well as our own survey of largely enthusiastic Windows 7 beta testers back in March).

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Bits from Bill Pytlovany: How Apple Failed the Macintosh

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By Bill Pytlovany

Yea, I know may get slammed with hate mail for this one but I am open to alternate opinions. The market has been ripe for Apple to pick up a sizable portion of the computer share but it has failed. According to market researchers IDC and Gartner, Macintosh sales are up but their share is still way below 10%. That compares to PC sales by Acer and Toshiba. Why doesn’t the Mac have a larger market share?

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Ask Leo: Your computer was stolen. What should you do?

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By Leo Notenboom

My computer was stolen. It’s password protected, what files can the thieves see?

A reader asks: “My mid-tower computer was recently stolen in
a burglary. The Windows Vista home ultimate system was
password protected at start-up. What files can be accessed
by those trying to enter the system?”

It’ll take a computer savvy thief about 5 minutes to gain
access to everything on your computer.

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PC Pitstop Community Offers $ Saving Tips

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So far, over 20,000 of you have responded to our current survey about the economy. Along with the responses have come some great money saving ideas – that we have decided to share.

We will continue to add to this list as we receive more responses.

If you have yet to complete the survey for a chance to win a $100 Amazon Gift Certificate – you still have time (the survey ends on February 28, 2009). Please keep in mind all responses selected to be shared on this site are done so anonymously.

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A Close Look at Broadband Technology

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Broadband Genie, a new PC Pitstop partner in the UK, takes a closer look at the current state of broadband technology. Broadband used to be the cutting edge, final frontier of home and business internet access, but over the past five years or so broadband has gone from being accessible only to the wealthiest homes and clients to something which is cheap or sometimes free when bundled with other telecommunications packages. With increasing speeds and new technology constantly improving the application of broadband around the home, it can be a confusing and jargon-filled world, but hopefully this guide will help you to understand some of the more widely used terms and where broadband is headed in the future.

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XP Service Pack 3 – Adoption Rates Could be Worse

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Since its release in early May 2008, there has been plenty of press concerning the issues with Microsoft’s XP Service Pack 3. Common sense would tell us that such negative press would drastically slow the rate that folks would update to the release. PC Pitstop analyzed the percentage of XP users that have updated their systems to SP3 during the first three months since its release and compared them to the adoption rates of SP2 during its roll out.

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Battle Of The Sexes

Through our world renowned OverDrive diagnostic test, PC Pitstop has accumulated a unique view of trends in the PC industry. In this report, we take a look at several million computers to analyze the computing differences between males and females.

Surprisingly, there are some very large and real differences between male and female computers. We take a light hearted look at the battle of the sexes for computing supremacy. Roll your mouse over each chart to learn more about each and every tasty difference.


Men Are Faster than Women

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