Stories by Brian Livingston

Microsoft's Software Update Services are free

To those of us who live in the Windows environment, it sometimes feels like a warm, familiar blanket. But with all the patches we have to apply, it looks more like a crazy quilt.

Opinion: More e-mail scandal

I wrote recently that nearly one in eight e-mail lists that a researcher signed up for never reached his inbox. The messages were diverted to a junk folder or never delivered at all, due to crude filters that ISPs are using to try to reduce UBE (unsolicited bulk e-mail).

Family quits jobs, pays the mortgage with Web site

If you can't raise venture capital to "get big fast," as Amazon.com did, your best strategy to build a profitable Web site is to pick a niche and become the best source of products and information for a specific set of enthusiasts.

Welcome, new admin

You know how to set up Windows 2000 and XP workstations so that users must log on with passwords and they can't administer other users or your network. It's easy, right?

IE doesn't lock down

We've spent years teaching users that their passwords and credit card numbers are secure on the Web as long as a little lock icon appears in the status bar of their browser windows.

Grouping Web sites together

Have you ever wondered which Web sites are most similar to your own site? Now you can see a graphical diagram of your site surrounded by these others, thanks to a new online graphing tool by TouchGraph.com.

As the worm turns

I wrote last week that a new company called Descan.net is making available free software that detects malicious port scanners in real time.

Descan your network

A small company is about to go live with a big idea that you can greatly benefit from.

Comment: Report from content conference reveals tricks of trade

When you assemble in a single room the publisher of WSJ.com, the marketing director of ConsumerReports.org, and the programming VP of RealNetworks, you're going to hear some dramatic and revealing words about what works and doesn't work in e-commerce.

You can stop spam

With all the problems that Windows throws at us, every PC user I know must also deal with another pain as well: spam.

Opinion: Activation, anyone?

Windows XP operating system has so few real benefits and so many irritations -- especially Passport, an insecure and relentless scheme to vacuum up users' e-mail addresses -- that I instead recommend buying new PC systems with Windows 2000 installed.

Activation, anyone?

I wrote recently that Microsoft Corp.'s new Windows XP operating system, scheduled for wide distribution on Oct. 25, has so few real benefits and so many irritations -- especially Passport, an insecure and relentless scheme to vacuum up users' e-mail addresses -- that I instead recommend buying new PC systems with Windows 2000 installed.

DOS Lives in Windows Me

I've just learned that my Windows Me Secrets co-author, Davis Straub, recently set a new world record for miles flown in a hang glider. Smashing the 10-year-old record of 308 miles, he launched his glider from Zapata County, Texas, and landed 347 miles later (as the co-author flies) in Sterling County, Texas. The details of his adventure can be read at davisstraub.com/OZ/Ozv4n155.htm.