Friday, August 26, 2005

Google Joins the Internet Phone Revolution

by Roger Overanout

Its not so long ago that the idea of free phone calls over the Internet would have been thought an impossibility, but as any knowledgeable user will tell you they are now commonplace. Skype the pioneer and market leader has 51 million users and a great, easy to use software package that allows your computer to make Internet phone calls between subscribers.

All you need is a reasonable computer, preferably a broadband connection but it will work over a dial up connection, and a microphone, then as long as the person you want to contact is online and also signed up to the same service, you can talk for ever for no cost.

This is possible because your speech is sent over the Internet in the data packets, just like email or any other Internet service. Microsoft, AOL, BT and Yahoo all have their own instant voice messaging services and now Google has joined in, with the launch of its instant messaging and Internet Phone service Google Talk. The service will be free to all users of its email program Gmail. This must be causing Googles competitors some concern, because as we all know from past, experience when Google does something they always want to be the market leader.

Google Talk will have the traditional uncluttered Google look which users have come to expect, to use Google Talk you must sign up for a Gmail Account. Google is making Google talk an open service, by working with EarthLink to connect with their Vling communications service and with Sipphone on using their Gizmo project, which will mean that users of Google Talk can send messages to users of other networks, unlike all their major rivals.

This means that Google Talk will be free for calls to other networks, unlike the services from AOL, Microsoft, etc where calls are only free between subscribers of their individual services. When it was announced this was seen as such a significant development that Skype immediately responded by announcing that they would also be making their network available to calls from other networks. At the moment Skype also has the advantage that its users can make calls from their computer to a landline or mobile phone, initially Google Talk will only offer Pc to PC communication, I wonder how long that will remain the case?

To start, with Google Talk will be free from adverts but that will probably change in the future, it is hoped that the launch of the service will increase the use of Gmail, where Google earns income by placing adverts targeted at the subject matter of the email.

This is a very significant step in the development of Internet phone calling services using VoIp and I expect that Google will make every effort to become the market leader.

Roger Overanout

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Passwords Used In Microsoft Word Documents

By Denis Gladysh

You would like to protect your documents, wouldn't you? Reasons may vary but the problem is the same – you need to protect your Microsoft Word documents from unauthorized editing or viewing. What document protection features does Microsoft® Office Word 2003, a part of Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003 provide?

Microsoft Word features for document protection. Microsoft Word offers three types of password protection.

1) Password to open requires a password to open a document. By assigning a password to open a document you deny access to this document to anyone who doesn't know the password.
You may assign a password to open both a new document (Save As > Tools > Security Options) and an existing one (Main Menu > Tools > Options > Security).

2) Password to modify requires password to save currently made changes. Password to modify allows every user to view and to edit a document (with a special read-only setting) but not to save these changes. Only an authorized user is allowed to save changes. Please note that by opening a document as read-only and copying it to a new document with a clipboard it is possible to obtain an unprotected copy of your document.
This password is set the same way and in the same window as password to open.

3) Protect Document – document protection. With this type of protection you prevent your document from any alterations. Any user can freely view it but no one is allowed to edit, copy, or format it. To a certain point it is similar to a pdf file viewed with Adobe Acrobat Reader.

It is possible to set or delete this type of protection with : Tools > Protect Document or Unprotect Document; select exclusions and apply protection.

These are the main features provided by Microsoft Word 2003. It is nice when everything is working fine but what happens if somebody cracks your protection by guessing your password? And what are you going to do if you lose or forget the password for your document? How powerful and reliable is Microsoft Word 2003 protection?

When assigning a password the program warns you not to lose it as you can't recover the password. This is not exactly right. Any password can be cracked. The point is how much time it will take for special program to crack your password. For instance, Protect Document password uses a rather easy protection method and a few seconds is enough to recover this kind of password. It is similar with Password to modify. But it is not that easy with Password to open:
The first versions of Microsoft Word had rather weak security; it took a bit more time to crack it compared to the other types used in Microsoft Word. But starting from Microsoft Word 97 version the situation has been improving. The new version had more cryptoproof security; it would take many years to crack it with the brute-force and PIV computer. Please note that it doesn't apply to Microsoft Word 97 version supplied to the French market as these versions had the old protection from the previous Microsoft Office 95. Cryptoprotection options were further advanced in Microsoft Office XP (realization in Office 2003 is the same). At the moment, the user can chose encryption mode to protect his documents.

This option is customized by assigning password to open (Advanced... button). In the window you will see a list of possible algorithms of document protection. Almost all of them are hard nuts for a hacker; it would take him a long time to crack your document. For more detailed information on password recovery see the article on our resource

AccentSoft Team is a privately-held information technology company focused on corporate and consumer software development. The company was founded in 1999 by software engineer Denis Gladysh. We specialize in password recovery and digital imaging software development. Our product catalogue features such popular titles as Accent OFFICE Password Recovery, Accent Excel Password Recovery and SnapTouch. These products are consistently recognized for their quality and have been adopted by industry professionals. For more information, visit

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Mozilla Vs. Firefox

By Meryl K. Evans

For those who are unclear on the differences between the Mozilla package (Netscape is also comparable to Mozilla except they're two different companies) and Firefox / Thunderbird, here it is:

Mozilla is a complete package meaning it comes with email, browser, address book, newsgroup, and chat applications integrated.

FireFox is a stand-alone browser application. It doesn't have email built-in. There is a chatzilla extension available.

Thunderbird is the stand-alone email application. It doesn't have a browser built-in. The address book is included.

If you use Mozilla for email and click on a link within an email, it will open them in Mozilla not FireFox even when FireFox is the default browser.

The applications are similar, yet different. The look and feel is different. It requires experiencing it for yourself to understand this.

Commands and features are not identical. For instance, Mozilla has F9 to open the sidebar with search, history, bookmarks, etc. whereas FireFox only opens Bookmarks and History in the sidepanel via Ctrl+B and Ctrl+H respectively. There are a few extensions to do more with this.
FireFox has fewer options because it doesn't have other applications integrated with it, which can make it easier to modify.

At this point, Mozilla is tapering off while moves forward with its brightest star, Firefox.
Meryl K. Evans is the Content Maven behind meryl's notes, eNewsletter Journal, and The Remediator Security Digest. She is also a PC Today columnist and a tour guide at InformIT. She is geared to tackle your editing, writing, content, and process needs. The native Texan resides in Plano, Texas, a heartbeat north of Dallas, and doesn't wear a 10-gallon hat or cowboy boots.

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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Intel is going to create development software for Mac OS X

During the Intel Developers Forum Intel announced that a complete set of compilers and performance related libraries will be ported to the Apple x86 architecture. This set will have the same features than the development software for Windows and Linux says Kevin Smith from Intel’s Compiler Lab. This means that even tools like C, C++ could be processed, objective C is not supported.

The compilers and library’s could be lead on Apples Xcode with a plug – in system , furthermore, developers will be able to arrange some things though a command line.

One of the requirements is that Xcode runs on the x86 edition of Mac OS X so the Intel software won’t work with normal x86 pc’s. The products of the compiler won’t work on the PowerPC edition from Mac OS X too.

The chip company has indicated be willing to help developers by the migration of the PowerPC to the x86 architecture. However, Intel won’t declassify for the development at the same time of software from 2 different hardware platforms.

Apple pushes developers well to write hybrid software to simplify the transition to x86 for users.
The beta version of the development tools will be available later on this year.


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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Google launch instant messagingsoftware

Till a few hours ago there were still rumours that Google would launch an instant messaging (IM) program. But now it's certain as Google today officially released the beta version of its own chat software. The software is called "Google Talk" and uses the standard XMPP-protocol, but in the future it will be possible to use other protocols as well. To use this program you need a Gmail account.

The program also enables you to talk to each other via an audio feature.


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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

MSRT 1.7.1. against Zotob-worm

After last week reports about the Zotob-worm Microsoft has a new version of his “Malicious Software Removal Tools" (MSRT) that can remove this worm. It recognizes 5 variants and remove them. Users who MSRT automatic downloads each month, now have to install this update by hand. Microsoft accent that Windows-users have to download this update as soon as possible.

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Monday, August 22, 2005

Windows vs. Linux

A Comparison by Samuel Murray
Many of you who are reading this article are using Windows as most of the other internet users do. There is a huge difference between the number of users of LINUX and Windows. Some say Windows is much better than LINUX because it gives you an easy handling of the hardware and software. Some say LINUX is much better because it started as Open Source software and that’s why it is much more flexible than Windows. Then why there is a huge market difference between these operating systems?

The answer to this question is quite easy. Since 1985, computer users and programmers became so accustomed to using Windows, even for the changing capabilities and the appearances of the graphical interface of the versions, therefore it always stayed as the product of Microsoft. On the other hand, LINUX has so many different versions from a variety of companies some of which are namely Lycoris, Red Hat, SuSE, Mandrake, Knoppix, Slackware, Lindows. These companies release their own versions of the operating systems with slight changes, and yet always with the same kernel. This variety and the fact that none of these companies are even close to competing with Windows, mostly causes the difference in the market. Nevertheless, this reality might drastically change after Novell’s purchase of SuSE.

Linux and Windows differ in many aspects. First of all, the Linux GUI is optional while the Windows GUI is an integral component of the OS; speed, efficiency and reliability are all increased by running a server instance of Linux without a GUI, something that server versions of Windows can not do. The detached nature of the Linux GUI makes remote control and remote administration of a Linux computer simpler and more natural than a Windows computer.Secondly the command prompts of these operating systems are quite different. In general, the command interpreters in the Windows 9x series are very similar to each other and the NT class versions of Windows (NT, 2000, XP) also have similar command interpreters. There are, however differences between a Windows 9x command interpreter and one in an NT class flavor of Windows. Linux, like all versions of UNIX, supports multiple command interpreters, but it usually uses one called BASH (Bourne Again Shell). Others are the Korn shell, the Bourne shell, ash and the C shell (pun, no doubt, intended).

The costs are amazingly different. While you have to pay some hundred dollars for a new version of Windows, you can simply go and download Linux. As it comes from the nature of Linux, there are no manuals or simple installers for the free version, however. You really have to know what you are doing while using this free package. There are also some easy automated packages of Linux for low prices, as well.

The security issues with Windows, as most of you already know, are the biggest cons of Microsoft. Most of the malicious files, spyware, adware programs deal with Windows. You generally do not deal with these kinds of unwanted circumstances unless you are working with Windows. The user-id and password protection for Windows can also be easily bypassed, whereas Linux offers a strong protection.The only area that Windows beats Linux in this “competition” is the software availability. As it was mentioned above, most of the software releases are configured for Windows. If you are using Linux, you have to emulate Windows with a special software and then you can use your windows based programs. Another option can be to install Windows as a subsystem to Linux which takes all administrative abilities of Windows and gives them to Linux.

After mentioning some of the different aspects of these operating systems, it can be said that all Linux needs to compete with Windows is some user friendly interface and a strong company support which can provide the users with technical information and user manuals.

About the Author
This article provided courtesy of

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