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Articles by larry

Internet DNS Flaw — What you need to know

July 31, 2008

You may have heard about the security flaw that affects the entire Internet. It’s actually a problem with the software behind just about all domain name servers – DNS for short. A domain name server is a computer that acts like a phone book or switchboard operator that takes a web address – like cbs.com and translates it to an Internet Protocol (IP) address like 170.20.0.24. Since IP [...]

Larry celebrates 25 years as a tech columnist

July 7, 2008

This week marks my 25th anniversary as a tech columnist. “The Computer File,” my syndicated Los Angeles Times column, debuted July 3, 1983. My first topic was “Learn Buzzwords Before Shopping,” in which I informed my readers about the difference between hardware and software and such techie terms as bits, bytes and kilobytes. I didn’t have to tell them about [...]

NY Child Porn Deal Not What it Seems

June 20, 2008

Last week, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced an agreement with three Internet service providers – Time Warner Cable, Verizon and Sprint – to remove child pornography housed on servers connected to their networks. Some civil liberties groups, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Center for Democracy and Technology, have expressed free-speech concerns [...]

Digital photo sharing

May 20, 2008

At the risk of stating the obvious, digital photography is one of the great revolutions of our time. By eliminating the cost of film and developing, and making cameras cheaper, smaller and more readily available, the technology has sparked a renaissance in photo taking. Now that most cell phones have built-in cameras, digital cameras are literally everywhere and always with us. Even those of us [...]

Google wants to store your health records

May 20, 2008

About a year ago Google announced that it would launch a service to allow users to store their own health records on a secure website. There was a lot of discussion about what it would look like but the wait is over. A free public “beta test” version of Google Heath is now operational at google.com/health. The service allows users to create an online profile that includes information about [...]

Can Nintendo Wii Fit Shape you up?

May 19, 2008

Thanks to Nintendo, I now know I’m a somewhat overweight couch potato with poor balance. But there is hope. If I stick with the plan, I may lose weight, get stronger and improve my balance and posture. At least that’s the theory behind Nintendo’s innovative Wii Fit – an $89.99 game and accessory for the Nintendo Wii designed to help people of all ages and both genders get [...]

WiMax moves a step closer

May 12, 2008

Last week’s news about a new WiMax venture involving Sprint, Clearwire, Google, Intel and others could finally pave the way for a wireless networking system that’s not limited to a few hundred feet and – just maybe – not tightly controlled by cellular carriers. Like WiFi, WiMax makes it possible to transmit signals between base stations, PCs and other devices, including [...]

With the wedding off, what’s next for Microsoft & Yahoo

May 6, 2008

A lot of people – especially its stockholders – are worried about the future of Yahoo now that Microsoft has backed away from its offer to buy the company for $47.5 billion. But Microsoft shareholders also have reason to worry. Bill Gates, with a lot of help from Steve Ballmer, built the Microsoft on the back of the personal computer. Ballmer is now CEO of Microsoft and, starting in [...]

Verifying age online doesn’t solve all problems

May 5, 2008

By Larry Magid Reposted from San Jose Mercury News I’m happy to be a member of a recently formed Internet Safety Technical Task Force, but it has caused me to feel a bit of a disconnect. One of the major goals of the task force is to explore whether it’s possible to use technology to verify the age of people signing up for social-networking sites like Facebook and MySpace to give [...]

Google Technology could save exploited children

April 14, 2008

Listen to Larry’s CBS News Podcast with Google Sr. Scientist Shumeet Baluja and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children President Ernie Allen Working with law enforcement, analysts at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in Alexandria, Va., spend their days doing something no one should have to do. They look at what is called “child [...]
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