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By JULES ALLEN

© St. Petersburg Times, published July 24, 2000


Feel free to browse . . .

A bad bug
sans.org/newlook/resources/win_flaw.htm

Before the infamous Love Bug e-mail virus hit unsuspecting Microsoft Outlook users across the globe, there were warning e-mails about a mythical virus that could do unspeakable things to your PC. Often referred to as the "Good Times" hoax from the message in the subject line, this imaginary code could wipe out files without you even reading the message. And we so-called professionals would laugh it off because it wasn't supposed to be possible. In what Sans Institute calls the most serious bug on the Windows platform, it is possible for a virus to attack your system without you even opening the e-mail. If you're a home user and have Outlook Express on Windows, run to WindowsUpdate.Microsoft.com and grab an update as soon as you can.

Trouble-free MP3
www.zerion.com

Greetings, my name is Jules and I'm an MP3 addict. MP3, the name for music files that use that particular digital scheme, is an absolutely addictive hobby. Software such as Napster have revolutionized what I feed into my ears. Unless you've been under a rock, Napster.com is in serious trouble with the music industry, which claims it's a prime outlet for pirated music. Getting the genie back in the bottle is impossible. If you're looking for legal MP3 files and a lot of new music, zero in on Zerion. It's packed with what I consider quality music. Your tastes, of course, may vary.

Pulp Palm fiction
www.HandHeldCrime.com/

Fans of AvantGo's free Web clipping and synchronization software for the Palm will be all over this site. It contains free detective novelettes for your enjoyment. It's perfect for that long flight or, if you live close to where I do, your morning commute in the car.

Finger mouse
www.BioLinkUSA.com/mouse.htm

Biometric identification, using things such as fingerprints or eye scans as high-tech passwords, comes one step closer to mainstream use with this mouse. The previous models I saw were stand-alone affairs and not the most accurate devices. Authentication recognition rates on this one are claimed to be 1-in-10,000. If true, it would be a vast improvement. A version of the mouse is bundled with Net Nanny, the software that your teenagers gleefully hack around when you're out of the house. Hacking around a fingerprint, though, might be more of a challenge.

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