Tina Brown snags Andrew Sullivan

I was pretty skeptical when I heard that Tina Brown would be tapped to resurrect Newsweek as a result of the merger with The Daily Beast. So I was pleasantly surprised to see her convince Andrew Sullivan to move his blog from The Atlantic and to join the Newsweek/Daily Beast family. Sullivan is one of the best bloggers on the web, with significant, organic traffic. He’s an excellent commentator, so he’ll be a great addition to Newsweek as well.

Ms. Brown is off to a good start.

Google embraces porn in search results

We’ve noticed over the past several months that Google seems to be giving even more weight to porn sites over mainstream sites when tame search terms like “Hot Babes” or “Hot Blondes” are used. Instead of featuring mainstream sites that have bikini and lingerie models like Maxim, you end up with hard core porn sites.

What’s going on here? Google has outsmarted itself, and now the search results are a complete mess.

New push to legalize online poker

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After Harry Reid failed to get an online poker provision passed in the lame-duck session of Congress at the federal level, several states are now pushing the issue as people realize that it’s foolish not to tax and regulate online gambling.

In Iowa, there’s a new bill that would regulate and permit online poker, and this follows a bill passed in New Jersey that has been sent to the governor. There’s also a push in Florida and California.

Hopefully, cash-strapped states will drive the agenda here, as the federal government won’t act due to the religious right.

Facebook keeps pushing the envelope in the online dating game

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The online dating landscape keeps evolving, and Facebook and other social media sites are often leading the way. The latest out of Facebook let’s you set up a notice system so you get notified when someone you are interested in changes their status and is no longer “taken.” This breakup notifier will likely be a very popular feature.

Ares is a Thriving Peer-to-Peer File and Content Sharing Network

One of the greatest peer-to-peer file sharing networks still active and thriving today is based upon the free, Open Source front-end application Ares. Many think peer-to-peer file sharing is dead because of all the copyright issues and fraudulent download of protected music, movies and media. But, what many people fail to realize is that it is completely legal to share files you own with others. Where people get into trouble is downloading and distributing licensed content. Ares doesn’t prevent users from sharing protected content, but that is not the main focus of the site. They want people to interact and share their own files easily. Some old peer-to-peer networks were only designed to share and download protected music. Ares is about the end user experience and providing a clean, spam and spyware free, peer sharing network.

Ares supports and provides a great interface for comprehensive search queries. Users can find very obscure files and Open Source programs with just a few clicks of the mouse. Many websites and search engines claim to crawl and display results for file downloads, but if you want an awesome peer-to-peer experience, then Ares is one program you need to check out today. Peer-to-Peer networks like Ares are thriving because so many users understand that they have the right to share certain types of files with anyone they choose. Many users build libraries of Open-Source programs, develop their own macros and utilities and come to Ares to share and interact with other users. Another awesome feature that many overlook is the awesome chat platform within Ares. There are mult-language rooms and lots of various professional, regional and mature content chat rooms. Whether you are looking to share or find files or strike up a chat with a new friend, you’ll find lots of options and content with Ares. Download it today and see for yourself.

Virus Precautions to Take Before File Download

Most typical computer users only focus on virus protection after they fear a virus may have been downloaded. However, here the old adage of “an ounce of prevention is a gallon of cure” remains true. Before you even get involved in file download, whether from the web or a peer-to-peer program, there are certain precautions you should take. Here are six steps to go through before you start exploring mysterious content.

1. Apply all your operating system’s service patches. These come both in “bundles” (SP1, SP2, etc.) and in individual releases. You should check for both. If you system is no longer receiving patches because it’s not recent enough, update to the most recent version.

2. Download an antivirus, antispyware, and firewall program. There are several free programs you can get for these purposes, including the famed Avast! and Invisus.

3. Update your various protective programs. Each program will prompt you to do so upon installation, so just make sure you accept that prompt.

4. Secure your wireless network to prevent malware uploads or setting changes to either you computer or router.

5. Use a secure browser. All up-to-date, mainstream browsers are secure for users, but it’s important that you are using a current version. Those using an older version of IE, such as IE 6, absolutely must upgrade. The single most secure browser as of 2011 is Chrome, which has show the greatest reslience to hacks, malware, and spyware.

6. Only download trusted software. If you don’t trust a file, do a web search for it first. You will typically be able to find people either couching for or condemning the software on the first page of the Google or Bing SERP.

By taking these simple steps, you can prevent a much bigger headache in file download. After all, these procedures will take an hour or two, while a virus can cause you to lose weeks’ worth of computer data.

Using Amule to Build Site Traffic

It’s a well known saying that “content is king” when it comes to generating more traffic for your website. What should be clear, however, is that your site isn’t the only place the content should appear. As those who build links through articles, guest blogging, and more should already be aware, the point of creating content is frequently in the interest, direct traffic, and links that content can build. If you’re looking to go the extra mile in this category there are a great number of open source resources available to you.

For instance, Amule. What is Amule? This open source file sharing program will allow you to access multiple platforms and thus a larger audience. While most users can intuitively understand how to retrieve files from a p2p network such as this, understanding how to promote your site through Amule can be a little more tricky.

Bloggers can also use programs like vlc media player to stream live web videos and tutorials on their site. Writers can take advantage of the compatibility between openoffice.org documents and Filezilla when transferring blog content from one location to another in order to keep their site streaming with fresh content.

The key here is to create something valuable. Whether that’s a podcast that includes relevant industry information, a pamphlet or ebook on an important topic, a recorded lecture, an instructional video, or something else entirely, if you create something useful, word will spread. Simply include important keywords in the file name so that it will be discovered in these file sharing networks.

You should also be branding your company appropriately in the shared files. If the files are PDFs, have your website address and a hyperlink at the top of the document, and a second reminder after providing the value-adding information. If you have an audio file, use a “tag” at the end that invites people to find out more by visiting your site. If you have a video, start your closing credits with an invitation to explore additional resources on your site. While it may take some time, these Amule marketing tactics are one of the best ways to promote your site without investing a lot of money.

Steps for Easy Backup of Files with 7Zip

Before you begin any complex debugging process, especially when the troubleshooting will involve delving into program settings, it’s important that all your essential files are backed up. While some people back up their computer frequently and obsessively, this is a strange practice for many. However, users of every skill level have room for improvement. Here are several things you can do to make your computer’s backup more effective.

The first thing to remember is to save all your files, from openoffice docs to music files in multiple locations. There are several methods people use to store crucial items, including external hard drives, web server space, DVD drives, and more. Try to choose at least two of these locations. If you aren’t backing up on disc or online because of space issues, you will also want to compress your files using a program like 7Zip.

7Zip is useful for backup for other reasons as well. While the process is somewhat more complicated, and involves using a “command line interface” during setup, users can even set up a schedule backup for compression that automatically sends the data to an external hard drive. Additionally, because 7Zip is free software created by members of the open source community, there won’t be issues in opening the compressed folder on other computers; as long as you have web access, you can quickly download and install this compression program.

7Zip is especially nice for backup because it comes in a portable version. This means that you can compress large files in .7z format and put them on a flash drive, then put the lightweight 7Zip portable on the same flash drive and access the files without any issue.

Of course, this open source program is just one of many utilities that make your backup process easier. Also consider looking at web server organizers, automatic backup services, and other software to make the process simpler and smoother.

Forget about Windows Media Player and Check Out BS Player for all your Digital Media Playback Needs

BS Player is not your average media playback program. The name might not sound impressive, but this is one impressive free video player for Windows. BS Player doesn’t require any add-ins, codecs, player scripts or any additional downloads to function. When you get a weird digital file type from a friend and you have no idea how to play it, download and install BS Player. It will play just about every form of media file ever invented for a Windows computer. Speaking of Windows and media, Microsoft includes Windows Media Player for free with every copy of the Windows operating system. Even though BS Player and Windows Media Player are both free, they couldn’t be more different.

Windows Media Player is probably the weakest and lamest media player ever created. It won’t even play a standard DVD movie that you buy from the store. Once you try to play the movie, you’ll get prompted to find, buy, download and install special codecs that are configured for Windows Media Player. So, to play a basic movie, you need to upgrade the core Windows Media Player to a new professional version that supports DVD playback. Say what? That doesn’t sound free any more. Why would Microsoft include a Media Player that doesn’t playback 90% of the media content on the Internet or what’s found in most homes? We don’t even need to answer that question because skip Windows Media Player and download BS Player. You will save hours of endless headaches and you’ll be amazed at how BS Player supports just about every electronic media file invented. The program may be free, but it is packed with value added features and precision DVD quality playback. Once you run it with your favorite content, you will never need to use Windows Media Player ever again.

FileZilla Soves Modern Day Problems by Preventing Large Email Attachments and Allowing for Faster Downloads

Many corporations and enterprises are limiting the size and types of email attachments allowed to process through their systems. This is due to the ever increasing amount of spyware, grayware, malware and viruses that have plagued the Internet. Also, as companies get bigger and demands on systems grow, they need to limit the amount of time individual email messages take to get processed through the system. Most email servers are multi-threaded, meaning that they can accept and send several messages at the same time. But, if all the threads are busy sending and receiving large attachment files, everyone’s email processing will be slow and users might start seeing delays and queuing of message on the server.

A great solution that many companies have implemented is the use of free, Open Source, FTP programs like FileZilla. FTP stands for File-Transfer-Protocol and it is a widely used standard on the Internet for moving files from one source to another destination. FTP has been around for a long while, but given the proliferation of the Internet Web Browser and Email, it has fallen out of favor. But, now that Web and Email traffic is reaching its limits, people are finding a newfound love for FileZilla. The program has a really sleek and easy to understand interface. FileZilla also has a great memory feature in that it can store all of your frequent sites and connection login information. So, once an IT Administrator sets up and configures to FileZilla servers, non-technical end users can send and receive files with ease. In the past, non-technical users would never be able to transfer files using the command line based FTP programs. It was simply too difficult and cumbersome. With great Open Source projects like FileZilla, command line FTP is a thing of the past. It is really great when an old technology protocol like FTP and a great program like FileZilla can solve modern day problems like large attachment transfers and busy Internet websites.

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