Most Web Surfers Oblivious to Web Site Collection of Personal Data

March 8, 2008 – 2:20 PM

U.S. Internet users are often unsuspecting of what goes on behind the scenes of their favorite Web sites. According to data from the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, 57 percent of U.S. Internet users incorrectly believe that when a Web site has a privacy policy, it will not share their personal information with other sites or companies. This misconception, among others, underscores the lack of education Internet users have about data flows, what the study calls, “…the invisible, cutting edge techniques whereby online organizations extract, manipulate, append, profile and share information about people online are part and parcel of how Web sites operate.”

While 59 percent know that Web sites collect information about them even if they don’t register, they don’t understand that data flows behind their screens invisibly connect seemingly unrelated bits about them. When presented with a common version of the way sites track, extract, and share information to make money from advertising, 85 percent of adults who go online at home said they would not accept it on even a valued site.

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AMD Overclocking Help

March 8, 2008 – 2:18 PM

Experimentation with things can be a great way to learn about how the magic happens under the hood of a PC, so there can be other benefits beyond simply squeezing out a few more crunched numbers. AMD users have found it increasingly difficult to keep up with the changes, and with the required modifications to achieve the desired results. That’s where this interactive pin-mod guide comes in. Just plug in the appropriate model and configuration data, then let the guide show you the pins involved in making your processor jump through the hoops you’ve set.

Click here…

The Google Dance Viewer

March 8, 2008 – 2:17 PM

Author: Mark Horrell @

The Google Dance is the name given to the behaviour observed by the Google search engine during the monthly period when it updates its index.

Because the traffic to Google is vast, numbering hundreds of millions of queries a day to some 3 billion documents, it spreads its database across several data centres, each comprising thousands of individual servers. Since it aims to assemble a complete map of the web once a month, updating all its data centres with the new index can take several days.

Each time you query the main Google domain at, the domain name itself could direct you to the IP number for any one of its data centres, depending on your location in the world and the relative loads in terms of internet traffic using the data centres’ servers.

Google runs two additional domains,, and, which are used as testing grounds for the new index after re-indexing has occurred and while the search engine’s relevance ranking algorithms and PageRank iterations are being re-calculated. Once the new index has been tested and its results deemed satisfactory, it is then transferred in turn to each of Google’s individual data centres.

Most of the time when you query Google, you will not observe this behaviour taking place. During the period of the transfer however, you may notice the results on Google ‘dancing’ up and down depending on which data centre the domain is directing you to and whether or not that data centre has been updated with the new index. It is for this reason that the updating period is known as The Google Dance.

The Google Dance Viewer is simply a tool which allows you to query each of Google’s data centres from one convenient interface, and compare the results against those of the main Google site. If you are a webmaster, you can thus see whether the Dance is taking place and how the latest update may be affecting the ranking of your web sites.

Click here to try the Google Dance Viewer.

How to spot and stop spam

March 8, 2008 – 2:15 PM

Unsolicited e-mails now infuriatingly clutter many inboxes, just as paper junk mail buried many a front door map. But is smart technology set to save us from spam? To us humans, spam is very easy to spot.

Unfortunately to your computer one e-mail message looks very like another.

Without help it will see nothing special about the formatting in junk mail to distinguish it from the stuff you want to read.

Many anti-spam programs work by scanning e-mail messages for the keywords that spammers use, but your genuine friends tend to avoid.

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The New NAT-Friendly Microsoft

March 8, 2008 – 2:14 PM

VPN just got easier. Windows 2000 and XP clients can do IPSec out of the box, but when you attempt to VPN to an external resource from behind a NAT router/firewall, challenges ensue. To date, Microsoft has not gotten along well with NAT, but in a brand new update made available for Win2K and XP clients via Windows Update, Microsoft has added NAT-T functionality, which allows the creation of IPSec tunnels when banished to a NAT environment. The description bothers me a bit, as it only notes that the tunnels can be created between Win2K/XP clients and Windows Server 2003 servers. I haven’t yet had the opportunity to setup a test of the new toy, but you can count on hearing more about how it works once I hook up with my buddy Warren for some play time.

There are IPSec management features packed into the update as well, bringing much needed administrative ability down to the client level, and now Windows XP clients are able to take advantage of all of the new IPSec functionality built into Windows Server 2003. Windows 2000 is left out in the cold in many respects, but at least the main NAT-T stuff is available at the very least. One additional note here regarding compatibility. ISA Server environments are warned not to expect compatibility with the latest client updates at this point. My guess is that a patch or service pack will address those issues in time.

MS Article