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Spam statistics & monitoring tools

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Monday March 27, 2006 )

Visited the Commtouch Spam Lab yet? It generates an amazing amount of information including the frequency of spam outbreaks, maps showing the origin of spam outbreaks in (more…)

Yahoo! on the VOIP bandwagon

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Thursday March 23, 2006 )

Yahoo! has launched a public beta of its VoIP (Voice over IP) service in the USA, bundled with its Yahoo Messenger suite.

This will allow users to make cheap calls to landlines and mobiles in around 180 countries for as little as (more…)

Monitor spiders

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Wednesday March 22, 2006 )

I don’t know what it is about my computer equipment that attracts arachnids, but I seem to have as many dealings lately with the large 8 legged variety as I do with search engine spiders. (more…)

MSN search revamped and “Live”

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Thursday March 9, 2006 )

Microsoft has released the beta version of a retooled MSN Search, under the Microsoft Live banner. In a word, or several words – it’s very different.

You can take a look at it here: (more…)

MSN Search and humble pie

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Tuesday March 7, 2006 )

A couple of days ago, Neil Holloway, Microsoft president for Europe, Middle East and Africa was reported to have claimed that MSN Search would be a more relevant search engine in the US marketplace than Google within 6 months time.

I wasn’t quite sure what to make of that comment, but many media outlets spun it as meaning (more…)

Firefox use slipping? Browser stats

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Monday March 6, 2006 )

Hrm.. interesting. According to the resource that I reference most often for gauging browser usage, it would appear that Firefox’s ascent has not only leveled out these past few months, but dropped – from 8% to 6% market share.

Based on collated data of over 247 million visitors to their network during February 2006, (more…)

Web site watch dog

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Sunday March 5, 2006 )

I came across an interesting service today that monitors web sites and reports on their trustworthiness. The site report can be gained through searching the company’s datatabase, or you can download a browser plugin so when you search via Google, Yahoo or MSN; “safety ratings” appear next to listings.

Using the browser plugin as you’re surfing the web, a toolbar button changes color based on the safety level of the site you are viewing.

The free service/software is called (more…)

Spyware – nasty stuff

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Saturday February 25, 2006 )

A recent incident a colleauge experienced related to spyware was the spur for my latest article; Spyware – definition, statistics, prevention and removal.

When we think of spyware, most often what comes to mind are deviate programmers wanting to take control of our computers – but the term really covers a wide range of applications from the slightly annoying, to mildly intrusive to downright satanic. (more…)

China’s online censorship

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Saturday February 18, 2006 )

*Sigh* – why must the West push its own “values” onto other countries that aren’t yet, and perhaps may never be, ready to accept them.

I’m referring to the issue regarding the major search engines making forays into the Chinese market. Many of us in the West seem to be kicking up a major stink in regards to China forcing these companies to filter out content that they find unsuitable. China should be applauded and encouraged for the concessions they have allowed, not demonized. (more…)

Virus and spam statistics

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Saturday February 18, 2006 )

According to Commtouch, January 2006 was a shocker in relation to spam and viruses, based on their analysis of over 2 billion email messages.

Key findings

– 19 new significant email virus attacks, with four considered to be “massive” attacks

– The average response time by anti-virus companies to release an update was just over 8 hours (more…)