Comcast expected to raise broadband speeds

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Comcast next week is expected to announce plans to raise its broadband Internet speeds for all customers by at least a third later this year, according to sources familiar with the plans.

The nation’s largest cable company and broadband provider will raise its current speed of up to 3mbps (megabits per second) downstream and 256kbps (kilobits per second) upstream to 4mbps and 384kbps, respectively, at no additional cost. Comcast will also offer its more expensive 4mbps customers a 50 percent increase to 6mbps downstream and 768kbps upstream, the sources said.

Comcast has upgraded its speed as part of an overall effort not only to distance itself from slower DSL (digital subscriber line) services but to add more high-bandwidth features, such as video e-mail, for its Comcast.net subscribers.

Other cable companies have taken similar steps to raise their speeds. In December, Time Warner Cable decided to raise its basic download speed to 5mbps from 3mbps for free. Months earlier, Cox Communications said it would raise its speed limit from 3mbps to 4mbps.

Source: News.com

Microsoft: No flaw in Media Player DRM

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Spanish security company Panda Software warned earlier this week that several companies are apparently using Microsoft Media Player’s digital rights management (DRM) tool to fool people into downloading spyware and viruses. The existence of the files was confirmed by Harvard researcher Ben Edelman.

Microsoft responded Friday, saying that the security risk does not arise from a flaw in its rights management tool, although the issue is triggered by an apparently content-protected file. Content distributors can use Windows Media Player to pop up a Web page with information about a video or song, and in this case, that page was apparently loaded with automatic spyware download mechanisms.

The automatic downloads would be blocked on any computer running the Service Pack 2 release of Windows, Microsoft representatives said. People can also protect PCs running older versions of the operating system by turning up the security settings in Internet Explorer to “high,” they added.

“There is no way to automatically force the user to run the malicious software,” Microsoft said in an e-mailed statement. “This function is not a security vulnerability in Windows Media Player or DRM.”

Source: News.com

Tip: Fix Office Problems By Working In Safe Mode

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

We all know that applications crash, and Microsoft Office Products is no exception.

Office XP introduced the Safe Mode feature. It allows applications such as Outlook to boot when it might otherwise fail.

Safe Mode enables Office to detect and either repair or bypass the source of the problem, such as a corrupted registry or a misbehaving add-in. When the application boots in Safe Mode, it displays a dialog box explaining the problem and asks if you want to continue to load the program in Safe Mode or attempt a normal restart.

If for instance you allow Outlook to start in Safe Mode, go to Help | About Microsoft Outlook, and click Disabled Items. This opens a Disabled Items dialog box that lists the items that Outlook has disabled to start in Safe Mode. You can then attempt to correct the problem–for example, disable or remove an add-in.

You can start any Office XP application in Safe Mode at any time: Hold down the [Ctrl] key when starting the application. The program displays a dialog box that gives you the option of starting in Safe Mode

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