| ||August 26, 2003 |
| ||Forget virus week; it's virus season here at CNET, and when it rains, it pours. The biggest one yet, Sobig.f, hit this week with hurricane force; many of you came looking for a way to stop it. Plus, Apple's powerful G5 finally hit stores, and Sony Ericsson's new camera phones hit the airwaves. |
| || || || || ||Sobig.f |
Here's one virus that really lives up to its name. The original Sobig showed up on networks back in January of this year, and variations have proliferated ever since. And this isn't likely to be the last. The latest spawn, Sobig.f, spreads by e-mail and shared network files, slowing e-mail servers with heavy traffic. While it has a built-in termination date of September 10, many virus watchers called it one of the fastest spreading viruses ever. What's the motive to keep creating these monsters? Apparently, the Sobig viruses are big moneymakers, designed to load special software that can anonymize spam onto people's PCs. Infected computers can be used by bulk e-mailers to send unsolicited messages that can't be tracked. To protect your computer from becoming a spamming slave, get one of these top-rated antivirus apps.
| || || || || ||Power Mac G5 |
The long wait ended this week for Mac fiends as the Apple Power Mac G5 finally hit the stores. And many of you fanatics came here to CNET looking for details. We're as eager as you are to get our hands on the goods; unfortunately, Apple has yet to send the dual-processor version it's promised us, let alone the single-processor version that's out now. So what can you expect from the G5s out in stores? The two single-processor Power Macs come equipped with the new 64-bit PowerPC G5 chip, at 1.6GHz and 1.8GHz (for $1,999 and $2,399, respectively), the new 4X CD- and DVD-burning SuperDrive, and an Nvidia GeForce FX 5200 Ultra-64MB DDR graphics card. The dual-processor Power Mac will offer two 2GHz PowerPC G5 processors and a 1GHz frontside bus. Apple says it will ship sometime toward the end of this month, and you can preorder it now. So keep your eyes peeled for our full review, coming as soon as we get a run at this sleek, silver G5 in our labs.
| || || || || ||Sony Ericsson T616 |
In the last few weeks, I've seen lots of ads for the Sony Ericsson T616. If you're like me, you were dazzled by the looks of this stylish little camera phone. Anxious to find out whether this hottie's performance is as good as its looks? According to our cell phone diva, Joni Blecher, we've gotten the T616 in, and we're in the process of reviewing it. Its feature set is certainly impressive: a built-in camera, Bluetooth, a 65,536-color display, support for the Synergenix Mophun platform for games, and the Music DJ melody composer. Joni's early word is that it's definitely got a lot going for it, but you'll have to wait for the full review, which should be available next week. Until then, check out these other highly rated camera phones.
| || || || || ||Rhapsody |
While most of us aren't particularly happy with the record labels' draconian crackdown on file sharers, it's good to see that they're also investing more in legitimate online music services. After all, if we can't get music online for free, we'd better have some good alternatives. For my buck, a good alternative means the best selection, and more and more bands are jumping into the online fray. Last week's announcement that the Rolling Stones would make its catalog available online at RealNetworks' Rhapsody surely sweetened the pot. It definitely got our readers more interested in this popular pay-to-play service. Rhapsody got a further boost with another agreement for heavy promotion at Best Buy retail stores around the United States. Now, the question remains whether you should put your money on Rhapsody. Our editors think so, giving the service an 8.0 rating.
| || || || || ||MSN Messenger |
Need another reason to hate Microsoft? The software giant makes it so easy sometimes; this week's reason is its decision to force all MSN Messenger users to upgrade to a new version of the IM software that blocks Trillian users. Yes, it's true: as of October 15, users of Web-based MSN Messenger and its Windows XP-based Windows Messenger will be forced to upgrade due to "security issues that could be posed (on older versions)," according to a Microsoft representative. Microsoft has apparently offered to discuss contractual agreements with third-party integrators such as Trillian, but can't guarantee that Trillian users will be able to access their MSN contacts after the deadline. Pretty sneaky. As a Trillian user, it not only burns me up that I won't be in contact with my Messenger friends after October 15, it's more infuriating that Microsoft is up to its old tricks of milking money out of great, smaller companies like Cerulean. Perhaps it's time for a little protest: anyone with Trillian pals should defect to one of the other IM services. Then get Trillian, so you can use them all in one handy app.