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Friday Follow-Ups: AVG, MSN, Helio, Etc.

Updates on some recent (and one not-so-recent) stories:

* Grisoft, the Czech developers of the AVG anti-virus program, have made it a little easier to find the free version of this application--something I complained about at the start of this month. The "update now" window that pops up if you're running AVG 7.5 still pushes the $54.99 AVG Internet Security, but clicking the "Stay protected. Click here to see all AVG 8.0 products" link at the bottom of that prompt now takes you to a page offering the free AVG 8.0 (here's a direct link to download that, if you're still getting lost).

* If you've bought songs off Microsoft's now-defunct MSN Music service, they won't start to self-destruct until 2012 at the earliest instead of Aug. 31. The company announced this change of plans in a notice e-mailed to customers last week:

After careful consideration, Microsoft has decided to continue to support the authorization of new computers and devices and delivery of new license keys for MSN Music customers through at least the end of 2011, after which we will evaluate how much this functionality is still being used and what steps should be taken next to support our customers.

But you'd still be wise to convert your purchases into an open, unrestricted format now, not later, as I outlined in April.

* Remember the Helio mobile-phone service? Maybe not, unless my July 2006 review somehow stuck in your mind. Well, things haven't gone too well for Helio--today, Virgin Mobile announced it would buy the company in a transaction valued at just $39 million. This is the latest in a series of flame-outs by much-hyped "MVNOs" ("mobile virtual network operators" that re-sell the services of larger carriers) such as ESPN Mobile and Amp'd.

* Finally, two items from the mistakes-were-made department. The June 1 Help File incorrectly said that you can't delete one site from Internet Explorer 7's history list (to do that, click the star icon at the top left of IE's window to open its "Favorites Center," click the "History" heading, right-click on the site's address and select "Delete."). And yesterday's review of the Flip digital camcorder incorrectly said that iMovie '08 can't edit files shot with this $180 device. It now can, thanks to a software update Apple issued earlier this month.

Got any lingering questions about my recent work that you haven't seen answered? Post them in the comments below.

By Rob Pegoraro  |  June 27, 2008; 12:22 PM ET
Categories:  The business we have chosen  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Flip Camcorder Is No Flop--For Now
Next: Last Call For Windows XP (More or Less)

Comments

Regarding the AVG info in this post, I've been an AVG user for over 5 years now and have always loved their product. However, the "upgrade" to AVG 8.0 caused me to abandon AVG completely. The installation (on 2 computers) was lengthy and difficult and once I finally got it installed, it caused both computers to behave erratically.

My solution has been to switch to Avast - the reviews I read prior to making this switch were all good, its installation was simple and painless, and I like its adjustable protection features and frequent automatic updates. True, it has some issues with completely cleaning up what it finds, but AVG had those issues as well.

Saying goodbye to AVG felt like giving an old friend the heave-ho, but so far, it's looking like I made the right choice.

Posted by: machine | June 27, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

As bad as AVG 8.0 has been, (and I agree it's pretty bad), their handling of the expiration of 7.5 has been worse. The pop ups saying 7.5 expires first on 5/31, then 6/25 has driven my poor mother in law over the edge. If worry can break software, she did it. She says hers died 6/25, while all of mine are still good so far.

A posting in the Free AVG support forum says they will support updates through 12/31/08, but every day a pop up saying otherwise.

Very disappointing. And a bad way to build loyalty.

Posted by: JkR | June 27, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I upgraded (successfully) to AVG Free 8.0 a few weeks ago. However, it's a couple weeks after the release of Firefox 3, and it had been in beta for a year before that, but AVG seems incapable or unwilling to release an update that makes AVG 3.0's web service that tells a user if a link they find on Google has been found to be safe. It's absolutely shameful that an anti-virus utility could manage to not have an update ready to go for an open source browser. This isn't like IE where the code they need may not have been available to a 3rd party provider until the last minute.

Posted by: Chris | June 27, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the recommendation of Avast. I may give that a try.

Finding the free version has been the least of my concerns about AVG 8.0. I've been a very loyal AVG user for probably 8 years, but since "upgrading" to 8.0 on my desktop, I've been looking for something else. It used to take about two hours, maybe a little more, for previous versions of AVG to do a full scan of my system (multiple hard drives). With AVG 8.0, it takes about four and a half hours. That makes no sense to me, and it's inconvenient. (And it does have issues with completely cleaning up what it finds.)

Because I don't like 8.0, I'm still using 7.5 on my laptop, so I'm still getting those inaccurate nag screens, but it's still updating (and fortunately, I did read that they'll be continuing the updates through the end of the year). My mother is still on dial-up, and last thing I read, there were big problems doing normal incremental updates on dial-up with 8.0, so I've been looking for a better solution for her too.

Posted by: BW | June 27, 2008 9:56 PM | Report abuse

This doesn't really belong here, but I can't find the right place. I email subscribe to several www newspapers and recently the WP, always the slowest to load, seems to load twice before settling down. Don't understand, as the NYT, TS, LAT, SMH and CSM all load quickly without any drama.
Hope this gets to the right place.
Thanks!

Posted by: pmocom@gmail.com | June 28, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Here's a question I haven't seen addressed anywhere, but I wonder if you might have the answer. I googled myself a few weeks back, and imagine my surprise when I saw my very unusual full name linked to a bunch of pornographic sites. At least, that's what they look like - my name and a stream of obscenities - though I confess I haven't clicked on any of the sites to see what's going on. Is this a common problem? I don't like seeing my name hijacked and linked forever to these sites on the web. Is there a way to make it go away?

Posted by: Donna | June 29, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

On Donna's comment (linkage to porno sites). 3 months ago, I got an email from an internet user in Germany, claiming my (correct) email address was attached to some unsolicited porn email he had received. I replied politely that I had used the same email address for over 15 years so it could easily have been stolen (as spammers do all the time). I also thanked him for checking the forgery out. As for spurious and/or fake email authorship, my observation is that it comes with the territory...

Posted by: Rick | July 1, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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