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Faster Forward: November 14, 2010 - November 20, 2010

An Adobe Reader update worth the download hassle

For the first time I can recall, there's an update to Adobe Systems' free Reader program that merits a reaction beyond resignation. The new Reader X, released yesterday, includes three valuable features. The first is a new layer of defense against increasingly common attacks on this widely used Portable Document...

By Rob Pegoraro  | November 19, 2010; 6:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Productivity, Security  
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Congress's latest awful tech-policy idea: the Net-censorship bill

No idea is too bad not to get a second chance in Congress -- especially when it comes to tech policy. This week's demonstration of that principle is a bill called the "Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act," which passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday after being set aside...

By Rob Pegoraro  | November 19, 2010; 12:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Policy and politics  
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Mozilla offers details on Firefox and its finances in 'State of Mozilla' report

The people behind the Firefox browser wanted the Web to know what they've been up to, so they posted their version of an annual report Thursday afternoon. The Mozilla Foundation's "The State of Mozilla" isn't like most annual reports--it's too short and only contains one photo of happy employees. But...

By Rob Pegoraro  | November 19, 2010; 5:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
Categories:  Search, The Web  
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Holiday party-planning poll: Evite, or some other site?

This happens every November: After months of inactivity, I start seeing multiple Evite invitations in my inbox. Then I dust off my own Evite account too. I think I know why this happens: A lot of holiday gatherings recur every year. And if you're hosting the seventh annual [seasonal theme...

By Rob Pegoraro  | November 18, 2010; 10:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Digital culture, Social media  
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Google offers mobile editing on Google Docs -- with many restrictions

This morning, Google announced that smartphone users could use its Google Docs site to edit documents on the go.

By Rob Pegoraro  | November 17, 2010; 4:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Mobile, Productivity  
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Hulu Plus exits preview, cuts price

Was it less than two weeks ago that I wrote here about how Hulu had finally opened its Hulu Plus subscription service for business? It was. But now the TV-viewing site's premium viewing option, with its higher video quality and expanded library of shows and movies, is really open for...

By Rob Pegoraro  | November 17, 2010; 8:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  TV, Video  
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MacBook Air review (and video)

It's easiest to define Apple's MacBook Air by the standard ingredients it leaves out: a CD or DVD drive, an Ethernet wired-networking port, even a hard drive. There's not much left after all that editing--but there is a capable, pricey portable computer. Of those two Air models that Apple introduced...

By Rob Pegoraro  | November 16, 2010; 2:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Mac, Mobile, Weekly video  
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The Beatles on iTunes? Yawn.

The Beatles, their surviving heirs and their misguided management finally turned in their Flat Earth Society membership cards today, allowing the sale of their music as digital downloads on Apple's iTunes Store. La-dee-freakin'-da. I'm sorry, were you expecting congratulations here? This absurdly-overdue development happened a few minutes before 10 a.m....

By Rob Pegoraro  | November 16, 2010; 10:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Music  
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Facebook launches universal, 'seamless' messaging service (updated)

At an event Monday in San Francisco, founder Mark Zuckerberg introduced a major upgrade to the social network's messaging system that's designed to fold in other, older forms of electronic text communication: chat, e-mail and SMS.

By Rob Pegoraro  | November 15, 2010; 1:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  E-mail, Social media  
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Apple home page makes breathless, vague iTunes prediction (update: WSJ says it's the Beatles)

Tomorrow will be Tuesday, Nov. 16. Apple, however, thinks it'll be something more significant: Its home page, stripped of the usual marketing graphics, declares that it will be a day "you'll never forget" and invites people to check back at 10 a.m. Eastern tomorrow for "an exciting announcement from iTunes."

By Rob Pegoraro  | November 15, 2010; 11:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Apple, Mac, Music, The business we have chosen  
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TiVo's new $99 and 'free' deals are no deal at all

You can now buy a TiVo digital video recorder for just $99 and change. Please don't. The "special holiday offer" headlined on the Alviso, Calif., company's home page looks like a sizable discount at first. Instead of forking over $299.99 upfront, then paying $12.95 a month in service fees, you...

By Rob Pegoraro  | November 15, 2010; 6:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Shopping, TV, Video  
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PostPoints tip: Have you bargained over your TV bill lately?

A lot of the telecom costs we pay are fixed. Unless your wireless carrier or Internet provider inflicts an extended outage or bill you in error, you probably won't be able to talk them into lowering your bill for one month, let alone for the remainder of your contract. (If...

By Rob Pegoraro  | November 15, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Tips  
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