From: Bob Rankin
Subject: TOURBUS - 14 Dec 06 - Cell Phone Cancer / Wireless Security
In today's TOURBUS, you'll find out if that fancy cellular phone is frying your brain, learn a lot about wireless networking and security, and hey... is Bill Gates secretly downloading personal information from your computer?? Read on for answers!
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Are you concerned about the risk of getting cancer from cell phone usage? Finally, some long-term scientific studies assessing the link between cell phones and cancer have been conducted. The results are in, and I for one was surprised... Researchers in Denmark studied 420,000 cell phone users whose cases were followed for up to 21 years. The bottom line: No evidence for an association between tumor risk and cell phone use! Read on to get the facts and figures from this and three other studies:
TOURBUS reader Jackie from Australia recently asked me this:
> "I have a laptop with no printer attached. But I do have a
> wireless network in my home, and one of the desktop computers on
> the network has a printer. How can I print from the laptop, over
> the wireless network, to the printer attached to my desktop?"
Although it may seem like printing over a wireless network requires some special magic, it's really no different than printing with a regular wired network. It doesn't matter if you connect your laptop to the network hub/router in your home with a network cable, or if you use an invisible wireless beam to connect.
If one of the computers on the network has a printer attached, all of the computers on the network SHOULD be able to access it... Read on for an illustrated step-by-step guide to sharing a networked printer, on your PC or Mac!
And if you need help setting up a home network, read this:
Chaz from Tuskegee also has concerns over wireless security:
> "I have a wireless network at home, which lets me get an internet
> connection on my laptop all over the house. But I'm concerned that
> neighbors or people driving by can hack into my computer. A friend
> said that hiding my SSID will solve the problem. So what's a
> wireless SSID, how do I hide it, and will it help?"
If you have high-speed internet service, chances are good you have a wireless router. If so, you may be sharing your internet connection (and possibly your hard drive) with strangers. Your friend who mentioned hiding the SSID meant well, but there are some drawbacks to doing that. And there are other steps to securing your wireless connect that are MUCH more important.
To learn more about the purpose and proper setting of the SSID in a wireless network, AND the three important steps you MUST take for secure wireless computing, read on...
And finally, Kip, a TOURBUS reader concerned about spyware writes:
> "I read in another newsletter that Microsoft's Genuine Advantage
> for Windows is spyware. Microsoft seems to be forcing it on me
> every time I try to update my system. Is this an attempt by
> Microsoft to poke into our private files with spyware?"
It's true some tech writers have been saying the Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) tool is spyware, but I don't see any evidence to support such a claim. WGA is anti-piracy software from Microsoft that checks to see if users are running a legal, licensed copy of Windows XP.
But what of those claims about WGA "phoning home" your personally identifiable information to Bill Gates? Exactly what does WGA report back to Microsoft? And what should you do if WGA thinks your licensed copy is stolen goods? Here's the scoop on WGA...
That's all for now, see you next time! -- Bob Rankin