From: Bob Rankin
Subject: TOURBUS - 14 Sep 2006 - LimeWire / Exploding CDs
In today's TOURBUS, we'll check out the safety and legality of a popular file-sharing program, learn about various forms of malware, and see if exploding CDROMs are fact or urban legend. Read on!
Limewire is a popular "file sharing" program, which allows individual users on the Internet to make music, video and other files available for direct access by other users. Limewire also allows a user to search for and download content stored on other users' computers. Limewire transfers files from the hard drive of one user (peer) to the hard drive of another user, hence the terms "peer-to-peer" or P2P file sharing are used.
If you think that sounds a bit like Napster, you're right. Napster was shut down by legal action, and other file-sharing programs that followed have been mired in controversy. So is it safe to use LimeWire? And is peer-to-peer file sharing legal? Find out here:
A reader concerned about computer security wrote to me and asked:
> "I had an anti virus program by McAfee but uninstalled because it
> was bogging my computer down. I now have anti spyware software,
> so do I still need to get an anti virus program? What is the
> difference between viruses and spyware? They seem very similar..."
This letters and others I've received tells me there is a lot of confusion about the difference between viruses and spyware. Are they really the same thing with different names? Do you need separate anti-virus AND anti-spyware programs?
Read on for answers to these questions, and some plain-English definitions of the various types of malicious software, including Viruses, Worms, Trojan Horses, and Spyware. Find out who writes malware, and get my recommendations for the best free software to protect your computer from all these privacy and security threats.
Unfortunately this is not an urban legend... CDROM disks CAN actually explode when spinning at high speeds. If you have a CDROM drive that operates at 48X speed or higher, you might not want to sit directly in front of your computer when it is reading a CD. There is a slight risk, documented by CDROM manufacturers, that a CD might explode when spinning at the high speeds attained by modern CDROM drives.
To find out what happens when a CDROM explodes, why it happens, and how to minimize the your risk, see:
For information on CD shelf life and repairing damaged CDROMs, see:
That's all for now, see you next time! -- Bob Rankin