From: Bob Rankin 
Subject: TOURBUS - 12 Dec 02 - ASCII Art

TODAY'S TOURBUS TOPIC: Froogle / New WebWasher / Windows Update

The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved

Howdy, y'all, and greetings once again from deep behind the orange curtain in beautiful Irvine, California, an area of space-time with a gravitational field so intense that its escape velocity is equal to or exceeds the speed of light. :P

TOURBUS is made possible by the kind support of our sponsors. Please take a moment to visit today's sponsors and thank them for keeping our little bus of Internet happiness on the road week after week.

On with the show ...

I know that I promised to write a post about email filters, but with your permission I'd like to defer that until later. Instead, let's talk about ...

------- Froogle -------

Okay, this first stop will be quick, but only because it doesn't need much of an introduction. Point your Web browser to "Froogle" at

and key in a product that you would like to purchase online.

Froogle is Google's new price comparison search engine.

Froogle shows you photos of products that match your search terms and links you to the stores that sell those products. Best of all,

Froogle does not sell products or promote partner stores within the search results. There is no shopping cart or wallet into which you can place your credit card information. Nor are there preferred merchants who always show up as the first result regardless of what search you enter. Our job is to find the product you want and point you to the store that sells it. Froogle provides objective results based on our calculation of what's most relevant to your search. We don't accept payment for inclusion in our results themselves, and the advertising that appears to the right of the actual results is clearly labeled as "Sponsored Links."

[quote from]

Cool, huh? :)

WebWasher Update

Back in late March I told y'all about WebWasher, a Web browser filter program for both the PC and Mac versions of Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer. WebWasher blocks banner advertisements, pop-up windows, web bugs, and other nasty things you encounter as you wander around the information supercollider.

Oh, and did I mention that WebWasher is absolutely free to home and educational users?

If you missed my WebWasher post, you can find a bootleg version of it online at .

Now for the good news. There is a *NEW* version of WebWasher called "WebWasher Classic 3.3" that works with Windows 95, 98, 98SE, ME, NT, 2000, and XP. Yes, folks, WebWasher *FINALLY* works with Windows XP! YAY!

Oh, and WebWasher Classic 3.3 also works with AOL! Sort of.

To download the latest version of WebWasher for the PC, point your Web browser to .

[You can also download Mac and Linux versions of WebWasher, but I don't think either of those have been updated since March.]

Now, this is where things get confusing. The top of WebWasher's Download page announces that

You can test WebWasher with a free 30 day evaluation. If you would like to purchase the software, please use our secure Online-Shop

A *BUNCH* of people are going to read this and think I am lying when I say that WebWasher is free. But notice that the 'WebWasher is free for 30 days; after that you have to buy it' quote is located under the section titled "Commercial and business users." Chances are you are neither a commercial OR business user, so this section doesn't apply to you.

If you'll scroll down the page a bit, you'll see a second section -- "Home and educational" use -- that says

"WebWasher is available for home and educational use (schools and Universities) free of charge."

Remember, despite what the WebWasher page says about licensing for commercial and business users, WebWasher is free for non-commercial (home) and education users -- in other words, "US!"

The download and installation process are pretty self-explanatory, but if you need any help please take at look my 24 March 2002 post at I think those instructions should still work. :)

Windows Update

If you have a PC and haven't run Windows Update in a while (see, you probably should stop reading today’s post and get busy updating. Our friends at Microsoft have been busy plugging security holes in Windows and Internet Explorer, and if you don't have the latest security patches on your computer your hair will fall out and your friends will stop talking to you. Or something like that.

Seriously, though, Microsoft has released some pretty significant patches recently. Please get them. Launch IE, go to Tools > Windows Update, click on Scan for updates, and then download *ONLY* the critical updates and service packs.

And if Windows Update for some reason acts hokey, take a look at Microsoft's Windows Update troubleshooter at .

That's it for today! Have a safe and happy weeke and we'll talk again soon! :)

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The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
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