Ira Wilsker's archive

Many of us can discuss the latest sports news with vigor, debate the crazy lifestyles of our favorite celebrities, and argue the fine points of politics and public policy, but we are often blissfully ignorant about how our dependence on the Internet has made us vulnerable to attacks that can close our banks, disrupt our communications, shut down our utilities, and otherwise destroy much of what makes our life possible in the 21st century.

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There are several excellent websites that provide information and evaluations of free software. One very popular site that has a large and loyal following is ilovefreesoftware.com. What makes I Love Free Software so popular are the constantly updated listings covering a variety of operating systems and applications. In addition to listing each title, a comprehensive review and evaluation is posted such that the viewer can fully understand the functionality of each free item prior to downloading the file.

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Regular readers of this column are well aware that digital books (eBooks) are making tremendous inroads in the publishing industry. With the purchase of millions of e-readers, along with smart phones, tablets and other digital devices, the market for eBooks has exploded. Several companies including Amazon and Barnes & Noble have introduced dedicated readers such as the Kindle and the Nook that allow the user to carry an entire library of books and magazines in a lightweight, thin electronic device.

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There has been a recent buzz in the blogs about Adobe possibly releasing full, registered copies of their popular software products for free. A reader of this column sent me a link a few days ago that appeared to be an authentic Adobe website that offered full copies of its “Creative Suite 2” (CS2) software for free, including license codes.

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It is that dreaded time of year when our mailboxes start to fill with those W-2, 1099s and other forms that indicate to us what might be taxable income. Some people simply throw all of the tax documents in a shoe box or plastic bag, and take them to a CPA or storefront tax service for completion of 1040 forms and schedules.

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