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21st Century




Mar 03, 2001 - U.S. Copyright Law, Napster and Innovation
Jan 22, 2001 - Slow Light? Fast Light? E=MC²?
Jan - Mar, 2001 - The WorldWide Threat: TSE Disease
May, 2001 Internet Service Provider MSN.COM Disembowels Itself
Dec, 2004 God and the Big Bang Theory


Messages has been publishing in-depth science articles for quite a few years. Research and contributions have always produced definitive writings on each subject, and they have been enjoyable projects, until now.

Our first, new-science section article, The WorldWide Threat: TSE Disease, was intended to be an article on the technical side of the subject, but we did not wish to neglect our readers who were not familiar with TSE's background. The whole objective was bring anyone up to speed with the subject of TSE disease and its implications for the future without leaving our readers with the distasteful, infantile descriptions this subject has been presented with by American news media.

Now in rewrite #6, this article has been the most difficult piece we've ever done. On January 19th, the last re-write has been posted to close confusing abstractions, clarify the issues, and complete unsatisfied questions from our readers. Links to the heavy genetic workups are included, if you crave that sort of thing. Additional updates will be added as necessary.

Thanks for letting me know what you want from these articles. -Tag Bunny, Webmaster

Virtualpath's Personal Computer Survival Guide
Programs you must have for data protection on your computer, and where to get them...
FOR Microsoft Windows (T.M.)
  1. 95-98SE
  2. NT 3.51, 4.0
  3. Millennium Edition (ME)
  4. 2000
  5. XP
ZoneAlarm by ZoneLabs
PcCillin by Trend Micro
AdAware by
RegCleaner by Jouni Vuorio
Firewall (bi-directional)
Anti-Virus Protection
Spyware Checker
Registry & Program Cleaner
1, 2, 3, 4
1, 2, 3
1, 2, 3, 4
1, 2, 3, 5

Note: XP Service Pack 2 includes firewall and spyware protection. Don't use more than one firewall for a single computer or your may really have a fight on your hands to fix it.

DID YOU KNOW: Even if you religiously delete HISTORY from your browser, a complete record of EVERY univeral resource locator (URL) your browser has ever accessed is still stored in your computer? To defeat spyware, you should use a cookie manager program, run Ad Aware and maintain your firewall and antivirus programs by adequate updates. For further information on privacy protection, we recommend that you visit Steve Gibson's website at GRC.COM. A new program called Spider has recent appeared to ferret out and eliminate the URL record that spyware programs can access in your computer, but it's not yet available for public use. If and when that changes, we'll supply a link to the program here.

FIREWALL: The best we've found is ZoneAlarm. This is your first line of defense against hackers. ZoneAlarm has an excellent free version for private use, but we like the power of ZoneAlarm Pro on our LANs. The Pro is well worth the reasonable cost for each of our machines. A discussion of firewalls is available at GRC.COM (see the link above), but avoid Symantec's 200x firewall at this time. Most firewalls are junk. While BlackIce Defender is excellent protection for incoming attacks, it does nothing to prevent trojans and spyware in your computer from sneaking out to an outside server.

ANTIVIRUS: If you've got an old copy of Norton AV 4.0, keep it and upgrade it for as long as Symantec supports it. Avoid their new 200x programs until they get the bugs out and take the spyware out of it. McAfee is still working OK and is still solid for Win NT 4.0 in particular, but PcCillin is really a great product for the newer Windows O.S. like CE and 2000.

SPYWARE: Probably more than 90% of all computers that are Internet connected are already infected with Comet Cursor. Other spyware includes RealPlayer, Netscape 6 and a hundred other programs, commonly used, that collect user information and send it to server databases. AdAware finds spyware programs, cookies (like doubleclick), Comet Cursor and other programs that send your computer's information to someone else, identifies these programs, and can selectively clean them from your system.

REGISTRY: Have you had AOL before and now it's like an infection you can't get rid of? This great little program, unlike Microsoft's RegClean, is the only utility we've ever found that will edit hidden registry entries. It effectively removes AOL residue from previous ISP activity, or AOL/Netscape installations. Be careful - this is a powerful tool.



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