Archive for the 'PC World' Category

Passwords suck. Here’s what you can (and can’t) do about it

Last June, 6.5 million Linked-In passwords were stolen by hackers and posted online. eHarmony lost 1.5 million passwords; Yahoo Voice another 450,000. Among the most common passwords used: 123456, welcome, and the ever popular “password.” The problem isn’t that these sites should have done a better job protecting user data (though they should have). It’s […]

Ten Tech Embarrassments You Want to Avoid

The stories you are about to read are true. Some names have been changed to protect the humiliated. Call it the ‘oh-no-second’ – the interval of time that passes between pressing the send button on an intimate email and realizing you just CC’d the entire universe. But it’s not just email. Thanks to the ease, […]

12 Ways Porn Has Changed the Web (for Good and Evil)

The sex industry is behind many innovations that today’s Netizens cannot live without, as well as some nasty bits we wish never existed. For an industry that many won’t admit they’ve ever patronized, pornography has had an amazing impact on virtually every new medium, from cave painting to photography. Dirty pictures have been credited with […]

Greatest gadgets of the last five years (and maybe of all time)

The best gadgets are simple, elegant, and change your life in ways you don’t expect Five years ago my Gadget Freak column began with a simple mission. To explore brave new technologies, to seek out new gizmos and gear, and to boldly go where no gadget column had gone before. Now that mission is over. […]

Eight Ways Twitter Will Change Your Life

(A slightly different version of this article appeared on PCworld.com.) It seems everyone is atwitter about Twitter. Yes, there are other microblogs with insufferably cute names — Pownce, Jaiku, Plurk, etc. But Twitter has quickly become the de facto choice for creating really really really short blogs. Why? it helps that Twitter’s rules are painfully […]

Will the Real Spam King Please Stand Up?

This post originally appeared on PCworld.com. As more and more spammers are arrested, prosecuted, and sued under state and federal antispam statutes, there’s one thing you can count on: Someone somewhere will invariably call the targeted spammer a “spam king.” It seems the bulk e-mail industry has more kings than a pinochle deck. But who […]

Embarrassing Photo #10: Then We Ordered Another Bottle of Tequila, and When I Woke Up One of My Kidneys Was Missing

It was a vacation she’d probably rather forget. When Janet Dudley-Eshbach, president of Salisbury University in Maryland, created an album of her family’s trip to Mexico on Facebook in October 2007, she didn’t expect a local TV station to broadcast the photos to the world, or to have a Wikipedia entry covering the mini-scandal. The […]

Embarrassing Photos #12: I’m a PC, She’s a Mac, and You’re Unemployed

Michael Hanscom did not pose nude on Flickr, attack the locals with a stick on his trip to Mexico, or dress up like the Fairy Princess while calling in sick. His crime? In October 2003, the Microsoft temp posted photos of Macintosh G5s being unloaded on the Redmond campus to his blog with the title […]

Embarrassing Photo #11: Yesterday, Spring Break; Tomorrow, Prison Break

What’s a Halloween costume cost? For college junior Joshua Lipton, it was two years of his life. In October 2006, the Bryant University student was charged with drunk driving after causing a three-car crash that left one Providence woman in critical condition. Two weeks later he showed up for a Halloween party dressed as “Jail […]

Embarrassing Photo #9: Nice, err, Pom Poms

As Texas is to nude art teachers, Illinois is to scantily clad cheerleading coaches. In April 2007, 25-year-old Natosha Shaw was temporarily stripped of her pom poms when parents at Waukegan High discovered sexy photos on Shaw’s MySpace profile. Parents claimed the aspiring dancer/model was also "inexperienced, incompetent, and immature" as well as under dressed. […]

Embarrassing Photo #8: No Nudes is Good Nudes

Here are two quick rules of thumb. If you’re going to teach art to high schoolers, try not to post nude photos of yourself online. And if you must teach art and pose in the nude, don’t do it in Texas. Tamara Hoover found this out the hard way in May 2006, when she was […]

Embarrassing Photo #7: Where There’s Smoke, There’s Ire

Sometimes posting a photo of someone else is enough to get you in trouble. In March 2005 Central High student Eliazar Velasquez snapped shots of principal Elaine Almagno having a smoke on school grounds and posted them to his Web site. He then distributed flyers throughout the Providence-based school, urging students to visit the site. […]

Embarrassing Photo #6: Moronic at Any Speed

Quick, what’s more stupid–driving 140 mph or filming yourself while driving 140 mph? How about filming yourself driving 140 mph and then posting the evidence on YouTube? That was only the tip of the dunce-berg for 23-year-old Andrew Kellett of Leeds, England. He posted more than 80 videos of himself driving recklessly, stealing gasoline, using […]

Embarrassing Photo #5: Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

What do you do with a drunken pirate? Throw her in the brig–or, if you’re Millersville University, deny her a teaching degree. That’s what happened to Stacey Snyder, a then-27-year-old student teacher who posted a self portrait to her MySpace page under the caption "drunk pirate," even though it was not clear from the photo […]

Embarrassing Photo #4: Vending machine leads tennis teen, 40 – love

British tennis phenoms Naomi Broady and David Rice are no longer feeling the love from the UK’s Lawn Tennis Association. The LTA nixed its sponsorship of the teens in October 2007 after discovering photos of Broady and Rice on social networking site Bebo showing them drunk, getting intimate with condom dispensers in public restrooms, and […]

Embarrassing Photo #3: Muscle bound or muscle brained?

What is it about firehouses that makes people want to take off their clothes? In this case, Boston fireman Alberto Arroyo got in trouble for stripping down to take part in a body-building competition last May. (He finished eighth in the 2008 Pro Natural American Championships, by the way.) There’s nothing wrong with fire fighters […]

Embarrassing Photo #2: Quick, call 911 – my pants are on fire

Now that an ex-beauty queen is running for the VP slot, life may be easier for hot mommas who also happen to be office holders. It will be too late to help Carmen Kontur-Gronquist, though. The former mayor of Arlington, Oregon, got in hot water with her constituents after a family member posted photos to […]

Embarrassing Photo #1 – Hey Kevin, Tinker Belle wants her outfit back

It’s bad enough to dress up like you’re about to slip a dollar under some toothless child’s pillow. But former intern Kevin Colvin made it much worse by asking his boss at Anglo Irish Bank if he could take time off for a “family emergency in New York,” then flitting off to a Halloween party […]

Lame and Lamer: 10 Dumbest Viral Marketing Campaigns

You can’t force anything to ‘go viral’ on the Internet, but that didn’t stop these 10 companies from giving it a big, dumb try. Guess who topped the list. (This post originally appeared on PCworld.com) Sure, it looks easy enough. Post a video of yourself wiggling your butt on Wii Fit, dancing your way across […]

Five Ways to Rock the Vote

Don’t like the government? Go out and make one of your own. These five Web sites can help you get informed, get active, and get those jokers out of office. (A version of this story first appeared on PCworld.com.) In case you haven’t noticed, it’s an election year. Along with making promises, shaking hands, and […]