Kazaa Lite #2

At the time of writing it is apparently the hottest day of the year outside and personally I wouldn’t mind going down the beach for a little while since I’m having a fairly quiet day.This article therefore will be taken up mainly by an interesting letter that was sent to me which touches on a number of subjects that I have discussed recently.

Today I notice that after quite rightly plugging Spybot and AVG in previous weeks, you are now writing about Kazaa.Quite apart from the ethics of giving this piracy site free publicity, are you aware that Kazaa has a reputation for generating more viruses etc than probably any other site?

I can’t remember if you’ve already done it, but the least you should do now, is to remind your readers to install a personal firewall, particularly if they are on broadband and hence “always on”.My particular favourite (if you’re interested) is Zone Alarm available free on various magazine CDs but readers of your column will no doubt soon find out that the Pro version complete with registration key can be downloaded for free from Kazaa although I myself of course would never dream of doing such a thing.

Interestingly the BBC website has an article today about prosecution of file sharers, see http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/3022170.stm

Thanks for the help you gave me some months back on setting up Mals e commerce. I am using it very successfully on my website www.hometreasures.co.uk for accepting Credit Card details from customers in Europe & USA as well as the UK.

Once again, best wishes for the column, it can’t be easy finding the time to write on fresh subjects each week and you might notice I have ordered some more cartridges from you as I am more then happy with the products and your service.

Tony Hare, Torquay

Many thanks for your letter and kind words Tony and let me respond to the points you raised one by one:

For those of you not in the know, a firewall is a piece of software which prevents unauthorised access to your computer when you are on the Internet.I have touched in the past on the free firewall software that you mention, Zone Alarm (www.zonelabs.com) although personally I am not a big fan of home users having firewalls unless they are continuously using Broadband as more problems seem to be created than solved and of course there is the obligatorily customer that I encounter every couple of months who has three installed simultaneously; being precautious or paranoid – I’ll let you decide.Certainly check out the site as at the end of the day it is free but Windows XP users please remember that there is a free firewall built into Windows XP which can be activated from your dial up connection properties.

Unfortunately I do not see your point however Tony when you state that since downloading files of Kazaa makes you more prone to receiving viruses you should install firewall software as surely in such an instance you would need a good anti-virus scanner, not a firewall.Also, I’ve read through the BBC article that you quote and ignoring the fact that the law only applies to US citizens, even if it was current UK legislation then I think that the chance of the average home user being prosecuted would be very, very slim indeed.I’m not condoning piracy, just discussing current trends and opinions in the computing world.

Mals E-commerce is a tool that I have a great deal of experience in and that would be invaluable for local small businesses wanting to start their own online store on the Internet as it allows you to take secure credit card transactions online for free but is it too niche for my general readership?Please, let me know.

About the Author – Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.

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