Cybernaut 

Another scapegoat

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You can understand where the music industry is coming from. In the past few years the industry has watched sales drop a full 31 per cent, and has been reduced to going after individuals in order to scare off other file swappers – individuals generally have less money that the companies that build file swapping software, and a lot more to lose.

Still, she’s 12. She’s not even in high school yet. She won’t be driving a car for four more years. She won’t be voting for six more years. Heck, she can’t even be tried as a juvenile offender until she’s 13!

While the RIAA has to show it’s serious, they seemed to have picked the one illegal downloader that would turn public antipathy towards the RIAA, and generate public sympathy for music thieves.

The scary part of it is that the RIAA has been planning this for years, and Brianna’s online music collection practically screamed "12-year-old girl".

By settling out of court with Briana for $2 a song, the RIAA has also set an affordable precedent for the other 259 people being sued that probably won’t work as the deterrent that they hoped for. Worse, the legal actions could cost them more than they’ll receive in settlements.

A sound idea, poorly executed. Nice work RIAA.

Fall cleaning for your PC

Everyone cleans their house, vacuuming the carpets, sponging the bathrooms, taking out the garbage, but now and then a house needs a real scouring – windows, walls, corners, the whole nine yards.

Your computer is no different. While most people are careful to trash what needs to be trashed on a regular basis, a lot of useless stuff piles up in file folders so buried in the architecture of your system. To truly sanitize your computer you have to dig a little.

In the recent PC World Magazine (www.pcworld.com), the editors have compiled a short list of indispensable PC programs for cleaning and organizing your computer. Some are available on a trial basis, some are for sale, and some are freely available as shareware.

RegRepair v.3.9 – Designed by Easy Desk Software, this program is free to try, and $30 to own. It works with older versions of Windows, including Windows 9.x and Windows Me. This program fixes hundreds of little errors, finding and repairing missing file problems that lead to problems using software and accessing files. It repairs registry files, font files and missing DRVs, DLLs and VSDs. Other similar programs to look for include RegClean v.4.1, Clean System Directory 1.7, Tweak UI v.1.33, System Mechanic v.3.7h, and System Cleaner v.4.92c. These and others are available at PC World under Downloads and at Downloads.com by C/Net.

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