Free Software for your PC (Yes Free)

Hello Families:
With the costs to homeschooling families on the rise,  and with the economy being as bad as it is,  many families are having to make cutbacks.   I thought I’d write a few articles here to point you to some freebies on the internet (I assume you have internet access since your reading this)  Hopefully,  this will help take some of the sting out of your wallet.

First off, no one who ventures out into the internet should be online without a good anti virus program.  Viri are everywhere and even sites you might not suspect, have stuff embedded in them to try and either take control of your PC or glean information that could lead to identity theft.

This brings us to my first set of web goodies.  There are several good anti virus programs that are FREE!  Yes you read that right FREE. Avast is the software I currently run on my systems and have had great success with it.  It’s easy to install,  and it is updated almost nightly with new definitions to keep the baddies at bay.  There is also AVG another great free anti virus program that is also free.  Both will require you to register, but they if they just want an email for the price of an Anti Virus program…what the heck.  Oh,  I recommend you setup a free Gmail account just for this purpose.  Pointing all those free software programs to Gmail address keeps them happy and your inbox clear of any ads or notices that these companies may send out.

School District Spy's On Students With School Issued Laptops

The Associated Press
Monday, February 22, 2010; 12:09 PM

PHILADELPHIA — A student who accuses his suburban Philadelphia school district in a lawsuit of spying on students via their school-issued webcams will ask district officials not to remove any potential evidence from student computers.

Lawyers for the Lower Merion School District are due in federal court on the issue Monday afternoon, on an emergency petition from student Blake Robbins of Penn Valley.

Lower Merion officials confirmed last week they had activated the webcams to find 42 missing or stolen laptops, without the knowledge or permission of students and their families. Both the FBI and local authorities are investigating whether the district broke any wiretap, computer-use or other laws.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a brief in support of the student Monday, arguing that the photo amounts to an illegal search.

“That school officials’ warrantless, non-consensual use of a camera, embedded in students’ laptops, inside the home is a search cannot be doubted,” the ACLU wrote in a brief filed Monday morning.

Students at the district’s two high schools have taken to taping over the webcam and microphone, even as school officials insist they have stopped the practice.

Robbins sued last week, alleging that Harriton High School officials took a photo of him inside his home. He learned of it when an assistant principal said she knew he was engaging in improper behavior at home, according to his potentially class-action lawsuit.