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In light of recent events concerning many security issues we at Cottage Computers have dedicated a section of our website to the safety and security of our customers. Here, we will be posting information and links to news articles concerning important topics in the technological world that may affect our customers in the home or office. It is our wish that customers will make this site a regular stop on their daily internet surfing.

DTV Transition and the Coupon Program
What is the digital television transition?

At midnight on February 17, 2009, all full-power television stations in the United States will stop broadcasting in analog and switch to 100% digital broadcasting. Digital broadcasting promises to provide a clearer picture and more programming options and will free up airwaves for use by emergency responders.
What is the TV Converter Box Coupon Program?
Congress created the TV Converter Box Coupon Program for households wishing to keep using their analog TV sets after February 17, 2009. The Program allows U.S. households to obtain up to two coupons, each worth $40, that can be applied toward the cost of eligible converter boxes.

A TV connected to cable, satellite or other pay TV service does not require a TV converter box from this program.

Consumers have a variety of options. Options to explore include:
1. Keep your existing analog TV and purchase a TV converter box. A converter box plugs into your TV and will keep it working after Feb. 17, 2009, or
2. Connect to cable, satellite or other pay service, or
3. Purchase a television with a digital tuner.
NTIA, U.S. Department of Commerce,

Posted Thu, 24 January 2008
NTIA Federal Partners Discuss DTV Assistance
Press Release: Commerce’s NTIA Urges Federal Partners to Help Reach Targeted Communities about the DTV Transition: NTIA hosted a meeting with more than 15 other federal agencies to further coordinate efforts to educate the nation about the February 17, 2009, deadline to transition to digital television. “These partners are particularly important in reaching the communities most at risk for losing television broadcasts,” said NTIA Acting Administrator Meredith Baker.

Posted Fri, 04 January 2008
DTV Coupon Program Off to "Great Start"
Press Release: U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez today announced that the demand for TV Converter Box Coupons is strong and that NTIA has taken requests from every state for nearly 1.9 million coupons from more than one million households.

Posted Monday, June 12, 2006
Microsoft to Issue 12 Patches for Security Flaws
This MSNBC Article,dated June 12, 2006, discusses the upcoming fixes Microsoft is releasing to address security flaws in their software, some of which are marked as ‘critical’.

Posted Monday, June 12, 2006
'I just Bought your Hard Drive'
MSNBC’s Red Tape Chronicles from June 5, 2006 Reports on a crashed hard drive left with Best Buy, that ends up in the hands of another consumer. The hard drive still contained personal data from the original owner. Cottage Computers employs government level formatting on all hard drives to prevent your personal information from falling into the wrong hands. If you have any questions about this procedure, please call us.

spacerParental Alerts is a wildly popular Web site where teens can find each other, and sometimes find trouble. You may never have heard of the site, but most kids have.

Posted Thursday, June 29, 2006
A Sample Profile - With TMI
Dateline has posted a sample profile, with highlights to potentially dangerous portions of the profile.

Posted Thursday, June 29, 2006
MySpace Plans New Rules to Thwart Predators
An MSNBC Article, from June 21, 2006, announces new restrictions is putting on their website. However these restrictions are not foolproof, and users should still be aware of potential dangers..

Posted Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Teen Returns from MySpace Trek to MidEast
An MSNBC Article, dated June 10, 2006, about a 16-year-old girl who tricks her parents into getting her a passport so she can fly to the Middle East to be with someone she met through .

Posted Monday, June 12, 2006
Teen Charged for Threat on MySpace
An MSNBC Article, dated June 6, 2006, talks about a 14-year-old teen charged with ‘Felony Harassment through electronic communications’ for threatening the life of a teacher in a Blog.
Posted Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Why parents must mind MySpace
This MSNBC Article, dated April 5, 2006, is a reporters take on what is, and what parents should do about it.

Posted Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Kids, Blogs, and too much information
An MSNBC Article, dated April 29, 2005 about a mother who finds her 13-year-old is posting too much personal information on networking sites such as

Posted Wednesday, May 24, 2006 on their Web site safety
This MSNBC Article, dated January 27, 2006, is an Interview with representatives of and what measures the site takes to protect its users.

Posted Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Family contracts for online safety
An MSNBC Article with some concrete advice for what parents can do to help keep their children safe on and other social networking sites.

Posted Wednesday, May 24, 2006
‘Predator’: Caught on camera, but not surprised
This Dateline MSNBC Article, dated May 17, 2006, is a lengthy Dateline report on their investigation into internet predators, and the responses of these men when caught. Warning: Many of the interviews in this article are quite explicit.

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