Use to host your Domain Email

I used to recommend using Google to host your personal domain email (e.g. But since Google started “monetizing” their products, they now charge $50/year/account for the service, quite steep.

Now I recommend, which is still free and a very good service. You can signup here:

You need an existing email account to set up the mail domain account. Just like any change in mail server, you need to update at your registrar your  MX records and your TXT record to prove that you own the domain.

Then you can reach your mail by going to:

Manage License Keys for Windows and Office

Find Product Keys

Most businesses have trouble keeping track of their license keys. A tool to see what keys you are using for Windows and Microsoft Office is:

LicenseCrawler by Klinzmann

It’s free software. The author jokingly requests that users send him a picture of their hometown instead of payment. Must be funny in German.

Still, it’s simple and streightforward software to help you find the product keys.

Change Microsoft Office Key

If you install Microsoft Office and find that the key is already in use, there is a quicker way to try another key instead of performing a full uninstall and reinstall of Office.

  • Click, Start – Run
  • Type Regedit
  • Navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\”version”\Registration
  • Click the plus (+) sign and you should find a couple of items that you need to delete: DigitalProductID and ProductID. One or both of these should contain a 32-character {GUID} (globally unique identifier).
  • Save and close the registry, reboot, and start MS Office again. It should ask you to enter another product ID and attempt registration.

Yahoo to use Microsoft Search

Good news for Microsoft. They reached a deal with Yahoo for Yahoo to use Microsoft’s new and rebranded search engine called Bing to power Yahoo searches. This, along with Bing’s big advertising push, should help Microsoft greatly against Google. It will also help that Bing is the default search engine in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Add to that Mirosoft’s uptick in image coming from the Windows 7 operating system release in October and you have a good story of Microsoft on the upswing (ignoring previous story of course).

The bad news for customers is that we lost another competitor in the field of search. Implementing a good search engine requires not only computer and mathematical skills, but also a vast array of servers which hold search results and send bots out to crawl the internet for new content. Therefore a big company is needed to truly compete in search. (There are smaller search engines that are quite good such as Cuil, but these ventures still require a lot of cash and have yet to gain market share or brand awareness).

This deal leaves us with only two big search engines left. According to research firm ComScore the existing search market is:

65% – Google
19.6% – Yahoo (now to use Bing)
8.4% – Microsoft Bing

Yahoo will still manage their own ads, but apparently using all Microsoft technology.

Emergency Microsoft Patches

Bad news from Microsoft. Below is an excerpt from the Washington Post article titled Microsoft’s Emergency Patch Mess.

Microsoft today released a pair of emergency software updates (Redmond calls them “out-of-band” updates). Yes, that’s right folks: If you use Windows — and especially if you browse the Web with Internet Exploder Explorer – it’s once again time to update.

The backstory to these patches is a bit complex, so here’s the short version: A while back, Microsoft introduced several security flaws into a set of widely-used third-party software development tools, and today it’s correcting that error by issuing an updated set of tools. Another update tries to block attackers from exploiting those weaknesses while third-party software makers figure out how to fix their code with the updated tools.

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most dire and far-reaching, Eric Schultze, chief technology officer at Shavlik Technologies, said he’d put the seriousness of today’s out-of-band patch releases at an 8.

“When I was at Microsoft, there were a couple of issues that we referred to as ‘Voldemort,’ meaning they were so nasty you didn’t even want to speak their names, and this one is kind of like ‘Son of Voldemort,'” Schultze said. “You really start to lose confidence in Microsoft’s security mechanisms when something like this happens.”

CNN to create 3D Inauguration Image

If you are going to the inauguration, you can take pictures (under 10MB in size) of the event and send them to

CNN will then use Microsoft’s PhotoSynth software to create a massive 3D image. It will be interesting to see how well it works, especially since most of the event will be covered with people. Since the people move, it’s not clear how well the software will be able to match images up. But PhotoSynth has created great 3D experiences in other locations.

UPDATE: See the results of CNN’s PhotoSynth project at CNN’s The Moment site.