In this week's Cybershake, we lend an ear to Bill Gates, now an honorary knight and ready to joust against security flaws. Plus, spouses of state governors and other officials remind parents: teach your kids online safety.
Gates: We Must Slay Tech Flaws
Computers have come a long way from the days when they took up whole floors. And no one knows that more than Bill Gates, co-founder and chairman of software giant Microsoft.
The basic software programs created by Gates and company helped usher in the era of powerful desktop computers. And in recognition of his contributions to business and charity, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II bestowed an honorary knighthood upon Gates on Wednesday.
Still, Gates told ABC News' Peter Jennings that there's still plenty of work he and his colleagues must do. Of the utmost concern: "Security is actually our top priority."
Despite numerous fixes, experts say new flaws are being discovered -- and exploited -- daily in Microsoft's Windows software. Earlier this week, they warned of a new variant of the "Bagle" virus, a destructive bug that first surfaced more than a year ago.
"If we don't solve these security problems, then people hold back," said Gates. "Businesses will be afraid to put their critical information on [computers] because it might be exposed. People won't use their credit cards quite as much."
And that lack of confidence could stymie PC technology from becoming much more pervasive and easier to use.
"We can make computers far simpler than they are today, even as we're doing more and more with them," said Gates.
"You still have to learn too much about the innards. It should just be that you pick the person you want to contact and the right thing happens automatically," said Gates. Therefore, "It's a responsibility for us to make sure that things like security don't get in the way of that dream."
-- Larry Jacobs, ABC News
An Important Online Safety Reminder
Your kid spends a lot of time on the computer. What child of the digital age doesn't? But once again, politicians and safety experts are stressing that parents and other responsible adults need to get involved with youngsters' online activities.
During the National Governor's Convention held this week, many spouses of the governors talked about the dangers that still lurk online for young surfers.
"Dad's stereotypically worried about some guy coming to the door to take out their daughter," said Dan Mulhern, husband of Michigan governor Jennifer Granhold. "But the issues are now very different."
One in five kids online will receive pornographic spam, or be solicited illicitly by strangers, said Ernie Allen with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. And unfortunately, most kids will keep such incidents secret.
"Only one in four of those kids who are sexually solicited tell a mom or dad about it," Allen said.
Jackie Leavitt, wife of Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, says parents must remind their children of this simple, but potentially lifesaving advice: "Tell a parent or trusted adult if you see anything that makes you feel uncomfortable."
-- Cheri Preston, ABC News
Cybershake is produced for ABC News Radio by Andrea J. Smith.