Thursday, October 13, 2011

Another computer visionary lost

Dennis Ritchie, 1941-2011: Computer scientist, Unix co-creator, C programming language designer – Boing Boing

Computer scientist Dennis Ritchie is reported to have died at his home this past weekend, after a long battle against an unspecified illness. No further details are available at the time of this blog post.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Good article concerning password strength

Change Passwords | Create Strong Passwords | Microsoft Security

Keys to password strength: length and complexity

Please note the password checker link. It is a good idea to check passwords you use.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

minus

minus - A review by techlaze

Minus is a free service that lets you share files easily with your friends and family. Its goal is to make file sharing as simple as possible by allowing users to upload and share their files from anywhere, be it mobile, desktop, or web. Applications for this service are available across all platforms including Linux. Furthermore, Minus also works on popular browsers like Firefox and Chrome. Here’s a quick review of the Linux version of the application.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Being Quiet and Successful

I recently read this excellent blog (partial quote follows):

The Quiet Theory of Influence | zen habits
When everyone yells “Look at me!”, become quiet.

When others seek attention, turn your attention inward.

When everyone wants pageviews and sales, be valuable.

When others try to pull visitors to their sites, let people find you themselves.

When most blogs have popups and drop-downs urging readers to subscribe to their newsletters, get out of your readers’ way.

When others brag of their success, let others laud you instead.

When others cling greedily to copyrights, give your work away.

When others use goals to drive themselves to change the world, learn to be content, and people will ask to learn your secrets.

My friend John Fay found this excellent demonstration:

xkcd: Marketing Interview

Peace, everyone!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Emails and attachments (my gripes)

Often, I receive emails asking me to open an attachment so that I can learn details about an event/fundraiser/etc. It seems to me that it would be just as easy for the sender to paste the details in the email body and save everyone the bother of having to open a document. It would also save our email servers from having to store documents that are not needed.

While I am at it, please consider not using PowerPoint to create a fancy-looking one-slide document. We need less "artistic" and more information, more simplification and less decoration.

And let me not forget this one: I will not support a fundraiser for a "health" cause that sells unhealthy products. Selling cookies, pies, and fried chicken to raise funds for the American Heart Association makes as much sense as selling guns to promote gun control, or selling joints in an anti-drug campaign.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Some excellent ideas for maintainig your PC in good shape

Free PC Maintenance Tools
Just like a car, your computer needs regular maintenance to continue performing at its best. Waiting until accumulated minor problems make your computer run intolerably slow is bad for it. A neglected PC works harder than it should and then hardware can start to fail. You may experience a sudden catastrophic crash similar to a car engine seizing up because you never changed the oil.

Education is critical to progress

Here is an opportunity to take college courses for free:

Free Online College Courses

There are two parts to this article. A link to the second part is at the bottom of part one (which this link points to).

Enjoy exploring the work of free college courses!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A new Linux distribution for the security minded

A new Linux distribution for the security minded | TechRepublic
The U.S. Department of Defense has released it’s own security-enhanced Linux distribution designed to protect remote workers who must access corporate and government networks from insecure locations.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Firefox 5

I was surprised to see that Firefox 5 came out so quickly after Firefox 4. And then all went wrong. Not earth-shattering wrong, but Firefox began crashing and could not stay running for more than a few seconds. I immediately suspected an add-on. I found how to get Firefox started in Safe Mode (hold the Shift key and then click the icon on your taskbar or double-click the icon on your desktop). That allowed me to disable all add-ons. But even after doing that it was the same problem. So I downloaded a fresh copy from the net and re-installed the program. Same problem. ran through the safe mode start again, disabled all add-ons and then it was OK. I re-started on add-on at a time and stopped when I had turned all essential add-ons. I suspect the Forecastfox Weather but I have not narrowed it down to that point yet. More to come.

Update: Forecastfox was not it. More digging needed.
Update #2: None of the add-ons seem to be causing the problem now. Maybe the original install did nto run properly.

So far, the new version is fast, even faster than version 4. Nice! :-)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Weekly News (2011-03-19)

Please visit protonic.com for excellent, FREE technical support!

Editorial


Events in Japan have shown us how fragile life is and how much we can depend on impermanency. Even the best laid-out plans will sometimes fail; mother nature has a funny way of reminding us that we should be humble and ready for the worst. At the same time, these tragedies reinforce our human resiliency and highlight the strength of the human spirit. ~Victor

SAFETY


ABOUT ELECTRICAL HAZARDS IN THE HOME: Summertime increases the demand for electricity and raises the risk of fire in homes with older or damaged wiring systems. Air conditioning equipment, electric grills, and attic fans are some of the seasonal appliances that can place added stress and strain on a home's electrical wiring and cause a potentially tragic fire.

SECURITY


RSA SECURITY BREACH DEMANDS CAUTION: RSA SecurID partners seeking answers about warning of compromised devices.
CAN YOUR BROWSER REALLY STOP SITES FROM TRACKING YOUR WEB BROWSING?: The latest versions of Firefox and Internet Explorer support a standard designed to stop the kind of tracking that spawns targeted ads. Whether it’ll work, though, is unclear.
ONLINE SCAMMERS USING JAPAN QUAKE AS A LURE: Scammers and online criminals are exploiting the disaster in Japan to lure in unsuspecting victims in order to steal personal information or load your PC with malware.
NEW HACKER TRICK DUCKS ANTI-PHISHING MEASURES IN FIREFOX, CHROME: A new phishing scam that targets bank and PayPal passwords and other consumer data that criminals use to loot private accounts is designed to beat security built in to Firefox and Chrome Web browsers.
BACK UP YOUR WEB E-MAIL ACCOUNT: Don't get caught in the next Gmail crash. Here's how to back up your cloud-based e-mail accounts.

WORTHY WEBSITE


BoingBoing: You can waste away many a happy hour at ├╝ber-blog BoingBoing, your one-stop shop for all things popular on the Internet (give or take a Goatse obsession). From goofy pictures of kids in robot costumes to erudite disquisitions on copyright and privacy, BoingBoing has its thumb on the zeitgeist, and it won't let up. And if BoingBoing's obsessions with DRM and robots start to grate on you, head over to http://www.xenisucks.com to indulge in a whole 'nother obsession.

WORTHY DOWNLOAD


KEEP YOUR PC INSULATED FROM INTERNET THREATS WITH FREE BUFFERZONE PRO: This simple "sandbox" tool creates a virtual environment that protects your PC from viruses, spyware, and the like. It used to cost $40; now it's free!

WINDOWS


WHAT IS A THUMBS.DB FILE?: Find out what purpose the Thumbs.db file has in a Windows XP folder.
MICROSOFT STREETS & TRIPS 2011 WITH GPS LOCATOR: Microsoft Streets & Trips 2011 offers updated maps but virtually no other upgrades, making it a dubious purchase at best.
MICROSOFT FOILS BOTNET; NEW INTERNET SHERIFF?: Analysis: Grandiosity, self congratulation after Rustock takedown don't bode well for future "operations."
MICROSOFT URGES OFFICE USERS TO BLOCK FLASH PLAYER ATTACKS: Microsoft Thursday urged users of older Office suites to install and run a complicated tool to protect themselves against ongoing attacks exploiting an unpatched bug in Adobe's Flash Player.
EIGHT FREE WINDOWS 7 TOOLS YOU HAVE TO TRY: Our Windows blogger recently found these utilities, which have made his PC environment that much more capable
INTERNET EXPLORER 9 SPEEDS PAST COMPETITION: Throw away what you think you know about Internet Explorer -- because the just-released IE9 will turn it all on its ear. Think IE is sluggish? Think again.

MAC


TAME YOUR TABS WITH KEY COMMANDS: If you sometimes find your desktop cluttered with multiple browser windows, try using tabs in Safari.
IPAD 2 COMPONENTS MAY BE IN SHORT SUPPLY: Analysis: The iPad 2 is already on back-order in many markets, and now Apple may find it difficult to replace certain parts in light of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
15-INCH MACBOOK PRO: SAME LOOK, MORE SPEED: Apple's new MacBook Pro line of laptops was lost in the publicity around the iPad 2. Virtually all of the changes in the MacBook Pro family are under the hood.

LINUX


10 WAYS TO E-PUBLISH WITH LINUX: "If you're looking for a low-cost way to create, publish, and market an e-book, be sure to check out these Linux tools."
NEW LINUX KERNEL GOES FASTER: Linux kernel 2.6.28 has been released, bringing performance improvements.
5 OF THE BEST FREE LINUX ROBOTICS SOFTWARE: LinuxLinks: "Linux has a good range of open source toolkits for building robotic control systems. To provide an insight into the open source software that is available, we have compiled a list of 5 of our favorite robotics software. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for anyone who wants to conduct research in robot systems."
53 OPEN SOURCE REPLACEMENTS TO SPICE UP YOUR DESKTOP: "We've collected 53 different open source projects that can make your desktop environment faster, prettier, easier to use or just a little different. They run the gamut from small utilities that do just one thing to open source operating systems that can replace Windows."
TROUBLESHOOTING LINUX SERVERS WITH TELNET: "The venerable Telnet is still a useful tool in the server administrator's toolkit. Juliet Kemp shows how to test basic SMTP, IMAP, HTTP, and IRC server functions with Telnet"

GENERAL/NON-COMPUTER


6 MISTAKES THAT KEEP YOU FAT: Start by performing triage on the six eating habits listed here. But don’t try to banish them all at once. "Target just one or two behaviors at first—ones that you can make the most difference by changing," says Jennifer McDaniel, R.D., of St. Louis University.

DID YOU KNOW?


WIZARD: (1) A utility within an application that helps you use the application to perform a particular task. For example, a "letter wizard" within a word processing application would lead you through the steps of producing different types of correspondence. [More …]

OFFICE RELATED


RECLAIM SPACE IN MICROSOFT EXCEL BY CHANGING TEXT ALIGNMENT: Having just a column or two extend past the right edge of the screen is annoying. A simple way to reclaim text is to angle column labels.

SELF-IMPROVEMENT


TEN REASONS WHY HOLOGRAPHIC CREATION IS MORE POWERFUL THAN VISUALIZATION: Creating reality in the moment is holographic creation. You can also call it manifesting in holographic time. You create what you want on a spiritual level (quantum level), and then it grows until it becomes crystallized into physical reality.

WEEKLY VIDEO


A SOLAR PROMINENCE ERUPTION FROM SDO: One of the most spectacular solar sights is an erupting prominence.

OTHER NEWS


SEAGATE BARRACUDA GREEN (2TB): The pricey 2TB Seagate Barracuda Green is feature-loaded and faster than competing low-power hard drives.
WESTERN DIGITAL INTRODUCES 6TB DUAL-DRIVE STORAGE: If running out of room to store your data is a concern for you, know that Western Digital aims to make that a thing of the past with its new My Book Studio...
GNU FREE CALL: AN OPEN SOURCE SKYPE ALTERNATIVE: This planned service could add security while preventing any intervention or interruption of communications.
EXPERTS SEE WIDE USE OF FLASH-HARD DISK HYBRIDS BY 2016: A quarter of new laptops and half of new desktop PCs will adopt an emerging data storage method by 2016, pairing flash memory with traditional hard disk drives...
CHINA SHUTTERS 130,000 INTERNET CAFES AS IT SEEKS MORE CONTROL: China shut down more than 130,000 illegal Internet cafes in the country over a six year period, as part of crackdown to control the market
THE COST OF CHROME OS: $250 OR LESS?: When I wrote about Google's experimental CR-48 Chrome OS notebook last December, I guessed that it might cost about $449 if it were a commercial product. That seemed high for a device that was entirely dedicated to accessing the Web (and nearly useless when you couldn't get online).
10 THINGS TO DROOL OVER IN FIREFOX 4: Speed, simplicity, privacy, security and HTML5 support are among the features that promise to make Mozilla's new browser a winner.
PHOTOWORKS SHUTS DOWN APRIL 4: Customers get a $30 credit to transfer their images to Shutterfly, in the latest website hand-off.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Weekly News (2011-03-05)

Please visit protonic.com for excellent, FREE technical support!

Editorial


For some of us, celebrating certain dates is very important, and for some of us it is not. Today was my wife's birthday. She would have liked a nice celebration for her birthday; she enjoyed celebrating everyone's birthday. Birthdays are not a high priority for me, but they were to her. And so our family usually celebrates people's birth dates as much as possible. Perhaps Tracey had a point. We should celebrate the day important people in our life were born. What would our lives be without them in it? ~Victor

SAFETY


FACT OR FICTION: BURNS: Most of us have suffered a burn at some point or another -- and chances are, it was minor and healed relatively quickly. But do you know if you should run cold water over minor burns? What happens when you have hot tar stuck to your skin? And can you have a burn that's not visible on your skin? See how well you respond to these most burning questions.

SECURITY


CAN DATA STORED ON AN SSD BE SECURED?: Following a recent report that data on most SSDs is very difficult to completely erase, researchers and analysts say there are really only two methods to...
MOZILLA FOLLOWS GOOGLE, PATCHES FIREFOX AS PREP FOR PWN2OWN: Nine of the 11 flaws were rated 'critical,' a threat rating that implies hackers could use the vulnerabilities to compromise a computer or infect it with malware.
GOOGLE PATCHES 19 CHROME BUGS BEFORE HACKING CONTEST BEGINS: Google has a special stake in the Pwn2Own contest: it put up a $20,000 prize for hacking Chrome on the first of the contest's three days.
SECURITY MANAGER: MALWARE HAS 'EXPLODED': A report released earlier this year by Panda Security reveals just how sophisticated the business of cyber crime has become. Among its findings: botnets are now available as a service for criminals to rent and launch spam attacks --- with prices that start as low as $15 for the rental of a SMTP server.
HOW TO BROWSE PRIVATELY ON PUBLIC WI-FI FOR FREE: With a handful of free software tools, you can fight off snoopers when using public Wi-Fi. Here's how, step by step.

WORTHY WEBSITE


CNN.com: As James Earl Jones so eloquently puts it, CNN is "still the most trusted name in news." The site is a go-to for national and international news on a wide range of topics with videos, photos, and a list of the most popular stories of the day.

WORTHY DOWNLOAD


SOLUTO: Frustrated by your sluggish and unresponsive PC? Soluto is bringing an end to PC user frustration with transparency, killer technology, and your help.

WINDOWS


NEW MICROSOFT PROTOTYPE INTERFACE IS INTELLIGENT: A new user interface technology from Microsoft can analyze what you're doing and make suggestions for you.
HOW TO PREVENT WINDOWS FROM REBOOTING WITHOUT PERMISSION: Tired of losing your work when Windows restarts while you're away? Here's how to solve the problem.
THREE PATCHES COMING ON TUESDAY: Microsoft will release three patches next Tuesday. Two will address security concerns with Windows and one with Office.
MICROSOFT LAUNCHES IE6 DEATHWATCH: Microsoft today launched a deathwatch for its 10-year-old Internet Explorer 6 browser, saying it wanted to "see IE6 gone for good."
MICROSOFT PUSHES ANTI-AUTORUN UPDATE AT XP, VISTA USERS: Microsoft has changed how it delivers an update that disables AutoRun, a Windows feature that big name worms, including Conficker and Stuxnet, have used. If AutoRun is disabled, USB flash drives don't automatically launch.

MAC


APPLE MACBOOK PRO 15-INCH (THUNDERBOLT): The Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch (Thunderbolt) is at the peak of technology's Mount Olympus, thanks to new Intel architecture, a renewed romance with AMD graphics chips, and a connection technology called Thunderbolt.
CITRIX GOTOMYPC (FOR IPAD): GoToMyPC for iPad makes it simple to control your computer while away from your work area, but latency issues may spoil the experience.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE IPAD 2: As with any new Apple product, questions abound over the details of the new iPad 2. Sure, we know it's thinner, faster, and lighter, but what else?
APPLE IPAD CLEARANCE SALE: ORIGINAL 16GB MODEL DROPS TO $399: If you're not too wooed by the iPad 2, the iPad 1 just went on sale.
USE YOUR MAC WITHOUT A MOUSE: Power users work their Macs faster than regular folk do for a variety of reasons. More important than a speedier processor is a speedier computist. Since your...
IPAD 2 FANS: BEWARE THE SECURITY RISKS: Losing a mobile device means more than losing the platform; it's a wake-up call to back up data.
CREATE CUSTOM ALERT SOUNDS FOR YOUR MAC: After awhile, Mac OS X's alert sounds can be downright grating, as can many of the sounds you hear in Mail, iCal, and iChat. Happily, creating a custom alert...

LINUX


A 13 LINE PATCH THAT BOOSTS INTEL SANDY BRIDGE PERFORMANCE: "After some initial Linux troubles, last month we finally got Intel Sandy Bridge graphics working under Linux. The latest Intel CPUs (such as the Core i5 2500K) with integrated graphics are blazingly fast, and the classic Intel Mesa driver was fast compared to other open-source Mesa / Gallium3D drivers"
BATCH PROCESS PHOTOS IN DIGIKAM: "When you need to apply the same action to multiple photos, digiKam's batch processing capabilities can come in rather handy. And the photo management application provides different ways to apply actions to a photo batch in one fell swoop."
7 OF THE BEST FREE LINUX COMPRESSION TOOLS: "To provide an insight into the quality of software available for Linux, we have compiled a list of 7 of the best free compression tools. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for anyone who wishes to maximize their computer and network resources. We give our highest recommendation to Lrzip."
PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY IN LINUX - AN EXTENSIVE GUIDE: "Right now Windows and Mac dominate the professional photography world. That does not mean though that Linux does not have the tools available for professional photography."

GENERAL/NON-COMPUTER


10 REASONS TO TELECOMMUTE: As the way people work continues to evolve, telecommuting is becoming a more common option. How can working remotely benefit you and your employer?

DID YOU KNOW?


TECH TALK: COMPUTER MEMORY QUIZ: Without memory, computers wouldn't have any way to store data. How much do you know about computer memory?

OFFICE RELATED


ADD A QUICK COMPARISON CHART TO A WORKSHEET: With just one function, you can create a quick chart that lets you compare information, visually.

SELF-IMPROVEMENT


IDENTIFYING LIMITING BELIEFS: Beliefs drive attitude and behaviour. Self limiting beliefs result in self sabotaging attitudes and behaviours that prevent us from getting what we want in life.

WEEKLY VIDEO


CHILDREN OF THE SAND: Excellent video and music.

OTHER NEWS


ASUS BRINGS KINECT-LIKE GAMING TO PCS: Hoping to do for personal computers what Microsoft has done for gaming, Asus will soon put on sale a motion-sensing device that looks and works like the Xbox Kinect.
GOOGLE GMAIL OUTAGE LEAVES 150,000 USERS WITHOUT E-MAIL: About 150,000 of Google's Gmail users woke up Sunday morning to missing e-mails, contacts and chat histories.
NATIONAL DAY OF UNPLUGGING IS HERE: WILL YOU PULL THE PLUG?: This weekend people will unplug their smartphones, laptops, and other tech in an effort to connect with family and friends...without the aid of technology or social networking.
10 AWESOME GOOGLE TRICKS YOU MISSED: Think you’re a Google master? Think again, and check out these 10 tricks and innovations that make working with Google’s services even better.
DIGITIZE YOUR DOCUMENTS: Scan your documents into your hard drive. We have tips on scanners, OCR software, Web OCR, and converting your books to e-books.
SOFTWARE SPEED BOOSTS FOR YOUR PC: Here are 14 software tips and tweaks for turbo-charging your computer from startup to shutdown.
TOM'S DEFINITIVE LINUX SOFTWARE ROUNDUP: AUDIO PRODUCTION: Tom's Hardware: "Welcome to Tom's Definitive Linux Software Roundup: Audio Production. In this article, we're looking at Linux applications for audio content creation. Our previous segment covered general end-user audio consumption apps like media managers, audio players, and CD rippers. This segment is for the audio professional, hobbyist, and musician."

Weekly News (2011-02-26)

Please visit protonic.com for excellent, FREE technical support!

Editorial


You may have heard or read about the "Butterfly Effect," a phenomena in which the energy from a butterfly's wings can ripple into a storm on the opposite side of the world. It is amazing what synergy can do. I find it extremely interesting that the demonstrations in Egypt, which toppled a 30-year old government, are having rippling effects not only in that region of the world, but also in other continents. Protests in the United States have been rare until recently. Government workers in Wisconsin and Ohio have been demonstrating against proposed elimination of union bargaining rights, a solution sought by Republican leaders to handle very large state budget deficits. Whether you are a liberal, pro-worker person or a conservative in favor of financial prudence, the butterfly effect of recent protests and demonstrations around the wold cannot go unnoticed. Are we witnessing the beginnings of global-level discontentment? ~Victor

SAFETY


ZINC POISONING LINKED TO POPULAR DENTURE CREAMS: Many cases of mysterious nerve damage turn out to be caused by overuse of popular denture products, an increasing number of reports suggests.

SECURITY


ADVANCED ZEUS TROJAN HITS POLISH ING CUSTOMERS: A version of the Zeus malware that intercepts one-time passcodes sent by SMS (Short Message Service) is targeting customers of the financial institution ING in...
HACKERS HIT CANADIAN GOVERNMENT SITES: Malicious hackers who may be based in China fooled Canadian tech staff into providing access to government computers.
WATCH OUT FOR FDIC PHISHING SCAM: A new phishing scam is circulating claiming to be from the FDIC, and containing a Trojan downloader file attachment.
LINKEDIN REVAMPS SECURITY AND PRIVACY OPTIONS: YOUR GUIDE: LinkedIn is rolling out an entirely redesigned privacy and security settings page aimed at helping users find important information quicker and navigate controls...
7 WAYS TO AVOID GETTING HACKED BY ANONYMOUS: The hactivist group Anonymous used a series of simple technical and social exploits to crack the network of security-technology firm HBGary Federal, giving the company a schooling that other network security pros can learn from.

WORTHY WEBSITE


FREE STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY WEBSITES: Here is a long list of free stock images directories. These stock photography sites are free, however some require you to cite the Photographer.
GET A QUICK AND EASY DISPOSABLE E-MAIL ADDRESS: If you need a temporary e-mail account, look no further than Mailinator. This free service is ridiculously easy to use and incredibly convenient.

WORTHY DOWNLOAD


SYSTEM INFORMATION FOR WINDOWS: SIW is an advanced System Information for Windows tool that gathers detailed information about your system properties and settings and displays it in an extremely comprehensible manner.

WINDOWS


WINDOWS 7 SERVICE PACK 1 IS READY FOR DOWNLOAD: Microsoft has released its first Service Pack for the Windows 7 operating system addressing minor OS nips and tucks.
HOW TO RECOVER A MISSING RECYCLE BIN: Learn why the Recycle Bin may have disappeared, and how to get it back.
HOW TO AVOID UNWANTED BROWSER TOOLBARS: If you're not careful, your browser might become cluttered with toolbars--both benign and malicious.
HOW TO COMPLETELY UNINSTALL PROGRAMS: Using an application's built-in uninstaller sometimes isn't enough. A downloadable utility can help clean up what remains.

MAC


A PHOTOGRAPHER'S WORKFLOWS FOR THE MACBOOK AIR: First we looked at how the MacBook Air performs as a laptop for photographers on the go. Now I'd like to share some of my recommended workflows for shooters who...
TURN OFF AUTOMATIC WINDOW RESIZING AND DOCKING IN WINDOWS 7: Microsoft made a big deal about this new feature, but not everybody wants it. Turning it off is surprisingly simple--but finding the 'off switch' isn't.

LINUX


UBUNTU STUDIO FUN FACTS: Confessions of an Ubuntu Studio Developer: "There are two commonly preferred ways to install Ubuntu Studio. Many people start with a regular, vanilla Ubuntu installation and "upgrade" their package selection by installing the Ubuntu Studio meta-packages."
TOP 5 LINUX DVD RIP SOFTWARE: "A DVD ripper software allows you to copying the content of a DVD to a hard disk drive. You transfer video on DVDs to different formats, or make a backup of DVD content, and to convert DVD video for playback on media players, streaming, and mobile phone"
LINUX FOR MOBILE USERS: "Linux is an ideal solution for notebook users. We help you choose the best mobile distro"
UN-BRICKING LINUX PLUG COMPUTERS: "Little Linux wall wart computers have a thousand and one uses. But what if you accidentally brick your little plug server? No worries, for Akkana Peck shows us how to un-brick them."
THE BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO NANO, THE LINUX COMMAND-LINE TEXT EDITOR: "New to the Linux command-line? Confused by all of the other advanced text editors? How-To Geek's got your back with this tutorial to Nano, a simple text-editor that's very newbie-friendly."
5 OF THE BEST FREE AND OPEN SOURCE REMOTE DESKTOP SOFTWARE FOR LINUX: "The term 'remote desktop' refers to a software application or an operating system feature that enables users to connect to a computer located in different area and use or run its own programs as if it were local."
6 OF THE BEST FREE LINUX DICTIONARY TOOLS: "So, let's explore the 6 dictionary tools at hand. For each application we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, screenshots, together with links to relevant resources and reviews."


GENERAL/NON-COMPUTER


10 THINGS DIETERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT METABOLISM: People who seem to eat anything they want are just blessed with a fast metabolism ... right? The truth is, you have some control over how fast your metabolism is. What can you do to tweak it in your favor?

DID YOU KNOW?


CHIPSET: A number of integrated circuits designed to perform one or more related functions. For example, one chipset may provide the basic functions of a modem while another provides the CPU functions for a computer. Newer chipsets generally include functions provided by two or more older chipsets. In some cases, older chipsets that required two or more physical chips can be replaced with a chipset on one chip. [More …]

OFFICE RELATED


OPEN OFFICE DILEMMA: OPENOFFICE.ORG VS. LIBREOFFICE: Dueling open source alternatives to Microsoft Office match word processors, spreadsheets, and much more; which one should you choose?
PERFORM QUICK SORTS IN WORD WITHOUT USING A TABLE: Sorting doesn't seem to come naturally to Word, but that's just because you don't know where to look!

SELF-IMPROVEMENT


WHAT IS SUCCESS... REAL SUCCESS?: Many people say they want success. Yet, when asked what "success" is, they haven't a clue. In other words, they say they want something when, at the same time, they don't even know what that "something" is.

OTHER/WEEKLY NEWS


FOUR REASONS TO RIP CDS WITHOUT ITUNES: We recently ran an article explaining How to rip CDs with iTunes. For many people, iTunes is their main music management tool, and using this program to rip CDs...
HP'S NEW LAPTOPS PROVIDE EASY SELF-REPAIR: Hewlett-Packard on Wednesday announced Intel-based business laptops with features that could make it easier to swap components or fix the PCs.
YAHOO VIDEO DUMPING USER CONTENT: Really like that video you posted on Yahoo Video? Well, if you want it back, you better hurry up and download it.
IRANIAN CYBER ARMY STRIKES AGAINST VOICE OF AMERICA: The pro-Iran hacktivist group that defaced the Baidu and Twitter Web sites a year ago has hit another target: the U.S. Government's Voice of America news site.
UK TAKES ITS CENSUS ONLINE: For the first time UK householders can submit their census information online, starting next week.
HOW TO RESIZE DIGITAL IMAGES FOR PRINTING: As the quality of digital cameras goes up, so does the volume of pixels they can capture. These days, shooting in your camera’s highest quality mode can yield an...
STANFORD RESEARCHERS DOUBLE WIRELESS NETWORKING SPEEDS: A new invention by Stanford University researchers could lead to a doubling of wireless networking speeds without the need for extra frequencies.
AS VIOLENCE ESCALATES, LIBYA CUTS OFF THE INTERNET: With violence escalating, Libya is pulling the plug on its Internet connection.
NASA TAMPS DOWN MASSIVE SOLAR FLARE IMPACT HYPE: NASA says massive solar flare will produce pretty skies, but little else.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Weekly News (2011-02-19)

Please visit protonic.com for excellent, FREE technical support!

Editorial


This week, IBM's "Watson" supercomputer won at "Jeopardy" against two human opponents. It was close at one point. But this is not a defeat for humanity, as the technology can open possibilities in many areas, especially the medical field. Doctors and engineers working together to improve patient care. That is true progress and a fabulous use of technology. ~Victor

SAFETY


NEW PORTABLE HEATERS CAN SAVE CAMPERS' LIVES: As the weather turns colder and outdoor enthusiasts plan to go deer hunting, ice fishing, or camping, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is reminding consumers that there is a new generation of portable heaters with a safety device that can prevent the tragic loss of life due to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. The new heaters are equipped with an oxygen depletion sensor (ODS) and are safer to use when camping. If oxygen levels start to fall, this sensing technology automatically shuts down the heater before it can produce dangerous levels of CO.
CRIBS FREQUENT CAUSE OF INJURY FOR BABIES, TODDLERS: Nearly 10,000 children are taken to the emergency room each year -– an average of one every hour -- after falling or becoming wedged or caught in cribs, playpens and bassinets, a new study shows.

SECURITY


'NIGHT DRAGON' ATTACKS FROM CHINA STRIKE ENERGY COMPANIES: Chinese hackers working regular business hours shifts stole sensitive intellectual property from energy companies for as long as four years using relatively...
SOCIAL ENGINEERING: 3 EXAMPLES OF HUMAN HACKING: Chris Hadnagy gets paid to fool people, and he's gotten pretty good at it over the years. A co-founder of social-engineering.org and author of Social Engineering: The Art of Human Hacking, Hadnagy has been using manipulation tactics for more than a decade to show clients how criminals get inside information.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING FOR NEW TAX MALWARE SCAM: Tax season malware attacks are a dime a dozen, but brilliant timing makes one new threat particularly dangerous.
SAFE BROWSING: FLAGFOX SHOWS THE LOCATION OF THE SITE YOU'RE VISITING: This clever Firefox plug-in shows you what country is hosting the page you're viewing--useful for ferreting out phishing sites. It's loaded with other handy tools as well.
CLOUD PRINTERS RAIN ON SECURITY PARADE: The advent of web-connected printers offers hackers new opportunities to steal your data, but a few simple precautions will keep you safe amidst the cloud.
CARBERP BANKING MALWARE UPGRADES ITSELF: A piece of banking malware that researchers have been keeping an eye on is adding more sophisticated capabilities to stay hidden on victims' PCs.
MOZILLA SITE EXPOSED ENCRYPTED PASSWORDS: A Mozilla database was exposed to the Internet, the Mozilla Foundation disclosed.
ANDROID TROJAN IS BUNDLED IN REPACKAGED APPS: A new Trojan is making the rounds in various alternative app markets in China, and it's being distributed through repackaged versions of other apps.
BULK OF BROWSERS FOUND TO BE AT RISK OF ATTACK: About eight out of every 10 Web browsers run by consumers are vulnerable to attack by exploits of already-patched bugs, says a security expert.

WORTHY WEBSITE


SYMBALOO: A unique way to bookmark pages and carry those bookmarks wherever you go.

WORTHY DOWNLOAD


2ND STORY SOFTWARE TAXACT DELUXE: AFFORDABLE, BASIC TAX HELP: Catering to price-sensitive customers, TaxAct Deluxe provides all the forms and does all the math. If you need serious advice and guidance, however, TurboTax and H&R Block at Home are both worth the extra money--especially for small-business owners.

WINDOWS


MICROSOFT SETS FEB. 22 AS WINDOWS 7 SP1 PUBLIC LAUNCH: Microsoft Wednesday said it will release Windows 7 SP1 to the general public on Feb. 22 via the Windows Update Service.
PREPARE YOUR PC FOR FUTURE DATA DISASTERS: You've reinstalled Windows and restored your data. Now learn how to make the restore process smarter, safer, and easier next time.
SPEED UP WINDOWS BY STRIPPING IT DOWN: Windows has plenty of features that you can turn off to speed things up. Here's how to find the features you don't need.
CAPTURE SCREENSHOTS IN A FLASH WITH WINDOWS' SNIPPING TOOL: Forgotten by many, overlooked by others, the Snipping Tool is one of Windows 7's best assets. Here's how to find it and use it.
FORCE A WINDOW TO STAY ON TOP OF OTHER WINDOWS: Ever wish individual programs had an "always on top" option? A few do; for all others, grab the free Always On Top utility.
NEW WINDOWS ZERO-DAY SURFACES AS RESEARCHER RELEASES ATTACK CODE: A security researcher yesterday disclosed a new unpatched bug in Windows that some experts believe could be used to remotely hijack a PC.
MALWARE TARGETS WORD: Microsoft is warning that hackers are exploiting a Word flaw to attack systems.
ENGINEERING SECURITY UPDATES FOR MORE THAN A BILLION SYSTEMS WORLDWIDE: Have you ever wondered what goes on when Microsoft is investigating reports of a security vulnerability in one of its products? It turns out that investigating a potential vulnerability and updating over a billion systems around the world requires some very sophisticated engineering practices.

MAC


OPERA SHOWS MINI MOBILE WEB BROWSER FOR IPAD: Opera is demonstrating an Apple iPad version of its Opera Mini web browser at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
REVAMPED MACBOOK PRO EXPECTED IN MARCH: The MacBook Pro product line is due to be refreshed at the beginning of next month, according to reports.
APPLE INTRODUCES PAID SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR IOS APPS: The big story out of News Corp’s press event Wednesday morning was, of course, its new publication for the iPad, The Daily. But a less discussed feature...
ADOBE FLASH PLAYER 10.2 OFFERS IMPROVED HARDWARE ACCELERATION FOR MAC: Adobe has publicly launched Flash Player 10.2 for Mac, Windows and Linux, an update to the Web plugin that introduces full hardware acceleration support for video which, when supported, is said to be up to 34 times more efficient.
ARCHIVING E-MAIL MESSAGES AS TEXT FILES: There are a few options for doing this. This article explains three methods, including the use of Automator.
MY MAC BACKUP PLAN: If you don't back up, assume that you will someday lose data that is important to you. Here's how one editor tackles backup.
IPAD PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS: 3 MUST-HAVES: For a serious productivity punch with your iPad, check out Quickoffice for file viewing, Dropbox for storage and an Apple Wireless Keyboard.


LINUX


A SHORT GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING BLENDER: Two weeks ago we took a peek at the 3D studio Blender's revamped user interface and found a lot to like. Still, that doesn't make it the kind of application you can fire up and run away with your first time through. It is clear that talented artists can get amazing results out of Blender — just look at the Sintel animated featurette for the latest example — but what are we mere mortals to do? Let's take a look at the best places to dive in, and at what resources you'll need to shorten the learning curve.
THE PERFECT DESKTOP - DEBIAN SQUEEZE: This tutorial shows how you can set up a Debian Squeeze desktop that is a full-fledged replacement for a Windows desktop, i.e. that has all the software that people need to do the things they do on their Windows desktops. The advantages are clear:...
WEEKEND PROJECT: SCRUB FILES AND OLD HARD DRIVES SECURELY ON LINUX: Whether you are upgrading components for a system refresh, selling an old laptop on Craigslist, or recycling your desktop PC, there comes a time when you have to wipe a storage device in preparation for giving it to someone else. Chances are, you don't want whoever gets physical access to your old hard disk to have unfettered access to its contents: files, email, passwords, the embarrassingly-high frequency of Justin Beiber sites in your browsing history. You'll find several open source utilities for wiping away personal data — so this weekend, why not take stock of your options and put together a deep-clean routine?
HP TO PUT LINUX IN PRINTERS AND PC’S: IT’S THE END OF AN ERA FOR WINDOWS: I attended HP’s press conference this morning and Linux again took center stage as a major technology leader revealed the details of its mobile device strategy. HP announced two new WebOS phones and more importantly an impressive new tablet that is a clear contender against the iPad. While I don’t for one second underestimate Apple, that was not the most interesting part of the event for me. The most interesting part of the event came near the end when HP announced that it is going to ship WebOS not only in phones, tablets and printers, but in PC’s as well. In doing so, the worlds largest PC supplier is indicating that they are going to ship PC’s without Windows. For Microsoft - who was nowhere at this event - that has got to hurt. Perhaps this really IS the year of the Linux...
NINE TRAITS OF THE VETERAN UNIX ADMIN: Follow this field guide if you want to understand the rare and elusive hard-core Unix geek.
SAVE YOUR PC: BOOTABLE LINUX RESCUE TOOLS: The H Open: "Linux is now a respected, mature operating system that's free and open source, so it shouldn't be surprising that it has a generic role as a platform for tools for the repair and rescue of both Linux and Windows operating systems"
OPENSHOT 1.3.0 RELEASED - GETS BUCKETLOADS OF NEW FEATURES: "A new version for OpenShot, one of the most popular video editors for Linux has been released. The new version brings plenty of new features, better integration with Gnome, new themes, YouTube upload feature and many, many more updates."
CREATE A MULTI-BOOT USB STICK WITH MULTISYSTEM: "Enter MultiSystem, a nifty tool that can squeeze several distros on to a single USB stick. Not only that, MultiSystem lets you add a persistent storage for each distro, and the tool automatically generates a boot menu with a few handy options."
MOVIE MAKING WITH LINUX: There is a lot of good Linux/FOSS video software: movie capture, movie editing, and playback. Here is a sampling.
EMBRACE EYE CANDY WITH COMPIZ ON THE LINUX DESKTOP: Tired of a looking at a flat, bland desktop? It's time for some eye candy, Compiz-style. Using Compiz you can enable all sorts of fantastic desktop effects and attractive themes. Want to spruce up your machine with 3D eye candy? Read on to enable Compiz, manage your workspaces with a 3D cube, and help yourself to the Emerald collection of Compiz themes.

GENERAL/NON-COMPUTER


15 MODERN CONVENIENCES THAT ARE BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH: The last one hundred years have brought dramatic changes to our ways of life. Public health measures, like water treatment and sewage disposal, have caused dramatic changes in life expectancy and the prevention of infectious disease. Many changes, from screened in porches and indoor plumbing to cell phones and the Internet, have brought much pleasure to our lives. There seems to be a trade off for many of our modern conveniences. Several of the products we use to today to make life more efficient and more convenient do not actually consider the ramifications to our health and environment. Below is a list of a few of the many topics that had some potential to be a useful tool or idea in some fashion, but actually will have negative consequences to our bodies or the environment in which we live.
10 TAX REFUND MYTHS: Who doesn't enjoy getting a tax refund from Uncle Sam? It feels like winning a small lottery, but that might be the wrong way to look at it. It's your money, after all. What are 10 of the biggest misconceptions surrounding your tax refund?

DID YOU KNOW?


POWER POSTING: In online forums power-posting is the term used to describe a user who posts a large number of empty or useless messages in order to increase their number of posts. On some forums special privileges may be given to users who contribute a specific number of posts. When power posting users will post meaningless replies such as "LOL" or "I agree/disagree." These posts may increase the users post count but they do not contribute anything meaningful to the forum discussion itself.

OFFICE RELATED


CREATE AN EASY TWO-WAY LOOKUP IN EXCEL: Use this easy-to-remember and easy-to-implement solution for intersecting rows and columns.
WORKING WITH FRAMES AND OBJECTS IN SCRIBUS: A Scribus document consists of a series of objects that are added to a page, and contained within a frame. In addition to the usual cut, copy, and paste functions available in most applications, frames in Scribus share a general set of editing attributes and, so far as possible, the same set of properties. more>>
COLLABORATE USING LIBREOFFICE WRITER CHANGES AND COMMENTS: Being a writer, I often have to collaborate with other writers or editors on an assignment or book. Because of this, there is a need for collaboration tools within my word processor. LibreOffice offers such tools for the writer, editor, student, or teacher. These tools are Changes and Comments and they make the process of collaboration within a LibreOffice Writer document so much easier.
POWERPOINT ALTERNATIVES: PRESENTATION-TOOL SHOWDOWN: Microsoft’s ubiquitous software isn’t the only show in town. We scrutinize five compelling online alternatives.

SELF-IMPROVEMENT


CREATING MONEY BEYOND BELIEF - THE SPIRITUAL WAY: I grew up in an environment of lack. At the tender age of 5, I remembered watching my mother looking all over the house and under the sofa set in our small living room for a five cent coin to pay the vegetable vendor - vegetables that she had wanted to buy to cook our dinner. She didn’t find the five cent but the kind vegetable vendor gave her the vegetables anyway.

WEEKLY VIDEO


CHOLESTEROL LOWERING STATIN DRUGS, NUTRITION & WELLNESS, AUSTIN NATURAL MEDICINE: Very valuable information about high-cholesterol treatments.
BECOMING A COMPUTER EXPERT: You don't need years of experience, a degree, or any tools. Just follow these directions and you will get there.

OTHER NEWS


LG OPTIMUS PAD: FIRST LOOK: LG has hit a sweet spot with support for 3D recording and the right-sized 8.9-inches with its comfortable Optimus Tab.
SAMSUNG ADDS 10.1-INCH ANDROID HONEYCOMB TABLET: Samsung has added the Honeycomb-based Galaxy Tab 10.1 to its line-up of tablets.
HP TOUCHPAD: 5 FEATURES THE IPAD LACKS: The TouchPad boasts a better notification system, phone pairing and a re-sizable keyboard.
CLOUD COMPUTING IN 2011: 3 TRENDS CHANGING BUSINESS ADOPTION: The various cloud markets and services will start making more sense to business buyers in 2011, according to a new Forrester report, with the midmarket embracing public clouds and enterprises sticking with virtualization as a prelude to private clouds. Here are three significant ways cloud adoption will shift this year.
YOUR WORST-CASE-SCENARIO PC SURVIVAL KIT: Whether you’re in a safe house, on the lam, or weathering the End of the World as We Know It, you’ll want to check out this collection of worst-case-scenario tips, apps, and downloads for your PC and smartphone.
PC SPRING CLEANING: AUTOMATICALLY ORGANIZE YOUR FILES: Here's how to find and eliminate PC clutter--and automate file organization so that it never crops up again.
POWER SUPPLIES: One hundred forty-seven dollars and thirty-nine cents—that is the cost for replacing a power supply for an old MiniITX computer system I found in my office. Mind you, the entire unit cost about $199, and that was five years ago, but still, the cost for a replacement power supply is absurd. more>>
THE FUTURE OF THE PC LOOKS CLOUDY: In the year 2020, cloud computing is king. We will abandon our bulky desktops in favor of remote storage, lashing together our favorite music, movies and games with a web of internet-connected devices to build a digital raft of data that will buoy us through the ebb and flow of our daily lives.
REPLACE SLOW, BLOATED ADOBE READER WITH TINY, SPEEDY SUMATRA PDF: Looking for a fast, free, system-friendly PDF viewer? Try Sumatra PDF, one of the fastest. There's even a portable version that can run from your flash drive.
STOP FACEBOOK FROM CLUTTERING YOUR INBOX: If you're sick of e-mail notifications every time someone comments on a wall post after you do, here's a simple way to turn them off.
CUSTOMIZE WHO CAN SEE YOUR FACEBOOK STATUS UPDATES: Ever wish that only certain friends could see your status? Or that you could hide an update from a select few people? Facebook makes it possible, if you know where to look.
TAXSLAYER.COM PREMIUM EDITION (TAX YEAR 2010): TaxSlayer is everywhere you look this year?but does that mean it's the right service to trust with your taxes?
YAHOO! MAIL BETA (2011): Yahoo Mail's redesigned interface is a pleasure, it's faster, and packs a ton of features, but can it match Hotmail and Gmail?
HOW TO DO AN ONLINE BACKGROUND CHECK FOR FREE: Find out what you need to know about someone--or find out the information that's out there about you--without spending any money.
HOW TO SWITCH TO GOOGLE CALENDAR: A Mac user wants to sync his calendar across all computers and iOS devices, and share it with his wife, for free. Here's how.
BOOKMARKS AVAILABLE ANYWHERE: There are a number of online services that you can upload your bookmarks to, and then access them from any Internet-connected computer.
LEARNING TO WRITE JAVASCRIPT: "So now that I work at Mozilla, I figured it was time to develop a “web app” just to make sure I understood it all. And since my team is working on educational resources for web developers, I wanted to see what it was like to learn how to use some of them using resources online."
TOP 5 TABLET PCS: COMPARE AND CONTRAST: Enterprise Mobile Today: "Which begs the question: which ones should you consider? If you are thinking of buying a tablet this year, here, in no particular order, are the top 5 devices to check out:"
10 TECH ACCESSORIES YOU'RE PAYING TOO MUCH FOR: Don't blow your budget on overpriced gadget accessories. Here's how to get the best deals on cases, cables, software, and more.
AVOID SMARTPHONE AND WI-FI 'GOTCHAS' WITH SKYPE HOTSPOTS: Skype is offering pay-as-you-go Wi-Fi services at hotspots around the world--and it looks like the price will be right.
REPUBLICAN LAWMAKERS RIP NET NEUTRALITY RULES: Republican lawmakers call on the FCC to abandon net neutrality rules.
SENATORS EXPLORE NEW WEBSITE SEIZURE OPTIONS: U.S senators will introduce legislation this year targeting websites that traffic in digital piracy or counterfeited goods, said the primary sponsor of a...
RECOVER LOST DATA FROM A CRASHED LAPTOP HARD DRIVE: After you replace a bad drive, how can you temporarily restore access to that drive to run data-recovery utilities? Here's a high-level, low-cost solution.
TEN E-MAIL ABBREVIATIONS YOU NEED TO LEARN: WTF? No, not that one. Here's your 60-second guide to common abbreviations you're likely to see in e-mail, text messages, and instant messages.
FACEBOOK MAKES A SILENT CHANGE TO NEWSFEEDS: If you haven't commented, liked, or looked at a person's profile regularly, they have now seemingly disappeared.
IS IT SAFE TO FORMAT FLASH?: Regular defragging can wear out a flash drive or memory card (such as an SD card), just as it can wear out a solid state drive (SSD). They all use flash memory and the same issues apply.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Weekly News (2011-02-12)

Please visit protonic.com for excellent, FREE technical support!

Editorial

As of Friday afternoon, Egypt's President was forced to resigned. This is clear testament to the strength and tenacity of the people of Egypt. Their protests and demonstrations helped change the course of history for Egypt. We should all be grateful that violence was relatively minimal during the 18 days of this revolt. We should also be mindful that things would have been very different had the Egyptian army not sided with the protesters. Let us hope and pray that Egypt truly moves towards a democratic government and that the people of Egypt benefit from these changes through improved political, social, and economical conditions. ~Victor

SAFETY

CELL PHONE BATTERY SAFETY: Cell phones are ubiquitous in today's modern culture, with more than 170 million wireless consumers making billions of calls each year in the United States. While the convenience and usefulness of wireless devices add to their growing popularity, it is increasingly important for consumers to follow guidelines on the maintenance of wireless phones and batteries.

SECURITY

FACEBOOK PRIVACY: 4 VALUABLE YET HARD TO FIND SETTINGS: According to a USA Today/Gallup Poll released this week, 70 percent of Facebook members are "somewhat" or "very concerned" about their privacy. Take into account...
STUDY: TOO MANY USERS REUSE PASSWORDS: Comparing stolen login credentials for two different sites, researcher discovers password reuse rate as high as 50 percent
WHY YOU SHOULD USE GOOGLE'S TWO-STEP LOGIN: Google is rolling out two-step verification for all Google accounts. So, what does that mean to you?

WORTHY WEBSITE

MANAGE ALL YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS UNDER ONE ROOF: Free service Seesmic Web makes it a snap to access your Facebook, Twitter, and other accounts on a single page, with no annoying software to install.

WORTHY DOWNLOAD

BRAINIVERSITY: Brainiversity is a brain training game designed to stimulate your brain with 16 different activities covering Language, Memory, Math and Analysis. Record your daily workouts and compare your results with other users on the same computer.

WINDOWS

WHY YOU NEED TO HAVE A LINUX LIVECD: A bootable copy of the open source operating system can be life-saver in many situations, even for Windows-based businesses.
MICROSOFT SHIPS IE9 RELEASE CANDIDATE WITH TRACKING OPT-OUT: Microsoft today launched the release candidate of Internet Explorer 9 (IE9), saying that the browser is now feature complete.

MAC

PRINTOPIA: Bummed that your non-HP printer won't work with AirPrint? If you're a Mac user, Printopia is a perfect remedy.
HOW TO RESTORE A HARD DRIVE USING TIME MACHINE: When Apple introduced Time Machine with OS X 10.5 Leopard, it became easier than ever to prepare for a data disaster--the only serious effort Mac owners running...

LINUX

WHY YOU NEED TO HAVE A LINUX LIVECD: A bootable copy of the open source operating system can be life-saver in many situations, even for Windows-based businesses.
CANONICAL OPENS UP CATALOG OF LINUX-FRIENDLY COMPONENTS: The online listings promise to help ensure Linux compatibility for both manufacturers and users.

GENERAL/NON-COMPUTER

7 SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF ADDICTION: Often addiction is kept secret, but the longer it goes unnoticed, the stronger it becomes. Here are seven signs you should look for if you suspect someone you love has a problem with drugs or alcohol.

DID YOU KNOW?

MICROPROCESSOR: A silicon chip that contains a CPU. In the world of personal computers, the terms microprocessor and CPU are used interchangeably. At the heart of all personal computers and most workstations sits a microprocessor. Microprocessors also control the logic of almost all digital devices, from clock radios to fuel-injection systems for automobiles. [More …]

OFFICE RELATED

AUTOMATIC CREATION OF OPENDOCUMENT SLIDESHOW WITH A SCRIPT: "If you need to produce slide shows and think that the cleaner they are the better, but don't like the time it takes to put them together in a GUI, here's a solution. Like any other ODF document, OpenDocument slide shows are very easy to generate and process automatically."

SELF-IMPROVEMENT

FEAR AND THE SELF: One of the keys to personal transformation is self knowledge. The ancient sages exhort us to "know thyself". Indeed, this is the whole purpose of a spiritual practice. Looking inward is all one needs to know and understand oneself, the universe and life.

WEEKLY VIDEO

WHAT HAPPENS TO BOILING WATER AT -22?: Kristen Will and Samantha Stuart of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories of Canada wanted to see what happens to a cup of boiling water when temperatures reached -22.

OTHER/WEEKLY NEWS

HOW MUCH DATA CAN HUMANKIND GENERATE?: Ultimate hoarding: A USC study estimates the volume of exabytes of data that humanity could compile -- and how quickly.
THE PITFALLS OF E-BOOK BUYING: WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR BEFORE YOU PURCHASE: Easy downloads and convenient storage are the chief lures of a virtual library, but ownership has some irritating downsides that require your attention before you hit the e-book purchase button.
ONLINE DATING FOR NERDS: LOOKING FOR LOVE IN ALL THE WRONG POSTINGS: Dateless on Valentine's Day? We tried out seven online dating sites--some nerdy, some mainstream. Here's what we found.
10 WAYS GOOGLE IS THE NEW MICROSOFT: From the market dominance to the shrewd business practices to the ginormous size, it's getting harder to tell the difference between Google and Microsoft.
EMPLOYEES HAVE FREE SPEECH ON FACEBOOK: Employers: it's not legal for you to restrict what employees say about you on Facebook, or other Internet venues. So says the U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), after settling a lawsuit with American Medical Response of Connecticut Inc.
FACEBOOK'S NEW PAGES: A HANDS-ON TOUR: Facebook's pages are getting a facelift. Here's a quick tour of what's changing.
GEEKIEST MARRIAGE PROPOSALS OF ALL TIME: They say there's a lid for every pot. And when a geek has found his lid, there comes a time when he wants to take a soldering iron to it and make sure it's not going anywhere.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Weekly News (2011-02-05)

Please visit protonic.com for excellent, FREE technical support!

Editorial

Just as I predicted, the people of the world found ways to communicate. In last week's issue I included an article about what to do when the Internet is blocked where you are. We then found that communications with Egypt were not completely blocked. The Huffington Post has a good article on "How To Help Egypt Get Online" which explains what people can do to stay informed. Google also created a link for Egypt to share events. You can get continuous updates at that page, mostly coming from Twitter accounts broadcasting events as they happen. However, by the end of the week, most Internet traffic to Egypt had been restored. Unfortunately, peace has not returned to that country. I hope and pray violence will cease and progress can be made to ensure the safety, well-being, and freedom of the people of Egypt and everywhere else in the world. ~Victor

SAFETY

TIPS ON CONSOLE GAME AND COMPUTER USE: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is releasing information on how to keep gaming devices from overheating.

SECURITY

WHAT IS PHISHING?: Phishing (pronounced "fishing") is a type of online identity theft. It uses email and fraudulent websites that are designed to steal your personal data or information such as credit card numbers, passwords, account data, or other information.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE PHISHING EMAIL MESSAGES OR LINKS: Phishing email messages are designed to steal your identity. They ask for personal data, or direct you to websites or phone numbers to call where they ask you to provide personal data. A few clues can help you spot fraudulent email messages or links within them.
HOW TO REDUCE THE RISK OF ONLINE FRAUD: Online fraud can be annoying and costly and might pose serious risks to your computer. To help reduce online fraud, learn to recognize online scams and take steps to avoid them.
HOW TO TELL WHETHER A WEBSITE IS SAFE: A free browser plug-in will help you avoid sites that might threaten your PC.
5 NEW ONLINE SECURITY THREATS TO AVOID: Hackers just keep devising new ways to target Facebook and Amazon.com users. Read up on these five threats before you're "spear phished"--or worse.
SEVEN HINTS TO STAY SAFE ONLINE: The Web and social networking are part of mainstream culture and daily life, so it is important to learn to use them safely and securely.
NEXT GENERATION BANKING MALWARE EMERGES AFTER ZEUS: The rumored combination of two pieces of advanced online banking malware appears to be fully underway after several months of speculation.
NEW CRITICAL VULNERABILITY IN VLC MEDIA PLAYER: According to the VideoLAN project, playing specially crafted MKV films runs a risk of arbitrary code execution. The vulnerability should be fixed in the forthcoming VLC 1.1.7 update...
GOOGLE RELEASES DATA PROTECTION EXTENSION: Google has released the 'Keep My Opt-Outs' extension for Chrome, which allows internet users to permanently stop advertisers from tracking them...
PAINLESS PASSWORD MANAGEMENT: THE BEST FREE AND PAID TOOLS: IT World: "Once upon a time, you might have thought you could get away with a single user ID and password for all your favorite Web sites. Then, the popular gossip Web site Gawker was hacked, and more than a million user IDs and passwords were revealed."

WORTHY WEBSITE

THINK OFF SEASON: Summer is high season at Disneyland, but you just might have a swanky ski resort or a Caribbean beach all to yourself. Off-season travel can save you 50% or more on accommodations.
FILEJUMBO OFFERS HUGE UPLOADS FOR FREE, NO QUESTIONS ASKED: Who said the promise of free cloud storage was dead? A new service from Baltsoft offers free-of-charge 1GB file uploads and downloads.

WORTHY DOWNLOAD

GOOGLE CHROME: Using Google's minimalist Web browser is a unique experience.

WINDOWS

HOW TO CANCEL STALLED PRINT JOBS: What should you do when documents won't print and Windows refuses to let them out of the queue?
PATCH TUESDAY IS COMING: Microsoft will release 11 patches affecting Windows and one update for Office.
CHEATING ACCUSATIONS HIGHLIGHT MICROSOFT’S DECLINE: Bing’s borrowed search results make it clear that Redmond is struggling to keep up.
MICROSOFT ANNOUNCES H.264 SUPPORT FOR GOOGLE'S CHROME: In an effort to resolve "uncertainty around video on the web" using HTML5, Microsoft has announced a new plugin for Google's Chrome browser that adds back support for H.264 video playback, blunting Google's attempt to gain traction for WebM.
RIP A DVD WITH HANDBRAKE: Looking to liberate the movies in your DVD collection from the confines of their plastic-and-metal prison so you can enjoy them on your iPhone, iPod, iPad, and Apple TV? Well look no further--all you need is some free software and to follow a few steps.

MAC

APPLE HIT WITH ANOTHER SUIT ALLEGING PRIVACY VIOLATIONS: Apple has been hit with another lawsuit accusing it of privacy violations for the way it shares information collected from iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users with...
RIP A DVD WITH HANDBRAKE: Looking to liberate the movies in your DVD collection from the confines of their plastic-and-metal prison so you can enjoy them on your iPhone, iPod, iPad, and Apple TV? Well look no further--all you need is some free software and to follow a few steps.
FIVE FREE VIDEOCONFERENCING SOLUTIONS FOR MAC USERS: The recent news that Skype has started charging a fee for group videoconferencing may not have come as a surprise to anyone--after all, the company had clearly...
APPLE'S IPAD A DRIVING FORCE BEHIND NEW NEWSPAPER SUBSCRIPTIONS: John Ridding, chief executive of the Financial Times, named the iPad among mobile devices driving 20 percent of the paper's new online subscriptions, noting nearly a half million downloads of his newspaper's iPad app.

LINUX

LINUX GAMING: NATIVE VS. WINE VS. WINDOWS 7 PERFORMANCE: "Linux gaming has a bright future ahead with the forthcoming Unigine games, successful indie campaigns, and many other Linux-native game titles being just out on the horizon."
A HISTORY OF VIRUSES ON LINUX: "We recently gave you a brief history of viruses on the Mac and as requested by a user we wanted to give you a history of viruses on Linux. Given the tight security integrated into Linux, it is difficult to take advantage of a vulnerability on the computer, but some programmers have found ways around the security measures"
CREATE PROFESSIONAL VIDEOS ON LINUX WITH OPENSHOT: Open source has come a long, long way and video editing has not been left behind. You'll find a number of video editing tools on Linux, but none of them are both as user-friendly and create as high-quality video as OpenShot Video Editor.
TUTORIAL: 5 VPN CLIENTS FOR LINUX: Administering heterogenous networks means making Mac and Windows play nice with Linux, and each other, even when they don't want to. Here are five Linux VPN clients for Cisco, Juniper, and other VPN servers.
FIVE BEST ALTERNATIVE WINDOW MANAGERS FOR LINUX: GNOME and KDE are the most popular desktop environments for Linux by a mile, but they're not the only games in town. If you're ready to shake things up on the desktop, we've got five of the best alternatives for you to choose from.
VIRTUALBOX 4: FIRST IMPRESSIONS: A look at the good, the bad, and the not-so-ugly of Oracle's latest incarnation of VirtualBox.
FREESPEAK, AN HANDY TRANSLATOR: "FreeSpeak is a free (as in freedom, developed and released under the terms of GPL) front end to online translator engines (such as Google, Yahoo, etc.). It is written in Python, it uses the GTK toolkit and some GNOME infrastructure features."
HANDS ON DEMO: IPAD LINUX TERMINAL: "After a quick session of Angry Birds, Senior Systems Editor, Ken Hess, gives us a tour of how you can turn your iPad into a handy Linux terminal."(video)
COLLECT USER INPUT IN A BASH SHELL SCRIPT: "The read command is designed to read and then use in the script input from the user. The input that is provided by the user is stored as a variable."
6 OF THE BEST FREE LINUX POINT-OF-SALE SOFTWARE: "To provide an insight into the open source software that is available, we have compiled a list of 6 of our favorite Point-of-Sale software. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for anyone who needs to track sales and inventory as they occur."
12 OPEN SOURCE BOOKS YOU SHOULD READ: "Open source is very dedicated to sharing information, comparing and learning, then in this article i will recommend some readings of open books that you can download, read and if you want print freely."
SCRIPTING THE LINUX DESKTOP, PART 1: BASICS: "This series of articles explores how to use Python to create scripts for the GNOME desktop, the screenlets framework, and Nautilus to deliver a highly productive environment. Scripts on the desktop enable drag-and-drop functionality and quick access to the information and services you commonly use."
IPAD LOSES SIGNIFICANT SHARE TO ANDROID TABLETS: "Apple's iPad still reigns supreme among tablets, but its grip on the market is starting to loosen."
THREE EXCELLENT LINUX ROUTER DISTROS + 1 BSD: "Linux is an endlessly adaptable networking and security powerhouse, from tiny to enterprise. Here is a sampling of three specialty Linux router distros and one based on FreeBSD."
5 BEST VIDEO GAME CONSOLE EMULATORS FOR LINUX: "I have here a list of some of the best video game console emulators for Linux that you can download and use for free:"
POPULAR FREE *BSDS IN FULL DEVELOPMENT: Three well-known BSD clones are in their latest developmental cycles and have recently released test versions. FreeBSD is closing in on version 7.4 with a RC2, GhostBSD just released their 2.0 Beta 2, and PC-BSD 8.2 has seen its second release candidate as well.
RIP A DVD WITH HANDBRAKE: Looking to liberate the movies in your DVD collection from the confines of their plastic-and-metal prison so you can enjoy them on your iPhone, iPod, iPad, and Apple TV? Well look no further--all you need is some free software and to follow a few steps.

GENERAL/NON-COMPUTER

JUST 20 MINUTES: When time is short, quick workouts will keep you fit.

DID YOU KNOW?

IPAD: A new handheld computing device launched by Apple Inc. in January 2010. The iPad is designed for consumers who want a mobile device that is bigger than a smartphone but smaller than a laptop for entertainment multimedia. The iPad device is roughly the size of a sheet of paper and weighs 1.5 pounds. The screen is a 9.7-inch LED backlit glossy multi-touch screen, capable of displaying up to 1024x768 pixel resolution. Other features include 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, Enhanced Data Rate (EDR), and options for 3G cellular connectivity. At launch, the price for an iPad ranged from $499 (16-GB) to $699 (64-GB). The device runs a version of Apple's iPhone operating system.

OFFICE RELATED

CREATING DIAGRAMS IN OPENOFFICE.ORG DRAW AND IMPRESS: "Yet despite these handicaps, OpenOffice.org's diagram tools work well enough that many users should find no need for more sophisticated tools such as Dia."
MICROSOFT OFFICE ALTERNATIVES: PRODUCTIVITY SOFTWARE SHOWDOWN: There's no need to pay a fortune for Microsoft Office.
REVIEW: LIBREOFFICE BEATS OPENOFFICE.ORG BY A WHISKER: The new LibreOffice open-source office suite & proves that forking isn’t always the kiss of death,& says this eWEEK review. New features in the Linux-ready release -- including wider document format support, SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) import into Draw and Writer, enhanced presentation support, and an improved & save as&...
THE NEW FEATURES IN LIBREOFFICE 3.3: "Despite earlier reports that very few if any new features would likely be seen in The Document Foundation's first LibreOffice release, the influx of new developers allowed much more work to be done."

SELF-IMPROVEMENT

HOW CAN I USE AFFIRMATIONS TO ATTRACT MONEY AND MATERIAL POSSESSIONS?: So you desire to gain material things in life? Affirmations are usually effective in this respect - maybe even more so than with other desires because material desires often come with stronger emotional attachments.

WEEKLY VIDEO

A WHITER SHADE OF PALE: With its haunting tone and Johann Sebastian Bach flavouring (both provided by Hammond organist Matthew Fisher), vocals by Gary Brooker, and unusual lyrics by Keith Reid, "A Whiter Shade of Pale" reached #1 in several countries when released in 1967. Longer, live version | Shorter, 1967 live version

OTHER NEWS

HOW TO DECIPHER PC BEEP CODES: Is your PC emitting a series of beeps at startup? Here's how to figure out what they mean--and what you should do in response.
WHAT IS A DCIM FOLDER?: Ever wondered why cameras always seem to have a folder called DCIM, and what it stands for?
LAWSUIT CLAIMS AT&T CHEATS IPHONE, IPAD OWNERS ON DATA: AT&T has 'systematically' overcharged iPhone and iPad owners with capped data plans by inflating the amount of data they download and adding [More …]
FORD AND GM DEVELOP HANDS-FREE OFFICE APPS FOR CARS: The day is coming when you'll be able to work while you drive, yet without endangering yourself or other drivers.
MANAGE ALL YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS UNDER ONE ROOF: Free service Seesmic Web makes it a snap to access your Facebook, Twitter, and other accounts on a single page, with no annoying software to install.
5 WAYS TO GET LIVE INFO ABOUT EGYPT PROTESTS ONLINE: News and images via social media tools are still seeping out of the country despite a blackout of Internet access.
THE OPTICAL DRIVE: APPENDIX OF THE MODERN PC: Once a core component of every laptop and desktop PC, the silver spinning disc is rapidly going the way of the floppy.
THE INTERNET KILL SWITCH THAT ISN'T: A cybersecurity proposal wouldn't allow the U.S. president to shut down the Internet, as has happened in Egypt.
INTERNET SHUTDOWN: CAN IT HAPPEN IN THE U.S.?: We like to think the United States is immune from government interference with the Internet -- but is it?
THROWING AWAY YOUR OLD COMPUTER JUST GOT HARDER IN EUROPE: New rules on disposing of your old laptop; printer or mobile phone look set to come into force in the European Union.
ICANN ASSIGNS ITS LAST IPV4 ADDRESSES: The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) has handed out its last IPv4 addresses, leaving the remaining blocks to regional registries.
PC MAKERS SCRAMBLE IN WAKE OF INTEL CHIP FLAW REVELATION: Some PC makers are halting sales of PCs with Sandy Bridge processors as they try to work out issues related to Intel's faulty chipset, companies said on...
TOP 10 FREE OPEN SOURCE TOOLS FOR NETWORK ADMINS: From troubleshooting DNS queries and misbehaving network applications to keeping your configurations and passwords organized, these free open source tools have...
AMD'S FUSION PACKS MORE GRAPHICS PUNCH IN NETBOOKS: AMD says its Fusion architecture alone can do a lot of heavy-lifting that only expensive CPUs and standalone video cards could do before.
GOOGLE CATCHES BING COPYING SEARCH RESULTS: An interesting 'sting' operation carried out by Google's search engine team appears to show that Microsoft's Bing is copying some of Google's search results.