Crisis in Japan – Help List

All of us are focused on the horrible tragedy unfolding in Japan as a result of the recent 9.0 earth quake and crushing tsunami. Descriptions fall short. We feel the sadness and try to deal with these feelings as we watch the Japanese people struggle through this time. Although we are removed, being human in combination with todays technology, insures that we are emotionally involved.

Check on curent weather conditions, make donations, find missing friends and family.

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Bits from Bill Pytlovany: Favorite Tips for Online Shopping

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By Bill Pytlovany

It’s been five years since media coined the term Cyber-Monday but the truth is everyday is a  great shopping day online.  I planned on writing an article about the safety of online shopping but noticed everyone was already doing it.  Many sites provide the same duplicate tips. So I thought I might include some of the best tips and post them along with my favorites.

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Ask Leo: How do I block people from finding information about me on the internet?

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By Leo Notenboom

How do I block people from finding me and information about me on
the internet? I want to erase myself from the internet. How do I stop
my name and my information from showing when people google me or search
for me on the internet?

This is, sadly, an extremely common question. I say sadly, because
the answer is both disappointingly complex, and ultimately
unattainable.

The short answer is very, very simple…

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Bob Rankin: Is the Office Copier Telling Your Secrets?

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By Bob Rankin

Nearly every digital photocopier sold since 2002 stores images of whatever it copies on an internal hard drive. This enables conveniences like printing copies of frequently needed documents without re-scanning them. But stored documents can also be a security or identity theft time-bomb. Consider what may be on that copier’s hard drive when you or your employer trades it in or otherwise disposes of it…

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Bits from Bill Pytlovany: National ID System Replaced by Facebook

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By Bill Pytlovany

I’m always writing about privacy and my recommendations on protecting your personal information. The success of social networks like Facebook has proven that most people really don’t care about privacy. The same people who may have signed a petition against a National ID number now share their info willingly with applications on Facebook.

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Technologizer: Classic PCs vs. New PCs: Their True Cost

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By Harry McCracken

You’re familiar with Moore’s law. You know all about the accelerating pace of information technology. Regardless, you’re still amazed at how many gigabytes you can fit in your pocket these days. Remember how your first computer’s entire hard disk only held 20 megabytes? You could accidentally swallow a thousand times as much data now if you weren’t careful.

But how much did that old hard drive cost? I mean really cost?

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Ask Leo: How do I keep my information on a shared computer private?

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By Leo Notenboom

A reader asks: “I share a computer and I want to know how to
keep my information private.”

Ultimately … you can’t. At least not easily, and even then
it depends on the data that you’re attempting to keep
private, and the technical savvy of the individuals that
you’re attempting to keep it private from.

There’s nothing like your own computer. But if you have to
share, there are a couple of things that might help. A
little.

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Bits from Bill Pytlovany: Faster Startup with Windows Prefetch

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By Bill Pytlovany

Earlier this month I had a huge reaction to my post about cleaning up the Windows “Temporary Internet Folder”. Comments from readers provided many other great tips but there was some confusion over one of my major points. Even if you don’t use the stand alone Internet Explorer browser, other components of Windows use this folder so if you miss this post check it out.

A few people also mentioned the Windows Prefetch folder. Prefetch is a pretty cool feature that started with Windows XP, was improved in Vista and even more optimized in Windows 7.

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Fake AntiVirus At Epidemic Proportions

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Strangled by trojans, each week I see systems brought to a standstill. Sometimes it’s a neighbor and sometimes it’s a friend, but the story is always the same. “A popup said I was infected so I tried to remeove it. Now I can’t download anything. The program said it would help, but it didn’t.” They look real, mimicking Microsoft or well known AntiVirus products. The names sound ligitimate, calling themselves AntiVirus 2009 and such.

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Top Loved Custom Desktops

Custom Desktops

As PC Pitstop began collating the user satisfaction feedback for desktop systems, it became evident that there was a significant number of custom built Desktop systems. Based on system information we were able to segregate these custom built systems into a separate satisfaction report. From this we were able to tabulate what motherboards were in the most loved systems. It is interesting to note that 4 out of the top 10 best loved motherboards are AMD boards.

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Technologizer: Office 2010 ‘The First Look’

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By Harry McCracken

Microsoft is starting to let folks in on the Webbiest, most collaborative Office ever. But it’s not all there yet.

Today at its Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans, Microsoft is announcing that it’s distributing a Technical Preview version of its upcoming Office 2010 suite to tens of thousands of testers. It won’t be a public beta that’s open to everyone who wants a sneak peek; that will come later this year, and the final version of Office 2010 isn’t due until some time during the first half of next year. But for the first time since it demoed some features last October, Microsoft is showing off the new Office and providing more information about its plans. And it’s briefed reporters and provided them with early access to the Technical Preview (including me).

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Top Loved Notebooks

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These are exciting times in the world of computing, and portables are seeing all the action. One thing that is becoming obvious is that the line between netbook and notebook is starting to blur. Netbooks are becoming more powerful and Notebooks are becoming lighter, and longer lasting. Shown below are your picks for Most Loved Notebooks. Keep in mind that Netbooks have been filtered out of these results and were the category we used to kick off the Most Loved series. You can find those results in the previous July Newsletter or by looking for previous articles in TechTalk.

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ENCRYPTION What is it? Does it work?

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Are your bank accounts and passwords safe? Are your browser settings where they should be? Is your computer slow because it’s busy sending your personal information to Russia?

Don’t become the fly in the ointment by thinking that your Firewall, Antivirus, or ISP is going to protect your data. Use encryption all the way to the file level. Have you altered or lowered your browser setting recently? Set them back where they belong. Your protection is only as good as you allow it to be. Protect yourself.

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ProAm Phishing Event Held at…

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Thursday May 15th, 2009, Facebook was again hit by a phishing attack. Facebook says it responded quickly to block fake links being shared on the site. Attacks came in the form of “Wall Posts” and inbox messages. The above link to their recent blog gives more information on the steps they have taken.

From what I gather you might also receive an email with the subject “Hello”. If you open it and click on the link, you’ll be taken to a Facebook Look-a -Like page. You might see a name containing 151.im or 121.im. Don’t open it, don’t click on it, don’t put in your name and password.

Maybe Facebook doesn’t hold the most sensitive of information around, but it’s obviously important to someone. I’m sure all the regular methods will be used to make money form our forever lost and probably now well worn information.

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Download Windows 7 RC1 HERE

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Windows 7 RC 1 is available for download today. CLICK HERE to download Windows 7 RC1.

Want to become a member of TechNet ? You will find information and a link for registering. The release candidate is available in 32 bit, 64 bit and multiple languages.

This is the Ultimate version and is due to “expire on June 1, 2010, and the bi-hourly shutdowns will begin on March 1, 2010“. I’m still unsure how the bi-hourly shutdown works, but whether twice hourly or once every two hours, I’m sure it will be irritating enough to push those of us using the OS to buy or drop back. As much as I’ve enjoyed the Windows 7 betas, I’m sure I’ll be buying and moving up.

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Win $100 Every Month

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Don’t believe it? Check out this link to see the past winners of PC Pitstop’s Tips and Tricks section. I’m showing some tweaks that I use to give you an idea of what we’re looking for. Jump in and grab an extra $100.00.

Get your name in the hat by heading over to our Forums and posting up your submission or just enter them here and if your tip is chosen you’ll be the lucky winner for that month. We’ve had well over 100 people who have contributed and won prizes for their efforts. Why shouldn’t you be one of them?

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Identity Theft – Be Scared

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Are you worried about having your identity stolen? I am. It
has happened to two people that I know. My mother and a friend
of mine in in Myrtle Beach. Once your identity is stolen, your

life is forever changed. Even after you spend weeks upon weeks

squaring everything away with your credit card company, things

will never be right. You begin to dread answering the phone

because it may be someone that erroneously thinks you owe them

money. My mother was close to tears still getting phone calls 5

years after the alleged deed took place. It certainly wears on you.

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PC PITSTOP FIGHTS SCAREWARE – AV2008(9)

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This happened just 2 days ago. On Saturday I installed a new copy of Windows XP. It was a brand new copy and I put it on a brand new hard drive for the purpose of software testing. I finished the install and applied the drivers. I was behind a router which acts as a firewall. I opened the IE browser and went to a favorite site. I read the forums and exactly 23 minutes after the install I was receiving AV2009 popups. It’s scare ware. It told me I was infected and needed to download their program to remove the threat. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t even have an email client installed, no Instant Messenger.

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Your PC is NOT Old

I just finished doing the math. I began computing in 1983 and during that time, I have owned exactly 10 different computers. That means, the average life of one of my PC’s is 2.5 years. That certainly is an eye opener. 2.5 years is not that long a time in PC years. When I purchased each one, my anticipation was a lot more than a couple of years, so why is that?

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PC Pitstop Pushes PC Administration Into OverDrive With New Self-Service Support Service

PC Pitstop Pushes PC Administration Into OverDrive With New Self-Service Support Service

Sioux City, IA – X, 2008 – PC Pitstop, the undisputed leader in PC diagnostics and support with over 100 Million PC performance tests and counting, has released its newest service for general availability, OverDrive. With just a few clicks, PC Pitstop’s newly overhauled OverDrive service offers a simple scan using Internet Explorer (IE) or the IE tab in Firefox web browsers to provide a full PC Configuration report in under five minutes. The scan evaluates system performance, security, software, drivers, application versioning, system conflicts and other key information and delivers a report for a full system tune-up.

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PC Pitstop Top 25 Spyware and Adware

PC Pitstop has long been a source of information about unwanted software and how it spreads. Now we’re using our test results database to give you weekly updates about which programs are the most prolific. The prevalence numbers indicate the percent of PCs tested at PC Pitstop where we detected that file running. Our detection works by file name, so some products may be listed multiple times if they consist of two or more files. To check for spyware, adware, unneeded programs, and many other common PC problems, try PC Pitstop Exterminate or our full system scan.

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DVD Copying Tools Software Trends

The PC has provided the ability for users to make, edit and copy of all types of digital information. PC Pitstop Research took a look at the prevalence of DVD decryption and ripping software found on the PCs running the analytical tests on our website. This type of software makes it possible for a PC user to decrypt and rip a DVD movie onto their hard drive or other digital media. A search of the Internet for DVD coping software reveals a variety of both freeware and commercial applications that a user can use to create backups of their DVD movies. Approximately 15% of the PCs visiting our web site have at least one of the DVD decryption and ripping applications installed.

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PC Pitstop Online Video Survey Results

The PC Pitstop June 2007 survey took a look at how people are adapting to and using online video. Improvements in technologies and bandwidth have opened up a whole new way for how information is being shared and accessed on the internet. 40% of the folks that answered our survey indicate that they are frequently watching online news videos. Web sites such as YouTube.com and MySpace.come are basically allowing anyone, with a PC and the desire, to make and share their online videos with the world.

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Small Hard Drive Partitions

Some PC vendors are making a practice of creating a small partition on a system’s primary hard drive in which to store the systems’ original restoration information. Generally these partitions are 5 – 12 Gigabytes in size and are preformatted during the manufacturing process. The practice appears to have replaced the inclusion of a restoration CD for some PC vendors. While it may be considered a convenience by some to have the operating system and driver backups loaded on the local hard drive, the practice should not be considered a safe backup practice for these system files.

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