Friday, August 16, 2019

Visit us at LenoxCC!

[] [] [] Tuesday, August 20, 2019  ~1-3pm    
Meeting in Lenox Community Center, Room 110   
6715 Minnetonka Blvd      
Topic -- Craigslist and  NextDoor      
Windows 7 computers [3] available for web browsing.    
Please sign in on the buddy sheet when you arrive. 
[] [] [] Tuesday, August 27, 2019  ~1-3pm      
Meeting in Lenox Community Center, Room 110   
6715 Minnetonka Blvd           
Topic --  "Bring In Your Box Day"    
Windows 7 computers [3] available for web browsing.    
Please sign in on the buddy sheet when you arrive.      
[] [] [] Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019  ~1-3pm    
Meeting in Lenox Community Center, Room 110        
6715 Minnetonka Blvd      
Topic -- TBA      
Windows 7 computers [3] available for web browsing.   
Please sign in on the buddy sheet when you arrive.       
[] [] [] Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019  ~1-3pm      
Meeting in Lenox Community Center, Room 110      
6715 Minnetonka Blvd       
Topic -- Windows 7 and 10 discussion      
Windows 7 computers [3] available for web browsing.   
Please sign in on the buddy sheet when you arrive.      
[] [] [] Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019  ~1-3pm    
Meeting in Lenox Community Center, Room 110        
6715 Minnetonka Blvd      
Topic -- TBA      
Windows 7 computers [3] available for web browsing.   
Please sign in on the buddy sheet when you arrive.       
[] [] [] Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019  ~1-3pm      
Meeting in Lenox Community Center, Room 110      
6715 Minnetonka Blvd       
Topic --  "Bring In Your Box Day"    
Windows 7 computers [3] available for web browsing.    
Please sign in on the buddy sheet when you arrive.      
[] [] [] Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019  ~1-3pm    
Meeting in Lenox Community Center, Room 110        
6715 Minnetonka Blvd      
Topic -- TBA      
Windows 7 computers [3] available for web browsing.    
Please sign in on the buddy sheet when you arrive.       
[] [] [] Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019  ~1-3pm      
Meeting in Lenox Community Center, Room 110      
6715 Minnetonka Blvd       
Topic -- Windows 7 and 10 discussion      
Windows 7 computers [3] available for web browsing.    
Please sign in on the buddy sheet when you arrive.      
[] [] [] Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019  ~1-3pm    
[] [] [] Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019  ~1-3pm      

[] [] [] Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019 ~1-3pm   
Meeting in Lenox Community Center, Room 110      
6715 Minnetonka Blvd       
Topic --  "Bring In Your Box Day"    
Windows 7 computers [3] available for web browsing.    
Please sign in on the buddy sheet when you arrive. 
It's the 5th Tuesday!  Special exception to the rule!      
"Bring In Your Box Day" (every fourth Tuesday!)  The first four Senior Computer Buddies to contact me may bring in their windows computer and get advice about using it. We can supply the ac cord, keyboard,  mouse and monitor for your desktop or tower computer. It's  helpful to tell me before Tuesday if you are bringing in  your unit.       
Regular Meetings:      
Activity fee established by ISD283:      
$1 activity fee for SLP Senior Program Members       
$2 activity fee for Non-Members      
Please sign in on the buddy sheet when you arrive.      

1pm Specific Topic or Open topics discussion [except bring in your box days]        
2pm Help session. Some help  opportunities may be simultaneous as a buddy installs  recommended software while another buddy asks a  question.    
 All Senior Computer Buddies will benefit from our best-effort attempts in solving unusual or  common problems.  Sometimes just emailing a detailed  question about your computer operation problem can result in  an answer which precludes the need to drag your box  in.      
 The group is not a class in learning computer operation, but a discussion of topics for computer  users, with best effort help available.      
There are two Chromebase computers available for browsing, without printing capability.      
We also have a Chromebook, a Windows Ten computer and a Linux computer available for you to try.      
Please review your Senior Program Newscaster Newsletter and the ISD 283 Community Education  Catalog for Computer Classes.    
The buddies blog is back!       
It's not fancy, and you can see it at       
 John McHugh
 SLP City Hall Cable TV Office
 Community TV Coordinator, ParkTV15/96
 SLP Senior Program Mentor at LCC
 5005 Minnetonka Boulevard
 jmchugh [at]
 "We Believe Our Public Service Makes A

 City Hall has free wireless internet,
 provided by City Of SLP. It's a "Park Public Wireless Spot"!
 It is also available at The Rec Center, Lenox Community  Center [west end] and Westwood Nature Center! Bring your  laptop and try it: confirm that your computer has detected  SL-Public. Connect to it. Then open a browser and navigate  to  A "landing page" will appear where you  must click "Accept" to the terms and conditions for free  internet access.
 * * *      
 Did you find something other Senior Computer Buddies should read?      
 Send a link to John!    

====== Links from 8-16-2019 email ===================
Never-Googlers: Web users take the ultimate step to guard their data
As reports surface regarding how the online advertising giant tracks consumers, some try to reclaim their online footsteps.
Glenn Harvey for The Washington Post
By Greg  Bensinger    July 23
SAN FRANCISCO — In the small South Carolina town of Newberry, Bob’s Red Mill muesli cereal is hard to come by.
That presents a challenge for resident Gregory Kelly, who can’t get enough of the stuff. He’d rather not truck the 40 miles or so to Columbia to stock up on it, but he’s also loath to buy it from the company’s website, which he says is riddled with tracking software from Google.
His privacy being paramount, Kelly grudgingly chooses to head into Columbia every so often, rather than cede his data to Google or turn over his purchase history to another online retailer. “I’m just not sure why Google needs to know what breakfast cereal I eat,” the 51-year-old said.<snip>
Innocence lost: what did you do before the internet?
The Observer   Internet
People born in the late 1970s are the last to have grown up without the internet. Social scientists call them the Last of the Innocents. Leah McLaren ponders a time when our attention was allowed to wander
By Leah McLaren
Sun   4  Aug  2019 
An illustration of the back of a woman, lying on a hillside, looking up at the sky, flowers either side of her
 Yawning gap: days of nothing are a ‘soon-to-be lost plane of human experience’. Illustration: Nathalie Lees
In moments of digital anxiety I find myself thinking of my father’s desk. Dad was a travelling furniture salesman in the 1980s, a job that served him well in the years before globalisation hobbled the Canadian manufacturing sector. He was out on the road a lot, but when he worked from home he sat in his office, a small windowless study dominated by a large teak desk. There wasn’t much on it – synthetic upholstery swatches, a mug of pens, a lamp, a phone, an ashtray. And yet every day Dad spent hours there, making notes, smoking Craven “A”s, drinking coffee and yakking affably to small-town retailers about shipments of sectional sofas and dinette sets. This is what I find so amazing. That my father – like most other professionals of his generation and generations before him – was able to earn a salary and support our family with little more than a phone and a stack of papers. Just thinking of his desk, the emptiness of it, induces in me a strange disorientation and loneliness. How did he sit there all day, I wonder, without the internet to keep him company?<snip>

====== Links from 8-9-2019 email ===================

Google’s 4,000-Word Privacy Policy Is a Secret History of the Internet By Charlie Warzel and Ash Ngu
The late 1990s was a simpler time for Google. The nascent company was merely a search engine, and Gmail, Android and YouTube were but glimmers in the startup’s eye. Google’s first privacy policy reflected that simplicity. It was short and earnest, a quaint artifact of a different time in Silicon Valley, when Google offered 600 words to explain how it was collecting and using personal information.
That version of the internet (and Google) is gone. Over the past 20 years, that same privacy policy has been rewritten into a sprawling 4,000-word explanation of the company’s data practices.
This evolution, across two decades and 30 versions, is the story of the internet’s transformation through the eyes of one of its most crucial entities. The web is now terribly complex, and Google has a privacy policy to match.<snip>

What is "Quick Removal" and How is it Changing in Windows 10?
Microsoft recently made an announcement that as of Windows 10 version 1809, the default for the “Quick removal” setting would be changed.
The pragmatic result is that you should see or need to use “Safely Remove Hardware” less often. Let's look at why that is.

Is an Up-to-Date Browser Secure on an Out-of-Date OS?
As support comes to an end for Windows 7, many people are concerned about the security ramifications of continuing to browse the internet with it.
As Windows XP users discovered, many browsers continued to support XP long after its end-of-support date.
Were they secure?
To answer that, we need to dispel a common myth.

On Confidence and Technology
This week, you'll notice that The Ask Leo! Newsletter has been renamed to Confident Computing: Technology in Terms You Understand (by Ask Leo!).
I want to take this opportunity to talk about why I've elected to be a little more explicit about my focus on using technology with confidence.
It starts with what is now almost 15 years of questions.

How Do I Reset Windows 10?
Sometimes, when faced with an assortment of Windows problems, starting over is the most pragmatic alternative.
Windows 10 includes the ability to reinstall (or “reset”) Windows to its just-installed condition.
There are definitely a few caveats to be aware of, however.

Getting Microsoft Office for Free, Sort of Is Microsoft Office free in Windows 10?
But then again, yes it is, sort of.
In fact, there's a version that's free for anyone on any version of Windows — or indeed, almost any operating system.

Recovering an Existing Online Account Password How can I find out my current Gmail password?
Your current password?
You may not be able to.
You may be able to use the account-recovery techniques offered by Google and Gmail to set a new password, but Google will not tell you your current password.
If you're very lucky, however, you may be able to discover it somewhere else: your browser's saved passwords.

====== Links from 8-2-2019 email ===================
Why Is My Machine Slowing Down?
Slow machines represent one of the largest sources of questions to Ask Leo!
Perhaps when you purchased it, your computer ran like a champ and quickly did everything you needed. Now ... well, not so much. Perhaps it takes forever to boot. Or starting applications is slower than molasses. Or maybe the machine just acts sluggish when you try to use it for just about anything.
Regardless of the specifics, the underlying theme is simple: it's slow.
There are many, many reasons that a machine could slow down.
I'll list a few of the most common reasons here, along with some advice on what steps to take.<snip>
Can I Stop or ‘Un-send' an Email I Sent by Mistake?
I wrote an email from my Yahoo email account and sent it to the wrong email address in Europe. Is it any way I can retrieve the email I sent to the wrong email address and delete it before the wrong recipient can read my email?
There are a couple of exceptions (one of which isn't really an exception at all), but the answer you need to keep in mind and always remember is simply no.
Once email has been sent, it has been sent. It cannot be "unsent".
I'll describe why that is and what those so-called "exceptions" are all about.<snip>
How Do I Use an Open Wi-Fi Hotspot Safely?
I've returned to the same coffee shop where I was a few months ago, where I noticed my email had been hijacked/hacked. This time, I'm using my phone, but the last time, when I noticed the hack, I was using my computer and doing email over an open-internet, free Wi-Fi network.
Do you think that could be the source of the problem or just a coincidence? I'm still afraid to do email from here.
It definitely could have been. Unfortunately, it's hard to say for sure; it could have been something else unrelated.
As we can't really diagnose the past, let's look ahead instead.
It can be absolutely safe to send and receive email from a coffee shop or any other location that provides unsecured or "open" Wi-Fi. In fact, I do it all the time.
But to ensure your safety, you do have to follow some very important practices.<snip>
Is the Cloud Dangerous?
One of the comments I received on my article on lessons learned from a fairly public online hacking was very concise:
"That's why the cloud is dangerous."
I think a lot of people feel that to varying degrees.
I disagree strongly.
I also think believing the cloud is dangerous prevents you from taking advantage of the things it can do for you — things like protecting your data...
... as well as a number of things you're already doing, and have been doing for years.<snip>

====== Links from 7-29-2019 email ===================
How to stop your emails from being tracked   Pixel trackers can hide in your email images
By Barbara Krasnoff  Jul 3, 2019
All of those obnoxious marketing emails that crowd your inbox aren’t just pushing a product. They’re also tracking whether you’ve opened the email, when you opened it, and where you were at the time by using software like MailChimp to embed tracking software into the message.
How does it work? A single tracking pixel is embedded into the email, usually (but not always) hidden within an image or a link. When the email is opened, code within the pixel sends the info back to the company’s server.
There have been some attempts to restrict the amount of information that can be transmitted this way. For example, since 2014, Google has served all images through its own proxy servers, which could hide your location from at least some tracking applications. And extensions such as Ugly Mail and PixelBlock have been developed to block trackers on Chrome and Firefox.
There is also a simple basic step you can take to avoid trackers: stop your email from automatically loading images since images are where the majority of these pixels hide. You won’t be able to avoid all of the trackers that can hide in your email this way, but you will stop many of them.
Here’s how to do it in the major desktop and mobile email apps:<snip>
How E-Commerce Sites Manipulate You Into Buying Things You May Not Want “Alexandra from Anaheim” was among the shoppers that visitors to ThredUp were told had recently bought items on the site. But she didn’t exist.
By Jennifer Valentino-DeVries   June 24, 2019
When potential customers visit the online resale store ThredUp, messages on the screen regularly tell them just how much other users of the site are saving.
“Alexandra from Anaheim just saved $222 on her order” says one message next to an image of a bright, multicolored dress. It’s a common technique on shopping websites, intended to capitalize on people’s desire to fit in with others and to create a “fear of missing out.”
But “Alexandra from Anaheim” did not buy the dress. She does not exist. Instead, the website’s code pulled combinations from a preprogrammed list of names, locations and items and presented them as actual recent purchases.
The fake messages are an example of “dark patterns,” devious online techniques that manipulate users into doing things they might not otherwise choose to. They are the digital version of timeworn tactics used to influence consumer behavior, like impulse purchases placed near cash registers, or bait-and-switch ads for used cars.<snip>
How to stop companies from selling your data Helpful tips for opting out of data sharing by banks, schools and data broker companies Privacy experts warn against filling out online surveys if you want to prevent your personal data from being shared with data brokers. There are a variety of other ways to opt out of having your data collected and combined by data brokers but no single solution, experts say. 
By Douglas MacMillan June 24 2019
The second you fill out an online survey, purchase a new home or subscribe to a magazine, your information may be scooped up by a data company and sold to a subterranean market for personal information on millions of people. These data brokers are building profiles about you, using thousands of pieces of information such as your age, income, race, ethnicity and interests and helping marketers use this data to send you targeted ads.
[Data brokers are selling your secrets - here's how states are trying to stop them] Unlike the way we interact with Facebook and Google, most people do not have a direct relationship with data broker companies and often do not even know their names. That makes figuring out which ones have your data a complicated task.
Fortunately, for privacy-minded users willing to put in a little work, there are ways to reduce the number of companies selling your data. The Washington Post asked digital privacy experts for their best tips on how to combat the data brokers.<snip>

====== Links from 7-22-2019 email ===================
Consumer Tech Review
By Geoffrey A. Fowler   Technology columnist   June 21
Goodbye, Chrome: Google’s Web browser has become spy software Our latest privacy experiment found Chrome ushered more than 11,000 tracker cookies into our browser — in a single week. Here’s why Firefox is better.
This is how Google's Chrome lets the cookies track you, imagined in real life Chrome lets tracker cookies follow you all over the Web. The Post's Geoffrey A. Fowler imagines how that might feel in real life.
You open your browser to look at the Web. Do you know who is looking back at you?
Over a recent week of Web surfing, I peered under the hood of Google Chrome and found it brought along a few thousand friends. Shopping, news and even government sites quietly tagged my browser to let ad and data companies ride shotgun while I clicked around the Web.
This was made possible by the Web’s biggest snoop of all: Google. Seen from the inside, its Chrome browser looks a lot like surveillance software.
Lately I’ve been investigating the secret life of my data, running experiments to see what technology really gets up to under the cover of privacy policies that nobody reads. It turns out, having the world’s biggest advertising company make the most popular Web browser was about as smart as letting kids run a candy shop.<snip>
how to take care of surplus electronics, appliances
How to Speed Up Your Internet Connection
By TIM BROOKES    JULY 13, 2019
Internet connections could always be faster. Whether your downloads are crawling, streaming feels like a slideshow, or you just want to maximize your speeds, here’s how you can accelerate that connection.
Depending on your Internet Service Provider (ISP), you can often get faster speeds by calling them (or visiting their website) and upgrading to a more expensive plan. Your monthly bill will go up, but so will your speed. Before you do that, however, here are some tips that can speed up your connection for free.<snip>
How Criminals Order Phones in Your Name (and How to Stop Them)
A new type of phone theft is on the rise. Instead of stealing phones directly from you, thieves impersonate you to get brand new smartphones from your cellular carrier and stick you with the bill. Here’s what’s going on.
What Is Account Hijacking?
Outright smartphone theft is getting harder to pull off and less lucrative. We’re more careful with our phones than we used to be and—starting with the iPhone—more smartphones offer encryption and lost phone tools out of the box. So, some criminals have adopted a new tactic. Instead of messing with stolen phones and worrying about activation problems, they pose as you and order new phones on your account.

The scam works well for a variety of reasons.<snip>

Topic -- Record a side of an audio cassette or LP record as a digital file for your flashdrive     

====== Links from 7-12-2019 email ===================

How Do I Change My Default Web Browser in Windows 10?

One of the changes in Windows 10 as compared to previous versions of Windows is how to change default programs, including web browsers.

Changing the default web browser in Windows 10 is pretty simple; it's just different than it once was.

I'll explain the reasoning, but first I'll show you how.

What's a Browser Cache? How Do I Clear It? Why Would I Want To?

The browser cache appears in more answers than questions, but often causes even more questions.

Even while following instructions to empty the cache, many people aren't clear on what this piece of magic really is, or why clearing the cache does anything at all.

Let's review what the browser cache is and why it exists. I'll also point you to steps to clear it in Edge, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome, and try to dream up some reasons why that sometimes helps.

How Can I Tell If a Download is Safe?

I'm really hesitant to download and run unknown EXE files. Is there any way I can scan it with some program or otherwise ascertain if it's clean or riddled with subtle spyware, viruses, or whatever else could be bad?

I was somewhat taken aback by this question. It's a perfectly good question — it's one that more people should be asking more often.

No, my reaction was due to the lack of a good answer.

It turns out that it's fairly difficult to ascertain whether or not something you've downloaded is about to play havoc with your system, particularly before you download it.

But it's getting better.

The One Thing Every Non-technical Person Needs to Know

What should every non-technical person know about the internet, social media, smart phones, technology, or cyber privacy and security?

It took me a millisecond to answer this. It might even be one of my most important answers, ever.

Don't believe everything you read.

From headlines designed to get you to click, to content designed to enrage you, to poorly researched and vetted content, misinformation is everywhere.

You need to be able to tell truth from fiction, and know not to trust what you can't verify.

Will Windows 7 Keep Working After Support Ends?

Apparently there are people that believe when support for Windows 7 ends it'll stop working. That's just wrong, right? It'll keep working? Can't I just keep using it?

Yes, Windows 7 will keep working.

You can keep using it, but it's important to understand the risks involved.

One thing we've learned, though, from being here before, is that the risks may not be as horrific as some make them out to be.

Will Email to an Invalid Email Address Be Read by Someone?

I just sent an email to the wrong email address. I am positive that the email I sent it to was wrong as I read it once it left and it asked if I wanted to add it to my contacts after I sent it! The part of the address was my work. I am 100% certain that there is no one at work with that address. Please tell me where it could possibly have gone and is someone going to be able to read it??? I am really worried as it was quite personal.

You won't like my answer.

There's just no way to know.

At least, not unless someone did get it and then tells you they did.

====== Links from 7-8-2019 email ===================

Could a Built-in Tracking Device in My Laptop Detect My Tor Browsing History?


I'm assuming by “built-in tracking device” you mean that someone has actually added a hardware device of some sort to your laptop.

Such a device would share all the capabilities of malware — or perhaps even more.

Continue Reading:

Email I Was Composing has Disappeared. Can I Get it Back?

I was responding to an email, but my response disappeared. Do you know a way I can retrieve it?

It's a very common scenario: you're typing a nice lengthy response in email, and all of a sudden it's gone.

Continue Reading

How Do I Get Off of an Unwanted Email Distribution List?

How does one get off of an unwanted email distribution list? Does clicking the “unsubscribe” button really work? That just seems to generate more.

It depends on how you got onto the list in the first place.

Sometimes “unsubscribe” is exactly the right thing to do.

Sometimes you want to avoid it at all costs.

Continue Reading:

The State of Passwords in 2019

Passwords have been in the news a lot lately, mostly due to various breaches at an assortment of online service providers.

I want to briefly touch on four topics:

Best practices: what makes a good password

Storage strategies: how to securely keep track of it all

Two-factor authentication: protection against breaches

The possible death of the password as an security identifier

Continue Reading:

How Can I Boost My Laptop's Performance?

How can I optimize my laptop's performance in Windows 10?

Honestly, my advice isn't Windows 10-specific. It applies to almost any edition of Windows.

And it also doesn't apply to only laptops.

Let's review my “Top 10” list of things to do for speed.

Continue Reading:

Can I Use External Hard Drives as NAS Storage?

Yes. Yes you can.

I do it myself.

But first we have to make sure we're on the same page when it comes to defining what a NAS is.

Continue Reading:

====== Links from 6-26-2019 email ===================



THERE'S A NEW battleground in the browser wars: user privacy. Firefox just made its Enhanced Tracking Protection a default feature, Apple continues to pile privacy-focused features into its Safari browser, and people are more aware than ever before of the sort of information they can reveal every time they set a digital footprint on the web.

If you want to push back against online tracking, you've got several options to pick from when choosing a default browser. These are the browsers that put user privacy high on the list of their priorities.<snip>

====== Links from 6-21-2019 email ===================

by Ina Fried   Jun 11, 2019    What Apple knows about you

Apple pitches itself as the most privacy-minded of the big tech companies, and indeed it goes to great lengths to collect less data than its rivals. Nonetheless, the iPhone maker will still know plenty about you if you use many of its services: In particular, Apple knows your billing information and all the digital and physical goods you have bought from it, including music, movie and app purchases.

A different approach: But even for heavy users, Apple uses a number of techniques to either minimize how much data it has or encrypt it so that Apple doesn't have access to iMessages and similar personal communications.

Between the lines: Apple is able to do this, in part, because it makes its money from selling hardware, and increasingly from selling services, rather than through advertising. (It does have some advertising business, and it also gets billions of dollars per year from Google in exchange for being Apple's default search provider.)

But Apple maintains that its commitment to privacy is based not just on its business model but on core values.

How it works: In order to collect less data, Apple tries to do as much work on its devices as possible, even if that sometimes means algorithms aren't as well tuned, processing is slower, or the same work gets done on multiple devices.

Photos are a case in point. Even if you store your images in Apple's iCloud, Apple does the work of facial identification, grouping, labeling and tagging images on the Mac or iOS device, rather than on the service's own computers.

Some of the most sensitive data that your device collects, including your fingerprint or Face ID, stay on the device.<snip>


Many Americans Still Vulnerable to Spoofing

AARP National Survey of Adults 18+ About Robocalls and Spoofing

by Alicia R. Williams, Jennifer Sauer, AARP Research, May 2019

According to a new AARP survey, an overwhelming majority of U.S. adults find robocalls “annoying” (94%) and “disruptive” (90%), but few are taking action to protect themselves.

Robocalls Are Getting Worse

Robocalls—autodialed calls that play a recorded message when you answer—have legitimate uses. You might get a call warning you that severe weather is on the way or that school will be closing early. But as the technology has gotten cheaper and more sophisticated, scammers have noticed. Since 2016, the volume of calls has increased from just over 29 billion to nearly 48 billion calls in 2018, and one in ten (11%) adults surveyed has fallen prey to a telephone scam at some point. According to the Federal Trade Commission, phone scams cost U.S. consumers $429 million last year alone.

How the Scam Works

When deciding to answer a call, most of us rely on caller ID, but we rarely answer a call with no caller information. To get you to pick up the call, scammers use “spoofing”: They fake the area code or the prefix that appears in your caller ID to make the call seem local and make you think someone you know is calling. More than half of U.S. adults (59%) surveyed said that they were very or somewhat likely to answer a call with a local area code, and almost half (44%) said they’d probably answer a call with an area code and prefix where family or close friends live.<snip>


Ever Plugged A USB In Wrong? Of Course You Have. Here's Why

June 21, 2019   By JOSH AXELROD

Because the plug isn't reversible, connecting a USB device to a computer can often be a frustrating experience.

Your files are done syncing, and you go to plug in your thumb drive. You try once. Failure ensues. Metal clashes with metal. Humiliated and discouraged, you flip it and try again. Failure, again! How could this be possible?

Wiping your brow, ready to give up, you flip back to the original orientation for a final try. The hard-won success is unsatisfying, tainted by the absurdity of the process.

For years, Internet users have been griping about the USB, or Universal Serial Bus, and its maddening difficulty to plug in right, even creating memes about the commonly shared experience. Some call it the USB paradox, the seemingly impossible process of making a 50-50 guess wrong twice.<snip>

A DIY Dream: What If Apple Had Made A Watch In 1985?


A DIY Dream: What If Apple Had Made A Watch In 1985?

Ajay Bhatt led the team at Intel that created the USB — a near-ubiquitous connection interface that allows users to plug mice, iPods, printers, thumb drives and other devices into a computer. He recognizes that the model has led to frustration.

Jun 15, 2019

How To Test Drive 200+ Linux Distributions Without Ever Downloading Or Installing Them

by Jason Evangelho

I've written about two fantastic tools that help people discover the ideal Linux distribution tailored to their needs and expectations, but a new tool just materialized on my radar and frankly, it's blowing my mind. I just took Debian 9.9.0 Cinnamon, MX Linux 18.3 and Peppermint OS for a quick test drive. But I did so without downloading any ISOs, without flashing any images to a USB, and without even firing up VirtualBox. That's thanks to, a website that streams the experience right to your browser.<snip>

====== Links from 6-14-2019 email ===================

How Do I Contact Customer Service?

Can Everything I Do Online Be Monitored at My Router?

A friend of mine recently forwarded me an email he received that looked like it had come from me.

Except, of course, it hadn't. It was a complete forgery, and not a very good one at that.

I am both slightly honored that I'm worth forging, and quite annoyed that someone actually did.

We'll look at the message and all the clues it contains that make it a fairly obvious fake, and then generalize those clues to help you separate spam from legitimate email.

Dealing with Fake "Ask Leo"

Cleanup performed by your anti-malware tools can be incomplete. That's not actually uncommon, though I'm not sure why. I'll explain what happened, and how to clean that last annoying part up manually.

It's actually a technique that can be useful in other, non-malware related situations as well.

Continue Reading: How Do I Remove this Error on Startup?

Can I Use My TV as a Second Display?

How Long Does Windows 7 Have Before It's Phased Out?

====== Links from 6-7-2019 email ===================

How to Search Google Like a Pro: 11 Tricks You Have to Know


Google is a powerful tool, but you’re missing out on a lot of that power if you just type words into it. Master Google and find the best results faster with these search tricks.

Whether you’re an inexperienced user or a seasoned professional, you’ll probably find at least one search operator you weren’t aware of here. Many of Google’s search operators aren’t very well-known.

Exact Words and Phrases

One of the most basic and widely known search tricks is using quotation marks to search for an exact phrase. For example, perform the following search and you’ll only get pages that contain the word “Hello” followed by the word “World.” <snip>

ChromeMP3 Recorder from HablaCloud

This tool only runs on Chromebooks, not other computers like PC's or Mac's. If you are on a Chromebook though, this is a fantastically easy tool to use. You can get the Chrome Web Store link on the site at

There are not any other editing options with this tool. Just a simple way for anyone to record and save audio on a Chromebook!

If you want another tool that is just about as simple, but runs on Chromebooks, PCs, and Macs, then you can use the "Online Voice Recorder" website. Here's how it works:

Go to the site at:

Click the mic button to start recording.

Note: you will need to give it permission to use your microphone the first time you use the site.

Click the "Stop" button when done.

You will now get a screen where you can preview your voice recording.

If needed, you can trim the start and end of the audio to remove any extra dead space.

When done, click "Save".

The MP3 file will be downloaded to your device!

====== Links from 5-31-2019 email ===================

Perhaps your device or android OS isn't supported by The Google Play Store....

What Is the “God Mode” Folder in Windows 10, and How Do I Enable It?


What if Windows let you quickly access administrative tools, backup and restore options and other important management settings from a single window? If that sounds good, look no further than the so-called “God Mode.”

What Is God Mode?

No, God Mode doesn’t unlock any extra secret features in Windows or let you do any tweaking that you can’t do in the regular Windows interface. Instead, it’s simply a special folder you can enable that exposes most of Windows’ admin, management, settings, and Control Panel tools in a single, easy-to-scroll-through interface.

And yes, you can also find a lot of this stuff by searching the Start menu, but to do that, you kind of need to know what you’re looking for begin with. The God Mode folder offers an easier way to browse through 206 of these tools and get to know them.

By the way, “God Mode” is just a popular name some people give this special folder. You can name the folder anything you like—including Ultra-Control-Panel Mode, for example.<snip>

Having a list of installed programs is also useful if you just bought a new computer and you want to install the same programs you had on your old computer. Here are a few different methods for doing so on Windows 10, 8/8.1, and 7.

PowerShell is one of the most powerful things built into Windows, so of course it can do something as simple as list your installed programs. In fact, all you need is one command, which you can copy and paste right from this page.

First, open PowerShell by clicking on the Start menu and typing “powershell”. Select the first option that comes up and you’ll be greeted with an empty PowerShell prompt.

Copy and paste the following command, pressing Enter when you’re done:

Get-ItemProperty HKLM:\Software\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\* | Select-Object DisplayName, DisplayVersion, Publisher, InstallDate | Format-Table –AutoSize

PowerShell will give you a list of all your programs, complete with the version, name of the developer, and even the date you installed it.<snip>

CCleaner is a Windows application designed to free up space on your PC by deleting temporary files and erasing private data, such as your browsing and download history and lists of recent documents in various programs. However, it can also give you a list of all the programs on your computer, which is particularly useful if you already have CCleaner installed (or are very uncomfortable using the command line).<snip>

10+ Useful System Tools Hidden in Windows


Windows contains a variety of system utilities that are useful, but well-hidden. Some are buried deep in the Start menu, while others you can access only if you know the right command to run.

System Configuration is another classic tool that many people don’t know about. Prior to Windows 8 and 10, which feature a startup-program manager built into Task Manager, System Configuration was the only included way of controlling startup programs on Windows. It also allows you to customize your boot loader, which is particularly useful if you have multiple versions of Windows installed.<snip>

Launch it by typing “msconfig” into the Start menu search box or Run dialog.<snip>

The System Information utility displays all kinds of information about your PC. You can find out things like the exact version of Windows you’re running, what kind of motherboard your system contains, how much RAM (and what kind) you have, what graphics adapter you’re sporting, and a whole lot more.

System Information doesn’t provide the slickest interface, but it will display a lot of system information without forcing you to install another program.

Open it by searching for “System Information” at your Start menu.<snip>

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How to Free Over 10GB of Disk Space After Installing Windows 10’s May 2019 Update


Did you just install the May 2019 Update? If so, there’s more than 10 GB of data wasting space on your hard drive—we had 24.6 GB! On a laptop or tablet with a limited amount of storage, this can fill up your device quite a bit.

If you have a computer with a large amount of available storage, you might not even notice this useless data. It’ll stick around for 10 days until Windows automatically cleans it up. But, if you’re pressed for space, you’ll want to clean it up as soon as possible.<snip>

You can go back to the last build of Windows 10 you had installed by navigating to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery and using the “Get Started” button under “Go back to the previous version of Windows 10.” This button is only present if the files are still available on your computer.<snip>

Use Windows 10’s New “Free Up Space” Tool to Clean Up Your Hard Drive


Windows 10 has a new, easy-to-use tool for freeing up disk space on your computer. It removes temporary files, system logs, previous Windows installations, and other files you probably don’t need.

This tool is new in the April 2018 Update. It works similarly to the old Disk Cleanup utility, but it’s part of the modern Settings app and is a bit faster to use.

To find this new tool, head to Settings > System > Storage. Click the “Free Up Space Now” link under Storage Sense. If you don’t see that option here, the April 2018 Update hasn’t been installed on your PC yet.<snip>

Manage Startup Programs

CCleaner can manage your startup programs, but Windows 10 has this feature built in. To access Windows 10’s startup manager, head to Settings > Apps > Startup. You can see how much “impact” apps have on your startup process and toggle startup programs on or off from here. A startup program with “high impact” slows things down more than one with “low impact.”<snip>

Find the Files Wasting Space on Your Computer

To hunt down what’s actually using up space on your computer, install a disk space analyzer like WinDirStat. This tool scans your hard drive and shows you a graphical representation of what’s using space on your computer, sorting folders and files from the ones using the most space to the least. This works like the Disk Analyzer tool in CCleaner, but with a better interface that makes it easier to see what’s using space.<snip>

Link to watch free, advertiser-supported tv on your computer or device

====== Links from 5-24-2019 email ===================

Do I Need a New Email Address if Mine's Involved in a Breach?
There's no need to get a new address just because your email account was part of a breach — as long as you can still log in to your account.
There are steps you should take, but that's not one of them.
If you can't log in to your email account any more, though, you may have no other choice.

How Do I Clean Up After Windows Update Breaks Other Applications?
This isn't the first time I've heard of Windows 10 updating itself, and you find that other software on your machine has stopped working. Often it's older software you've been using for years without a problem.
I can't guarantee a fix, of course, but I'll outline what I would do in this situation to maximize the chances of everything working again.

How Do I Get My Web Browser's Menu and Toolbar Back?
It's easy to accidentally hide menus and toolbars.
I'll examine those, and show you how to get your toolbar, menu, or whatever it is that you're missing back.

Coping With Gray Text
I am desperate and angry over the “trend” in graying fonts for the specious reason that it is more readable than black on white. It isn't. Sometimes it is impossible to fill out a form because the font is so unreadable.
This isn't a Windows problem, it's a website-design problem. And it is a problem. It's one I hear frequently.
Unfortunately, the remedies are either extreme or non-existent.

Why Don't I Get Sound from My Computer? (A Checklist)
Try as I might, I can't get my computer to output sound. Nothing. I can't figure out what's wrong.
The problem is, it's a single silent symptom that can come from several sources. So, let's run down a bit of a checklist.

How can I get rid of
It's taken over my computer and has muscled out my two browsers: Firefox and Explorer.
While it might seem that it's taken over your computer, it's more than likely it's taken over something much simpler: your browser.
How To Get the Most Out of Your Chromebook’s RAM
Chrome OS manages RAM differently than Windows or Mac computers, but that doesn’t mean you can’t optimize your workflow to make the most of your system’s potentially limited RAM. Here are some tips to help make your Chromebook’s RAM go further.<snip>

Topic -- video audio accessories for your devices   search for smartphone tripod mount, sort by price. Search for smartphone microphone.   
headphone out mic in iphone cord
android mic in cord

====== Links from 5-17-2019 email ===================
2019 Is the Year of Linux on the Desktop
The year of Linux on the desktop is finally here! Windows 10 is getting a Linux kernel, and all new Chromebooks will run Linux applications. Most desktops purchased in the future will include a Linux kernel and run Linux software.<snip>
Windows 10 will soon include a built-in Linux kernel updated through Windows Update. Windows itself will still be based on the Windows kernel, of course. The Linux kernel will power the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL 2) and let you run even more Linux applications on Windows 10.<snip>
The primary desktop will still be Windows or Chrome, but you can install any Linux software you want on top of it. You won’t have to install a Linux distribution and deal with hardware compatibility issues—Linux software will be supported without any messing around.<snip>

Here are some handy keyboard command shared by computer buddy Fred Lewis:

Miscellaneous Computer Tricks and Tips

1- How to instantly open a randomly closed tab?
Unfortunately, this happens often: wanted to close a window in the browser but accidentally closed other important windows as well.
Instead of looking for it in history, use these "short-cuts" to compensate your inattention:
For Windows: Ctrl + Shift + T
For Mac: cmd + Z (Safari) and cmd + Shift + T (for Google Chrome).

2- What if the boss/Papa/Mama crept in from behind?
Sometimes you feel lazy at work and start reading random stuff on Quora. And you have a dozen other windows opened.
How to quickly pretend that you are working?
These shorts quickly remove the browser windows by minimizing all and showing the desktop(in windows) and you can return to the Word or Excel screen (manually):
For Windows: Windows + D (minimizes all applications and shows desktop)
For Mac: Fn + F11

3- How to lock the computer,
No one likes his boss to read his chat conversations or you do not want anyone to look into your monitor, until you leave to make coffee.
Others will not able to open only if you have set a password to login. One can simply enter by clicking your user icon if you don't have a password.
This quick combination of keys will instantly lock your computer and you will be able to fully enjoy the break:
For Windows: "Windows" key + L.
For Mac: cmd + Alt + Eject.

4- What if the computer halts?
It happens that you are sitting in Photoshop, and all of a sudden - the entire computer is “hung”. And it does not react to anything.
Typically, users immediately press Ctrl + Alt + Del to reboot. But this is far from the best solution.
It is much better to use short-cuts: they will stop only this one nasty program:
For Windows: Ctrl + Shift + Esc (Opens the task manager)
For Mac: cmd + Option (alt) + Shift + Esc.
Hold these buttons for three seconds in a row, and the hung program closes, and you will be able to work on and not lose any changes in all your documents.

5- Need to quickly save the url of any web-page?
As practice shows, this combination will save you millions of minutes:
For Windows: Ctrl + D
Mac version: cmd + L

6- How to make a screenshot not of the whole screen, but only of the required part of it?
All Windows users are accustomed to press "Print Screen" when they need to show something to their comrades. But it happens that there are too many things on the screen, and it is long and tedious to crop the picture.
Here's how to always allocate only what you need:
For Windows:
-Alt + Print Screen(the screenshot is saved to a folder called “Screenshots” in Pictures folder)
For Mac:
- cmd + Shift + 3 (the screenshot is saved on the desktop)
- cmd + Shift + Ctrl + 3 (the screenshot gets to the clipboard)
- cmd + Shift + 4 (Only the desired piece of the screen gets saved on the desktop)
- cmd + Shift + Ctrl + 4 (the desired piece gets copied to the clipboard)

====== Links from 5-10-2019 email ===================
Marc Saltzman
My Recent Work
 5 steps to speed up your slow Wi-Fi
Foolproof ways to get your Wi-Fi to work outdoors
How to avoid a bad shopping trip on Amazon
How to buy a Chromebook
7 tips to making your laptop battery last longer
How to improve your Uber or Lyft passenger rating
Smart rings are a thing. Why would you wear one?
How Amazon Prime Now compares to grocery delivery rivals
How to see everything Netflix knows about you
Put an end to iPhone's endless low storage nags
5 new features to try with Windows 10
10 insider tips for using a Mac
Stop griping about Siri and do more hands-free
 Time to delete Facebook? How to take a social media break
Amazon knows a lot about you. Find and delete it.
You're probably only using 10% of what Google Docs can do
Awesome apps for spring break trips
7 secrets to getting more from Amazon Prime Video
Has someone hacked your webcam? Here’s how to stop cyber-snoopers
Digitize Your Photos to Preserve Your Memories
How to do it yourself or use a professional service
by Marc Saltzman, AARP, April 22, 2019
Chances are you've thought about bringing your old paper photos into the digital age.
Great idea. After all, you likely have a lifetime of precious memories trapped in photo albums, shoeboxes or dusty frames.
Once digitized, these photographs will no longer fade over time; they can be automatically repaired with smart software (such as adding back color, removing redeye and stitching rips); photos can be organized and easily searched by keyword (on a computer, tablet, phone or online cloud site); and you can share them with friends and family over email and social media, or create fun projects like scrapbooks, slideshows, fridge magnets and more.
There are several ways to go about scanning old photos (or slides or negatives), but it boils down to two main options: Do it yourself (DIY) or use a professional service.<snip>
Thanks for the memory IN SECTION: TECH CONNECTION
How to back up your important files
by MARC SALTZMAN says that 113 cellphones are lost or stolen every minute and one in 10 computers is infected with viruses each month.
How do I say this politely? Stuff happens. Your computer’s hard drive might contract a nasty virus or be damaged following an unexpected power surge. Your smartphone or tablet could be lost, stolen or dropped. In other words, since you don’t know what the future holds, it’s critical to back up your stuff, just in case.<snip>
DEV   Net Applications: Windows 10 passes Windows 7 in market share
More than three years after its release, Windows 10 has passed Windows 7 in market share. That means more desktop computers are now running Microsoft’s latest and greatest operating system than any other OS, according to Net Applications. The milestone is a nice way for Microsoft to end 2018, even though the company surely was hoping it wouldn’t take this long for Windows 10 to overtake Windows 7.<snip>

====== Links from 5-3-2019 email ==========================   

Chromebook as a laptop alternative   

====== Links from 4-19-2019 email ==========================
Mark R. Warner   Apr 09 2019
Senators Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Ban Manipulative 'Dark Patterns'
WASHINGTON – A day ahead of the one-year anniversary of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional testimony, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Deb Fischer (R-NE) have introduced the Deceptive Experiences To Online Users Reduction (DETOUR) Act, bipartisan legislation to prohibit large online platforms from using deceptive user interfaces, known as “dark patterns” to trick consumers into handing over their personal data.<snip>
“Any privacy policy involving consent is weakened by the presence of dark patterns. These manipulative user interfaces intentionally limit understanding and undermine consumer choice. Misleading prompts to just click the ‘OK’ button can often transfer your contacts, messages, browsing activity, photos, or location information without you even realizing it. Our bipartisan legislation seeks to curb the use of these dishonest interfaces and increase trust online,” said Sen. Fischer, a member of the Senate Commerce Committee.
Dark patterns can take various forms, often exploiting the power of defaults to push users into agreeing to terms stacked in favor of the service provider. Some examples of such actions include: a sudden interruption during the middle of a task repeating until the user agrees to consent; a deliberate obscuring of alternative choices or settings through design or other means; or the use of privacy settings that push users to ‘agree’ as the default option, while users looking for more privacy-friendly options often must click through a much longer process, detouring through multiple screens. Other times, users cannot find the alternative option, if it exists at all, and simply give up looking.
The result is that large online platforms have an unfair advantage over users and potential competitors in forcing consumers to give up personal data such as their contacts, messages, web activity, or location to the benefit of the company.<snip>
How to Spring Clean Your Work Computer (and Make It Feel New Again) in 5, 10, or 15 Minutes
Which is why when “spring cleaning” becomes the buzzword of the season, I’m all ears.
But this time of year isn’t just about raiding your closets and drawers at home Marie Kondo-style (although you should do that, too). It’s the perfect time to declutter your work life a bit, too.
And you can start with the most important item of all: your work computer. You know, that thing that you use roughly 10 hours a day, five days a week—it may be in need of a serious refresher.
It doesn’t have to take forever, either. With five minutes here and 10 minutes there, you can basically turn that exhausted piece of technology into a sparkling, highly-functioning work of art.
Here’s how to clean out your computer like a pro:<snip>
Gerald Rich   Apr 6, 2019
What the internet knows about you
Any search engine can quickly reveal your phone number, address and family information with a surprising level of detail.
It can be instantly culled on the open web from sites like White Pages and Spokeo.
Why it matters: This information, combined with social media posts, can be used by anyone to intimidate, harass, or stalk high-visibility people like politicians, business leaders, celebrities and journalists.
And it's getting easier for trolls to find specific information about all of us as we go about our daily lives.
The big picture: Finding personal information online is relatively easy; removing all of it is nearly impossible.
However, going through smart opt-out processes can reduce your online footprint, making it more difficult for malicious actors to target you.<snip>
In Depth  Internet
Why there’s so little left of the early internet
It took nearly five years into the internet’s life before anyone made a concerted effort to archive it. Much of our earliest online activity has disappeared.
By Stephen Dowling   2 April 2019
<snip>One major problem with trying to archive the internet is that it never sits still. Every minute – every second – more photos, blog posts, videos, news stories and comments are added to the pile. While digital storage has fallen drastically in price, archiving all this material still costs money. “Who’s going to pay for it?” asks Dame Wendy. “We produce so much more material than we used to.”<snip>

====== Links from 4-12-2019 email ==========================
Windows 10 Is Hiding a Great Video Capture Tool
By Chris Mills   7/22/15
It’s not on the list of headline features, but the latest version of Windows is hiding a very welcome and well-executed feature: a video-capture tool baked right into the operating system.
On previous versions of Windows, recording a video of your screen meant navigating the usual muddy creek of ad-infested freeware; the lack of integration also made setting up a keyboard command to start recording an exercise in frustration.
That’s all changed with Windows 10, thanks to a video-record feature baked into the new Game DVR. Press Win+G, and a small bar pops up, with a video-capture button, and links to the Game DVR hub. (The first time you do this in a particular program, Windows will ask you to confirm that the program is a game, before starting Game DVR.)<snip>

====== Links from 4-5-2019 email ==========================

What Does "Mailbox Unavailable" Mean and How Do I Fix It?

Why ANY Two-Factor Is Better than No Two-Factor at All

The Journey to My New Computer: Update, Update, Update

Why Do System Cleanup Utilities Report So Many Errors on a Supposedly Clean System?

Password Checkup: A Recommended Chrome Browser Extension

My new laptop was capable of holding 32GB (gigabytes) of RAM, but for reasons I didn't bother to pursue, I could find it only available with 16GB pre-installed.
The Journey to My New Computer: RAM Upgrade

Topic -- ParkTV on the www   
Full Schedule at   

====== Links from 3-29-2019 email ==========================
Home » News & Events » Press Releases » Office Depot and Tech Support Firm Will Pay $35 Million to Settle FTC Allegations That They Tricked Consumers into Buying Costly Computer Repair Services March 27, 2019 Office Depot, Inc. and a California-based tech support software provider have agreed to pay a total of $35 million to settle Federal Trade Commission allegations that the companies tricked customers into buying millions of dollars’ worth of computer repair and technical services by deceptively claiming their software had found malware symptoms on the customers’ computers.
Office Depot has agreed to pay $25 million while its software supplier,, Inc., has agreed to pay $10 million as part of their settlements with the FTC. The FTC intends to use these funds to provide refunds to consumers.
“Consumers have a hard enough time protecting their computers from malware, viruses, and other threats,” said FTC Chairman Joe Simons. “This case should send a strong message to companies that they will face stiff consequences if they use deception to trick consumers into buying costly services they may not need.”<snip>

I get the “about:blank” page whenever I run IE. What is a simple, fool-proof way to get rid of it?
About:blank is a page web browsers display when they have nothing else to display.
That's all. It's not something you “get rid of.”
The problem, of course, is that about:blank can show up unexpectedly, and people get confused about why, and what to do next.
What Is "About:blank" and How Do I Get Rid of It?

My taskbar's on the right side of my screen. How do I move the taskbar back to the bottom where it belongs?
A lot of people don't realize it, but the taskbar can be placed on any edge of your screen: left, right, top or bottom. In fact, if you have multiple monitors, it can be placed on any edge of any display.
Occasionally — usually through a mis-click or accidental mouse action — the taskbar can get moved to somewhere other than where we want it.
So, let's move the taskbar back.
How Do I Move the Taskbar Back to the Bottom?

Many email programs keep asking you for your password even if you've specified it, specified it correctly, and specified that it should be remembered.
They just do a really, really bad job at telling you why they keep asking.
Why Does My Email Program Keep Prompting for My Password?

The Journey to My New Computer: Choices
Requirements, and making decisions of exactly what I should buy. And then, of course, placing the order for my new machine.
Hopefully, seeing the process I use will be helpful when it's time to replace your own computer.
The Journey to My New Computer: Choices

I wrote about SMS two-factor being hackable, and why you should use it anyway.
It's an important enough topic that when I saw another article discussing a potential two-factor exploit — ‘You can't relax': Here's why 2-factor authentication may be hackable — I just have to jump in to reinforce my message.
Use two-factor authentication anyway. I'll explain why it's important, even if two-factor is technically hackable.
Two-factor Might Be Hackable? USE IT ANYWAY!

How can I tell if my computer is being hacked? You can't.
There are some clues to look for, and I'll review a few of those, but ultimately, there's no way for the average computer user to know with any certainty that a hacker is not in the process of weaseling in or that they haven't done so already.
Perhaps now you'll understand why I talk so much about prevention.
And I'll talk about it some more.
How Can I Tell If My Computer Is Being Hacked?

What should you and I do?
The same thing we do every breach, my friend; the same thing we do every breach.
What Should I Do About the Latest Breach?

How Do I Get Rid Of "overseer.exe"?
Overseer.exe is apparently installed sometimes by Avast Free Anti-virus (and possibly other packages). The problem, as I discovered myself, is that uninstalling Avast did not remove overseer.exe.  That takes some extra steps.
How Do I Get Rid Of "overseer.exe"?

Is There a Real Alternative to Windows?
Is there a real, complete and reliable equivalent to Windows? Other than that Apple stuff.
That's a question I received not long ago. Particularly given the publicity around some of the issues with Windows 10 and its updates, I think many frustrated users are wondering if there isn't something else they could or should be using.
The answer is my most common: it depends.
Is There a Real Alternative to Windows?

The Journey to My New Computer: The First Thing I Do My new laptop is here, and I'm ready to start playing with it.
The first thing I'll do probably won't surprise you, but how I do it almost certainly will.
The Journey to My New Computer: The First Thing I Do

How Do I Delete Multiple Emails When I Have a Lot to Delete?
I have over 15,000 emails. How do I delete multiple emails without having to delete them one at a time?
Deleting multiple emails can be easy, or it can be really, really cumbersome.
Two factors determine which it's going to be: your criteria for which emails you want to delete, and the capabilities of your email program.
While I can't show you what works in every email program or interface, I'll review a couple of common techniques that will make this easier. Those techniques are useful for more than just deleting email, and they work in arenas other than email as well.
How Do I Delete Multiple Emails When I Have a Lot to Delete?

The Journey to My New Computer: Success and Failure It's here, I backed up, and I updated, updated, and updated some more. Now what?
Well, now it's time to put my new machine into service. Let's review some of the software I've installed and use every day, as well as what's been working well. There's also one thing that falls into the “not so well” category.
The Journey to My New Computer: Success and Failure

Why Am I Not Getting the Email I Signed Up For?
Email mailing lists and discussion groups are a staple of the internet. From technical issues to social clubs to formal publications distributed by email, the email mailing list is a critical component of how we conduct business, socialize, and interact online.
Unfortunately, it's also the backbone for spam, and therein lies the problem.
Why Am I Not Getting the Email I Signed Up For?

Should I Defrag My External Drive, and If So, How?
Should I defrag my external hard drive? I thought I should as it contains some important documents and my computer backups. As such, I tried to use Defraggler (Piriform Ltd's program) for the purpose. The program has been running on my external hard drive (capacity 2T) for the past 10 hours and it has done only 10% of defrag. The analysis does say that there are 32 fragmented files and 92% fragmentation. Is there anything I am not doing right? How should I defrag this drive, if I should?
While there are alternatives, you're doing it right; Defraggler is a fine program to use.
The more important question is that, even with “92%” fragmentation, should you even be bothering?
Should I Defrag My External Drive, and If So, How?

====== Links from 3-22-2019 email ==========================
List of freeware tools and other releases from The Windows Club This page list down all the Freeware, Tools, eBook, Themes, Screensavers, Wallpaper and other releases from The Windows Club. Maybe you have landed here out of choice, or maybe you clicked on a direct .zip link on another website and ended up here! Scroll down to see what interests you. We are that sure you will find something of value here!<snip> Ultimate Windows Tweaker 4 for Windows 10, apart from offering you the usual tweaks, lets you tweak Privacy settings and more.
Many popular iPhone apps secretly record your screen without asking And there's no way a user would know By Zack Whittaker Many major companies, like Air Canada, Hollister and Expedia, are recording every tap and swipe you make on their iPhone apps. In most cases you won’t even realize it. And they don’t need to ask for permission.
You can assume that most apps are collecting data on you. Some even monetize your data without your knowledge. But TechCrunch has found several popular iPhone apps, from hoteliers, travel sites, airlines, cell phone carriers, banks and financiers, that don’t ask or make it clear — if at all — that they know exactly how you’re using their apps.
Worse, even though these apps are meant to mask certain fields, some inadvertently expose sensitive data.<snip>
What Facebook knows about you   by Ina Fried
On Facebook's map of humanity, the node for "you" often includes vast awareness of your movements online and a surprising amount of info about what you do offline, too. The company has near-total awareness of every move you make on its website or in its apps. Facebook does scan your chat messages, but it isn't exactly reading them — it runs an automated scan for child pornography and other banned content. Facebook sees you less thoroughly outside its own digital turf, but it still sees a lot. This data comes from two places: partner services and third-party information brokers. Facebook has tools that partner websites use to integrate with Facebook, including the inclusion of "Like" and "Share" buttons, as well as a tracking cookie known as Facebook Pixel. Facebook knows your location, even if you haven't directly given it permission to access your phone's GPS, by tracking the IP address of the phones, computers and other devices you use to access its servers.
What Google knows about you   by Ina Fried
For all the many controversies around Facebook's mishandling of personal data, Google actually knows way more about most of us.  It likely knows everything you've ever typed into your browser’s search bar and every YouTube video you’ve ever watched. But that's just the beginning. It may also know where you've been, what you've bought and who you communicate with. A 2018 study by Vanderbilt University's Douglas Schmidt found that Google and Chrome are sending plenty of data to Google even without any user action, including location data (assuming a user hasn't chosen not to share such information). And nearly half the data came from people's interaction with Google's services for advertisers, as opposed to consumers directly choosing to use a Google service. In addition to everything Google collects via its services, Google search aims to be a repository for all the world's information. That means there's a mountain of information accessible on Google because someone , somewhere in the world has put it online.
Change Your Screen to Grayscale to Combat Phone Addiction
By Melissa Kirsch   6/05/17
Most of the time, you check your phone and there’s nothing interesting—no notifications, just the same old apps staring back at you. But sometimes checking your phone is rewarding —you get an amusing text, a flurry of likes, an email containing good news. This hit is satisfactory enough to keep you returning, checking your phone compulsively for another dopamine jolt.
Go Gray
To combat phone addiction, Harris suggests enabling grayscale on your phone. It might not cure your addiction completely, but certainly Instagram and Snapchat are going to be a lot less appealing in black and white than they are in technicolor.
The process for enabling grayscale differs for different models of Android phones, but it’s typically accessed via the “Accessibility” menu. In iOS 10, go to Settings > General > Accessibility >Display Accommodations >Color Filters. Switch Color Filters on and select Grayscale. To easily toggle between color and grayscale, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Accessibility Shortcut > Color Filters. Now, you just press the home button three times to enable grayscale. Triple-click again to go back to color.<snip>
Opinion Facebook
Facebook’s new move isn't about privacy. It’s about domination Siva Vaidhyanathan Mark Zuckerberg announced on Wednesday that Facebook would be ‘pivoting to privacy’. That’s an empty pledge Thu 7 Mar 2019 In April 10, 2018, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before a joint hearing of the Commerce and Judiciary Committees on Capitol Hill in Washington, about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election. Zuckerberg said Facebook will start to emphasize new privacy-shielding messaging services, a shift apparently intended to blunt both criticism of the company’s data handling and potential antitrust action. ‘This recent announcement, with all its unjustified hype about a “pivot” or a “move” serves more of Zuckerberg’s interests’
If you have visited China in recent years you might have discovered how difficult it is to make your way through without WeChat, an all-purpose mobile phone application. People in China use WeChat for everything from sending messages to family to reading news and opinion to ordering food to paying at vending machines to paying for a taxi. WeChat lets you deposit money in your bank, search for a library book, make a medical appointment, conduct business conference calls, and interact with the government. In China, WeChat is the operating system of your life, as it is for almost 1.1 billion people.
For Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, WeChat is both his greatest challenge and the model for the future of his company. Zuckerberg has long wanted Facebook to be the operating system of our lives – at least for those who live outside of China. WeChat is what Facebook has yet to become. WeChat, should it move beyond China and its diaspora, is also the greatest threat to Facebook’s global domination.<snip>
When Not Reading The Fine Print Can Cost Your Soul
March 8, 2019   By MATTHEW S. SCHWARTZ
Most of us ignore the fine print. But one woman who didn't earned herself $10,000. Others have found themselves on the losing end of a contract they didn't bother to read.
Sofie Delauw/Getty Images/Cultura RF
Nobody reads the fine print. But maybe they should.
Georgia high school teacher Donelan Andrews won a $10,000 reward after she closely read the terms and conditions that came with a travel insurance policy she purchased for a trip to England. Squaremouth, a Florida insurance company, had inserted language promising a reward to the first person who emailed the company.
"We understand most customers don't actually read contracts or documentation when buying something, but we know the importance of doing so," the company said. "We created the top-secret Pays to Read campaign in an effort to highlight the importance of reading policy documentation from start to finish."
Not every company is so generous. To demonstrate the importance of reading the fine print, many companies don't give; they take. The mischievous clauses tend to pop up from time to time, usually in cheeky England.
In 2017, 22,000 people who signed up for free public Wi-Fi inadvertently agreed to 1,000 hours of community service — including cleaning toilets and "relieving sewer blockages," the Guardian reported. The company, Manchester-based Purple, said it inserted the clause in its agreement "to illustrate the lack of consumer awareness of what they are signing up to when they access free wifi."

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====== Links from 3-15-2019 email ==========================    

How Do I Decompress All the Files that Windows Compressed for Me?

Out-of-Office Replies are Evil

Crank Your Password Strength Up to 11!

Should I Use Facebook to Log In to Other Sites When Offered?

Chkdsk Cannot Run Because the Volume Is in Use by another Process" -- What Does It Mean and How Do I Fix It?

2018's Most Popular "Ask Leo" Articles

Who Is the Administrator of my Home Network?

What Is Pagefile.sys? Can I Delete It?

Can I Copy Windows 10 System Files to Another Drive?
Googling Strangers: One Professor's Lesson On Privacy In Public Spaces
March 10, 2019   by FRANCESCA PARIS & Scott Simon
Kate Klonick, assistant professor of law at St. John's University, gave her students an optional assignment for spring break: Try to identify a stranger based solely on what they reveal in public.
Charlotte Lehman could hear the man reading his credit card number out loud from across the Starbucks.
He was speaking to a companion, but his voice carried over the music to where Lehman sat. Surrounded by a dozen or so people, the speaker also divulged his phone number a­­nd home address.
After that, all it took for Lehman to identify him was a quick Google search. She was able to find the man's full name, what he does for a living and his professional website. She even heard him sharing a password.
Lehman, a third year law student, wasn't Googling the stranger for fun. She was on a homework assignment from her professor — to "de-anonymize" someone in a public place.<snip>

====== Links from 3-8-2019 email ==========================    

Topic -- weather on line    
Windows 7 computers [3] available for web browsing.   
Please sign in on the buddy sheet when you arrive.

====== Links from 3-1-2019 email ==========================    

How Can an Employer Recover Information I've Erased?

A Drive with All My Data is Showing as Unformatted -- What Do I Do?

How Do I Keep My Kids Safe from Internet Garbage?

====== Links from 2-22-2019 email ==========================
20 great free streaming services for cord cutters
BY JARED NEWMAN   02.11.19  
The best thing about cutting the cable cord is that you get a lot more control over your monthly TV bill. Instead of spending $100 per month or so on a bloated bundle of TV channels, you can throw together a few streaming services like Netflix or Hulu and save a lot of money.
Alternatively, you can take things to the extreme and trim your TV bill to zero dollars per month. These days, there are so many free streaming services that you can watch hours of TV every night and spend nothing.
Whether you’re chasing that mythical $0 TV bill, or just trying to pad out your paid subscriptions with a few more things to watch, here are 20 free streaming TV services you ought to know about.<snip>
15 amazing Google tricks you never knew before now Kim Komando, Special for USA TODAY Jan. 15, 2019  “Google it.” We use this phrase every day. Once upon a time, the word “Google” just indicated a very long number. Today, it’s a verb.
That extends to physical products as well.
But the world's most powerful search engine can do more than find things. Yes, the full G-Suite is a game-changer, and many of us have uploaded our entire digital existence to Drive; but most users don't even realize how much power they have with a simple browser, thanks to Google's many features and tricks.
While you’re at it, find out what Google knows about you through its “takeout” feature. It’s free and tells you what the search giant knows about you. (Hint: If you’ve got multiple Google accounts, you’ll need to sign out and sign in for each.) If you never realized you could run two searches simultaneously or convert your screen to Klingon, read on. Google will grant you access to pretty much all of human knowledge, but even that is only the tip of the iceberg.<snip>
Google isn't the only way to search online. Here are 7 services you should try instead Kim Komando, Special for USA TODAY  Jan. 25, 2019 Google isn’t everything. Yes, it’s the most powerful search engine ever created. Yes, it processes 40,000 searches per second. And yes, Google is the go-to search engine for the majority of us.
Still, Google doesn’t know everything, and there are some resources that are actually better than Google at finding certain information. Some sites index streaming movies, others archive GIFs. Other search engines may not have the omniscience of Google, but they are far more committed to your privacy.
For those special searches, here are seven search sites you can use other than Google. These services cover a range of themes and needs, but you’re almost guaranteed to find one useful – and you might find yourself consulting it over and over. The best part: They’re basically all free.<snip>
How to stop your smartphone from tracking your every move, sharing data and sending ads Kim Komando, Special to USA TODAY Published Feb. 14, 2019 It's not just your smart TV, it's your phone, computer, home appliance with Internet. How to handle it all, on Talking Tech.
Your phone knows where you are standing or sitting at this moment. Most people know that. How else could you use GPS? While location tracking is essential for directions, it also helps big tech sell you things.
“Targeted advertising” is a massive phenomenon. Companies are eager to flood your screen with ads, which are primarily influenced by your day-to-day habits. Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google and many others make money off mobile ads, and they need this information to power their data-mining machines.
Why is your phone allowed to track you and share that data with unknown third parties? In short, you gave it permission. Typical data-sharing policies are buried within pages and pages of privacy policies and terms of agreements.
Companies usually have a reasonable explanation, such as Apple tracking personal calls and emails to prevent fraud, which many consider an invasion of privacy.
No matter what device you use, accessing the internet subjects you to behavioral tracking. If this practice bothers you, all hope is not lost.<snip>

Topic -- android operating system on "remix pc"     
Windows 7 computers [3] available for web browsing.   
Please sign in on the buddy sheet when you arrive.

====== Links from 2-19-2019 email ==========================    

What Security Software Do You Recommend?
Microsoft, We Deserve Better
Updates to Windows seemingly can't be trusted, and yet they're forced on us. Something must change.
In recent weeks, I’ve seen calls from several sources suggesting that Microsoft stop, take a breath, and seriously review their update process.
I agree. This madness must end. Or at least slow down.
Most people should still take updates, backing up first.
Taking updates feels akin to Russian Roulette.
Microsoft can do better, and I offer specific actions they can and should take.
Coping with Windows 10
Do All These Software Updates Take Up More and More Disk Space?
How Do I Figure Out My Windows Edition?

Use BitLocker to Bypass Potential Self-Encrypting Drive Vulnerabilities
Can I Reassign My Drive Letters?
How Do I Fix Jagged Fonts in Windows 10?
How Do I Stop Websites from Pestering Me About Notifications?
Using OneDrive for Nearly Continuous Backup
Back Up Smartphone Photos Using OneDrive
Has a Hacker Really Hacked My Email Account?
====== Links from 2-11-2019 email ==========================    
How Do I Change the Default Mail Program in Windows?
I Have Two Facebook Accounts, How Do I Delete Just One of Them?
Don't Lose Your Phone: Here's What Can Happen (and How to Prepare)
How Can I Use a Password Manager for My Security Questions?
What's the Difference between a Hub, a Switch, and a Router?
Why Can't I Undelete these Files?

====== Links from 2-1-2019 email ==========================
How to protect the photos trapped on your iPhone (and untrap them) You don’t have to leave photos on your phone, where they could be lost. Protect them by saving them to the cloud and printing them.
By Jessica Teich Globe correspondent  January 10, 2019
Quick: If there were a fire in your house and you could save only one material item, what would it be? Did you, like so many others, think of photo albums and home videos? It’s a sensible answer: “Your photos are your life story,” says Mike Hagan, a photographer and the author of “Thousands of Images, Now What?”
Today, we use our phones as cameras and photo albums. What if there was a proverbial fire in your phone, maybe in the form of a drop into a puddle, a bad fall, or a theft? What would happen to those photos and memories? Would you know how to recover them?
“Having offsite photo storage is really essential,” says Chris Sanchez, a professional photographer and founder of Boston Photography Workshops. “You just never know what’s going to happen to your phone or device.”
One way to get internet access for your computer is by using a smartphone as a hotspot. A new company, mintmobile, offers various plans, starting with 3gb/$15/mo. To 12gb/$25/mo.
Of course that's the intro rate...
And their cheapest smart phone is $54
Here's a coverage map:
It's a 4g connection, up to 12mbps.
So, if you're angry at your current provider and are considering changing....
Once you visit their website, it's purely coincidental that their ads appear on other pages...yes?
[John is still using his freedompop hotspot instead of spending more, as above]
Marie Kondo tries to get my digital life in order Thu January 31, 2019 New York (CNN Business) - On a recent Saturday morning, while my wife and infant slept in their peaceful, newly uncluttered rooms, I opened my laptop, clicked "select all," and looked at the frightening total.
I knew it would be bad. I didn't realize "bad" meant there would be 27,897 files on my computer. Almost immediately, my resolve to get my digital life in order weakened. Then I heard Marie Kondo's voice in my head -- or more accurately, in my inbox. "The biggest mistake with digital tidying is focusing too much on what to discard," Kondo wrote me in an e-mail earlier that week, by way of a translator, by way of a publicist, by way of a naive hope that a Netflix star could rescue an overtired new parent from being buried alive in his own digital clutter. The focus, she told me, should be on "what's valuable to you and on what you want to keep in your life. "With that soothing advice in mind, I resumed my digital tidying.<snip>
Home / EDOCS / Commission Documents /
Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel Releases Responses to Her Call for Free Robocall Blocking Tools for Consumers
Bureau(s): Office of Commissioner Rosenworcel Files
Your digital identity has three layers, and you can only protect one of them
By Katarzyna Szymielewicz   January 25, 2019
Co-founder of Panoptykon Foundation
Your online profile is less a reflection of you than a caricature.
Whether you like it or not, commercial and public actors tend to trust the string of 1s and 0s that represent you more than the story you tell them. When filing a credit application at a bank or being recruited for a job, your social network, credit-card history, and postal address can be viewed as immutable facts more credible than your opinion.
But your online profile is not always built on facts. It is shaped by technology companies and advertisers who make key decisions based on their interpretation of seemingly benign data points: what movies you choose to watch, the time of day you tweet, or how long you take to click on a cat video.
Many decisions that affect your life are now dictated by the interpretation of your data profile rather than personal interactions. And it’s not just about advertising banners influencing the brand of the soap you buy—the same mechanics of profiling users and targeting messages apply to political campaigns and visa applications as much as supermarket metrics. When advertising looks like news and news look like entertainment, all types of content are profiled on the basis of your data.
So what story does your data tell about you?<snip>
FaceTime Bug Lets iPhone Users Eavesdrop, in a Stumble for Apple The FaceTime bug could also give a caller access to a live feed of the recipient’s camera.
By Brian X. Chen   Jan. 28, 2019
SAN FRANCISCO — The iPhone as an eavesdropping device? Watch out. It can happen.
On Monday, Twitter and other social networking sites lit up with anxious Apple users after the news site 9to5Mac reported on a strange glitch in the company’s iPhones. The issue: It turns out that an iPhone user can call another iPhone user and listen in on that person’s conversations through the device’s microphone — even if the recipient does not answer the call.
The problem was the result of a bug and involves Apple’s FaceTime app for placing video and audio calls over an internet connection. The bug could also give a caller access to a live feed of the recipient’s camera.
On Monday night, Apple said it had disabled Group FaceTime, the feature that was causing the glitch.
The glitch is embarrassing for Apple, which is set to report disappointing financial earnings on Tuesday. The Silicon Valley company has long positioned itself as a protector of user privacy offering more secure devices than its rivals.<snip>
Home » News & Events » Blogs » Tech@FTC » Time to rethink mandatory password changes Time to rethink mandatory password changes
By: Lorrie Cranor, Chief Technologist | Mar 2, 2016 Data security is a process that evolves over time as new threats emerge and new countermeasures are developed. The FTC’s longstanding advice to companies has been to conduct risk assessments, taking into account factors such as the sensitivity of information they collect and the availability of low-cost measures to mitigate risks. The FTC has also advised companies to keep abreast of security research and advice affecting their sector, as that advice may change. What was reasonable in 2006 may not be reasonable in 2016. This blog post provides a case study of why keeping up with security advice is important. It explores some age-old security advice that research suggests may not be providing as much protection as people previously thought.<snip>
Two-Factor Authentication Might Not Keep You Safe The online security “best practice” is still vulnerable to phishing attacks.
By Josephine Wolff   Jan. 27, 2019
Ms. Wolff is an assistant professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Here’s how two-factor authentication is supposed to work: You log in to your bank account or email inbox, and after correctly entering your password, you are prompted to confirm the login through an app on your cellphone, a one-time code sent to you via text message or email, a physical YubiKey device or even a phone call. That app, text message, email, YubiKey or phone call is your “second factor,” intended to ensure that even if the person trying to log in isn’t really you, he or she still can’t gain access to your accounts without access to your phone or YubiKey.
You might find two-factor authentication mildly irritating, and there’s a chance you might not even notice the extra step in the login process anymore. Regardless, you probably feel a certain comfort in the idea that at least your money or your inbox is well protected. But like so many other commonly accepted best practices in computer security, we actually know very little about how well two-factor authentication works.<snip>
T-Mobile’s new 600MHz hot spot is intended to provide broadband to rural customers By Dami Lee  Jan 25, 2019 Today, T-Mobile announced the launch of the Coolpad Surf, a 600MHz mobile hot spot that’s aiming to bring service to rural areas. It’s the first mobile hot spot to support Band 71, or 600MHz LTE, which T-Mobile recently won the spectrum license for from the Federal Communications Commission Broadcast Incentive auction last April. A number of phones have been released with Band 71 support since then, including the iPhone XS and XR, Samsung Galaxy S9, and the OnePlus 6T. T-Mobile says that Band 71 is designed to provide better coverage for rural customers, which has traditionally been a weak point for the carrier.
The Coolpad Surf (which is a sick name), has a 2,150mAh battery that can last up to 48 hours on standby and gets around five hours of use on one charge. It can be used with up to 15 devices at once. In addition to support for Band 71, it also offers support for 4G LTE Bands 2, 4, 12, and 66, and 3G Bands 1, 2, and 4. The device costs $72, and data plans start at $10 a month for 2GB of data and go up to $85 a month for 22GB of data.
T-Mobile plans to bring the hot spot to its budget brand Metro later this month, only it’ll go by the less cool name of MetroSMART Hotspot, with different pricing and data plans.
The Coolpad Surf is available now on T-Mobile’s website:
Big tech firms still don’t care about your privacy <snip>  Unfortunately, you’re not reading this on Earth 2, and we don’t live in that privacy-sensitive marketplace. So you shouldn’t be surprised if we “celebrate” the faux-liday of Data Privacy Day by learning about yet another data breach.
Maybe it’ll be an epic-scale incident involving hundreds of millions of people, a few million passports included. Perhaps it will be a more mundane breach that exposes only names, email addresses and encrypted passwords that you please please please didn’t use elsewhere. Or it could be a boutique breach that compromises only credit cards that you can easily replace.
The one thing it won’t be is a surprise. Because unlike Data Privacy Day, data breaches happen a lot more than once a year.

====== Links from 1-25-2019 email ==========================    
How Can I Make the Text on My Screen Larger?
By Joseph Cox and Jason Koebler   Jan 23 2019
Data Broker That Sold Phone Locations Used by Bounty Hunters Lobbied FCC to Scrap User Consent Zumigo, which sold the location data of American cell phone users, wanted the FCC to remove requirements around user consent.
Earlier this month Motherboard showed how T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint were selling cell phone users’ location data that ultimately ended up in the hands of bounty hunters and people unauthorized to handle it. That data trickled down from the telecommunications giants through a complex network of middlemen and data brokers. One of those third parties was Zumigo, a company that gets location data access directly from the telcos and then sells it for a profit.<snip>
Study: On Facebook And Twitter Your Privacy Is At Risk—Even If You Don't Have An Account     by JOSHUA E. BROWN   PUBLISHED 01-21-2019
Identity and actions can be predicted from friends—undermining idea of 'individual choice' on social media A new study shows that privacy on social media is like second-hand smoke. It's controlled by the people around you.
Individual choice has long been considered a bedrock principle of online privacy. If you don't want to be on Facebook, you can leave or not sign up in the first place. Then your behavior will be your own private business, right?
The new study presents powerful evidence that the answer to that question is no.
The team of scientists, from the University of Vermont and the University of Adelaide, gathered more than thirty million public posts on Twitter from 13,905 users. With this data, they showed that information within the Twitter messages from 8 or 9 of a person's contacts make it possible to predict that person's later tweets as accurately as if they were looking directly at that person's own Twitter feed.<snip>
Less than a year remains on Windows 7’s free security updates. After January 14, 2020, those who cling to that obsolete operating system will be ever more likely to be hacked or infected with malware. Windows 7 was released in July 2009, and is still in use on 37% of all desktop computers.<snip> [John says your clicking habits are more important than updates]
You can send a SMS to a mobile phone without the need of a third-party service — you can do so directly within your email client by emailing the right carrier. Don’t know what mobile carrier your friend uses?
Find out here: Our system is setup to only allow 1 lookup per day. If you need to do more lookups you can easily purchase more lookup credits.
For quick reference, we’ve put together a list of some of the most common U.S. service providers and their corresponding gateway addresses below. However, keep in mind there are different addresses for regular messages (SMS) and those that include photos and other media (MMS). For more information, check out our full article on how to send a text message via email.
  SMS Gateway  MMS Gateway
Boost Mobile
U.S. Cellular
Virgin Mobile
Note: For T-Mobile, include “1,” which is the U.S. country code, before the phone number.     
The U. S. Postal Service’s heart is in the right place but its head seems to be elsewhere. A free USPS service called “Informed Delivery” intended to cut down on mail fraud has actually been used by ID thieves to run up bogus credit card bills in victims' names. Security researchers say the weak identity verification used by USPS made the scam possible. Here is how the scam works, what you can do to protect yourself, and what USPS should have done in the first place. <snip>

====== Links from 1-18-2019 email ==========================
You Deserve Privacy Online. Here’s How You Could Actually Get It
Tim Cook  Jan. 16, 2019     Cook is CEO of Apple
We all deserve control over our digital lives. That’s why we must rein in the data brokers
In 2019, it’s time to stand up for the right to privacy—yours, mine, all of ours. Consumers shouldn’t have to tolerate another year of companies irresponsibly amassing huge user profiles, data breaches that seem out of control and the vanishing ability to control our own digital lives.
This problem is solvable—it isn’t too big, too challenging or too late. Innovation, breakthrough ideas and great features can go hand in hand with user privacy—and they must. Realizing technology’s potential depends on it.
That’s why I and others are calling on the U.S. Congress to pass comprehensive federal privacy legislation—a landmark package of reforms that protect and empower the consumer. Last year, before a global body of privacy regulators, I laid out four principles that I believe should guide legislation:<snip>
How to stream PC music to another device -- Making the connection between a PC and a Blu-ray player is easier than it sounds.
By Steve Alexander  JANUARY 16, 2019
Q: I’m trying to stream music from my Windows 10 PC to my Samsung Blu-ray player (model BD-J5700) using the Windows “cast to device” feature. When I did this with my previous PC, the music went over my home Wi-Fi network to my Blu-ray player, then played on my TV’s stereo speakers.
But with this PC, the “cast to device” software doesn’t seem to recognize the Blu-ray player, even though both the player and PC are connected to the Wi-Fi network. I’m being told to “follow the directions in the DLNA installation/instruction manual to set up devices and files,” but I don’t know what that means. What should I do?<snip>
Another huge database exposed millions of call logs and SMS text messages
Zack Whittaker  1-15-2019
An unprotected server storing millions of call logs and text messages was left open for months before they were found by a security researcher.
If you thought you’d heard this story before, you’re not wrong. Back in November, another telecoms company, Voxox, exposed a database containing millions of text messages — including password resets and two-factor codes.
This time around, it’s a different company: Voipo, a Lake Forest, Calif. communications provider, exposed tens of gigabytes worth of customer data.
Security researcher Justin Paine found the exposed database last week, and reached out to the company’s chief technology officer. Yet, the database was pulled offline before Paine even told him where to look.<snip>
Digital  Psychology
Why it pays to declutter your digital life
If we feel overwhelmed by ‘stuff’, most of us believe physical clutter is the culprit. But researchers are finding that having too many digital files could be the problem, too.
By Kelly Oakes   7 January 2019
I have a confession: there are 20,577 unread emails in my inbox, 31,803 photos on my phone and 18 browser tabs currently open on my laptop. Digital clutter has invaded my life and I have no idea what to do with it.
With the storage capacity of our devices increasing with every upgrade and cloud storage plans costing peanuts, it might not seem like a problem to hold on to thousands of emails, photos, documents and various other digital belongings.
But emerging research on digital hoarding – a reluctance to get rid of the digital clutter we accumulate through our work and personal lives – suggests that it can make us feel just as stressed and overwhelmed as physical clutter. Not to mention the cybersecurity problems it can cause for individuals and businesses and the way it makes finding that one email you need sometimes seem impossible.<snip>
How to Disable All of Windows 10’s Built-in Advertising
 Chris Hoffman     April 4, 2017
Windows 10 has a lot of built-in advertising. This isn’t just about the free upgrade offer: Even if you purchase a new PC that comes with a Windows 10 license or spend $200 for a copy of Windows 10 Professional, you’ll see ads in your operating system. You can, however, disable a lot of it.<snip>
The Last Windows 7 ISO You’ll Ever Need: How to Slipstream the Convenience Rollup
Chris Hoffman   July 5, 2017
Microsoft has finally released a “Convenience Rollup” for Windows 7 that combines updates from the past few years into one package (like a service pack). Microsoft doesn’t offer ISO images with these updates integrated, but you can create your own in a few simple steps.
That way, whenever you install a fresh copy of Windows 7 in the future, you won’t have to wait for it to download several years worth of updates (and reboot multiple times). It’ll have everything it needs up through May 2016.<snip>
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The Internet makes available more good books, old and new, than one person can read in a lifetime. Here are a few examples of where you can find quality reads free of charge...
There has never been a better, easier, cheaper time to be a bibliophile. If you don’t know that word, that’s OK; this article is for people who like books, too. Here are five sources for free ebooks:<snip>
The State pages listed below have an alphabetical listing of Cities and Towns. Publicly accessible locations like cafes, restaurants, etc. are listed first and Hotels, Inns and other accommodation type listings are at the end of the Free Wi-Fi location listings.
[I could not email them to suggest they list our municipal buildings with free wifi]

====== Links from 1-11-2019 email ==========================
Opinion Exchange
The 'deepfake' threat is coming to a computer screen near you
By Editorial , Washington Post    January 07, 2019 -
A despairing prediction for the digital future came from an unlikely source recently. Speaking of "deepfakes," or media manipulated through artificial intelligence, the actress Scarlett Johansson told the Washington Post that "the internet is a vast wormhole of darkness that eats itself." A stark view, no doubt, but when it comes to deepfakes, it may not be entirely unmerited. The ability to use machine learning to simulate an individual saying or doing almost anything poses personal and political risks that societies around the world are ill-equipped to guard against.
Johansson's comments appeared in a report in the Post about how individuals' faces, and celebrities' faces in particular, are grafted onto pornographic videos and passed around the web -- sometimes to blackmail, sometimes just to humiliate. But deepfakes could also have applications in information warfare. A foreign adversary hoping to influence an election could plant a doctored clip of a politician committing a gaffe. Convincingly edited video could confuse military officers in the field. The ensuing uncertainty could also be exploited to undermine journalistic credibility; tomorrow's deepfake may be today's "fake news."<snip>
Be wary of callers claiming to be from Verizon telling you to reset your phone for 5G coverage
Posted: 09 Dec 2018, by   Alan Friedman
Just because someone claims to be from Verizon when you answer the phone doesn't make it true. And based on this report published today, the call could end up hitting you in the wallet or purse. For example, consider what happened to a Delaware resident who received a call from someone claiming to work for Verizon. Surely not by coincidence, the call was made to a smartphone belonging to a Verizon customer.
The fake Verizon employee told the recipient of the call that Verizon was switching from 4G to 5G and to expect service disruptions over the next few days. He then told the Verizon customer that to keep service going during the switch-over, she would need to reset her password.<snip>
How Facebook made it impossible to delete Facebook We’ve adapted our entire culture around Facebook. That makes “just quitting” easier said than done.
By Aja Romano    Dec 20, 2018
Amid staggering new reports of Facebook both intentionally sharing and unintentionally leaking the private information of its users, questions about how much regulation and oversight Facebook needs are once again surfacing — and many users are feeling the urge to quit the platform altogether.
To say Facebook has had a rough time of it lately would be putting it mildly. Between its inconclusive efforts to tackle Russian bots and other forms of political manipulation, its ongoing “fake news” woes, its controversial politics, its role in facilitating hate speech and exacerbating hate crimes, and its friction with authorities over its many data breaches, the social media giant is caught in a public reckoning that is perhaps long overdue.
But Facebook users, in the middle of what seems to be a moment of broader cultural backlash against social media and technology, are also clearly grappling with the ramifications of their use of the platform.<snip>
How Much of the Internet Is Fake? Turns Out, a Lot of It, Actually.
By Max Read
<snip> How much of the internet is fake? Studies generally suggest that, year after year, less than 60 percent of web traffic is human; some years, according to some researchers, a healthy majority of it is bot. For a period of time in 2013, the Times reported this year, a full half of YouTube traffic was “bots masquerading as people,” a portion so high that employees feared an inflection point after which YouTube’s systems for detecting fraudulent traffic would begin to regard bot traffic as real and human traffic as fake. They called this hypothetical event “the Inversion.” <snip>
INTERNET SECURITY: Everything You Need to Know (80-page ebook)
Send Free Text Messages, With or Without a Phone!
Category: Mobile , Telephony
If your mobile phone carrier charges you to send or receive a text, here's good news. There are several ways to send a free text message, and with some of them you don't even need a mobile phone. If you've ever wanted to send a quick text message and you didn't have a phone handy... or there's no cellular service where you are... or you hate paying international texting rates, read on!
How to Send Text Messages For Free
Text messaging is a wildly popular feature of cell phones, and one of the industry's fattest cash cows. But ironically, the growing popularity of smartphones is threatening the enormously profitable SMS text message, as free text messaging services that use data connections challenge traditional cellular SMS service.
Text messages brought a whopping $20 billion to cell phone companies last year; Verizon alone earned $7 billion in text message revenue. Profit margins are high, too. The cost of delivering a text message is estimated at one-third of a cent. Most wireless operators charge 10 to 20 cents per text message, or a flat monthly rate of around $20 for unlimited text messaging. International text messages can cost even more.<snip>

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Why your internet choices just got narrower  Updated, Mon December 17, 2018
Editor's Note: Mitchell Baker is co-founder and chair of the Mozilla Foundation and the Mozilla Corporation. The views expressed here are the author's.      
(CNN) - Microsoft recently gave up on developing its own browser technology, opting to use Google's instead. News coverage focused on how Microsoft was waving the "white flag" to Google after losing a popularity contest, but some stories also noted how Microsoft's action might lead to a better browsing experience for consumers on Windows.<snip>      
Thanks to Dwight Lindberg for the presentation on installing windows 10 after upgrading the harddrive...AND additional system memory REALLY helps!
Here's related links:

Links from AskLeo:     

It's not a secret that I'm a big fan of cloud storage, and Dropbox in particular. If you have a smartphone and take pictures with it, automated upload is one reason why.
Back Up Smartphone Photos Using Dropbox

Find a file you're itching to delete, but you're just not sure if you should? You'll want to read Is it Safe to Delete This File? to figure out if, and how, you can, safely.
Is it Safe to Delete This File?

I'm seeing more occurrences of external drives that when plugged in make the connection sound but still don't appear in Windows File Explorer.
Why Doesn't My External Drive Appear When Plugged In?

I talk about backing up all the time. I talk about backing up your email frequently as well. If you use webmail you can't rely on the provider's own backups (they're not made for you anyway); you need to back it up yourself.
Back Up Your Email Using Thunderbird

Last week I said that it's no secret that I'm a big fan of cloud storage, and Dropbox in particular. This week I go into detail as to why I'm using it more than ever. Perhaps my thought process will help you decide if, and which, cloud service might work for you.
Five Reasons I Went All-in with Dropbox

Do I Need to Update My BIOS Regularly?

Terms we take for granted, but often misuse? While the difference might seem pedantic, do you know the difference between the web and the internet?
What's the Difference Between the Web and the Internet?

We've all seen it, but just what the heck does it mean? Internal Server Error is usually out of our control, but there are a few things we can try to get past it.
What's an "Internal Server Error" and How Do I Fix It?

Web-based or desktop-based email? It's not quite a religious argument, but there are definitely some pros and cons to each. The difference is worth understanding, particularly when it comes to backing up.
What are the Pros and Cons of Web-based Email Over Desktop Email?

In recent weeks, I've seen calls from several sources suggesting that Microsoft stop, take a breath, and seriously review their update process. I agree. This madness must end. Or at least slow down.
Microsoft, We Deserve Better

While I'm ranting, how about "free speech"? It's not what you think it is, and it doesn't apply in all the places you think it does.
What are the Internet's Rules about Free Speech?

Finally, let me offer up some ideas on where those Facebook friend suggestions come from. As weird as they probably seem, if you look deeper they kinda make sense (even if they are still annoying). I don't know about you, but I feel better.
Where Do Facebook Friend Suggestions Come From?

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Busting Some Facebook Myths

Email Hacked? 7 Things You Need to Do NOW

Can My ISP See I'm Using a VPN?

How Do I Recover My Facebook Password?

Can I Use a Charger that Provides the Same Voltage but a Different Amperage?

How Do I Send an Email that Can't Be Traced Back to Me?

BoxCryptor: Secure Your Data in the Cloud

How Do I Upgrade Windows from 32-bit to 64-bit?

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Can I Convert an External USB Hard Drive into an Internal One?

Why is there so much spam? It's very simple, really. Spam works.

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Do "Fix All Your Windows Problems" Utilities Work?
Are there some programs which really are the cure-alls they claim to be?
To quote the old aphorism: “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

Why Does a Scan of a Simple Text Document Result in Such a Large File?

Your Router's Two IP Addresses
I was completely unaware that your router has two IP addresses.
Indeed it does.
It's an important part of understanding how information travels between your computer and the internet services you use.
It's also important to know when asking questions and interpreting answers.

How Do I Remove My Personal Data from My Computer Running Windows 10?
I'm very tempted to simply say you can't.
It's exceptionally difficult to do. Windows stores so much information in so many nooks and crannies, it's nearly impossible to know what to delete and from where.
Let's look at a couple of approaches.

Where is Windows Defender's Vault?
I don't know where on disk the files are stored. Fortunately, that doesn't matter, since you can use Windows Defender itself to manage the contents of the vault. Even better, you probably don't need to do a thing.

How Can I Send a Document to Someone Securely?
While there are many approaches, there's really only one pragmatic approach.

Backing Up a Machine that Won't Boot
Your most recent work seems to be locked up inside a hard drive you can't access.
There may be a way to back it up before dealing with the crash.

Is it Safe to Share My Internet Connection with My Neighbor?

What's the Difference Between,, and Now

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Blocking email by the “From:” address is seriously overrated; it's effectively useless.
It promises to prevent email from a specific sender from reaching you, but if the sender determined, the block is easily bypassed. And spammers are determined … boy, are they determined! Blocking senders is useless in the war against spam.
I'll explain why, and what I do instead.

What's a Relay Server?
Relaying is a fundamental way that email travels from your outbox to your recipient's inbox.

Should I Turn My Computer Off at Night?
There are two issues at play here: the power used by a computer left running 24 hours a day, and the stress on hardware components being repeatedly turned off and on.

How Do I Get Rid of All this Spam?!?!

Why Does My Network Not Work After Resuming from Standby?

Why Do Windows Updates Mess Up My Computer?

Does Getting Porn Spam Mean You've Been Surfing Porn Sites?

Why I (Still) Don't Like Challenge/Response Spam Blockers

How Do I Uninstall and Reinstall Internet Explorer in Windows 10?

What External Drive Should I Get?

What Can a Website I Visit Tell About Me?

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Be sure to delete browser cookies and clear your browser history on a regular basis. It's easy. In Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Opera, simply press Ctrl+Shift+Del to bring up a dialog that lets you choose which elements of browser data you want to clear.

The Comprehensive Guide to Quitting Google   by Brendan Hesse
Despite all the convenience and quality of Google’s sprawling ecosystem, some users are fed up with the fishy privacy policies the company has recently implemented in Gmail, Chrome, and other services. To its credit, Google has made good changes in response to user feedback, but that doesn’t diminish the company’s looming shadow over the internet at large. If you’re ready to ditch Google, or even just reduce its presence in your digital life, this guide is here to help.
Since Google owns some of the best and most-used apps, websites, and internet services, making a clean break is difficult—but not impossible. We’re going to take a look at how to leave the most popular Google services behind, and how to keep Google from tracking your data. We’ve also spent serious time researching and testing great alternatives to Google’s offerings, so you can leave the Big G without having to buy new devices or swear fealty to another major corporation.
Things get sketchy when the entity overseeing [a tech] ecosystem starts dipping into your data or manipulating your experience.
Our Goal Is Decentralization
Google, Apple, Microsoft, and other similar companies offer “ecosystems”—centralized, cross-platform software and hardware suites where all your devices can connect and sync with the same data and apps.
These ecosystems are extremely convenient, but they can pose security risks. While centralization isn’t the issue, per se, things get sketchy when the entity overseeing that ecosystem starts dipping into your data or manipulating your experience.
That’s why, for the majority of this guide, we’ll be looking at how to decentralize your digital presence with third-party and open-source solutions (though alternatives from Apple, Microsoft, and other companies will be discussed where appropriate, as well as some Google compromises you can make).
For all the benefits of going open-source, there are also tradeoffs: While you’ll be out from under the monolithic shadow of peering tech companies, you’ll also be trading in the full interconnection, synchronization, and data consolidation you get from catch-all ecosystems like Google’s.
However, with a little time and effort, you can MacGyver a decent cross-platform system for yourself. Let’s get started.<snip>

article about Yahoo search, found in firefox.
Why You Should Use Yahoo Search (No, Really)
The fact that you don't use Yahoo for anything else may be its best quality.
By Evan Dashevsky   December 19, 2014
Last month, Firefox announced that it was switching its default search from Google to Yahoo. The news was met with a tidal wave of meh. And that reaction was completely understandable. Many of you reading this have probably all but forgotten about both companies—particularly Yahoo—and mentally relegated them to being a thing that grandparents use to search for MapQuest directions in public libraries.
Until a few months ago, that was basically my opinion of Firefox and Yahoo. However, we here at PCMag recently rekindled our love affair with Firefox, and I'm here to tell you why you should at least consider reevaluating Yahoo.<snip>

How to Set Up and Use Google Docs Offline
You can work on your Google Drive files offline, but only if you take a few steps before you reach an Internet-free zone.
By Jill Duffy   June 22, 2015
I recently started working entirely in the cloud. My work files live in Google Drive, and I use Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides for the majority of my business work.
One problem, which I mentioned when describing my transition to working entirely in the cloud in last week's column, is that working offline is possible but that requires setting it up ahead of time.
Sure, that sounds reasonable. Before you work offline, of course you need to set up a few things in advance! The problem happens when you don't realize you won't have Internet access. You know what they say about assumptions...
Maybe you board an airplane thinking there will be Wi-Fi, and there isn't. Or you arrive at a hotel where you expected Wi-Fi, but the ISP is down. What if a storm knocks out your Internet access at your home? Or maybe you were so excited about a trip to Tahiti that you plum forgot to set up offline access. It happens.
If you don't want this to happen to you, you need to set up Google Drive offline access now. Here's how.<snip>

How tech companies deceive you into giving up your data and privacy
Editor's note: This talk was presented at a TED Salon event given in partnership with Samsung.
Have you ever actually read the terms and conditions for the apps you use? Finn L├╝tzow-Holm Myrstad and his team at the Norwegian Consumer Council have, and it took them nearly a day and a half to read the terms of all the apps on an average phone. In a talk about the alarming ways tech companies deceive their users, Myrstad shares insights about the personal information you've agreed to let companies collect -- and how they use your data at a scale you could never imagine.<snip>

Screen Mirroring and Casting       
Miracast is extremely versatile and offers a host of mirroring capabilities. While it works with Android devices, it is especially useful for mirroring PCs. Like AirPlay, its Achilles’ heel is relying on your device’s internal resources, which ties it up and drains the battery. Still, if Android (and especially PC) mirroring is your game, Miracast-compatible devices may be worth checking into.      
How is Miracast related to Wi-Fi Direct?     
Wi-Fi Direct allows devices to connect directly to each other, without the need for a Wi-Fi access point (AP). It simply requires the push of a button, the entry of a PIN, or tapping two NFC-capable devices together. Wi-Fi Direct allows source and display devices to discover one another and provides the underlying device-to-device connectivity for Miracast. Miracast builds upon Wi-Fi Direct with mechanisms to negotiate video capabilities, setup content protection (if needed), stream content, and maintain the video session. 
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Disappearing disk space is a very common scenario.
Somehow, no matter how much we have, disk space never seems enough.

How Could My Bank Account Have Been Hacked if I Have Good Security?

For those with short attention spans, I'll start with what you need to do differently, beginning yesterday.
In the past, the traditional advice on passwords was:
Eight characters long, minimally
Never use names or words, at least not without mangling them somehow Never use combinations of names or words, at least not without mangling them somehow Use a combination of upper and lowercase letters and digits Use at least one special character — something other than a letter or digit — if the system will let you Those rules are no longer sufficient. Even if you carefully follow them all you're left with a password that remains very susceptible to many types of compromises.<snip>

What is OneDrive?
OneDrive is very similar to other cloud storage services, like DropBox, Google Drive, Box, and others.
At its most basic, it's simply file storage space on Microsoft's servers (aka “in the Cloud”). By storing files there, you can access them anywhere, from almost any device with an internet connection.
You can, of course, access your OneDrive files by visiting Once you log in with your Microsoft account, all the files and folders you've added to OneDrive will be available to you, along with the ability to create more folders and upload more files.<snip>

This New Trick Will Change How You Use Google Docs Forever
By Patrick Lucas Austin   October 26, 2018
Google’s making it easier for everyone — especially power Google Docs users who spend their days in the company’s office software — to quickly start new projects right from the Chrome browser.
In a tweet a Google account, the company announced a new list of shortcuts to create documents, slideshow presentations, spreadsheets, sites, and forms right from your web browser. The best part? It works in any browser, not just Google Chrome.
You can type,, or in your web browser to make a new Google Doc, just like you would type a website address. Use,, or for new Google Sheets. or will open a new Google Form. Make new Slides with,, or,, or are for making new Google Sites.<snip>
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10 Best Android Browsers To Enhance Your Web Browsing In 2018
December 25, 2017
Web Browsers are one of the most significant pieces of software on your device that serves as a window to access the World Wide Web. Mostly, a browser app is always pre-installed on every Android device. However, not all the browsers can provide you with a smooth and reliable browsing experience.
There are a lot of third-party web browsers available in the Play Store which can give a fast browsing experience and will consume as little data as possible. We have hand-picked ten best Android browsers which come with all the necessary features and top-notch performance.
Note: The list of browsers is just a compilation and not in order of preference. You’re advised to choose one that suits your needs.<snip>
8 Best Android File Manager And File Explorer Apps Of 2018
Best file manager apps for Android
January 23, 2018
Android’s file manager app is a vital piece of software on the device. The user-visible file system allows you to browse files, downloads, manage storage space, move things around and lot more. Although some manufacturers pre-install an Android file manager app on their devices, they are not robust and lack many features compared to other third-party file managers. Here, we provide a list of 8 best file managers which are rich in features and also free to download.
Note: This list isn’t in order of preference; it’s a compilation of the best file explorers. You’re advised to choose one as per your need.<snip>
8 Best Android Office Apps To Boost Your Productivity In 2018
March 2, 2018
Office application is an essential suite that allows you to create powerful spreadsheets, documents, presentations, etc., on a smartphone. Moreover, Android office apps come with cloud integration so that you can directly access the reports from the cloud, edit them, or save them online.
To meet the productivity need of Android users, the Play Store offers an extensive collection of Android office apps. But, we have saved you the hassle of going through each one of them and provide you a list of the best office apps for Android. The apps that we have picked are all free, although some do have Pro version or extra features available for in-app purchases. You can also refer to this list if you’re looking for Microsoft Office alternatives for your PC.
Note: This list isn’t in an order of preference; it’s a compilation of the best Android Office apps. You’re advised to choose one as per your need.<snip>
How to Clear Your Search History Off of Google's Servers With the Company's Latest Update
By Mike Epstein   10-24-2018
Google, one of the biggest stashers of our personal data, just updated Google Search—Aka Google-dot-com—to make it easier for you to review and edit what search data the company stores. The Google Search page now features a link below the search bar that will take you directly to a new data privacy hub that lets you scroll through and delete parts of whole swaths of your search history. It also gives you easy access to “Google-wide” controls, such as tracking activity on Google’s sites and ad personalization.<snip>

Upcoming at MicroCenter:
3710 Highway 100 South, St. Louis Park, MN 55416
Registration is required for workshops since space is limited;
Sign-up sheets are available only in-store at Tech Support or the Customer Service area.
Smartphones & Tablets Saturday, Oct. 27 and Sunday, Oct. 28  2:00 p.m.
Device functions, Product features, Display, battery life, Data storage and transfer, OS and applications, Carrier specific, unlocked, service features .
Form factor and accessories Build Your Own Saturday, Nov. 3 and Sunday, Nov. 4
2:00 p.m. Choosing components by specification Minimizing Electro-Static Discharge (ESD) Installing CPU and memory, Installing motherboard in case, Power connections and issues with ACPI, Installing video cards, hard disks, optical drives, System testing throughout build process
Upcoming Clinics
Saturday, 11/10 and Sunday, 11/11 » 2:00 p.m. - Back up & Restore
Saturday, 11/17 and Sunday, 11/18 » 2:00 p.m. - Windows 10 Basics
Saturday, 11/24 and Sunday, 11/25 » 2:00 p.m. - Thanksgiving. No Clinics.
Saturday, 12/1 and Sunday, 12/2 » 2:00 p.m. - No clinics until after the holidays.

Windows includes a feature in Windows 8 and 10, a “Metered Connection” option you can set for specific WiFi networks. To use this in Win 10, open the Settings app, select Network & Internet, choose Wi-Fi, choose “Manage known networks,” pick your phone’s hotspot, select Properties and enable “Set as metered connection.”
For windows 8.1:
Turn Android into free WiFi Hotspot (no root)
FoxFi is now part of PdaNet+, a top Android software downloaded by millions! PdaNet+ will provide you with multiple connection options - USB, WiFi and Bluetooth.
FoxFi enables WiFi Hotspot on your Android phone - no tether plan or rooting required! You can connect your tablets, computers or game console with WPA2 security. FoxFi usage is covered under your phone's existing data plan. Check to see if WiFi mode is supported on your phone model.
If WiFi mode is not supported on your phone model, please use USB mode or Bluetooth mode in PdaNet+ instead. It supports all phones.
PdaNet+ is one of the top Android applications of all time. PdaNet+ shares the Internet access of your Android phone with your computer or tablet. PdaNet+ works on all Android phones without rooting. It also does not require a tether plan, that will save you $20/month from most carriers.
PdaNet+ supports connection using WiFi, USB Tether or Bluetooth DUN. There is no speed limit in PdaNet+.
PdaNet+ for Android
Note: Free edition will interrupt your usage and requires you to turn back on.
Change the User Agent string on your web browser so that when you browse the internet using it, it just looks like it's the Android browser using the data connection.
How it's done (for Firefox):
Go into mozilla's address bar, type in "about:config", create a new string and name it "general.usreagent.override". Paste the info below as the value (only when tethering):
general.useragent.override;Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 2.2.1; en-us; ADR6400L Build/FRG83D) AppleWebKit/533.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Verzion/4.0 Mobile Safari/533.1
**Note- if you don't change it back to what it was before every time you're done tethering, some content on websites won't show up because the website thinks you're on a mobile device. Hulu, for example, won't load anything since it says your mobile device isn't supported (which really means the user agent string is doing its job).
OR, just dedicate a browser for that use and keep the User Agent settings for that purpose.
Why does my computer not detect my phone?
These are common things to check (please check in the order listed):
Ensure that "USB debugging" is enabled on your phone.
Enable "USB debugging" manually as follows:
From your phone's home screen, press the Menu key.
Choose Settings.
Choose Applications.
Choose Development.
Enable USB debugging.
Users of Android 4.0+ Ice Cream Sandwich should enable USB debugging as follows:
From your phone's home screen, press the Menu key.
Choose Settings.
Choose Developer options.
Enable USB debugging.
Check your phone's USB connection type. Most phones will require that Android's USB connection type be set to a "Charge only" mode. A handful (mostly some Motorola devices) require that the type be set to USB storage mode.
Connect your phone to your computer and make sure that "USB debugging" is enabled as described in the previous point.
Pull down the notification pane by swiping from top to bottom on your phone's screen.
Tap on the notification item called USB connection type.
Finally, experiment with the type. Most phones will require a "Charge only" mode. A few will require that a USB storage mode be activated instead, so try toggling until you see what is right for your phone.

Windows XP (possibly Vista/7) users. It might be necessary to kickstart Windows into seeing your device when it is connected. To do this:
First, enable USB debugging on your phone:
From your phone's home screen, press the Menu key.
Choose Settings > Applications > Development.
Turn on USB debugging.
Plug your phone into your computer.
Go to the Windows Device Manager by clicking on the Windows Start button. Choose Run (Search on Vista/7), and type in devmgmt.msc.
You should see a list of devices connected to your computer.
If Windows has drivers for your phone, the phone will be listed near the top as an "Android" or "ADB" device. You can stop if this applies to you, as Windows has installed the proper drivers for your phone.
If Windows is missing drivers for your phone, the phone will be listed under "Other devices". If this applies to you, please continue.
Right-click on the "Other device" that corresponds to your phone.
Choose "Update Driver..."
You should see a Windows Hardware Update Wizard appear. Let Windows search for and install drivers/software automatically, but decline any options about connecting online to Windows Update.
Windows should then take a few seconds to install the driver.
On Windows XP, this Hardware Update Wizard process may repeat automatically a few times, so repeat as necessary, waiting about 30-60 seconds for everything to settle down.
After doing this, Windows should identify your device as some sort of "Android" or "ADB" device near the top of the Device Manager list. Klink should now see your device.
If your phone is still not detected, it might help to power down and restart the device, especially if it was working previously. Unfortunately, some phones have buggy USB implementations and others overheat when used for too long, so be mindful of this possibility. (For example, you might want to keep the phone cool to see if that improves stability.)

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Thanks to Dwight Lindberg for showing the buddies his use of  "Artist's Eye Free", an app which he got from Google Play for his android smart phone.
We viewed a short video demo, found here:
Artist's Eye drawing aid app for Android: Dwight also found an app for his sister's iPhone which is similar:
And, searching for Lucida on google play, there are several similar apps:
All of these allow you to trace/copy a picture on your smart phone to a drawing pad/surface.
My Good Life: How I fell for a scam
By KATY READ , STAR TRIBUNE   October 17, 2018
I got taken by what has since become one of the most ridiculously notorious scams out there: the fictional “Windows Repair Department.” Googling “windows repair scam” produces 12 million results. According to my rigorous scientific research (i.e., casual conversations and Facebook comments), almost everybody has gotten a call from them.<snip>

How to Tell if Your Email, Computer, or Facebook Has Been Hacked

Every once in a while, things become corrupted on your hard disk in such a way that Windows 7 is unable to boot. From the MBR (Master Boot Record) to other information critical at boot time, if it's not there, you can't boot.
Fortunately, Windows includes diagnostic and repair tools on your Windows setup disc.
Fixing Windows 7 Boot Problems

Why Does My Microsoft Word Document Display Differently on Different Computers?

How Could My Bank Account Have Been Hacked if I Have Good Security?

What's the Difference Between a Router, a Wireless Router, and a Wireless Access Point?

How Do I Choose a Good Password?

Why Did Deleting a Desktop Icon Delete the Program?

I've looked at your answers for problems that seem like they relate to mine, but everything seems to be “check this” or “it might be that”. Why can't you just give me the specific steps I need to solve my problem? Why can't I get a straight answer?

That's why I wrote an article on the topic: What Information Should I Provide When Asking for Help?

Your fan is a definite possibility, but first we should talk about … dust bunnies.
Continue Reading: My Computer Has Started to Shut Down Randomly. Could it Be the Fan?

Recovery partitions not having a drive letter is actually a good thing.
How Do I View the Contents of My Hidden D: Drive?

I Think I've Been "Phished", What Should I Do?

How Do I Gain Access to My Deceased Relative's Computer?

Will a Hacked Website Leak My Email Address?

Is it Safe to Just Turn Off an External USB Drive Without "Safely Removing" First?

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John recommends the MUTE TAB extension for both Firefox and opera browsers. When you select it, it  prevents you from hearing the undesired audio from "auto-play" videos on a web page. Just be sure to un-mute when you want to hear a Youtube video or something else.

Senior Computer Buddy Robert Stryk passed along this tip:
Mozilla has some views about what can be done to protect privacy They’ve put together a list of 13  privacy extensions, all made to help give you more control of your personal information.
Security experts say Chrome 69’s ‘forced login’ feature violates user privacy A new feature in the latest version of Google  Chrome that logs users into the browser when they sign in to a Google site has come under fire.
Until recently, it was the user’s choice to log-in to the browser. Now, any time that you sign in to a Google site in Chrome 69 — like Google Search, Gmail or YouTube — Chrome will also log you in, too.
But the change has left users unclear why the “feature” was pushed on them in the first place. Many security folks have already panned the move as unwanted behavior, arguing it violates their privacy. Some users had good reasons not to want to be logged into Chrome, but now Chrome seems to takes that decision away from the user.<snip>
Up for Grabs: Taking Charge of Your Digital Identity AARP National Survey of Internet Users Age 18+ by Karla Pak, Doug Shadel, Alicia Williams, AARP Research, August 2018 | Comments: 0 Americans aren’t valuing their own digital identity Americans spend an increasing amount of online time shopping, managing their money and engaging in social media. Yet many are not always careful to protect their digital identity from being compromised, a new AARP survey finds.
To maximize safety online, security experts suggest people use unique passwords for their accounts, freeze their credit—not just when suspicious activity surfaces—and set up online access to their bank and credit card accounts to monitor them. AARP’s national survey of about 2,000 adults, however, finds that most are not taking these steps, leaving themselves vulnerable to fraud.
In the survey, AARP quizzed adults by asking eight questions intended to gauge how savvy they were about managing their digital identity. Nearly three-quarters (73%) failed the quiz, answering half or fewer of the questions correctly. (Take the quiz to test your online security smarts.) <snip>

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Chromebooks versus Windows laptops: Which should you buy?
In the fight between a Google Chrome OS-powered Chromebook and a Microsoft Windows PC, it boils down to cost versus convenience.
By Mark Hachman    Senior Editor, PCWorld    Aug 27, 2018
Table of Contents
•What’s the difference between a Chromebook and a PC?
•Is a Chromebook or laptop better for office work?
•Which is better for web browsing, a Chromebook or Windows PC?
•Can a Chromebook play games as well as a Windows PC?
•Which offers more apps, Chromebooks or Windows PCs?
•What’s it like using a Chromebook versus a Windows PC?
•Which is more secure, a Chromebook or a Windows PC?
•Which Chromebook or laptop should I buy?
•Which is better, a Chromebook or laptop?
Should I buy a Chromebook or a Windows laptop? Whether you’re seeking out the best computer for your child or just weighing which inexpensive computer is right for your home, considering a Chrome OS-powered Chromebook as a PC alternative is a smart choice—and we can help you choose the right one.
Who should buy a Windows PC?
A notebook PC powered by Microsoft Windows offers several advantages: Windows offers the most flexibility to run just about any app, as well as the choice of any browser you choose. You can tweak and configure your PC as you choose.
Windows laptops for the budget buyer
That convenience demands more computing horsepower, and often a higher price compared to most Chromebooks. Prices can soar into the thousands of dollars, and if you need a powerful PC for gaming or video editing, Chromebooks really don’t offer that much competition. But you’ll find some great deals among our more affordably priced, top Windows picks.
Who should buy a Chromebook?
A Chromebook powered by Google’s Chrome OS is a simpler, more optimized affair, a locked-down PC that’s little more than the Chrome browser—but it can be hundreds of dollars cheaper than a comparable Windows PC, too. Updates occur behind the scenes, so you can just open the lid and go. Google handles all the security, too. The Internet offers much of what you’ll need, whether it be working within web apps or Chrome plugins. But it’s the workarounds and little inconveniences that you may find annoying in the end.
If you’d like, read on to dive deeper into the differences between the two, as well as some recommendations on what to buy. Just be aware that the conversation will center around inexpensive machines that can accomplish basic tasks. Chromebooks can’t hold a candle to $2,000 gaming PCs, though some cloud gaming services might allow them to eventually.<snip>
Home/ Productivity Software  Updated
The best free Microsoft Office alternatives Battle of the free office suites.
By Michael Ansaldo
Freelance contributor, PCWorld    Oct 2, 2017
Microsoft Office is the king of office productivity suites, but it doesn’t inspire warm, fuzzy feelings in all users. Parsing the ever-expanding list of features—many of which you’ll never use—can feel like stepping into a cockpit without a pilot’s license. The ribbon interface, introduced a decade ago, has many fans, but others pine for the static menus of the early aughts. And then there’s Office’s hefty price tag.
Fortunately, alternatives abound, ranging from web apps to freemium and open source desktop installations, many of which are compatible with Microsoft Office docs. We compared six of the most popular free office suites to see how well they replicate the most commonly used features of Microsoft Office.<snip>

====== Links from 9-7-2018 email ==========================
Open Glossary of Edge Computing
Towards a Common Lexicon
The Open Glossary of Edge Computing seeks to provide a concise collection of terms related to the field of edge computing. The purpose of the glossary is to improve communication and accelerate innovation through a shared vocabulary, offering a vendor-neutral platform with which to discuss compelling solutions offered by edge computing and the next generation Internet.
The Open Glossary is now an official project under the stewardship of The Linux Foundation, which is helping to implement a community-driven process to develop and improve upon this shared lexicon, The official version of the Open Glossary is available via this GitHub repository. Proposed edits, clarifications and suggestions are made by filing GitHub issues or creating “pull requests.” Each issue, addition or suggested change will be evaluated by the community for inclusion. To contribute to the glossary, refer to our Contributing Guide.
The Open Glossary is presented under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license (CC-BY-SA-4.0) in order to encourage use and adoption. Code contributions to the project are licensed under the Apache License, version 2.0 (Apache-2.0).
Open Glossary of Edge Computing [v0.9.0-Beta]
•Version: v0.9.0-beta
•Date: June 12, 2018 1:28 PM Pacific Time
•License: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC-BY-SA-4.0) Overview The Open Glossary of Edge Computing is a freely-licensed, open source lexicon of terms related to edge computing. It has been built using a collaborative process and is designed for easy adoption by the entire edge computing ecosystem, including by open source projects, vendors, standards groups, analysts, journalists, and practitioners.<snip>

====== Links from 8-31-2018 email ==========================
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Live in an area where Comcast Internet service is available but have not subscribed to it within the last 90 days.
First Things First
New to the internet? This is a great place to start. Here, you'll find an overview on how to connect to and navigate the internet—including tips on using search engines, social media platforms, and email.
[Provided by Comcast...some good info here.]
6 common habits that put you at risk for identity theft Data breaches and hacks are often unavoidable, but security experts say there are some everyday habits that put consumers even more at risk.
by Emily Long   Aug.20.2018
Before providing your credit card information or social security number over the phone, make sure that it’s absolutely necessary.
According to a report by Javelin Strategies, U.S. residents lost $16.8 billion to fraudsters in 2017, and the number of victims increased 8 percent over the previous year.
U.S. residents lost $16.8 billion to fraudsters in 2017.
Unfortunately, identity thieves are getting smarter, which means that consumers have to be even more vigilant when it comes to protecting their personal information and their financial well-being. Thieves are launching more complex schemes, but consumers also don’t think twice about many common practices that put their data — and their money — at risk.
Google's Android P launches with a new name – it's Pie – and focuses on screen-time addiction Edward C. Baig, USA TODAY Published  Aug. 6, 2018 That’s the yummy new moniker for the latest version of Android that Google finally revealed on Monday, the same day that Android 9 Pie comes out of its beta test phase and starts showing up via an over-the-air update on all of the company’s Pixel smartphones.
Google, of course, has been naming versions of Android after appetizing treats for years – thus, Pie follows, among others, Oreo, Nougat, Marshmallow, and Lollipop.
As in the past –alas – if you’re one of the many people who own a branded Android handset that’s not from Google, you’ll have to wait as long as until the end of the year (and possibly beyond) before P is made available on your device.<snip>
The Digital Literacy Library is part of Facebook’s Safety Center as well as a larger effort to provide digital literacy skills to nonprofits, small businesses, and community colleges. Though it feels like a step in the right direction, curiously missing from the lesson plans are any mentions of “fake news.” Facebook has worked on a news literacy campaign with the aim of reducing the spread of false news before. But given the company’s recent announcements admitting to the discovery of “inauthentic” social media campaigns ahead of the midterm elections, it’s strange that the literacy library doesn’t call attention to spotting potential problems on its own platform. [Good general info for senior computer buddies, too. See below]

Facebook's Digital Literacy Library
Find lesson plans designed by experts to help young people develop skills needed to navigate the digital world, critically consume information and responsibly produce and share content. Designed to be interactive and engaging, these lessons involve group discussions, activities, quizzes, and games that have been built in consultation with teens. Use them either collectively or individually in the classroom, as part of after-school programs, or even at home.
Participants will learn about public Wi-Fi networks and their benefits and risks. More specifically, they will learn to recognize unsecured Wi-Fi when it is available to them, understand the tradeoffs inherent in using unsecured Wi-Fi, and make informed decisions about when to connect to and use unsecured Wi-Fi.
Participants will learn how to keep their online information more secure by using and maintaining strong passwords. Participants will learn about the principles of strong password design, the potential problems of password sharing. They will also learn how to keep their passwords safe, and how to take steps to prevent unauthorized access to their accounts.
Participants will learn about malicious online users who might attempt to use security weaknesses to gather information about them. Participants will be able to describe the risks of being online, develop strategies to engage in safer behaviors, identify spam messages, and explain who should ask for their password.

How to I stop my homepage from changing? – If your home page keeps changing after you have set it, I start to suspect malware. Time for a thorough malware scan and cleaning.

Let’s Retire the Phrase ‘Privacy Policy’
People assume it means their information will be kept private. Nothing could be further from the truth.
By Joseph Turow   Mr. Turow is a professor of communication.   Aug. 20, 2018
True or false:
“When a website has a privacy policy, it means the site will not share my information with other websites or companies without my permission.”
According to my research — a nationally representative phone survey conducted in January and February — a majority of Americans think this is true.
It isn’t. Not even close. <snip>

====== Links from 8-24-2018 email ==========================    

How Do I Delete My Facebook Account?

This Is Why I Back Up

How Do Chrome and Chrome Relate?

What's the Difference Between Hibernate and Sleep?

Facebook Hacked? What You Need to Do NOW

Will a Scheduled Backup Wake My Machine Up If It's Sleeping?

====== Links from 8-9-2018 email ==========================    

Should I Cover Up My Webcam When I'm Not Using It?

Can My ISP See What I'm Doing If I Use a Virtual Machine (VM)?

How Do I Create a Bootable USB Thumb Drive from an ISO?

Why Do Things Disappear from the Clipboard When I Close a Program?

The First Eight Things to Do with Your New Computer

Is it Safe to Install a Higher Wattage Power Supply in My Computer?

Why Does My IP Address Have a Bad Reputation? And What Do I Do?

How Do I Fix a Cyclic Redundancy Check Error When I Try to Copy a File?

Where's the Recycle Bin on My USB Drive?

How Do I Clean Up After Windows Update?

How Can I Automatically Reply to Spammers To Tell Them to Stop?

How Do I Print Pictures from Websites So They Look Good?

====== Links from 8-3-2018 email ==========================
Your cell phone number is more important and less secure than your Twitter password Nick Selby, Opinion contributor Published July 27, 2018 It's shockingly easy for hackers to hijack your digital life using phone numbers. The public should press Congress and carriers to improve security.
On July Fourth, hackers accessed computers at the social media aggregator Timehop. They stole 21 million user records. Timehop executives quickly realized that the most sensitive compromised records weren’t email addresses, names or even dates of birth. Their top concern was the 4.9 million stolen customer phone numbers.
The mobile phone number has become society’s primary authentication token. If you forget the password to your bank account, you recover it by entering the digits texted to your phone number. That’s how the bank “knows” you’re you.
Compared with email and online banking, there’s almost no security to protect a phone number from being stolen. Using information and tools available easily and cheaply online, “SIM swapping” attacks can be mounted against any phone number.
Once the bad guys have hijacked your phone number, they can reset your email password and lock you out while they systematically take over your online banking, retirement accounts, photos ... every aspect of your digital life. Regaining control can take days — and you might never get back easily transferred assets, like cryptocurrency.<snip>
Some Amazon reviews are too good to be believed. They're paid for
Business  Ryan Kailath    · NPR ·  Jul 30, 2018 
In shadow marketplaces, positive reviews for Amazon products are bought and sold. The company says it's cracking down and that it estimates that less than 1 percent of reviews are fake.
Travis is a teenager living in a small town in the Northeast. He enjoys hunting and shooting, and keeps a rifle at home. But with several younger siblings around the house, he wanted to make sure his gun was safe. So he ordered a trigger lock on Amazon, to prevent the gun from firing.
"The reviews were great, five-star reviews," says Travis, who asked that NPR use only his first name to avoid scrutiny and possible legal attention. "[They] said it worked great, locked perfectly, the combination system worked great."
It didn't.
"The combination doesn't even matter; the lock just opens," Travis says. "It's cheap plastic, it will pull apart as soon as you give it any force."
Thankfully, he realized this immediately, went to a store, and purchased a proper trigger lock for his gun. Everyone at home is fine.
Travis rues the experience, and the stellar reviews that led him to purchase the faulty lock in the first place. He didn't realize it at the time, he says, but he's now certain that those glowing reviews were paid for. And that many of the people who gave the trigger lock excellent reviews may never have opened the package in the first place.

How Should I Back Up My Computer Before an Operating System Upgrade or Reinstall?

Does Bounced Email Mean All the Recipients Didn't Get My Message?

Why Does My Email Sometimes Show Up with Funny Characters Like "=0D" In It?

What's the Difference Between Windows 10 Home vs Pro Editions?

My Mouse and Keyboard Stopped Working, but Work Elsewhere. How Do I Fix Them?

I Deleted a File by Mistake, Can I Get It Back?

Do I Need All These Partitions?

How Do I Find Out What Program Is Using All My CPU?

Is Online Document Conversion Safe?