Welcome to the 321st issue of the PC Improvement News. PCIN consists mainly
of news and tips. There is something for everyone, and if this is your first
issue, I'm sure there will be something for you. If you give me two or three
issues, I know that you will come back for more!
I keep saying this every week, but we think that our provider has solved the
problem of the newsletter not making it out to everyone. It would reach the
first 200 people on the subscriber list, but then there was a setting that
had been changed that was stopping the rest. This has been adjusted, so we're
keeping our fingers crossed that this goes out right the first time! Assuming
this works, next week we'll highlight some of the things that we've included
in previous newsletters in case you missed them.
Lastly, we're please to announce the grand opening of the PCIN Updates blog.
Chris and I will be posting news, tips, and other links each day as we find
them. We'll also post changes to the PCIN.net site there as well. The blog
is currently run by Blogger (which
may change as the blog grows) and we've enabled comments. By all means comment
on the news stories, tips, etc and let us know what you think. We'll also add
posts about our subscribers. For instance, Alex Walcer was on the radio in
Toronto with his brother-in-law, so we posted about our (Almost)
Famous PCIN Subscriber. You can check out the blog online at http://pcin.net/update/ and
subscribe to the feed using any of the Syndication links on that page.
Net File-Sharing Doesn't Hurt Most Artists - Survey
"Most musicians and artists say the Internet has helped them make
more money from their work despite online file-trading services that allow
users to copy songs and other material for free, according to a study released
"The global spyware plague has reached epidemic proportions, with the
cost to global PC users set to rocket by 2,400 per cent over the next four
According to newly published research from IDC, the need to identify and
eradicate these parasitic programs will drive anti-spyware software revenues
from $12m in 2003 to $305m in 2008.
The analyst firm reported that spyware infects millions of computers with
the purpose of stealing personal information, enabling identity theft, tracking
online activity, and selling information back to anyone willing to pay."
Surfing the Web has never been more risky. Simply connecting to the Internet
- and doing nothing else - exposes your PC to non-stop, automated break-in
attempts by intruders looking to take control of your machine surreptitiously.
"At the Exploratorium, the hands-on science museum here, there is an
exhibit called 'Energy From Death' that staff members refer to as 'the rotting
carcass.' In a small terrarium hundreds of dermestid beetles eat the flesh
and bones of a dead baby mouse over several days.
Next to the live beetles is a touch screen showing a video of the entire
process, recorded with a different mouse carcass. A button can be used to
speed it up, slow it down or pause it.
Visitors who stop to view the exhibit are as entranced by the video as they
are by the live necrophagous frenzy. Families gather around the screen to
start the video, then stop it. Often they go back and forth between the live
exhibit and the video, trying to stop the recording at the same stage as
the deconstruction of the carcass in the case.
'People love it,' said Adrian Van Allen, a multimedia exhibit specialist
at the museum.
Interactive exhibits have been a mainstay in museums for more than three
decades, seen as a way of improving learning by increasing visitor involvement.
And at many museums over the years, interactive exhibits have employed computers."
"Definitions of raw and compressed pixel formats used in Windows video programming."
If you've ever downloaded a video, you probably come across ones that you
cannot play because your system needs a decoder. Windows Media Player will
play AVIs, MPGs, and many other standard formats, but not every one. Check
out the above site for a huge listing of codecs, with lots of links to the
company that owns the codec, and links to other info.
Freeware Music Player/Converter
dbpowerAMP is a collection of software that lets you play and/or convert
music as well as burn CDs. The music player and the music converter are 100%
free. The CD burning software is fully functional for 30 days. Check it out
And speaking of Codecs (the item above), dbpowerAMP also has codecs available
We thought we'd mentioned this site before, but can't find any reference
to it. They have fun games, funny jokes, video clips, etc with most of them
being clean (of course I haven't seen them all). Chris pointed out a new
game they have called Squares. It's a very simple concept, but very addicting.
You can view the main eBaum's World site at http://www.ebaumsworld.com/ and
the Squares game at http://www.ebaumsworld.com/squares.html
PCIN is brought to you by Graham Wing. The opinions expressed are those of
the Editor, Graham Wing and the Assistant Editor, Chris Empey. Graham Wing
and Chris Empey accept no responsibility for the results obtained from trying
the tips in this newsletter.
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