Welcome to the 415th 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!
My house is filled with craft supplies! For the last several years Lisa has
held a craft show/sales out of our house in the Fall. She makes some beautiful
Christmas decorations (along with some other things) and tries to make some
money to help out with things. The products are great, but it is hard getting
the word out and having people come. Each year is a little better than the
rest, so hopefully this will continue this year.
We've had some gorgeous days recently. The weather has been sunny and not
too cool. The leaves are just barely starting to change colours. Even though
every passing day means we're closer to winter (boooo! hiss!), the next few
weeks should be beautiful!
Martin Fleischmann put his faith in online advertising. He used it to build
his Atlanta company, MostChoice.com, which offers consumers rate quotes and
other information on insurance and mortgages. Last year he paid Yahoo! Inc.
(YHOO )and Google Inc. (GOOG ) a total of $2 million in advertising fees.
The 40-year-old entrepreneur believed the celebrated promise of Internet
marketing: You pay only when prospective customers click on your ads.
Now, Fleischmann's faith has been shaken. Over the past three years, he has
noticed a growing number of puzzling clicks coming from such places as Botswana,
Mongolia, and Syria. This seemed strange, since MostChoice steers customers
to insurance and mortgage brokers only in the U.S. Fleischmann, who has an
economics degree from Yale University and an MBA from Wharton, has used specially
designed software to discover that the MostChoice ads being clicked from
distant shores had appeared not on pages of Google or Yahoo but on curious
Web sites with names like insurance1472.com and insurance060.com. He smelled
a swindle, and he calculates it has cost his business more than $100,000
In the cyber underworld's never-ending quest for weak spots, home computers
are coming under increased attack as businesses tighten their defences, according
to the latest Symantec Internet security threat report.
"What really surprises is the way that attackers are moving," says
Dean Turner, Calgary-based editor of the twice-yearly threat report. "They're
moving in a totally new direction."
In the past, he says, hackers focused mainly on vulnerabilities in computer
networks and their components. But the advent of sophisticated firewalls
and warning systems have made them harder targets.
"They're now starting to target home users quite heavily primarily because
home users are the weakest link in the security chain," says Turner.
Microsoft has confirmed that all versions of Vista will be shipped on a
single DVD, in a feature called Windows Anytime Upgrade.
The idea, said a company representative, is to let customers more easily
and directly upgrade to a higher edition of Windows Vista from within their
current edition. Vista is scheduled to reach consumers in January.
Be Prepared for the Unexpected Photograph - Digital Photography
Tip of the Week
I have been writing these tips for over a year now, and sometime they come
to me very easy, others I have a hard time finding a topic. If there is something
about digital photography you would like to know about, please leave a comment
and I can work at writing on that topic.
This week's tip is something that I have thought about on many occasions,
but haven't written about. Be prepared for the unexpected photograph, that
is, keep your camera with you, and ready. Digital media loaded, batteries loaded
and charged. If you own a digital point
and shoot camera, it is very easy to be ready to shoot. It is a very simple
concept, but if you do not have your camera with you, you cannot take a photograph.
You never know when a photographic opportunity will present itself.
I was out with a friend last night looking for a specific subject to photograph.
We hadn't found it yet and were losing the light, so we settled on shooting
the sunset. The sunset itself was brilliant, but I was still uninspired to
photograph it as the foreground did not add to the photograph (remember, if
an element does not add to the photo, it detracts). The sunset was almost over,
I had packed up and Dave continued to shoot. Almost over. As I stood there
talking to Dave, the last fading orange light just touched the horizon, and
illuminated the water in front of it, the rest of the water was blue with the
reflections off the final bits of dusk. There were slight clouds in the sky
enveloping, but not obscuring the crescent moon, all of which was reflecting
beautifully in the water. There was only about 30 seconds when everything fell
into place for the photo. I had missed my opportunity.
Had I followed my own advice and been prepared with my camera, instead of
having it packed away with my tripod folded up, I would have had a magnificent
shot. Instead, I had nothing. Even though I had my camera with me, I didn't
have it ready to use and missed a great opportunity.
The digital photography tip of the week
is written by the PCIN Assistant Editor, Chris Empey. Chris is a long
time photographer and is currently the President of the Niagara
Falls Camera Club. You can see more of his photography at his Photo
of the Day website.
If you have a tip to send Chris, or a question about digital photography
he can address in the newsletter, send it to email@example.com.
There are lots of tools out there to help you recover files that you've
deleted off of removable media (such as memory cards). Some are free and
some are not. Today I accidentally came across something that may be helpful.
I have a SanDisk card reader connected to my computer. It has 4 different
card slots to read a dozen different card formats. When I first connected
the card reader a year ago, it made all of the card slots a different drive
letter. This was a problem for me, as I connect to many network drives, and
didn't have 4 spare drive letters. So using Disk Manager, I setup each new
slot (or drive) as a folder on my hard drive. This is done by going into
Computer Management and under the Storage section, click on Disk Management.
You see all of your drives that are connected. Right-click on the one you
want to change, and choose Change Drive Letters and Paths. You can then follow
the screens that appear and either setup your drive as a letter or "mount" it
to a folder.
With that background, here's what happened today. I deleted a couple of
files that I wasn't supposed. I immediately pressed Ctrl+Z by habit to try
and undo what I had just done. The files returned. This seemed strange since
when things are deleted off of removable drives, they are gone. I deleted
them again, and sure enough they were in the Recycle Bin. I guess since they
were mounted as a folder on my D: drive, when they were deleted from the
D: drive (or so the system thought), they went to my Recycle Bin. Neat!
RSS feeds (commonly called blog feeds) are a great way to get quick and
current information. However, it normally requires another piece of software
or another web site that you need to visit. SimpleHeadlines is
a service that tries to simplify this, and send you an email with your requested
feeds, and it all looks like a newspaper.
Really Need Your News? Really Busy (or Lazy)?
Hate (or confused by) RSS?
SimplyHeadlines is a once a day email newspaper. You decide exactly what
type of news you care about. You pick:
* Where your headlines come from
* How many there will be
* At what time of day they will arrive
* The order in which they will appear
And for the RSS enlightened, you can add any valid RSS feed to your daily
paper. No software to install - it's basically an email RSS reader.
I haven't tried it (I use an RSS reader/client instead), but it looks interesting
and I thought I'd pass it along. Check
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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