Welcome to the 487th issue of the PC Improvement News. PCIN consists mainly
of news highlights 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!
We've had some crazy weather lately. It'll snow, then rain, then freeze, then
snow. It's been pretty cold the last couple of days, and most sidewalks and
driveways are pretty slippery. On Monday my Dad slipped and hit his head and
has a slight concussion. Be careful out there...
My sons are obsessed with Disney's Meet
the Robinsons movie.
One son pretends that he is an inventor, and they both pretend that the "bowler
hat guy" is after them (if you've seen the movie, you'll know what I
mean). It's quite funny!
Technology that doctors expect will help detect precancerous cells faster
and less painfully also could someday take cameras to parts of the body where
no camera has gone before.
Cameras the size of pills could "put eyes on tools" for laparoscopic
surgery, snake inside a bile duct or fallopian tube, or weave their way deeper
inside a person's lungs than any non-surgical device has been able to go.
Unlike a standard endoscope, which is almost a centimeter wide and can only
be inserted into the esophagus after a patient is sedated, a new device invented
at the University of Washington consists of seven fiber optic cables encased
in a capsule about the size of a typical pain killer.
When Sebastien Boucher stopped at the U.S.-Canadian border, agents who inspected
his laptop said they found files containing child pornography.
But when they tried to examine the images after his arrest, authorities were
stymied by a password-protected encryption program.
Now Boucher is caught in a cyber-age quandary: The government wants him to
give up the password, but doing so could violate his Fifth Amendment right
against self-incrimination by revealing the contents of the files.
Experts say the case could have broad computer privacy implications for people
who cross borders with computers, PDAs and other devices that are subject
The digital divide between rich and poor countries is narrowing as mobile
phones and Internet use become more available, but the developing world still
lags far behind, a United Nations report said on Wednesday.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said mobile
phone subscribers have almost tripled in developing countries over the last
five years, and now make up some 58 per cent of mobile subscribers worldwide.
" In Africa, where the increase in terms of the number of mobile phone subscribers
and penetration has been greatest, this technology can improve the economic life
of the population as a whole," it said.
Ever wonder what that cop is doing in his cruiser that's parked behind
your car with lights flashing -- while your heart is pounding and you're
searching for your license and registration?
Most likely, he's researching you on his laptop, and finding a surprisingly
large amount of information.
According to Lt. Paul Shastany of the Framingham, Mass., Police Department
(FPD), laptops in the unit's 24 patrol cars are the most important recent
technology innovation that aids police work.
We've all had it happen to us before-some automated process hangs midway
through its operation and a file gets stuck with a writelock, causing another
operation to fail because it can't copy, move, write to, or delete the
file. And sometimes you just don't know who was the culprit maintaining
the file lock, but you know which file was locked. So what to do?
There are many ways to deal with this, but one tool that provides a quick-and-easy
Windows® Explorer-integrated solution to file-locking issues is the
free Unlocker tool, written by Cedrick Collomb. Thanks to its integration
with Windows Explorer, you can find the offender by simply right-clicking
on the locked file (or even a set of files) and then selecting Unlocker
from the context menu. Then, if a lock is discovered, you can choose from
a number of options, such as killing the offending process, unlocking the
file (closing the handle), deleting the file, moving the file, or renaming
the file. You can also copy the locked file in its current state to another
There are all sorts of resources on the Internet to help you determine what
program should open a particular file. Usually you do a search for the file
extension, and you'll find something telling you the program that made it
or will open it. For instance, you can search for DOC and you find out that
Microsoft Word is the most likely program that created and will open this
file. If you search for AVI, you'll find out it is a movie file, and there
are dozens, if not hundreds, of programs that will play this file type.
I was recently informed about File-Extensions.org which
is a site that tries to make this easier for you:
File-Extensions.org is a large list of the computer file extensions with
detailed explanation of each file extension and the way it is used today.
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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