October 15th, 2012 by ElizaP
That’s the question that a new Firefox and Chrome add-on is attempting
to answer. The add-on, called Privacyfix takes stock of how you spent your time
with internet service providers Atlanta on Google over a month’s time, stretches that average usage over one year, and then comes up with an estimate for the amount of value per search.
For Facebook, the add-on offers users a number of alerts and warnings about the things they should be doing with their accounts, such as altering their privacy settings and deleting Facebook apps you no longer use. This appears to be a valuable app for Facebook users, who are applying the add-on’s suggested privacy measures. The add-on also shows users how far Facebook and Google track them across the internet.
October 12th, 2012 by ElizaP
If you think that your mobile phone network or Internet Service Providers Seattle has increased its data charges, you’re probably right. According to some experts, there is a shortage in the amount of data that’s available to all mobile users. Therefore, when a user goes over their allotted usage, their mobile network imposes additional charges.
But there’s a problem; despite the shortage of data, otherwise known as a ‘capacity crunch’, new devices are being released on a regular basis which encourage more data consumption. With more data consumption comes reduced network eliability, leaving overage charges as the only solution.
But consumers can avoid these charges by doing a few simple things. Redirecting
data usage from the mobile phone to the home computer can be one way to keep
costs down. Making use of data compression apps can significantly reduce data
size. And taking a look at which apps may be passively using data, and then
disabling them can also save on overage charges.
May 25th, 2012 by ElizaP
CNET has just learned that the FBI has formed a new surveillance unit which will be responsible for the invention of technology that makes it easier for law enforcement to listen in on internet communications. Based in Quantico, Virginia, the Domestic Communications Assistance Center has a mandate which includes everything from the building of custom wiretap hardware to the decoding of conversations which occur over Skype. And it appears that transparency is not high on the list of the new DCAC, which refused to reveal who was running it and has remained quite secretive about its creation. It was only though the piecing together of information found in government documents, along with interviews that the creation of this new unit was discovered. The lack of transparency has not gone unnoticed by organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who says that there is no reason for the FBI to be so secretive about the inner workings of the program.
May 24th, 2012 by ElizaP
A Blackberry can be a great tool to use for business.But the last thing you need are annoying notifications that someone has commented on your status update, requested you to become their friend or tagged you in a photo. There’s an easy way to turn off your Facebook notifications when you’re at work so that you can have an uninterrupted day.
You can take a few minutes to scroll through your list of notifications if you have time, which will remove them from your Blackberry’s home screen. To do this, simply click the Facebook icon, navigate to the notifications, press the Menu key, and then choose Delete. Once you’ve clicked Yes to confirm deletion, all of your notifications should be gone.
Another method is to click the Facebook application. Once Facebook has loaded, click the Menu key, navigate to Options, and then scroll down, making sure that everything has been unchecked. Then, log into Facebook your PC, and find and select your Close Friends group. Then, turn notifications off in the top right corner.
A third method is to simply log off from Facebook while you’re using your Blackberry for work.
May 22nd, 2012 by ElizaP
Quebec has been the scene of several protests over the last few months, aimed at stopping a proposed increase in tuition fees of 82% over seven years by the Quebec government. The protests have included violence and clashes with police, and this past weekend saw over 350 arrests and numerous injuries. As a result, Quebec government passed an emergency law on Friday which would make spontaneous protests illegal. In response to the introduction of this legislation, named Bill 78, the hacktivist collective Anonymous took action on and have claimed responsibility for the taking down of government websites. Affected sites included the National Assembly of Quebec and the Quebec Liberal Party web site. The group confirmed it was responsible for the attacks when it tweeted over the weekend that it had taken action in protest of bill 78.
May 18th, 2012 by ElizaP
Virtually everyone knows about Google Earth, and its amazing views of just about every location around the world. If armchair travel is one of your hobbies, then you shouldn’t be doing it without this beautiful and interesting addition.
Owned by Google, Panoramio is an online photography community. It already exists as a layer on Google Earth and Google Maps, but has to be turned on in order to see the photos contributed. This resource adds another facet of discovery to the armchair traveler, who can view photos taken by residents or tourists, which gives a new perspective on places to see. This new perspective can also reveal lesser-known destinations that can be added to the itinerary of a trip.
A Google ID is all it takes to begin using Panoramio. Once signed in, you can enter a location if you know the name of the place you want to explore. Or, you can simply view the map of the world, and click on a random location. Either way, you will be able to view photos of places only, and not personal photos like you might find elsewhere. Users can zoom in nearly to street level to see photos, and clicking on a photo will reveal its location or building name.
May 17th, 2012 by ElizaP
CFO of Verizon Communications Fran Shammo revealed yesterday that Verizon Wireless would begin its plans to eliminate the unlimited data plans for those customers who still have it. The company allowed existing subscribers having unlimited plans to continue to do so even after their contracts expired or they upgraded to 4G. Subscribers who still have unlimited service will continue to have it, but for a limited time. A Verizon spokeswoman said that there is a lack of details about how the migration to the new tiered plans work, and that this lack of detail could cause customers to try and lock in their current unlimited plans at the same time as they upgrade their phone. Once a subscriber upgrades their phone to a 4G-enabled version, there will be no unlimited data offering. Customers who were new to the Verizon service saw the $30 per month unlimited plan dropped in July of last year.
May 15th, 2012 by ElizaP
Tumblr is a great and easy to use tool, but is missing some features that would make using it much easier. Luckily, there are browser add-ons and other goodies which add that functionality and solve just about every issue you may be having.
Extra Browser Features
While there are a few single add-ons you can use for Tumblr, there is one that offers a host of them in one download. Called Missing E, it makes creating new posts easy, allows you to track your followers and unfollowers, and includes a bookmarking function.
The Tumblr dashboard will give you a good overview of the posts of people you follow as well as your own posts and replies. But to get a better look at your own activity and that of your posts, the Tumblelog is your best best. You can get there by looking at the top of your Dashboard and clicking your blog name.
Keeping Long Posts Long
Tumblr will often truncate the original text of long posts, forcing users to click the heading-turned-link in order to read the rest of the post. Unfortunately, this may reduce the number of people who actually read the post. But you can keep your posts at their original length by switching the mode. Do this by looking to the “Reblog Text Post”, and clicking the “As” button beside it. Choose “As Text” to keep your post long.
May 11th, 2012 by ElizaP
An interesting email may be sent your way if you purchased an iPod between the fall of 2006 and the spring of 2009. The message already received by many stated that they’ve been enlisted in a class-action lawsuit against Apple. The original filing of the lawsuit occurred by one customer in January of 2005. The details of the suit involved Apple’s unfair blocking of competing music services in the form of a firmware update after the Harmony DRM service was launched. This act by Apple is said to have violated both federal and state laws, as the iPods were prevented from playing songs unless they were purchased via iTunes. As well, the firmware updates resulted in higher iPod prices. The lawsuit in question was an antitrust suit which has obviously gained much more attention, so much more that it now has its own web site that offers visitors complete details of the case.
May 10th, 2012 by ElizaP
There are many packages offered by cell phone carriers nowadays that offer unlimited texting. But what if you forget your phone and need to get in touch with someone on your list? Or what if you don’t own a cell phone but want to be able to get in touch with friends or family without sending an email?
Texting Via Email
If you know the carrier of the recipient, you can send them a text message via email. To find the email-to-SMS gateway for their carrier, simply visit the site of that carrier. The address could look something like email@example.com. Once you have the address, simply open your email program, type your message and hit send.
Texting Via IM Programs
Programs like Yahoo Messenger and AIM will allow you to send a message to a cell phone. If you’re using AIM, you simply add +1 to the recipient’s phone number in their name box. For Yahoo Messenger, type in the number at the top of the chat window and hit enter.
Free Online Texting Services
There are web sites which anyone can visit to send a text message for free. Some examples are freetxt.ca, txt2day.com and ForeverSMS. A quick search will display several results for free texting sites. But be aware that some sites only work within a specific region.
May 8th, 2012 by ElizaP
Google members can now broadcast their ‘hangouts’ live to the company’s online community. Called Hangouts On Air, the concept was initially released in 2001 for select members online. The feature allows several people to take part in a video roundtable chat, and broadcast that chat to the world. The feature has resulted in some incredibly interesting roundtable discussions by participants including Desmond Tutu, President Obama and musician Will.iam. But the feature isn’t only being used to discuss world events; Hangouts On Air has also been used for all manner of lessons, including language and music, support groups and to allow those who are bedridden to engage with people and stay abreast of current events. Google members can either keep their Hangouts private and by invitation-only, or choose to broadcast their discussions to a worldwide audience.
May 4th, 2012 by ElizaP
While you may use your technology to relax and unwind after a busy day, it could be negatively affecting your well-being. Following a few simple tips will keep both you and your technology running at optimum levels.
Do you spend a lot of time in front of your computer or with your device? If you’ve noticed soreness in your back or neck, your sitting position may not be supporting proper posture. To fix this, you can ask your office’s HR department about what options are available. If you’re using your computer at home, you may wish to consider the purchase of an ergonomic knee chair, which promotes proper sitting posture. As well, elevating your computer monitor so that the bottom of the screen lines up with the middle of your eyes will also help to keep your neck in the right position.
Beware Of Tech Critters
Nope, it’s not malware that we’re talking about; it’s the germs and bacteria that lurk on your keyboards, mice and smart phones. Did you know that a home computer keyboard can hold up to sixty times more germs than a public toilet seat? Now that you know, clean and disinfect your devices and peripherals on a daily or weekly basis.
May 3rd, 2012 by ElizaP
BlackBerry World 2012 in Orlando, Florida ends today, but not without a huge presentation from Research In Motion. Yesterday, the company announced and revealed their first smartphone running on their future operating system – BlackBerry 10. BB10 was demonstrated at the BlackBerry World conference, where spectators quickly realized the new smartphone’s resemblance to the PlayBook. While the form of the device used in the presentation may not be the one to appear in stores, developers will receive the device and use it for testing their BB10 apps. An interesting feature of the new phone, scheduled for release near the end of this year, is a camera app which begins capturing images and still frames as soon as it’s loaded so that the owner can rewind through the captured frames. The phone also features a touch keyboard that includes auto-correct with a twist.
May 1st, 2012 by ElizaP
The iPhone makes it incredibly easy to do a lot of things. Unfortunately, that includes accidentally deleting your emails, which only takes one wayward tap of the archive or delete button. But the good news is that your deleted iPhone messages aren’t gone forever.
Check Your Settings
Your email accounts can be set up on your iPhone to either delete or archive your messages. When you delete them, your messages end up in the Trash folder, and choosing to archive them will send them to the All Mail folder.
Go Through The Trash
Finding the trash folder on your iPhone is as easy as tapping the mailboxes button in the upper left corner when in your Inbox. Once back at the main mail app screen, simply look below the Accounts header for your account, tap it, and then tap the Trash folder. Once you’ve located the message you want to retrieve, simply tap the folder icon at the bottom of the screen, and then tap once more to move it where you want it.
Finding a message that was archived in error involves the same steps, except for the fact that you will have to go to the All Mail folder on your iPhone instead of the Trash folder.
April 24th, 2012 by ElizaP
Windows Division president Steven Sinofsky announced today that the Windows 8 Release preview will be available in the first week of June. The announcement was made at a Windows 8 developer event in Japan, and confirms rumors of the June release date. The company chose not to release a beta or release candidate of software in development this time around. Surprisingly, there are a few tutorials available online already for those who wish to get a handle on some of the operating system’s new features, which include a Start screen and a charms bar, which is where functions like settings, share and devices are located. Those using a touch screen system to use the new OS need only swipe to the right to reveal the charms, swipe from top or bottom to reach the application bar, or swipe left to move between tasks.
April 20th, 2012 by ElizaP
So you’ve been surfing YouTube, and stumbled on some music that you’ve never heard before, but really like. And maybe you want to tell some friends about your new musical discovery, or put the music on your .mp3 player. But how do you get and convert the audio into something you can work with?
Video2mp3 is a free way that you can convert videos to audio. Simply copy the YouTube link of the video you want, visit the Video2mp3 site, and paste in the address. Once the conversion process is complete, you can download your .mp3 form the site. Videos from other sites like MySpace and Dailymotion can also be converted with this free online resource.
Convert With Software
Freecorder is a great no-cost way to record any audio that you find online including at YouTube. Installing the toolbar only takes seconds, and can be used to save online video as well. Ensure the toolbar is open on your computer, and then visit the URL where the video or audio you want is located. Play the video, and then hit the record button. When you are finished recording, the .mp3 will be stored on your computer, usually in the C:/Users/Documents folder.
April 19th, 2012 by ElizaP
Yesterday marked the end of an era as Tumblr announced that it would be allowing paid ads as of May 2nd. The news came from Tumblr CEO and founder David Kamp at the Ad Age’s Digital Conference in New York. The news came as a surprise to many, as Kamp stated as recently as April 12th that allowing advertising on its site was a last resort. Earlier opinions on the allowance of advertising on the site were more adamant, communicating that the company was opposed to advertising to the point of nausea. Advertising space will be offered on Tumblr Radar, which receives over 100 million daily impressions and highlights the top posts across the site. Kamp surprised conference attendees, as he spoke for only seven minutes of his allotted 30, citing growth numbers and his appreciation of the advertising community before breaking the news, posting his email address on the screens and then exiting the building with no questions allowed.
April 17th, 2012 by ElizaP
Have you looked at your computer’s desktop lately? It can sometimes be like your dining room table; a clutter attractor that can end up piled with mail, car keys and anything else you may not be able to find a place for at the time.
What makes a messy desktop even more frustrating is that the icons sometimes re-arrange themselves, which can make hunting for your files resemble a scene from an Indiana Jones movie. But you can tame the beast that is your desktop using a few simple tips.
Get On The Grid
Auto-arranging your desktop icons will align them to an invisible grid, which means they will always arrange themselves neatly on your desktop. But beware; deleting anything on your desktop will move your items to the next spot on the grid, which may still make some things difficult to locate.
Ask The Wizard
If you feel you need the help of a professional organizer to clean up your desktop, consulting the Desktop Cleanup Wizard may offer you a solution. But this will only work if you are running Windows XP. However, you can click in any empty area of your desktop and choose “Personalize” in Windows 7 to see the options for making your desktop a little prettier.
April 12th, 2012 by ElizaP
The seemingly impossible infection of thousands of Mac computers by Flashback malware, first reported a couple of weeks ago, appears to have been reigned in significantly, according to Symantec. The up to 600,000 computers reported to be infected last week are now down to 270,000, with the most reduction in infection occurring in the last 24 hours. Discovered in 2011, Flashback was able to enter thousands of Mac computers under the guise of an Adobe Flash Player installer. Once installed, the malware set about finding and retrieving usernames and passwords. Apple issued a patch for the three versions of OSX the malware affected, the word about which could have been quickly spread over the last few days, resulting in the significant reduction of infections in a short time. Another security software company, Intego, reported last week that all servers involved in providing Flashback malware appeared to be offline, although the command and control servers are still active, leaving still-infected Macs vulnerable.
April 10th, 2012 by ElizaP
Although most of today’s laptops include Bluetooth technology, you may still be working on a laptop that does not. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy this technology on your older device. Configuring your laptop to accept Bluetooth connections is possible when you purchase and install an affordable Bluetooth adapter and have a Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone.
Connection and Testing
Simply plug the Bluetooth adapter into your laptop via its USB port. Your adapter may have a light that will come on to confirm that it’s been connected, and your laptop will let you know that it has found a new device. If your laptop does not locate any drivers in its folders, it will request that you insert the installer CD. You can also locate the drivers online.
Testing the new connection can be done by grabbing your mobile phone and enabling its Bluetooth connection. You can then try and send files between the two devices. However, it’s important to ensure that both are located in the same room to eliminate disruptions by barriers like walls that can cause a Bluetooth connection to drop unexpectedly.
Syncing Other Devices
The best way to ensure a safe Bluetooth connection is to create a pass code. This can be done by clicking on Start, Control Panel, Network and Internet, and then clicking Add, which will reveal a list of the Bluetooth-enabled devices near your laptop. Choose your mobile phone from the list, and then provide a pass code.
April 5th, 2012 by ElizaP
Several Chinese government websites were in the laborious process of being restored today following attacks by Anonymous. The hacker collective has claimed responsibility for the attacks, stating dislike of Chinese internet restrictions as a motive. Web sites targeted in the attack include government bureaus. The group posted a list of its site attacks over the last several days on a Twitter account that it created in March. The collective left a message on one of the sites it hacked, stating that the Chinese government isn’t infallible, and threatening the fall of the regime when the country’s public revolts in response to the restrictions. As well, the message instructed visitors about how to get around the restrictions. The Chinese government currently restricts any access to social media sites like Twitter, and engages in the blocking of politically-sensitive material.
April 3rd, 2012 by ElizaP
There’s little more frustrating than a computer that is no longer as fast as it was. Drumming your fingers and waiting for programs and web pages to load can lead to precious time lost and a lot of stress. Thankfully, there are a few ways to speed up your computer’s performance.
Overclock Your CPU
‘Overclocking’ simply means to boost your computer’s speed beyond the settings determined by the manufacturer. But this can sometimes have the opposite effect, so a good idea may be to try it on an unused computer before you attempt it on your main machine. Be prepared to spend some time with this, as the best way to overclock a CPU properly is to do so in increments, and then observe the computer’s operation for any indicators that it can’t handle the additional speed, such as crashing or programs behaving erratically.
Get A RAM Upgrade
Upgrading your computer’s RAM memory is probably the cheapest and least time-consuming way to enjoy more speed. For less than $50, you can install the RAM yourself, which most of the time only involves removing your CPU cover and plugging it in. Of course, you want to ensure that the type of RAM you buy is compatible with your computer. You can do this by checking your computer manual if you have one, or visiting one of many online forums and posting your question for others to answer.
March 29th, 2012 by ElizaP
It was announced today that Yahoo will be installing ‘do not track‘ options in all of its global sites in time for this summer. This is much earlier than Google, who said it would be offering a do not track option in its Chrome browser by the end of this year. The technology is currently available in three browsers – Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari – and has been available for a long while. But this newest move by Yahoo to install the technology across its network will add another layer of security for surfers who don’t want their activities tracked. However, the technology isn’t currently supported by all sites, simply because they haven’t been tweaked to allow cooperation with it. Yahoo’s backing of the installation does give it more clout, though, and it is hoped that more sites will implement the technology as time goes on.
March 27th, 2012 by ElizaP
If you’ve noticed a slowdown in your computer’s performance lately, one suspect could be the amount of usage or load there is on your computer’s CPU, or central processing unit. This part of your computer is what’s responsible for making the data calculations that allow your computer to run at optimal performance. But if your CPU is bogged down by extra memory, overheating, slow performance and even a computer crash could result.
Minimize Computer Program Use
One of the most common culprits of high CPU usage is too many programs operating at the same time. But you can decrease the amount of load on your CPU by simply only keeping programs open that you need when you are using your computer, or closing them immediately after you’re finished with them. Having two or three programs open at a time can greatly decrease the load on your CPU.
Third-party processes are those programs which run at startup, and/or in the background when you are using your computer. And most of them aren’t critical to normal computer use, so they can be closed. You can do this in Windows Vista by visiting the Control Panel, and then choosing “Performance Information and Tools”. This area will advise you about how to turn off those third-party processes in a safe manner.
March 22nd, 2012 by ElizaP
Today marks the release of a new stock exchange game, twiDAQ, which allows Twitter users to trade fantasy shares in TV shows, companies, celebrities and other commodities in exchange for rewards. Currently in the alpha testing stage, twiDAQ currently has over 2,000 users, but it’s the request for new twiDAQ accounts daily which has the developers impressed; the latest statistics are that over 800 people are requesting to join the game daily. The game not only helps consumers learn about how the stock market works, but also benefits businesses by allowing them to link to their loyalty programs where they can generate interest in their own Twitter pages by rewarding top investors in the game with freebies or loyalty points. twiDAQ uses real-time data, which allows for both current sentiment and forecasting about companies’ success to be immediately seen.
March 20th, 2012 by ElizaP
You may use your computer to do any number of things on any given day. And none of what you do is illegal. Or is it? Even now as you surf the internet, your computer could be a part of a network of other computers just like yours, and be being used to take web sites down, spam email addresses or even distribute illegal materials.
If your computer becomes hijacked by hackers and becomes part of such a network, called a botnet, police could link illegal activities to your computer which could cause you to be the one who ends up having to pay, even though you did nothing wrong.
How To Identify If Your Machine Is Part Of A Botnet
The easiest way to tell if your computer has been hijacked is to monitor your computer’s performance. If you find performance is slow when you try and access online resources which offer ways to protect yourself, such as antivirus or antimalware programs, that is a reliable clue that all is not as secure as you thought.
How To Remove Your Computer From The Botnet
Unfortunately, the most effective way to extricate your machine from a hacker network is to wipe it completely, or format it. To do this, you will need to ensure that all of your important files, images, programs and other items have been backed up so that they can be restored when the wipe is complete.
March 15th, 2012 by ElizaP
iPad users who love Opera will now be able to access a number of performances whenever they please. The New York Metropolitan Opera announced yesterday that it will launch a new iPad app which provides 44 of its performances from its Live in HD series, and a total of 250 performances at launch. iPad users will have unlimited streaming access to the performances, but will also be able to access other broadcasts. Those who wish to stream performances to their computers can access that feature with a $14.99 per month subscription fee. The Met hopes to reach fans both old and new with the app, and promises video and audio of very high quality. Along with streaming video of such performances as Don Giovanni and Anna Bolena, fans will also be able to access Facebook and Twitter from the app.