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May  '14

Opinions, suggestions, recommendations or ideas found on our site are applied at your own risk.  More

If you think writing in the proper tense is difficult now, just wait until time travel was possible.  Al Lowe

In this newsletter

With the lack of time and subjects, it's been a while since our last newsletter.

Google Easter Eggs

A fun way to kill (lots of) time.  If you don't see something occurring, look to the right of the page.


What security?

Starting off with this article/video clip because it's simply unbelievable - but true.  A five-year-old child broke through Microsoft's X-Box security...


Another confirmation that we are way ahead of ourselves with technology

This little bug has apparently been around for years but only recently disclosed to the public.  It resides on servers and in some hardware such as Cisco and other routers.*

Heartbleed monitors traffic for things like usernames, passwords, credit card and other information then captures and passes that data along to someone, somewhere.  Here is a very long (but partial) list of sites apparently infected or at least vulnerable. 

But what can you do?  Short off staying of the Internet altogether, there's not a lot other than changing your passwords and monitoring your accounts for unusual activity.

* The list of Cisco routers infected does not appear to include routers used by individuals or small business, but that's of little consequence since the traffic you generate may pass through one somewhere along the way.

If you land on a site that wants you to download, open or run something, just say no (Cancel that is)...


Windows XP - Now what?

You have probably heard by now that Microsoft has dropped support for Windows XP but what does that really mean?

Depending on how the computer is used, maybe not much.  Windows XP will continue to operate as normal however, if exploits or bugs are found, they will not be repaired.  Microsoft effectively dropped support a long time ago when they excluded XP from any Internet Browser updates such as IE 9 and later.

We do not recommend upgrading XP to Windows 7 or 8.  Instead put that $200 upgrade amount toward a new computer!

If however you must keep XP because of proprietary software or other reasons, take it off the Internet.

XP Antivirus

Microsoft Essentials antivirus is now obsolete as well.  So if you have that installed, you will want uninstall Essentials then install another antivirus application.  If you are looking for a free antivirus, be careful when searching.  Searching for "free" often results in more bad sites than good ones.

The seems to be the better solution but maybe not the ideal.  Instead consider a paid version of Norton Trend Micro or McAfee. 

Note: If doing a free antivirus, do a custom install and opt-out of any junkware that is likely included...

Windows 8.1 (3.6Gb)

Windows 8 is very Internet intensive, almost mandating the computer is connected to the Internet. 

When booting a Windows 8 machine there are two start up/log on options:

  1. Log on to the computer AND an email account at the same time.
    • This forces you to enter your email password just to start the computer.
  2. Log on to a "local account" where the computer does not immediately connect (email).
    • This is the more traditional method and you can start the computer without a password if desired. 
      You then simply check your email whenever you want to.

The Windows 8.1 update attempts to force you into a Microsoft email service by trickery in our opinion.  Even if you originally set up Windows 8 as a local account, on first boot after installing the 8.1 update, you are asked to setup certain things including your MSN email account. 

Here's how you continue with a local account:

Windows 8.1's update

Available April 14th (Estimated 800+ Mb), fixes a whole host of issues (see this article if interested) but a few of the more interesting fixes/changes include:

And about that email account:

Windows 8 (still) does not support (the very popular) POP email accounts such as Lakedale, Windstream and other domains, but there's an easy fix.  Download Microsoft's Windows Live mail from here.

Compressing (Zipping)

As you should know by now, email boxes have size limitations.  Typically an email box nearing 10 Megabytes will become "full" and anything after that will be rejected by the recipient's mail server.  If you send ten - 1 Megabyte emails, it's likely not all will get delivered, at least until the recipient empties their mailbox. 

Compressing or Zipping multiple or large files may be the answer.  Multiple or large files that total this magical limit may be compressed down to a more acceptable size. 

No third-party software needed

Windows 7 and up have a built-in compression utility, so it is not really necessary to download/install an application like WinZip, 7-Zip, etc. 

If you want to use the Microsoft compress utility, simply select the file(s) of interest, right click the group > Send To > Compressed

If you want to uncompress a file, right click > Extract All

You can also right click, drag and drop on a folder to uncompress to that specific folder...

Some files like JPG images are already compressed, so if you're trying to send a bunch of photos, don't bother compressing those...

See this Microsoft article for more information...

Unwanted service

If you have recently cleaned up from junkware or a virus, be sure to also check Windows Services and Scheduled Tasks for pieces that did not uninstall!

Ah, the good ol' days...

The first computer virus was reportedly developed in 1970, so we're pretty sure this was clean and safe computer...


So what will happen as the government continues to spend money it does do not have?  Anyone's guess but this is very disturbing...

China stepped up its purchases of U.S. government debt late last year, increasing its holdings of Treasury's to an all-time record of $1.317 trillion in November, government data released this week revealed.  The article.


Americans will pay over $1.75 trillion each year to comply with federal regulations, according to estimates from the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy. 

Power struggle - EPA out of control...

Wyoming welder faces $75,000 a day in EPA fines for building pond on his property.  The article.

King Obama

"With or without Congress..."

So with a king in place, here comes more oppression...

The FCC says it wants to examine “the process by which [news] stories are selected,” as well as “perceived station bias” and “perceived responsiveness to underserved populations.”   The article

Want to retire early?  Take a cruise

Most of the passengers are seeking $5,000 in damages a year from Carnival for the rest of their lives, claiming they will need continuous medical monitoring because of what happened aboard ship. They want the money in lump sums based on government tables estimating their life expectancies.  The article.

Did we really need a study for this?  

"Drinking linked to faster mental decline in men"
The article (if you really care)