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You know you've had enough coffee when you can
thread a sewing machine... while it's running!
Due to the increased popularity of the scam, this will be our newsletter header for a while: Sorry, but you are simply not important enough to have Microsoft, Adobe, Java or anyone else call you about your computer. If you get a call that your computer is infected, compromised or otherwise needing attention, just hang up the phone! More information here. So with that out of the way...
In this newsletter
- Windows 10
- Email passwords
- Email "pop locking"
- Reminder about Internet junk
- Think you have a clean machine?
- Uninstalling junkware? Read the prompts!
- PDFs not current?
- Quick links
Windows 10 Operating System (OS), due late this summer, is looking a bit retro with the return of a Start menu. It also appears to be friendlier than Windows 8, but as you could probably guess, Windows 10 is more "social" bound and very much tied to the Internet. CNet has a good article on Windows 10 here. ZDNet's article here. And screen shots and other information from Microsoft here.
But when it is finally released to the public, don't be in a hurry to upgrade. As with most OS upgrades, unless you have an exceptional computer, you are better served by getting a few more years out of the current computer (and OS) then replacing it altogether.
But if you're still intent on upgrading, first make sure your computer will run Windows 10. Microsoft has indicated if your computer runs Windows 8.1., it will be Windows 10 ready, but here are the specific requirements. Regardless of your current operating system, you may want to review this information.
You can get a "preview" copy from Microsoft here (2Gb+). But if you want to run this preview copy, be sure it's on a non-essential computer! Better yet a completely separate hard drive.
Locked out of an online email account? It may be very difficult (if not impossible) to get back in, so be sure you have a fairly complex password so someone can't guess or dictionary attack your account. Also be sure to record that password someplace! We suggest saving that information in a password protected document, and print that document on occasion.
If you are locked out, there is likely no support phone you can call, but below are a few links that may help. As is typical of the Internet, if you search for help or support resolving a problem like this, most of the search results will be scam sites or people you do not want to talk to.
- Gmail and/or this article.
- Microsoft: Outlook.com, Live.com, Hotmail.com, etc. and/or this article.
- Yahoo and/or this article.
- If you are using a local client such as Outlook or Windows Live Mail to receive email, you must first change the password online. Changing the password within the client does not change it at the hosting server. Once it is changed online, the client software will recognize your saved password no longer matches the server's and will then pop a window asking for the proper password.
- Complex passwords are not only combinations of upper case, lower case, numbers and symbols but are long. So while &eSpaqe5 is a complex password, Th1s_1s_3v3n_B3tt3r.
- Symantec has a slick little password generator online if you want to see what we are referring to.
- One last suggestion: Have another email account with a different provider, e.g., if you have a Yahoo account, set one up with Gmail as well. Then in the account settings for both, use the other email address as a confirmation contact resource.
If you have multiple devices checking email, you are likely running across account locking since provider servers allow one login at a time. So if you have your computer's email client open and a cell phone checking email, occasionally they will both attempt to get new messages at the same time and only one will succeed, the other will error out. It will eventually succeed after the other device has completed its synchronization.
Phones, look in the settings for email accounts, maybe advanced.
Another option is to set up the account as Imap instead of pop, but see this article.
Reminder about Internet junk
This occurred at a completely legitimate site (right image). Don't click anything, instead bring up the Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Del) and end all iexplore processes. If using Chrome > end those processes, if Firefox > end those processes, etc. See IE Hangs after closing.
- Microsoft's Internet Explorer will launch two processes even though you have only one window or tab open. Then for each window tab you do have open, you will see another process.
- You probably have some sort of junkware if you have closed all IE windows but still see iexplore processes running.
And no one is falling for email scams anymore - RIGHT?
If you receive anything suspicious, move it to your junk folder and inspect it there if you are curious.
Think you have a clean machine?
Don't be too sure! We are very careful what sites we visit and what we do with our computer and still discovered some junk when we ran Adware cleaner found at Bleeping Computer.
But be aware, some of these cleanup tools may not recognize esoteric or old but legitimate applications you have installed. So before allowing them to clean up, scrutinize the items to be deleted.
Uninstalling junkware? Read the prompts!
Here's some real crap. During the uninstallation process, by default this one had the "express" option checked and the list of things that would be installed could not be seen. Only by clicking the "custom" option would you see the pending installations (as shown).
This uninstaller does warn you that by using the "express" option, you are accepting the installation of even more junkware. So always look at the options and prompts carefully...
But even after unchecking all the extras and continuing, it then brought up a bunch of other installers. Again, read! These have a somewhat hard-to-see "skip" button you need to click instead of the "next" button...
If you are opening PDF files (or other pages/documents) and find they are not the most current, it could be the fault of Internet Explorer's cache. Make sure you always have the most current page:
- Open the Internet Options from the gear icon on the far right (or Tools menu > Internet Options if you have the menu turned on).
- In the options page, click the Settings button then change the option to update - every time I visit the webpage...
Lenovo (and other computers) Superfish removal information here. Also look in Programs and Features for VisualDiscovery and if found, uninstall it. If you do find VisualDiscovery, you will want to follow the above link information to clear bad certificates as well. Finally, as mentioned above, run the Adware cleaner found at Bleeping Computer.
Differences between online backup and online storage. The article.
Here's your new debt ceiling - $18,113,000,000,000. "Ceiling?" What a misnomer! There have been 12 increases in 15 years. So, in a year or two, yet another as there is simply no limit to the government spending... Interesting history of, at Wikipedia. Maybe some common sense ideas for our children's future found in this article. Which segues nicely into this next rant...
Why are things so screwed up in this country? Here's a good example: After working one day as a substitute teacher in Illinois, David Piccioli could be entitled to an annual pension of more than $30,000. The article.
They just don't have a clue, do they...
- President Barack Obama on Wednesday suggested that if American voters want to "counteract" the role of money in politics, it may be worth making voting mandatory.
- Al Gore seeks punishment for politicians who deny climate change.
- Hillary Clinton - We must stop thinking of the individual and start thinking about what is best for society.
Just what we need, potheads in
WASHINGTON (AP) — The District of Columbia defied threats from Congress and moved forward Thursday with legalizing possession of marijuana...
Speaking of that, what are these guys smoking? The Secret Service wants to spend $8 million to build another White House. The article.
Illegal immigrants who are able to obtain Social Security Numbers and work permits as a result of President Obama’s executive amnesty could claim tens of thousands of dollars in back tax benefits. The article.
Technology will be the death of this country. Fox Business - Phoenix police are investigating an act of vandalism that left people across northern Arizona without the use of the Internet, cellphones and landlines for several hours.Net Neutrality: Taxes waiting to be levied!
As good as some of the concepts in Net Neutrality sound, it is a certainty that with more government control comes fees and taxes and just how many employees and committees will this take?
Just couldn't resist! Must be in the left wing rule book...
Leaving you with
From Al Lowe
A policeman radioed the station. "Hello, Sarge?" "Yeah?" "There's a situation here. A woman shot her husband for walking on a floor she had just mopped clean." "Have you arrested her?" "Not yet, sir. The floor is still wet!"
After digging to a depth of 10 feet last year outside Buffalo, New York, scientists found traces of copper cable dating back 100 years. They came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than 100 years ago.
Not to be outdone by the New Yorkers, in the weeks that followed, a Los Angeles, California archaeologist dug to a depth of 20 feet somewhere just outside Oceanside. Shortly afterward, a story in the LA Times read, "California archaeologists, reporting a finding of 200-year-old copper cable, have concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech communications network a hundred years earlier than the New Yorkers."
One week later, a local newspaper in Minneapolis, Minnesota reported, "After digging 30 feet deep in his pasture near the community of Faribault, Minnesota, Ole Olson, a heck of an engineer and a self-taught archaeologist, reported that he found absolutely nothing. Ole has therefore concluded that 300 years ago, Minnesota had already gone wireless." Just makes a person proud to be from Minnesota.
SCAM: A "support" person asks you to allow
them to take over your computer and clean it up.
Just hang up! See our October newsletter for a bit more on this scam...
Thanks for all the help over these years, Jeff...