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May '15

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

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

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.

Email passwords

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.


Email "pop locking"

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.

Setting the interval at which each device checks to at least 15 minutes may help.  In Outlook that setting is found hereWindows Live Mail is found under the File menu > Options > Mail. 

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.


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. 

After moving to the junk folder, we found this "confirmation attachment" was actually a zip (compressed) file and upon inspection of the zip file (for the purposes of this newsletter), we found it contained a single .js (javascript) file.  Script meaning it does some sort of work.  That was enough for us to simply Shift+Delete the entire email.

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...

real crap

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...

even more crap

PDFs not current?

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:

Quick links

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.

PCWorld has a great article on speeding up and automating various tasks in Outlook:

  • Managing signatures.
  • Business card signatures.
  • Quick parts, which are templates for reoccurring tasks or items such as common paragraphs you may use.
  • Templates for an entire reoccurring message.
  • How to send your calendar to other people, which optionally can include various levels of your daily details.


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...

Just what we need, potheads in D.C.
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.  

Interesting read on ISIS "...and that it considers itself a harbinger of, and headline player in, the imminent end of the world."  And simply a shame!

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...