Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Happy Easter

Source: SF Chronicle Online

Source: SF Chronicle Online

Thank you for stopping by, Dear Reader, and I wish you all a very happy Easter Holiday!

Today’s quote:Don’t give up. Don’t lose hope. Don’t sell out.” ~ Christopher Reeve

An accident? This crossed my path today..

Copyright 2007-2014 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.
And please, never forget – one person can make a difference.
Find a way to make someone’s day today.
(Best advice I ever heard? Don’t sweat the small stuff.)

April 20, 2014 Posted by | advice | 2 Comments

Can we be serious for a minute?

Personally, I don’t find this “humorous image” funny at all..

white_out

as I could tell you stories. (And, when you think on it, the reason “personal computers” became so popular in the first place [back in the Beginning] was because they did away with White Out correcting fluid, and/or whole-document retyping [Some of you may remember. I sure do!]. PC’s have come a long way since they were the next generation of [IBM] electric typewriters..)

And I don’t find this funny either..

OracleJavaLatest

Though the idea of someone thinking the “Ask toolbar” is something they might find helpful is rather absurd.. Again I say, shame on you, Oracle!

And, I don’t find this funny at all either. (I know. I usually post a Friday Fun video.. but not today.)

It is said that laughter is the best medicine, and I won’t argue the veracity of that, but I will suggest the second best is performing an act of kindness. And I hope you all know, I’m very serious when I say, let’s all have a terrific weekend, okay?

audrey_hepburnToday’s quote:For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” ~ Audrey Hepburn

Copyright 2007-2014 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.
And please, never forget – one person can make a difference.
Find a way to make someone’s day today.
(Best advice I ever heard? Don’t sweat the small stuff.)

April 18, 2014 Posted by | advice, computers, consumer electronics, Internet, tech | | 4 Comments

Due Tuesday, and Sunday Beauty

IRS Program Lets Taxpayers Use Popular Tax Preparation Software Free, and e-File For Free

(* Reposting) I am like many Americans in that I have become somewhat reliant on my computer to help me do my Federal taxes. It all started (ages ago, now) with a CD I received in the mail — a free copy of H&R Block’s TaxCut. I tried it. And I found it just a wee bit easier to use and figure out than the 1040A user manual our government provides.

Nowadays to access the free version of TaxCut (or TurboTax), I have to first go to to the IRS website.

IRS banner

On the IRS site, there is a page called “FreeFile”, and here you will find the “partnership links” to the free versions of 19 accepted tax prep programs — of which TaxCut (and also TurboTax) is one.
To qualify, you must have an Adjusted Gross Income of $56,000 or less.

Today’s free link: FreeFile at the IRS
Note: there are two buttons on the page; “I will choose” and “help me choose”. Though all of the programs there are accepted by the IRS, I would recommend clicking the “I will choose”, and then selecting either TaxCut or TurboTax.

Today’s Pretty Picture:

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Click on image to see more by this artist (highly reco’d)

“golden waterfall” by paul bica, courtesy of Flickr Commons

Today’s quote:Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.”  ~ Eckhart Tolle

Copyright 2007-2014 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.
And please, never forget – one person can make a difference.
Find a way to make someone’s day today.
(Best advice I ever heard? Don’t sweat the small stuff.)

April 13, 2014 Posted by | advice, computers, Digital Images, free software, Internet, tech | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Hemmingway App, and the Week’s News

I have received several emails asking about my thoughts on the ‘big” news items – the “Heartbleed” vulnerability, and the end of XP support.

In short:

* Heartbleed: There’s not much to say, except this is just a rather clear example of why the Internet, as we now have it, is a fundamentally flawed system, and (why I think) it’s pure folly to use it for what we’re using it for. What can you do about Heartbleed? Well.. jack-doodly, really. But in a few days, I would change my online passwords.
But loyal readers know I recommend changing them every quarter as a matter of policy (but, who does that?)

The best read inre: “Heartbleed” I saw was in the NYT. The Internet’s Telltale Heartbleed

Heartbleed is as bad as it is possible for a security flaw to be. It can be easily exploited by anyone on the Internet without leaving a trace, and it can be used to obtain login names, passwords, credit-card information, and even the keys that keep our encrypted communications safe from eavesdroppers.” Read more..

Windows XP’s “End-of-Support”. Well, I’ve been telling readers to get off of XP for more than 2 years now – the equivalent of 14 years in Tech Time. I would not, repeat, not, connect a XP machine to the Internet. (I have a few I’ll use offline.. mainly to play old games.)

ClipArt-RIPtombstone

* I really enjoyed this article: Do we really need Hemingway App? (as it’s not really about some app.. or Hemmingway..)

Digital evangelists are fond of telling us that antiquated activities like savoring a good book need to get with the times. “Reading is inherently time-consuming,” say the people at Spritz, who have invented a technology that supposedly lets you choke down 600 words per minute. They’re so dedicated to optimizing this slow, cumbersome practice for a digital age that they’ve even trademarked the phrase “Reading Reimagined.“” Read more..

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Today’s quote:In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.” ~ George Orwell

Copyright 2007-2014 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.
And please, never forget – one person can make a difference.
Find a way to make someone’s day today.
(Best advice I ever heard? Don’t sweat the small stuff.)

April 10, 2014 Posted by | advice, computers, consumer electronics, hackers, Internet, News, tech | , , | Leave a comment

SB 153 + Fun Video

Folks, here’s another pretty picture for your Sunday.

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Click on image to see more by this artist (reco’d)

untitled, by Craig Deakin, courtesy of Flickr Commons.

Sunday Ugly:

scary_phish_spam_4_3_14

Please understand – even if you are a parent, and even if you are worried about bad people in your neighborhood, you must resist your curiosity and remember to NEVER OPEN UNSOLICITED EMAIL. Period. End of story.

This is a classic “phishing” attack (yes, attack). You simply must be rather paranoid when you’re on the Internet — because they are trying to get you (and/or your computer). The psychology behind this one is pretty obvious.. and sadly, thousands will open it.

Friday Fun Video (kinda late)

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Today’s quote:Relying on the government to protect your privacy is like asking a peeping tom to install your window blinds.” ~ John Perry Barlow

Copyright 2007-2014 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.
And please, never forget – one person can make a difference.
Find a way to make someone’s day today.
(Best advice I ever heard? Don’t sweat the small stuff.)

April 6, 2014 Posted by | advice, computers, cyber crime, Digital Images, e-mail, hackers, Internet, Internet scam, Phishing, security, tech | , , , | Leave a comment

If you build it, they will come

lapel-pin-US-flag

lapel-pin-US-flag

An item for you thinkers out there..

* Cryptocurrency mining malware discovered on surveillance DVRs

Johannes Ullrich, dean of research with the SANS Technology Institute, posted on Monday that DVRs made by Hikvision, a video surveillance products and solutions supplier headquartered in China, were found to contain malware that mined for Bitcoins.Read more..

What are the implications here?

(Puts a twist on the meaning of “Made in China” a bit, too, doesn’t it? But you should know that already: remember the “infected digital picture frames” [circa 2008] ? )

*     *     *

Other tech: What you should know about Windows 8.1 Update

The soon-to-be-released Windows 8.1 Update brings minor improvements that favor those using a mouse — in other words, most Win8 users.

Anyone currently on Windows 8.1 will want the update; those who still haven’t made the Modern plunge won’t be impressed.Read more..

[ This actually does eliminate my main beefs about Win8. But I won't be switching - it's Win 7 for me still.]

Today’s free software:  IObit  PCtransfer

To find a best solution to safely and thoroughly transfer data for XP users, IObit newly releases PCtransfer. It is a free, light, and portable data transfer tool that provides users with an easy and secure way to backup and restore data with one click. PCtransfer especially supports bookmarks and favorites backup on Internet Explorer 6 and 7, and also allows user to quickly select and backup the third-party programs and settings. PCtransfer not only helps user to transfer data from Windows XP system to new systems but also provide assistance to users for moving data to a new PC.”

Today’s quote:The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do.” ~ B. F. Skinner

(I think he meant “humans”, or “people”, but..)

Copyright 2007-2014 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.
And please, never forget – one person can make a difference.
Find a way to make someone’s day today.
(Best advice I ever heard? Don’t sweat the small stuff.)

April 3, 2014 Posted by | advice, computers, consumer electronics, cyber crime, free software, hackers, Internet, Microsoft, News, PC, security, software, tech, Windows 8 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

April 1, 2014 and Cats

April Fools’ Day has hit the Internet and, as usual, there’s no shortage of fake news stories, gag product announcements, and corny jokes. Some are funny. Some are sort of lame attempts at being funny.

* Cats all the rage for April Fools’ Day jokes

Both Google and Opera reveal cat-themed April Fools’ Day jokes, with the former offering a QWERTY keyboard for felines and the latter showing off a cat-friendly browser.Read more..

Today’s free download: PC Tools AntiVirus
From the same folks who bring you the top-rated Spyware Doctor, this free heuristic antivirus also scans your e-mail.

PC Tools AntiVirus provides world-leading protection against viruses, worms and Trojans with rapid updates and IntelliGuard™ technology.

No joke. I don’t kid around about Internet dangers.

*     *     *

Today’s quote: “Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation.” ~ Jean Arp

Copyright 2007-2014 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.
And please, never forget – one person can make a difference.
Find a way to make someone’s day today.
(Best advice I ever heard? Don’t sweat the small stuff.)

April 1, 2014 Posted by | advice, antivirus, computers, free software, Internet, tech | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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