Tech – for Everyone

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

More Internet safety–Use your router for access control

A reader comment (thanks Mike) reminded me of a point I intended to make — most home routers/wireless routers have the ability to add another layer of protection for your kid’s Internet safety. Today I will show just how to take advantage of the features built into these devices. A big advantage is the router’s blocking (typically) won’t be undone by a savvy kid. Today’s free link was also inspired by a reader comment. Keep those useful comments coming folks, they often benefit everyone.

Tip of the day: Use your router’s security features to limit your child’s access to the Web. I wrote a three-part series titled “Steps you can take to keep your kids safe on the Internet” and this post should be considered part 4. In part 1, I showed you how to create a Limited User account and lock down Internet Explorer. In part 2, I discussed monitoring and controlling your child’s web-surfing with Parental Control programs. And in part 3 I told you how to monitor chat, and decipher the “code” language used there. If you missed any of these, click on the blue links to view them.

For the purposes of demonstration, I’m going to demonstrate on arguably the most common/popular wireless router sold to date — the Linksys WRT54G — but I want you to understand that these features can be found on most, if not all, makes and models and accessed in similar ways. If you have already gone in and changed the address range and/or router name and password, substitute your settings … I will show the Linksys defaults.

Step 1) Access your router’s control panel. Open your browser and type in and you will be asked for a name and password. Leave the name blank and type “admin” (no quotes) in the password box. You will now see the Linksys control panel’s Setup page, which is where you make general connection (to your ISP) changes.
We are not going to make any changes here on the Setup tab (I am just showing you what to expect), we’re going to use the Administration tab and the Access Restriction tabs.

Step 2) To prevent our tech-savvy kid from undoing the restrictions we’re going to put in place a new password. Click on “Administration” in the upper black bar. The top input boxes are for our new password. Think up a complex password your child won’t be able to guess, like “Kepe0uThek1dz”, (and write it down, and keep it someplace they won’t snoop) and enter it, and “confirm” it. Now scroll down and click on “Save Settings”.
The control panel will disappear while the router absorbs these changes and then a screen will tell you your changes have been saved. Click “to continue” and the control panel will reappear.

Step 3) Now we’re going to put some restrictions in place — click on “Access Restrictions” in the upper black bar. On this page we are going to set up an ACL which Linksys refers to as a “policy”. You can establish more than one policy if you desire, but for our purposes one is enough. In the screenshot below, I have told the router that there’s to be no Internet access from midnight to 6am on any computer, but you can assign your child’s machine a fixed IP address and by clicking the Edit List of PCs button, apply these restrictions only to your child’s machine … if they have their own, that is. [update: you can also use the MAC address. For my article on how to find and use it, click here.]
As you can see, you can ‘tweak’ the time restrictions on a day-by-day basis, so schoolnights can have a different shutoff time than weekends, say.

Now scroll down and you will see where we can do some more specific blocking.
Here I have specifically denied access to My Space, and if I were really doing this I would also add the other popular “social networking” sites (like Facebook). Please note that I used wildcards (“*”) in place of “www” and “.com” — this is done to eliminate/block all the pages of the site “MySpace”. You are not limited to four URLs as the boxes might indicate. You can put as many into one box as you’d like … just seperate each URL with a semicolon.

I have also started a “keyword” list to be blocked, which will block any websites that contain these words. This is far from the list you would want to use, I suspect — you would probably want to include “wild parties”, “wild sex”, “totally nude”, “wild girls”, “boys gone wild”, and you may want to include “gun”, “guns”, “shooting”, and such. This is up to you to decide and configure … just seperate each keyword (or phrase) by commas.

Step 4) Click Save Settings and exit the control panel. And that’s it. Congratulations: you’ve added another layer of security, and shown your kid you just may know enough “tech” to earn a little respect.

UPDATE 8/26:
A reader commented that he has done the above steps and could still access My Space. He naturally wondered why. The first thing to ar.jpgverify is that you have verified that your new policy is enabled.
It is not necessary to give your access policy a name, but it may help you to do so — I named mine “Restrictions” to demonstrate.

The second step may not be required, but if you can still visit the sites you’re trying to block, you need to tell the router which PC’s to apply this policy to. Click on the “Edit List of PCs” button.
Here you can “apply” the policy to a specific machine by using the MAC address or fixed IP, or to all attached machines by setting a range of IP’s. To ensure coverage of every machine, enter the range 0-254, as shown. Now Save Settings, and you’re set.

Today’s free link: A very thorough resource for parents concerned about Internet safety for their kids can be found at the all-volunteer From site: “All-inclusive, free resource focusing on Internet safety, help and education for Internet users of all ages; providing information and solutions to online…

Copyright © 2007 Tech Paul. All rights reserved.

Share this post :

July 31, 2007 Posted by | advice, computers, hardware, how to, kids and the Internet, networking, PC, routers, routers and WAPs, security, security zones, tech, Vista, Windows | 24 Comments

Steps for keeping your kids safe on the Web, conclusion

I live on the Lefty coast, and naturally I did hear some “negative feedback” from friends and neighbors who seemed to think my suggestion (in part 2) was out of line. Spy on your kids?? Appalling!! What about their Rights?! I said to them what I say to you: the Internet isn’t some Shirley Temple movie (and, consider this, would there have been a Columbine if those boy’s parents had taken one look at their Internet activities?) and you — as a parent — not only have the Right, but the Responsibility, to keep an eye on your kids. Just like in the rest of our modern world, on the Web you can find crooks and con artists, perverts and pedophiles, sickos and snake-oil salesmen — it pays to be cautious.

I will repeat: talk to your kids and tell them of the dangers. Tell them to not give out their address and phone number or post pictures of themselves. Here is in an excellent advice article on what to tell your kids, Top Ten Safety Tips.

Tip(s) of the day: Learn the lingo and find out what’s being said in the chatroom and IM’s. As I said in an early article, people in chatrooms/IM’s (and “texting”) don’t communicate in simple sentences and proper grammer, but use an abreviated code-language. This “code” is not meant for parents to understand.

Step 1) Restrict IM’s to known friends. There are many different ‘flavors’ of IM programs — AOL, Microsoft, Google, ICQ, ie. — and they all can be set to only allow incoming chats, or invitations to chat, from known friends (often called “buddies”). Make sure this feature is enabled when you install the program when you’re creating your child’s (Limited) user account (to read part 1 of this series, creating a user account, click here) by selecting the proper Privacy settings. Each IM is a little different, but these settings can usually be found under the Options menu. If you have any troubles, look in the IM’s Help files/FAQ’s for the specifics.

Step 2) Monitor both sides of IM converations: Most of the “Pro” (read “not free”) parental control programs allow you to record instant messages and chats. If you have one, turn that feature on. If you are using one that doesn’t, there are free IM monitoring software which I will point you to in the “today’s free link” area (below) which you should download and install. With the program installed and the feature turned on, you will see a “log” of your child’s online converations. This is eaves-dropping (with hard proof) I admit.

I will repeat my suggestion that, again, what you’re doing is really only keeping an eye out for risky behavior, and if you see it, you can then decide on your next steps. There will no doubt be quite a few “chats” in the log. (It is reported that the only thing kids do more than “text” and “chat” is watch television!) It will probably be as easy to read as Farsi, though you will probably recognize “brb” and “lol”. Find the ‘odd’ ones (it shouldn’t take you long to figure out which ones are from friends and schoolmates), or pick a few that are almost completely in “code”. Go to a lingo translator site, like Lingo2Word, and copy/paste a suspicious section of your child’s chat into the automatic translator. Now you should be able to understand the gist of the discussion.

If you run across a particular acronym, and want to know what it means, you can use a Lingo Dictionary like Net Lingo, which is often updated with the latest “codewords”. I should warn you that “urban” (read “hip”, “with it”, or “in”) language is quite foul and violent. It may shock you to hear the ways kids speak outside of adult earshot. (One benefit of the Hip Hop Culture.)

I sincerely hope your occasional monitoring of your child’s online activities turns out to be nothing more than a minor inconvenience to you. And please, don’t write me and tell me how wrong it is for me to post this advice … I’ve already been told.

Today’s free links: This page offers the free downloads for three of the more popular IM ‘flavors’. (If the IM your child uses is not listed here, use a search engine to search for “monitoring IM name chats”.) Click here, and scroll till you see the right IM, and click on the “free download” link.

Copyright © 2007 Tech Paul. All rights reserved.

Share this post :

July 30, 2007 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, IE 7, kids and the Internet, PC, security, security zones, tech, Vista, Windows, XP | 3 Comments

Steps you can take to protect your kids on the Web, pt.2

The Web can be a dangerous place. It is unlikely that you haven’t heard of kids (and spouses) running away to go meet with a stranger they met in a chatroom. It is common knowledge that child predators use the Web’s anonimity and strike up conversations with our kids (N.C. found 26,000 on My Space). I want to remind you that the most effective tool you have is talking frankly with your children. But since this is a tech how-to site, I’m going to help arm you with some other tools to bolster your defenses.
Since I’m going to have to reference the steps I suggested yesterday, please read it before continuing (if you haven’t already) by clicking here

Tip(s) of the day: Spy on your kids. Let me rephrase that — monitor your child’s online activities. Yesterday I suggested giving your child their own user account (Limited) and password protecting it. If your child goes in and changes their password to try and prevent your snooping, don’t worry, as an administrator you can still access  their account. But to make things easier, let’s make a change so that they cannot change their password. Right-click on My Computer and select Manage, and then click on Users and Groups. Click on the Users folder.
Now double-click on your child’s account (my pretend kid-genius, “Charlie” in this example). mmc1.jpgSimply place a check in the “Password never expires” and “User cannot change password” checkboxes and then click on the Apply button. Now “Charlie” is stuck using the account password I gave him, and we can close out of these windows.

 Now let’s get down to the fun part — spying (Ahem. I meant ‘monitoring’. Pardon.). Use IE’s History feature to view your child’s activities. To start, log onto your child’s user account and launch IE (all browsers work similarly). Open Internet Options from the Tools menu. In the “Browsing History” area, click on the Settings button. Now change  the number of days IE will log to a decently high number. In the illustration below I am setting “Charlie’s” history recorder to one month. (I suggest it wise that you take a peek at your child’s viewing patterns a little more often than that…)
I can now click on the gold star “Favorites” icon and click on History. I can view what websites “Charlie” has visited, and by sorting by “frequency”, I can see where he’s spending the most time. I cannot see what he does there, or what he types while he’s in a ‘chat’ … for that I need a special, freely available, program or two (I will return to this later in the series). By taking a look at the websites “Charlie” visits — and determining if it was a ‘one-time thing’ or a daily habit — I can gage if he’s into risky behavior or not without actually “reading his diary”.

Today’s free link: If you have done these steps, yesterday’s and today’s, and done a little experimenting, you now know that “Charlie” can undo some of the security changes we made to IE, and that when we enable content filtering it affects our browsing as well; so we are sort of forced to disable it to do our (adult) stuff and then we have to remember to enable it again when it’s our child’s turn to use the computer. You will also likely discover that IE’s content filtering (None, Partial, Allow) is fairly clumsy and unless you spend a lot of time ‘fine-tuning’ it, it will block even such innocuous sites as Google and MSN. (But making the settings adjustments isn’t hard to do.)

The solution, like so many others, is found in 3rd-party software. You can find a large assortment of types under the categories of “Parental Control” and “content filtering”. The “best” are for sale, and if spending a few dollars is not out of the question for you, my personal reco is NetNanny. These tools usually come with a pre-built list of “naughty” sites and “bad” words to block and some are capable of analyzing images for too much skin (or bodies too close together…I’m not sure how they do it exactly). They can let you set times for your child’s Internet usage, so he or she can’t get up in the middle of the night to do their shenanigans. Some record the contents of chats. And most offer other ways to restrict your child’s online activities while still allowing them to do their homework, etc.

Update 8/30– I can no longer recommend the free program I had listed here. It did what it said, but was impossible to remove.
Click here to read part 3.
And here to read part 4.

Copyright © 2007 Tech Paul. All rights reserved.

Share this post :

July 28, 2007 Posted by | advice, computers, IE 7, kids and the Internet, PC, security, security zones, tech, User mode, Vista, Windows, XP | Leave a comment

Steps you can take to protect your kids from the Web, pt.1

When considering how I wanted to approach this important topic, I started to feel a bit overwhelmed. I began to think that the best policy was to put up an Internet Age Limit — no one under 18 allowed. For all that’s marvelous about the Web, there’s also creeps and pedophiles lurking. There’s hardcore pornography. There’s build-your-own-bomb how-to’s. There’s poisoned sites ready to turn your machine into a spambot zombie that rely on naive clicking (“Download this cool Transformers screensaver..!”). There’s depictions of violence and crude language …
Yes. I think that’s the answer. No surfing until you’re 18.

Tip(s) of the day: Take these steps to reduce the risks of the Internet. I am going to offer you some guidelines and practical advice, and since this is such a complex and important topic, I’m going to stretch it over a series of posts. I hope that you will take (and apply) what you can use, and maybe pass this information along to your friends who have kids. And please notice that I used the word “reduce”; I cannot tell you a 100% iron-clad, never-fails method for stopping all the bad possibilities of life. I wish I could.

Step 1: Give your child their own User-level user account and crank up all the security settings. While this may seem counterintuitive, I assure you that you will have full access to their account from your own, administrator-level account. (I discussed User Accounts in a previous article, click here to view.) By having your child run as a User, they will not have the administrative privileges required to undo some of the restrictions you’re going to put into place. A side benefit is any malware that tries to install itself onto your machine will not have the authority to run, and thus it’s foiled (Curses! Foiled again!). Let’s face the facts: kids are more computer savvy than we are, so we need to reduce their ability to tweak and change the machine’s settings.

To create a new account for your kids, click Start >Control Panel >User Accounts.
Click on “Create an account”, and give your new account a user name. For purposes of illustration, I’m pretending that I have a Tech Paul Jr. and his name is “Charlie” (I’m also pretending he’s a handsome little devil, and smart as a whip).
Now click next and accept the defaults. We’re going to use administrator privileges to install our security precautions, and when we’re finished we’ll come back and change it to user-level. Click “Create account”.cpua3.jpg
This will create an Administrator account named Charlie and return us to the User Account welcome page. Minimize this window, and log off your current account and onto your child’s new user account by clicking Start >Log Off, and either typing (Charlie, in my example) into the account box or clicking on their icon. There is no password yet. We’re now ready for the next step.

Step 2: Locking down IE. Now that we’re in “Charlie’s” account, launch IE. When it opens, click on the down-arrow of the Tools menu and select “Internet Options” and then click on the Security tab. Click on the Internet zone’s globe icon and click on the “Custom level” button.
By default the over-all security setting for this zone is “Medium-high”. Use the down-arrow to set it to “High” as shown above, and hit the “Reset…” button. Should this prove too restrictive, you can come back and reset it to “Medium-high” at a later date.

Now click on the Privacy tab and make sure the slider is set to High and that the pop-up blocker is checked, as shown below, and click Apply (if necessary).
We’re just about through, but the next action is to click on the Content tab. Enable the Content Advisor by clicking the “Enable” button. A window will open that will show a list of the types of content you can limit. Your choice for each category — using the slider — is None, Limited, and Allow. Go through the list (click on each item in the list) and set it to your desired restrictions … they don’t have to all be the same. The age of your child may influence your decision as to which “level” you want to permit. In the example below, I am completely restricting (a “None” level) sexual material. Click “Apply” when you’ve made your changes.
If you want, you can return to the Security tab and add specific sites — My Space, for instance — to the Restricted Sites zone. This will prevent those sites, period, regardless of their content or rating.
Now we need to log off “Charlie’s” account and back onto our own (steps described above), and maximize the User Accounts welcome window again (or Start >Control Panel >User Accounts) and this time we select “Change an account”.
We want to change several things — we want to create a password, and change the account type from Administrator to Limited. Click on the Limited radio button and click the Change account type button.


I know we covered a lot of ground today, but I feel much better knowing Charlie’s web surfing has the proper boundaries in place … and that he cannot go in and undo all my hard work. There’s more we can do, which I will cover as this series continues. I am too worn out to post a free link today.

If you found this tutorial informative and useful, please, tell your friends. Comments are always welcome.

Click here to view Part 2.
Click here to view Part 3.
And here to view Part 4.

Copyright © 2007 Tech Paul. All rights reserved.

Share this post :

July 27, 2007 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, kids and the Internet, networking, PC, security, tech, User mode, Windows, XP | Leave a comment

When an Update causes BSOD, and questions answered

Reader questions this week bring me back to IE 7 and the taskbar, and a new topic: what to do when an Update causes crashes and other troubles. So today I will not post my usual Tip of the day, but the (hopefully) now familiar “Q’s and their A’s” format.

IE 7 Questions:   (you may want to review my post on IE7 Security zones, and Questions answered, as well.)

Q: My Explorer menu bar disappeared, how do I get it back?
A: In IE version 7, the old familiar menu bar (File, Edit, View, etc.) was removed from the default configuration to ‘streamline’ IE’s look, and quite possibly because Microsoft was aware that people were installing their own toolbars (see “toolbar madness“). To get it back, use a method similar to the one used for Windows’ taskbar. Click on the down arrow next to the grey “gear” icon marked “Tools” and click on the Menu bar option. Now a checkmark will appear next to it, and your menu bar is back. To keep it there, hover your mouse over the option below Menu bar, “Toolbars”, and click on (select) the “Lock the toolbars” option.
While you’re there, you may want to play around with the “Customize” option and tweak which buttons appear on your bars.

Q: I can’t add a site to my Trusted zone:
A: I answered this in the previous answers post, but this detail is worth repeating: The person was on their personal machine and was running as an administrator, so there’s no problem there. The trouble was they hadn’t cleared the checkbox next to “Require server verification (https:) for all sites in this zone”.https.jpgThe difference is the “s” at the end of “http”, which indicates a special, secured internet protocol. You will know if you’re on such a website by the gold lock icon that appears in the URL window (and/or elsewhere on the page). It is an encrypted connection generally only used for electronic payment sites. A check here prevents you from adding regular websites.

Q: Can I make IE block sites when my child is browsing, but allow them for me?
A: This is a great question! And the answers are: yes, sort of, and … how many sites are we talking about? There are a couple of ways to go about this, but I want to spend more time on this topic than there’s room for here today. Protecting your children from the dangers of the Internet is a huge subject. I will start a series devoted to this tomorrow.

Taskbar question:

Q: What happened to the icons in my taskbar?
A: These “my icons disappeared” questions depend on if we’re talking about the Notification area (on the right, by the clock), or the Quick Launch area (on the left, by the Start button).
In the Notification area, an icon’s disappearance usually indicates that the “process” has gone idle and is not “running” at the moment.That means it isn’t needed, and hasn’t been needed for quite some time. It will run when it’s needed so, in this case don’t worry about it. In some instances, such as the speaker icon or the the two PC’s network icon, speaker.jpga checkbox has become unchecked and you simply need to check it again. Click on Start >Control Panel >Speakers and Audio devices, and select (check) the “Place an icon in the taskbar”.

If the Quick Launch icons have disappeared, right-click on a blank area in the taskbar and select Properties. Click on the Taskbar tab, and place a check in the checkbox labeled “Show Quick Launch”. As I have mentioned before, these Quick Launch icons are simply shortcuts. You can add more shortcuts here by simple drag-and-drop, or remove the ones you never use.

NOTE: If your icons have always been there and then, suddenly, some (or all) of them are gone — you may have picked up some malware. I recommend that you run “deep” antivirus and an anti-spyware scans immediately.

Windows Update:

Q: An Update is causing BSOD’s, what do I do?
A: From time to time a Microsoft security Update will not be compatible with the software and/or device drivers on your machine and the instability will trigger the Blue Screen Of Death (for more on BSOD’s and what to do, see “When good computers go bad“). Usually, Microsoft will repair this and issue a new Update … eventually. In the meantime, remove the Update (If you’re not sure which Update is the perp, remove the most recent ones) by going to Add/Remove Programs in your Control Panel. (Start >Settings >Control Panel >Add/Remove Programs) Now look to the top area and place a check (select) in the “Show updates” checkbox. Now you will be able to see the list of installed Updates.
Click on the Update you want to remove, and click on the Remove button.

Today’s free link: I do NOT recommend uninstalling security updates unless they cause your machine to become inoperable. I am a big fan of security updates and want all my vulnerabilities patched. If you’re like me in that aspect, Secunia’s Personal Software Inspector is for you. While this software is still in beta, it is very good at scanning all your programs and reporting any missing updates and open vulnerabilities. (Thanks Ryan!)

Copyright © 2007 Tech Paul. All rights reserved.

Share this post :

July 26, 2007 Posted by | advice, BSOD, computers, how to, IE 7, PC, removing Updates, Safe Mode, security zones, System Tray, Taskbar, tech, Windows, XP | 1 Comment

Fear of change: switching from XP to Vista

I know how hard it is to give up the well-known and comfortable, and step into the unknown. There is always a learning curve, and there is always some trepidation. I was chatting with someone who is in the market for a new laptop but has been very reluctant to buy because “I seem to have only two choices — Mac or Vista — and I don’t want to have to learn a whole new operating system.” (Before you start typing, Linux is out of the question for this particular shopper.)

For now, you can still buy a new laptop that is loaded with XP, or XP Media Center Edition. And you can still purchase boxed Install disks for XP Home and XP Pro, though I doubt there’s many who would wipe Vista from their new machine’s hard drive to install it. There are “custom builders” who will sell you a new machine without an installed OS out there too, offering the shopper another option.
But I wonder, why fight it? Knowing Vista is a marketable skill; and, Vista is destined to be as common as XP is today — it’ll be in your home and in your office soon, if it’s not there already. The same holds true for Office 2007 — sooner or later you’ll be using those new toolbars.

Tip of the day: Relax! Vista has a very shallow learning curve. My experience with Windows goes back a ways — I still have a 486 DX running Windows for Workgroups (aka Windows 3.11) circa 1992. Vista was the first “new version” of Windows I got my hands on before the general public did, and I have to tell you about my first impression — disappointment. (And I am not alone in that sentiment!) I really thought Vista was XP, with the desktop set to a professional photographer’s nature photo (a tweak I had made to my XP machines long ago). It was so similar and familiar, in so many ways, that I felt ripped off. A couple new games. A pretty picture. A search window on every bar. Big whoop.

The only place I found a real difference was in networking. Vista combines XP’s various network control areas into one unified Control Panel applet called the “Network and Sharing Center”. Fortunately, I was able to figure out my way around this new area in 4.5 seconds. I sincerely believe you will too.
The major differences between XP and Vista are “under the hood”. Think of Vista as XP with a different engine and a modernized dashboard, and you’ll have a very accurate analogy. (Getting used to Office 2007, on the other hand, is still a work-in-progress!) Vista runs the same programs (98% anyway) XP does.

Now you may be asking yourself, if this is true, what reason is there to upgrade to Vista? The answer will depend on who you ask, but it is my opinion that there really isn’t any. The most pressing reason I can see is, it’s (past) time for a new machine. Let the state of your hardware determine when it is that your machine is a Vista machine. Sure, Vista is a more secure “engine”, and it comes with a lot of the tools and features we XP users have downloaded and installed from third parties built-in already, but that’s not enough of a cause to rush out and buy a Vista Install disk. (In fact, Vista’s unwillingness to work with older hardware probably will cause you more headaches than a pretty nature photo is worth.) In summation, if you have a perfectly functional XP machine that is going to do what you want for another couple of years (in other words, of a fairly recent vintage), don’t even waste your time thinking about Vista, much less your money.

I know I said in yesterday’s post that I would answer reader questions today, but that’s going to have to wait until tomorrow. I apologize for that.

Today’s free link: I am going to repeat a free link for today’s article, for XP users who want the ‘modernized dashboard’ without actually changing their operating system. You can download a ‘skin’ (in this case, more accurately, a “shell”) for XP that mimics Vista’s look and feel quite well. Click here to return to my earlier post, scroll down to “Today’s free link“, read my warning, and there’s the link.

Copyright © 2007 Tech Paul. All rights reserved.

Share this post :

July 25, 2007 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, PC, tech, Vista, Windows, XP | 3 Comments

Drew Carey?!?! OMG!+iPhone vulnerable to hackers

It’s deja vu all over again. Bob Barker and the iPhone…again! One of my more popular early articles was titled “Goodbye Bob Barker+recovery partitions+iPhone” (click here to view) and here we have two news items that I just can’t pass up:

My loyal readers know that, while I generally am not a big watcher of television, I am (since childhood) a “loyal friend and true” of Bob Barker and The Price is Right. The … discomfort caused by his retirement has been delayed by the Summer rerun season, but I know it won’t last. Bob Barker retired, and one day — very soon — I will tune in at 10 a.m. and he, and one more part of my youth, will be gone.
I haven’t spent much time wondering who will CBS attempt to replace Bob with, but it has been my … hunch (for lack of a better word) that my show will never be as good, and I just would “let it go” and stop watching. Now I’m not so sure. I had figured CBS would go with an ‘unknown’, because I just could not picture anyone in Bob’s role. I sure as heck would’ve never guessed Drew Carey (although I guess his hosting the new The Power of 10 was a clue). Maybe I will keep watching. I still enjoy watching folks win “fabulous prizes”…
Still, no one can “replace” Bob. I wish Drew the very best of luck in a very difficult task.

A $600 price tag, small storage, and a marriage with AT&T doesn’t seem to be enough to stop people from buying iPhones. Sales are still brisk*, I understand, though I haven’t yet interviewed an owner. There seems to be no let up on the television advertising either (at least not here where I am), perhaps to compensate for the hype and “news” coverage’s passing. I will be curious to see if the announcement of a ‘vulnerability’ results in any damage to Apple’s stock.

A little geek vocabulary: A “vulnerabilty” means that security experts (the good guys) have found a ‘weakness’ that a hacker (Evil Doer) may figure out an “exploit” for. An “exploit” is the script or code (or other method) used by the Evil Doer to ‘crack’ a vulnerability, and take control and/or steal data. When a machine, or program’s, vulnerability has actually been exploited, it’s said to have been “hacked”. Some “hacks” can be beneficial, such as the software hack that “unlocks” a cellphone, or boosts the gain on your wireless router’s antenna. It all gets a little confusing, I admit.

Tip of the day: never try to open up and work on a CRT monitor or a power supply — they can retain lethal charges of electricity long after being unplugged and should only be serviced by trained professionals.
As you may have figured out, this is not my typical tech how-to Tip of the day, tweak, or technique offered here today. I invite you to tune in again tomorrow for answers to reader’s questions that I haven’t covered before, and remind you that you can review some of my past articles that you may have missed. Also, feel free to post a comment or question while you’re here.

Today’s free link: today’s free link is a resource for those of you who like to tinker with their toys, and who aren’t afraid of a soldering gun. It is the online magazine for hardware hackers (referring to themselves as “makers”), those folks who like to “improve” existing devices, and cobble together new devices out of old ones. You may know the type — they say, “why buy something when you can make it?” Makezine.

*Apple does not publish actual sales numbers that I can find. There are some statements published on the Web that “The much ballyhooed launch of the iPhone turns out to have been much more of a flop than the long lines and all the hoopla in the press would lead you to believe.” And, “In fact according to the Dow Jones newswire, “the figure seemed to worry investors who had been primed to expect much larger numbers.”

Copyright © 2007 Tech Paul. All rights reserved.

Share this post :

July 24, 2007 Posted by | advice, computers, hardware, how to, iPhone, networking, PC, security, tech, Windows | Leave a comment