Tech – for Everyone

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


Reading the back of the menu at Buck’s, while waiting for my burger the other night, reminded me of an important topic I have been meaning to share with you since its announcement at the recent TED U event. (If you are not familiar with the TED Talks, click here.) It concerns a subject near and dear to my heart, and this little item is a bit of good news for all us ‘little guys’.

What I am talking about is called “Collusion”.

Meet Collusion, announced today onstage at TED U

This morning onstage, Gary Kovacs of Mozilla announced a fascinating browser add-on for Mozilla: Collusion. It allows you to track who’s tracking you online … and the results are surprising to say the least.

You should know, tracking our online behavior is big business. The revenues involved in the top online tracking companies is over $39 billion — I’m in the wrong business: that’s pretty good money for spying on us!

(And f you think this is some small issue.. or some NBD thing that only happens when you’re online doing Google searches, you really really really need to watch the video Big Brother Big Business. I think it ought to be required viewing before you can vote!)

Why this is important:

“Take control of your data

We recognize the importance of transparency and our mission is all about empowering users — both with tools and with information. The Ford Foundation is supporting Mozilla to develop the Collusion add-on so it will enable users to not only see who is tracking them across the Web, but also to turn that tracking off when they want to.”

What you should do: Please take two minutes (or less) and look at the animated demo, here, Learn about how these vile and repugnant “tracking cookies” automatically build a “behavior profile” about all of us, so somebody can make an easy buck selling our ‘information’.. or serving us up “targeted advertisement”.

[ Update:  A version is available for Chrome as well. See, Collusion for Chrome maps how sites are tracking you, courtesy of the Disconnect team. ]

Related reading:

* TED 2012: New Browser Add-On Visualizes Who Is Tracking You Online

* Say Everything

As younger people reveal their private lives on the Internet, the older generation looks on with alarm and misapprehension not seen since the early days of rock and roll. The future belongs to the uninhibited.

Unrelated: Privacy concerns drive 1 in 4 Facebook users to lie

Almost 13 million users say they have never set or didn’t know about privacy controls on Facebook, according to Consumer Reports.

(I wonder how many million declined to admit their ignorance..?)

Much good information here. I hope you’ll click some links (at least view the demo).

Today’s quote:Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Copyright 2007-2012 © “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.

May 7, 2012 Posted by | computers | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

View Multiple Mail Identities in One Browser

It has become quite common practice to have more than one e-mail account — you might use one that came with your ISP service, and you might also have a Webmail account (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail), for example.

Opening each Inbox, so you can monitor them, is a simple matter of opening a new tab (see, Browser tab quick tips for more) and logging in– as long as we’re talking about different services.

If you have more than one “Identity” at a Webmail provider, (two different Gmail accounts, say) you typically are automatically ‘logged out’ of one when you log in to the other from the same computer. This is annoying. Here’s how to fix that behavior.

Tip of the day: Change IE’s settings to allow separate log ins.
As strange it may seem, you need to close Internet Explorer, and then make a change in Folder Options.. this will affect IE as Microsoft consider it to be a part of the operating system.

1) Start >Control Panel >Folder Options (XP user: Start >Settings >)

2) Click on the “View” tab.
3) Scroll down until you see “Launch folder windows in a separate process” and place a check in the checkbox.
4) Click “Apply”, and then “OK”.

That’s it. You’re done. Now you can launch IE and you will be able to log in to each of your Identities/Inboxes, and one will no longer ‘log out’ the other.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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September 6, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, e-mail, how to, IE 7, Internet, performance, tech, tweaks | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Browser tabs–quick tip*

One of the nice things about ‘modern’ web browsers is they let you open multiple sites in a single window through the use of “tabbed browsing”. This allows you to quickly flip back and forth between relevant sites.. while keeping an eye on your webmail Inboxes. No more minimizing/maximizing from your Taskbar.

One of the not so nice things about tabbed browsing is that when you hit Ctrl+T and open a new tab, it doesn’t go straight to where you want to go.. but opens to MSN (or some other pre-defined site) or more likely it says…
Yes. I know. I’m the one that hit Ctrl+T.
This may be tolerable.. and even informational, the first few times you ever use “tabbed browsing”.. but I do not particularly enjoy being told that I have just done something that I did on purpose (“You’ve typed some words”).
“You’ve opened a new tab” has got to go. Fortunately, this “Welcome to Tabbed Browsing” page has my very favorite-est computing checkbox on it (down towards the bottom), the “Don’t show this again” option. I love seeing this option. Place a check in the box, and the next time you open a new tab you will get…
Which is not only less insulting to my intelligence, but it loads faster. I like faster.

In Internet Explorer 7, there is a new tab behavior that just makes no sense to me, and I believe it is the default behavior (which makes even less sense)– that is, when you open a new tab, it doesn’t open next to your current Webpage.. but launches a whole ‘nother instance of IE.. and you’re back to Taskbar minimizing/maximizing again. This “option” shouldn’t even exist.. much less be the default: it is called the “Open in new window” setting. Let’s turn this off and force IE to keep all our work in one place– the current window.
From the “Tools” (a gray gear icon) menu in the upper-rt. corner, select Internet Options.
In the “Tabs” heading, click the “Settings” button to open up our tab behavior options.

You want to change the radio buttons in two places: the middle option, “When a pop-up is encountered” and “Open links from other programs” should be set to “new tab“. Click “OK”.
That’s it, you’re done. Now your browser will behave (more) the way you want it to.

* If your new tab opens to MSN (or some other pre-defined page [called a “homepage”]) and you don’t want to be exposed to the potentially dangerous Flash advertisements and/or it takes to long to load, or whatever reason, you can uncheck the box next to “Open home page for new tabs instead of a blank page”. Now Ctrl+T will always open to a quick blank tab. (When you do want to see MSN/homepage, click the house icon on your menu bar.)

* * Another alternative is to change the browser’s “home page” to a Website of your choosing — your ‘personalized’ page your ISP gave you, maybe. My Quick Tip article on how to do that is here. Note: if you do this, and want new tabs to open to your page, place a check in the box (option) mentioned in the paragraph above.

[Note: while these screenshots, and specific menu choices, are IE, the procedure applies to pretty much all web browsers. “Internet Options” may be named simply “Options”, or “Preferences”.]

Today’s free link: Some people need lists in order to function efficiently and actually get things done (I have found that if I ignore my lists, I can get a lot less accomplished). Todoist is an online list service that is clean and efficient and yet supports a large variety of complex services (nested lists, calendaring, e-mail integration, etc.) and integrations.

Original post: 4/17/08

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix


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July 10, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, tech | , , , , , | Leave a comment