Tech – for Everyone

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

Sunday Beauty #86

Today’s image was one of several that caught my eye, but when I saw it was taken with a cellphone, well, that earned it a spot in my Sunday Beauty feature.

Click on image to see more by this artist

“Untitled” by hijadesastre, courtesy of Flickr Commons

Quotable quote for the day:Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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.

April 29, 2012 Posted by | Digital Images | , | 3 Comments

CYA

Sometimes, the essence of an article of “good advice” boils down to “CYA”.

Loyal readers will remember my earlier posting of this. Of them, I ask, did you follow through? This item of advice (and How To) could save you thousands of dollars; received many “comments”; and is worth repeating. (Scroll down for newer stuff.)

Photographic Proof For Insurance (Included: a good “general tip”)

A picture is worth a thousand words, they say; but if you had a catastrophe and your insurance company refuted, or undervalued, your claim – a picture could be worth thousands of dollars.

If your house burned to the ground, and your insurance company disagreed with you about the contents of your home, or severely undervalued them, or both, how would you respond? I would open my email.

What did he say?

Step 1) (Takes an hour, or two, or so) Get a hold of a digital camera, or use your cell phone’s camera if you have no other option, and photograph all your rooms in a “panorama” type perspective. Also be sure to take good pictures of all your key (valuable) possessions – furniture, electronics, appliances, jewelry, artwork, vehicles, power tools, silverware, etc. Open your closets and snap some pics of their contents (your wardrobe); and also your cabinets with all your pots and pans and popcorn poppers. Create a “visual tour” of your home/garage/tool shed.

Step 2) Transfer the images to your PC into a folder you create named “Insurance” (or.. something similar). Then apply a “batch resizer” to the JPEGs (the pictures) you just took. Digital images from cameras usually are quite large (file size, I mean) and to complete the next step, you need to ‘shrink’ them down to a smaller (file) size — say, under 500 KB each. It is easy, don’t worry; scroll down for my reco on a free “resizer” tool.

Step 3) Now import (or attach) the (smaller) images to an email and send the email to yourself.
This may be easiest if you use a “zip” utility (such as Windows’ Send to compressed folder).
Now, no matter what happens to your camera or computer, a copy of those photos will be stored on your email server – ready to show to your insurance claims adjuster should you ever need them. It may take more than one email to send yourself them all..
(Or “upload” them to your [SkyDrive] online storage service, or online “backup”.)

(And naturally, I hope we never do need them..!)

Let’s face it; if we had to sit down and write out a list from memory.. how many things would we forget without that visual reminder?

(Optional Step 4) “Burn” a copy of the original “Insurance” folder to a CD/DVD (the large size images) and put the disc in your safety deposit box (or give it to a friend to keep for you.)

Walking through with a video camera is a great thing to do too. But be sure to store the ‘tape’ somewhere else – a safe deposit box, your office at work, or a friend’s house.

And YES, folks: you have to do this before the tornado (or hurricane, or earthquake, or flood, or..) strikes.

Today’s free download: Batch Image resizing made easy. Fotosizer is a free batch photo/image resizer tool. It lets you resize hundreds of photos in a matter of minutes in a quick and easy way.

(The tip here can be good to know just for “GP”. You never know when you might want to email a large number of photos..)

Related: Home Inventory: How to Document Your Personal Property (there is also a link to two videos at the bottom..)

Bonus: An Online Full-Featured Audio Workstation

If you are into music composition, then there is an online solution called AudioSauna that you have to check out. If your gift to life is not music, you still need to check out AudioSauna… It is an awesome display and example of what we can now do in our web browsers. AudioSauna is a […]” Read more..

Today’s quote:Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” ~ Albert Einstein

Copyright 2007-2012 © “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.

April 28, 2012 Posted by | advice, Digital Images, free software, how to | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Two items of (possible) interest..

Loyal friends and true of this site have seen me mention a certain other Tech website quite frequently. Bill Mullins posts (in addition to his top-drawer articles, and sometimes articles submitted by Guest Authors) a daily feature he calls “Daily Net News” which is sort of a ’round up’ of news items, other items of interest, terrific downloads, and a section called “off topic”.

I visit his site each and every day, and I make sure to at least scan all the items in his Net News. I am fairly well informed and ‘keep my finger on the pulse’, but I always find something I hadn’t seen elsewhere (or, otherwise didn’t know about).

I invite you to take a look at two items that caught my fancy, and I think you – Dear Reader – might like/find interesting too.
First, click here (it will open a new window) and scroll down to the link titled, “The Top 10 Things We’re Glad The Recession Killed“.
(It is supposed to be humorous, but durned if it isn’t spot-on)

And then click here and scroll (and you will have to scroll a bit, as there are many entries in each Daily Net News) until you come to the entry titled, “60 Selected Best Famous Quotes II“.

Of course, you’re welcome to click on any other item that catches your interest… and, I’m perfectly willing to wager a shiny new copper penny you will find several!

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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August 23, 2009 Posted by | advice, tech | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

An Infection Has Been Detected!

Online crime is bigger than the global drugs trade¹. The Internet shadow economy is worth over $105 billion. No country, no person, no business and no government is immune from cybercrime.

Currently there is an epidemic of fake anti-malware software on the Internet– which is collectively called “rogue anti-malware“ and/or “scareware“. Marketed under hundreds of different names, such as VirusRemover 2008 and Antivirus XP 2009, this type of rogue software scares people by giving false alarms, and then tries to deceive them into paying for removal of non-existing malware. [update: some of the newer ones are now encrypting your files, and requiring a ‘ransom’ for the key. Don’t pay. There is help online.]

This video shows what happens when a legitimate Website gets infected and redirected to one of these bogus anti-malware scams.
Yes, folks, legitimate websites are being ‘hacked’. (It’s called “poisoned”.)

Please watch, and see what these things looks like (how “real looking”). I repeat, there are thousands of these, being planted on tens-of-thousands of sites.

The people behind this scourge use many different ways to try to entice you to click – realistic looking pop-up windows appear, offers of “free trials” arrive in e-mail, and “free scan” buttons on legit-looking ‘fight malware’ websites.. the means are quite varied!

As this video shows, the user is tricked into (scared into, really) providing their credit card # to clean infections that weren’t there before they clicked and aren’t really there now.
* The ‘false positives’ are not “cleaned” BUT, more adware and spyware is installed.
* A good percentage of my calls at Aplus Computer Aid are folks needing help with getting rid of these rogues. Because these clever programs use the latest techniques to combat removal, and it can be quite tough — if not impossible — to truly remove them.. without formatting your hard-drive.
* For more, please read Is that anti-spyware program really spyware?
* One Website dedicated to combating this epidemic is Spyware Warrior. It has a pretty good list of known rogues, and much more detailed information. Another excellent resource is Bleeping Computer.
* I have written several How-To’s on protecting yourself from malware, and how to clean your machines as well. Click here to see those titles. But I really cannot advise you strongly enough – should you get one of these nasties – to enlist the aid of a Pro. I would tell you that even if I wasn’t one myself!

¹ From a recent MessageLabs whitepaper. (This eye-opening report provides a disturbing look into the ‘dark’ world of cyber-crime. This link is the online version.. you need to scroll a bit..)

Today’s free link(s): Spammers seeking “volunteers” to DDoS White House.
Cybercriminals have begun to capitalize on the vehement debate in the country over health care reform, sending spam targeted at opponents of President Obama.”

Also, it just so happens that Bill Mullins posted a close look at one these, named “Total Security 2009” on his site today. Please see, Total Security 2009 Scareware – Panda Security Takes a Look.

Today’s free download: WOT (Web Of Trust) is a free Internet security add-on for your browser. It’s community-based ratings can help keep you safer from online scams, identity theft, spyware, spam, viruses and unreliable shopping sites. WOT warns you before you interact with a risky Website. It’s easy and it’s free.

  • Ratings for over 22 million websites
  • Downloaded over 4 million times
  • The WOT browser addon is light and updates automatically
  • WOT rating icons appear beside search results in Google, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, Gmail, etc.
  • Settings can be customized to better protect your family (new “Parental Control” setting blocks access to Web sites with a poor child safety rating and no rating at all)
  • WOT Security Scorecard shows rating details and user comments

Orig post: 4/16/09

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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August 22, 2009 Posted by | computers | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments