Tech – for Everyone

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

DDG (And Your Online Privacy)

DDG (aka DuckDuckGo dot com) is a search engine which does not track you, store information about you, and then sell your profile. (What that means is, it is “anti-Big Brother”.)

click here

Those of you who are uneasy with Google (and.. that should be all of you, IMHO) and the “profile” they collect on our “online behavior” will want to take a look at DDG.
(If you aren’t concerned about your “online privacy”, or haven’t given it much thought, please click on the image above, and see a simple, illustrated explanation of why you might want to rethink.)

PC Magazine rated DDG a Top 100 website in 2011; and, here’s one review of DDG: Privacy-Protecting Search Engine Challenges Google

An ultra-private search engine hopes to attract users tired of handing over personal information.Read more..

.. because the idea of switching your browser’s home page, or moving away from the superpower named Google is a big one, here’s another: DuckDuckGo Search Engine Review

Could a simple search engine run by one guy actually deliver a better search experience than either Google or Bing? Well, for some searches at least, Gabe Weinberg’s search engine DuckDuckGo delivers both better search results and an easier-to-navigate presentation of those results than the big guys.Read more..

I don’t think DDG will suit everyone, all the time.. but you may want to be aware of it as an “alternative”.. Firefox and Chrome users can download DDG ‘extensions’.

Idjits in Washington: horrible things are going to happen to the Internet, don’t you know. Why? The ongoing battle against ‘piracy’, and Digital Rights Management.. in a word, Hollywood and their idjit pals (paid agents?) in Washington. Please read Dear Congress, It’s No Longer OK To Not Know How The Internet Works.
(And yes. Once again it’s time to write your Congressperson.)

This just in: Ways to Sync Your SkyDrive Files To Your Computer, Tablet and Smartphone

I started to wonder what FREE options are there available to sync the files on my computer or tablet or smartphone with my SkyDrive Account.  As a result I went on the hunt and found the following options available that will help you take full advantage of SkyDrive..” Read more..

Today’s quote:One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: To rise above the little things.” ~ John Burroughs

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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January 3, 2012 Posted by | computers, Internet, privacy | , , , , , | 8 Comments

Google’s Dominance Is Your Reward

If you have been paying attention to Tech news you will have noticed that the #1 and #2 Search players have been been making bids to buy the #3 player, Yahoo!

Essentially, Microsoft “Live” Search tried to buy up Yahoo! to better compete with Google’s undisputed #1 (and get advertisers back onboard).

That plan didn’t work. And now Microsoft is offering a rewards program to get more people to use MSN as their search engine (thus, today’s title).

“Sign up to start earning great perks just for searching!

Sign up for SearchPerks! and start earning tickets towards exciting prizes whenever you search the Web – up to 25 tickets per day. It’s free, easy tCaptureo use, and your tickets accumulate as fast as you can search.*

And because SearchPerks! is brought to you by Microsoft Live Search, you know you won’t compromise quality while earning rewards.

Be sure to sign up before the registration deadline on December 31, 2008—the sooner you sign up, the more opportunity you have to earn tickets!”

I saw the ad for SearchPerks on my Hotmail page, and it includes a link, or you can click here to sign up.
Sign up and get 500 “bonus tickets”.

It smacks of desperation to me.

[note: to earn tickets, you must use Internet Explorer when you search, and download a small data collecting app.]

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

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October 26, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, Internet, News, searching, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Google, Spell Check, puzzle games*

I suppose I’m not alone in this, but I am a stat-watcher. It is a way for me to learn about you — the reader: about what topics you’re interested in and which ones you don’t bother to investigate (“you” in the broad sense). I love to get into all the statistical details, and sincerely believe that a fella cannot be presented with too many informational statistics — and I always want more.

I am fascinated by “keywords” that catch your eye: a great ‘for instance’ is that this blog is for the most part a ‘how to’ and is almost always posted in that “category”, and yet only one “view”, so far, has been linked from there. (What is that telling me???)
It surprises me sometimes that my “catchiest” titles have the lowest number of views, and that I would get a lot more Google Search “hits” if I simply titled a post “System Restore”…as an example. (Now I don’t want you to think I’m ‘hit-desperate’, and would start resorting to such tricks. I’m not. Honest. But it does make one think..)

I am fascinated by which of my “Today’s free links” get used and which one’s don’t so much. It says nothing about which one is more useful than another, but it does tell me some things. For instance, apparently my readers already have anti-spyware tools or just aren’t concerned about malware, yet a large number just as apparently delete files they’d like to get back. Curious. At least to me it is.

But the most interesting statistic is the Search Engine Links, which shows not only how many people found my article via a search on Google (Yes. I know. There are more engines than just Google.) but what words they used in their searches. These “search terms” have been the source of ideas for posts I’ve written, and will continue to be so. There is one inescapable factoid that becomes quickly obvious when reading these search terms, and that is: I am not as poor of a speller as I thought I was…by comparison. Of the many people who googled ‘system restore’, not one spelled it correctly. The folks at that outfit are doing a terrific job of not only deciphering our gibberish, but doing it in micro-seconds, and I for one am grateful for it. They sent me one spelled “sistim restro”…amazing!

Tip of the day: If you are like me and need a helping hand spelling a word every now and then you probably (like me) hailed the “built-in Spell Check utility” as the greatest thing since sliced bread. And you’ve probably learned over time (like me) that they miss far more than they catch, and cannot see the difference between they’re, there, and their, and generally aren’t much help at all. You simply won’t be doing yourself any favors if you rely on spell-check, and I don’t care whose it is.

Instead, bookmark an online dictionary like Merriam-Webster and enter your word into their search box. Unlike a real dictionary, you don’t have to know how to spell the word to find out how to spell it. Enter “sistim” and the top choice of spellings/words is “system”. It gives definitions, so you can make sure it is the word you’re thinking of. And it has a thesaurus so you can find words with the same or similar meanings. Online dictionaries are great resources, and I hope you will find them as useful and handy as I have. I couldn’t write this post without one…

Let’s just have some fun with Today’s free link: offers free puzzles of all sorts (crosswords, sudoku, jigsaw, etc.) and games like checkers and chess. Fit for the whole family.

*Original posting: 6/24/07

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

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May 7, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, PC, searching, tech, word processors | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment