Tech – for Everyone

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

Cybersecurity and Cybercrime: 2012 in Review

(And Congrats to Buster Posey!)

Folks, another brief slideshow I think you should see.

A year in cybersecurity and cybercrime: 2012 review

During the year, we have seen the destruction of SOPA and PIPA but the emergence of CISPA and similar laws around the world, a growing trend in hacks and scams, an explosion in malware, and states committing cyberwarfare on their friends and foes. Here’s a run-down of what happened in 2012.” See the (14 slides) slideshow here.

.. funny … they didn’t mention all the big data “breaches” (nor the “corporate espionage”) … but, still, take a look.

Related: Reports: Obama Signs Classified Cybersecurity Directive

President Obama has reportedly signed a classified directive establishing guidelines to protect the nation’s computer networks.Read more..

[Reactions in the InfoSec community are mixed.. It’s a good read.]

Kinda’ Sorta’ related: 2012 in Review: Tech Turkeys of the Year

And now, for your reading pleasure, the very worst from the tech world in 2012.Read more..

Apropos of nuttin at all: I liked Buster Posey from Day One. And while no one player makes a team a champion team, I think few could argue that the S.F. Giants would not be where they are without this kid. Congratulations, Mr. Posey! Buster Posey is voted NL MVP

The National League Most Valuable Player award voters came to the same conclusion that any Giants-watcher had to reach in 2012: This team would not have gone far without its 25-year-old catcher and leader.” Read more..

[I like it when – against all odds – good things happen to good people.]

Today’s quote:There are three things which are real: God, human folly, and laughter. The first two are beyond our comprehension. So we must do what we can with the third.” ~ John F. Kennedy

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.

November 16, 2012 Posted by | cyber crime, hackers, Internet, News, security | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Look At What Is Different In Windows 8

Folks, this short slideshow highlights what is different in the new version of Windows, now on store shelves, Windows 8. (Maybe you have heard.. the new “interface” is different..)

image - Modern Interface - Windows 8

“Love-Hate Win 8

Companies and reseller organizations that plan to adopt Windows 8 should prep for some heavy sledding. Though Microsoft has smoothed some of the Windows 8 user-interface bumps, plenty has changed, and people will inevitably get stuck trying to figure out where stuff is or how to get stuff done. Here’s a look at some of the major changes to help prepare you for the onslaught of questions and support calls.

If you will be using Win8, you’ll want to be aware of the tips included. View the slideshow here.

*     *     *

In The News (aka “Today’s reading reco’s”):

* The Microsoft honcho responsible for Windows 8 “is no longer with the company”Sinofsky Is Out As Top Windows Exec At Microsoft

 “Just weeks after launching Windows 8, Steven Sinofsky, the executive responsible for developing the new release of Microsoft’s flagship product, is leaving the company.Read more..

* Has Bookmarks4Techs Been Kidnapped or Assassinated?

My sister site, Bookmarks4Tech.com, has either been kidnapped or assassinated (after 3 years) by Google’s Blogger service and marked as a TOS (Terms of Service) violator by Google’s automated spam detection system. I am awaiting a review from Google to get the site back. The process to do this is not a friendly or easy […]” Read more..

* Love my cloud computing… Microsoft hit by second Office 365 email outage in five days

For the second time this month, some Office 365 users in North America are experiencing email problems.Read more..

*     *     *

Today’s quote:Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

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.

November 13, 2012 Posted by | computers, Microsoft, PC, software, tech, Windows 8 | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Video Tutorial – How to create a DVD slideshow (and more)

If you have photographs you would like to share with friends and family, one of the nicest ways to do that is to create a slideshow, and then “burn” that slideshow to disc. There are easy ways to create cool, “Ken Burns” style slideshows, add music to it, etc., and today I have a Microsoft video tutorial for how to do that using Windows Movie Maker.

Also, friend and fellow tech blogger Rick Robinette posted a(nother) good article today: A Nice Google Chrome Extension to Convert Any Video from YouTube to High Quality MP4, FLV or MP3 for FREE

One of the rewards to maintaining a tech blog that has a strong emphasis toward reviewing (and testing) FREE software, is when a reader contacts you and points you in the direction of something that is good. The reader in this case, as a result of reading the past article, “Keep An Eye On This […]” Read more..

Folks.. a little non-tech for a moment, if you’ll humor me..
Yesterday, when I was out and about, tackling life’s To Do’s, I witnessed – hang on to your seat – a person stop what they were doing, and go over, and lend a hand to a stranger. (The details are unimportant, and it only took them under two minutes..) And I realized it had been too long since I had performed a “random act of kindness”.. I plan to rectify that mucho muy mas pronto.

Today’s quote:Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” ~ Arthur C. Clarke

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


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January 24, 2012 Posted by | advice, computers, how to | , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

How To Keep Your Images In A Specific Order

Reader Asks A Good Question..

Q:I have a folder with 200 pictures which I have arranged in a very specific order. I want to burn them to a CD, but when I try to burn them in Roxio they burn to a cd but not in the order that they are in the folder. Any help is appreciated. ”

A: The trick for resolving this puzzle is to understand that computers will do their own arranging (and assigning), using a pre-configured, rigid, logic — generally alphabetical order. So even though you have carefully nudged the icons representing (for human viewing) your photos (actually JPEG files) around into an arranged order of your liking, the machine will still think of the files in terms of IMG0001.JPG, followed by the “greater than” IMG0002.JPG (2 is “greater than” 1) which will be followed by the “greater than” IMG0003.JPG.
Etc.

So the answer is to rename the files , and do so in an order that matches your order.

If you had just a few files, you could manually rename the first image by giving it a name and adding a one. Repeating for the second image, but adding a 2. And, repeating for the third image, but adding a 3. As I did for this collection of screenshots that were going to be a slideshow (and needed a certain ‘order’)

But since you have so many, you need an easier way – what is called a “batch rename” by us Über Geeks.

1) Arrange the photos into the order you like.

2) Click on one of the images to turn it blue (aka “select it”)

3) Hold down the Ctrl key and press the “A” key (or Edit > Select All). This will turn all the images blue (all are now ‘selected’).

4) Right-click on the first image, and choose Rename from the context menu (the name of small side window that pops open).
Your cursor will now be blinking inside the file name ‘box’.

5) Type in a ‘name’ — preferably something related to your project, or the subject matter.
(This one might be “fishtrip”, for example.)

IMPORTANT  Do NOT add a number — this is done automatically during the rename process

Press Enter.

Note: If for some reason you are unhappy with the result.. say you made a mistake, you can Undo the rename you just did by pressing Ctrl+Z (or going to the Edit menu and choosing the top choice – “Undo rename”. (I love Ctrl + Z!)

Now that you have put your ordering in terms a computer cannot argue with, your CD burning software, or “import”-ing into PowerPoint, or whatnot, will respect and follow your arrangement.
Because “fishtrip (4).jpg” is ‘greater than’ (aka “alphabetical”) “fishtrip (3).jpg” … right? Right.

Remember folks, machines are kinda dumb: they can only “think” in binary (a 1 or a 0)(aka “true or false”, “on or off”). They cannot “see” your photo – they see C:\User Name\Pictures\IMAG0001.JPG.

Sorta related: Make Your Photos and Videos Automatically Fly From Your Camera to Your Computer

I spend much of my obsession for technology, by looking for the latest technology in computers and computer accessories on Amazon .. Today, I came across a technology that I did not know about that is just downright impressive.” Read more..

Today’s quote:A little learning is a dangerous thing, but a lot of ignorance is just as bad.” ~ Bob Edwards

(There’s something about this quote.. something.. “off”, I think)

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


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October 24, 2011 Posted by | computers | , , , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

How To Set Your Browser To Surf More Safely – Picture Tutorial*

How to Configure Internet Explorer to Stay (More) Secure Online: Step-by-Step

The Internet is an amazing place. It is the world’s largest man-made object. It has changed and enhanced our lives in countless ways. Like most things, it has it’s “good side” and it’s “bad side”. I think you need to know: cyber-criminals are ruining the Internet, and stealing billions of dollars a year in the process (that we know about.. think “tip of the iceberg”).

Instead of simply telling you “be safer”, I have a link to a step-by-step slideshow tutorial: How to configure Internet Explorer for secure surfing.

The pictures make it very easy to follow, and performing the steps can prevent many online attacks against your computer.

“With assistance from the United States Computer Emergency Response Team (US-CERT), this slideshow will walk you through the steps to configure Microsoft’s Internet Explorer to limit the damage from hacker attacks.”

lockdown_ie

click for slideshow

In this digital age, we are all connected, and each of us plays an important role in securing cyberspace.” So do your part. Make sure your web browser is “hardened” against online attacks. Click and learn!

Today’s free download: For further browser security, I recommend installing Spyware Blaster as well as the steps above. It works well with your existing protections.

SpywareBlaster doesn’t scan for and clean spyware–it prevents it from being installed in the first place. SpywareBlaster prevents the installation of ActiveX-based spyware, adware, dialers, browser hijackers, and other potentially unwanted programs. It can also block spyware/tracking cookies in IE, Mozilla Firefox, Netscape, and many other browsers, and restrict the actions of spyware/ad/tracking sites. With the built-in Check for Updates feature, you can help ensure your protection is up-to-date. SpywareBlaster also includes a System Snapshot feature, which lets you take a snapshot of your computer in its clean state and later revert, undoing many changes made by spyware and browser hijackers.

Related: Earlier I posted a slideshow tutorial for the web browser Firefox (see, Safer Internet Surfing Cont. – Tutorial: Tweak Firefox for Greater Security)

Folks, to find out more about cyber-security, and connect to more educational resources, click here.

* Orig post: 10/18/10

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


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July 11, 2011 Posted by | advice, browsers, computers, cyber crime, how to, IE 7, ie 8, IE 9, Internet, security, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How To Turn Off Hotmail ‘Active View’

Earlier this week I got a bit of a surprise in my e-mail – my Hotmail, specifically – kind of a nice surprise.

Now before you start writing me about using Hotmail, I want to say in my defense, I signed up for it long ago. Back in the days when “google” was something an infant might say, okay?

Anywho, back to the topic: my ‘surprise’. Microsoft is constantly “improving” their free webmail service (including renaming it to “Live Hotmail”) in small ways, to modernize it, and keep up with the times… as we advance into “Web 3.0”.
[Dear Microsoft, the improvements I would like to see are: more servers, better load balancing, and fatter pipes into those servers. Why am I seeing “server is too busy” and “we are performing maintenance” errors? You think I am going to trust your other ‘online’ services (aka Office Live Online) when I’m seeing that in a light-weight service like e-mail??? Right.]

Anywho, back to the topic: my ‘surprise’. As I said, Microsoft is constantly updating Hotmail, and this week I noticed a change when I happened to get, and open, an email which had several photos included as attachments. Along with the newish “view”, and trusty old “download” menu options was “view as slideshow” Huh? Yup.
So I clicked on that choice, and an ‘overlay’ slideshow viewer opened, and darned if I couldn’t back and forward and ‘play’ all the photos in (attached to) the email. Kinda kewl.

This is part of something Microsoft is calling ‘Active View’ (others are calling it “previews”, “peeks”, and whatnot) — “mini-websites in your inbox.”

How do Hotmail Active Views work?
You probably have links to other websites in a lot of the e-mail you get—friends share photos and videos. Maybe you get links to track packages that you’re shipping, too.

Active Views are a way to preview information right in Hotmail, so that you don’t have to go to another website to see the photos, watch the videos, or find out where your package is.

Hotmail and Microsoft are committed to keeping your information private. Since we’re really concerned about privacy, we want to tell you exactly how Active Views work.
When a message comes in, we scan it to see whether it’s junk, partly by looking for links to suspicious websites. With Active Views, we detect good links so that we can show you previews. If you’re sent a link to Flickr, we use the link to show a thumbnail of the photos inside your message. The link itself contains information—for example, it identifies a particular photo album—the site will only know that the link was selected by Hotmail. We don’t identify you or send any personal information.

The other type of Active View comes from websites that provide you up-to-date information and content that you can interact with. These messages are like mini-websites in your inbox. So when you open these messages and interact with them, it’s like you have gone to their website. If you don’t click anything inside the message, they’ll only know that you opened the message and what your browser settings are (for example, the browser version and language).”

Here is the How To: (Again, I quote.)

“We’ve designed Active Views so they respect and help protect your privacy. But if you aren’t comfortable with them, go to Options any time and turn Active Views off.

Follow these steps to turn on/off Active View:
1.  Sign in to your Windows Live Hotmail account.
2.  Go to OptionsMore Options.
3.  Under Reading email, click Active View settings.
4.  Under Do you want to see previews?:
Choose Always show photo and video previews to enable Active View or Hide photo and video previews to disable Active Views.
5.  Under Do you want to get interactive updates from web sites you have accounts with?:
Choose Yes to get interactive updates or No to not receive them.

actview

.. now, I am not saying you necessarily want to disable this “interactive”-ness; nor am I saying that there are any attacks exploiting it (at the moment). Even I admit it (slideshow previews) is awfully convenient. But there is the info so that you have choice.

Have a great weekend everybody!

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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November 13, 2010 Posted by | computers, e-mail, how to, Internet, Microsoft, privacy, security, tech, tweaks, Web 2.0 | , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Step-by-Step Security Tutorial – Firefox

How to Configure Firefox to Stay (More) Secure Online: Step-by-Step

If you are interested in Tech, and visit Websites such as this one, it will not be very long before you read about Firefox. And, it won’t be long before you see NoScript mentioned. Odds are, you already have (loyal T4E readers surely have!). Safer surfing is a popular topic here.

Today, instead of simply telling you “be safer”, I have a link to a step-by-step slideshow tutorial: How to Configure Mozilla Firefox for Secure Surfing

“With assistance from the United States Computer Emergency Response Team (US-CERT), we’ve created this slideshow to help you configure Mozilla’s Firefox Web browser to stay secure and safeguard your privacy while surfing.”

firefox_security

click for slideshow

(Internet Explorer users, click here for your slideshow tutorial)

In this digital age, we are all connected, and each of us plays an important role in securing cyberspace.

It Is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

So do your part. Make sure your web browser is “hardened” against online attacks.

Related: Block IFRAME For Added Protection

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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October 23, 2010 Posted by | advice, browsers, computers, Firefox, how to, Internet, security | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments