Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How to Make Your Android Phone Tell You Where You Lost It

You might not have lost your Android phone or had it stolen, but if you want to prepare for that possibility, here’s how to setup your phone to respond and contact you with its location.


Amazing Time-lapse Video of Auroras as Seen From the ISS [Video]

This time-lapse video, created from a series of 345 images shot from the International Space Station, showcases Auroras in the upper atmosphere of the Earth in a way we never see them from way down here.


Interactive Cable Map Showcases High Speed Undersea Cables Around the World

Despite the common notion that lots of data is beamed down from satellites the majority of global communications travel through a massive network of high speed cables. Check out this interactive map to see the cables that bind everything together.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Beginner: How to Extract .RAR Files on Windows 7 and Mac OS X

Have you ever downloaded a file only to find it has a strange .rar file extension? By the end of this article you will be able to view the file no matter if you are running Windows or Mac OSX.

CLICK HERE to learn more!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Windows 8 Screenshot Tour: Everything You Possibly Want to Know

Yesterday Microsoft released the first preview release of Windows 8, and we spent all night testing it out and diving into how it all works. Here’s our review, and the normal How-To Geek style screenshot tour, with loads and loads of pictures.

CLICK HERE to read more about it

How to Speed Up Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010

Is Word behaving sluggishly, slowing you down? There are a various reasons why Word may be slowing down, but you can easily change some settings to speed it up.

CLICK HERE to find out how!

How to Understand Those Confusing Windows 7 File/Share Permissions

The Windows Operating systems use SIDs to represent all security principles. SIDs are just variable length strings of alphanumeric characters that represent machines, users and groups. SIDs are added to ACLs(Access Control Lists) every time you grant a user or group permission to a file or folder. Behind the scene SIDs are stored the same way all other data object are, in binary. However when you see a SID in Windows it will be displayed using a more readable syntax. It is not often that you will see any form of SID in Windows, the most common scenario is when you grant someone permission to a resource, then their user account is deleted, it will then show up as a SID in the ACL. So lets take a look at the typical format in which you will see SIDs in Windows.

CLICK HERE for the full article

Friday, September 9, 2011

Learn Even More Windows 7 Search Tricks to Find Files Easier

Here, we have a few tweaks you can use to get the functionality you want, but we also consider some alternative search programs.

Click Here To Discover More

How-To: Roast Coffee with a Popcorn Popper

If you’re interested in trying your hand at home roasted coffee but not sure if it’s worth the financial investment, this simple DIY technique uses a popcorn popper to roast your fresh coffee beans.

Click Here for more

Friday, July 29, 2011

How to quickly connect to a remote desktop

You probably know that, to connect to a remote desktop server (such as a Windows 7 Pro or Ultimate computer with remote desktop services enabled), you can follow this process:
    1. Click Start | All Programs | Accessories | Remote Desktop Connection or click Start and type "remote desktop" in the Search box
    2. Type the name or IP address of the computer to which you want to connect in the Remote Desktop Connection dialog box.

But what if you don't remember the name or IP of the remote computer? Well, if it's on your local area network, you can do this:
    1. In Windows Explorer, in the left pane, scroll down to the Network node and click on it.
    2. In the list of computers in the right pane, find the one to which you want to connect.
    3. Right click its name and select "Connect with Remote Desktop Connection."

New Lenovo IdeaPad P1 runs Windows 7

Everybody's coming out with tablets, but most of them seem to be running non-Windows operating systems: HP's webOS, Blackberry's proprietary OS, or most often Android. We are starting to see more Windows 7 tablets trickle in, though, in fact Microsoft's market share in tablets rose from a little over 1 percent to almost 5 percent over the past year. Still small, but significantly improved. One of the most recent announcements is Lenovo's IdeaPad P1, which is similar to their Android-based K1 model but runs Windows 7. Find out more about it, click here.

Will your current computer run Windows 8?

One of the most frequent complaints I hear about Microsoft operating systems is that "every time they come out with a new OS, I have to buy a new computer to run it." That certainly proved true for most folks who moved from XP to Vista, or XP to Windows 7. However, Microsoft appears to have been listening. Windows 7 runs well on systems that came with Vista (better than Vista, in some cases) and now Microsoft has promised that Windows 8 will run on any Windows 7 computer, with an equal or better experience. Have we finally reached a point where we can break the cycle of dumping perfectly good hardware just because we want to upgrade the OS?


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tablets' Market Impact Is Increasing Rapidly: 10 Reasons Why

It’s hard to believe that before there was an iPad, the tablet market was largely ignored by consumers and even many enterprise users. For most folks, tablets were expensive, dull niche devices that didn’t deliver a new, fun or entertaining experience that they could relate to. Instead, they were designed for specialized industrial and professional markets. They relied heavily upon the stylus and were widely used in the health care field where professionals could quickly tap through files and find information about a person’s medical history. But in the post-iPad world, tablets are all the rage. Consumers and enterprise users around the globe have either jumped feet-first into the marketplace, or are planning to do so soon. And most research firms can agree that the tablet market is poised for bigger and better things in the coming years. This eWEEK slide show will provide some perspective on how tablets caught on in the computer market as versatile devices that can be used productively by nearly everybody.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Beware fake Google + invitations

Late last month, Google launched their answer to Facebook, a new social networking service called Google + (or Google Plus). As with most things Google, they released a beta first, and limited participation to those with invitations only. Despite the inability of Google's previous social networking attempts (Wave, Buzz) to gain traction, the new effort has garnered a good deal of initial interest (as did its predecessors). And this in turn has spawned an opportunity for spammers and malware authors, who can exploit the desire for an invitation to send out fake ones. So if you get a notice that you're one of the Chosen Few, be careful before you click:

Beware Google + Scam

How to change the size or resolution of a photo with Paint

Open Paint by clicking the Start button, clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, and then clicking Paint.

Click the Paint button, click Open, click the picture you want to resize, and then click Open.

On the Home tab, in the Image group, click Resize.

In the Resize and Skew dialog box, select the Maintain aspect ratio check box so that the resized picture will have the same aspect ratio as the original picture. If the Maintain aspect ratio check box is selected, you only need to enter the horizontal value (width) or vertical value (height). The other box in the Resize area is updated automatically.

Do one of the following in the Resize area, and then click OK: To resize your picture by a certain percentage, click Percentage, and then enter a percentage to reduce the width by in the Horizontal box or a percentage to reduce the height by in the Vertical box. To resize the picture so it's a specific size, click Pixels, and then enter a new width in the Horizontal box or new height in the Vertical box.

Click the Paint button, point to Save as, and then click the picture file type for the resized image.

Type a new file name in the File name box, and then click Save.

System Folders Customizer released

We are pleased to release System Folders Customizer, a free tool that lets you add Internet Explorer, important System folders, Control Panel applets to your Computer folder, Libraries and Desktop.


Hotmail Still New and Cool–Even After 15 Years

This past Monday on the Fourth of July, Hotmail celebrated its 15th anniversary. Make no mistake - Hotmail has come a long way in those 15 years, and to commemorate a number of important milestones over the last several months, we thought we'd show off a list of 15 insanely cool things you might not know about Hotmail.

This is not the Hotmail of 2005

Read More at: COOL HOTMAIL

Microsoft Windows 7 hosted virtual desktop launched by ThinkGrid

ThinkGrid promises full Windows experience instead of slimmed down version

ThinkGrid has launched a hosted virtual desktop with the Microsoft Windows 7 operating system.

The release offered Windows XP-based businesses a real alternative to in-house upgrades when support for XP is turned off, ThinkGrid said. The company said it also provides the “full Windows 7 experience” and “greater flexibility around hardware”.

Read More at: ComputerWorld

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

2-Factor Authentication

The short guide to going online in public really should point out the danger of key loggers and the importance of two- factor authentication. Here are two tips that I suggest if you ever "need" to do sensitive work on a public computer:

1. Setup your email and any other accounts with two-factor authentication whenever it is available. This must be done beforehand. Gmail, PayPal and eBay are three online services that offer two-factor authentication. There are many others.

2. If you can't or don't use two-factor authentication, you must assume that whatever username/password you type on the public computer will be recorded. For this reason, it is critical that you change the password on all of those accounts as soon as you have access to a secure computer. You should also monitor those accounts for suspicious activity and report any violations immediately. - DF

Editor's Note: Simply put, two-factor authentication is an approach to authentication requiring two different confirmations that someone is who they say they are. This lessens the ability of the hacker to get into your account.

Facebook Friend or Foe

"How sad it would be if people took your advice and hid on Facebook. It's a great public place and treated with the same respect you would in any public place it's wonderful. Those sad people who are locked down miss the wonderful world it is. But I guess fear is your business like any insurance sales person (Editor's Note: Not really, you can look me up on Facebook any old time)."

My Twopenn'orth: Wrong analogy. I'd say Facebook is not 'any public place'. It's more like trusting people through a front gate and into the back yard. Usually OK, but some people are not trustworthy, and will use that space for their hidden purposes: a bit of sneaky vandalism, an opportunity to embarrass, bully, or defraud you without witnesses [so they think]. I'm not a fearful person, but I'm older now, and live 'alone'. I've learned to be more cautious, and not to be so quick to trust the friendly smile and plausible talk of those who are looking for situations where they'll find people they deem to be more vulnerable. In truly 'public places' there are plenty of witnesses, and 'the bad folk' cannot so easily hide themselves and their actions.

I don't find your mailings increase my fear level - they simply alert me to possibilities. When I had an email from a friend last year, with a link to something she knew would interest me, I read the email through again, thought about it, and didn't click on the link. Email deleted.

Why? Because you had just highlighted the growing problem of false emails, and the opening greeting was not her usual style. Later I had another email from her, warning me someone had got hold of her address book, and had sent out viral emails to all her friends. Thank you, Larry. - DJ

Monday, June 27, 2011

Repair Outlook data files (.pst and .ost)

If you can't open your Personal Folders file (.pst) or your Offline Folder file (.ost), or you suspect that your .pst or .ost data file is corrupt, you can use the Inbox Repair tool (Scanpst.exe), to diagnose and repair errors in the file.

Quit Microsoft Outlook if it's running.

Double-click Scanpst.exe, located at drive:\Program Files\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\LocaleID folder - where LocaleID is the locale identifier (LCID) for the installation of Microsoft Office. The LCID for English - United States is 1033.

In the Enter the name of the file you want to scan box, enter the name of the .pst or .ost file that you want to check, or click Browse to look for the file.

To specify scan log options, click Options, and then click the option you want.

Click Start.

When the scanning is completed, and if errors were found, you will be prompted to start the repair process.

To change the name or location of the backup file created during the repair process, in theEnter name of backup file box, enter a new name, or click Browse to look for the file.

Click Repair.

Start Outlook using the profile that contains the .pst file that you tried to repair.

On the Go menu, click Folder List.

In the Folder List, you may see a Recovered Personal Folders folder containing default Outlook folders or a Lost and Found folder. The recovered folders are usually empty, because this is a rebuilt .pst file. The Lost and Found folder contains folders and items that the Inbox Repair tool recovered. Items that are missing from the Lost and Found folder cannot be repaired.

If you see a Recovered Personal Folders folder, you can create a new .pst file, and then drag the items in the Lost and Found folder into the new .pst file. When you have finished moving all items, you can remove the Recovered Personal Folders (.pst) file, including the Lost and Found folder, from your profile.


If you are able to open the original .pst file, you may be able to recover additional items from your damaged .pst file. By default, the Inbox Repair tool creates a file called file name .bak, which is a copy of the original .pst file with a different extension. The .bak file is located in the same folder as your original .pst file. You may be able to recover items from the .bak file that the Inbox Repair tool could not recover. Make a copy of the .bak file, giving the file a new name with a .pst extension. Import the "bak.pst" file, and then move any additional recovered items to the new .pst file that you created.
A copy of the log file is written to the same location as the .pst file.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Word of the day: Big Mother

Big Mother is the concept of pervasive parenting, in which parents use modern geolocation, wireless and video technologies to constantly track the activities of a child.

The term is a play on the Orwellian construct of "Big Brother," in which government "Thought Police" monitor a population by using human agents armed with hidden cameras and microphones. The Big Mother phenomenon has seen a sharp spike in recent years as relatively inexpensive wireless digital cameras and GPS devices have become available to parents who are unable to monitor their children in person but are still concerned about their safety.

Cell phones are a common way for parents to remain in contact with children throughout the day. Other technologies, like RFID tags, may be embedded in schoolbags or clothing to track the location of children within school or day care grounds, a practice that has already been implemented in select institutions in California. Some schools provide parents with access to secure Web sites, where they can sign in and watch their child at school or play and keep tabs on what homework has been assigned. Parents can even use debit or charge cards as a relatively low tech tracking device to monitor their child's dietary choices in the school cafeteria or purchases at the local convenience store. In the neighborhood, parents can use security cameras to watch children interacting with other children, enabling correction of deviance from a desired parental norm by cell phone or push-to-talk (PPT) phone.

School-age kids are not the only people Big Mother is watching. Anyone who interacts with children is fair game. School bus drivers, for example, can have their busses equipped with GPS-navigation systems to let the parent know where the bus is and how fast the bus is moving. In the home, parents may use stuffed animals or other toys to hide cameras to watch nannies or babysitters.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Windows 7 Service Pack 1: To Install or Not to Install

First of all, the service pack is not mandatory. You can install it through Windows Update but it won't be pushed to you automatically; it's an optional update so you have to select to install it. Should you do that? It depends. This service pack doesn't add a lot of cool new features, but it does improve some behaviors and performance of the OS. Many of these only affect a limited number of users. If you need to print XPS documents that contain a mixture of pages in the landscape and portrait formats, you might have had problems getting them to print correctly before. The service pack fixes this problem. There's also a fix for problems some folks had with HDMI audio devices after a reboot. If you check the "restore previous folders at logon" option in Explorer's folder options, you might have noticed that the folders show up in a cascaded group when they're restored. That can be annoying - you want them to come back positioned as they were before. Well, the service pack fixes that. Finally, there's added support for a new processor extension called AVX and new hard drives that use 4KB sectors.

All in all, not terribly exciting. Of course, SP1 also contains all the security updates that have been released individually for Windows 7. If you've been installing those as they became available, you already have them and don't need SP1 for that. However, if you've had auto updates turned off and haven't been keeping up with the monthly patches, installing SP1 is an easy way to catch up and get your system security up to date.

I installed SP1 on one of my main computers. The other, which has had all incremental security fixes installed, I left alone. The full download from the Microsoft download site ranges from 538 MB for the 32 bit (X86) version to 903 MB for the 64 bit (X64) version, so it may not be a quick download, depending on the speed of your Internet connection. It took about four and a half minutes on my FiOS connection. The installation itself went smoothly on my Dell Inspiron (a.k.a. the Bedroom Computer) and took around half an hour. The Windows Update version may be smaller because it downloads only the files needed for your particular system, but if you prefer to download the service pack from the Microsoft Download Center, you'll find it here:

The file is an executable, so all you have to do is double click on it to start the process. You should be logged on as an administrator and make sure that no other users are logged on, and you'll need to close all your programs before you start installing. If you should happen to have installed the SP1 beta, uninstall it first. We'll tell you how to do that in this week's "How To" section below.

I had no problems with the SP1 installation and based on what I'm hearing from readers who have installed it, and from monitoring the web forums, it's going well for the vast majority of Windows 7 users. However, something could always go wrong. A service pack updates critical operating system files, and a power glitch or hardware failure during the installation could have a devastating effect. Thus I recommend you back up all important data to an external disk or network location before you proceed with the installation. I know most people probably won't do it, and most won't suffer any ill effects from that decision, but it stinks to be the one who loses irreplaceable data because you tried to save a little time. Also, if you're updating a portable computer (laptop or Windows 7 tablet), be sure you plug it into A/C power before you start the installation. Even if you have a full battery, it's best not to risk a power failure during installation. Finally, you might need to temporarily disable your anti-virus program. Some AV programs can interfere with the service pack installation. If you do, don't forget to turn it back on as soon as you finish installing the service pack.

Have you installed SP1 on your Windows 7 computer yet? Did you run into any problems? Were you disappointed that the service pack didn't really seem to change anything or add any noticeable new functionality? What changes were hoping for, that you'd like to see in SP2? Or is it a very good thing that Windows 7 is already so stable, fast and user-friendly that no dramatic changes were necessary? Should Microsoft have just skipped the service pack and waited until it had more to offer?

How to uninstall the SP1 beta

You need to uninstall the beta of Service Pack 1 before you install the final release. Here's how you do that:
Click Start | Control Panel | Programs and Features (if you're not in Classic view, this is in the Programs category).
Click View Installed Updates.
On the Uninstall an Update page, click "Service Pack for Microsoft Windows (KB 976932)
Click Uninstall.
Follow the instructions to remove the beta from your machine.