What’s New

 

Beware of Phishing Scam

I received the following email supposedly from AOL.  To grab my attention the subject read "Your AOL account will be blocked" The sender is actually looking for my personal information. This is a scam that is known as phishing. Never click on the link and give out personal information and always report it as spam.

pfishing Emaill Phishing for information

The Kindle Fire – A Great Tablet

The Kindle Fire is one of the most popular tablets and is available through Amazon. It weighs in at 14.6 ounces and has a7" multi-touch display. It is small enough to fit in your purse and light enough to hold in just one hand. The Kindle Fire is perfect for browsing, playing, reading and shopping on-the-go. In the first quarter of this year Amazon has sold almost 4 million of tablets. 

With the Fire you get:

  • Over 20 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, and books
  • Thousands of popular apps and games, including Netflix, HBO GO,  Angry Birds,Words With Friends, and Pandora
  • Free cloud storage for all your Amazon content
  • Vibrant color touchscreen with extra-wide viewing angle
  • Fast, powerful dual-core processor
  • Favorite children's books, graphic novels, and magazines in rich color

 The Kindle Fire is one of the best selling and least costly Tablets on the market.  It is not only great for the kids but is so much fun for us seniors.


 

Sticky Notes On Windows 7

In the past I used colored sticky notes to remind me of tasks I needed to undertake, calls I had to make, or groceries I needed to buy. I would stick them on my desk and remove them when the task was complete, or locate them days later where they had fallen.

I can now use sticky notes without using any paper. Windows 7 comes with a great App called sticky notes.  To run the app: Click on the Start Menu in the left corner of your desktop, type sticky in the search box that appears in the menu located under Programs, and then press the Enter Key on the keyboard. You immediately see a new note which looks just like the real thing.  Now just start typing whatever it is you need to remember.  It's that simple. Need another note? Click the plus sign on the new note and another one appears on your desktop. Want to delete it? Click the X in the opposite corner. If you prefer a different color just click with the right mouse button in the body of the note and choose from six options.

You can remove the sticky notes from your desktop by closing them. Click with the right mouse button on the taskbar icon and choose Close Window, but do not be concerned because sticky notes will restore your notes just the way you left them the next time your run the App. 

Now that I use my digital sticky notes I have a much neater desk area, less paper to recycle, and as a result, I  do not concern myself with finding sticky notes days later when I still haven't accomplished what was on that lost note.


 

Tablet Computers

Tablets, such as the new IPad, are becoming more and more popular. Besides having most PC computer capabilities, tablet computers include wireless Internet capability, GPS navigation, and video camera functions, weigh around two or three pounds  and typically have a battery life of three to ten hours. As with computers there are many different brands to choose from. CNET lists it pick of the 5 Top Tablets.


 


On Line Banking

Banks have been offering customers the ability to bank online for over six years however less than 25 percent of Americans are banking online.  At some point, banking online will be unavoidable for most of us.

Why are so many computer users still avoiding doing on line banking.  For many it is a security issue and for others it is the fear of using the computer to work with their money.  According to a Consumer Reports article on the subject, breeches of security have been rare, and if a cyber crook steals your money, the bank is obligated to replace the cash just as it would if an armed robber stole the money. Most banks use a special encryption, which scrambles data in transit between the banks computer and yours. The banks also have firewalls and virus-detection programs.

There are many advantages to doing your banking online.  Most banks offer free online banking, which is a great tool to pay your bills.  You can check your balance and history, view or print online images of your checks that have cleared or view your monthly statements. You can easily transfer funds between eligible accounts and see which transactions have cleared. All this can be accomplished anytime throughout the month, at any time of the day or night, from anywhere that you can access the internet.

So if you are on friendly terms with your computer you may want to begin managing your money with its help.


 

HELP PREVENT COMPUTER CRASHES

It happens to us all – you're working on something on the computer and suddenly it either stops responding ("freezes") or it shows the "blue screen of death"("crashes"). While freezes and crashes are inevitable there are some things you can do to prevent them.
Crashes can occur if your hard drive  gets filled up with unwanted programs, temporary files, obsolete system files and other such data.  Use  Disk Cleanup,which comes with Windows, regularly to clean up all unwanted junk files.  Ccleaner, a free app, which can be downloaded or the Internet, will accomplish this in minutes.

Upgrade your operating system as new releases and patches become available.

Malicious infections such as a virus, trojan, worms, spyware and adware can get into your system through different sources and cause computer crashes. To prevent these infections it is essential that you have an up to date Anti-Virus program on your computer and that you run regular full system scans to ensure that no malicious data exists on the computer.  Set your program to automatically update to prevent infiltration by any new viruses.

A desktop computer that is in a cabinet or on the floor should periodically be dusted, especially in the back of the machine. The fan should be kept dust free in that it keeps the system cool. Computers and electronics in general don't like heat.   If the airways are blocked system temperature can rise quickly and cause problems.

If crashes continue to occur your computer may have problems that require more than a do-it-yourself diagnosis and repair.  At that point you may consider calling in an Expert, such as The Computer Tutors.


Siri – My Private Secretary

Barry and I were teenagers when we became Star Trek fans.  I was especially intrigued by all the futuristic technology, like Captain Kirk talking to the Admiral on earth and seeing him in real time on a large monitor. And everyone remembers those famous  words "beam me up Scotty."

Almost 46 years have passed since the first episode.  We may not be able to beam anywhere but we can see and speak with our friends and family on our computers smartphones and tablets all over the world, using programs such as Skype. And now they have given us our own personal computerized secretary on the IPhone 4S, whose name is Siri.

Unlike programs like Dragon you do not have to train Seri to recognize your voice. Just speak into your phone in your natural voice and tell Siri what you want it to do. The more you use Siri, the better it will understand you. It does this by learning about your accent and other characteristics of your voice. Siri uses voice recognition algorithms to categorize your voice into one of the dialects or accents it understands.

Siri writes and sends email messages and texts, searches the Internet  for anything you need to know, plays the music you want to hear, gives you directions , places calls, schedules meetings, helps you remember, wakes you up, sends text messages, schedules meetings, places phone calls, and more. Ask Siri to do things just by talking in your natural voice. If it needs more information to complete a task it will ask you questions.   Siri could not understand one of my first commands and  thought I said I love you.  Was I taken back what it answered, “I love you too, but what do you want me to do.”

Siri uses almost all the built-in apps on the iPhone 4S. Below is a list of those apps and services that Siri works with worldwide:


 

Facebook – Remove a Friend

Sometime we have approved a friend on facebook that we no longer want to share our information with. How do we delete them from our page? It's Easy!

  • Log onto Facebook.
  • Go to your wall by clicking on your picture.
  • Click on Friends under your picture.
  • A list of all your friends appears.
  • Move your pointer over the person’s picture you want to remove.
  • Click on Friends in the box that opens
  • A menu will come down.
  • Click on unfriend.

You are given a second chance and can cancel or approve the request.  Facebook will show a confirmation that the friend has been removed from your friends and will no longer appear on any of your friends list he or she may have belonged to.


Who Uses Social Media

What is everybody doing on their computer?  Being social with family, friends,  cyber friends and even strangers.  They are most likely on Facebook or Twitter, sharing their thoughts, stories, pictures and games with each other.

You hear about social media just about everywhere you go – there’s no escaping it!    Social Media networks are no longer just for kids.  I can go on Facebook and easily catch up with the lives of my Facebook contacts, or tweet thoughts I want to share with the outside world.  Even Betty White re-launched her career using Facebook, Jerry Mathers, aka “The Beaver,” is tweeting about how to live a longer and healthier life (even with diabetes). a

According to Pew Internet & American Life Project, social media use among Internet users ages 50 and older has nearly doubled – from 22% to 42% over the past year. Half (47%) of Internet users ages 50-64 and 26% users age 65 and older now use social media. Senior or not just  enjoy the new way of communication


 


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