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Online Computer Tips Monthly Newsletter - February 2013

 Posted: February 12, 2012 -

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Latest Virus/Security Alerts:

Comcast phishing scams on the rise

If you get your internet, phone or cable from Comcast then you need to be aware of an increase in phishing scams geared towards Comcast customers. There is a report of 4 new emails making the rounds that look like legitimate Comcast emails. The point of phishing emails is to make them look like they are from someone else, usually a real company and then include a bogus link in there that when you click on the link it will take you to a fake website where it will then try to do things such as get you to input personal information that can be used to steal your money or identity.

In these Comcast specific emails the subject may be one of the following:

  • Action Required Customer Security Assurance Notice
  • Comcast Support Team
  • Important Update: Security Center
  • Verify and Update your COMCAST.NET Email

Some of the things the emails may ask you to do are to renew your account or claim that your payment wasn’t processed and ask you for your billing information. One of them even asks to verify your email address, name and password. Just keep in mind that Comcast doesn’t ask for any account information via email or over the phone. They only send lack of payment notices via regular mail and not by using email. If you get an email like this be sure to look over it carefully before deciding to do anything about it.

Virus Help
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February's Poll:

Do you have your own website?
Click Here to Go to This Month's Poll

January's Poll Results: 
Will you get a new computer or upgrade your old one in 2013?

New - 5%
Upgrade - 15%
Neither - 80%

Tip of the Month:

Setup a quick remote support session with Join Me

You may or may not have used Remote Desktop to control another computer on the network or even over the internet. And if you have then you know how useful this can be when helping troubleshoot a computer problem for someone or for having someone help you with a problem. The only problem with this is that you will need to do some setup in advance to get the connection going. If it’s over the internet then you will need to have a VPN connection established between the 2 sites to get it to work and so on.

If you want a quick and easy one time connection between 2 computers that you can do for free over the internet then check out Join Me. It’s a service provided by the makers of LogMeIn which provides services for remote computer connections over the internet using your web browser.

Join Me will allow you to make a one time connection based on a user code generated when you install a small piece of software on one of the computers. The person who needs their computer connected to will install the software which will then generate a code that you give to the person on the other end who will be making the connection. Then that person will type in that code on the Join Me website and the connection will be made.


Then you can allow that person to control the mouse and keyboard while seeing your screen remotely. When you are finished you simply end the session and you can keep the software on your computer until you need it again. Join Me is free and can be downloaded from their website.

All Tips
Hot Product of the Month: Microsoft LifeCam Studio 1080p HD Webcam


If you like to make internet video calls using software such as Skype or just like to use video for your instant messaging or maybe even like to record video emails then having a high quality webcam is a must. Since everything is HD now it makes sense that your webcam should be too. Microsoft has their own 1080p HD webcam that offers features such as autofocus, TrueColor Technology and a built in microphone all at an affordable price.


  • 1080p HD widescreen sensor - For superior sharpness and image quality.
  • Advanced high-precision optics - Auto focus, high-precision glass element lens
  • Clear, high-quality video - TrueColor Technology automatically delivers bright and colorful video, in virtually all lighting conditions. ClearFrame Technology for smooth, detailed video
  • High-fidelity microphone - For more natural, detailed audio.



Important Windows and Office patches:

Windows Blue to replace Windows Update?

If you are a Windows user then I’m sure you are used to getting your monthly updates bugging you to be installed and the bugging you to reboot shortly after. Then every once in a while you may see a service pack come out and then finally a few years later there will be a new version of Windows to upgrade too. Then of course you will need to decide if you want to upgrade and whether your computer will run the new version or not.

Well it seems that Microsoft has come out with a new idea to streamline updates and new versions since technology is moving much faster now with the increased use of smartphones and tablets. To keep up with the increased speed of technology Microsoft is moving Windows 8, Windows Phone, Windows Server, and its online services to an annual release cycle to help them compete with other vendors such as Android and Apple who release major updates on a much more frequent interval. Blue can be considered a grouping of product refreshes which are not expected to arrive exactly all at the same time, but which are meant to be released around the same time. So you may see Windows server updates happen yearly rather than every 3 years or so for example. It should also mean lower cost of development, marketing and delivery as new versions of Windows are pushed out online via the Windows Store like Android and Apple currently do.

It’s not exactly how Blue will work or if it will work but Microsoft is still on schedule to release Blue around the middle of 2013 and it will probably be available through the Windows Store.


More Resources

Interesting site of the Month:

If you like to tinker with things like your computer, smartphone, game console, TV, software, website or just about anything else you can potentially screw up then you may want to check out for help on how to do so. Lifehacker is an online blog that can help you improve your productivity with just about anything.


Reader's Question of the Month:

Changing file associations back to the proper program

Danny writes in with a software question
Question: How do I post my videos from my camera or cell phone to YouTube? I have some cool videos but want to put them online since they are too big to email but want to cut out the parts that I don’t want to be shown. What is the best way to do that and get them on YouTube?

Answer: The first thing you need to do is to get the videos off of your camera\cell phone so you can edit out the parts you don’t want to be seen and then you can upload them to YouTube. Keep in mind if they are low quality videos from a phone that doesn’t have a good video camera then they will not look that good on YouTube. Newer smartphones will usually take pretty good HD video so you should be ok if that’s the case.

Once you download the videos to your computer you will need to edit them to take out the footage you don’t want to keep. There are many ways to do this and you can find a free program online such as Windows Movie Maker from the Microsoft website or buy something more professional. Just be sure to export them as HD if they are HD videos to begin with if you want them to be HD on YouTube.

Once you have your videos ready then go to your YouTube account. If you don’t have one then just make a Google\Gmail account and you will be ready to upload. Log into YouTube with your new account and find the upload option and browse to the saved location of your video on your computer. Then in the YouTube upload settings give the video a name and add a description. You can also add keywords which will help your video come up in search results. Then once its finished uploaded and processed you can copy and paste the video link and share it with friends.

All Questions

Tech News of the Month:

Windows Surface may be a hit after all

With all the negative talk about Windows 8 and how slow it took off when it first came out made you wonder if it would ever really take on. Then Microsoft released the Surface tablet\laptop combo device and things seemed to pick up. The only problem is that the Surface was more of a tablet that a laptop which wasn’t exactly what many people were looking for.

Then came the Surface Pro which is very similar but the main difference is that it runs a full version of Windows 8 on an Intel processor and can run all your regular Windows PC software and they don’t have to be tablet specific apps. It’s also backwards compatible with older versions of your Windows software.

Well it seems that this new Pro version of the Surface is a big hit and is sold out at the US version of the Microsoft online store. There is a 64 GB and 128 GB version for $900 and $1000. But people are wondering if this selling out is because of actual demand or if Microsoft didn’t manufacture enough of the Surface Pro 128 GB devices to covers sales for its February 9th release date. Even some physical stores sold out of the surface quickly but that may be also be because of a lack of inventory. I guess we will have to see how many continued to sell after they are back in stock to get the real story.


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Wallpaper of the Month:

Fall in love with these Valentine's Day wallpapers

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