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Online Computer Tips Monthly Newsletter - May 2012

 Posted: May 15, 2012 -

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Latest Virus/Security Alerts:

Flash Player for Internet Explorer vulnerability

Adobe is warning Widows users who use Internet Explorer and Adobe Flash Player that they may be at risk of a malware infection. It turns out that there are Flash Player update installation files being sent via email that contain malicious code which can allow attackers to crash Flash Player and execute malicious code which can seize control of the user's computer.

Adobe has released an emergency patch to address the vulnerability in their Flash Player software and it should be applied if you are an Internet Explorer user running Windows. Even if you use Flash Player on a different platform it's still a good idea to apply the patch.

Adobe is recommending that users of the following or earlier versions of Flash Player update their software ASAP:

Version for Windows, Mac and Linux users
Version for Android 4.x users
Version for Android 3.x users

For more information and a link to the patch visit the Adobe Flash website


Virus Help
Spyware Help

May's Poll:

Do you check your Facebook account while at work?
Click Here to Go to This Month's Poll

April's Poll Results: 
Will you upgrade your computer to Windows 8 when it comes out?

Yes - 42%
No - 58%

Tip of the Month:

Turn off Google Instant Predictions

Have you noticed that when you are typing in a search term in Google that it tends to bring you search results before you are even done typing in your search like it thinks it knows what you are looking for? This feature is very annoying to many people but fortunately it is very easy to turn off.

Google Instant Predictions settings

The feature is called Google Instant Predictions and is enabled by default on the Google home page. To disable Instant Predictions you simply need to turn it off in the search settings options from within Google itself.

To do so you will need to click on the gear icon at the top right and then choose Search Settings. The gear icon used to be on the Google home page but now it won't show up unless you do a search first and then it will be shown on the results page. So simply type in anything in the search box and click on the Google Search button to have it show the results. Then find the Google Instant Predictions section and click next to Never show Instant results and click on Save to turn the feature off.


All Tips
Hot Product of the Month: StarTech USB Stereo Adapter External Sound Card


The StarTech USB Audio adapter transforms a standard USB port to an audio port, allowing you to add headsets and microphones to your computer. It is compliant with USB 2.0 and USB audio device specification 1.0 and installation is as easy as connecting the adapter to an available USB 2.0 port, then connecting your audio devices to the provided 3.5 mm audio ports as needed.


  • A compact and portable audio adapter that can instantly give a system audio capabilities without any software or driver installation
  • Backed by a 2-year warranty and free lifetime technical support
  • 3.5mm mini-jack connectors for headphone and MIC
  • Headphone and microphone support on PlayStation 3
  • Compact form factor
  • Compliant with USB audio device class specification 1.0
  • Plug-and-Play
  • Compatible with Windows 98SE and up and Mac OS 9.x and later






Important Windows and Office patches:

Over 20 patches for May's Patch Tuesday

There were 23 security flaws in 7 bulletins that were addressed this month by Microsoft that affected Windows, Office, .NET and Silverlight. 3 of these bulletins were rated as critical and 4 were rates as important and most of them addressed remote code execution vulnerabilities.

The RTF Mismatch Vulnerability patch is especially important because it patches a flaw in Rich Text Format files which can be exploited through Microsoft Office 2003 and 2007 to gain control of a user's computer. There were also 6 bugs in Excel and 1 in Visio which were related to file format vulnerabilities that could also allow an attacker to take control over a user's computer.

If you use Windows Update then you should be getting the patches automatically.


More Resources

Interesting site of the Month:

If you ever wanted to read some real people reviews on a product or get some suggestions on certain products such as what is the best inkjet printer for under $200 then give a try. If the answer is not already there then you can post the question for yourself and see what kind of advice you get.

Reader's Question of the Month:

Hardware needed to run Windows 7 smoothly?

Brad writes in with a hardware question
Question: What kind of processor and how much RAM do I need to run Windows 7 smoothly? I want to either buy a computer with Windows 7 already on it or maybe build one myself with some help from a friend.

Answer: There are a few things to consider when planning what hardware is needed for a new computer. It will depend on what you plan to do with your new computer. Of course there are some specs that will have to be met no matter what you are doing with your computer.

For Windows 7 we recommend at least 4 GB of RAM for good performance no matter what you are using the computer for. Microsoft may say you don't need that much but you really do. Processor wise you should get a decent dual core or even quad core processor if you can afford it. The Intel i3 and i5 are good choices and the i7 works great. AMD makes some good processors as well. Hard drive space should be based on what you plan to store on the computer. If it has a 500GB hard drive then that is plenty for most people. If you plan on gaming or doing video editing then you may want to stay away from the built in video cards and get a PCI-E card with 512MB or 1GB of onboard RAM. Most sound cards or even the built in type are fine since your speakers will make more of a difference in sound quality.

All Questions

Tech News of the Month:

No DVD playback capability for Windows 8 unless you are willing to pay

Most people at some time or another have used their computer and especially laptops to play DVD movies to pass the time. In fact, Windows users have been doing this since Windows 95 was out. Unless you have a preferred media player for DVD movies, you most likely use the built in Windows Media Player to watch movies and also to listen to music.

Apparently Microsoft wants you to pay to play… DVDs that is in Windows 8. If you buy one of the lower cost versions of Windows then that's exactly what you will need to do. But if you buy the Professional version then all will be well when it comes to your movies. There will be an optional Media Center component offered for DVD playback within Windows.

Don't get too worried because you will still be able to use third party software to play DVDs on your computer though and there should be some free programs available that will do the job. But many people won't realize that they can't play their DVD movies until it's too late if they get a lower costing version of Windows 8 with their computer.


Go to The OCT News Blog

Wallpaper of the Month:

April showers bring May flower wallpapers

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