Online Computer Tips Monthly Newsletter - October 2011
Latest Virus/Security Alerts:
Twitter phishing scam
There is a new Twitter phishing scam making the rounds lately. What's different about this scam is that it comes in the form of a direct message from hijacked accounts sending out messages to their followers. The messages will state something similar to: "I saw a real bad blog about you, you seen this?" and include a link for you to click on for more information. The link will then take you to a website that looks like the official Twitter login page.
One thing that proves it's not authentic but may slip by a lot of people is that the link is for twittelr.com instead of twitter.com. Once you click the link and go to the fake Twitter site you may be fooled because it looks like an actual Twitter page. You will then be prompted to log into your Twitter account again but in fact will be giving away your username and password. Another thing to watch for in Twitter messages are for shortened links which is another indication of a possible scam.
September's Poll Results:
How much are you willing to spend on your next computer?
Tip of the Month:
Pin Commonly Used Internet Explorer 9 Links to your Taskbar
If you are running IE 9 and Windows 7 on your computer there is a neat trick you can do which will let you pin web pages that you go to all the time to your taskbar making them really quick to access. Keep in mind that this will take up taskbar real estate, so don't add too many.
All you need to do is open Internet Explorer and go to the website that you want to create a shortcut for. Once you are on that page click on the icon to the left of the URL in the address bar and drag it to a blank spot on your taskbar. Now you will have a shortcut that will take you right to that website when you click on it. If you decide that you don't want the shortcut on your taskbar anymore, simply right click on it and choose Unpin this program from taskbar.
Hot Product of the Month: Creative D100 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
The Creative D100 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker lets you play music wirelessly from your smartphone, laptop, or other A2DP-enabled mobile device. The Creative D100's portable design and full-range drivers make it ideal for outdoor parties or afternoons at the beach. The speaker system comes in four colors and is compatible with PCs, Macintoshes, and most Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices.
Wirelessly stream music from any Bluetooth-enabled device such as your mobile phone, notebook, iPhone or iPad.
2 owerful 3-inch drivers
Compatible with iPhone 4, iPod Touch 4G, iPad, Droid (with latest operating platform) and other bluetooth devices
Play up to 25 hours of non-stop music from four AA batteries
Allows for a wired connection via its AUX-in port for other portable devices, like MP3 players, even while it works seamlessly with wireless Bluetooth devices.
Important Windows and Office patches:
23 Microsoft bug patches planned for October
Microsoft has released 8 security updates to patch 23 vulnerabilities in Windows, Internet Explorer, .Net Framework, Silverlight Forefront UAG and Host Integration Server.2 of these updates are ranked as critical. The most important critical patch is a cumulative update to Internet Explorer that fixes eight privately disclosed vulnerabilities in IE, while the other critical patch fixes a hole in Microsoft's .NET Framework and Microsoft Silverlight. The other six updates are rated important.
The IE fixes are for issues in Internet Explorer versions 6 through 9 running on all versions of Microsoft Windows from XP through 7. Microsoft has patched IE9 since its release, but this is the first time they needed to fix a flaw specific to only that edition. The IE vulnerabilities can be exploited by hackers using the "drive-by download" style of attack which tricks users into going to a malicious website. The critical update for Internet Explorer fixed at least eight known security flaws in all versions of Microsoft's Web browser
Nearly all require a restart which will cause widespread disruptions across both Internet connected servers and user community desktops.
Have you ever wanted to design your own desktop wallpaper for your computer? Now you can at WallPaperMaker.net. You can choose your background and add other pictures too it as well as reposition and resize your added features. When you are done it will generate your wallpaper for you that you can set as your background. You will need to enable your popup blocker for the site at this point. There are a lot of ads on this site so pay attention to what you are clicking on to avoid other unwanted popups etc.
Reader's Question of the Month:
How fast should wireless internet be?
Joyce writes in with a networking question Question: I just purchased and installed a Dlink Dir 615 N router and Nano usb adapter to use with my 6 year old Toshiba Satellite M45, 1600 MHz laptop. The most I am getting is 54mbps. I have tried disabling the built in Intel Pro wireless 2200BG network connection, but nothing has changed. Is there anything else to try to get better wireless speed or is this the best I can expect with the age and speed of my laptop? Thank you
Answer: 54 Mbps is the typical speed for wireless connections between a router and computer and is the most you can get. It will still be much faster than your internet connection will be. Typical DSL speeds are 5-20 Mbps and typical cable speeds are 10-30 Mbps. So your 54 Mbps speed is still well above your internet speed so you don't have to worry about having any type of slowdown online. If you transfer files between computers using your wireless then it will be slower than if you used an Ethernet cable at 100 or 1000 Mbps but for most people it will be fine unless you are transferring huge files or a lot of data.
Steve Jobs, 56, died at his home in Palo Alto, Calif. on October 5th after suffering from a metastatic pancreas neuroendocrine tumor. He was buried at Alta Mesa Memorial Park in Palo Alto, CA after a funeral held on October 7th.
The Santa Clara County Public Health Department released the cause of his death stating it was caused by respiratory arrest stemming from a pancreatic tumor. Supposedly no autopsy was performed on Jobs. Doctors discovered Jobs' neuroendocrine tumor, a rare form of pancreatic cancer, back in 2003 and he also had a liver transplant in 2009.
Jobs pioneered the invention of the idea of the personal computer. He also revolutionized the way people used computers by introducing a series of Mac products such as MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac mini etc. More recently, he launched products as the CEO of Apple like the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. The new CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, who took the job over when Jobs recently resigned, has been trained by Jobs himself for the past five years to make the transition to CEO would be as smooth as possible.