Recent Comments

Comment by Jeff Lindsay on iDrive Universal Backup (July 2, 2016 04:26 AM)
My iDrive failed for my Mac. Software would not work with my older Mac system, so tech support had me reformat the iDrive to allow me to copy files on...
Comment by Dennis WW on A Malware Funnel Pre-Installed on Your PC? (July 2, 2016 03:12 AM)
Like Glen, above, we found no updaters on our Toshiba laptop. Also, none found on a relatively new PC my son helped me purchase and put together....
Comment by Paul on A Malware Funnel Pre-Installed on Your PC? (July 1, 2016 09:13 PM)
Another reason I always clean install Windows when someone asks for help with their misbehaving OEM computer....
Comment by Rhonda Lea Fries on A Malware Funnel Pre-Installed on Your PC? (July 1, 2016 09:02 PM)
Microsoft Signature Edition (Dell laptop). I'd never considered buying from the Microsoft store, but there was an amazing sale last Black Friday. Whe...
Comment by Cho on A Malware Funnel Pre-Installed on Your PC? (July 1, 2016 06:36 PM)
@Lynn Dirk........"Updaters" are separate functions from "system" updates....
Comment by Therrito on A Malware Funnel Pre-Installed on Your PC? (July 1, 2016 03:54 PM)
Thank you, Bob, for this informative article. I uninstalled an HP updater for my printer. @Lynn Dirk & @Steve - Those are very good questions. I'll c...
Comment by Steve on A Malware Funnel Pre-Installed on Your PC? (July 1, 2016 03:00 PM)
what about Intel's update manager? ...
Comment by Butch on A Malware Funnel Pre-Installed on Your PC? (July 1, 2016 02:48 PM)
A 'Heads-Up' to other folks in my lower tech range: Dell Digital Delivery is ***not*** the updater. There was a fix available about a year or so ago o...
Comment by InLionSk8r on A Malware Funnel Pre-Installed on Your PC? (July 1, 2016 02:30 PM)
After installing a new version of Windows for customers who had an older version that came with their machine, they are generally happy to no longer s...
Comment by Lynn Dirk on A Malware Funnel Pre-Installed on Your PC? (July 1, 2016 02:18 PM)
Wouldn't it work just as well to set the system so that you have to view and approve what updates will be done and when? Or is the "Updater" a separa...

A Malware Funnel Pre-Installed on Your PC?

The biggest security vulnerability on your desktop or laptop PC probably is not something you picked up off the Internet, or that a phisher injected into your system when you clicked on the wrong email or web link. No, it’s most likely an application that came with your computer, provided free of charge (and responsibility) by HP, Dell, Lenovo, or whatever company made your system. Here's what you need to know…

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Posted by Bob Rankin on July 01, 2016 | Category: Security

Free Drawing and Graphic Design Programs

Buying a drawing or graphic design program makes sense if you draw or design graphics for a living. But for most of us, the need for such software comes seldom, and paying hundreds for a dust-collecting program is not very smart. Fortunately, there are plenty of good, free drawing/graphic design programs available to help you create a logo, brochure or website image. Here are some of the best...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on June 30, 2016 | Category: Software

Brother, Can You Spare a Digital Dollar?

There are many occasions when people need to exchange small sums of money: a group dinner, after-work happy hour, a shared taxi ride or shared “friends and family” phone account. Typically, cash is used to settle debts like these, but there is always that one guy who’s short of cash and says, “I’ll have to owe you.” That's where person-to-person payment systems come in very handy. Here's what you need to know...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on June 28, 2016 | Category: Finance

Leaving LinkedIn? Try One of These Instead

Microsoft announced on June 13, 2016, that it will buy LinkedIn, the professional and career social network. Too bad that was a Monday and not a Friday the 13th; the irony would have been better. Why did Microsoft buy LinkedIn, and what will they do with it? If this news makes you want to cancel your LinkedIn account, consider these alternatives…

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Posted by Bob Rankin on June 27, 2016 | Category: Social-Networking

[HANDY] Free Tools for PDF files

Adobe takes a lot of flack for its eminently hackable Flash/Shockwave animation file format. But Adobe also gave us the PDF - Portable Document Format. This handy file format was developed in the early 1990s to enable team members to share documents, including inline formatting and images, even though the members did not have the same file-handling software. Read today's issue to find some free tools to creating, managing, slicing and dicing your PDF files...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on June 24, 2016 | Category: Software

[RED ALERT] Would You Pay for YouTube?

I received an unexpected email from Google recently, asking me to “Try 3 months of YouTube Red for 99 cents.” My first reaction was, “Why would anyone pay anything for YouTube, regardless of its color?” I went delving for an answer to that question; here is what I found...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on June 23, 2016 | Category: Video

Geekly Update - 22 June 2016

Can your landlord force you to “like” him on Facebook, or face eviction? How large should the fine be for a telemarketer found guilty of 117 million violations of FTC rules? Can artificial intelligence software create better songs and movies than humans? And what's that big red button for? Today's Geekly Update is jam-packed with the latest tech news. It's *guaranteed* to make you 146% smarter. Read, think and comment!

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Posted by Bob Rankin on June 22, 2016 | Category: Tech-News

[MATCH] Your Face Predicts Your Behavior?

An Israeli startup called Faception got my attention recently with some pretty bold claims. The company claims that its software product can take one look at a person’s face and determine, with a high degree of accuracy, whether he is a terrorist, pedophile, white-collar criminal, extrovert, genius, or another of 15 “classifiers” the software is designed to recognize at first sight. What red flags might YOUR face trigger...?

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Posted by Bob Rankin on June 21, 2016 | Category: Printing

Security Without Passwords?

Google has promised to eliminate the need for passwords by the end of 2016, at its recent developers’ conference called Google I/O. And the company is making measurable progress towards that worthy goal. Will you be password-free by the end of this year? Will an ancient tabulating device play a role in the process? Read on to learn the details...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on June 20, 2016 | Category: Security

[LAST CALL] For Windows 7 PCs

So you've been happily using Windows 7 for years, but your computer is getting old, and really should be replaced. However, you don't want to buy one with Windows 8 or Windows 10. Good news -- you can still get a brand-new PC with Windows 7 pre-installed. But you’d better buy it soon. Here's the scoop...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on June 17, 2016 | Category: Windows-7

Geek Dads Will Love These Gifts

Father’s Day 2016 falls on Sunday, June 19th this year. If you have a geeky dad in the family, you may find the ideal gift for him among these delightful, bizarre, and just plain cool ideas. Read on...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on June 16, 2016 | Category: Gadgets

Browser Alert: Will You Switch?

There is a new Web browser for Windows, Linux, and Mac computers. It’s called Vivaldi, and version 1.0 emerged from beta testing in early April, 2016. Vivaldi offers some interesting features, some never seen before in a browser. Here is a look at Vivaldi and my opinion of its chances of becoming a major player...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on June 15, 2016 | Category: Browsers

The FBI Wants Your Browsing History

The Obama administration is pushing to amend existing privacy law in a way that critics argue would allow the government access to internet browsing histories and other metadata -- without needing a warrant. Privacy advocates and tech firms are resisting this move. Here’s what you need to know and do…

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Posted by Bob Rankin on June 14, 2016 | Category: Privacy

[WARNING] Paper Checks Can Lead to Fraud

In March 2016, I wrote about electronic bill payment, and asked “Are You Still Paying Bills With Paper Checks?” The overwhelming majority of readers who left comments said that they do. Some recent news casts serious doubt on the safety of this practice. If you pay bills with paper checks, you MUST read today's article...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on June 10, 2016 | Category: Finance

[BREACH] Be Careful Of Password Resets

Netflix and Facebook (and possibly other sites) began resetting the passwords of certain users recently. The affected users were locked out of their accounts; essentially, they found that the lock on the door had been changed and their key no longer fit it. Here's what's happening, why, and the steps you may need to take as a result…

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Posted by Bob Rankin on June 08, 2016 | Category: Security

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