The Top Twenty
Every night a friendly robot looks through the Ask Bob logs to see which articles were the most popular over the past week. Here are the current Top Twenty, ranked by readership volume. If you missed any of these, take a few minutes to read and comment!
- Beware Fake Tech Support Scammers
Have you received an unexpected phone call from a helpful customer service rep of Microsoft, or perhaps your ISP? I didn't think so. But many people have received calls from scammers posing as tech support reps, warning that their computers are infected with malware and offering help to fix the purported problem. Here's what you should do if they call you...
- Is This Amazon's Skype Killer?
Amazon has launched a voice calling and videoconferencing service called “Amazon Chime.” There's a free “Basic” service is useful to consumers, and a paid version targeted at businesses. Free Chime competes with other free voice/video/text messaging systems such as Skype and Google Voice/Hangouts. Let’s see how Amazon Chime stacks up.
- The Return of Unlimited Data Plans
Verizon announced the return of “unlimited” data service on February 12, 2017. For the first time in five years, all four major service providers (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon) are offering “unlimited” plans. You'll note I put the word in quotes, so let’s see how they compare, and what limits you may encounter in actual practice...
- Geekly Update - 22 February 2017
Will robots have to start paying income taxes? Can Wikipedia get you VIP seats at your next concert? And is your child's voice-activated doll illegal where you live? Get answers... in today's Geekly Update -- it's jam-packed with the latest tech news. This issue is guaranteed to make you 146% smarter -- you'll see why. Read, think, and, comment!
- Can You Trust ScanGuard?
A couple of readers have recently asked me about a new program called ScanGuard. One said: “Hey, Bob. Just ran across this on the internet. Article makes it sound really good – maybe too good. Also, what other alternatives are available that do the same thing? Appreciate all the good work you do and the information you share. God bless, Elwyn.” So let's take a look at ScanGuard…
- Yes, You Need Image Backups (and here's how)
Did you know that online backup services like Mozy or Carbonite don't backup ALL your files? If your backup strategy only covers what you've got stashed in your Documents folder, you could be in for a rude awakening if a data disaster strikes. It's the same with manual, haphazard "pick and choose" local backups you make on a flash drive or external hard drive. Here's what you need to know about system image backups...
- Are All Online Colleges Accredited?
A reader asks: 'Are online colleges and universities accredited in the the same manner as campus-based schools? I'm planning get my Master's degree, so I'm looking into various online college courses. Should I be concerned about the reputation of online schools, even if they're associated with a well-known university? I'd hate to do all that work, only to find out my diploma is worthless. How can I find out if an online college is accredited?
- Can You Still Get Windows 10 For Free?
The last day to get a free upgrade to Windows 10 was July 29, 2016. Many of us chose to let that opportunity pass, following reports of ongoing bugs in the new OS. But now, eight months later, the major bugs in Windows 10 seem to be resolved, and it’s time to upgrade. The question is, can you still upgrade for free?
- [TAXES] Free Tax Filing Options
The good news is: about 70% of U.S. taxpayers can get free online tax preparation and e-filing this year. The bad news is: you have to pick your online tax service very carefully. Here's what you need to know...
- HOWTO: Connect Your PC to TV, Wirelessly!
Wouldn't it be great to beam whatever is on your computer screen directly to your big-screen TV? Now you can wirelessly send Netflix, Hulu, YouTube videos, photos and computer games from your PC screen directly to your television screen. Even browse the web on your fancy big-screen HDTV. Here's how to make a wireless PC to TV connection...
- Geekly Update - 15 February 2017
Is your antivirus software employing magic and witchcraft to protect your computer? Can posting doggie pics on your Facebook page get you canned by your insurance company? And would you order consider ordering your next new car from a vending machine? Get answers... in today's Geekly Update -- it's jam-packed with the latest tech news. This issue is guaranteed to make you 146% smarter -- you'll see why. Read, think, and, comment!
- Internet Archive and the Wayback Machine
The Internet Archive is either one HUGE pile of data, or a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide "universal access to all knowledge.” Or both. As part of their mission, the Internet Archive has been crawling the Web for over 20 years, making copies of Web pages and preserving them for posterity. Today, approximately 280 billion Web pages from 1.5 billion sites are stored on the IA’s servers. Read on to learn how you can access this amazing resource that offers a window into the history of the Internet...
- UPDATE: Free Antivirus Programs
Readers often ask for my recommendations on antivirus protection. A common question goes something like this: “I got a trial version of Norton (or McAfee) antivirus with my computer, but the subscription expires in a few days. Should I pay, or switch to one of the free anti-virus programs? What do you recommend?” Read on for my updated list of the top FREE antivirus tools, and some tips on choosing free versus paid...
- HOWTO: Get Free Satellite TV
A reader asks: 'I have heard about free satellite TV channels you can receive if you have a free-to-air satellite receiver and dish. Is this true? If so, what satellite channels can I get, what equipment do I need, and is it legal?' Read on to learn about free satellite TV options...
- Why Backup? 9 Good Reasons (and YOUR backup questions answered)
It's a good question... why should you bother to make backups? It's especially understandable if you've never experienced any sort of data loss. But I've got a list of NINE reasons, some of which may surprise you. Read on for that list, and ANSWERS to some of the best questions submitted by those who took my survey on backups...
- Geekly Update - 08 February 2017
Is there a super-simple strategy to protect your computers from ransomware? Does the MacBook Pro have a secret feature to help people cheat on tests? What happens when you pour 11.3 ounces of apple juice on the keyboard of a CTL J5X Chromebook? And what's the real reason Time-Warner Cable changed their name to Spectrum? Find out... in today's Geekly Update -- it's jam-packed with the latest tech news. This issue is guaranteed to make you 146% smarter -- you'll see why. Read, think, and, comment!
- Boost Your WiFi Signal: Ten Tips and Tricks
A reader asks: 'How can I boost my wifi signal? I finally got high-speed internet with a wireless router, but the wifi signal is weak in some parts of the house. What tweaks or gadgets do you recommend to boost wireless signal strength and distance?'
- Can MagicJack Replace Your Landline?
A reader asks: “I've seen commercials for Magic Jack, a device you can plug into your computer for really cheap phone service. It sounds too good to be true... is MagicJack a scam, or does it actually work? Can it really replace my landline?” Read on for answers...
- [BUSTED] Vizio is Watching What YOU are Watching
Vizio, the second-largest seller of smart TVs, recently agreed to pay $20 million to settle a Federal Trade Commission complaint alleging the company sold the TV viewing habits data of individually identifiable customers to third-party data broker and advertisers without the customers’ informed consent. Here is what you need to know, even if you don’t own a Vizio smart TV…
- Save Time and Money with Printing Alternatives
How often do you use your printer? If it’s more than just occasionally, I’ve got some tips to simplify your life and save you money. Aside from wasting paper, killing trees unnecessarily, and spending more than $300 a gallon on printer ink, you’re also creating a stack of pages that you’ll have to do something with. Here are some ways to minimize those hard copies, as well as the associated filing, and tedious searching tasks…
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 4 Mar 2009
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- The Top Twenty (Posted: 4 Mar 2009)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved