Recent Comments


Comment by Al on Wolfram Alpha: The Answer Calculator (September 21, 2017 06:34 AM)
Hey Bob, It's "its", not "it's" in second to last sentence. (...ITS specialized capabilities...) Just saying. I've learned ALOT from your newsletter....
Comment by David Baker on [HACKED] A Reminder To Be Vigilant (September 21, 2017 06:15 AM)
Hi Bob, Thank you for all your wonderful info over the years! I use CCleaner Free on all my devices. I just got a auto-update tonight for my desktop...
Comment by Bob on [HACKED] A Reminder To Be Vigilant (September 21, 2017 05:59 AM)
They found the hack, shut down the server and then went public... I can understand this... nothing like the EquiFax debacle :O I'm not going to throw ...
Comment by Diann on [HACKED] A Reminder To Be Vigilant (September 21, 2017 04:39 AM)
Correct me if I am wrong, but Ccleaner was never meant to block malware but to rid the system of junk. I use another software to protect my computers ...
Comment by MmeMoxie on [HACKED] A Reminder To Be Vigilant (September 21, 2017 03:06 AM)
@Denis - You need to re-install the CCleaner version 5.34 or higher. Anything earlier will be contaminated with the malware. I found out about all of...
Comment by RandiO on [HACKED] A Reminder To Be Vigilant (September 21, 2017 01:05 AM)
I am to the point that I use two different types of 'firewalls'. I don't do automatic updates to any of the software packages installed in my systems ...
Comment by fred on [HACKED] A Reminder To Be Vigilant (September 20, 2017 11:50 PM)
According to Malwarebytes, Ccleaner was sold to Avast. Unfortunately, before the program was transferred to Avast, someone (maybe a disgruntled employ...
Comment by Denis on [HACKED] A Reminder To Be Vigilant (September 20, 2017 10:27 PM)
My 64bit W8.1 laptop wouldn't allow CC ver.5.33 to install. Would go part way then crap out with a write error. I tried a number of times with downloa...
Comment by Darcetha Manning on [HACKED] A Reminder To Be Vigilant (September 20, 2017 10:22 PM)
So what are the chances that other popular freeware used by millions of people are also similarly affected? After learning about this hack, I'm forced...
Comment by Osborne on [HACKED] A Reminder To Be Vigilant (September 20, 2017 10:16 PM)
I read where Piriform delayed the announcement while they put the police tracking down the rouge server. Supposedly it was captured as well as the pe...

[HACKED] A Reminder To Be Vigilant

Piriform, developer of the popular CCleaner software, issued a security bulletin on September 18, 2017. Somehow, malware sneaked into recent versions of CCleaner and CCleaner Cloud. Here is what you need to know...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on September 20, 2017 | Category: Security


Wolfram Alpha: The Answer Calculator

Among all the “other” search engines, my favorite is Wolfram Alpha. It’s not really a search engine in the traditional sense; it’s an “answer calculator.” Rarely in the news, Wolfram Alpha nonetheless exerts influence through licensing deals that make its technology available through Google Search, Bing, Siri, and other well-known brands. Here’s a look at what Wolfram Alpha has become since I last wrote about it in 2015...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on September 19, 2017 | Category: Search-Engines


Is This iPhone Madness?

Apple launched the iPhone 8 on September 12, 2017. Simultaneously, the company announced that the iPhone X will be available for pre-orders on October 27. Nobody knows what happened to the iPhone 9 (or iX, if you prefer). Read on to see how the iPhone 8 and X compare, and why Apple is following this unorthodox model release schedule…

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Posted by Bob Rankin on September 18, 2017 | Category: Mobile


Doctors of Deception: Diploma Mills


Were your parents disappointed when you didn’t become a doctor or a lawyer? Well, you can make it up to them by buying degrees in these or any other professional field, without doing a lick of course work. Read on to see how bad the problem of fake degrees and online diploma mills really is...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on September 15, 2017 | Category: Education


The Windows Problem Steps Recorder

The Problem Steps Recorder (PSR) is one of the more obscure features of Windows, but it can be a very useful one. If you've ever tried to solve a computer problem over the phone, you understand how frustrating and time-consuming that can be. If you're a user who needs to show a problem scenario to a tech support rep, or someone who wants to visually document a how-to process for a friend or relative, you should know about the Problem Steps Recorder, and other desktop screen recording tools...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on September 14, 2017 | Category: Windows


Geekly Update - 13 Sep 2017

If a monkey uses your camera to take a selfie, who owns the rights to the picture? Are dogs blowing the whistle on ultrasonic attacks against your voice-enabled appliances? And what is the simplest way to file a small claims suit against Equifax? 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!

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Posted by Bob Rankin on September 13, 2017 | Category: Tech-News


Here's Why Your Password is Hackable

Over the past two decades, password rules have become more complicated and burdensome upon users. Users have coped with arbitrary, byzantine password rules by creating the most easily remembered passwords that comply with the rules, changing them when required in minor, predictable ways, and reusing compliant passwords on multiple online accounts. The results include lots of frustration and LESS security. Here's how to do it right...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on September 12, 2017 | Category: Security


Equifax Takes The Data Breach Cake

On September 7, credit reporting agency Equifax reported one the worst data breaches in history, compromising an estimated 143 million Americans, 44 British citizens, and an uncertain number of Canadians. Read on to learn if your personal information leaked to hackers, and how Equifax is actually making things WORSE with their response to the breach...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on September 11, 2017 | Category: Privacy


Can Zello Save You In a Hurricane?

A smartphone app that nobody had heard of a week ago is being touted as the best way to communicate in the event that a hurricane wipes out cell phone and Internet services. Zello supposedly works like a walkie-talkie and lets you communicate with neighbors and emergency services. Turns out that's a mixture of fact and fiction. Read on for the truth about Zello...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on September 08, 2017 | Category: Mobile


Geekly (and Security) Update - 07 Sep 2017

I made a change to the AskBob website last week which was supposed to add a layer of security. But it didn't turn out the way I expected. Read on for that story, and this week's batch of Geekly Updates. As usual, it's jam-packed with the latest tech news, and guaranteed to make you 146% smarter. Read, think, and, comment!

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Posted by Bob Rankin on September 07, 2017 | Category: Tech-News


Android Tip: Securing Your Smartphone

Your Android smartphone is under attack from many directions, from pickpockets to malware to human error and suspicious spouses. Multiple security defenses are required to keep your phone as safe as it can be, which unfortunately isn’t “perfectly safe.” But here are SIX ways to secure your Android phone as best you can...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on September 05, 2017 | Category: Mobile


Do You Have Wifi Intruders?

Is your Internet connection sometimes mysteriously slow? It's possible that you're unwittingly sharing your wifi with a stranger. But how can you know for sure if a neighbor (or a malicious hacker) has tapped into your wifi? Read on to learn how you can detect bandwidth bandits, and give them the boot...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on September 01, 2017 | Category: Wireless


[ALERT] Change Your Passwords... NOW

A spammer’s database of 711 milliion email addresses and passwords, including email server admin credentials, has been discovered on a wide-open Web server in the Netherlands. It’s the biggest trove of stolen identities yet found. But what’s really interesting - and frightening - is how it’s being used to circumvent spam filters and infect victims with malware. Here's what you need to know, and do...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 31, 2017 | Category: Security


Geekly Update - 30 Aug 2017

How afraid should we be of artificially intelligent robot warriors? What makes it so easy for hackers to steal your mobile phone number? And are you ready for even MORE limits on your “unlimited” mobile data plan? 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!

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 30, 2017 | Category: Tech-News


[HOWTO] Take Great Smartphone Pictures

The smartphone seems to have replaced dedicated cameras among all but professionals and photography hobbyists. And the Android operating system powers 88% of all smartphones. So here are some tips for taking great photos with an Android smartphone. (Actually most of them apply to iPhones and old-school DSLR cameras as well.) Read on...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 29, 2017 | Category: Photography




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