Recent Comments


Comment by Doug on [IRONY] US Postal Service Fosters ID Theft (January 18, 2019 09:22 PM)
I have informed delivery and have had to report a couple of important pieces of mail missing. When I finally received them, on the front was handwrit...
Comment by Butch on [HOWTO] Run a Deep Scan for Malware (January 18, 2019 09:00 PM)
I have three times followed the directions for the AVAST full scan--or so I thought. No "OK" appears; thus, I'm not able to save the settings or able ...
Comment by Lou on [IRONY] US Postal Service Fosters ID Theft (January 18, 2019 07:49 PM)
Thanks Bob for the information. It is very informative. I have an account with the USPS and therefore have access to the informed delivery section. I ...
Comment by Elsie M. Lucas on [IRONY] US Postal Service Fosters ID Theft (January 18, 2019 07:38 PM)
How can you tell if you are signed up for the "Informed Delivery" ?...
Comment by Will on [IRONY] US Postal Service Fosters ID Theft (January 18, 2019 07:02 PM)
I have Informed Delivery and it is especially useful if you use a PO Box as it eliminates some useless trips. However, I have sometimes received the...
Comment by Don on [IRONY] US Postal Service Fosters ID Theft (January 18, 2019 06:55 PM)
I also use the informed delivery and have had no issues so far. I like it because in inclement weather I sometimes don't go to my mail box for days i...
Comment by Dean Forsyth on Are You Ready for Hardware Security Keys? (January 18, 2019 06:38 PM)
I got my Yubikey as an incentive to subscribe to Wired same way as Mark H. mentioned above. It sat around in its package for over a month until I had ...
Comment by J Stubbs on [IRONY] US Postal Service Fosters ID Theft (January 18, 2019 06:18 PM)
The poor postal service. Delivery persons try real hard - despite the incompetencies of USPS upper management. USPS leaders and decision makers can't ...
Comment by JOD on [IRONY] US Postal Service Fosters ID Theft (January 18, 2019 05:40 PM)
This makes me wonder if Equifax has actually frozen my file, as requested since 2017, since I recently signed up online for Informed Delivery It has ...
Comment by Ken on [IRONY] US Postal Service Fosters ID Theft (January 18, 2019 05:28 PM)
I have been using informed delivery since the post office started it. I have never had an issue, but I also froze my Equifax, Transunion and Experian...

[IRONY] US Postal Service Fosters ID Theft

The U. S. Postal Service’s heart is in the right place but its head seems to be elsewhere. A free USPS service called “Informed Delivery” intended to cut down on mail fraud has actually been used by ID thieves to run up bogus credit card bills in victims names. Security researchers say the weak identity verification used by USPS made the scam possible. Here is how the scam works, what you can do to protect yourself, and what USPS should have done in the first place. Read on for the details…

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Posted by Bob Rankin on January 18, 2019 | Category: Privacy


Are You Ready for Hardware Security Keys?

Are you tired of unlocking your phone or computer a hundred times a day? Would you like to login to all your favorite websites with a single tap, and never reemember another password? That's the promise of hardware security keys. Let's take a look at the current offerings, and you can decide if one is right for you...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on January 17, 2019 | Category: Security


Geekly Update - 10 January 2019

Verizon and AT&T are both claiming to be first in providing super-fast 5G service, but are they telling the truth? Why is Microsoft setting aside several gigabytes of space on your hard drive as a 'failure zone?' Is online shopping reducing traffic on the streets, or making it worse? And how reliable is smartphone facial recognition? 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 January 16, 2019 | Category: Tech-News


Sad News About People Finders

I first wrote about “Finding People Online” way back in 2006, and updated that article with “Free People Search Tools” in 2013. Now, in 2019, I have news for everyone: it’s getting harder to get free information about people, addresses, and phone numbers. Much harder. Here's the scoop...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on January 15, 2019 | Category: Reference


What Is eSIM And Do You Need It?

Every smartphone buyer knows the ritual of inserting a SIM card into his or her new purchase. It’s become more of a challenge as the size of SIM cards has steadily shrunk. But the latest phones from Apple and Google don’t need a SIM card to connect to a cellular service carrier such as Verizon or AT&T. Instead, they can use a new hardware format called “eSIM” which stands for “embedded subscriber identity module.” Let’s examine how eSIM works, what new features it enables, and whether eSIM capability is something you want to look for in your next smartphone. Read on...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on January 14, 2019 | Category: Telephony


[CES] The Best Gadgets Coming in 2019

This year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), like all others, gave us a “forward-looking” peek at products that may be available later this year. CES is more of a trend show than a trade show. This year’s trends include “smart,” “5G,” and “artificial intelligence.” Of course, there are also marvelously silly products that probably will never reach consumers. Check out walking cars, talking toilets, cat face recognition, and more. Here is a roundup of the CES 2019 highlights...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on January 11, 2019 | Category: Cool-Stuff


Geekly Update - 10 January 2019

Would you buy a car with legs? Are the apps on your phone sharing your information without permission? Has Forbes Magazine been completely taken over by robots? And how will Microsoft eliminate passwords in the next release of Windows 10? 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 January 10, 2019 | Category: Tech-News


[RED FLAG] Microsoft Office License Scams

Pirated software is nothing new, nor is its presence on eBay. But in this age of Software-as-a-Service there are new ways to scam users and cheat developers out of licensing fees. Here is a look at some recent eBay scams involving Microsoft Office, and some truly free, legit Office alternatives you should know about...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on January 09, 2019 | Category: Software


Can You Sell Your Digital Soul for Cash?

Years of massive data breaches, shady dealings, and an epidemic of identity theft have left many consumers fed up with Facebook, Google, and other centralized data collectors. Some tech frontiersmen are trying to build alternatives that leave consumers in control of their data. But marketers still want our data, so they will come to us asking to buy it. Is that something we really want? Let's take a look...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on January 08, 2019 | Category: Finance


NO Doesn’t Mean NO To Facebook

Facebook’s ironically named “Privacy Settings” include a “location history” option for mobile users. You might think that turning it off prevents Facebook from tracking your location and targeting you with ads from businesses you pass. You would be mistaken. Read on for the scoop…

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Posted by Bob Rankin on January 07, 2019 | Category: Social-Networking


AskBob's Best of 2018 - Part Two

On Wednesday I published Part One of my Best of 2018. Today, I've got another batch of ten very popular AskBob articles for you. These have been selected using input from autonomous robots, surveillance drones, artificially intelligent monkeys, eye-tracking devices, and machine learning software that I stole from a secret underground laboratory. I hope you'll read each one, leave your own comments, and share them with your Email, Facebook and Twitter friends.

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Posted by Bob Rankin on January 04, 2019 | Category: Reference


Geekly Update - 03 January 2019

Would you give up your Facebook account for a thousand dollars? Do you know the most dangerous health hazard of the digital age? What can you do if you hate the latest version of the Chrome browser? And how soon will you be able to run Windows on your Chromebook? 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 January 03, 2019 | Category: Tech-News


AskBob's Best of 2018 - Part One

I want express my sincere THANKS to you and the 42,365 others who made the AskBob website a busy place in 2018! I celebrated the 13th anniversary of this newsletter, and there are over 2500 articles here now. Many of you are regular readers and contribute comments, which I love. And since I love numbers almost as much as words, I asked my robot to scan the server logs to find the most popular articles of the year. Here are ten of the top articles for you to review. I hope you'll read each one, leave your own comments, forward this to a friend, and tell them to sign up for more...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on January 02, 2019 | Category: Reference


The Quantum Internet: What's In Store For Us?

Today is the last day of 2018, so it seems fitting to look ahead to the future. What will the future of the Internet look like? How will advances in physics affect computers, networking, encryption, and privacy? Let's look ahead to the Quantum Internet…

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Posted by Bob Rankin on December 31, 2018 | Category: Future Tech


Is Your Charging Cable Killing Your Phone?

For years, folks with gadgets that need to be recharged have fought with those annoying, odd-shaped USB connectors. They can only be inserted one way, and they always seem to be upside down or misaligned on the first attempt. And forget about trying that in the dark! The USB-C standard was supposed to fix this problem four years ago. Read on to learn why we're not quite there yet, and why your charging cable might be damaging your phone...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on December 28, 2018 | Category: Mobile




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