Recent Comments


Comment by Kerry on Do You Need eSIM? (July 20, 2024 03:04 AM)
Thanks Bob. I hadn't heard of eSim before. It sounds like a good idea for consumers....
Comment by cropduster on Here's How to Take Better Smartphone Photos (July 19, 2024 09:21 PM)
Yes, Phixer, that is one of the most annoying habits of amateur 'photographers' using a cell phone....
Comment by Maurice on Geekly Update - 17 July 2024 (July 18, 2024 09:27 PM)
PCMatic don'T seem to want Canadian customers: Impossible to download or pay for it....
Comment by Lee on Do You Need eSIM? (July 18, 2024 06:43 PM)
Just recently switched from T-Mobile to Ultra Mobile and eSIM made it easy and just about instant. Took less than 30 minutes to switch 2 iPhones over...
Comment by Peter on Geekly Update - 17 July 2024 (July 18, 2024 10:33 AM)
Fortunately we're not at the "Living tissue over a metal endoskeleton" stage... yet...
Comment by Wolf on Geekly Update - 17 July 2024 (July 17, 2024 11:42 PM)
I NEVER cease to be amazed at the underhanded "techniques" that Microsoft utilizes, by NOT obtaining people's consent. It seems that a lot of what hap...
Comment by John on Geekly Update - 17 July 2024 (July 17, 2024 09:14 PM)
In support of Reg's distrust of random numbers, a professor in a business simulation course assigned students (I was one) the task of evaluating the b...
Comment by Reg on Geekly Update - 17 July 2024 (July 17, 2024 04:47 PM)
I've never trusted "random" generators. See Ian's comment above....
Comment by Ian on Geekly Update - 17 July 2024 (July 17, 2024 03:58 PM)
The concept of random numbers is fascinating. By using random techniques a pin such as 1234 could come-up - that would be random but insecure. However...
Comment by Phixer on Here's How to Take Better Smartphone Photos (July 16, 2024 08:30 PM)
Why do people hold their not-so-smart phones/cameras upright when taking a photo or video which should be landscape? ...

Do You Need eSIM?

Every mobile phone 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 don’t need a SIM card to connect to a cellular service carrier such as Verizon, T-Mobile, or AT&T. Instead, they can use a 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 use in your smartphone. Read on...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on July 18, 2024 | Category: Telephony


Geekly Update - 17 July 2024

What does radio static have to do with lottery winners? Should you ditch your antivirus software if it's not made in America? And is your password floating around on the dark web? 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 July 17, 2024 | Category: Tech-News


Here's How to Take Better Smartphone Photos

The smartphone has replaced dedicated digital cameras amongst all but professionals and photography hobbyists. Here are some tips for taking great photos with your iPhone or Android smartphone. (Actually most of them apply to those old-school digital cameras as well.) Read on...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on July 16, 2024 | Category: Photography


The Miscreants Who Menace Millions

Philosophers have pondered the nature of evil for centuries. Perhaps you also have wondered how a medium meant for information sharing has become a minefield of privacy and security risks. Spam, viruses, ransomware, identity theft, data breaches, phishing, malicious links and other cybercrimes have become commonplace. Who does this stuff, and what the heck is wrong with them? Let's take a look at what motivates the bad guys who lurk in the dark corners of the Internet...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on July 12, 2024 | Category: Security


Was Your Password Just Revealed in a Massive Data Breach?

On July 4, 2024, a hacker known as "ObamaCare" released a compilation of nearly 10 billion plaintext passwords on a popular hacking forum. This leak, dubbed "RockYou2024," is an updated and more extensive version of the infamous "RockYou2021" leak, adding approximately 1.5 billion more passwords to the already vast database. This massive repository significantly increases the risk of brute-force attacks on various online accounts. Should you be worried? Here's what you need to do...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on July 09, 2024 | Category: Security


Hacker Defense: Your NINE Point Tuneup

If you think the online world gets more dangerous every day, you’re not wrong. The AV-TEST Institute reports over 450,000 new malware samples are discovered DAILY. Thousands of social media accounts are hacked every day; and untold millions of consumer records compromised in data breaches are used by hackers in increasingly clever attacks. Your defense systems must be kept in tip-top shape. Here are nine ways to harden your system against hackers. (Don't worry, you won't need a screwdriver or soldering iron!) Read on...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on July 01, 2024 | Category: Security


Here's How to Spot Scams, Hoaxes, Urban Legends

Did you know? MIT grad students are growing “bonsai kittens” in glass jars. AI-powered robots killed 29 Japanese scientists. And yikes... Russian hackers have infiltrated your Amazon account! Read on to find out how (and why) nonsense like this spreads like wildfire online...

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Posted by Bob Rankin | Category: Reference


Still Using Microsoft Office? Stop Now, Here’s Why…

Since the Dark Ages of personal computing, Microsoft Office has been the standard for home, school, and office productivity suites. But it's always been a rather expensive software package. Today's prices range from $249 for Office Home & Business, up to $439 for Microsoft Office Professional. The subscription-based Microsoft 365 Family product costs $100/year. Fortunately, there are plenty of good, compatible (even free) alternatives to Microsoft's word processor, spreadsheet, and related office tools. Here are some of the best free and low-cost office suites to replace Microsoft Office...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on June 27, 2024 | Category: Software


Turbocharge Your Search: Tips and Tricks

The Web is a window to a world of wonder and wisdom. But as the amount of online information grows, finding what you want in search engines is getting harder. A casual search for a keyword or phrase can produce millions of hits, but they are not always ordered by relevance. On the other hand, search engines can quickly tell you things that you wouldn’t expect a search engine to know. Here are some tips to get more out of search engines, or less if that’s what you need. Read on...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on June 21, 2024 | Category: Search-Engines


SLOW Internet? Here's Why...

A frustrated AskBob reader says: “My Internet connection is usually pretty fast, but sometimes it slows down to a crawl, for no apparent reason. Do I have a virus, is it a WiFi problem, or are there other possible explanations for the slowdowns?” Yes, several! Read on for my advice on diagnosing (and fixing) a slow Internet connection...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on June 20, 2024 | Category: Networking


My Almost-Perfect Spam Filter

Researchers estimate that about 46 percent of all email traffic is spam. But I rarely see any spam in my inbox. That's because my spam filter blocks 99.9 percent of all spam, phishing and malware emails. Read on to learn how you can get near-perfect spam filtering, and declutter your inbox...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on June 19, 2024 | Category: Spam


Can a Computer Virus Destroy Your Hard Drive?

Occasionally I hear from AskBob readers who say a virus “destroyed” their hard drive and they had to buy a new one. But are there actually viruses that can physically damage a hard drive? Is it possible for a virus to damage computer hardware, or is this an urban legend? Read on to find out the truth...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on June 17, 2024 | Category: Hard-Drives


How Fast (or slow) Is Your Computer? Benchmark it!

How fast is your computer's CPU (the “brain” or central processing unit) compared to others? That's one question that CPU benchmarking can help you answer. Another good question is whether or not your particular CPU is performing up to manufacturer's specs; CPU benchmarking can answer that one too. Here's how to test your own CPU, with free software. Read on...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on June 13, 2024 | Category: Hardware


Geekly Update - 13 June 2024

Would you vote for an AI chatbot if it was running for mayor of your town? What happened when a group of teens traded their smartphones for basic dumbphones? And how would an extra thumb make you more productive? 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 | Category: Tech-News


Extra Security Tip: Offline Malware Scanners

You almost certainly have an “always on” malware detection tool already installed on your computer. It provides constant protection against viruses and other malware that may sneak into your computer. But no anti-malware program is foolproof; something may slip through its defenses and infect your hard drive. So what can you do if a really nasty virus disables your anti-malware protection, or fouls up your hard drive so Windows won't even start? Here's the answer...`

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Posted by Bob Rankin on June 12, 2024 | Category: Security



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