Recent Comments

Comment by Brian B on Geekly Update - 25 January 2023 (January 26, 2023 05:38 AM)
I shudder every time I hear flying cars mentioned. Just have a look at the present road toll, and remember those vehicles are only moving in two dime...
Comment by Citellus on Is This the Best Month to Buy a Car? (January 26, 2023 05:36 AM)
I have purchased several vehicles through ebay, 2 from dealers and one from a private party. I have been quite satisfied. Any used car is likely to ...
Comment by chuck on Is This the Best Month to Buy a Car? (January 25, 2023 10:08 PM)
BUYER BEWARE! Never a truer statement when it comes to buying a new or used car. They don't call them stealerships for nothing. Read every line in the...
Comment by Ryan James on Geekly Update - 25 January 2023 (January 25, 2023 07:12 PM)
ChatGPT is at capacity, not accepting new users. Most likely ever student in the US signed up first. I would be afraid of the Withings U-Scan. I woul...
Comment by Dave in Indy on Geekly Update - 25 January 2023 (January 25, 2023 06:59 PM)
The hi tech toilet scanner sounds like Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos all over again...
Comment by Emily Booth on Is This the Best Month to Buy a Car? (January 24, 2023 10:29 PM)
I was very disappointed in the Consumer Reports rating for my car when I purchased it in 2015. I wrote to the editor to let her know. In my experien...
Comment by Pete on Is This the Best Month to Buy a Car? (January 23, 2023 08:55 PM)
One thing we have had issues in the state of Georgia, selling cars online and not providing titles. You need to make sure you have in writing that yo...
Comment by Reg on Is This the Best Month to Buy a Car? (January 23, 2023 07:41 PM)
Good article, Bob, as usual. However, be sure you examine the printed purchase agreement line by line before you sign ensuring everything is what and ...
Comment by chris on Is This the Best Month to Buy a Car? (January 23, 2023 07:37 PM)
Obvious I meant to type "other" and not "ocher"...
Comment by chris on Is This the Best Month to Buy a Car? (January 23, 2023 07:35 PM)
VIN etching? Why? On my car the VIN is on a metal plate, attached to the dashboard, on the drivers side. Also, the VIN is inscribed in various ocher p...

Geekly Update - 25 January 2023

Are you ready for flying cars and self-driving baby strollers? Do you want to know what your furry friend is really thinking? And is it time to worry about artificial intelligence taking over the world? 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 25, 2023 | Category: Tech-News

Is This the Best Month to Buy a Car?

Do you know the best time of year to shop for a new or used car? And how is the global chip shortage affecting auto prices and inventory? Today I have some some tips for online auto buying that will help you save money and get the car you want. You may not even have to set foot in a dealer showroom. Read on...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on January 23, 2023 | Category: Auto

Virus Alert: Real or Rogue?

A worried AskBob reader says: “Do I have a computer virus? My computer will sometimes stop and it says I have a virus, and I must call a number on the screen. Then supposedly they will walk me through the process to fix it. Is this true? I have antivirus installed but still, it pops up now and then.” Here's my diagnosis...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on January 17, 2023 | Category: Security

[ALERT] Freeze Your Credit Files (all SIX of them)

Frequent and massive data breaches that reveal personal information on millions of consumers make it much easier for crooks to engage in identity theft. As individuals, we have little or no control over over data breaches, and what criminals do with that information. Even worse, the credit reporting agencies tasked with protecting our confidential information seem to think privacy is a joke. But we do have one important tool to defend ourselves. Today you'll learn how credit freezes work, and how they are different than 'fraud alerts' or 'credit locks'. Oh, and should you freeze ALL SIX of your credit files now? Wait... six? Yes, read on!

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Posted by Bob Rankin on January 09, 2023 | Category: Privacy

AskBob's Best of 2022 - Part Two

Did you see Part One of my “Best of 2022” series? Today, I've got another group of ten very popular AskBob articles for you. These have been selected using semi-sentient AI software that I 'borrowed' from a secret underground laboratory, and with help from injectable nanobots, excerpts from high-profile data breaches, and a guy named Vinny, who knows a guy who lives near the police station in a major metropolitan area. I might possibly have used the AskBob server stats as well. I hope you'll read each one, leave your own comments, and share them with your Email, Facebook and other online friends.

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Posted by Bob Rankin on January 03, 2023 | Category: Reference

AskBob's Best of 2022 - Part One

I want express my sincere THANKS to YOU and the 130,198 others who have subscribed to the AskBob newsletter since 2005. This year I celebrated the 17th anniversary of this newsletter, and there are over 3000 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 check out each one, leave your own comments, forward this to a friend, and tell them to sign up for more AskBob in 2023!

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Posted by Bob Rankin on January 02, 2023 | Category: Reference

Unwanted Gift Cards? Here's what to do...

Remember that gift card you got from Aunt Martha for Christmas or your birthday last year? Yeah, the one for that seafood place that's 2 hours away? You know you'll never use it. But rather than throw it away, here’s how to convert it, and other unwanted gift cards to cash. You can even cash in a pre-paid Visa, MasterCard, or American Express debit card that's collecting lint in your wallet. Read on for details, and some bonus tips on how to buy gift cards at a discount!

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Posted by Bob Rankin on December 23, 2022 | Category: Finance

Yes, Virginia, There is a Whitelist

“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” is a line from a famous editorial published in 1897. The writer opined that Santa Claus existed “as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist,” and that “the most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see.” You might not believe in Santa Claus, but malware is a veritable menace (even though invisible to the eye) to which you must take heed. In today's article, I'll explain how a whitelist can protect you much better than the old-school security software you're probably using now. It's something to do with Naughty and Nice. Read on...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on December 21, 2022 | Category: Security

Clearing Your Browser History (and your online tracks)

A reader asks: “How do I clear the list of sites visited in my web browser? There are some nosy people in my vicinity and I don't want them to be able to see what web sites I have visited.” Read on for my advice on how to clear browser history...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on December 13, 2022 | Category: Privacy

Should I Buy a Used Computer?

A reader asks: “With all the rampant malware, spyware, and ransomware, is ot safe to buy a used computer for sale at a thrift store, on Ebay, or Craigslist? How about a refurbished computer offered by Dell, HP, or another well-known vendor? And... what about a used hard drive, or memory chip? Is it ever safe to go with used tech hardware?” Read on for my advice...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on December 12, 2022 | Category: Hardware

A Harbinger of Hard Drive Hardship?

A concerned reader asks: 'My 4-year-old hard drive is making a persistent clicking sound. It started recently and seems to be getting more frequent. Sometimes I hear a repeated click-whir sound when starting or using my computer. Does this mean my hard drive is going bad?' Yikes! Hard drive clicking sounds are clearly cause for consternation. Read on to learn exactly what that clicking means, what Concerned Reader (and you) should do, if it happens to you...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on December 06, 2022 | Category: Hard-Drives

Have You Backed Up THIS Important Thing?

I’ve written frequently here on ways to backup your hard drive, email, mobile devices and social media content. But what about when the power goes out? How can you keep your computer and internet online when you lose power? Read on for my tips on backup power, and how it relates to keeping your data safe...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on November 29, 2022 | Category: Backup

NINE Tips For Online Holiday Shoppers

In last year's holiday shopping season, spending totaled $887 billion, up over 14 percent from the previous year. Post-pandemic shoppers are back in stores, but ecommerce sales are expected to rise again. Fortunately, some tools have emerged to help consumers find the best deals. Check out these clever tips to help you save money when you shop online for the holidays...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on November 21, 2022 | Category: Shopping

Want Safer Internet? Just Add Onions

I don't spend much time in dark corners of the Web, but every once in a while I fire up the privacy-focused Tor browser. I just installed the latest version and spent some time exploring the Tor network. It was an interesting and surprisingly non-geeky sojourn! Here's what you need to know about the Tor browser, and how it can improve your online safety and privacy...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on November 18, 2022 | Category: Privacy

[TIPS] Trouble Seeing Your Computer Screen?

Ben Franklin opined that nothing is certain except death and taxes. I would add "aging eyesight" because it affects everyone eventually, diminishing the pleasure and productivity of computing. Various adaptive technologies are available to compensate for loss of visual acuity. Some are built into Windows. But these options all have limitations, and using them in certain combinations can actually make it more difficult to make sense of what’s before your eyes. Read on for a look at Windows display settings and how to use them to best advantage...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on November 17, 2022 | Category: Windows

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