AskBob's Best of 2015 - Part Two

Category: Reference

Yesterday I published Part One of my Best of 2015. Today, I've got another batch of ten very popular articles, which have been selected using input from drones, robots, trained monkeys, eye-tracking and the latest fake artificial intelligence technology. I hope you'll read each one, leave your own comments, and share them with your Email, Facebook and Twitter friends.

More of the Top AskBob Stories of 2015

In AskBob's Best of 2015 - Part One I focused on improving your online safety, and ways to save money. Looking at today, I see some of the same themes, but other key words that jump out at me are Speed, Reliability and Education. If you want to keep your computer running optimally, avoid hard drive crashes, and learn where to find free online college classes, you'll enjoy today's final Top Ten of 2015...

1. More Online College Courses

Massively Open Online Classes (MOOCs) is the latest buzzword for online college classes. Demand for them (both free and paid) is taking off exponentially. Students, educators, and investors are flocking to MOOCs these days. Market research firm VisionGain estimates MOOC revenues of $1.5 billion worldwide in 2015. Check out one of the latest innovations in online learning, then see my related articles: Free Online College Courses, Free Online College Courses - Part Deux, and Free Online College Courses - Part Three.

2. Are Autoruns Slowing Your PC?

When you start your computer, there are a bunch of programs that automatically run, before the familiar desktop appears. Most of them are essential; some are dispensable; and others may be malicious. Learn how to tweak your autoruns to improve performance and security...

AskBob - Best of 2015

3. Dump Adobe Flash Now?

Adobe Flash has a long history of security vulnerabilities; over a dozen have required patching in 2015 so far. Three more zero-days in Flash that were discovered and fixed recently have some in the tech industry crying, “Enough! Time to kill Flash forever!” But is it? Read on for the scoop. On a related note, see Time to Boycott Java?

4. SECURITY TIP: Lock Down Your WiFi Router

While we’ve been focusing on the security of our desktop PCs, laptops, and mobile devices, malware-manufacturing miscreants have been exploiting the most overlooked computer in most homes and businesses: the router. For those who have high-speed Internet, the router is the little box that connects your home or office to the Internet. And they are the latest target of the online criminal classes. Here's what you need to know...

5. How To Undo a Windows 10 Upgrade Windows 10 has a lot going for it. Improved speed and security, the return of the Start button, and the Edge browser are just a few things I like about the new Windows operating system. But it also has a few rough edges right now. The good news is that Microsoft has provided an “Undo button” for those who've tried Windows 10 and want to go back to what they had before. Here's how it works, and my experience using it. SEE ALSO: Windows 10: Ready for Primetime? for help deciding if you should upgrade.

6. Add THIS to Your Anti-Malware Arsenal

No anti-malware program eradicates every bit of every infection. If problems persist after a full scan with your standard malware killer, you can try a specialized program that digs deeply into the dark corners of your system where advanced malware hides. Read on to learn about this tool that you should have in your internet security toolbox.

7. How “Silent Calls” Lead To Identity Theft

“Hello? Hello? Anybody there?” That first, silent call is just a probe to see if a phone number is in active use. Automatic dialing machines place tens of thousands of silent calls per day using free or dirt-cheap Voice-over-IP technology. It's the Dark Side of robocalling. We’ve all had the experience of answering a phone call only to hear nothing. Typically, we just hang up and shrug. But those “silent calls” are sometimes the first step in well-organized campaigns to steal identities and bank account balances. Here is how these scams work, and what you should do to protect yourself.

8. The Most Reliable Hard Drive?

Which hard drive brands are the most reliable? And what is the likelihood that your hard drive is going to crash and burn in the near future? A hard drive failure is the worst thing that can happen to your computer. If any other component fails you can replace it and get back to work pretty quickly. But when a hard drive stops working you lose access to all of your personal data stored on it. Getting that data back can be time-consuming, expensive, or even impossible, especially if you haven’t kept adequate backup copies. Read on to learn more about hard drive reliability and diagnostic tools...

9. Smoke and Mirrors at

Like millions of other consumers, I buy stuff on The e-commerce juggernaut has relentlessly built a reputation as the first and only place consumers need to go when shopping online. The free two-day Prime shipping is convenient, and the prices seem to be competitive. But some eye-opening reports, a class-action lawsuit, and a new competitor are causing me to question my assumptions about Amazon. If you shop online, you'll want to read on for the details...

10. How To Trace an Email

Have you ever received an email several days after it was sent? Have you ever gotten an unwanted email with a fake “From” name, and wished you could find out where it came from? Read on to learn about some free tools that can help you trace the source (or path) of an email.

I hope you've enjoyed reviewing the most popular topics from the last twelve months. Please leave a comment, and don't forget to tell a friend about, or share a link via Email or Facebook. Happy New Year!

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This article was posted by on 31 Dec 2015

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Most recent comments on "AskBob's Best of 2015 - Part Two"

Posted by:

David Guillaume
31 Dec 2015

Thanks Bob for a very interesting year of highly informative, educational, technical and geeky updates articles, that never fails to put a smile on my face

Oh and my computer also says thank you for helping to keep it running in tip top condition. Look forwards to even more informative news letters in 2016. Happy New Year Bob
David Guillaume

Posted by:

Frank Stowers
31 Dec 2015

Thanks, Bob for helping me to learn and keep up to date. I'm 88 years of age and continue to be fascinated by computers and things digitil. You're helping keep an old man young!

Posted by:

Martin Gouldthorpe
01 Jan 2016

I joint many others who have posted appreciative comments about your newsletters and the excellent help contiained in them. You have taught me much. My wish for you and yours is a happy, successful and blessed 2016.

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