AskBob's Best of 2018 - Part One

Category: Reference

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...

Your Favorite AskBob Stories of 2018

As always, there were some key concepts that dominated the year in tech. Robocallers... Windows 10... Malware... and Browser Wars. Those phrases also popped up often in the most popular items published here during 2018. Whether you're a long-time reader, or a recent subscriber, I'm sure you'll enjoy reviewing the first installment of my "Top Ten" list below. Part Two will be arriving on Friday.

1. Time To Ban Caller-ID Spoofing (Again)?

Your phone rings, and a quick glance at the area code helps you decide to answer the call. But instead of a forgotten friend or a local business client, you get “Heather from Account Services,” offering to lower your credit card interest rate. Again. Just like yesterday. And the day before. One security firm predicts that half of all cell phone calls you get in 2019 will be spam calls, many of them caller-ID sppofers. Here's the scoop on what you can do about this annoying problem, and some tools you can use to get robocall relief.

2. Fed Up With Telemarketers? (here's the solution)

AskBob - The top stories of 2018

On a related note, technology isn't the answer to every problem. It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it so the rest of us can enjoy the benefits of living in a civilized society. I’m talking about actually talking to telemarketers. Why? To sue them, of course! Here's how it works...

3. [HOWTO] Run a Deep Scan for Malware

A reader asks: 'My anti-virus software offers me an option to run a quick scan or a full scan. I've always run the quick scan, because that's the recommended setting. What does a full scan do, and how would I know if I need to do one?' Read on to learn about deep scanning, to check every nook and cranny of your computer for malware. And see also my list of Free AntiVirus Programs.

4. [WARNING] Don't Click This Button!

By now, you probably know that the launch of October’s Fall Update of Windows 10 (formally called version 1809) was such a disaster that Microsoft took the unprecedented step of halting the update’s gradual roll-out. Bugs in the operating system caused freezing, data loss, and other problems for some users. Earlier in the year, Microsoft had to delay the rollout of the Windows 10 Spring update due to "Blue Screen of Death" issues. Clearly, there is a quality control problem at Microsoft.

5. Fun With Google Chrome: Tips and Tricks

Google’s Chrome browser is the most widely used browser, worldwide. Perhaps you've been using it for years, but there's always a new trick to discover. Read on to learn about some awesome, advanced, and secret features of Chrome that can make it even more useful. One of them will keep you amused even when the Internet is down...

6. [BROWSER WARS] Vivaldi 2.0 Takes on Chrome

Not everyone likes Chrome, or trusts Google. It's good to have choices, so I wrote about the Vivaldi web browser twice in 2018, and also gave my thoughts on the Opera browser. (See Earth to Opera... The Browser War is Over, and you lost) The latest version of the Vivaldi browser adds syncing, end-to-end encryption, dramatically faster startup speeds, and some nifty new features. Vivaldi is still famous as “the most configurable browser on the web” and a zealous guardian of privacy. What’s not to like? Here's what you need to know...

7. Want Free Wireless Internet? Here's How!

A reader asks: 'Is there a way to get free wireless Internet access? My budget is very limited, so I'd like a solution that works both at home and with my mobile phone.' Everyone knows you can get a free wifi connection at your local Starbucks, the public library, and possibly even at your dentist's office. Read on to learn about free wireless Internet options -- it's not just in coffee shops anymore...

8. [DOIT] Keeping Your Software Updated Simply

Many computer problems can be avoided or cured simply by keeping all of your software up to date. Updates include patches for security vulnerabilities as well as fixes for bugs, new features, and improvements of existing features. See my list of free programs that will do the job for you, and find out if you need a Software Updater, Driver Updater or both...

9. [HOWTO] Change Your Email Address (or not)

A reader asks: “I have had the same email address for years, and now I'm thinking about changing Internet providers. But I'm afraid that changing my email address might cause some unintended problems. What do you recommend?” The good news is you can do that, but it takes a bit of planning and effort...

10. Is AVG AntiVirus Actually Malware?

In many dysfunctional families Dad is a hard-working alcoholic, Mom is his long-suffering enabler, and their kids are tragically scarred victims. A very similar dynamic exists in the security suite realm. AVG is the Jekyll/Hyde father, Avast is his apologizing accomplice, and users of both brands are the traumatized children. Was my metaphor too harsh? Read on, and I'll explain my reasoning...

I hope you enjoy reading (or re-discovering) each of these, and of course, leave your own comments! If you're not a subscriber, you can sign up for AskBob Updates, or forward this to a friend who would enjoy it. Soon I'll publish Part Two of AskBob's Best of 2018, so stay tuned!

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Most recent comments on "AskBob's Best of 2018 - Part One"

Posted by:

02 Jan 2019

Salutations! And Happy New Year!! And Thanks again for everything.
The only comment I have is that No. 4 is not showing up...

Posted by:

Louise Smith
02 Jan 2019

Is there any way to clear the Vivaldi generated bookmarks and import my Chrome Bookmarks AS IS???

Posted by:

02 Jan 2019

I refuse to read this , since it won't make me 146% smarter.

Posted by:

03 Jan 2019

Hi Bob and Happy New Year!! Thank you for all your articles that have really helped me out and your my go to guy for anything I have concerns or problems with my computer! When my friends come to me with concerns of their computer I have the answer all Thanks to YOU!! Hope you and your family had a nice holiday and wish you the BEST in 2019!!

Posted by:

06 Jan 2019

I find it interesting, though not curious, that the top two articles involve phone spammers. Next year I'd love to see 'Telemarketers' on the New Years list of Notable Deaths for 2019.

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- AskBob's Best of 2018 - Part One (Posted: 2 Jan 2019)
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