The Top Twenty

Category: Reference

Every night a friendly robot looks through the Ask Bob logs to see which articles were the most popular over the past week. Here are the current Top Twenty, ranked by readership volume. If you missed any of these, take a few minutes to read and comment!

Top 20


  1. [ALERT] SIM Swapping Scams

    Even as the four major mobile service providers assert that we can trust them with our online identities, one of them stands in court accused of betraying a customer’s identity to thieves not just once, but twice in six months, ultimately costing him $24 million. Read on to learn about the Sim Swap Scam, and how you can protect yourself...

  2. [HOWTO] Gain Full Control of Your Computer

    Many of us are the sole or principal user of a PC or laptop, and hold the privileges of the Administrator account. An Admin is supposed to be omnipotent, having full control over every file and folder on a machine. It is frustrating to learn this is not always so! Here is why you may at times “not have permission to access” a file or folder, and several clever ways to gain full control of your “personal" computer…

  3. Trouble Seeing Your Screen? Here's Help

    Aging eyesight afflicts 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...

  4. Let My Phone Company Be My Online Identity – Are You Kidding?

    The four largest mobile phone carriers recently announced a plan to eliminate passwords, login IDs, captchas, text-messaged codes and other secondary authentication factors. Instead, visitors to a web site would be authenticated by an encrypted string of data drawn from the visitor’s phone, carrier account, and other sources known to his phone company. Read on to understand what this “Project Verify” is all about, and what I think it means to all of us. There’s a hint in this article’s headline...

  5. Geekly Update - 12 September 2018

    How XS-essive is Apple's new iPhone XS Max? What unexpected thing happens when you try to record every known fact? What's that mysterious blue stuff behind the Jimmy John's? And can posting a bad review online get you killed? This issue is guaranteed to make you 146% smarter -- you'll see why. Read, think, and, comment!

  6. Can MIT's AI Make You Disappear?

    The eggheads at MIT’s Media Lab are at it again. This time, they have mixed some artificial intelligence with some image editing tech and named the result “Deep Angel.” They claim it can make people, animals, and other objects disappear. Let’s see what the Deep Angel actually does and decide if it’s worth getting excited over it.

  7. [SCAM ALERT] Is TotalAV a Total SCAM?

    Several readers have brought to my attention a suspicious security suite named TotalAV. One of them was fairly certain that it’s a scam, and shared evidence to back his opinion. My own research also leads me to believe TotalAV should be avoided, along with a few of its sister products, AND a bogus antivirus review site that I discovered. Read on to understand why…

  8. Geekly Update - 19 September 2018

    Is Microsoft planning to stop Windows 10 users from installing Google Chrome or Firefox? Will nine-foot hexapod robots be coming to your neighborhood soon? Can you go to jail for posting fake reviews online? And can physics improve your brain power? This issue is guaranteed to make you 146% smarter -- you'll see why. Read, think, and, comment!

  9. Malware Pre-installed On Your Android Phone?

    Mobile operating systems are complex beasts, so it’s no surprise that each new version of Android comes with one or two theoretical security flaws that could, if discovered by hackers before they are patched, spell disaster for unhappy users. Did your smartphone come with malware pre-installed? Read on...

  10. HOWTO: Get Free Satellite TV

    A reader asks: 'I have heard about free satellite TV channels you can receive if you have a free-to-air satellite receiver and dish. Is this true? If so, what satellite channels can I get, what equipment do I need, and is it legal?' Read on to learn about free satellite TV options...

  11. Geekly Update - 07 September 2018

    When is a stupid robot better than a smart one? Should government officials have a "back door" to your encrypted data? And why can't artificial intelligence solve the Scunthorpe Problem? This issue is guaranteed to make you 146% smarter -- you'll see why. Read, think, and, comment!

  12. UPDATE: Free Antivirus Programs

    Readers often ask for my recommendations on antivirus protection. A common question goes something like this: “I got a trial version of Norton (or McAfee) antivirus with my computer, but the subscription expires in a few days. Should I pay, or switch to one of the free anti-virus programs? What do you recommend?” Read on for my updated list of the top FREE antivirus tools, and some tips on choosing free versus paid...

  13. PC Matic - An Overdue Review

    Having vowed never to pay another licensing fee to iObit Corp., as I have done since 2011 for its Advanced System Care Pro optimizer/antimalware program, I went in search of a replacement. I didn’t have to look farther than the comments sections on my own articles. Here is my assessment and review of PC Matic…

  14. Announcing iPhone XS and Apple Watch 4

    According to Statista, about 88% of all smartphones worldwide run the Android operating system. Math majors may immediately conclude that Apple's devices account for about 12% of the market. But the Reality Distortion Field created by genius marketers at Apple make it look like almost everyone has an iPhone. That impression was made even stronger yesterday, with the fanfare surrounding the announcement of the iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and the latest Apple Watch. Here's the scoop...

  15. Is Your Favorite App Listening In?

    Recently I raised cautions about giving permissions to games, surveys, quizzes, and other apps that importune you on Facebook. They often abuse those privileges to spy upon you and your contacts. You may be avoiding them now, and you may have revoked the privileges that you gave to earlier ones. But Facebook is not the only source of sneaky, spying apps. Hundreds of popular apps for both Android and iOS have the ability to listen to what's happening around you. Here's how to identying those apps and turn off the spy components...

  16. Use Google Apps Without a Gmail Address?

    Many people think they must use a Gmail (Google Mail) email address if they also want to use Google services such as Docs, Drive, Calendar, Photos, etc. I thought so myself, but that’s not true. The fact is, you can use Google services with your existing home email address, your work email address, or with just about any email address. Read on to learn how...

  17. HOWTO: Connect Your PC to TV, Wirelessly!

    Wouldn't it be great to beam whatever is on your computer screen directly to your big-screen TV? Now you can wirelessly send Netflix, Hulu, YouTube videos, photos and computer games from your PC screen directly to your television screen. Even browse the web on your fancy big-screen HDTV. Here's how to make a wireless PC to TV connection...

  18. Boost Your WiFi Signal: Ten Tips and Tricks

    A reader asks: 'How can I boost my wifi signal? I finally got high-speed internet with a wireless router, but the wifi signal is weak in some parts of the house. What tweaks or gadgets do you recommend to boost wireless signal strength and distance?'

  19. Mastodon: Your Social Media Safe Haven?

    We may be witnessing the origin of a radically new paradigm of social networking, one that is not centralized, walled-in, or driven by advertising. Instead, the new paradigm is FOSS – Free and Open Source Software. If you're growing fatigued of Facebook and Twitter, you need to know about Mastodon...

  20. Ten Years of Google Chrome (And Why I Cannot Quit)

    Google launched its Chrome web browser on September 2, 2008. As I noted Chrome’s tenth anniversary, it was hard not to notice how difficult it is to stop using Chrome. After pondering this matter for a few days I conclude that it is unnecessary to switch browsers. Read on to see why; your comments are most welcome whether you agree with me or not...



 
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This article was posted by on 4 Mar 2009


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The Top Twenty
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Most recent comments on "The Top Twenty"

(See all 69 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

LindaSView
02 Apr 2014

Hi Bob:
Forgot to include this in my comment about the billions of dollars corporations are expected to spend. This is what was on the IE site that popped up:
res://ieframe.dll/invalidcert.htm?SSLError=33554432#https://blog.bit9.com/2014/03


Posted by:

Geoff
18 Apr 2014

I want to thank you for all of your varied articles. I found multiple programs or utilities trying to do the same thing, and the new Mcafee Total Protection was too complex and complicated for this 71-year old. Thanks to your articles and Avast I no longer want to put a bullet in my computer. Please, please keep up the great work.


Posted by:

Jessie
04 May 2014

Hi Bob, I am struggling with a slow computer and this is my only computer in my home business. Could you please suggest a reliable software that I could purchase and that will not damage my computer? Thanks,

I used US Tech support and I believe they made my computer even slower. Thanks

EDITOR'S NOTE: You might have been scammed. I recommend a System Restore. See http://askbobrankin.com/system_restore_for_windows_7.html

Next step, see:
http://askbobrankin.com/speed_up_windows_7.html


Posted by:

steve
15 Jul 2014

I recently purchased a net gear mp101 digital music player to hook up to my home stereo.after finally getting it to find server and for it to show me music file library, I was all set,only to be let down as nothing flowed through my Harmon lardons .the unit is running through Ethernet, firewall is OK,book really doesn't give troubleshoot. Anybody run into this ? Or any answers! Gave up after about 2-3 hours..should be simple,but!!!! Thanks Steve


Posted by:

Gill Kelly
17 Oct 2014

sending you this on my partners PC as I just cannot get into my Hotmail account, my user name is accepted but my password keeps being rejected as'invalid'despite changing it several times via Microsoft. What am I doing wrong?

EDITOR'S NOTE: What email program do you use? Hotmail web version or a desktop client?


Posted by:

Ray
30 Dec 2014

Smart Phone 15 digit Number pulse date cell was sold IMEI 15 digit Number showed up after I dialed *#06# on our Mobile's.
in case ours are stolen we mail the 15 digit IMEI number to cop@vsnl.net You will find where your Mobile is being operated, even if they changed the number.It didn't work on android Mobile phone. I haven't Used it yet and was wondering will it Work or is it a scam??

EDITOR'S NOTE: See http://www.hoaxorfact.com/Technology/if-you-lose-your-mobile.html


Posted by:

Ernie Brunton
07 Jan 2016

You are recommending LD for ink cartridges. On the comments section first page there a10 replies. Five are OK but 5 are negative, which is only 50-50. The negative ones nearly all complain about the LD cartridges clog the printer head. I may have had this problem with my existing printer and had to replace it. I was using non Epson cartridges Have you had this problem ?????
On price. The cartridges are shipped free in the US, but in Canada they charge $26.50 which is half the purchase price. One has to add on exchange of 40% and that makes a purchase of $52.57 come to a total of $110.69. Which is quite high
I look forward to an answer

I enjoy you articles very much

Ernie Brunton


Posted by:

Yvonne Mathis
08 Mar 2016

I need help, Linskeys is trying to hi jack my router cannot remove it from computer, can you help?

EDITOR'S NOTE: I did a Google search for "Linskeys" but came up empty. Can you provide more details? What do you mean by hijacking your router? What specific symptoms are you seeing?


Posted by:

Harold
27 Mar 2016

I'm sure you've covered this before. Just cant find it. When trying to watch educational videos on youtube Windows 10 won't let me. It gives me a message to re-start my computer (which works for 1 video). Is there any fix for this?

2nd problem: When loading pics I get a message in the lower right corner that says tap here to indicate what to do with the original device. You can do whatever you want. It doesn't work and it won't go away. It looks like it's too far to the right to see the X. Changing screen resolution doesn't help. Can you help.


Posted by:

Sandy Lumsden
01 Apr 2016

why oh why does windows behave the way it does, I seriously considered using a Linux operating System but Microsoft even make that difficult, so I will continue using windows 10 until I can afford an Apple Mac.One thing I am sure of I will not be using Windows for ever,for I am fed-up with programs not working.


Posted by:

Yvonne Mathis
02 Apr 2016

Wrote once before and since I am not computer savy, I was saying Linksys was tryin to hi jack router. Now A friend says modem, Linksys has removed my isp and entered their own code and now are controlling my computer,has removed my security which is Norton, who by the way cleaned my computer and said all was good, after that, noticed the Icon disappeeared and then reappeared, but is not functioning, I am redirected to sites other than the one I try to get to. I am elder female, other than a pricey computer service, can you help?


Posted by:

John
11 Apr 2016

I need virus clen my drive


Posted by:

Peggy
04 Jun 2016

Greetings
My internet speed is slow and if I have my grandchildren streaming a movie, it constantly buffering and my PC too.
I have a dual web-band and a range extender 3 yrs. old and Verizon router is over 5 yrs. old
Base on your expertise, what step should I take.
Greatly appreciate your help


Posted by:

Calvin
06 Jun 2016

can you go back and read articles further back than the last 20, if so how?


Posted by:

Ken Fisher
21 Jul 2016

Upgraded my Win 7.1 Dell computer to Win 10 last December. Two weeks ago, it downgraded itself by dropping the Start Button and screen, the info button on the left and Cortana. It has not corrected with updates. Pressing the Start produces a critical error and a restart.


Posted by:

Pay
08 Aug 2016

Bob, My Microsoft Publisher software gas disappeared from my computer sometime since I downloaded Windows 10.

Also, the names of my directories have been eliminated. I used to have one called Pat and Ray Computer and it no longer exists. There were two directories called mydocuments, one inside the other directory that I can no longer find.

I did a backup of 7 before I installed 10 (thanks for you publication!) HELP!!!


Posted by:

Jd hackhowsar
15 Jun 2017

Hi Mr Bob

We have 600 plus pages for years as a tech support user club for European industrial machines at eeuc98.net in html now https posted.

After the https all picture links quit working.

Also with google nobody can find us any more. Since the page content applies often to the same subject, the keywords are the same.

Reading googles requirements it would be a lot of volunteer work to vamp it all up.
We started in the 80s out with DOS 6 based Clarks bulletin boaerd sw.

Having a good site content search function is imporatant.
We used since the 80s macromedia robohelp and dreamweaver sw, now all Acrobat.

Thanks for your wisdom.
Lots of virtual hugs.

Johann


Posted by:

Mr.Pic
29 Jun 2017

In using Outlook 2003 I need to know how to increase text size as now the inbox shows about 31 one line emails info, I would like about 15 with larger more readable text. The new Dell computer has Windows 10 and I have just started using it. Appreciate any help provided.


Posted by:

Alexander Harkes
25 Sep 2017

When using my printer and trying to send a copy of a photo or send a email it says i do not have a connection and everything is working ok. the mail recipient will not work also how can i change the mail recipient from fax recipient.


Posted by:

stanley westell
23 Jun 2018

I wondered if you had a topic regarding India's people constant attack upon the US?
I recently have been receiving all kinds of so-called free gift cards $1000 gift card Walmart, Nike gift cards, I recently have received several different grant scams from India and they even tried to use US sounding names and received a phone call claiming it was the IRS preparing to open a file if I didn't call them then there is a computer tech support company that claims they are Microsoft and tell you your personal information that risk and if you don't call them they'll stop your computer from working there are several of those I will admit being on Social Security disability that I was extremely hopeful and I had filed for grants and unfortunately before I caught on. Already swindled me out of $200 their goal was to swindle me out of $1000 so knowing that the IRS never calls they only send mail and I started asking the questions will qualify me for these grants where did you get this information clearly they are attaching themselves or spying on websites or setting up these free card giveaways to get information I was just wondering if you had set up a page on warning the elderly which is clearly their target I think the most important thing is think first asked questions on how you qualified how they got the information and so forth and before you know it they hang up the one thing I have seen is that their phone calls are being rerouted through the US and there clearly well-versed insome of the information needed regarding grants the address of the grant building in Washington DC and basic info for their scam I saved many of the phone numbers and names used but you know they're all fake or they're using untraceable SIMM cards well I was just wondering if you had a page that would help protect people against India's ongoing attack upon the US? you need not reply it was just a suggestion or if you have created this page thank you.
Sincerely xXx


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Article information: AskBobRankin -- The Top Twenty (Posted: 4 Mar 2009)
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