Welcome to the 296th issue of the PC Improvement News. PCIN consists mainly
of news and tips. There is something for everyone, and if this is your first
issue, I'm sure there will be something for you. If you give me two or three
issues, I know that you will come back for more!
Still no baby :-( Only 9 more days till the due date, and 6 more days until
Lisa gets her cast off.
As I've mentioned before, both Chris and I have Google Mail (GMail) accounts.
Recently we were both given a few invitations to send to others so they can
sign up for an account. We decided to do a bit of a giveaway here in the newsletter.
If you are interested in obtaining a GMail account, let us know and send 3
tips along. We'll pick 5 people to each receive a GMail invitation.
"Imagine a day when your doctor retrieves your information not from
a paper file, but on an encrypted smart card. Or when an instant message
alerts you that your laundry is done. Or--unbelievably--a day when you get
not a single piece of spam.
That's the future of the Internet described in a keynote address at the IAPP
Truste Symposium here this week. John Patrick, former vice president of Internet
technology at IBM and now president of the consulting organization Attitude
LLC, shared his vision and told how the next steps of Internet evolution
will come about.
Many of his expected changes are already arriving, but can't surface until
there are some sweeping changes to the Internet's framework, and--more importantly--to
people's attitudes, Patrick said."
"Nearly 2 million Americans have had their checking accounts raided
by criminals in the past 12 months, according to a soon-to-be released survey
by market research group Gartner. Consumers reported an average loss per
incident of $1,200, pushing total losses higher than $2 billion for the year.
Gartner researcher Avivah Litan blamed online banking for most of the problem.
'There has been a big increase in the abuse of existing checking accounts,'
Litan said. 'What's really scary about it is right now there are no back-end
fraud detection solutions for it.'"
"High-speed Internet use grew 42% last year as some 8.3 million homes
and businesses signed up for broadband service, the Federal Communications
Commission said Tuesday.
Driven largely by new residential and small-business customers, broadband
use grew to 28.2 million lines by the end of 2003. The growth rate increased
slightly in the second half of the year, from 18% to 20%, the FCC said."
"Google has staked its reputation as the Internet's premier search
engine on delivering rapid, relevant search results -- untouched by human
hands -- that it says are based on complex mathematical formulas and sophisticated
But with Father's Day approaching, Google Inc. is experimenting by promoting
its own shopping site ahead of other online search results and ads. That
has prompted criticism from some industry experts who say that the giant
search engine company appears to be compromising the unusually high standards
that it has set for itself just as it prepares to sell stock to the public.
DirectX is a Microsoft technology used for multimedia and gaming. If you
have a computer with Windows 95 or higher on it, you almost certainly have
DirectX. Sometimes you may experience problems playing games or with multimedia
playback. If you do, do a search for a file called dxdiag.exe on your system.
This is the DirectX Diagnostic Tool and it shows you all sorts of system
information, and allows you to test certain systems.
Zero Assumption Digital Image Recovery
I first learned about this software in a recent issue of the LangaList.
"Zero Assumption Digital Image Recovery is a freeware data recovery tool,
specifically designed to work with digital images. It allows you to recover digital
photos accidentally deleted from digital camera memory.
There exists a vast variety of digital camera and associated media types
on the market, so it is virtually impossible to test the program with each
and every hardware combination. Generally, program should work with any media
type (e.g. CompactFlash, MemoryStick, SmartMedia and so on) accessible by
means of operating system. You need the use your camera or the appropriate
card reader you normally use to transfer images from camera to PC."
Check it out at http://www.z-a-recovery.com/digital_image_recovery.htm
Windows Users Groups Network (WUGNET)
"Your Complete Resource Center for 'The Best' in Shareware, Computing
Tips and Support, Windows Industry News... and much more!"
WUGNET has been around along time and is well know for their software reviews.
There are also newsletters and RSS feeds. You can visit the main page at http://www.wugnet.com/ but
be sure to check out their Computing Tips section.
PCIN is brought to you by Graham Wing. The opinions expressed are those of
the Editor, Graham Wing and the Assistant Editor, Chris Empey. Graham Wing
and Chris Empey accept no responsibility for the results obtained from trying
the tips in this newsletter.
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