Welcome to the 342nd 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!
April showers supposedly bring May flowers. I think we are behind a bit. There
of flowers around, but we are still getting those showers. The forecast is
looking better, and hopefully Lisa and I will be out in the gardens soon.
I think the first or second software review I ever did was for a piece of
software called ActiveEarth.
That was several years ago. Over the years I'm not sure what happened, but
the site went offline and I'd have people emailing me with questions/problems.
Well, I got an email today from Thaine Norris and apparently ActiveEarth "has
changed hands and is dramatically improved!" If you have been looking
for info on the product before, the site is back online at http://www.activeearth.com/.
I'll review the product in the coming weeks and hopefully get a copy or two
to give away as prizes.
I will be changing web hosts over the weekend. This should be seamless to
any web site visitors, but if you do have a hard time getting to the site,
you know why.
Parents who lack Internet skills could be damaging their children's education
and job prospects, leaving them on the wrong side of the growing digital
divide, researchers said Thursday.
According to research by academics at the London School of Economics, many
parents lack the skills to guide their children's Internet use. The study
surveyed 1,511 young people, aged nine to 19, and 906 parents.
"Now that many young people rely on the Internet for information, homework
help and careers guidance, the more it matters that some of them are getting
left behind," said Sonia Livingstone, professor of social psychology for
LSE's media and communications department. "Not knowing how to best use
the Internet may have a negative impact on their education and employment opportunities."
In a move that could rankle privacy advocates, Microsoft said Monday that
it is adding the PC equivalent of a flight data recorder to the next version
of Windows, in an effort to better understand and prevent computer crashes.
The tool will build on the existing Watson error-reporting tool in Windows
but will provide Microsoft with much deeper information, including what programs
were running at the time of the error and even the contents of documents
that were being created. Businesses will also choose whether they want their
own technology managers to receive such data when an employee's machine crashes.
IBM said Wednesday it would cut up to 13,000 jobs, principally in Europe,
as part of a global cost-cutting plan that will result in a pretax charge
of $1.3 billion to $1.7 billion.
IBM, the world's largest computer company, said in a statement it was restructuring
its operations to better focus on high-growth markets and to refocus its
technical services operations into new areas of business consulting and services.
Wildlife regulators in California took the first step Tuesday to bar hunters
in the state from using the Internet to shoot animals, responding to a Texas
Web site that planned to let users fire at real game with the click of a
The Fish and Game Commission ordered wildlife officials to prepare emergency
regulations to ban the practice. A period of public comment will follow.
I can't believe I haven't recommended this site before...
"This is your jumping off point to a number of interesting offerings being
provided for you by a few folks associated with the Microsoft
Most Valuable Professional (MVP) program. Plan to check this page every so
often as new subwebs are bound to show up from time to time."
If you want to learn about almost any Microsoft program, this
is the place to start.
Kind of a weird idea for a site (and an even weirder domain name), but for
some reason you may want to create a tombstone using the Tombstone
Generator. Most people would do this for "fun", but I suppose
you could use it for real if you wanted to test out something for a departed
If you like this sort of thing, then don't forget the Church
Subscriber John Mood sent me this:
"I have been using Audacity for a few months. It is a very excellent audio
editor! Coupled with Total Recorder, it's a killer combination. Audacity is free,
and Total Recorder is very inexpensive to license.
I found both quite on purpose, having an ancient sound file that needed cleaning
up (noise, pops, general fuzziness). Audacity can open and edit and apply
a wide range of filters and effects (Normalization, echo, and over 20 others).
The file was a copy of Orson Wells' "War of The Worlds" broadcast.
It did such a good job on "War of The Worlds", I had to undo two
layers of filtering just to make it believable. It honestly sounded too good.
It can be found at http://audacity.sourceforge.net/.
It's open source, free, and better than some of the professional tools I
have used at work. It complements Total
Recorder and is now indispensable to me. It's so good, if it went pro/shareware,
I'd pay for it. I download and try a lot of shareware, and Total Recorder
and Audacity are both worth a look see. I bought Total Recorder about 3 versions
ago. Total Recorder grabs anything (even streaming audio - it eliminates
the transmission delay silences) sound wise running through your system.
Audacity is great for fine 'polishing' sound, music, and speech recording.
Real handy programs. Total Recorder does a super job on webcasts and the
like. It can record right off of WinAmp, MusicMatch, and iTunes radio stations,
listening for you and saving to MP3 (with the addition of Lame_enc.dll)."
You can reach John by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or
visit his web site at http://www.chipspeaking.com/
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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