Welcome to the 357th 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!
As I mentioned last week, we took our annual trip up to Buckhorn.
We were only there for two days, but it was great. We went swimming
with the boys, Andrew got a bug bite of some kind and could barely
open his eye (he's fine now), and spent time in the boat.
I wish we could have been there longer! Check out the pictures in the family
You may have noticed something new in the Contents list. We're premiering
a new section this week called the Digital Photography Tip
of the Week. As many of you know, Chris has been interested in photography
for years, and about a year ago bought a digital
SLR camera. He's been taking a lot more photos lately,
and will share some of his expertise with us. As he mentions below, if you
have any questions or comments, be sure to email him and he can address them
as future tips.
Why is AOL on the brink of giving away a fully loaded Hummer H2 and nearly
$100,000 worth of gold bars and cash--all of which once belonged to an e-mail
Both AOL members and non-members--all of whom will have a chance to win the
goods--can thank the Can-Spam Act.
The law, which has not gone without criticism, not only arms Internet service
providers with legal weapons against those who fire off unsolicited e-mail,
it also allows courts to seize any property that a convicted spammer has
obtained using money made through the offense. Any equipment, software, or
technology used for illicit purposes is also fair game.
AOL obtained the goods as part of a settlement earlier this year in the first
lawsuit it filed under the Can-Spam Act, in a case involving a then-20-year-old
New Hampshire resident.
A rush to purchase $50 used laptops turned into a violent stampede Tuesday,
with people getting thrown to the pavement, beaten with a folding chair and
nearly driven over. One woman went so far as to wet herself rather than surrender
her place in line.
"This is total, total chaos," said Latoya Jones, 19, who lost one of
her flip-flops in the ordeal and later limped around on the sizzling blacktop
with one foot bare.
Study: Dell customer rating plunges; Apple leads pack
U.S. consumers lambasted Dell Inc. for poor customer service in a survey
conducted last quarter, sending the world's largest PC vendor into a virtual
tie with the rest of the PC market behind the industry-leading efforts of
Apple Computer Inc.
For the second year in a row, Apple received the best rating from PC buyers
in the American Customer Satisfaction Index, said David Van Amburg, general
manager of the ACSI. The University of Michigan compiles the ACSI in numerous
product categories by randomly calling U.S. residents and surveying their
buying habits, he said.
Are you a jerk on the phone? You might want to be a bit nicer the next time
you take that call.
That's because there's new technology coming out of the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology called the "Jerk-O-Meter." The software measures
stress levels in your voice and rates you on a scale of zero to 100 to let
you know just how annoying you might be sounding.
Unlike film, shooting digital does not incur a cost per shot. This means
that for little to no money, you can shoot literally thousands of photos,
whereas with film, there would be a cost associated with each photo taken
(film and processing). This has both advantages and disadvantages for the
digital photographer. As photographers, we are now free to experiment and
shoot much more than we would if we were shooting film. This also means that
through our experimentation or freedom from cost, a greater percentage of
our shots are likely to be poorer in content or quality as we become more
carefree with our photography. Most people, after switching to digital, shoot
a lot more without thinking about their shots, or think they can fix them
later on the computer. Those images that you think you don't want now, may
become important in the future though. An out of focus or improperly exposed
shot can become the background for a montage of shots of a particular event;
it may have a single element (a flower, or a pet) that you want to take out
of the photo digitally or it may have a family member or friend in it that
few people have photos of. Even a bad shot will help preserve a memory down
the road. With the cost of storage (hard drives, CD's or DVD's) it costs
pennies to store your images. You don't want to delete those overexposed,
or slightly out of focus images. They may one day prove to be valuable to
Next week we will talk about backing up your images.
The digital photography tip of the week is a new feature of PCIN news
and is written by our Assistant Editor, Chris Empey. Chris is a long time
photographer and member of the Niagara Falls Camera Club. You can see more
of his photography at his Photo
of the Day website.
If you have a tip to send us, or a question about digital photography we
can address in the newsletter, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the best newsletters I subscribe to is Scot's
Newsletter by Scot
Finnie. The most recent issue has an incredible overview of Windows
Vista (formerly Longhorn) Beta 1. If you want to read about what's coming,
as well as see screenshots of the new operating system, then you should
definitely check it out at http://www.scotsnewsletter.com/72.htm
This tool is meant to take any URL and make it right-clickable. It does
not do any sort of encoding or parsing of the URL other than adding 'http://'
You might find this tool handy if you have a URL to a .ra file on your
clipboard. Pasting it directly into your browser's address bar may result
in the file being automatically played. Using this page, you can make the
URL right- clickable and use the "Save target as..." or "Save
link as..." functionality to download the file to your drive instead
of streaming it. Of course, you could always just change your file type
settings so that filetype isn't automatically opened in the browser, but
what fun is that?
Feedster is a blog/feed
search site, along with many other services. They have just started a Top
500 feeds list (neither Chris nor I are listed).
Each month, Feedster brings you a list of 500 of the most interesting
and important blogs. Enjoy browsing to see what people are reading, to
find feeds that will bring topics of interest to you on a regular basis,
and to discover new voices in the Blogosphere.
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.
If any of the links are too long to fit on one line, you may have to cut
To subscribe another address or unsubscribe, please visit http://PCIN.net/ and
follow the appropriate links.