Welcome to the 393rd 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!
So what do you do when you are in love? Buy gifts of course! Last week I mentioned
that my sister got a new Creative
Zen MicroPhoto and that she was in love. Well, she's showering her new
toy with gifts. It's quite amazing the market there is for MP3 player accessories.
On a more somber note, today is the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl
nuclear disaster. I'll leave the politics to others, but I do have one
observation. Apparently it was several days before the Soviet government
acknowledged that there had been an accident. This illustrates one of the
beautiful things about the Internet. In today's world, it would be almost
impossible for people not to know about something major in a matter of minutes.
We truly do have an amazing amount of information available at our fingertips,
and it gets updated constantly.
Computer-related waste remains a local and global problem, despite the
progress made over the last few years.
More and more PCs are recycled, but some estimates say that 80 percent of
the electronic waste slated for recycling in the U.S. is shipped overseas
to be taken apart by low-wage workers, according to the Silicon Valley Toxics
Some vendors and recycling organizations do a very good job of recovering
PCs and monitors for proper disposal, but there's no nationally accepted
method for dealing with electronic waste, and the U.S. government chose not
to sign the Basel Convention prohibiting the dumping of hazardous waste on
Del Mar College students now have to use computers outside the school's
system if they want to visit the popular Web site MySpace.com.
The community college has blocked the site in response to complaints about
sluggish Internet speed on campus computers.
An investigation found that heavy traffic at MySpace.com was eating up too
much bandwidth, said August Alfonso, the school's chief of information and
technology. Forty percent of daily Internet traffic at the college involved
the site, he said.
Password overload hitting firms' IT security: study
Security breaches from computer viruses, spyware, hacker attacks and theft
of equipment are costing British business an estimated 10 billion pounds
($18 billion) a year, according to a survey on Tuesday.
The loss is 50 percent higher than the level calculated two years ago, said
the study by consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers for the Department of Trade
The rise comes despite companies increasing their spending on information
security controls to an average 4-5 percent of their IT budget from 3 percent
Many photographers that I know are fair weather photographers, that is, they
only shoot if the weather is nice. Unfortunately, they also miss a lot of great
Macro Photography in the Rain
This shot of Dutchman's Breaches was taken this past weekend,
in the rain. It was one of only six I was able to get that day because of the
rain. I was unprepared. I did not have my umbrella with me, nor my rain suit,
and I had no way to protect my equipment from the water, but the rain should
not have stopped me. A good quality rain suit will keep you dry, but what about
your camera. If you own a small camera, it might fit in an inside pocket of
the rain suit, or simply on the lanyard in the rain suit. Many people use heavy
freezer bags to protect their equipment, or you can purchase purpose built
waterproof bags for your camera. A small case for your camera will help keep
it dry as well. I also keep a large plastic garbage bag in the pocket of my
equipment bag. This gives me something to lie on to keep me out of the dirt
in nice weather, but it also lets me keep my equipment bag dry in the rain.
When you are shooting in the rain, protect your lens. Once you
have the rest of the camera wrapped up, you will need the end of the lens exposed
to the elements in order to get your shots. Using a 1A Skylight filter on your
lens will help protect the expensive front element of your lens from water
spots. The 1A requires no additional exposure compensation and absorbs some
UV rays to help cut haze a little.
An outside store display on a rainy day
If you are shooting in cold weather, keep spare batteries in
an inside pocket of your coat to keep them warm. Cold batteries do not work
as well as warm ones. When you are done shooting, place your camera in a plastic
bag, removing as much of the air as possible before going in to a warm location.
This will keep the warm, moist air from forming condensation on your camera;
it will form on the bag instead. Leave the camera in the bag until it has come
back to room temperature.
Nature photography in the cold
When the weather turns foul, there are a lot of opportunities for great photos
that can easily be missed. Just remember to protect yourself and your equipment
from the elements.
The digital photography tip of the week is written by the PCIN Assistant
Editor, Chris Empey. Chris is a long time photographer and is currently
the vice-president 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 Chris, or a question about digital photography
he can address in the newsletter, send it to email@example.com.
By Samuel Stoddard
Convert English text to any of several comic dialects.
The Dialectizer takes text or other web pages and instantly creates parodies
of them! Try it out by selecting a dialect, then entering a URL or English
text below. If you have questions about what The Dialectizer does or how
it does it, please see the "Information" section toward the bottom
of this page.
As you may be aware, one of the ways that Google determines where to rank
a page for a particular search term is by its PageRank. This essentially
rates the quality of a page in the Google index. It does this in a number
of ways, one of which is the number of links to a page.
Google Blogoscoped links to a
site that displays a web page with a PageRank beside every link on
the page. It's quite interesting to look at if you run your own site and
are wondering how your links stack up.
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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