Welcome to the 394th 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!
Over the last several days I've been working on changing the backend of the PCIN.net
Update blog. I was previously using b2evolution but
as I'm sure many of you noticed, I had all sorts of comment spam. I've switched
over to Wordpress and am
using the built-in Akismet spam
filter. Since the conversion, I've already stopped over 9,000 pieces of comment
spam. I'm still tweaking the look of the blog/template, and am trying to
work out some problems with the RSS feed. Hopefully I'll get it right soon.
Digital photographers could soon lose their ability to anonymously shoot
sensitive or illegal subject matter, thanks to new research that can link
digital images to the camera with which they were taken.
The research, conducted at Binghamton University in New York, analyzes the
slight variations created by the image sensor in each camera to uniquely
The technology is being presented as potentially useful in nailing child
pornographers. "The defense in these kind of cases would often be that
the images were not taken by this person's camera," Jessica Fridrich,
the Binghamton University engineering professor who oversaw the research,
said in a statement. "But if it can be shown that the original images
were taken by the person's cell phone or camera, it becomes a much stronger
Tech companies are getting religion.
Companies such as Sony, Panasonic, Avid and Hitachi are helping churches
spread the gospel as part of an effort to cash in on an exploding market
known as "house of worship technology."
In recent years, members of the clergy have begun competing with MTV, video
games and the Internet by jazzing up sermons with image magnification systems
and large-screen video displays, a la Apple Computer's Steve Jobs at a product
launch. The trend has evolved, and churches now are Webcasting to distant
parishioners with sophisticated multicamera operations and pumping up the
volume inside worship areas with state-of-the-art sound systems.
It looks and acts just like a CD player. It plays CDs and hooks into your
Take a closer look at Olive's Symphony, however, and you can tell there's
more going on underneath. A lot more.
The Symphony is actually a multi-faceted personal computer with the sole
purpose of managing and distributing your music files. And it's terrific.
Internet users around the world send an estimated 60 billion e-mails every
day and many of these are spam or scam attempts, business leaders said on
Deutsche Telekom Chief Executive Kai-Uwe Ricke said cyber criminals were
growing more active and sophisticated, and the vast e-mail traffic meant
industry, government and Internet users had to be vigilant and work together.
"This figure was new for me as well - worldwide there are around 60 billion
e-mails sent every day," Telekom Chief Executive Kai-Uwe Ricke told an Internet
Creating a dramatic sunrise or sunset photograph is not that difficult, though
there are a few steps to take to be sure it is done well.
Ultimately, there is little difference between a sunrise and a sunset photo.
However, you may have better luck with sunrise photos because there are fewer
people up at the crack of dawn compared to when the sun is going down. That
being said, silhouettes against a sunset are very nice as well. My most recent
sunrise photos were shot at 5:45 AM, which means I was up at 4:30 AM in order
to get ready and drive out to my location. The time alone may decide which
Metering for a sunrise/sunset is quite easy. If the sun is not included in
the photograph, simply take an average light reading of the scene and be sure
to bracket one stop both up and down.This will help ensure you are getting
a properly exposed shot. If the sun is included in your photo, then take a
spot meter or center weighted meter reading to one of the sides of the sun
in a neutral area of the photograph. Again. be sure to bracket.
I often find that the light in the sky is far brighter than that on the ground,
so using a gradual neutral density filter can help to even out these areas
of brightness, allowing your camera to capture all the detail in both the sky
and the foreground. Be sure to use a tripod as well. Exposures, especially
at the beginning of the sunrise or the end of the sunset, could be quite long.
If you are planning on photographing a sunrise or sunset, it will be a good
idea to scope out the area you would like to shoot from first to be sure there
are not obstructions in your way of a beautiful photograph. Of course, knowing
where the sun will rise or set and when
it will do so helps as well.
Of course, don't forget some of the compositional elements that we have already
discussed, such as including curves
and diagonals, rule
of thirds, framing
for printing. Most of all, remember to enjoy what you are watching, if
even for a brief second. The dramatic results of a sunset or sunrise can disappear
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cobian Backup is a multi-threaded program that can be used to schedule
and backup your files and directories from their original location to other
directories/drives in the same computer or other computer in your network.
FTP backup is also supported in both directions (download and upload).
It's that last part that I think is interesting. It appears that you can
schedule backups and copy it to an FTP site. I haven't tried it yet, but
I wanted to share it with you. Check
I get the Microsoft TechNet magazine, and the latest issue had a good article
on Deconstructing Common Security Myths:
In our book Protect Your Windows Network, we wrote about "security
myths" - things that many people believe are true about security, but
which really are not...
Our version of these myths is, of course, just our opinion. People are
welcome to disagree with us, and sometimes do. Naturally, we will proceed
to explain why we are right and they are wrong, but all in all this type
of dialectic is crucial to advancing the state of the art in security. Unless
we question the commonly held wisdom, we are not only doomed to repeat past
mistakes, but also to keep building on them. We would then fail to do all
we can to protect our networks and the information that resides on them.
Therefore, because we think it is fun and we never seem to run out of myths
(or opinions, as some refer to them), we decided to revisit the topic with
a new batch.
Several of these are specific to enterprise/business customers, but there
are still good suggestions for password strength, firewalls, and more. Check
it out on the TechNet site...
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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