Welcome to the 398th 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!
Wow... it sure has been hot the past few days! We're just heading into June
and we've already had several days that have been over 30° C (86° F)
with one day around 34° C (93° F). I love sunny, warm days, but this
sort of heat just makes it hard to do anything outside. Lisa doesn't like to
have the Andrew and Matthew out when it's so hot, so they're stuck inside.
The heat is supposed to let up tomorrow, so hopefully we'll return to more
The other day Chris and I were talking about how everyone seems to have a
budget of disposable income for electronic equipment. A decade ago you might
pay $200 for a fairly decent point & shoot 35mm camera, and expect to have
it for 10 years. Now people will pay $200 for a digital camera and have no
problem paying $200 again next year. I'm not clear on where this money has
come from, but it really amazes me that there seems to be so much of it!
When are people going to learn? Many folks act as if e-mail is akin to a
verbal conversation that comes and goes in the wind. Yet e-mail has a degree
of permanence that hardly ever dies.
Recent history is crammed with examples of e-mails that later became the
bane of their authors' existence. Once revealed, a poorly worded e-mail or
an e-mail that should not have been sent in the first place can cause much
embarrassment. That's the best-case scenario. The worst-case scenario? Try
civil liability and even criminal prosecution.
Timing the Electronics Market for the Best Deal on a New PC
Lower prices are part of the natural order in the world of electronics.
Sometimes, though, the slow but relentless drop in price turns into a torrent.
That's happening now in personal computers.
Prices are falling fast on notebook computers, as much as 18.5 percent so
far this year, according to statistics compiled by Current Analysis, a market
research firm. The bulk of notebooks now sell for less than $1,000.
The lower-priced notebooks are pushing desktop prices down, too. "I
would expect even more intense price competition," said Charles Smulders,
an analyst with Gartner, another market research firm.
The pace of price cuts has accelerated because a price war has broken out
that offers great benefits to anyone in the market for a PC.
A lawsuit filed Wednesday accuses the Motion Picture Association of America
of hiring a hacker to steal information from a company that the MPAA has
accused of helping copyright violators.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
by Torrentspy.com parent Valence Media, doesn't identify the man the company
says was approached by an MPAA executive. But the suit calls the man a former
associate of one of the plaintiffs and alleges that he was asked to retrieve
private information on Torrentspy.com, a search engine that directs people
to download links.
Torrentspy's complaint includes claims that the man whom the MPAA allegedly
paid $15,000 to steal e-mail correspondence and trade secrets has admitted
his role in the plot and is cooperating with the company.
"It is a Hollywood drama, what happened here," Ira Rothken, Torrentspy's
attorney, said in a telephone interview Wednesday evening.
A lot of the photography that I do is nature related. Each weekend, I am up
before the crack of dawn so that I can get to my destination before the sun
comes up, but nature is not all that I shoot. I also shoot assignments, weddings,
engagements, and the different people I shoot with all have different areas
One problem I face is that the equipment I use isn't always the same for each
type of photography. How do I keep what equipment I need for a particular shoot
organized? I use a checklist. Camera Body, necessary lenses, charged batteries
for my camera, formatted memory cards. But what else do I need. That depends
on what I am shooting.
I have three camera bags that
I use, a small backpack good for small excursions or exploring, especially
when I know my choice of equipment will be limited. A large bag I use for most
of my other shooting that will hold all of my lenses, a film body, external
flash, filters and accessories and a shoulder bag I use for for portraiture
and weddings that will hold two bodies, the lenses I need for the shoot, batteries,
memory cards and other accessories. Transferring equipment between bags is
typically where things get forgotten. If all of my equipment was in one bag
all the time, then it would not be a problem. This is where the checklist comes
in handy. I keep the lists in the same location I keep my equipment in the
house, so when I am transferring, I know I have all that I need. So, what else
do I add into my camera bags that isn't as obvious as the camera, lens, battery
or media cards?
Garden size garbage bags. These are useful when I am getting low to the
ground so that I can lie on something other than wet or muddy ground, also
great to have when I want a bride to sit on the grass or somewhere her dress
may get dirty.
Zipper close freezer bags
Spare car key
The following items come with me depending on what I am shooting:
Other items that don't fit in my bags, but often come with me are my tripod,
rain suit (pants and coat), rubber boots, umbrella and cell phone. This is
an extensive list, and you will probably not need all of these items in your
bag. Many of them take very little space, but are indispensable when needed.
Whatever you photograph, you will have certain equipment needs. A checklist
will help to make sure you have the equipment you need when you need it. Whether
a serious photographer with a lot of equipment, or a family shooter who only
needs a camera, spare batteries and an extra memory card, a checklist will
help to ensure you never end up unable to shoot due to missing or dead equipment.
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 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.
MapMuse is the best way to find your favorite brands and interests, all
brought together on a single interactive map!
With over 150 already available and more added each week, there's something
you the location of hundreds of brands along with generic categories. For
instance, if you want to know where there are mini-putt places in your neighbourhood,
you just visit their Miniature
Golf Courses section and you can find over 1,100 of them. Or if you want
to know where a Target is
in your area, you can do that to.
compiled a list of what they consider the worst tech products of all time:
Picking our list wasn't exactly rocket science; it was more like group
therapy. PC World staffers and contributors nominated their candidates
and then gave each one the sniff test. We sought the worst of the worst
- operating systems that operated badly, hardware that never should have
left the factory, applications that spied on us and fed our data to shifty
marketers, and products that left a legacy of poor performance and bad
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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