Welcome to the 399th 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!
It looks like the world survived 666
day. The world didn't blow up, the lion and the lamb were not lying down
together, although it was rather hot yesterday. On a related note, one of
the neat things about Wikipedia is that they have an entry for every day
of the year with events, births, deaths, observances and other links that
pertain to that day. To see what I mean, see the entries for June
6, June 7,
and June 8.
I got some promotional material from Cogeco
Cable (my local cable company and my ISP) and along with adding more
products to their security services (free to customers), they announced that
they have increased speed to 7 Mbps. I don't use the Internet for much more
than email and browsing, along with small uploads to my sites, so I haven't
noticed a difference through the years as they've moved from 3 Mbps to 5
Mbps to 7 Mbps now. Other than gamers and those who download warez, I doubt
there are too many people that have that need for speed.
Big Brother is not only watching but he is also reading your e-mail.
According to a new study, about a third of big companies in the United States
and Britain hire employees to read and analyze outbound e-mail as they
seek to guard against legal, financial or regulatory risk.
More than a third of U.S. companies surveyed also said their business was
hurt by the exposure of sensitive or embarrassing information in the past
12 months, according to the annual study from a company specializing in protecting
corporate e-mail at large businesses.
As Google and Microsoft battle for the hearts and minds of Internet users,
a new question has cropped up: Which one can better save planet Earth?
Being portals and search engines, the companies are likely among the worst
energy users because of the cooling and energy their data centers need to
operate. When asked, company representatives did not say what, if anything,
the data centers are doing to improve efficiency and reduce energy.
No doubt, Google and Microsoft, two of the top Internet sites in the world,
use massive amounts of electricity to power and cool their data centers.
But outside of the electricity that makes the businesses run, they are among
the leading adopters of so-called green policies in corporate America.
New biometric technology developed here can identify individuals by sensing
unique electronics signals generated by a beating heart, brain function or
The developer, IDesia (Caesarea, Israel), claims that unlike existing biometric
solutions its electronic signature sensor can capture human biometric signals
with relative ease. It also claims its system is cheaper than other biometric
sensors, making it suitable for mass production.
Chris DiBona's work as manager of open-source programs for Google takes
him on the road, where laptops grow heavier with every gate he passes in
the airport. So he has been experimenting with piecing together the ultimate
At the core of his ensemble is the OQO-01, a full-featured PC running Windows
XP that is not much bigger than a pack of 3-by-5 index cards. It's measured
in ounces (14), not pounds.
This week's tip is a little misleading as I am not talking about shooting
what is around you, but shooting your subject in their environment. A portrait
should be more than simply a photo of a person, it should tell a story about
them. While a studio shot may look very nice, they are quite static. That is,
they don't say much. Shoot your subject in their element, in an environment
they are happy and comfortable with.
For example, if you were to photograph a photographer, give him a camera to
hold. Put someone who plays piano for a hobby sitting at one. Maybe they are
involved in model trains, gardening or work in a lab. Each of those can be
incorporated into your portrait to help tell the story about your subject.
As always, if you have any comments or questions about any of the tips here,
or if you have a photography question of your own, please feel free to send
them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
In the latest issue
of Scot's Newsletter, Scot Finnie explains his quest for the perfect
antivirus solution. He has done major research into several different products,
and has some preliminary observations. He also links to AV
Comparatives, a site that test antivirus software:
On this site you will find independent comparatives of Anti-Virus software.
All products listed in our comparatives are already a selection of some
very good anti-virus engines. In order to get tested by us, companies must
fulfill various conditions. Various AV products are presented in our forum
By now many of you have heard that Google has a new web-based spreadsheet
product called Google
Spreadsheets. I heard about it yesterday, and immediately went to sign-up.
It is a closed beta, so I filled in my email address to ask for an invitation,
and a few hours later I had one:
Thanks for signing up to use Google Spreadsheets! Your Google account
associated with this email address (XXXXXXXX@gmail.com) has been activated,
so you can begin sharing spreadsheets on the web!
I've logged in and played with it a bit, and it seems quite impressive.
It doesn't have all the same advanced features of Excel, but for basic functionality
it is excellent. To request an invitation, visit the Google
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.