Welcome to the 419th 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!
My vacation is over. Boy, do I ever wish I was independently wealthy :-)
To make up for the lack of any content last week, this week's PCIN is longer
than normal. The next issue should be back to normal.
One last thing... A while ago I received this email from a regular visitor:
Question which should be of concern to many of your readers.
As you know, Microsoft dumped support on w98 and others...which then caused
ZoneAlarm to dump their support.
Therefore, which free (preferable) firewall do you guys recommend for w98?
The Macintosh may be the soul of Apple Computer, but the iPod is its wallet.
Five years ago, the Silicon Valley icon reported quarterly revenues of $1.45
billion, down 22 percent. Profits were cut in half, and some wondered if
Apple would forever suffer at the hands of low-cost PC competitors like
Apple fans needn't have fretted, because six days later on Oct. 23, 2001,
Apple unveiled the iPod, and its fortunes along with those of the music industry
Spin forward five years. The company said Wednesday that it shipped 8.7 million
iPods during its fourth fiscal quarter, which ended Sept. 30. In fact, Apple's
$1.6 billion from iPod sales in the quarter was more than it generated as
an entire company back in October 2001. Those iPod sales were also 35 percent
more than the same period last year and a lot more than cautious financial
analysts were expecting.
It's hard to overstate the impact of the iPod on the computer, consumer electronics
and music industries since it was introduced in 2001.
Video-hungry users could push Net to brink: Nortel
Soaring demand for games, video and music will stretch the Internet to its
limits, Canada's Nortel Networks Corp. says, and it expects service providers
will make big investments in its technology to avoid a crunch.
But the telecom equipment giant, still struggling to turn its fortunes round
after the tech bubble burst, is treading carefully as it prepares for what
it sees as a looming buildout of capacity by telecommunications companies.
Massive overbuild of Internet bandwidth capacity helped lead to the meltdown
six years ago, and the company says it doesn't want things to go wrong again...
But perhaps ironically, Roese also believes the capacity bubble helped service
providers cope with the surge in demand for bandwidth that came with the
advent of online video Web sites like YouTube.com.
The only reason YouTube didn't destroy the Internet is because there
was a bit of a bubble in terms of excess capacity out there," Roese
said. "But, boy, don't take that for granted."
Even the people running the richest tech companies are awestruck by Web
2.0 valuations. Microsoft boss Steven Ballmer, who sat down with BusinessWeek
editors and writers hours before Google finalized its $1.65 billion purchase
of YouTube, questioned how the online video service could fetch so much.
He also talked about Microsoft's video-game and digital music business, as
well as the new breed of competition the company faces. Here's an edited
transcript of the conversation.
More than one in eight adults in the US show signs of being addicted to
the internet, a study has shown.
Addicts" showed signs of compulsive internet use, habitually checking
e-mail, websites and chat rooms.
More than 8% of the 2,513 respondents to the Stanford University phone survey
said they hid their use from partners.
Camera Motion: Using it to Your Advantage: Digital Photography
Tip of the Week
As I have mentioned several times before, I have been a member of my local
camera club for about 8 years. Camera clubs typically look for technically
perfect shots with absolutely sharp, critical focus. However, when you start
to look around at fine art photography, you will find that those same attributes
aren't necessarily as important.
One method you can use to add a little creative flair to your image is to
incorporate camera movement into your photographs. The key to making this technique
work is to have enough movement that the effect is obvious. Too little and
the photo will simply look like an accident.
Longer shutter speeds are necessary in order to have enough time to create
the movement. To achieve these longer shutter speeds, you may have to lower
your ISO and shoot at a smaller aperture, which will in turn let less light
into through lens, causing the shutter to stay open longer.
Below are a few examples of camera motion.
The first image does not show enough camera movement to make the process work,
it really looks more like accidental camera shake, not the intended camera
motion. The second image however does show the intended camera motion. In this
case, I moved the camera in a slight arc to achieve this look. The various
colours begun to form a pattern and merge together to form an abstract image
as the image begins to become unrecognizable. Exposure time was about 1/4 second.
Another form of camera motion is panning. Panning is the process of moving
your camera horizontally but keeping it vertically still, or the reverse. This
is useful in capturing a moving subject. Again, you want to use a long enough
shutter speed that will convey motion. The big trick with panning is to follow
the subject at the same speed of it's motion so that the subject is stationary
in your viewfinder and continue the panning motion during the photograph as
well. If the camera moves vertically on a horizontal pan (or horizontally on
a vertical pan) the effect will not be as good. This photo of a van is an example
of how panning can add motion to an otherwise static image.
Note: To use this technique you will need to turn off your Image Stabilization
or Vibration Reduction feature on your camera if it is so equipped, or in the
event of panning, either turn the feature off or set it to a panning mode.
Photography is a static medium, but it does not have to feel static. By utilizing
such techniques as panning and moving the camera, you can create interesting
photographs that convey motion, add emphasis or obscure reality. This type
of photography does not interest everyone, but it can be fun to do.
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.
RSS or blog feeds are becoming increasingly popular. Almost all of the major
online email providers also have online feed readers. However, if you already
use an email client (like Outlook Express), then you may not want to install
more software in order to read the feeds. There are several services that
will send the blog feeds to an email address. The latest issue of the LangaList
newsletter mentions this:
A smattering of free, Web-based services will send any RSS feed to you
via e-mail. You provide only the URL for the RSS feed of your choice and
your e-mail address. Once you provide that information, they'll send you
a confirmation e-mail requesting that you click on a link. After that,
you'll get updates as soon as new items are posted.
There are several such services available. Here are three of the better
I received an email this week from Uniblue about their recent release of SpeedUpMyPC
You might want to tell your audience about the release of SpeedUpMyPC
v3.0 which dramatically increases system efficiency and boosts launch applications.
Version 3.0 is easy to use with single-click navigation and has several
new clean-up features.
I've reviewed several Software602 software packages in the past, but nothing
recently. They keep churning out new updates, and they have released a new
version of Print2PDF:
Print2PDF 6.0 was introduced on September 14, 2006. This new version features
a completely redesigned conversion engine for increased performance, Microsoft
Office 2007 file support, AutoCAD DWF file support, integrated SMTP client
Here are a few of the new features available in Print2PDF 6.0:
* Embedded File Attachment Support
* Rotation and Optimization Support
* Improved Microsoft Word Macro
* Enhanced Image to PDF Conversion
* and much more...
Learn more about Print2PDF 6.0, download the trial or view the demo gallery,
By Anne Morris, Total Telecom
30 August 2006
New free browser promises to keep your Internet search habits secret.
A new free Web browser has been launched that claims it will enable people
to surf the Internet without fear that their information and search habits
will be collected and stored.
Dubbed "Browzar" the new browser, which was created by one of
the founders of U.K. ISP Freeserve Ajaz Ahmed, does not store cookies,
create a search history, or use "auto-complete" for search terms.
But since Web users would still want to be able to store cookies and create
caches, Browzar is clearly positioning itself as a "complementary" solution
to the more standard browsers such as Netscape, Explorer and Firefox. Basically,
if you want to carry out a search and don't want to leave a trail for whatever
reason, then Browzar promises to keep your most sensitive secrets secret
- such as your latest peculiar hobby, financial situation or pending job
Web users and privacy advocates may find such claims compelling given
the increasing number of stories about personal search history "accidentally" being
published, as happened recently to thousands of AOL subscribers.
However, it seems those who use the Internet for illegal purposes can
still be tracked using "standard" law enforcement methods, and
is also only available for Windows operating systems. Those with Apple
Macs will have to wait, as will Linux users.
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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