Welcome to the 427th 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!
We have another review for you this week. Chris has finished the review for
the Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0 and Adobe Premier Elements 3.0. You can read
about it in the Digital Photography Tip of the Week section
This is the last newsletter before Christmas. I hope you all have a very happy
Christmas! Feel free to email us about any new toys you get...
Hold onto your sleigh-reins: Santa has gone interactive.
In either a blatant manipulation of a beloved Christmas legend or a genius
attempt to bring children and parents together this festive season, one
of the world's largest instant-messaging operators has taken last year's
'e-mail Santa' campaign to another level.
MSN has established a live website where people can read Santa's blog, download
games and recipes, and even chat live with the big man himself.
On Thursday, Kevin Poulsen, senior editor for Wired News, noted in his blog,
a milestone in the number of records that have been compromised in data breaches
since the ChoicePoint breach nearly two years ago:
Rapid-fire announcements this week by U.C.L.A. (800,000 records) and Aetna
(130,000) moved the total to the threshold, when Boeing revealed yesterday
that a laptop recently stolen from an employee's car contained names, Social
Security numbers and other data on 382,000 current and former employees of
the aerospace giant - bringing the total to a grim 100,152,801 records (as
of this post)."
By his own admission, James Pacenza was spending too much time in Internet
chat rooms, in some of them discussing sex. He goes so far as to call his
interest in inappropriate Web sites a form of addiction that stems from the
post-traumatic stress disorder he's suffered since returning from Vietnam.
Whatever it's called, Pacenza's chat-room habit cost him his job.
After 19 years at IBM's East Fishkill plant, Pacenza was fired in May, 2003,
after a fellow employee noticed discussion of a sex act on a chat room open
on Pacenza's computer. IBM maintains that logging onto the Web site was a
violation of its business conduct guidelines and a misuse of company property
- and that it was well within its rights to terminate Pacenza's employment...
But cases like Pacenza's, which involve Internet misuse, may no longer be
quite so simple, thanks to a growing debate over whether Internet abuse is
a legitimate addiction, akin to alcoholism.
A phenomenon as monumental as the Internet should have an ailment of its
own. Indeed, the Web appears to be breeding its very own disease, a medical
syndrome recognizable by a quickening of the heart, profuse sweating, and
furious clicking and bashing of the mouse. In extreme cases, the ailment
can be identified by loud screaming at video screens.
It's Mouse Rage Syndrome, and it infects all Internet users sooner or later,
according to a study of 2,500 Web users that was released Tuesday. Conducted
by the Social Issues Research Centre in the United Kingdom, the study identified
key factors that can negatively affect cardio functions, as well as the immune
and nervous systems.
What's the root cause of Mouse Rage Syndrome? It's primarily caused by badly
designed and hosted Web sites, according to the research center.
Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0 and Adobe Premier Elements 3.0 Software
Review - Digital Photography Tip of the Week
Over the past several weeks I have been using the new Adobe
Photoshop Elements 5.0 and Adobe
Premier Elements 3.0. Having used every version of Photoshop Elements,
I was pleasantly surprised by the inclusion of a few features I have long
thought would make this the best product for amateur and serious hobbyist
photographers, curves and better black and white support. Those additions,
along with several other features make this a worthy upgrade from Elements
Adobe Premiere Elements 3.0 is the third edition of Adobe's consumer level
video editing package. Unlike Adobe Photoshop Elements 5, I had some difficulties
with this product. Installation was not possible on my main system as the software
requires a processor with SSE 2 instructions and my Athlon XP 2600+ processor
does not include this instruction set (newer AMD processors and Intel Processors
do). I was able to install the software on my second system though it ran slow.
The feature set of Premiere Elements is excellent and apart from the speed
on my test machine, the software was easy to use and quick to learn. I am sure
that the performance on newer PC's would be fine, and have no doubts that today's
Dual Core processors would provide a dramatic speed boost.
Together, the bundle, available for $119.00
US from Amazon is still a great value. Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0 sells
for $86.99 US from Amazon.com and
Adobe Premiere Elements 3.0 sells for $89.99
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.
Almost everyone uses WindowsUpdate to keep their Microsoft products up to
date, but what about all the other applications that you have on your system? Secunia,
the well-known security research company, has a new web-based scanner:
The Secunia Software Inspector relies
on carefully crafted "Secunia File Signatures" to recognise applications
on your system. The detected applications are then matched against our "Secunia
Advisory Intelligence" to determine whether an application is up-to-date
or not. The results are then used to advise you on how to update to more
secure releases of the insecure applications.
Microsoft Windows Update is used to determine if your system is missing
security updates from Microsoft.
The Secunia Software Inspector covers the most common/popular end user
* Internet browsers
* Internet browser plugins
* Instant messaging clients
* Email clients
* Media players
* Operating systems
It uses a Java applet, so it works in Firefox as well as Internet Explorer.
I'm pretty active at keeping my system up-to-date. I just ran it and it took
about 3 minutes to do a complete scan. It recognized about a dozen different
programs that I had installed, and told me that QuickTime, Flash, and Java
all had updates. I installed the updates and then reran the scan, and I'm
all up to date now.
I have a DVD burner at home and at work, but I've never tried to make my
own video DVD. I'm not particularly concerned about any legal ramifications.
I've just never really needed to. Lately I've been doing some reading and
thought I'd share a couple of things.
A year's worth of search speaks to our collective consciousness, and 2006
is no exception. To compile these year-end lists and graphs, we reviewed
a variety of the most popular search terms that people typed into Google.
Click on all the tabs to learn something new - or confirm that you too
reflect the spirit of the times. Except where noted, all of these search
terms are global for Google.com.
There are What's Hot, Current Events, Milestones, Entertainment, and Sports
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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