Welcome to the 433rd issue of the PC Improvement News. PCIN consists mainly
of news highlights 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 grandmother's 90th birthday party and open house went well. Lots of people
showed up, some of whom came a long way to see her. She seemed very happy!
Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 have now launched. I don't have a
copy of either, but I'm sure sometime in the next few months I'll have a chance
to try them out. Chris got a free copy of Office 2007 today. He had previously
viewed a few webcasts and "earned" a copy. He got a serial number
and has to download the software.
Chinese Communist Party chief Hu Jintao has vowed to "purify" the
Internet, state media reported on Wednesday, describing a top-level meeting
that discussed ways to master the country's sprawling, unruly online population.
Hu made the comments as the ruling party's Politburo - its 24-member leading
council - was studying China's Internet, which claimed 137 million registered
users at the end of 2006.
Hu, a strait-laced communist with little sympathy for cultural relaxation,
did not directly mention censorship.
Criminals controlling millions of personal computers are threatening the
internet's future, experts have warned.
Up to a quarter of computers on the net may be used by cyber criminals in
so-called botnets, said Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the internet.
Technology writer John Markoff said: "It's as bad as you can imagine,
it puts the whole internet at risk."
The panel of leading experts was discussing the future of the internet at
the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Survey: Nobody Really Cares that Big Brother Is Watching
Despite employer policies, threats and monitoring, the vast majority of
workers still use company technology for personal use, according to a survey
commissioned by Lawyers.com, released Jan. 24.
Though nearly one-half (45 percent) of respondents reported that they been
explicitly informed by superiors that their technology usage at work is monitored,
most still use it for personal tasks, the survey found.
Given the cult-film status of 1971's THX 1138 in the George Lucas universe,
it should come as little surprise that the total capacity of Lucasfilm's
giant data center is 11.38 petabits per second.
Granted, that number--which represents the value one would get by adding
up the bandwidth capacity of all the company's 1 gigabit per second desktop
machines and its 10-gbps backbone--is purely theoretical. But in an environment
like Lucasfilm, which is celebrating four Oscar nominations this week, and
where self-referential history is a big parlor game, numbers like that are
nothing to be messed with.
Google, Dell and Advanced Micro Devices are discovering that building new
facilities in the USA can generate almost as much controversy as sending
Google hopes to open a computer data center in Lenoir, N.C., in about a year.
It will employ 75 to 125 people and could expand later.
North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley said the deal would reinvigorate the area.
But former state judge Robert Orr questions the perks state and local officials
used to woo Google. The company is getting grants and tax cuts that could
be worth $100 million over 30 years. Such perks are common economic development
tools. But they force smaller businesses to bear the brunt of state tax bills,
and they take money from tight local budgets, Orr says.
"The market capitalization for Google is $150 billion," he says. "Why
does a small rural county have to subsidize them?"
Review your photographs - Digital Photography Tip of the Week
The very first tip I wrote for the Digital
Photography Tip of the Week was to not delete you images.This week I
am going to ask you to review the photographs that hopefully you have not
While I generally feel that everyone is their own worst critic, it takes some
discipline and awareness of what merits a good photograph to achieve this and
you may or may not be at this point with your photography. But as you photograph
more subjects, become more familiar with your equipment, composition and exposure,
you will start to understand why some photographs are just better than others.
You start to become your own judge. As you begin to review your past work,
you may see an evolution to your photography skills. You may even be able to
recognize specific changes in your abilities as you see photos from different
time periods, 'my composition began to improve here' or 'it was around this
time that I began to understand why I was getting the results that I was.'
You will find photos that you loved when you shot them but now cannot see the
original merit in.
Which brings me to my next point. You may also find photos that you completely
ignored, but now they are asking for more attention from you. Over time, you
become less attached to the events associated with the photograph and can now
see the photographs with out the emotional bias that was attached to them when
you first shot them. This may be because of a greater understanding and appreciation
of photography, improvements in your own skill, or simply a change in your
perception or tastes.
I have been posting images daily to my photo of the day site (http://potd.chrisempey.com)
for the past two years. In that time I have had to go back in my own images
to find a photo to post when I had been unable to shoot. Sometimes I would
find a photo I previously ignored, other times I would find photos that I had
previously enjoyed, but knew I could make better with some adjustments in Photoshop.
My review of my own images has revealed new found gems to me, hopefully you
have saved all of your images and you can spend some time to review some of
your previous photographs.
In the meantime, if you are in the upstate New York area the weekend of February
23, 24 and 25, one of the camera clubs I belong to is holding their annual
convention. Our keynote speaker is Darryl Gulin, one of Canon's Explorer of
Light group plus several other very talented speakers.
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.
The other day I was trying to install Windows XP SP2 on a computer that
had SP1 installed. I'm not sure how it got to SP1 (upgrade from XP, upgrade
from Win98, etc), but I kept getting to a certain point that was telling
me "Access Denied". As I researched this it turns out it was a
permissions error in the registry. The suggested answer was to reset permissions
on 4 registry keys, but as I looked around the registry, there were all sorts
of permissions that were wrong. I'm not sure what happened, but I did figure
out how to reset the permissions back the default.
Remember, this tip isn't just in case SP2 won't install. If you have been
messing around with the registry and changed permissions, this is a way to
get them back to the default. And of course remember... when you are working
with the registry, be sure you have a backup in case you do something wrong.
A couple of weeks ago Chris had
a Digital Photography Tip of the
Week entitled Shoot at Home that
suggested you find things around the house to take pictures of. I came across
another blog posting with some similar tips. If it is too cold to get outside
to shoot, there are still lots of things you can do. Check out David
Kennedy's blog (part of the Osprey Media site) for this tip and others.
midomi.com makes it fun and
easy to find and discover music and people. For the first time, you can
use your voice to instantly connect to your favorite music, and to a community
of people that share your musical interests. Listen to voices, see pictures,
rate singers, send messages, buy music, and more.
I haven't tried it, but it's gotten a lot of "buzz" around the
Internet over the last few days. Check
Photo Info is a new software add-in for Microsoft Windows that allows
photographers to add, change and delete common "metadata" properties
for digital photographs from inside Windows Explorer. It also provides
enhanced "hover tips" and additional sort properties for digital
photographs in Explorer (in Details view).
I've downloaded and installed the tool. There is a new option when I right-click
on an image. When I choose Photo Info, a window opens up that shows all sorts
of details and lets you edit many of them. Check
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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