Welcome to the 439th 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!
Lisa went to visit her parents today and took Matthew with her. They took
the train and Matthew was excited for days leading up to this about taking
the "green train".
Andrew is staying at my parents house, so I'm here at home without any of them.
Sad! My sister Julia is still here, but sorry Julia, it's just not the same
I upgraded the blog back-end software to WordPress 2.1.2
this week as well as the
theme. It should have been seamless to you, but if you notice any problems,
please let me know.
This is where computers go to die a green death.
Inside Hewlett-Packard Co.'s cavernous recycling plant in the Sacramento
suburbs, truckloads of obsolete PCs, servers and printers collected from
consumers and businesses nationwide are cracked open by goggled workers
who pull out batteries, circuit boards and other potentially hazardous
The electronic carcasses are fed into a massive machine that noisily shreds
them into tiny pieces and mechanically sorts the fragments into piles of
steel, aluminum, plastic and precious metals. Those scraps are sent to smelting
plants, mostly in the Sacramento area, where they are melted down for reuse.
The computer industry is ramping up its campaign against electronic waste,
a dangerous byproduct of technology's relentless expansion.
Whether you're a woman returning to, entering, or attempting to advance
in the I.T. ranks, landing a prime position often proves to be an against-odds
affair. And it's the very culture of hiring that many companies are reassessing
to address this issue, in an effort to ensure a more balanced, diverse, and
A quick scan of almost any I.T. department -- from the trenches to the corner
office -- confirms it: Women who embrace technology as a lifelong career
remain a rare breed. To be sure, opportunity for women in technology has
advanced in the past few decades, as have education initiatives aimed at
leveling the playing field, but for every woman rising to prominence or embarking
on a profession in I.T., there seems to be another opting out of her career
Despite what Time magazine would have you believe, you are not the most
powerful or influential person on the Web. At PC World we love online personals,
social networks, and videos of people falling on their keisters as much as
the next person, but without the folks who create the Craigslists, MySpaces,
and YouTubes of the world, much of the Web's potential would be lost among
spam sites and other online detritus.
So who's making the biggest impact online? We considered hundreds of the
Web's most noteworthy power brokers, bloggers, brainiacs, and entrepreneurs
to figure out whose contributions are shaping the way we use the Web. We
whittled the list down to the top 50--well, actually the top 62--people,
but as you'll see, there are some you just can't separate. And don't despair:
Get a little more traffic on your Web site, and you may show up on the list
No major disruptions were reported due to daylight saving time starting
earlier than usual on Sunday, though some people are experiencing technology
The bulk of the problems arose for people who had not updated their computers
or had decided to postpone patching to the last minute, according to Microsoft,
which created a dedicated "DST Support Central" to help customers.
The symptom: clocks running an hour behind because they did not automatically
This is more a nuisance issue," said Rich Kaplan, the Microsoft
vice president in charge of handling daylight saving time issues. "We
had phone calls. There were people who had not applied the updates yet,
so they wanted some clarity. There were no calls that said infrastructure
was down, data was lost or any of those things."
One Shot or Continuous Focus - Digital Photography Tip of the
Most digital cameras with advanced manual override controls often have multiple
focus modes, most often single focus or continuous focus. Today I will explain
the difference between both and situations when you may want to use them.
Single focus mode will lock focus on your subject and hold that focus point
for as long as you hold the shutter button down even if your subject moves
from the focus point. This mode also allows you to focus and recompose your
photo for better composition. To do this, focus on your subject, and while
holding your your shutter button down half way, recompose your image. This
focus mode is best for static subjects and subjects you want to place off center.
This is the mode I use most often.
Continuous focus mode should be used while photographing moving subjects.
This mode continually refocus on your subject (once you obtain focus lock)
as it moves closer to or further from you. Great for sports, photos of children
playing or anything that may be moving. You cannot use the mode for recomposing
your images though because once you obtain focus lock and try to recompose,
the camera will automatically refocus on whatever is in the focus point for
Knowing how to take advantage to all of your camera's features gives you the
information you need to create better photographs. Knowing when to use single
focus mode or continuous focus mode is just one of the many features you may
not be taking advantage of with your camera.
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.
Do you have something to share? Maybe a little tip about something? A
trick of some sort? Tipstrs wants you to leave it on their website and
share it with the world.
Tipstrs is pegged as a hybrid
social bookmarking site. The whole idea behind the site lays on special
tips and advice about specific topics that people can offer other visitors
to the site. People simply post their tips complete with a Title, Description,
Link, and Categories, no logging in necessary.
I haven't spent too much time looking at it yet, but it seems promising. Check
I've only glanced around this site, but it seems interesting. The site describes
itself as follows:
Have you ever spent hours online or at the store trying to figure out
which product to buy? At TopTenREVIEWS,
we help you cut through the clutter to find the product that's best for
you. We provide in-depth reviews, side-by-side product comparisons, industry-related
news and articles, and qualified links to purchase products for SOFTWARE,
WEB SERVICES, MOVIES & HARDWARE.
They seem to have hundreds of reviews, so there's bound to be something
there that will be of assistance to you. Check
Michael Robertson, the founder of MP3.com, is now involved in all sorts
of other online pursuits. One of them is with VOIP. He has grouped several
services under the Gizmo Project name,
and the latest one is GizmoSMS.
[GizmoSMS is] a web site that lets you send SMS messages to any mobile
phone directly from your PC. It's fast and easy and best of all it's free.
I tried it the day it was launched, and it took 2 hours to get to me. I
tried it just now, and it took about 30 seconds to get to me. If you are
looking for a quick and easy way to send a text message to a cell phone, GizmoSMS is
a good place to start.
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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