Welcome to the 453rd 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!
So... my sister's garage sale went well. She got rid of almost everything.
There's still a couple of big things that's she going to try to sell. She also
still has a lot of boxes of stuff that she says she's going to keep (hopefully
not in my garage).
Yesterday Lisa and I took the boys to the 3D
BabyVision office in our city and Lisa had a 3D ultrasound done. It's
amazing what you can see. We had already been told it is a girl, and they
confirmed that. The woman saved a bunch of pictures/screenshots for us, and
we also got a DVD done. Very cool!
Google's continuously raked over the coals regarding the massive amounts
of PII (personally identifiable information) it collects, what it does with
it, how long it retains that data and what the company might do with it if
its merger with DoubleClick goes ahead.
That's all been ratcheted up to fever pitch over the past few weeks, with
two new privacy headlines: complaints being voiced about Google's new Street
View service's photographs getting too close for comfort and Privacy International's
having flunked Google on its privacy policies and procedures in a report
published June 9.
The fury boils down to one question: whether or not it's OK for Google to
Eastman Kodak Co. said on Thursday it has developed digital camera technology
that nearly eliminates the need for flash photography, part of the company's
effort to make money from its deep patent portfolio.
The world's biggest maker of photographic film says its proprietary sensor
technology significantly increases sensitivity to light. Image sensors act
as a digital camera's eyes by converting light into an electric charge to
begin the capture process.
Kodak, which is in the last year of a lengthy and expensive transformation
into a digital photography company as its film business shrinks, intends
to lean on its wealth of intellectual property to boost its bottom line,
expecting up to $250 million this year alone in royalties and related revenues.
When Will Nickelson and his daughter want to spend some quality time together,
they fire up Nintendo Co.'s Wii and play a few rounds of "Wii Sports" or "Mario
"It's kind of difficult picking a game for a 7-year-old girl, but she really
likes to beat her dad at bowling," says Nickelson, 30, a stay-at-home dad
from Huntsville, Ala.
He's certainly not alone.
The generation that grew up with "Pac-Man" and "Pong" are
now having children of their own. And across the nation, fathers and their
kids are finding the virtual worlds of video games a popular place to bond.
Many fathers say the games bring them closer to their kids by providing a
safe, convenient way to stay in touch and talk to their children on their
A national survey released last year by the Entertainment Software Association,
a video game industry group, found that 35 percent of parents play video
games, of which 80 percent play with their children. Mothers, too, were part
of the study.
No one ever said policing the Internet was easy. Bot herders control networks
of compromised computers sometimes numbering into the thousands. Already,
an FBI-led initiative dubbed "Operation Bot Roast" has identified
1 million compromised computers.
On Wednesday, FBI officials laid out charges against three men-Robert Alan
Soloway of Seattle, James C. Brewer of Arlington, Texas, and Jason Michael
Downey of Covington, Ky.-as part of Operation Bot Roast. But security professionals
say bot herders are growing increasingly sophisticated as they search for
ways to thwart their opponents.
Officials at Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Mi5 Networks reported seeing bots that
connect to multiple command and control servers as well as bots that scan
internal networks for different vulnerabilities and then only deliver the
exploit payload for which the specific machine is vulnerable. Battling botnets,
said Mi5 CEO Doug Camplejohn, has officially turned into a "game of
"Our findings show that we've entered the second phase of botnet evolution
in that there's no longer just a single C&C [command and control] head to
cut off," he said. "Even if you do cut off all the C&C heads, bots
keep collecting data and distributing it via peer-to-peer networks."
The Best of the Digital Photography Tip of the Week
One of Chris' first tips was on the Rule
of Thirds. This is a composition tip, where you divide your field of
view into a 3x3 grid, and then try to position your subject to position it
in a "third" of the picture.
His tip obviously
has a lot more detail, and a few more example photos.
Paragon Software Group, the technological leader in innovative data security
and data management technology, announced the release of Paragon Total
Defrag 2007, the most advanced hard drive defragmentation utility available.
Total Defrag 2007 promises to provide the most efficient disk layout possible,
providing the user with faster boot times and fast access to files across
the entire system.
The product is designed based on Paragon's original technologies. Total
Defrag 2007 will provide a complete and exhaustive defragmentation and
disk optimization. In addition, users will be able to select options that
will place the most frequently used OS files and data towards the beginning
or outside tracks of the platters. This will result in even faster boot
times and overall system performance.
"We believe that Paragon Total Defrag 2007 will outperform existing
defrag utilities. Most of the defrag algorithms were developed during research
into how fragmentation levels affect the size of a disk image," said
Konstantin Komarov, CEO of Paragon. "This technology is utilized in
our other hard disk management products and now, as a stand-alone application."
How many times have you been befuddled with a product, only to result
to the dreaded 1-800 number in the manual to resolve your issue? Hours
later only to find no resolution in sight.
Enter Fixya, a startup that
has taken on the challenge of supplying online technical support, user
guides and repairs by letting users help each other. In a few simple steps
users get the help they need with their items by submitting product related
questions from a catalog of over 700,000 current consumer products
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.
The only way to become a subscriber is by asking. You have either filled
out the subscription form or asked me directly.
If you have a web site or run your own newsletter, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and
I will add it to the subscriber web pages that I have on my site.