Welcome to the 456th 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!
On Monday my wallet was stolen (I'm not sure) so I'm going through the process
of trying to get new copies of my IDs. What a pain! I was surprised that today
I received one piece already. If only they'd all come in that fast.
I put a small pond in my back yard by our back patio last week. It looks great,
but there is an animal that keeps eating my water
hyacinths. Worse than that, in my vegetable garden this animal ate all
7 broccoli plants, all 4 cauliflower plants, and all 3 brussels sprouts plants.
My neighbour is growing a lot of the same things I'm growing, and he hasn't
had any problems. Why me?!
Lisa's birthday is this Saturday, so we're having a family dinner at our house.
I've helped Andrew and Matthew get a gift together for her, and I think she'll
love it. I just hope the boys can keep it a secret!
Teenagers can be serious jerks. You don't need research by the Pew
Internet and American Life Project on cyberbullying to know that. It's interesting
to note however, that at the dawn of the 21st century, teenagers have effectively
transferred their jerk skills from corporeal to virtual, launching torments
once reserved for the lunchroom, school hallway and bus stop into cyberspace.
According to Pew's recently-released study, "About one third (32 percent)
of all teenagers who use the Internet say they have been targets of a range
of annoying and potentially menacing online activities." These youthful
indiscretions include threatening messages, private online conversations shared
with others and embarrassing photos and rumors posted for all the world to
Your first girlfriend -- and the other things search engines store
What if there were a giant database that contained your hidden insecurities,
embarrassing medical questions and the fact that you still think from time
to time about your high school girlfriend? Well, such a data store does exist
-- if you've ever plugged such private topics into a search engine.
The fact is, search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Microsoft Live Search
all record and retain in their vast data banks any term that you query, in
addition to the date and time your query was processed, the IP address of
your computer and a cookie-based unique ID that -- unless you delete it --
enables the search engine to continue to know if requests are coming from
that particular computer, even if the connection changes...
The upshot: If someone were to ask one of these search engine companies to
produce a list of IP addresses or cookie values that searched on a particular
search term, they conceivably could. Or, conversely, given an IP address
or cookie value, the search engine firm could produce a list of terms searched
by the user of that address or cookie value.
Just because you live in a high-tech world doesn't mean your manners can
sink to new lows when using your personal technology, experts say.
"No doubt there've always been stinkers from the start of time,"says
Honore Ervin, co-author of "The Etiquette Grrls: Things You Need to Be Told" and "More
Things You Need to Be Told."
"But all of these mobile, technological gadgets that are so prevalent now
-- somehow [people] just get sucked into their own little world of their cell
phones, iPods, wireless computers. They're not existing in a society and realizing
that their actions affect anyone else."
A poll last year by Pew Research, The Associated Press and AOL (which, like
CNN, is owned by Time Warner) found that 81 percent of the people they surveyed
were irritated at least occasionally by loud and annoying cell phones in
PCIN.net Update - Tips for panoramic stitching - Digital Photography
Tip of the Week
Many of the software packages that come with digital camera's as well as a
lot of the photo editing software applications have features that let you stitch
a series of images together to create a panoramic shot.
There are a few steps you want to take before hand though to be sure you have
some successful shots to work with. One of the most important steps you can
take is to make sure that you have turn off your auto white balance on your
camera. This will ensure each image in the series has the same colour tone.
We have a poor ability to remember similar colours but a very good ability
to distinguish them side by side. Shooting your images with the same white
balance will help to ensure this.
Similar to this, if you can set a manual exposure for the entire series of
images, this too will help to ensure seamless images. Finally, try to keep
the camera perpendicular to the ground. The will ensure that you will not have
to needlessly crop your final image later. Of course this process can become
more technical including finding the nodal point of your camera/lens combination
and using special tripod heads but that is not for this blog.
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.
I've mentioned Sysinternals a
couple of times before. They make fantastic system utilities for Windows
operating systems, and were recently acquired by Microsoft. On Monday, their
blog posted that there is a new Active Directory utility, and 3 updates
to other utilities. Most of the tools are particularly useful in an environment
where there are many computers (since most of them will work on remote computers),
but if you like to play around with your system and tweak settings or look
more indepth at some settings, then you should definitely look into the Sysinternals utilities.
Michaels is a large arts & crafts
store with hundreds of stores. One opened up in our city this Spring, and
my wife was ecstatic. She was there a few days ago and picked up a flyer
about their Family Craft Times newsletter.
this is a monthly email newsletter where you get craft ideas to keep your
kids busy as well as standard promotional information. If you are looking
for things to do with your kids this summer, this would be a good place to
Paragon Software Group, the technological leader in innovative data security
and data management technology, announces the release of Drive Copy 8.5
- the ideal software for real-time hard disk copy, personal data and applications
migration, disk-to-disk backup, basic and advanced hard disk partitioning
Paragon Drive Copy provides the user with simple and easy product that
provides fast data migration, especially when upgrading from one hard drive
to another. The exclusive One Button Copy Wizard makes the product easy-to-use
even for novices. With this version of Drive Copy, users can now make a
quick backup to an external USB or Firewire drive. Drive Copy allows the
user to easily copy and backup individual partitions. Also new in this
version is Paragon's exclusive Incremental Hard Disk Copy. This revolutionary
new feature allows users to simply make incremental copies once the main
copy has been created.
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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