Welcome to the 479th 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!
This is the last time I'll be sending out the full newsletter this week, and
certainly the last newsletter before Christmas. I hope you all have a safe
and happy Christmas. I'll still send something out next week (Boxing Day here
in Canada), but it'll be short.
Christmas started a bit early for me this week. Actually, it is a late birthday.
My sister bought me a Logitech EX90 keyboard/mouse combo. Dell Canada had a
great deal. I was using the keyboard and mouse that came with the Dell computer
I had, but I didn't really like it. Thanks for the present Andrea!
Theft of personal data more than triples this year
Thieves are systematically pilfering sensitive personal data from companies,
government agencies, colleges and hospitals like never before.
More than 162 million records have been reported lost or stolen in 2007,
triple the 49.7 million that went missing in 2006, according to USA TODAY's
analysis of data losses reported over the past two years.
This year, news stories have been written about data losses disclosed by
98 companies, 85 schools, 80 government agencies and 39 hospitals and clinics,
according to a database at tech security website Attrition.org.
IT managers want to tell end users one thing: We are not the enemy.
"IT has a reputation for being aloof, geeky and non-communicative. I don't
want to do anything to make that any worse," says Kerry Miller, network
engineer at First Victoria National Bank in Victoria, Texas. Miller says he carefully
weighs user requests for technology or services so as not to further alienate
the community he serves. Sometimes the technology request doesn't address a critical
business need, poses a security risk or exceeds the limits of the IT budget,
but he is certain to clearly articulate why a request must be denied. "If
you just tell them 'no' without a detailed reason, it adds to their suspicions
that we really are 'Network Nazis,'" he says.
Google is testing a new Web service intended to become a repository of knowledge
from experts on various topics, one that could turn into a competitor to
Wikipedia and other sites.
If it attracts a following, the service could accelerate Google's transformation
from a search engine into a company that helps create and publish Web content.
Some critics said that shift could compromise Google's objectivity in presenting
The service, called Knol, which is short for knowledge, would allow people
to create Web pages on any topic. It is designed to include features that
permit readers to submit comments, rate pages and suggest changes. However,
unlike Wikipedia, which allows anyone to edit an entry, only the author of
a "knol," as the pages in the service would be called, would be
allowed to edit. Different authors could have competing pages on the same
Sure, they say they have an open-door policy. Some even work in cubicles,
just like everyone else in the firm. But don't let the optics fool you.
Two-thirds of executives prefer e-mail to other forms of communication with
employees, according to a survey released Thursday.
Staffing agency OfficeTeam, which routinely conducts surveys on water-cooler
issues in the workplace, found that 65 per cent of the 150 senior executives
it contacted would rather communicate by e-mail, up from 34 per cent in 1997.
Only 31 per cent said they preferred face-to-face meetings at work, down
from 44 per cent a decade ago.
This isn't a tip that is going to help you with your computer. However,
it is a great example of how the Internet brings us material like this that
we never would have seen before.
I'm a big sports fan (I don't play much, but follow several sports), and
love baseball (don't get me started about the Mitchell Report). NPR has a
show on Saturday's called Only a Game that
always has interesting sports stories. They recently highlighted the book Best
American Sports Writing 2007 which is a collection of sporting essays
and articles. One of the articles is about Bugs Bunny. Baseball Bugs, from
1946, is about Bugs Bunny playing baseball against the Gas House Gorillas.
Before he arrives, the Tea Totallers are losing 94-0. When he arrives, he
hits, pitches and fields like a superstar. The article takes the approach
that Bugs was a real person and tries to analyze his performance. It's very
interesting and a good read!
doPDF is a free PDF converter for both personal and commercial use. Using
doPDF you can create searchable PDF files by selecting the "Print" command
from virtually any application. With one click you can convert your Microsoft
Excel, Word or PowerPoint documents or your emails and favorite web sites
to PDF files.
I haven't tried the software, but if it's anything like PDFCreator or CutePDF,
then it will work fine.
mental_floss magazine (the punctuation and capitalization are correct) is
a trivia sort-of magazine. A recent blog
posting had some links to some fun "quizzes" where you can
do things like find out if your co-worker is crazy, and find out which office
moron are you?
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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