Welcome to the 486th 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!
Well, my vacation was fantastic! We did very little that was of any significance,
but it sure was relaxing. My wife always starts to get a little frazzled near
the end of my time off, as I mess up whatever routines she has around the house.
I'm sure she was still happy to have me home though.
We take for granted how quiet computers are these days. Today at work I took
apart an old computer to access the hard drive. I think it was a 1 GB hard
drive, and it was the loudest, clunkiest sounding thing I've ever heard. It's
hard to believe we used to have such loud systems and it never bothered anyone.
These days, if I hear my computer at all (fans, vibrations, etc), it bothers
Last week I commented on playing some Nintendo
games online. Well, I beat this one level of Tetris, so now I actually
feel like I can get away from the thing :-)
Microsoft Corp. revealed plans for a surprise $44.6-billion (U.S.) cash
and stock takeover offer for struggling Internet search pioneer Yahoo! Inc.,
in a move that would not only dramatically increase its share of the global
Web search business but would have serious implications for top dog Google
The world's largest software company made the announcement Friday morning
after sending a letter to the Yahoo board of directors dated Jan. 31. Microsoft
is offering Yahoo shareholders $31 per share for all outstanding share of
Yahoo! common stock, which represents a 62 per cent premium above the price
that Yahoo! shares closed at last night.
Yahoo confirmed that it had received the offer and said its board would consider
When the Internet suddenly collapsed early last Wednesday across the Middle
East and into India, it provided a stark reminder of how the Net's virtual
spaces can still be held hostage to real-world events.
Almost simultaneously, two separate undersea fiber-optic cables connecting
Europe with Egypt, and eventually with the Middle East and India, were cut.
The precise cause remains unknown: experts initially said that ships' anchors,
dragged by stormy weather across the sea floor, were the most likely culprit,
but Egyptian authorities have said that no ships were in the region.
Whatever the cause, the effects were immediate.
After ordering pizza for the gang on Super Bowl Sunday, many folks will
be able to go online and track the progress of their pies.
Domino's, the pizza-delivery kingpin, on Wednesday will unveil a technology,
Pizza Tracker, that lets customers literally track their pizza from the moment
they place the order until it leaves the store en route to them. What's more,
Domino's vows that its online tracking system - for phone or online orders
- is accurate to within 40 seconds.
LAN technology recently passed a milestone -- it's been around for 30 years,
some of them tumultuous. But while the LAN seems ubiquitous now, there are
those who think its future may be more troubled than its past.
"Comparing the present environment to our original vision, the temptation
is huge to say that we foresaw all this," commented Bob Metcalfe, one of
the inventors of Ethernet (by far the best-selling LAN protocol) and now a general
partner at Polaris Venture Partners in Waltham, Mass. "But I will resist
and say, 'duh, wow, look what happened.'"
Several of my blog feeds this week featured a story of
how a couple in New York did some very impressive work and was able to track
down the owner of a found camera based upon images contained within the camera.
Losing your camera is of course one of every photographer's nightmares and
we cannot all count on the great detective skills of those who find a lost
camera. A suggestion was made over at photoborg.org to
label your camera with your email address someplace unobtrusive such as the
memory card door.
There is another option yet. Many cameras allow you to set owner information
within the camera itself. The camera will then add this information on to every
photo taken afterward as part of the EXIF information for the photograph. For
those of you who have never used the software included in your camera, this
might be a great reason to do it now. I typically include my name, email and
website address in my camera EXIF information.
you manual and find out if you can embed owner information in 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.
Flash Earth ... satellite and aerial imagery of the Earth in Flash
I'm sure you are all familiar with the various satellite image services
out there. Google Maps, Microsoft Virtual Earth, and others have amazing
aerial views of land. Someone recently shared with a cool link with me. If
you visit FlashEarth.com you will find
a site that focuses on the images themselves, and lets you easily switch
between the different mappings services.
Looking at this screen capture (which isn't the best since it is so small),
you can see a picture of Niagara Falls.
The bottom right corner has a search field. The top right corner has a slider
where you can zoom in and out. The top left corner contains a list of the
different mapping services. This is the cool part. This picture was from
Google Maps. All you have to do is click on Microsoft Virtual Earth and the
exact same location will be loaded from that site. You don't have to navigate
away to the site. Just click on the different service and it will load in
the same window. This lets you easily compare the maps and choose the one
that has the best view.
Serving as a webmaster's Swiss Army knife, Test Everything! allows you
to run a bunch of different tests on your website and domain name, ranging
from Alexa traffic details to CSS validation. To use, simply type in your
website's URL, select a category, and check the boxes next to the tests
you want to run. When you've selected all of your tests, click the "Test
website!" button and wait for your test results to be generated. The
Test Everything! site will then return a helpful aggregation of links to
each of the specific tests you chose.
A week or two ago I received information from Paragon Software about their
latest version of Partition Manager, which I have reviewed in the past:
I'd like to let you know about new Paragon Partition Manager 9.0.
The product was designed to be the safest and most reliable partitioning
software available. This new version includes improved Vista compatibility,
Paragon boot manager, advanced recovery options and data loss prevention
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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