Identification Theft | Computoredge | Wally Wang | Apple

I found this article in Computoredge magazine about how to protect yourself against Internet fraud. It also has interesting information and misconceptions about apple computers. Here is a brief summary to help you decide if it may be of help:

“Simple precautions help you safely navigate the Internet without losing money to criminals. Also, people criticize Apple without first investigating the facts; InDesign now offers collaborative features; Bento is a deceptively simple yet flexible database program; and a tip on double-clicking on the title bar of a window you want to temporarily hide.”

This is the link to follow: Identification Theft


The Dark Side of Social Media | Computoredge | Michael Dillon

Beware of Social Media

I found an informative article by Michael Dillon, on computoredge magazine, about how to protect yourself in social networks like Facebook and Tweeter. Here is an excerpt and a link:

“Israel Hyman was very excited about his upcoming vacation from his home in Arizona to Kansas City. So excited, in fact, that he broadcast details of his trip to his 2,000 Twitter followers, including when he and his wife were leaving their house, where they were on the road, and when they arrived in K.C.

Someone, one of Mr. Hyman’s followers on Twitter, took a great interest in Mr. Hyman’s trip; when he returned home he found someone had broken into his house and stolen thousands of dollars in video equipment used for his business. Hyman is convinced the thieves monitored his feed to see when he would be gone, and then robbed his house. Similar incidents of thieves using Twitter to plan and execute robberies have also been reported in Florida and California.”

To know more: online.mvc

About RSS Feeds | Michael J Ross | Computoredge

I am still learning about RSS Feeds. Below is an excerpt from an article by Mr. Michael J Ross about “Real Simple Syndication”. I found it very useful.

RSS on Your Web Site

“Share your site’s updates quickly and painlessly.”

by Michael J. Ross

Some people use the Internet simply for checking their e-mail messages or visiting one or two favorite Web sites. But for the majority of “Netizens” out there, visiting dozens of sites every day is the norm. Admittedly, some of these sites are visited not because they offer fresh content updated daily, but rather because they offer a frequently used service, such as online banking. But these utility sites are certainly outnumbered by “discretionary” sites that serve up the latest news from the worlds of finance, politics, sports and more.

For all of us who hop from one well-worn site to another, it can easily become tedious and time-consuming to have to visit each one of these sites, determine what content we have not seen before, and filter out content on topics that are of no interest to us. Most if not all of these news junkies must sometimes wonder, “If only my computer could do this for me.” Well, it can, if those favorite sites of yours are packaging up their content in RSS format and not just as Web pages. More of them are doing so all the time, and in this article we will discuss some ways that you can do the same for your own site.

But first, for the benefit of those readers who may be unfamiliar with RSS, let’s consider what it is and how it can be spotted in the wild. When it first emerged on the scene in 1999, and during the following few years, RSS was an acronym for a couple of different names. But nowadays, just about everyone has agreed that it stands for “Really Simple Syndication.” In basic terms, it is a standard and highly structured format for publishing online content, designed to be read by computer programs.

Just as a newswire service will distribute its journalists’ contributions as “syndication,” any Web site can syndicate its own news. This stream of content is known as an RSS feed. As a result of using a standardized form of organizing the content, each RSS feed is thereby made easily readable by Web-based and desktop applications, known as RSS readers or aggregators. Google Reader and BlogBridge are examples of each category, respectively. All newsreaders, including these two, allow you to specify all the sites whose RSS feeds you would like to subscribe to, and how you can filter and combine the content to suit your needs.

To determine if any one of your favorite sites is offered in RSS format, go to the site’s home page and look for the standard RSS feed icon. It usually is located at the bottom of the home page or up in the right-hand corner, oftentimes close to the entry fields for searching the site or logging in.

All of the major Web browsers—including Firefox, Opera, and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7—will display the RSS icon in or near their address bars.

Major news sites, probably without exception, make their content available globally to all RSS users. You may be wondering if you could do the same, and what methods would be available for doing so. It depends upon the source of the content that you want to share with the world.

Original J. Whiting cartoon

For the complete original article visit:

03/06/09 RSS on Your Web Site: Share your site’s updates quickly and painlessly.


Michael J. Ross is a Web developer, writer, and freelance editor. He creates Web sites that help entrepreneurs turn their ideas into profitable online businesses.

Internet Scams | Fraud | Wally Wang

A few days ago I received an email, which supposedly came from Google, asking me for my account information and password in order to do some sort of upgrade so that I could continue my service. I smelled phishing and proceeded to delete. Here is an article from computoredge about a variety of Internet scams.

“Con artists have expanded their reach.”
by Wally Wang from

“If you’re an experienced Internet user, you’ve probably heard of the Nigerian 419 scam. This is where you get an unsolicited e-mail from a stranger overseas, claiming that they need your help in releasing millions of dollars. In exchange for your help, this benevolent stranger is willing to pay you part of the money, which you can claim by paying an initial fee, ostensibly to bribe an official or pay bank fees.

If you send this unknown person money, they’ll keep dangling the promise of millions of dollars awaiting you, but only if you continue sending additional cash to overcome an inevitable barrage of problems. Each time you send money, you’ll be more inclined to send more to avoid losing the “investment” you’ve already made in this incredible offer. The con artists will happily keep up this pretense as long as you keep sending money.

Fool Me Twice

If victims ever wake up to the fact that they’ve been conned, they’ll have to face the shame of being duped for several months along with whatever amount of money they sent out while getting nothing in return. And now the con artists often circle back a second time around.

Suddenly, you may find another unsolicited e-mail, stating that a special antifraud division has tracked down the con artists who have scammed you. If you want this government agency to recover your lost money, you’ll need to fill out some official-looking documents along with paying a processing fee.

Needless to say, many victims are so angry at the con artists and lusting for revenge that they’ll eagerly fill out this bogus document and send in the processing fee—only to have the vicious cycle repeat all over again.

Supposedly, this antifraud government agency needs to bribe more officials or pay additional fees to keep the con artists in jail so they can be brought to court. Once again, you’ll need to keep sending money to these con artists, who are very likely the same con artists who bilked you initially. (After all, how else would they know that you were conned in the first place?)

The original Nigerian 419 scam has ripped off people for thousands of dollars and continues duping people to this day. This added twist of ripping off the same people a second time, by masquerading as a government antifraud agency, is another development designed to catch victims off guard and steal their money before they realize what’s happening.

Spear Phishing on Facebook

As more people wise up to unsolicited e-mail scams, con artists are resorting to something called spear phishing. Where phishing involves sending out mass e-mails with the same scam letter, knowing that a small percentage of people will always take the bait, spear phishing involves targeting specific people. One of the most popular ways to spear phish is through social networking sites such as Facebook.

Like other social-networking sites, Facebook lets you reveal details about yourself, which any stranger can read. Plus, you can link to your friends and read personal details about these people, which a stranger can also read.

Now con artists will target a specific individual, using personal information found on that person’s Facebook page and any of their friends’ Facebook pages. If you suddenly receive an e-mail containing information that only you and your friends know about, suddenly that unsolicited e-mail sounds far more credible. Of course, the con artist is simply using your own information against you.

Even more insidious is that con artists will often contact you through Facebook and provide a link, which leads to an error message and an official-looking Facebook login page. When you retype your password and account into this bogus page, the con artist now has the information needed to hijack your Facebook account and masquerade as you.

Using your Facebook account, the con artist can now contact all of your friends with a frightening story of how you traveled overseas and lost your wallet and passport or some other sob story. Since your friends are receiving these messages directly from your Facebook account, they have no reason not to believe it isn’t you. More than likely, they’ll wire the necessary money to the overseas account that the con artist provides, and never see their money again.

Trust No One

The simplest way to protect yourself from online scams is to trust no one online, not even your own friends and relatives. If a con artist hijacks an e-mail or Facebook account, receiving a message from a trusted source is still no guarantee that you aren’t being scammed.

If you do receive a message from a friend, asking for money, contact that person through another method, such as by phone. Try asking your “friend” a question that only your real friend could possibly know.

Besides not trusting anyone on the Internet, a second golden rule is to never send money to an unfamiliar recipient. Even if you recognize the bank’s name, don’t follow the instructions given to you in an e-mail message, but contact the bank by phone or in person. Circumventing the con artist’s communication channel can identify a scam by asking a bank official to verify the information you received.

Con artists are never going to go away. With the Internet, con artists have just expanded their reach.

For further protection, keep yourself educated about the variety of online scams out there by visiting OnGuard Online.

To really protect yourself, never give money to anyone. That will protect you from con artists along with isolating you from most of your relatives, who can often be the biggest scam artists of them all.

In the early days, before Wally became an Internationally renowned comedian, computer book writer, and generally cool guy, Wally Wang used to hang around The Byte Buyer dangling participles with Jack Dunning ( and go to the gym to pump iron with Dan Gookin.

Wally is responsible for Microsoft Office 2007 for Dummies, Breaking Into Acting for Dummies, Beginning Programming All-in-One Reference for Dummies, and Mac All-in-One Reference for Dummies from, as well as, Steal This Computer Book 4.0, Visual Basic Express 2005: Now Playing, and My New Mac from He is also the co-author of Strategic Entrepreneurism from

Bloggers Beware | Spam of the Week, by ComputorEdge Staff

The latest in annoying and dangerous e-mail currently making the rounds. This week has seen an attack on bloggers, with hackers looking for new victims. Bloggers beware; they are phishing for your account information.

Check the Spam of the Week: Bloggers Beware! by ComputorEdge Staff

Doing Your Taxes for Free | Tax Exemptions

Is that time of the year again. And remember, if you have a home based business Uncle Sam wants to help you, your tax exemptions can make for a hefty return, which can greatly help your business. This site will help. The tax tips newsletter is free.

And I found this article by Jack Dunning on computoredge, which helps you find free ways to do your taxes.

Excerpt :

“If your taxes are relatively simple, there is no reason why you should pay to calculate your federal taxes. The tax-preparation software companies understand this. The money is not in the federal returns. There is too much competition offering free tax preparation to make much money off the easiest of federal returns. It’s the complicated federal returns, plus state return preparation and state tax eFilings that are the target for increased company earnings.”

Read More: Doing Your Taxes for Free

Buying Computers | What We Should Know

I am in the market for a new computer (Notebook or Netbook) and the last issue of computoredge is hot. I will give you the link here for a few specific educational articles; there are more.

Picking Computer Hardware by Pete Choppin
How much computing power do you need?
Whatever your specific task, the computer you buy should be suited for that task, requiring an understanding of the basic hardware components and what functions they perform.

Picking Operating Systems by Pete Choppin
Making a decision on your computer’s basic configuration.
Your choice of operating system determines to a great extent the applications you can run. What are the pros and cons of today’s common operating systems?

Marketing Mythologies about Macs and PCs by Barry Fass-Holmes
Cupertino and Redmond have it all wrong.
Cupertino’s and Redmond’s competing advertisements are simply wrong because the dualistic view of computers (and their users) is wrong. Rather, Macs are PCs.

EdgeWord: How Much Computer Memory? by Jack Dunning
A Minimum-Memory Recommendation
You don’t know what you will be doing with your computer in the future, so you should always get the optimal amount of memory for almost any possible use.
Plus, an original Jim Whiting Cartoon

And a dangerous email spam to be aware of:

Spam of the Week: Your Photo Is on the Web by ComputorEdge Staff
The latest in annoying and dangerous e-mail currently making the rounds.
When someone tells you there is a picture of you posted on the Web, who doesn’t want to look? Of course, when it comes from a stranger, we should be suspicious.

For all these and more follow the link below:

Or do a search at

Securing Your Home Wi-Fi | Pete Choppin | ComputorEdge

This tips to secure your database when using Wi- Fi may prove useful:

To see the complete and informative article by Pete Choppin go to:

or use ‘s search tool.

“It is not the cards you are dealt but what you do with them that counts.”–author unknown

Webcams | Computoredge | Dawn Clement

I recently came upon an article in computoredge magazine by Dawn Clement about the usefulness of webcams; it also has a lot of interesting links. The only thing that I was missing in the article was the “how to”. I was wondering how do you go about installing the webcam when I came across another article by Jack Dunning explaining just that. So I am including the first article and a link to the second just in case you are wondering about webcams yourself.

Webcams: More Useful than You Think
“From video calls to visiting outer space, have fun with Webcams.”
by Dawn Clement

A Webcam is a video-capture device connected to a computer. Originally, small cameras that attached to a computer via a cable, they have become increasingly popular. These little cameras are so ubiquitous that most modern laptops come with built-in Webcams. You may already have a Webcam and not know it! Why would you want a Webcam, you might ask? Well, they’re actually kind of fun. You can make video calls to faraway friends, play games in a whole new way, visit places you would never otherwise get to see, and create art.

There is a certain cool factor to using Webcams for video telephony. In the late 19th century, Alexander Graham Bell predicted that “the day would come when the man at the telephone would be able to see the distant person to whom he was speaking.” That prediction came true less than 100 years later. The first video telephones hit the market in the 1960s, and there are still video telephones available today. They are, however, a niche market due to their high cost. Webcams offer an inexpensive (nearly free) alternative to traditional video telephones.

Any computer with Internet access and a Webcam can be used to make video calls. All you need to do is install some software. Most messenger programs (i.e., Yahoo Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, Skype, etc.) have built in support for video calling. Video calls (actually chat sessions) are easy and fun, but there are other things you can do with your Webcam.

Use your Webcam to catalog your books, CDs and DVDs. Between my husband, myself, and our three kids, we have thousands of books, hundreds of CDs, and bookshelves full of DVDs. It gets hard to keep track of everything, and we occasionally purchase an item only to realize after the fact that it’s a duplicate. There is an easy way for us (and you) to organize everything in a convenient manner. Webcams can be used to scan barcodes and create databases of books (or CDs or DVDs), which can then be used to make informed purchases. Of course, you will also need some software. Check out MediaMan and Delicious Monster.

Did you know that you can use your Webcam to play motion-controlled games online? Motion-controlled games are not new (think Wii), but the idea of using a Webcam as the control mechanism is. Who knew that simple flash games could be transformed into technological wonders? You can find free games at My Live Cam and Motion Games.

Create art with your Webcam. Performance artists the world over have adopted the Webcam as another medium to play with. For example, Noah Kalina has been taking a picture of himself with his Webcam every day since 2000. You can view all of the pictures as a slide show and see how he’s changed over the years by checking out his Web site. James Kuhn is a face painter who filmed his creations in action and posted them online. Japanese rock band Sour has created an incredible music video from Webcam clips of their fans enjoying their music. It’s definitely worth checking out. These artists’ work is truly inspiring! You can create your own art pieces with special-effects software from sites such as and, or even participate in a group project at

You can also use your Webcam for video surveillance. All you need is your computer, your Webcam and some software, such as DeskShare or Softpedia. You never know when this will come in handy. Last year in New York, when Kait Duplaga’s laptop was stolen, she used the built-in Webcam to take a picture of the thief, who was subsequently apprehended.

If you’re camera shy or don’t have a Webcam of your own, you can always watch somebody else’s. There are literally millions of Webcams out there, and some of them are actually pointed at something interesting. See active volcanoes. Watch penguins play at the Monterey Bay Aquarium or catch cute cheetahs cavorting at the National Zoo.

Visit outer space from the comfort of your own home. There are several good Webcams in space—there’s more than one on the International Space Station, there’s one on the Tate Satellite (with some great shots of the Earth) and the European Space Agency even has one on Mars.

More than likely, you’ll find certain Webcam feeds online that you want to watch regularly. To make it easy on yourself, why not consider installing a Webcam aggregator to organize your favorite feeds? Free software is available online at sites such as Ksourcerer.

Dawn Clement is a freelance writer, domestic engineer, and mother of three with a Masters of Arts in Philosophy and over nine years experience in technical support. You can find her at
And this is the link to the “how to” article by Jack Dunning: You can also do  search on their site.
“A champion is someone who gets up, even when he can’t.”  — Jack Dempsey

Be Techno-Savvy | Computoredge | Jack Dunning

I am sharing this article that I found informative. Enjoy!

How To Appear Techno-Savvy at a Party
“Feel more comfortable talking to geeks.”
by Jack Dunning

While I’m sure that most ComputorEdge readers are familiar with the language of the Web and computers, it’s something worthwhile to review. Maybe you have friends who want to feel a little more comfortable with the jargon that is commonly being tossed around by people in the biz. There is nothing worse than listening in on a conversation between technical people (or people pretending to be technical) with nothing more to offer than a blank stare.

What follows is a helpful guide to some of the more used (or overused) terms and concepts currently making the rounds. Some of them are virtually meaningless, while others have not yet come into their own. In any case, an understanding of the words and how they are used will make you more comfortable talking to almost any geek. Or, if you want to appear pretentious (and particularly geeky), you can throw these terms around in front of your non-technical friends, although they are likely to stop inviting you over.

On a more positive note, understanding what these words actually mean will help to separate honest opinion from commercial blather. It’s useful to be able to see through the nonsensical verbiage that extrudes from our television sets.

I invite anyone to add to this partial glossary of current terms. Merely insert your comment by clicking the comment link at the top or bottom of this article.

3G and 4G in Cell Phones

All of the cell phone companies tout their 3G service. One of the reasons 3G is such a powerful term is because the “G” is easily confused with gigabyte (or gigabit). Currently the best in everything in computers and the Internet comes in gigabytes (or gigabits). That includes computer memory, hard drive capacity, and the one-gigabit network speed. G is great—and the more G the better. Therefore, when we see 3G, we think power and speed.

However, the G in 3G stands for third generation. It is slightly better than the second generation (2G) (which I’m not sure ever existed), but not as good as 4G, which is coming—maybe. The obvious next steps will be 5G and 6G, but by that time, computers will be onto T for terabytes (or terabits).

Everyone has 3G. Only Sprint has 4G—I think in Baltimore. 4G will be a faster digital cellular network than 3G—once it gets here. However, it takes tremendous capital investments to build an acceptable 4G network. Therefore, when someone asks you why you don’t have an iPhone, you can say, “I’m waiting for a comprehensive 4G network. I can’t deal with the slow speeds on 3G.”

Chrome Is Anything Google

Remember the old days when the chrome on your car wasn’t made out of plastic? Me either. Now that no one else needs the term “chrome,” Google has claimed it for itself. If the discussion turns to the Internet, the mere mention of Chrome will solicit knowing nods. Of course, it’s helpful to know what Chrome is.

Chrome is two things, both of them from Google (and free). The first is its Chrome Web browser. Competing with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Opera, at first it appears that Chrome is a redundant entry into an already crowded browser market. This is not the case.

Google doesn’t need to compete with Internet Explorer because Microsoft is doing a pretty good job of killing IE off itself. Google gives a ton of money to Firefox, which doesn’t make sense if it wants Chrome to be the new Web browser. Google isn’t building a new browser, but actually building a Web operating system. The Chrome browser is designed to be the platform that will run Web applications. Once this is understood, it becomes obvious why Google also named its new Linux-based computer operating system Chrome. For Google, everything that will be running applications, whether on the Web or on a computer, is Chrome.

To show you’re with it, when someone mentions Google’s Chrome, you can knowingly ask, “The browser or operating system?”

Note: Google also has a free cell phone operating system called Android. If someone ask you if you’re going to get an Android cell phone, you can say, “No, I’m waiting for a nationwide 4G network.”
Also, look for Google Wave (coming soon to conversations everywhere) to vie for the latest position as a combination social network, instant messenger and e-mail program. “I’ll send you a Wave!”

OLED—the Television of the Future

Forget plasma and LCD. Anyone talking about buying one of those is talking old technology (although they are pretty much the only thing you can buy right now). Forget the fact that the only OLED television you can buy today costs about $2,000 and only has an 11-inch screen. If you’re still watching a tube or rear-projection television and don’t want to spring for a new high-definition model, then you can use the coming OLED technology as your excuse for not buying right now.

OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode. OLED screens are brighter, use less energy, look good from any angle, and ultimately (three to five years) should be cheaper to produce than the current LCD and plasma displays. The downside includes the difficulties in making big displays and the relatively short screen lifetime. These problems will be worked out. (For more information on OLED, see the July 10 Edgeword.)

OLED screens are produced with a process similar to that of inkjet printing. They can be made extremely thin and draw very little power compared to other technologies. That makes the technology suitable for everything from cell phones to T-shirts.

The truth is that if you want a high-definition television screen today, you will be buying the current technology. It will be a few years before OLED will take over, but in the meantime, it makes for good conversation.

Web 1.0, Web 2.0, Web 3.0, and the Cloud

There is something terminally boring about naming generations of Internet development as if each is a new version of a computer application. Apparently, everything up until Facebook and MySpace was Web 1.0. (Who knew?) Web 2.0 was next—and, I guess, a financial disappointment. Web 3.0 is either on the way or already here. It doesn’t really matter because nobody, except for the techno geeks who want to get their names in Wikipedia, can remember any of the definitions. If you hear anyone using one of these Web X.0 terms, quietly retreat while mumbling something about cloud computing, or the “cloud.”

The “cloud” is the latest analogy for the Internet. It refers to using applications and storing your files at a remote location somewhere in the cloud—the Internet. If you want to sound informed, whenever you hear “cloud computing,” mention Google Apps, Windows Live, or any form of remote backup. The cloud has had legs (good visualization) as a marketing term, because it is easier for us to understand clouds than Web 4.0. All we need to do is look up into the sky. Up next, fog computing and all of its implications.


Bing is easy to remember. It’s short, to the point, and named after a type of cherry. Microsoft has put out plenty of commercials, so we know that Bing has something to do with making decisions. However, I should point out that Bing is actually just another Web search engine. I couldn’t find any decision making. Maybe I didn’t look hard enough. I can’t decide.

If my mother-in-law, God rest her soul, ever heard anyone mention Bing, she usually said, “Ah, good ol’ Bing.” Then she would break out into song.

Watch for the Leopard

If you overhear people talking about Leopard (or lately Snow Leopard), they are talking about Macintosh computers that come from Apple. Leopard refers to the Apple operating system. To drop your two cents into an Apple conversation, memorize the statement, “The Mac OS is run by FreeBSD (pronounced free-bee-ess-dee), which is very similar to Linux, only different.” Be sure to display a disapproving look if anyone mentions Microsoft—or Windows.

Windows XP Good, Windows Vista Bad, Windows 7 Good Again

With different Windows versions, you need to maintain a proper approval level, rather than understand the differences. Soon Windows 7 will be released, which in a couple of years will relegate most of the other versions to oblivion, as is the case with Windows 98. If anyone mentions XP, nod approvingly. If Vista comes up, show sympathy. If it’s Windows 7, give a thumbs up.

The problem with Windows 7 is the name. It’s perfectly respectable to abbreviate it verbally, as in XP, Vista, or “seven.” However, when writing, proper decorum requires us to use the full Windows 7 name, rather than just 7. The digit 7 by itself on the Web or a printed page just looks wrong.

If you master these concepts and the associated terminology, you will be comfortable mingling with the digerati anywhere. If you hear a term that’s not familiar, there is no shame in saying, “Excuse me. I’m not familiar with that expression.” They probably just made it up.

Jack is the publisher of ComputorEdge Magazine. He’s been with the magazine since first issue on May 16, 1983. Back then, it was called The Byte Buyer. His Web site is . He can be reached at
“Those who do not know how to weep with their whole heart don’t know how to laugh either.”– Golda Meir
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