TicoByte for June, 2012

Attention PC Club of Costa Rica Members,

Our next club meeting will be this coming Saturday, June 16th, at the  Pan American School in Belen at 9 AM.  Coffee and snacks are provided from 8:30 on for folks who like to come early and chat.  Bring anything computer-related that you need to sell, get fixed, show off, or give away.

Here are some hopefully-interesting items:

Item 1.  Google has updated Google Docs to Google Drive.

The ability to store documents in the cloud with Google has been expanded to being able to store any kind of file.  You can get 5 GB of storage free. And it now works on Android tablets! Also Google is already being sued for patent infringement for the software.

Item 2.  Is your iPad or Mac equipped with the best apps you can find?

Apple fan Jason Hiner shares his updated list of 22 Most Favorite iPad Apps for 2012 with those who are interested. Wil Lemoges lists three antivirus apps for Macs.

Item 3.  Ray Bradbury, RIP

Jay Garmon offers a personal assessment of this great SF writer who dreamed the future.

Item 4.  Sometimes social networking goes too far.

Toni Bowers cites an incident where a mother found out from a Tweet about her missing daughter being found.  Oops.

Item 5.  Mozy guarantees privacy with their online backup service.

Michael Kassner asks Mozy about their privacy guarantees.  They provide two options for encryption of your data.

Item 6.  Spring clean your computer anytime of the year.

Ed Reames suggested a lifehacker article some time back that was intended for Macs, but works for all computers.  The article recommends CrashPlan for online backups, which is a good deal at $3 a month.

Item 7.  Encrypt your calls on your smartphone.

Debra Littlejohn Shinder reports that TrustCall is a viable voice encryption solution for those who wish to speak privately.  Click here for more information about this 3G/Wi-Fi solution.

Item 8.  The Windows 8 saga continues.

Pro: Second Childhood, Go mobile-only?, Windows Key tricks, Future Docking Station?, Mousing Metro, 100 Keyboard Shortcuts, Editions, Goodbye?, Better Bing, Poll Results, Release Preview

Con: Makes you furious?, Logo fails, 1st Application, 10 Hurdles, 1st Look at Preview

Item 9.  Here are more picture galleries for your entertainment:

NASA Outfits, Digital Art, Aliens on our sun?, WonderCon, Big Bang Sim, 7-Gallery Collection, I-Con 31, Video Games, Discovery in DC, PAX East, C2E2, DC Comics, ISS Video Montage, Memorial Day, Eclipses

Item 10.  The SpaceX Dragon flies for Space Station replenishment.

Launched on 22-May-2012, SpaceX flew it’s Dragon crew module for it’s first trip to the International Space Station. This was an unmanned mission which, if successful, will result in certification for the system.

Item 11.  Here’s the low-down on the new iPad.

Bill Detweiler provides an inside look at the new iPad (Wi-Fi only) and concludes that it’s nothing revolutionary; but it’s a solid incremental improvement over the iPad3.  Priced from $500 to $830, it has a Samsung  SOC (System on a Chip) that includes the CPU and graphics processor. The new Retina Display (2048 x 1536) has 4 times the pixels as the iPad3. Bill has also cracked open the new iPad (Wi-Fi & 4G version).

Item 12.  You can use your iPad as a second monitor.

Using a $10 app called Air Display, you can use your iPad as a 2nd monitor.  Check out avatron.com for more details.

Item 13.  Here are Five User-friendly Encryption Tools for Linux.

One of them is built-in to LibreOffice, which is available on most platforms, not just Linux.

Item 14.  The clock has been reset on the DNS-Changer Malware.

A federal judge has extended the deadline to July 9th on FBI support for users who have had their Domain Name Server (DNS) changed by a virus. Check the above link to find out how to tell if you’re affected. Woody Leonhard has written that there is no cause for panic.

Item 15.  What’s the latest news on tablets?

The avalanch of interest in tablets is continuing.  Some say they will replace desk phones in business offices.  The new iPad is stealing most of the thunder in the computing world.

Item 16.  Personal safety while traveling is a concern for us all.

Here’s an article with Safety Tips for Women Travelers, but it’s good advice for all of us.

Item 17.  SmartPlanet always has interesting tidbits.

A new blood test predicts heart attacks within two weeks.  GPS shoes help track Alzheimer’s patients.  A cover for your Kindle has built-in solar panels.

Item 18.  Is your iPad fully charged?  Think again.

iPads & iPhones are intentionally kept just short of fully charged so that you can leave them plugged in if you like.  Apple responded to a report by Tecca that this isn’t a bug; it’s a feature.

Item 19.  Ubuntu makes a comeback with Unity 5.8.

Jack Wallen takes back all the bad things he has said about Unity with the release of Version 5.8.  He says that the new version “seriously impresses”.

Item 20.  Do you use Excel pivot tables?

If you do, you may have been frustrated when trying to print them.  Susan Harkins has a way to repeat pivot table headings when printing.

Item 21.  Would you like to be able to share your Google Calendar in a readable format?

Check out PubMyCal, a free utility that does just that.

Item 22.  Sometimes you need to convert from one file-type to another.

Thanks, Chuck, for this link to a Free Online File Converter.

Item 23.  How did the internet happen?

.A new exhibition in the UK chronicles the history and impact of the web.

Item 24.  Could you use a Linux keyboard cheat-sheet?

Here are nine such cheat-sheets that range from general Linux commands to specific applications such as: Midnight Commander, Knoppix, Vi & Vim, Fluxbox, Gnome & KDE, Unity, Firefox & Chrome, and LibreOffice.

Item 25.  Are you interested in health & wellness?

Ryan Boudreaux has published a list of 10 Health & Wellness websites.

Item 26.  Microsoft goes to bat while Google stalls.

Microsoft and others have filed a suit in California against 39 Eastern European John Does who have likely been using botnet software to steal money from victims’ bank accounts in the US. Google has received subpoenas in the case for client email records, but it is holding out until the last day permitted under it’s privacy policy and notifying the accused of the subpoenas in the case, which may allow them dispose of evidence.

Item 27. This just in: Stateside TV networks sue over ad zapper.

Dish Network is being sued by TV networks in the States for implementing an “AutoHopper” that skips over commercials. Dish offered to disable the feature in exchange for lower network fees.

Dick Sandlin

Dilbert cartoon

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