Do you like Microsoft’s new logos?

On May 29, 2013, in Uncategorized, by CronwellGlaus637

People say that everyone is a critic. You will discover this firsthand at the Quora knowledge-sharing Web site. A short time ago, a Quora user took Microsoft to task. This user wasn’t upset that Windows 8 was clunky and counter-intuitive. The user wasn’t mad, either, that Internet Explorer didn’t return the best search results. No, this user took Microsoft to task for its lack of artistic ambition. Yes, you heard right.

Lazy Logos?

A user on the Quora information-sharing site recently criticized Microsoft’s newest logos, graphics that represent everything from Internet Explorer to Microsoft Publisher, as being too simple. The images – which are rather stark – look as if they took a few minutes to create, this budding art critic wrote. The critic says that this pattern of lazy logos began with the introduction of Office 2013 and Windows 8.

Not Everyone Agrees

Quora is a website that promotes debate. And debate quickly followed the original user’s criticisms. A small army of Quora users asserted that Microsoft’s new logos – including ones for Internet Explorer, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Office – are in fact rather stunning in their simpleness. Other individuals argued that just because a logo is simple doesn’t mean it didn’t demand as much thought and planning as more complex designs. In fact, the predominant theme of the counterargument is that sometimes simplicity is best. And when you are looking at computer graphics, sleek, simple logos in many cases are the most effective.

A Growing Trend?

It’s tough to argue with this last statement. Microsoft’s new logos do look sleek. And you can immediately tell which logo matches which Microsoft program which, of course, is the job of a logo. You can criticize Microsoft for a lot of things – especially for Windows 8 – but when it comes to logos, the company remains on the leading edge.


What the Living Social password breach means to you

On May 23, 2013, in Uncategorized, by PalmeseDanielle617

Do you use one password to log into a number of Web sites? Do some of those sites contain important personal and financial information about you? If so, then you’re placing yourself in serious danger. Don’t believe it? Then check out tech Web site ars technica’s recent story on a password breach at daily deal Web site

Major Breach

The technology Web site ars technica recently featured this danger in its story on a serious password breach at This site, which provides users daily deals on everything from cafes to hotel stays, was recently hacked. Cyber criminals discovered the passwords of as many as 50 million of LivingSocial’s users. This breach also left users’ e-mail addresses and names exposed.

Changing Passwords

But, as the ars technica story illustrates, some users may have reacted too late to the password breach. Tim O’Shaughnessy, the chief executive officer of LivingSocial, was quoted after the password breach as telling the site’s users to change their passwords. Also, he advised users to change their passwords at other sites if these passwords are the same as or similar to the one they had been using at LivingSocial. This is useful advice. Even better advice? Don’t ever use the same password at different sites in the first place.

Change it Up

It can be difficult to remember dozens of passwords. And there are occasions when you simply want to log onto a site with a password that you’ve used dozens of times before because it is easier than creating, and documenting, a brand-new access code. Don’t fall prey to this urge. If a hacker cracks your password at one site, it’s not very difficult for this cyber criminal to use the same one to access your other Web sites, too, if you’re too lazy to create different passwords at different sites. Yes, passwords are fallible. Even so the more imaginative you are with them — and this includes creating separate passwords for every site you visit — the better off you’ll be.


Time to break these bad tech habits

On May 22, 2013, in Uncategorized, by s1x8s7

Do you practice bad tech habits? You may think you don’t. But you do you re-use passwords, neglect to back up files or regularly leave your tablet alone and in plain sight? Then you’re guilty of many of the most serious bad tech habits recently identified by PCWorld Magazine. If you wish to protect your devices and yourself, you’ll study these bad habits and make changes in your own behavior. It’s the right way to protect yourself when computing.

Becoming a target

Some of the most severe tech bad habits recognized by PCWorld allow you to be an easy target for thieves. Such as, do you ever leave your smart phones or tablets sitting at your booth in the coffee shop while you run back to the counter to get another shortbread cookie? Leaving your devices unwatched and in plain view makes it possible for criminals to quickly snatch them and vanish. Or suppose you spend your waking minutes gazing at your smart phone screen and not taking notice of your surroundings? This bad tech habit can hurt, too. As you are staring at your screen, you don’t see that suspicious guy walking close to you. Before you expect it, the guy’s popped you in the face, grabbed your smart phone and run away.

Hurting Your Health

PCWorld also listed several bad tech habits that could hurt your health. For example, if you sit hunched before your computer screen all day long, you may create a serious case of carpal tunnel syndrome. And if you stare at your computer screen for far too long, you can develop headaches or damage your eyes. Lastly, if you never leave your desk during the workday, you may acquire anything from back pain to eye strain to headaches to fuzzy thinking. Break these three bad habits and take short breaks from your computer screen during the workday. Your body will thank you.

Lost Data, Personal Information

What happens if your computer suffers an unexpected hard-drive crash? Are you going to lose your important files? If you suffer from the bad tech habit of not backing up your files, you probably will. And do you reuse the same passwords frequently at several different Web sites? This tech habit can open you to a whole lot of pain should anyone crack that go-to password. Now, instead of getting access to your personal info on one site, this cyber criminal can gain access to it on several. Lastly, do you ignore the updates that publishers create for the software that you typically use? Don’t. Ignoring these updates can leave you vulnerable to hacks and keep you from fully enjoying your software.


Have an iPhone? Watch out for hackers

On May 14, 2013, in Uncategorized, by Mooney28Geraldine

Apple’s iPhone collection of smartphones remains popular among consumers. Regretably, they’re also popular among a less savory group, hackers. Business Insider just recently documented on a new study that found that the iPhone ranks as the most hacked mobile device. And most shocking? It’s not even close – the iPhone is the most hacked by a lot.

Targeted iPhone

Business Insider cites research conducted recently by Web security firm SourceFire – “25 Years of Vulnerabilities” – in its story. According to Source Fire, iPhones have registered 210 CVE – Critical Vulnerabilities – reports. In comparison, mobile devices powered by the Android operating system have only received 24 CVE reports. That’s a major difference.

What’s behind it?

What’s behind the disparity? Why does the iPhone suffer so many more hack attacks? There isn’t one simple answer. Business Insider, though, questions if the lifelong popularity of the iPhone is behind the higher numbers. After all, it makes sense that hackers would want to target the most popular mobile devices. There’s a problem with this argument, though. Last year, the popularity and market share of Android-powered mobile devices soared. But while this happened, the number of CVE reports on Android devices actually fell. So as the devices became more popular, they suffered fewer attacks.

A tempting target?

In an interview with Web site ZDNet, the author of the SourceFire report theorized that hackers may concentrate on the iPhone because breaking into it is more challenging. Android devices feature an open platform. This means it is not too difficult for third-party and dangerous apps to be made available to consumers who download them on their own. That isn’t the situation with Apple, which does not operate on an open platform.


Think size is the only thing that matters when selecting a computer monitor? Think again. Different kinds of computer monitors boast different features. Some react especially quickly to commands, and are, as a result, favorites among avid video gamers. Others reproduce the sharpest colors possible, and are better-suited to animators and graphic designers. The message here? Choosing a computer monitor takes homework. But if you do your research, you can find that LCD computer monitor that works best for you.

Size isn’t everything that matters

As the Lifehacker Website says, before you buy a computer monitor, you need to understand just how you use your computer. Do you spend long hours gaming? Maybe you like to watch your favorite tv shows and movies using your pc. Or perhaps you just use your computer to scan the Web and respond to e-mail messages. However you use your computer, there’s a monitor that is perfect for you, says Lifehacker. You simply need to find it.


The Coding Horror blog, by writer Jeff Atwood, states that most monitors sold these days are TN models. This is because these monitors are less costly. They also have screens that respond quickly. But TN monitors aren’t perfect. Coding Horror ranks their viewing angles and color reproduction abilities as only average. Computer users can also select IPS monitors, which boast excellent color reproduction and excellent viewing angles. Their response times are solid, though not as quick as those of TN monitors. The downside? They are the most expensive monitors in the marketplace.

The affordable choice

A solid middle-ground choice for some users might be VA or vertical-alignment monitors. As Coding Horror says, these monitors feature good color reproduction and viewing angle capabilities. Also they are more reasonably priced than are IPS monitors. The downside? Colors shift if you look into these monitors at an angle. Plus the response time for these monitors is just average.


Is your phone’s passcode really safe?

On May 8, 2013, in Uncategorized, by PudlinskiKnoy492

Think your smart phone is safe because you make use of a passcode to prevent others from logging onto its home screen? Think again. A recent story by the Lifehacker technology Web site takes a close look at the recent wave of passcode exploits which have allowed hackers to get into consumers’ smart phones. As it turns out, not even a hard-to-guess passcode can prevent the most talented and patient of hackers from compromising your smart phone.

Passcode attacks

According to the Lifehacker story, recent passcode exploits work differently based upon if hackers were targeting the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy phones. For the iPhone, the exploits permitted hackers to gain access to the Phone app, not the iPhone’s home screen. This meant that hackers can use other’s phones to make calls, see users’ contacts and access users’ photos, even though they didn’t gain total access to the phone. For the Galaxy, hackers succeeded merely to flash phones’ home screens for about a second. That’s a small amount of time, but sufficient to allow hackers to launch an app or start downloading one which can unlock your phone completely.

Not foolproof

The Lifehacker story proves that passcodes are not a magic pill for stopping smart phone hackers. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. As the Lifehacker story says, passcodes have never been stronger than standard passwords when it comes to protecting smart phones. Hackers have long been able to crack lock-screen passcodes. They’ve been capable to break into the hard drives of smart phones to gain access to the data and information stored there.


As with all things tech, it is possible to take steps to make it more challenging for a hacker to break into your smart phone. First, use a strong password, one containing letters, numbers and symbols, for your lock-screen passcode. Next, make sure you encrypt your phone’s data. Finally, Lifehacker recommends using services such as Apple’s Find My iPhone or the independent app Prey. These apps help you track your smart phone and erase its data if you lose it or somebody takes it.


Don’t hurt your peepers at the workplace

On May 2, 2013, in Uncategorized, by PanTomek23

Does your work demand that you stare at a computer screen for many hours at a stretch? If so, eyestrain can become a serious problem. A current story by the everon small-business blog says that workers connected to their computers can face a host of problems, from watery eyes to headaches, increased sensitivity to light and difficulty focusing. The good news? Avoiding eyestrain is in fact quite easy, even if you need to stare at the monitor for eight hours. The everon blog offered some simple methods for reducing the unwanted effects of eyestrain.

20/20/20 Rule

What’s the secret to avoiding eyestrain? Employees merely have to follow the 20/20/20 rule. Every 20 minutes, individuals need to turn away from their computer screens for 20 seconds. They should then look at an object or image that stands at least 20 feet away. This surprisingly simple exercise can help keep eyestrain at bay. And it could make employees more efficient. And, furthermore, everon found several worthy apps that can remind employees of when it’s time to take an eye break.


The everon story even highlights several apps to help you remember to take these micro breaks. One such app, Workrave, will pop onto your screen to remind you to take your break. The app will even suggest exercises that will help boost the strength of your eyes, shoulders and back. The EyeLeo app blocks your computer screen every hour, forcing you to get out of your chair and do something else. The app will then demonstrate a quick exercise that you can tackle before your screen returns to normal.

A Break for Coffee?

Another favorite reminder app is Coffee Break, even though it is only available for Apple devices. This app will slowly darken your screen as a pre-arranged break time nears. You will be encouraged to take that important break as your screen gets darker and darker. Of course, no app can make you take a health break. Nevertheless, do it for your own benefit. The work will still get done, and the health benefits from turning away from the screen are significant.


This has become a tablet world. And why not? Consumers are able to use these nifty and highly portable devices to watch movies, surf the Web, listen to online radio and send and receive e-mail messages while on the go. It’s little wonder that tablet sales have eclipsed the sales numbers of traditional laptop computers. But that doesn’t mean that tablets are perfect. Many users have complained that these devices falter when it comes to sharing screens with other people. However this, too, is beginning to change, due to several high-end screen-sharing apps for iOS now available. Miguel Leiva-Gomez, a writer with the smallbiz technology Web site, took a look at three of the best. Use these apps and you’ll soon be sharing screens with ease, even on a tablet.

Leiva-Gomez has high praise for, a Web service that delivers collaborative screen sharing for a variety of platforms. To use the iOS app, though, users will have to pay up for the program’s “pro” version, one that carries a fee of just under $20 a month. The application comes with file-sharing, instant chat and Internet calling. Leiva-Gomez describes this package as one that will satisfy the needs of just about any user.

Air Sketch

Leiva-Gomez has good things to say, too, about Air Sketch. This app lets users turn their tablets into whiteboards. Users can tap five different writing tools to maneuver these boards. They can also use the program to open up PDFs and other files. The application displays every image, report and document in real time. This, of course, creates an environment perfectly suited to work collaboration.

Conference Pad

The Conference Pad completes Leiva-Gomez’s screen-sharing all-stars, and with good reason. This is a no-frills screen-sharing app, but it’s also a solid one. The app is especially impressive with regards to zoom. Users can zoom into any part of their documents or images without having to sacrifice an iota of image quality. And just like the other screen-sharing apps that Leiva-Gomez highlights, it’s a simple one to understand and use, which means that tablet owners will be sharing their screens almost immediately.