Monthly Archives: December 2008

Advanced: Program detailsHere's another security scanning package. Secunia PSI will check your computer via scan, then on the fly, for known insecure software and programs that have passed their end-of-life (i.e. no longer being updated) and are therefore considered insecure. By default, the program will only report programs that are "easy to fix" and this is 100% accurate. In most cases, all you'll need to do is click the "Download Solution" button and run the downloaded update.

I've got to say, I thought my new home computer was secure until I ran this program. It's now 100% ok on the easy level and 98% on the Advanced level. (In some cases fixing an advanced problem will actually break some older software so you'll probably never be perfect.)

OK, maybe everyone doesn't need to know all the picky details about how hard drives work, but this Gizmodo article will give you enough of the basics to have a great understanding of this technology that we rely upon every day. For example, did you know that newer drives store date perpendicular to the platter instead of horizontally? In other words, your data is standing up instead of lying down. (Don't worry, there's a cute video that explains it.)

Did you know that if you bookmark an MP3 file in Delicious you now have a way to play it while still in Delicious. Just look for the play button to the bookmark's left and click it. An embedded media play will appear and start playback automatically.

image

Two important notes: First, you must bookmark the MP3 file, not just a page containing a MP3 file. Second, during playback, if you leave the page, playback will stop and you'll need to start over again if you return.

There are several good online image editing programs out there today and it's hard for me to review them because I just don't have the editing skills. However, I have played around with the new Phoenix Image Editor and I am impressed. It'll accept imports from your computer, Picassa, Flickr and several other sources. It includes all the basic tools you'll probably need and deals well with multi-layered images. If your public computers don't have image editing software beyond MS Paint, you might want to recommend your patrons give Phoenix a try.

image

Got a cell phone with Internet access but you never use it because that browser on the very small screen is virtually impossible to use? (This of course rules out those of you with iPhones.) Did you know that many popular Web sites have "mobile" versions that are just as functional but are presented in a format that actually works on your phone? Here's my list of the sites I regularly use on my cell phone along with a few additional suggestions from other mobile Web surfers I know.

image Are you concerned about visiting random sites that may be unreliable or not to be trusted? What if there was a way to know what other Internet users thought of that site you're about to visit? Well, there is the Web of Trust, a Firefox and IE add-on which will signal you green, yellow, or red on Google search results. Green means it's safe, yellow is questionable, and red means stay away. For each result you can get detailed information on just why that rating exists. Additionally, you can rate sites and contribute back to the community. If you're still not sure how this can help you check out the short online demo video.