Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Facebook allows advertisers to use your picture

It is my opinion that we should expect that there are no absolutes in regards to safety and security...at all. With that in mind, the story about pictures in Facebook accounts being used for advertisements (Facebook now lets advertisers use your picture) doesn't surprise me. As we've discussed many times, things are noted in "Terms of Service" and "End-User License Agreements" that people don't read and/or understand.

To "opt out" of the Facebook ads:
go to Settings, then Account Settings...
on the My Account tab, in the Privacy section, choose "manage"...
go to News Feed and Wall, then the Facebook Ads tab...
and for Appearance in Facebook Ads, change it to "no one".

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Windows 7 RC Downloads Extended to August 20th

Windows 7 Release CandidateNotice:

Downloads will end August 20

Thanks for all your help building Windows 7. We are on our way to the last big milestone: Release to Manufacturing. Starting on October 22, you’ll see it on PCs and store shelves. As we gear up for that, it’s time to wind down the Release Candidate testing program.

If you or a friend needs a download, you’ve got time. We’ll continue to offer the RC download until August 20, 2009. After that, you won’t be able to get the download, but if you have the bits, you can still install the RC and get a key if you need one.

(To get a key, just go to the Downloads page and follow the instructions.) Tell us what you think.

If you’re using the Windows 7 Release Candidate, we hope you like what you see. Let us know -- go to http://input.microsoft.com and tell us what you think. You’ll be able to give feedback on various aspects of the operating system. Got the RC and need help? Experts on the Windows 7 Forum can help answer your questions. The forum also gives you a way to share what you’ve learned with other people

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Google Tasks

It's now available via iGoogle, Google Calendar, Gmail, and Google Mobile.

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can't boot to an operating system

Tom had called into our show to say he had been unable to boot to Normal mode, Safe mode, and a command prompt.

Advanced troubleshooting for general startup problems in Windows XP

He might be able to boot into the Recovery Console...

Try to use System Restore...


He might need to try to do a "repair installation":

How to perform a repair installation of Windows XP if Internet Explorer 7 is installed

How to perform an in-place upgrade (reinstallation) of Windows XP

If you perform an in-place upgrade of Windows XP, all existing restore points are removed and a new system checkpoint restore point is created after the in-place upgrade is complete. Do not perform an in-place upgrade if you may have to use System Restore to restore your computer to a previous state.

You may lose data or program settings after reinstalling, repairing, or upgrading Windows XP.

If you have Windows XP Service Pack 2 installed on your computer, you must reinstall Service Pack 2 after you reinstall or repair Windows XP...

After you perform an in-place upgrade or repair installation, you must reinstall all updates to Windows...

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

System Restore

During our latest show we were discussing how to use System Restore...here are links to more information:

Applies to all editions of Windows Vista.
Start your computer in safe mode with command prompt.
At the command prompt, type rstrui.exe, and then press ENTER.

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Can Facebook Be Private?

This is the article I mentioned during our latest show...it's in the July edition of PC World: Can Facebook Be Private?

"...Facebook will warn you that the app can access your personal data, but it won't tell you exactly what personal data that app uses...

"...if a friend installs an app, the program will by default be able to see anything you've shared with that friend...

"...create a list of friends, then restrict content-sharing to certain lists...

"...Facebook's profile preview tool: Go to Settings, Privacy Settings, then Profile, and type a friend's name in the box up top. You'll see your own profile as it would be viewed by that friend, and can then adjust your privacy settings accordingly."

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Monday, July 13, 2009

"To the moon!..."

"WeChooseTheMoon.org, http://www.wechoosethemoon.org, will go live on July 16, 2009 at 8:02 a.m. and will take off at 9:32 a.m. – exactly 40 years to the minute after the historic launch. The site, powered by AOL, will recreate Apollo 11’s lunar mission, minute by minute, with an interactive experience that lets visitors experience the mission as it happened, using archival audio, video, photos and “real-time” transmissions on the site and via Twitter."

Three Twitter Feeds to Follow...

conversations between the spacecraft and Houston:

Houston back to the spacecraft:

and transmissions between Columbia and “Eagle” after they separate to descend to the lunar surface:

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Sunday, July 5, 2009



What if Facebook, Wikipedia, your favorite forum, and Google Reader all got mashed into one gigantic, delicious smoothie?

Is that what gdgt is?

It is!

It combines the best of social networking, forums, news aggregation, and wiki-based sites,justfor the hardcore gadget lover.

The site was designed by Ryan Block and Peter Rojas. Ryan Block is the former editor in chief at Engadget and Peter Rojas is the co-founder of both Engadget and Gizmodo. Most people know that these two gentleman are extremely knowledgeable about all types of gadgets. So this site fullfills the dreams of almost every gadget guy and gal.

They also started doing the gdgt podcast last fall that lasts for about an hour each week. They talk about a wide variety of technology, from the latest news at Apple to game consoles, cell phones, and the forthcoming Zune HD.

Once you go there, the first thing you should do is watch the video by Veronica Belmont that will give you a quick two minute overview of what the site offers.

It is a site worth having in your bookmarks for any gadget lover!


Friday, July 3, 2009

Nextar Q4-04 GPS

"...4.3 inch display...A built in speaker to the rear...A map of the 50 U.S. States is included on a 2GB SD Card which must be installed to navigate...

"...The Battery Life on the Q4-04 will give users about 2 and a half hours of use with a fully charged battery...and can be recharged fully after about 3 and a half hours. A USB cable, Wall Charger and Car charger is included..."

The only way to know the status of the charge is to turn the unit on; there is no external indicator of the status of the battery.

"...included mounting cradle which can then attach with a snap in to a rubber glass connector mounting bracket or dashboard mount disc attached to the mounting bracket...a nice mesh pouch is included to protect the unit...

"...A slide On Off switch at the back of the unit...the ability to play MP3 and WMA audio off a SD card as well as a photo slide show off an SD Card...A headphone jack...pricing at under $150..."

A stylus that slips into the body of the unit is included...but it would fall out of the unit we had.

I wish it had a "notepad" function so I could use the stylus to make notes.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

SteelSeries mousepads

There were very rare times in my life where I had come close to finding wonderful mousepads: fast, flat, and large enough for me. Some that were fast...that did not seem to force me to drag my mouse around...were not large enough and I would run out of mousepad before the cursor would get to where I wanted it to go.

For this review I am using a Logitech MX400 Performance Laser Mouse. (It is my inexpensive default mouse of choice.)


15 x 11 inches
0.2 inches thick

After removing the mousepad from the packaging I was very surprised to find that it is stiff and flat. (I expected it to be as flexible as a piece of cloth.)

It has five different layers:
the bottom layer has small, soft, non-slip rubber elements...
the next layer is a hard, plastic compound to hold the shape of the mousepad...
the middle layer is soft rubber foam, to soften the experience of the mousepad...
plastic-coated cloth is on top of that...
followed by a thin plastic coating.

And, boy, is this mousepad fast! 'Nuff said...it's fast...very fast.

Though most other mousepads I've used don't seem to have enough area, this one seems to be more than twice the width I need. I'm not complaining...


Next I tried the SteelSeries SX.

It's considered to be a "medium-sized" mousepad: 12.6 x 10.6 x 0.08 inches...

The rubber base absorbs noise and vibrations, and it's made of fiber polished aluminum with an anodized oxide coating.

After removing this one from it's packaging, I had that "Christmassy-like" feeling as I grunted with joy. This mousepad is metal, and the bottom is rubber. I imagine it will always be much slicker and faster than the 5L.

A polishing cloth is provided...and what appears to be feet that you can add to the bottom of a mouse (so it will slide better).


The SteelSeries 4D measures 11 x 10 inches with a thickness of 0.04 inches, and is double-sided for low and high sensitivity gamers. It's compatible with an optical, laser, and ball mouse.

A non-slip rubber base...as thin as netting (membrane thin, if you will)...is provided. Also included are feet that are attachable to a mouse.

When I opened the package, the thinness caught me off-guard...I wasn't prepared for it to be "so much of nothing".

I was worried that, because of its dimensions, there wouldn't be enough mousepad for me to like...but I do: I have yet to run out of real estate.

And, it's speedy side is just as fast as...if not faster than...the SX.


There are many options in the QcK line...


SteelSeries iron.lady QcK (pink)

SteelSeries iron.lady QcK heavy (white)

SteelSeries iron.lady QcK highlights:
- M-sized cloth mouse pad
- 11.6 x 8.3 x 0.08 inches
The iron.lady QcK is made of a high quality cloth material, providing a precise and consistent glide...The mouse pad is available in pink and white and features iron.lady branding.


SteelSeries QcK mass highlights:
- M-sized cloth mouse pad
- Heavy thickness eliminates uneven surfaces
- 11.2 x 12.6 x 0.2 inches

SteelSeries QcK mass is a super thick mouse pad made of a high quality cloth material...
...This mouse pad features extremely heavy thickness which results in a very unique feeling. While the mouse pad is much more soft and comfortable to touch, the height is also fairly massive...Other mouse pads from SteelSeries are very thin, aiming to provide a high quality gaming surface, as close as possible to level of the tabletop it's used on.


The SteelSeries QcK-line of mousepads are made of high quality cloth material, providing a precise and consistent glide. All mousepads feature a specially designed non-slip rubber base which prevents the pads from sliding, no matter what surface the mousepad is placed on.

SteelSeries QcK mini highlights:
- S-sized cloth mouse pad
- 9.8 x 8.3 inches, thickness 0.08 inches

SteelSeries QcK heavy highlights:
- XXL-sized cloth mouse pad
- Heavy thickness eliminates uneven surfaces
- 17.7 x 15.7 inches, thickness 023 inches
SteelSeries QcK+ highlights:
- XXL-sized cloth mouse pad
- 17.7 x 15.7 inches, thickness 0.08 inches
SteelSeries QcK highlights:
- M-sized cloth mouse pad
- 12.6 x 11.2 inches, thickness 0.08 inches

The mousepad I tried measures 12.5 by 10.5 inches (the "basic" model). It, literally, is a cloth: I unrolled it from its packaging.

I had greatly lowered my expectations for this model...and I was wrong. I had planned on telling you about experiencing drag between the mouse and the mousepad, but I cannot: if there is any, I don't notice it.


Before you purchase a mousepad...of course...consider the size of the area you plan to use it. If you plan on taking the mousepad with you from place to place, it will need to fit in a bad (backpack, portfolio, etcetera).

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