New Google Search Series

This is a change from my normal blog. This time the article(s) and videos are in the LambtonShield online newspaper.

I am doing a 3 part series on the new Google Search. This is also part of a live presentation I am doing for the Sarnia Computer Users’ Group in Sarnia, Ontario.

CHECK OUT THE VIDEO AND ARTICLE: CLICK HEREgoogle search

 

MAC Users Should Protect With Software and Common Sense

There is a lot of hype in the media today about a security issue for Macs. In Krebs’ blog KREBSONSECURITY he wrote a blog entitled: “Weyland-Yutani Crime Kit Targetss Macs for Bots“. In this blog Krebs clearly pointed out that users are responsible and must maintain common sense while online and using a computer, be it Mac, PC or even Linux.

The media has hyped this issue up because it could involve Mac users. Krebs tells us that “A new crimeware kit for sale on the criminal underground makes it a simple point-and-click exercise to develop malicious software designed to turn Mac OSXcomputers into remotely controllable zombie bots. According to the vendor of this kit, it is somewhat interchangeable with existing crimeware kits made to attack Windows-based PCs.”

Apple news site offers this resolve:

What does this mean for normal Mac users? For the moment, only that you really do want to stay up to date with security updates to Mac OS X and Web browsers. If Weyland-Yutani were to become popular with criminals, the anti-malware market on the Mac would certainly heat up.

But for the moment, just be sure to install security updates, be careful opening email attachments that could contain code, and stay away from dodgy Web sites pushing pirated software, gambling, and porn. Oh, and keep reading TidBITS for news of changes in the security landscape. In other words, use your common sense, since the Internet simply isn’t an entirely safe place and hasn’t been for years.

Any Mac user who takes their computers seriously have read Apple’s advice on Security that is posted near the bottom of the Apple website:

Mac OS X – Security – Keeps safe from viruses and malware

The built-in defenses in Mac OS X help keep you safe from viruses and malware without the hassle of constant alerts and sweeps.

http://www.apple.com/macosx/security/

Security Advice

The Mac is designed with built-in technologies that provide protection against malicious software and security threats right out of the box. However, since no system can be 100 percent immune from every threat, antivirus software may offer additional protection.

and…

Here are some other ways to help keep your information as safe as possible:

  • Download files only from known and trusted websites.
  • Use FileVault to encrypt your most important documents.
  • Control access to your Mac by locking your screen after a period of inactivity.
  • Securely delete outdated sensitive files with the Secure Empty Trash command.
As a Lambton College Mac computer instructor I advise my students to download and use a copy of iAntivirus and ClamAV

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BEST iPAD APPS – a review

Review: by Gregory West
prospector16(at)gmail.com
Member of Computer Groups
bwcomp.orgscug.caapcug.net

ipad apps book review Best iPad Apps

The Guide for Discriminating
Downloaders

by Peter Meyers

Published by OReilly Media Inc.

ISBN- 9781449392475
Pages: 230
USA: $21.99 / CDA: $25.99
oreilly.com

Everyone now owns an iPad. Well maybe not everyone, however the number of sales are far reaching into the millions. If you look at a graph depicting the sales of Apple’s iPad you will see a line that looks like the path of the Space Shuttle taking off. The iPad has taken off with an huge explosion of sales. There is a good reason: Apps.

Apple announces the iPad has “thousands of apps…available in every category”, which is mind numbing to say the least. How does one sift through such numbers to find the top notch apps and not get stuck with one that, well let’s just say stuck with an app that is not the best? How does one find the best of the best in iPad apps?

Well you need to look no further. Peter Meyers’ book offers the easy solution to such a complex issue of sorting through thousands of iPad apps to make sense, with precise reviews on each one.

Meyers says that “this book helps do some serious chaff snuffing” in that he has gone through the thousands of apps to bring us the best. The book is sequenced with seven  color coded chapters, making referencing easy. Each chapter takes us to a new use for the iPad: At Work – At Leisure – Creative Corner – At Play – At Home – Out and About – For Your Health. Browsing through these chapters is fun to see what you can really do with your iPad.

For instance, in Chapter 6, “Out and About”, you will find numerous apps that cover “Finding (and booking) a Restaurant”, “Finding Cheap Airfares”, to “Driving Instructions in Your Car”. For the more serious users you can get one for your “Health” such as: “Portable First Aid Reference”, “Dieting and Weight Loss”, and even “Bird Watching”. Games were not left behind, not at all. Meyers offers Chapter 6: “At Play”. Here you get to read about the best apps for “Arcade Games”, “Puzzles”, “Racing”, “Combat” and many more.

Each App review page lists the price, the version, and short synopsis about the App. The review page also includes a graphic and an explanation of how it works. From reading sheet music to drawing to gaming to buying online, Meyers book has it all covered and then some.

Gregory West is a Mac Computer Instructor at Lambton College, Ontario. He is also a crew member for TVCogeco. In his spare time he runs a free computer “drop-in” centre that assists people who want to learn about technology. He can be reached at prospector1(at)gmail.com

Mac & Chrome Users BEWARE

I have been a Chrome web browser user since day one of it’s inception. Now I have to go back to Firefox browser.

THE REASON WHY: Chrome supports less and less than other browsers, including its OWN GOOGLE GEARS.

THAT IS CORRECT…
GOOGLE DOES NOT SUPPORT ITS’ OWN SOFTWARE
ON ITS’ OWN BROWSER:
CHROME.

Gears, Docs, Chrome: a nonfunctional combination.

Why?

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT

Book Review: iPad the missing manual

Review: by Gregory West
prospector16@gmail.com
Member of the Computer Operators 
of Marysville & Port Huron
Member of Sarnia Computer Users’ Group
By J.D. Biersdorfer
ISBN- 978-1-449-38784-6
Pages: 299
USA: $24.99 / CDA: $31.99
Learning a new program, gadget, or tech device is easy. You just turn it on and start clicking or pounding buttons until it works. For many people this method is sufficient. However, if you really want to get the most from your new device you need go further. You need advice from someone who has discovered all the features and then some. Pounding and clicking aimlessly may work, but to find out all about the iPad you need more than hit and miss techniques.
This book is an excellent learning tool and a reference guide. The sixteen chapters help you get to know your iPad, interact with all the features and discover the deep secreted “undocumented tips and tricks” that are found in this book.
Chapter one gets you jump-started and takes you on a guided tour of the “home screen icons”. You find all about connectivity, working with iTunes and some iPad maintenance.   As the chapters progress so does your learning. Chapter two gets you interacting with the various features and functionality, while the next chapter explains all the intricacies of getting online, staying secure while using public “hot spots”, and how to use Skype to make Internet calls.
Other chapters show you how to work with photography on the iPad, tour the iPad’s Mail program, set up your calendar, take notes and watch YouTube video clips. Mapping is detailed as you learn to “Find Your Way with Maps” and “Locate Your Position with GPS”.
Applications (apps) are important features on the iPad covered in Chapter Seven. From buying to adjusting and troubleshooting your apps, the guided tour takes care of all your app needs and more.
If you are a reader you are in luck. Chapter eight covers “iBooks and ePeriodicals”. Learn how to download the iBooks App, use the apps bookstore, buy books and how to read an iBook. Newspapers and magazine apps are covered as you learn how to subscribe to ePeriodicals from comic books to National Geographic magazines.
Appendix A demonstrates iPad settings that are very important. In this section you “Tour the iPad Settings” learning how to use the iPad in Wi-Fi zones, Airplane Mode (Wi-Fi and 3G), and connecting to Cellular Data. Appendix B is for all of us who need Troubleshooting from time-to-time.
This book is complete with excellent coloured screenshots that make it very easy to understand the information on each page. This book is a must have while you learn the amazing features on your iPad. It is an excellent book for future referencing.

The Future of Computers is NO COMPUTERS

Note: This article will appear in First Monday Magazine next month…

The Future of Computers is NO COMPUTERS

By Gregory West

As a computer consultant and instructor I get asked which type of computer is a good deal and one that will last. As I explain the pros and cons of various computers, I know that they are in for a major change, and very soon computers will be a thing of the past.

We are now racing towards one of the most drastic changes in computer history. Welcome what I coin as: CLOUD COMPUTERS. We have all heard of the “Cloud” that exists on the Internet. Simply put, a “cloud” is a program where you store things such as photos (Flickr or Picasa), and videos (YouTube or Vimeo). Of course EVERYONE knows that you can store these on Facebook as well which is also a “cloud” program online.

I know, enough of the mumbo-jumbo computer talk and let’s get to the point.

Google is soon to announce its online operating system. This means you will not use your computer to use programs such as Word or Excel etc. These will be offered free in the new Google operating system. Soon there will be no more need for Microsoft’s XP, Vista, Windows 7, or even Apple’s Snow Leopard. It also means no more complicated computer systems. It will be somewhat like your TV and it will “just work”. You MUST watch this video: <http://bit.ly/91Fnm7googlecomputer> to see how it works.

No, Google’s new online operating system will not replace Apple or Microsoft systems just yet. However, this is a start to a very interesting future that is quickly unfolding before our very eyes. This new online operating system idea will virtually change the need for a computer. All we will need is a device that has a browser like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, or Chrome. These will connect you to your online computer system.

Just think, many of us have been doing this for sometime now and not paying much attention…When you go online with your Smart Phone you are using a “Cloud Computer”. It can only get easier and better and less expensive. A full report on how this works is found here: <http://bit.ly/azhyJ6cloudcomputers>

George Orwell predicted 1984 as the year of “Big Brother” and I say that 2011 is the year we see “Cloud Computers”…I can’t wait.

[bi-line]
Gregory West is a Mac Instructor for Lambton College. 
He is also Webmaster at Central United Church, the home of Sarnia’s new 
COMMUNITY Tech School at: <http://central-united-church.org/news&gt;. This is free and open to the public as a community service.

Gregory can be reached at: prospector16@gmail.com
For more tips visit his Blog: https://gregorywest.wordpress.com

TAKE THE TIME TO WATCH THIS MUST-SEE VIDEO

Video Not Working On Google’s Chrome Browser

If you own a Macbook and are running Snow Leopard I can guarrantee that you cannot watch video using the Google Chrome web browser.

I have posted the question in many Google forums challenging Google employees to explain the “WHY NOT” or “HOW COME”.

If I do get an answer to why we Apple users cannot watch video on that browser it will be posted here. In the meantime it is back to ole Safari because Firefox is waaaaaaaaaaaaaay toooooooooo sloooooooooooooooow now. I am not fussy on Safari but what can I say that hasn’t been said about Safari.

Stay Tuned…as they say…