“Facebook Changes – Why”

change

“Facebook Changes – Why”
by Gregory West

Cyberspace is alit with flareups from all of us using Facebook this past while. People are screaming that they are quitting Facebook and going to Google Plus (many are doing just that) while others have already switched to other social media spots such as Twitter and LinkedIn. I personally believe, even though the Internet is amass with complaints about Facebook’s new changes, people will stay with Facebook. They will click their way into learning the new Facebook and any other changes they may throw at us. Why?

The adage of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” doesn’t hold water anymore, at least not in the online world where many of us now reside much of the time.  Like it or not, we necessitate change online. We demand things work faster, easier and are activated from anywhere, anytime, and by anyone. Plus, these online companies are no different than “brick and mortar” businesses: they all need to make money to survive. Facebook is moving into a new arena where they can make even more money. “The company is expected to bring in $3.8 billion in worldwide advertising revenue this year and $5.8 billion in 2012, according to research firm eMarketer.” (Washington Post)

While discussing Facebook, people admit that it is the first website they check when going on the Internet in the morning, even before any news sites or email programs – Facebook is many people’s first choice for keeping up; keeping connected is very important to many of the 800 million users who now use Facebook. The Post says that, “Facebook is a technology company that wants to keep improving its products so that people keep using it and it doesn’t grow stale.”

I remember reading a book in college by Alvin Toffler: “Future Shock” wherein Toffler described how people would not be able to accept the rate of change. Toffler wrote, “too much change in too short a period of time”. I believed this would happen, but it never did. The book was written before the Internet was born, although ironically, Toffler “popularized the phrase information overload” (wikipedia).

We are a connected society now. One just has to look to the streets, to the malls, along sidewalks and in grocery store lineups. What is it you see? People staring at their smart phones, connected in a “brave new world”. These are the people who are learning to tolerate and navigate through the rough seas of change, be it a computer, a tablet or a smart phone. It is so much part of our lives today that these devices, once called “toys” are now a major necessity. We are, and we will, continue to live with change – I believe deep down we must thrive on change, otherwise Alvin Toffler would have been correct back in 1970.

If you have a computer problem or a great tip, please pass it along to Greg at First Monday and he will post it in the next issue.

Gregory can be reached at: gregory@alternatecloud.com
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“When Digital Disaster Strikes, Smile!…because you will be OK.”

by Gregory West

Have you ever deleted photos from a camera or computer by mistake?

A friend of mine called me recently after going through a “catastrophe”, as he called his situation. It happened about mid way over the Atlantic Ocean, thirty-seven thousand feet up. He was sitting in his seat with not much to do so he decided to check the photos on his digital camera. All these photos were from this trip to Portugal, a trip that involved hiking in the wilderness and visiting old buildings. You can only imagine some of his prized photos.

I think you know where I am going with this…Yes, while looking at the photos, clicking from one to the next, he inadvertently deleted not just a couple of photos, every photo from his trip was gone in one simple click. After checking and double checking he knew it was fruitless to look further; the photos vanished.

When he got home he called as told me about this situation.

“That’s no problem,” I tried to reassure him. I explained that there is a software recovery program that people use in such cases with much success. The voice at the other end of the line was silent. I knew he didn’t think this process was possible. After he recovered every single photo from his vacation he couldn’t thank me enough.

However, my tale doesn’t end there. I had a similar problem where a new SD (photo storage card in camera) failed to produce 250 pictures and some video clips. After taking a deep breath I remembered my advice I had doled out and quickly downloaded a copy of Recuva, a recovery program that is free and works. Within no time I had all my pictures and video clips stored on my computer, thanks to Recuva.

The moral of this story is when you delete photos, music from an MP3 player, or data from your computer, remember that it is possible to recover the data. Don’t say it will never happen because you are careful. I am sure it has happened to the best of us.

To avoid a similar “catastrophe” you need to have a recovery software program installed on your computer. One of the best recovery programs around is called: Recuva. As an added bonus this program is free and it comes “highly” recommended.

You can read the reviews here: http://cnet.co/filehelp

How does it work? Recuva scans your drives for the files you need and “recovers them in a flash” (www.piriform.com). Even if the files are partially damaged “Recuva will show you a list of files it has found on the drive, and give you an estimate of the likelihood of success of recovering them”. You can’t ask for much more.

Let’s not forget when we delete those important emails. Yes you can recover them too. Recuva says that “The email program doesn’t delete the email or emails to the Windows Recycle Bin, but rather empties its own internal trash or Recycle Bin.”

I use word processing software every day. And yes I have lost documents that I have spent hours working on and never got them back. That is until I discovered Recuva. They assure us that their software “can intelligently rebuild Word documents from their temporary files”.

We all can agree for the most part that weddings, graduations, and other such special events are best remembered with lots of photos. Music downloaded to your MP3 player is a treasure chest to cherish. While those word documents on the hard drive on your computer are from hours of work, you dare not lose them anymore.

To find out more and to get your free copy of Recuva go to this website:www.piriform.com/download

Gregory can be reached at: gregory@alternatecloud.com
For more tips visit his Blog: https://gregorywest.wordpress.com
Free Computer Help Seminars: Grace United Church – 519-542-1203

Make Your Computer Run Brand New Again

Don't Let This Bug You

They say that computer users belong to a group known as procrastinators when it comes to maintenance. I confess I sometimes fall into this group too often and get reminded its time when someone cries out their “computer is so slow”.

In the old days of computing we had to manually clean out files and programs on our computers. This is when we had to know what we were doing. Cottage industries quickly grew in popularity, taking on the task of cleaning up computers. These businesses still flourish today. However, you can easily avoid the high costs of sending your computer in for repair by doing it the easy way: Do it yourself.

For some fun I called a local computer repair business to find out what it would cost to clean up my very slow computer. I don’t have a slow computer, I was curious on some pricing. I know it would be costly but I was not ready for the price of $101.70 for virus removal, of which they would not guarantee to get all the viruses or spyware. They suggested spending $113.00 for a complete format of my hard drive, meaning it would wipe everything from my computer and I would lose all the data. Wow!

What is a person to do?

My advice is to NOT pay these high costs when you can very easily do the same work yourself with a few clicks with a mouse? Want to learn more? Read on…

There are usually three issues that can slow down your computer.

  1. Malware and Spyware: Spyware and Malware software “programs can collect various types of personal information” (wikipedia.org) and redirect you to unsafe websites while on the Internet. It gets worse in that “Spyware is known to change computer settings, resulting in slow connection speeds, different home pages, and/or loss of Internet connection or functionality of other programs.” Here is a free program you should download and run:
    http://superantispyware.com
  2. Wasted Hard Drive Space: More than likely your computer is clogged up with junk files, unused useless files, traces of your Internet searches and other data that puts your registry out of sync. In the past, a highly trained technician was the only one to repair this section of your computer. Now the same task can be easily performed by you, and done extremely fast. The program to download for free is called CCleaner found at http://www.piriform.com/. You will note that more than 600 million people have already downloaded this program and it comes highly recommended for computer maintenance.
  3. Slow Starting Computer:I have worked on computers that are so slow starting up I didn’t think the machines was even going to run at all. Some didn’t. Those that were so slow starting were terribly slow running and some people said they could put a load of laundry in while waiting for the computer programs to appear.The problem could very well be that there are too many programs on your computer fighting for startup at the same time. Everything on your computer wants to begin running at the same time and that makes for a very slow computer. Why would you have a full blown office program starting up when you are not going to use it right away? What to do, you ask?

    CCleaner does a fast and amazing job of cleaning “up your Taskbar, ActiveX, Brower and Startup programs. WinPatrol monitors and exposes adware, keyloggers, spyware, worms, cookies, and other malicious software (cnet.com).”  A real benefit of this program also is that it keeps a watchful eye for you as it takes “a snapshot of your critical system resources, then alerting you to any changes that occur without your knowledge.” This is a good way to know if the bad guys have tried to enter your computer without your knowledge.

If your computer is still running strange, then you should consider formatting your hard drive, which means a reinstall of your operating system. Here are some websites that will help you:

Windows XP:    http://bit.ly/lhPy7g
Windows Vista: http://bit.ly/kagWR9

Windows 7:       http://bit.ly/ivEwt4

Good luck and I hope the first three items work well for you and no further work is required. Email me and let me know how you make out.

Gregory can be reached at: gregory@alternatecloud.com

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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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