Archive for June 2014

Facebook is the Laboratory, and You are the Rat

The Wall Street Journal reported today that in 2012, Facebook performed a little experiment with it’s 600,000+ users.  For a week they carefully omitted certain content that could be seen as having either positive or negative emotions, to see if it would cause users to be more positive or negative in their own posts.

Well, I can tell you THIS post should bring negative emotions to you.  Rather than just let you read posts that you would expect to see, Facebook was intentionally attempting to manipulate your emotions in what they allowed you to read.

I think Facebook involving its users in a psychological experiment without permission is reprehensible.  At the very, least, install an ad blocker like Adblock-Plus into your browser and that will stop the ads from showing up along the right side of your page in Facebook – at least that way you’re not contributing to them financially by seeing their ads. 

Here’s the entire article on the WSJ:  http://goo.gl/LVnV01

You Don’t Have It, And You Need It. Save Some $$$

“What is it Laurie?” you ask.  Well, this may not be as practical for you if you have a laptop computer, but if you have a desktop pc, or an all-in-one like an iMac a little spent now can save you money in the future.

For most of you, UPS means one thing – the company that delivers packages to your door.  But UPS has another meaning for folks familiar with computers and security.  UPS stands for “Uninterruptible Power Supply”, which is basically a battery that keeps your computer running in the event of a power outage. 

But there’s more than just keeping the computer running, there’s PROTECTING the computer from power problems that reduce it’s life or completely break it.

A proper UPS will not only protect your computer from power outages, but from low and high power voltage fluctuations in the power lines, and will allow you you safely shut down your computer without the loss of your data.

The one I’m recommending right now that’s a very good deal is a CyberPower UPS that can handle any normal PC and monitor for several minutes with no problem in the event of a total power outage.  This model is (right now) only $119.99 with free shipping from NewEgg (free shipping is valuable because these are heavy as you will see.)

You don’t need your printer or other peripherals to be on battery backup, but you will certainly want you PC and monitor to be so you can save your files and shutdown safely.  It comes with software that monitors everything and WILL shut down you computer after a set amount of time in the event of a power outage, but the battery backup gives you the opportunity to save what you’re doing without any data loss.

Power supplies in computers are very fragile.  Think about your desktop computer, you have this thick power cord that plugs into the back of your computer.  On the other side of that plug is a box approx. 4” x 6” x 6” that converts your house voltage to computer friendly voltage.  I replace power supplies all the time for clients, so much that I keep them in stock in the trunk of my car.  The cost to replace them is at the least around $100.  Buying a UPS can pay for itself in the first outage, AND you won’t encounter any downtime in the meantime.

Just consider this preventive maintenance well spent.  I don’t make any money if you take my advice, I probably will if you don’t.  Gat a UPS, this one is a good one at a good price and save yourself some money in the long run.  Here’s the link to the UPS on sale at NewEgg:  http://goo.gl/fG1LOj

Good News for AT&T Cell Phone Customers

Sorry to trick you but no, there is NO good news for you if you’re an AT&T cell phone customer.  Apparently there was a data breach and the personal data of their customers, including social security numbers as well as who was called and for how long was taken by hackers. 

It’s bad enough that it happened at all, even worse is that it happened TWO months ago between April 9th – 21st and they are just now admitting it.

If you know how to put a fraud alert on your credit report, that would be a good idea.  AT&T is trying to sell this as saying the bad guys were only interested in stolen phones.  That originally may even be true.  But when they realize the information they have can be sold to others who have other uses for the information, what do you think will happen?

I’m not an AT&T cell customer, but if I were, I’d be on the phone with them demanding that they PAY for a year of identity theft protection with Lifelock or another company offering that service.  Just be nice to the person on the other end of the phone, it’s not their fault.  If they can’t help, ask for a supervisor.

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