Archive for April 2013

Hate Windows 8? Here’s How to LOVE it for $5.00

I’ll admit it – Windows 8 is a BIG departure from previous versions of Windows.  For those who love to be on the cutting edge and try out everything new, then that’s great.  But for most of you who read my blog, you just want your computer to work – and you DON’T want to spend a lot of time figuring out how to use it or even just shut it down.  You just want it to work.

Well, I found a solution SO GOOD I actually forgot I was using Windows 8!  Say hello to Stardock!  Stardock is a company that realized that a lot of people weren’t going to like the change in Windows 8.  With the Stardock app called “Start8” you can make your Windows 8 machine look and run just like Windows 7 (and if you’re upgrading from Windows XP or Vista to a new PC, this will be MUCH easier that jumping into Window 8.)

Up until a couple of days ago, Windows 7 was my primary operating system.  I had Windows 8 and Mac Mountain Lion at my disposal, but I always deferred to Windows 7 when I just wanted to get stuff done.  Well, now I’m totally going to take advantage of the “under the hood” improvements in Windows 8 without the clunky interface.

There’s lots of customizations you can do with Start8, but just the default settings with make you happier.  So give it a try.  They give you a 30 day trial for free, but trust me, you’ll like it if you’re not happy with Windows 8.  Hey, it’s $5.00 – go out on a limb!

If you need some help (or just plain want me to set it up for you) of course I’ll be happy to.  I absolutely LOVE it and think you will too.  Here’s where to get it:

2 Critical Updates for Windows This Month

imageThe second Tuesday of the month is when Microsoft publishes updates for its products.  There are a few this month, two of them are listed as critical.  One is for Internet Explorer, and the other for Windows itself, so be sure these updates get installed.  And as always, be on the lookout throughout the month for security patches to Adobe Ready, Flash and Java.  DON’T put it off, that’s how people get their computers infected.  imageKeeping these apps up to date is probably MORE important than keeping your anti-virus software up to date.

Don’t let the bad guys just walk right into your computer.  You have control over it, but you need to take it.

It’s Official–Austin Next in Line for Google Fiber

Hold on to your seat belts, the Internet is about to get a whole lot faster.  Google officially announced today that Austin will be getting its fiber optic service starting 2014.  They will offer just Internet as well as Internet and Television via fiber.  If they price it like they did in Kansas City, then there will be a $300 one-time connection charge, then Internet is $70 a month, Internet + television is $120 a month.  If you pay the connection fee, then you can get 5MB per second FREE for at least 7 years.

This should be good news for you even if you’re not interested in getting Google Fiber, because this will bring competition to the area and may force AT&T and Time Warner to lower their prices.

OK Austin, Here’s a GREAT Rumor for You

KVUE (the local ABC affiliate) is reporting that multiple sources have confirmed that Google is going to announce on Tuesday that Austin will be the next city to get Google Fiber high speed Internet.  What’s the big deal you say?  You already have “high speed” Internet with AT&T or Time Warner?  If you’re an average user, you’re probably paying for something in the 2-10 megabits per second range.  If you pay A LOT you get their fastest speeds around 30-50 megabits per second.  Google Fiber is meant to run at over 1,000 megabits per second, more simply called a gigabit.  And the price is comparable with the more reasonably priced offering from the phone and cable company.  What will that give you?  You can stream full HD movies from Netflix and others while the kids play online games at the same time or is having a video chat online with Skype in full HD.

We’ll have to wait a few days to see if it’s really true or not, but I’ll be sure to keep a close eye on it!

Wells Fargo Web Site Under Attack

Wells Fargo HeadquartersIf you bank with Wells Fargo and have had trouble getting to their web site, that’s because they have been under attack in what is known as distributed denial of service attack, called a DDoS.  If you wonder why people create viruses, this is one reason.  Thousands of infected computers, possible tens of thousands were instructed to focus on the web site.  With that many computers at one time, the server is unable to handle the load and goes down.  Imagine being a kindergarten teacher and having two hundred children screaming for your attention all at the same time.  You wouldn’t be able to help any of them, you’d simply be overwhelmed.  Well, that’s what happens in a DDoS attack.

There’s nothing you can do except check back later and see if you can log in.

Google Brings the Sense of Smell to the Web

imageThose wacky folks at Google have done it – added smell to the Internet experience. 

It’s called Google Nose, and it “leverages new and existing technologies to offer the sharpest olfactory experience available.”

You can read all about this exciting new technology here:

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