The (Welcome and Hopeful) Silence of the Spams…


 

Bleh. I’m trying to wind this year down on an interesting note, but my mind is elsewhere. Too much home improvement stuff, some new ventures creeping into my schedule, perhaps a business thing popping up in a weird place and so forth and so on. Meanwhile, the internet has ticked me off royally this year on a few fronts to the point I almost kicked myself off a few social sites. I hate predictions and forecasting, but I kind of feel that 2015 will be the year people want their privacy back. Nearly everywhere you look or dink around online, you’re tracked, hacked and cracked over the head continually by folks good, bad and ugly. That has to be dealt with not by so-called “security” services or outside elements telling you they’re “taking care” of the problems. It has to be dealt with by people wisely retreating from spilling all their beans to the world thinking it’s okay because a site says it’s “secure” or “values” your safety at the end of the day. I’d bet a penny that most of them don’t because they can make bad news into good and gain users from it when all is said and done by tossing stuff into the spin cycle.

Eh, I suppose being cranky like this has its merits. But I want to end this year on a high note. No, not THAT kind of high, you sillies. Just a little rest and popping up to see the sun rise on that new year before zipping out a few posts to welcome in 2015. Back in a bit…

I Hate You (Again and Always), Internet…

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Ugh. Here we go again with the “Change your passwords!” craziness. This internet stinks because it’s like someone swiping your house keys every few weeks (or more) and you needing to pay for new locks each and every time. Er, with the exception of one forgetting to take all the old keys off that huge keyring. Amusingly enough, I’ve changed my passwords so many times this year that I think I’m behind in sending myself coded hints as to what they are on some sites (yaaaaah!).

Anyway, I think we need to start hanging some of these annoying cyber crooks in the virtual public square just because it’s a pain in the ass to have to wake up to yet ANOTHER “Change your passwords!” panic that just shows how crappy “security” is online.pretty much everywhere you go using any device. And screw the vague “reporting” on this story. A billion people and 400,000 sites compromised? Well, no names and no sites listed means yup, madness (again). I despise changing passwords because I tend to use some slightly elaborate ones and it’s getting harder to think up ones I can remember easily. I don’t trust password generators or sites that save passwords in bulk because they’re ON the internet (duh) and no doubt targeted by these not so nice folks.

Feh. Off to change some passwords. This could (and will) take a while, grrrr. Stupid Internet.

CE Week Best of (# 2 of 3) Get Me Security!

CE Week Sure, there were plenty of cool and expensive tech products at this year’s CE Week, but this time out, I’ll scribble a bit about two of the more important ones you may want to look into picking up. Well, one is an absolute must if you use a PC or know someone who uses one and is always griping about things running slowly. The other is recommended if you’re looking for a home security system that’s affordable and allows you to keep an eye on your space even when you’re away. Let’s take a look at both below…

sm_screenshots_overview_largeIf you own a PC, you NEED iolo’s System Mechanic ($29.95) humming away on it, period. While it’s been around for 15 years, I’d actually never used it until I got a trial code at the show and decided to take it for a spin to see how well it worked. Less than a week after installing and firing it up, I was removing a few different programs that do what this one product does and I don’t think I’ll be going back anytime soon. Between the system start up being MUCH faster, the more thorough registry cleaning and a few other niceties, I’ve noticed things running a lot better overall.

Even better, the newest update enhances the LiveBoost technology for instant fixes when you fire up more system intensive programs (gamers, you absolutely can use this feature!) and lets you know what it’s doing as it happens. PowerSense™, Ultra Performance and Endurance Modes all keep your computer optimized and will actually help programs run better and with noticeable improvements over a system without SM installed. Of course, you’ll be too busy playing or creating to be paying attention to all that behind the scenes magic, but it’s great to know your PC is being protected and you can take a mostly hands-off approach to care other than checking in every so often to see what the program recommends you take a peek at. Anyway, I’ll shut up now and let you get to checking System Mechanic out – you can thank me later, of course… Continue reading