Online Porn – Conservative States Biggest Users…

February 28, 2009

ABC News has published an article that indicates the people who are most outraged by pornography turn out to be consumers of the very things they claimed to be outraged by. A nationwide study, which was based on credit-card receipts from a major online adult entertainment provider, is indicating that the more conservative and religious states are reportedly topping out the numbers.

Irregardless of your stance or the validity of the study; my stance is avoid it at all costs. They call it an “entertainment industry”; it is an “addiction industry” that will destroy. Parents, watch your kids. This stuff is readily available (for FREE) at the click of a mouse.

From the tech side of all this… I do not know what a person pays to become a member of the porn community, but in addition to that cost expect to pay for some type of computer repair in addition to possible identity theft.  Porn sites are notorious breeding grounds (no pun intended) for malware, viruses, pop-up windows, trojans, keyloggers, browser hijacking, tracking cookies; and on and on!  Also, nothing is more embarrassing than when a tech sits down to repair your PC and finds that you have a dark side!

clipped from abcnews.go.com

Porn in the USA: Conservatives Are Biggest Consumers


8 of Top 10 Porn-Consuming States Voted Republican in 2008 Presidential Election


By EWEN CALLAWAY
Feb. 28, 2009

Americans may paint themselves in increasingly bright shades of red and blue, but new research finds one thing that varies little across the nation: the liking for online pornography.


States where a majority of residents agreed with the statement “I have old-fashioned values about family and marriage,” bought 3.6 more subscriptions per thousand people than states where a majority disagreed.


Photo: Americans may paint themselves in increasingly bright shades of red and blue, but new research finds one thing that varies little across the nation: the liking for online pornography.

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The Medpedia Project – The harvested wisdom of many…

February 28, 2009

Anytime I see a term on the internet that ends in “pedia”, it catches my attention.  An evolving project in the works that I think is going to a benefit to many, as a result of shared wisdom of many, is the project called Medpedia.  The goal of The Medpedia Project is to evolve a new model for how the world will access medical knowledge in the future.  MedPedia already has become a repository for medical information and continues to grow.  The information provided is unbiased and contributed by health and medical experts around the world.  To learn more about MedPedia, I encourage you to read the excerpt below and visit the MedPedia web site.  These types of web sites where the collaboration of wisdom is harvested from around the world, is what I have envisioned as the primary purpose of the internet.

www.medpedia.com

MedpediaWhat is The Medpedia Project?

The Medpedia Project is a long term, worldwide project to evolve a new model for sharing and advancing knowledge about health, medicine and the body among medical professionals and the general public. The Project provides a free online technology platform to any individual or organization that can benefit from its use, available at http://www.medpedia.com. Users of the platform include medical and scientific journals, medical schools, research institutes, medical associations, physicians, hospitals, for-profit and non-profit organizations, companies, expert patients, policy makers, students, non-professionals taking care of loved ones, individual medical professionals, scientists, etc.

As Medpedia grows over the next few years, it will become a superior resource of health and medical information without charge in multiple languages to anyone worldwide with Internet access. The information in this clearinghouse will be easy to discover and navigate, and the technology platform will continue to grow as more uses are found for it.

In association with Harvard Medical School, Stanford School of Medicine, Berkeley School of Public Health, University of Michigan Medical School and other leading global health organizations, Medpedia will be a commons for the gathering of the information and people critical to health care. Many organizations have united to support The Medpedia Project. See the Record of Merit .

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G.ho.st (“Ghost”) – Your online virtual computer…

February 27, 2009

When we first sit down at our computer the first thing we see is our desktop which serves as the visual gateway and the initial launching point for files, programs, settings, menus, icons, etc… We have become accustomed to seeing a certain desktop model  that consists of a start menu, a task bar, a wallpaper background, icons, etc. This model is consistent across the various operating system platforms; from Windows, to Mac, to the many flavors of Linux. Take us away from that desktop model and our comfort level suddenly drops.

Currently there are numerous online services being introduced (called cloud apps) that allow you to access those services through your browser (such as Internet Explorer, Opera, Firefox & Chrome). There are even web-based operating system environments being introduced that attempt to replicate the desktop model. How would you like to go to any computer that is connected to the internet and be able to log into your own personal desktop; a desktop that looks familiar and allows you to do virtually the same functions you are now performing on your computer’s desktop at home? It is possible with these types of web based operating systems.

http://www.g.ho.st/G.ho.st

Today, I came across a service called “Global Hosted Operating System” or “Ghost” (actually G.ho.st) that is the closest resemblance to the desktop model that I have experienced to date. If you are on broadband (high-speed G.ho.stinternet), you have to at least try the “Ghost” virtual computer.  It will not harm your computer in anyway and it is absolutely free. The first thing to make clear is that Ghost is currently in the “alpha” stage of “public” testing. It is stable and usable, but it is not yet fully complete.  During “alpha testing”, you can expect some bugs, but they will not bite. You can test Ghost by visiting the web site [ click here ] and clicking on the “Guest Account”. Once you have accessed the “Guest Account and have loaded the Ghost desktop, go full screen…  Don’t be surprised that you feel as if you are on another computer…  If you find Ghost to be something you may be interested in following you can setup an account to create your own personalized desktop in the clouds.  You are initally provided with a 5 GB account (for file storage) and an additional 3 GB account for the email account.  Additional space can be acquired by referring your friends to Ghost.

What is Ghost?

G.ho.st® provides every person in the world with a free Virtual Computer (VC). Like a Windows PC, or Mac, the VC is a personal computing environment which includes your desktop, your personal settings, your files and your choice of software applications. But unlike a PC, your VC is not installed on one physical computer – instead it is stored in professional data centers across the Internet cloud, and is accessed from any Internet browser in the world. From any computer, open the browser to G.ho.st , enter your username and password, and continue using your VC from exactly the state you last left it in.

[ Click here to enlarge screenshot in a new window ]

G.ho.st

What are the advantages of G.ho.st?

Available from any browser in the world instead of being installed on one physical machine.

The operating system, many apps, and the first 5GB of data storage and 3GB of email storage are absolutely free.

Software (namely Web-based software) can be run without installation.

The computer is always up-to-date, secure and backed up with no action or cost on your part.

The G.ho.st® VC manages all your Web logins and all your web ‘stuff’ (e.g. files on different web services).

Because it is online, the G.ho.st® VC provides new possibilities for fun and collaboration, beyond what is available on a PC.

Examples of how to use G.ho.st

You can use the G.ho.st® file upload/download facility to permanently move your files (documents, music, photos, etc.) to G.ho.st®. You can use G.ho.st® Mail as your e-mail service and use the POP aggregation to receive e-mails from your other e-mail services (as well as your new @G.ho.st email). You can also use G.ho.st® My Items to manage your Web stuff (links to Flickr photos, Google Docs, YouTube videos, etc.) and use the G.ho.st® Browser to make sure that your bookmarks and cookies are available everywhere.

Key Features

  • Access your desktop, files, apps and settings from any Internet browser
  • Desktop and apps run without the need for installation or updating
  • Customize your desktop and choose from 20+ available languages
  • G.ho.st® has chosen the very best available storage service for your precious data – Amazon Web Services
  • 5GB professionally hosted and backed-up disk space
  • Many file types can be viewed or edited online with a simple double-click
  • Upload and sync your documents, photos and music easily using the G.ho.st® Upload Download Utility, Sync program or FTP
  • Manage smart shortcuts called Tagged Things to Web resources – webmarks (URLs), files, photos, videos, music, products
  • Single sign-on to other services such as Google Docs using My Logins
  • Manage smart shortcuts called Tagged Things to Web resources – webmarks (URLs), files, photos, videos, music, products
  • Share or publish your files directly from the G.ho.st® Drive
  • Read, write and edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations using G.ho.st® integrations with Zoho, directly from your G.ho.st® Storage
  • Edit Google Docs, sheets and presentations stored at Google from within G.ho.st®
  • Manage your e-mails, calendar and contacts with the Web’s leading collaboratoin suite
  • You will receive a yourGhostID @G.ho.st email and can retrieve other emails as well (using “POP3″)
  • Yes G.ho.st® runs within the browser but also contains a browser of it’s own! Whichever computer you are on, the G.ho.st® Browser will have your history, your webmarks, and your “cookies” so that other sites will recognize you

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Getting rid of your mobile phone? Be careful; do not give your identity away!

February 25, 2009

Without purging the data in your mobile phone when you throw it away, recycle it, or transfer it, could cost you.  Today’s phones are comparable to mini-computers in their ability to store personal and often private information (e.g. text messages, voice notes, email, personal contacts, phone numbers, notes, reminders, addresses, photos, videos, etc…).  This information is stored in the mobile phones internal memory and or on the SIM card -Subscriber Identity Module, which is a removable memory chip in many phone models.  The memory in mobile phones are non-volatile memory that can retain the stored information even when not powered. It is important that you protect your identity and information; as well as, the identity and information of other people.

cellphone-pile

How big of a problem is this?

When I started thinking about this and researching the topic I wanted to find some supporting (reliable) data that hopefully would reveal and convince readers the magnitude of this problem.  I actually found (2)-two articles that hopefully will drive the point home.  You can click on any of the links for a direct connect to the original sources.

22 January 2009: Regenersis tops 2m handsets processed in 2008 – one every 15 seconds — but finds that 99% of handsets received contained personal data

Regenersis, Europe’s largest mobile phone recycling and reuse provider, announced that they processed over 2 million handsets for reuse and recycling in 2008.  The Company processed 2,007,652 handsets, the equivalent of one every 15 seconds.   Handsets are cleared of all data and fully tested.  If a handset is beyond repair or too old it is sent for safe recycling, ensuring nothing goes to landfill. Regenersis studied a random sample of 2000 handsets processed during the first week in December  and found that 99% of handsets received contained some sort of personal data, including:  Contacts, SMS messages, pictures, music, videos, calendar entries, emails, notes, mailing lists and to do lists.  In some cases, extremely sensitive information was contained, including bank details, addresses, and confidential emails.

12 December 2008McCain Campaign Sells Info-Loaded Blackberry to FOX 5 Reporter

ARLINGTON, Va. – Private information at bargain prices.  It was a high-tech flub at the McCain-Palin campaign headquarters in Arlington when Fox 5’s Investigative Reporter Tisha Thompson bought a Blackberry device containing confidential campaign information. When we charged them up in the newsroom, we found one of the $20 Blackberry phones contained more than 50 phone numbers for people connected with the McCain-Palin campaign, as well as hundreds of emails from early September until a few days after election night.

How to protect your identity when you get rid of your phone…

  • Notify your mobile provider and terminate all services.
  • If you are changing providers, purge the information on your online account and delete the account.
  • Find what method(s) are available for your phone model, from the mobile provider or manufacturer’s web site (or user’s manual) to reset (format) and/or overwrite the data:

The memory in these mobile phones/devices are very similar to a hard drive in your computer.  You can delete the data, but it is not actually gone.  The data can be retrieved from a phones memory module using third party software. A nice resource available on the internet, to assist you with purging your phone,  is Cell Phone Data Eraser.  It is a tool that provides deletion instructions for specific cell phones.

  • Return the phone to the provider and request that the data be deleted.  Verify that the data has been deleted.
  • Remove the SIM Card and reuse it or destroy it.

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Ginipic – Taking image searching to a whole new level…

February 24, 2009

Several years ago when the major search engines provided options to search specifically for images I thought, WOW!  How would you like to take that WOW! and turn it into AMAZING ?

www.ginipic.com

Ginipic

I came across this “FREE” attractive application, that you install on your PC, called Ginipic. Ginipic is designed as a search engine that searches numerous other search engines for specific pictures or graphics that you may be looking for. You can search for images using a specific search engine source (such as Flickr, Google, Yahoo) or you can search many sources together. Here is a screenshot that lists the search engines that Ginipic will search.

Ginipic Search Engine Selections

Once you enter your what you are looking for; Ginipic does the rest. Initially when you start up Ginipic, it is in a small vertical window (see below).

Ginipic Startup

You can open that window in full screen and voila’, a whole screen of over 100 tiled images will be produced and that is only the first page of images. Ginipic literally can produce results totaling into the hundreds of thousands  (see thumbnail below).

ginipicfull

Once you locate an image, you simply click on the image and the image is presented to you in a separate window (see below). At this point you can do many things with the image such as resize it, share it, email it, save it, set it as your desktop wallpaper, etc. One really neat feature is that you can drag and drop an image to an open application and insert it into the application with minimal fuss.

Ginipic Selection

This application is definitely a keeper on my PC. If you are interested in GiniPic, I encourage you to visit the web site [ www.ginipic.com ]. If you are someone that uses images on a regular basis, then this application is a must. A small demo video (with no sound) is reflected below to give you more of an idea of how this application works.

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Adding a “Watermark” in Microsoft Word 2003 or 2007

February 23, 2009

A watermark is a recognizable background image or pattern that is embedded in a document at various shades of lightness or darkness. The standard placement of a watermark is done in such a way in the background (e.g. diagonal) to catch the reader’s eye and to convey a readily recognizable message that portrays the status of the document (e.g. confidential, draft, ASAP, etc.). Of course there are other non-standard methods of embedding a watermark, such as adding your own image. Today, I had a situation where I had to embed a watermark in a Microsoft Word document; which provided me with the idea of sharing this process with others.  Actually it is quite simple, and this tip may be helpful to others.

WatermarkMicrosoft Word 2003

The watermark commands are available only in normal, print layout, and outline views.

  1. On the Format menu, point to Background, and then click Printed Watermark.
  2. Do one of the following:  To insert a picture as a watermark (watermark: Any graphic or text, such as “Confidential,” that when printed appears either on top of or behind existing document text.), click Picture Watermark, and then click Select Picture. Select the picture you want, and then click Insert.To insert a text watermark, click Text Watermark, and then select or enter the text that you want.
  3. Select any additional options that you want, and then click Apply.
  4. To view a watermark as it will appear on the printed page, use print layout view

Microsoft Word 2007

You can insert a predesigned watermark from a gallery of watermark text, or you can insert a watermark with custom text.

  1. On the Page Layout tab, in the Page Background group, click Watermark.
  2. Do one of the following: Click a predesigned watermark, such as Confidential or Urgent, in the gallery of watermarks. Click Custom Watermark, click Text watermark and then select or type the text that you want. You can also format the text.
  3. To view a watermark as it will appear on the printed page, use Print Layout view.
NOTE:  Also read – How To Insert An Image As A Watermark In Microsoft Word 2010

Deal of the Day @ Amazon.com

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ScreenToaster – An “Awesome and Free” web based screen recorder!

February 22, 2009

ScreenToaster is another one of those cloud apps that I have found to be amazing… Remember, “cloud apps” are web based services that we access from the internet; in lieu of installed software on our computer. ScreenToaster is a cloud app that provides you with the capability of capturing live (real-time) audio, live (real-time) screen activity and live (real-time) webcam images from your computer. This is an excellent resource in the event you need to create and share tutorials, demos, training, lectures and more.

www.screentoaster.com

ScreenToaster

I found ScreenToaster very easy to use. After you setup an account with ScreenToaster, you simply click on the “Start Recording” button and a small java applet is downloaded to your PC and the following dialogue box will appear.

ScreenToaster

After making your selections, remember to keep the ScreenToaster window minimized and remember the “Alt+S” hotkey to start and pause your recording. When you are done the recording, hit “Alt+S” to pause the recording, then maximize the “ScreenToaster” window and click on “Stop Recording”. That is it…  ScreenToaster does the rest.

Here is a sample screen capture video that I created. Click on the video graphic below and you will be redirected to the “ScreenToaster” site where you can directly play the video (with audio) in a window or full screen. I suggest you try both options. I think you wil find the results quite good.

ScreenToaster - Click to see video!

Following your recording, options are available to upload your video to your ScreenToaster account or to a YouTube account. You can make your captured video private or public. There are also 2-(two) options available to covert and download your video to your computer (.avi or .flv file formats).

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