bing – Microsoft’s New Search Engine

May 30, 2009

Keep your eye out for “bing”. Bing is Microsoft’s NEW search engine that will replace Microsoft’s Live Search. Reportedly this strategy will help bring Microsoft in line with their main competitors (Yahoo and Google). Reports from Microsoft indicate that bing will be able to dig deeper and provide more relevant search results; PLUS, your search results will be presented dynamically in search categories, which is a different approach than what we are accustomed to. According to Microsoft, bing will be going live on June 3rd and will be phased in over the course of several days.  The official bing website is, bing.com.

To find out more about bing, and to watch a video demo of bing in action, click the “Find Out More” button below.

Bing & decide. Coming soon. Find out more...

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Installing Windows Vista Service Pack 2

May 30, 2009

If you are a Windows Vista user, you will be prompted within the next several weeks to download Service Pack 2 via the Windows Update Service. If you do not want to wait for the auto update to kick in, the standalone version of Service Pack 2 is available now for download. If you opt to download the standalone version you will need to determine if you have the x86 (32 bit edition) or the x64 (64 bit edition) version of Vista.

x86 Windows Vista x86 (32 bit) – [ GET IT HERE ]

x64 Windows Vista x64 (64 bit) – [ GET IT HERE ]

Brief Description

Service Pack 2, the latest service pack for both Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista, supports new types of hardware and emerging hardware standards, includes all of the updates that have been delivered since SP1, and simplifies deployment, for consumers, developers, and IT professionals. [ Source: Microsoft ]

Information about Service Pack 2

The installation process might take an hour or more. Therefore, if you are installing SP2 on a portable computer, make sure that you plug in the power cord.

During the installation, your computer will restart several times. Therefore, save your work, and exit all open programs before you begin.

After you install SP2, a sound device or some other hardware device may no longer work. If this behavior occurs, just install an updated driver for the device.

[ Source: Microsoft Help and Support ]

In addition to fixes, there are improvements that have been made:

Improved reliability and compatibility of non-Microsoft programs.

Additional hardware improvements, including support for Bluetooth wireless technology and improved Wi-Fi connection performance, after the computer resumes from sleep mode.

Improved indexing and searching capabilities.

Improved TV recording in Windows Media Center.

Reflected below is a clip from PC World where users that installed Service Pack 2 are reporting increases in free disk space…

1clipsm Windows Vista SP2: Readers Report Big Increases in Free Disk Space

Nick Mediati, PC World

May 29, 2009 8:16 pm

image

Windows Vista Service Pack 2 went final earlier this week, with numerous fixes and tweaks to improve performance, bolster security, and squash bugs. But some PC World readers are seeing another welcome change to SP2: a lot more free disk space.

In comments posted in our forums, several readers reported large increases in free hard disk space after installing Vista SP2. Mind you, I’m not talking about a gigabyte here or there; one reader claimed that installing Vista SP2 freed up a massive 40 GB chunk of disk space. Another reader said, “Wow! I didn’t notice that til now. I went from about 88GB free to 122GB free. That’s a significant change ‘under the hood,’ isn’t it?” And yet another reader gained back 130 GB of hard disk space. Wow.

[ Source: PCWorld ]

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Some great information for all levels of computer users…

May 30, 2009

One of my favorite weblogs to visit on a daily basis is “Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts”.  Recently Bill put up (2)-two articles (see below) that are great articles for anyone who owns and operates a computer. Bill has the ability to convey information to his readers in such a way that all levels of computer users walk away learning something. If you are new (or old) to computers, Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts is a good starting point to learn about  computers, technology, software and protecting yourself on the internet.

Computer and Internet Security – How Savvy Are You?

Bill Mullins' Weblog - Tech Thoughts

Old Computer? Think It’s Junk? – Give It One More Chance!

Bill Mullins' Weblog - Tech Thoughts

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TheWorld Browser – A different kind of web browser…

May 28, 2009

For those who may not know what a web browser is, it is simply a software application, such as Internet Explorer, that is specifically crafted for retrieving, presenting and traversing information resources on the internet. Many computer users do not realize that there are other browser options out there, other than Internet Explorer; the most popular being Firefox, Google Chrome and Opera (to name a few).

Recently I have been on the hunt for a good portable version of a browser to run from my flash drive. I have tried and used extensively the portable versions of the most popular browsers such as Firefox, Opera, and Chrome; however, I found that after long periods of usage (from the flashdrive), the browsers would start to bog down and/or errors would start to develop.

Sometimes we get so locked into what is popular and forget that there are other options. It was at this point I starting looking outside that circle of “popular browsers” for something different. During that hunt, I tried and tested many (such as Avant, Maxthon, Browzar, QtWeb). I eventually came across a browser called “TheWorld Browser” that not only caught my eye, but has performed beautifully from my flash drive. As a matter of fact, the more I use it, the more I like it.

TheWorld Browser

TheWorld Browser is a “fast, safe and easy way to browse the web” that has features that many of the other browsers do not.  TheWorld Browser is dependent on the Internet Explorer engine, and is guaranteed to be 100% malware free.  This app is small in size (1.4 MB) and, in my opinion, is very fast to the draw…  If you are looking for an Internet Explorer replacement on your PC or a browser to carry with you on your flash drive, I say give this browser a try!

TheWorld Browser

Publisher’s Description

Multi-threaded frame.
TheWorld Browser version 2.0 is among the first multi-threaded frame browser in the world (the first is Internet Explorer 7.0), the multi-threaded window frame can prevent the web pages from freezing.

Intelligent Ad blocking + Blacklist filter.
TheWorld can block popup ad. and float ad. automatically.
TheWorld can block popups and float ads automatically. You can also use a blacklist to filter ads. The blacklist filter works from lower level of HTTP protocol, with regular expression so that you can filter out anything you want.

Web page mute.
TheWorld is the first browser that can disable a web page’s sound with one click.

Powerful Tools
Powerful Tools Built in tools like: Flash filter, unlock page script limited, zoom, Proxy quick switching, Auto complete, Quick media saver, Privacy guard, Mouse gestures, Custom hotkeys and Drag & drop support, make TheWorld one of the most powerful browsers around.

Safer.
TheWorld Browser has built-in safe guards that will protect you while surfing.

Built-in Download Manager.
Which consists of multi-thread download, resumable download, with intuitive download management.

Skins and plugins.
TheWorld Browser supports skins and plugins, we have hundreds of skins and plugins to customize the way you browse. TheWorld has native support for Internet Explorer’s plugins as well.

TheWorld Browser uses the Microsoft Internet Explorer engine and will run on Windows 98/me/2000/xp/Vista.

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Increase the area of your monitor screen by up to 20 times…

May 28, 2009

You are probably wondering, how is it possible to increase your monitor screen by up to 20 times.  It is possible with Dexpot…

Dexpot

Dexpot is a virtual desktop manager that can be configured to create up to 20 different virtual desktops. The advantage of this concept is that you can work more efficiently with simultaneously opened Windows on different desktops. I could not imagine using 20 separates desktops, but I recently started using Dexpot to manage up to 4 desktops on my PC.

Dexpot

The functionality of this app is amazing. Not only can you create independent desktops, you can configure each of those desktops to have their own independent wallpaper background, screensaver, icons, screen resolution, etc.  You can copy windows from one desktop to another and you can switch desktops via hotkeys, the tray icon, the special “Desktop Manager” or by using an automatic slideshow that automatically goes from one desktop to the other.  You can also select the “Desktop Preview” feature that will tile all of your desktops on your screen to give you an overall view of what’s happening on each desktop.  Another notable feature is the “Windows Catalogue” feature which when selected will tile the windows you have open on the desktop.

If you are a serious multi-tasker or a fan of virtual desktop managers, you surely do not want to pass this one up. Dexpot is FREE for non-commercial use, is available as a portable app, and will run on just about any Windows based platform ( Windows 95/98/ME and NT4/2000/XP/2003/Vista – incl. x64).

You can read more about Dexpot and download it from [ HERE ] .

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#12)

May 27, 2009

Geek Squeaks'

Geek Squeaks are articles, from the past week, that I have found especially enticing and interesting from the bloggers that are on the “What’s On My PC…” blogroll. I think you will find that the subject matter and content is on a level comparable to commercial publications. Furthermore, I encourage you to bookmark each of these sites to learn more about information technology.

Top 10 Free Tools to Boost Your PC – Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts

Find High Res Icons with Icon Finder – Teck-Line

Video Tutorial — How To Dual Boot Win7 – Tech-for Everyone

All In One Video Software – The Only Software You Need For Your Videos – Technize.com

Paragon Total Defrag 2009 Special Edition – Free – TTC Shelbyville

Google Tools and Your Blog / Website – Tux in the Midwest

New Gmail Feature: Google Translate Integration – AllThatsNew

How to Remove System Alert by Fast Antivirus 2009 – 411-Spyware.com

Overheating Prompts Acer Desktop Recall – AskBillFirst

Free SUPERAntiSpyware Pro Giveaway – Evilfantasy’s Blog

Guidelines For Solving PC Application Errors – Free PC Security

Opera Mini Speed Demo On Touch Pro With Windows Mobile 6.5 – Is You GEEKed Up

Windows Memory Diagnostic – Great Free Software Utilities

Turn Your Spare Thumb Drives Into Feature-Packed Giveaway Drives – Lifehacker

Chrome comes with better performance after 300 bugs fix – Piyadas World

Backstreet Browser – Plato on-line

Fixing Windows XP shutdown problems – Rarst.net

Make sure you pick a reputable security product – Spyware Biz

Trouble uninstalling AntiVirus – Sugarloaf Tech

Be sure to visit the “Launch Pad” at the sidebar of the blog. The “Launch Pad” is your launching point to over 150 top quality tech blogs and sites.

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Memorial Day fighting cybercrime…

May 26, 2009

I had a great Memorial Day, but I ended up at the end of the day fighting cybercrime… The cybercriminal in this case was “AntiMalware Pro”…

AntimalwarePro1

If you look at the above screenshot of AntiMalware Pro, the application appears very legitimate and professional in appearance. You may even think it is associated with the legitimate version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. It is everything but that… What you are actually seeing isuninvited, unexpected, illegitimate, non-professional, dishonest, misleading, deceiving, intimidating  masquerading, malicious, fraudulentthe work of the cybercriminal.

The sad part about this particular situation was that the user (on a Vista box) was doing everything right, in terms of maintaining layers of protection (i.e. firewall, antivirus, antispyware, WOT, etc…) and by practicing safe habits on the internet. It was an innocent click of the mouse on a link in an email or website, or a downloaded file, that initiated this whole malware event. The user described it as a “Tennessee tick that would not let go!”.

In this case, I found on the users’ PC that AntiMalware Pro (and a mixed bag of other trojan goodies) generated pop-ups, hijacked the browser, hijacked the desktop, changed the screen resolution, created a browser redirect to the AntiMalware Pro site, disabled the anti-virus software, and prevented access to legitimate security sites. Another issue I never experienced before was that I could not enter “Safe Mode via the F8 key”.  I ended up using the MSConfig GUI to force the PC into Safe Mode…

Manual removal of AntiMalware Pro would have been very time consuming; however, in this case SmitFraudFix and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, in combo, took this cybercriminal down and out.

The purpose of these rogue applications is to trick computer users’ into paying for the full version of the software by displaying false positives of malware infections and by totally causing havoc. First thing to remember; if an application such as this shows up uninvited, pull the plug on your internet connection and get help. Secondly, never purchase anything that you never asked to buy in the first place. Putting that credit card number out there under these circumstances will cause you more problems than you bargained for; besides purchasing malicious applications such as AntiMalware Pro will fix nothing. This whole malware process is about “taking” (your money and identity), not “giving”.

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