Category Archives: Uncategorized

De-clutter your Desktop

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desktopmessIs your desktop so cluttered that you can’t find important files?
Great news!  Here’s an easy (and FREE) solution:

Make your desktop organized and free of clutter with an easy to download wallpaper.

 

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Spy vs. Spy: “Eyes Only” Email and Texts

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ImageHardly a week goes by that we don’t read about a celebrity, political figure, or influential person (I’m looking at you, General Petraeus) who commits professional suicide by sending inappropriate photos or salacious messages via text or email.  Of course, there is one obvious method of preventing TMZ from publicizing your questionable correspondence–don’t send it .  There are, however, times that you might need to send sensitive information, such as an account number,  social security number,  or directions to the pile of gold buried in your backyard.   So how can you electronically send “Eyes Only”  information without risking public exposure?

There are several services that allow you to send email messages and text messages that will not only self-destruct, but prevent the recipient from forwarding or printing the message.  If only the CIA had known about these free services….

 

Burn Note   https://burnnote.com/#/   If you ever want send sensitive information, Burn Note might be the answer.  Burn Note allows you to send  email messages that self delete once they are read.

One Shar.es    https://oneshar.es/   One Shar.es allows you to send encrypted data that is self destructs after one use.  It’s very easy to use and is great for sending your classified information.

Vapor Stream https://www.vaporstream.com/  Vapor Stream allows you to send text messages or emails that disappear from your device the moment that they are sent and disappear from the recipient’s device when they are read.  This app does not allow the messages to be printed or forwarded, and messages are not stored on secondary servers. 

 The moral of the story is this:  When in doubt, use the “Grandma Standard.”    If it’s a message that you wouldn’t want your grandma to read, don’t send it, but if you must, do it with caution.

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So you think you have a virus….

Computer viruses can not only disable internet access, they can redirect your browser, shut down Windows Internet Security and Firewall (leaving you vulnerable to more attacks), leave you unable to execute programs, and ultimately shut down your system.   Here are a few tips for identifying and repairing viruses:

How to spot a virus

How can you tell if you have a virus? If your virus software is outdated, you might not know from a scan if your computer is infected, but these symptoms suggest a virus:

  • You are unable to go online or run virus programs
  • Your Windows Security and Firewall are disabled
  • If you are able to go online, you can’t click links to Microsoft, AVG, or other legitimate sites
  • You are unable to execute programs
  • You cannot start Task Manager by hitting “CTRL+ALT+ DEL”

So what do you do if you have a virus and can’t get online, let alone run a virus program? Here  are some simple things that you can do.  Try these before you take it to the repair shop:

  • Kill the Virus in Safe Mode     To reboot in Safe Mode, restart your computer, then hit “F8.”  Select “Safe Mode with Networking.”
  • Try to get online in Safe Mode     If you can get online, download AVG  and install.  If you cannot get online in Safe Mode, use a different computer to download SuperAntiSpyware on a thumb drive, then install and run on your computer (Google “SuperAntiSpyware” for link) The ultimate goal is to run AVG or an equivalent program, but sometimes you have to start disabling the virus before you can kill it.  For some reason, this particular malware program slips past the goalie and runs when bigger and better programs are disabled.
  • Check your internet settings.   Go to Internet Options, then  LAN Settings.  If “use a proxy server” is checked, then uncheck it!  Redirect viruses often use a proxy server, which is why you can’t get online.
  • If this is a pervasive virus, you might have to run a few different programs to get rid of it.  My favorite free programs are Malwarebytes, SuperAntiSpyware, and AVG.  And did I mention–they’re free!

If you have questions or comments, feel free to email me at laura@bluesalamandersolutions.com

So you think you have a virus…

Five Things You Might Not Have Known About Steve Jobs

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We all know that Steve Jobs was an innovative thinker, a wearer of black turtlenecks, and a purveyor of cool, but here are a few Steve Jobs facts that you might not have known:

He took Timothy Leary’s words to heart. He turned on, tuned in, and dropped out

Jobs, who claimed that LSD was one of the three most important thing he had done in his life, was also  a college dropout.  Jobs graduated from Homestead High School in Cupertino, California and enrolled in Reed College in Oregon.  He dropped out one semester later.

He did not know his biological father until later in life

 Jobs was born out of wedlock to graduate students  Joanne Carole Schiebleand Syrian-born Abdulfattiah Jandali.  He was adopted by Clara and Paul Jobs, a middle-class American couple.

He didn’t play well with others 

Jobs was a perfectionist with a legendary bad temper.  Imagine a mushroom cloud.  Now imagine a bigger mushroom cloud.  Jobs was a relentless taskmaster, who reportedly made people cry with his tantrums. 

He was a Buddhist 

Jobs went to India in 1973 in search of spiritual enlightenment.  He returned with a shaved head, and adopted the Buddhist philosophy.  Not only did he practice the Zen way, he also used the Dalai Lama in Apple’s ad campaign: “Think Different”

He made $1 a year (in salary

In 2010, his compensation package was a whopping $1 per year.  This does not include, of course, his shares of Apple.