Last updateFri, 12 Oct 2018 11am

Windows 9 goes way of 2014 World Series

An upcoming event to watch for this new year of 2015 is the debut of Microsoft’s newest Operating System, Windows 10.  Some people aware of Windows 7 and Windows 8 may be asking “What happened to Windows 9?”

Resolving a lost internet connection

Once I received a call from a woman quite agitated that her computer had inexplicably lost its connection to the internet two days earlier.  When I arrived she showed me her wireless access point with its little antennas sitting in the front room of the house.  I went to work testing it using my own laptop and quickly ascertained that her internet connection was working very well; there was a good strong wireless signal with the identifier (SSID) named “Motorola” or something like that.

Password conundrums & more

Regular readers of this column are well aware of my incessant reminders to use a cryptographically-strong password for your email account.  For years I have been urging, nay proselytizing, that everyone should use a password at least a dozen characters in length with a mix of upper and lower case, letters and numbers, with a few symbols thrown in.  Today is the day I am going to backtrack just a little bit on this recommendation because of an experience I recently had.

Knowing the difference between an INsecure site and a NONsecure site

Online security is a subject about which many more people are now aware even though most internet users lack much understanding in this area. That is not a criticism; after all, one does not have to understand computerized electronic fuel-injection systems in order to drive an automobile. There are a couple of changes coming to online security in 2015, and I hope that everyone reading this will benefit from a little more understanding of what these changes really mean.

Google blocks Spanish news in response to laws targeted at ‘aggregators’

Happy New Year 2015 is not starting out as such a Feliz Año Nuevo for many Spanish speakers around the world.  Two weeks ago Google announced the shutdown of news reporting in Spain due to a new law that went into into effect January 1 in the Iberian nation.  Google now omits news reports originating from Spanish publishers from appearing in more than 70 Google News international editions due to the new law requiring aggregators to pay if they link content.

Dropping laptops on the floor: bargain-basement vs. more costly products

The column appearing here a few weeks ago brought several email responses to my inbox.  I hesitate to refer to them as hostile, but it is clear to see that some readers of the Reporter do not agree with my assessment of the quality of computer hardware being sold today.  Obviously there are some people who are kidding themselves into believing they can pay as little as US$300 for a new laptop computer and that it will be equal in quality to one costing US$5,000.  In the real world that kind of wishful thinking only leads to disappointment.  Since one reader went so far as to question my sources I would like to take this opportunity to provide some specific attribution.

Making headlines in 2014: internet growth, streaming video & machines taking over

It has become an end-of-year tradition for me to devote this column to a look back at the year just past to recap some of the noteworthy happenings in the world of Information Technology.  2014 failed to record any seismic events equaling the magnitude of last year’s revelations of government eavesdropping, yet there were a few stories that made headlines on those tech news sites followed by so many techies like me in the IT industry.