The Ask Leo! Newsletter
So just what is RSS, and why should I care?
So just what is RSS, and why should I care?
RSS, depending on who you ask, stands for either Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication. Regardless of which you adhere to, the concepts behind RSS have spawned a handful of additional buzzwords like "feed," "webfeed," and "atom feed," as well as multiple different file formats.
Great. But just what is RSS?
Put simply, it's content delivery.
RSS is a technology that allows you to get news, articles, website updates, and other content delivered directly to your computer.
It's kinda-sorta like email, but without all the spam.
Continue reading: So just
what is RSS, and why should I care?
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Answercast #45 - Uncontrollable CDs and wizards, Outlook.com emails, upside down photos, Kindle docs and more...
More answers on the continuing confusion on Outlook.com. Learn how to make links clickable and get a document onto a Kindle: safe boot for malware scans: overactive hardware wizards and more in this Answercast from Ask Leo!
Answercast #45 - Uncontrollable CDs and wizards, outlook.com emails, upside
down photos, Kindle docs and more...
How do I view my Outlook.com email address once I
An Outlook.com email address does not come automatically, just because you have a Hotmail or Live account. It's just an interface unless you create a new email address.
Continue reading: How do I view my outlook.com email address once I switch?
My CD tray keeps going in and out, how should I
A CD player that won't stay put may be a sign of hardware failure. Maybe it's time to upgrade.
Continue reading: My CD tray keeps going in and out, how should I proceed?
Why does my Firefox require a login each time I use
Firefox itself doesn't need a password; it's probably a website asking for a password or the password vault.
Continue reading: Why does my Firefox require a login each time I use it?
Why do my pictures sometimes show upside down when I email
Computers determine orientation in different ways. It's very likely that your picture is natively upside down!
Continue reading: Why do my pictures sometimes show upside down when I email them?
Can I read personal documents on my Kindle?
A Kindle is a great document reader. There are several ways to get your document over there to read it.
Continue reading: Can I read personal documents on my Kindle?
How do I delete keys in the Windows registry if I don't have
It is very dangerous to be deleting or changing things in the Windows registry. That's why it requires special permissions.
Continue reading: How do I delete keys in the Windows registry if I don't have permission?
Do I need to reboot into safe mode to run anti-malware
Virus programs are designed to be run in Windows normal mode. If you are looking for a suspected virus, there is a better way.
Continue reading: Do I need to reboot into safe mode to run anti-malware scans?
Why is this link not clickable when others are?
If an email program sees something that looks like a link, it will add code to underline it and make it clickable. Sometimes, that doesn't work perfectly.
Continue reading: Why is this link not clickable when others are?
I get the New Hardware Wizard frequently for no reason. How do I fix
Start by unplugging suspected devices and see if you can pinpoint the culprit. Sometimes, it's as easy as replacing a cable.
Continue reading: I get the New Hardware Wizard frequently for no reason. How do I fix that?
Can I take my external drive and install it as a replacement in my
Computers are configured to run off an internal C drive; and there is also the question of speed and convenience.
Continue reading: Can I take my external drive and install it as a replacement in my laptop?
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*** Last Issue's Articles
- Ask Leo! #381 - Is The Cloud Dangerous? Outlook versus Outlook, Skype, Kindle, Facebook & more...
- Why aren't Facebook page visits showing up in my history?
- Are my Skype conversations private?
- Are reverse phone number sites legitimate?
- Will my machine stop working if it's determined to be an illegal copy of Windows?
- Is the Cloud dangerous?
- Are there privacy or security issues when using a Kindle over WiFi?
- Do I need to download Outlook.com if I have Outlook 2010?
- Can I copy a multi-floppy install to a single CD and have it work?
- Why can my Sony camera not display jpg files created by a Nikon?
- Can I restore a smaller drive to a larger replacement?
- What are my options when even a reformat won't fix my failing drive?
- Answercast #44 - Outlook vs. Outlook, Hard Disk Problems, Floppies, Kindle, Skype and more...
*** Word o' the Week
Two factor authentication is a mechanism for verifying identity that relies on two different types of things, both of which must be correct, in order to allow access.
Traditionally authentication has been in the form of something you know: i.e. a password, and perhaps the accompanying answers to a set of security questions. Since this is simply based on knowledge (if you know your password you must be authorized to access this account) it's easily transferred from one person to another - intentionally or otherwise.
The most common form of two-factor authentication adds something you have to the requirements - you must prove that you are in position of something specific, something that is completely unique to you and of which there is only one.
A popular implementation of this is in the form of key chain fobs or smartphone applications such as Google Authenticator which present a 6 digit number that changes every 30 seconds. That 6 digit number is generated by a cryptographic algorithm and is tied to your account in such a way that only your device has the correct number for your account at any point in time. Because the algorithm used to generate the number is based on a form of cryptography it's not possible to predict the numbers that would be displayed without the secret keys held by the authentication system.
You then simply "prove" you have your phone or key chain fob by entering the number displayed on it when requested.
Another factor that can be used is something you are, which typically boils down to facial recognition, fingerprint scanning or other biometric measurement.
While each can be used in isolation - something you know, something you have or something you are - as the very common "single factor authentication", requiring more than one increases security dramatically. While two-factor authentication naturally requires two, it's actually a subset of "multi-factor authentication" which can require two or more.
Word o' the Week features a computer term or acronym taken from the Ask Leo! Glossary. If there's a word you're not sure of and would like to see defined, click here to let me know.
*** Thoughts and Comments
Getting lots of good comments on the Mat Honan (the tech reporter who was hacked) and "cloud" related experiences in last issues article Is the Cloud dangerous?.
Some people are running away from online services (aka "the cloud") - which in my opinion is a loss for them.
But others, not so much. Most notably Mat Honan himself, who in a follow up article said "I'm a bigger believer in cloud services than ever before." Considering what he went through I wasn't expecting that from him, but I'm glad to see it. (I have a link to his follow up article in a sidebar that I recently added to Is the Cloud dangerous?.)
I think what's more important than whether you agree or disagree with Mr. Honan and myself is that you form an opinion based on fact, not emotion or fear.
Online services are incredibly powerful tools for most. Whether or not they're right for you depends on your own situation and everything ranging from the sensitivity of your information to what you see as your own level of personal vulnerability. My hope is that your only reaction to anyone's being hacked - be it a tech journalist or your neighbor down the street - is to use it as an opportunity to learn, and from that make informed decisions on what, if anything, you need to change.
If that means you walk away from useful online services, so be it, but for most I really don't believe that extreme a reaction is needed.
'till next time...
Leo A. Notenboom
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