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Ask Leo! #405 – The Demise of Messenger, protecting files, Real Player, the FBI and more…

*** Featured

Is Microsoft shutting down Messenger?

Microsoft recently announced that Microsoft Messenger instant messaging would be migrated to Skype, which it purchased in 2011.

What that really means is very simple: Messenger is going away and Skype is replacing it.

Before you panic, that doesn't mean you'll lose anything at all. Because at the same time, Microsoft announced that you can now log in to Skype using your Microsoft Account and when you do, you'll find all of your Messenger contacts there ready for you to chat with.

Unfortunately, so much of the terminology that Microsoft has used over the years is so incredibly confusing, I need to lay out just what "Messenger" I'm talking about and what a "Microsoft Account" is.

Then, we can download the latest Skype and even merge our Skype and Microsoft accounts.

Continue reading: Is Microsoft shutting down Messenger?
http://ask-leo.com/C6000

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*** Answercast

Answercast #68 - Protecting files, browser hijacking, dead beeps, can't they stop spam! and more...

Freaked out about tracking cookies? Worried about using too much ink? Want to stop a browser hijack or bogus FBI warnings? Think you can revive an old machine with Ubuntu? All that and more in this Answercast from Ask Leo!

Listen

Continue reading: Answercast #68 - Protecting files, browser hijacking, dead beeps, can't they stop spam! and more...
http://ask-leo.com/C6001

How can I share files without allowing people to modify or delete them?
I can come up with three different approaches to solving this problem. The first is to use your website.
Continue reading: How can I share files without allowing people to modify or delete them?
http://ask-leo.com/C6002

How do I get YouTube videos to play using RealPlayer?
The real problem that you're trying to solve here is that you want to download some of the videos. That may be against YouTube's terms of service.
Continue reading: How do I get YouTube videos to play using RealPlayer?
http://ask-leo.com/C6003

How do I avoid getting bogus FBI warnings on my computer?
Be skeptical! This is not how the FBI operates. They don't throw up big warning screens on your computer if they suspect you of something.
Continue reading: How do I avoid getting bogus FBI warnings on my computer?
http://ask-leo.com/C6004

Should I be concerned about the tracking cookies I'm being told about?
I personally would be annoyed at a tool for bugging me about tracking cookies - when I don't consider them an issue!
Continue reading: Should I be concerned about the tracking cookies I'm being told about?
http://ask-leo.com/C6005

I have an old machine. Can I install Ubuntu Linux on my Windows XP OS?
What's most important is whether Ubuntu Linux will meet your needs; whether it will have software that does the things you need it to do.
Continue reading: I have an old machine. Can I install Ubuntu Linux on my Windows XP OS?
http://ask-leo.com/C6006

I keep getting warnings that something is trying to change my browser. How do I stop that?
I'd start with Malwarebytes. But then, I'd be very careful moving forward to pay attention to what's being downloaded and what is being installed on your machine.
Continue reading: I keep getting warnings that something is trying to change my browser. How do I stop that?
http://ask-leo.com/C6007

Is anyone doing anything about what could be an ever increasing amount of spam?
As the volume of spam increases, I believe that the email industry will ramp up their technologies to help continue to make email manageable for folks like you and me.
Continue reading: Is anyone doing anything about what could be an ever increasing amount of spam?
http://ask-leo.com/C6008

Is there a way to change the font color of a document I've downloaded?
See if your printer supports something called a "draft mode," and if you can use that when you print.
Continue reading: Is there a way to change the font color of a document I've downloaded?
http://ask-leo.com/C6009

My laptop won't turn on and only beeps when I start it. Is it dead? Or is this a simple fix?
Ultimately, when you're getting beep codes, it is indicative of a hardware problem. But it's not necessarily terminal!
Continue reading: My laptop won't turn on and only beeps when I start it. Is it dead? Or is this a simple fix?
http://ask-leo.com/C6010

What's a PCL5 printer and why is Windows trying to download it?
It's very likely that this PCL5 driver is actually required to print from the HP printer you have installed.
Continue reading: What's a PCL5 printer and why is Windows trying to download it?
http://ask-leo.com/C6011

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*** Last Issue's Articles

*** Comments

How do pixels and DPI and resolution and picture size and file size all relate to each other?

graham lundebgaard writes:

The answer is not to take such huge pics to start with unless you intend to make large hi quality prints from them. 1 or 2 mp is more than enough for most purposes. So just because your camera can take 12mp doesn't mean that you have to tale 12mp pics!

Actually, I disagree. You can make a big picture smaller, but you can't make a small picture bigger. I like to get the highest resolution possible in the pictures that I take, and then I can resize or crop appropriately (often both) if I need something smaller. When you take photos at a small resolution you can't really crop or zoom effectively. Snapshots, perhaps, but almost anything I take I frequently want to crop to make a better image.

-Leo

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Malware prevents me from booting, even in Safe Mode. What do I do?

johnpro writes:

I have spent more time trying to remove malware infestation, with no guarantees, than doing a fresh Windows reinstall. What a great feeling when you finally decide to reinstall ..you know a genuine fix is imminent. Jp

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Why shouldn't I use the "Report Spam" or "Junk" button?

Nick Ringhof writes:

The thing is Leo, the public have become as cynical as the spammers. People are made to jump hoops to unsubscribe or discontinue a service. I've uninstalled paid software, and quite often part of the uninstall process is compulsory feedback. You don't get a choice, the page just opens. Numerous newsletters will tell you it 'has to be processed'. I really don't care anymore, and I'm not alone. Websites and internet services simply have to lift their game, and programmers should work on better algorithms to detect spam rather than designing a dozen different media players, or another fragmentation tool. If the culprits can work an insidious product into our mail, surely someone on the right side can find a way of stopping it. But they don't, because there's no money in it. Thanks for the great newsletter.

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What is IMAP? And how can it help me manage my email?

Darlene writes:

I use Thunderbird, but I don't see how it works as a backup on my desktop computer if it syncs with Gmail. If all my emails on Gmail disappeared, then wouldn't they disappear in Thunderbird too?

Yes, if you delete all your email in Gmail, for example, eventually IMAP will sync and delete them locally. What you have, however, is the opportunity to back up the files on your computer (as you should be anyway), so that if you needed to you could restore your Thunderbird mail store as it was prior to the massive delete. That's not something you can do while the mail resides solely on Google's servers.

-Leo

*** Leo Recommends

Macrium Reflect - Powerful Windows Backup Software

I consider backing up to be one of the fundamental necessities for anyone who uses a computer.

As anyone with even a little experience will tell you, you will lose something important someday without a backup; it's not a matter of if, but a matter of when. And someone with more than a little experience will also be able to share horror stories of how and when they learned this important lesson.

In my opinion, that's why it's critical that you backup your computer and data regularly. As I've said repeatedly, if your data is in only one place, it's not backed up.

Over the years, I've developed a set of criteria - a set of features and characteristics - that I want out of a backup program before I recommend it.

Macrium Reflect makes the cut.

Continue reading: Macrium Reflect - Powerful Windows Backup Software
http://ask-leo.com/C4996

Each week I recommend a specific product or resource that I've found valuable and that I think you may as well. What does my recommendation mean?

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