Ask Leo! #409 – Anonymous email, hiding searches, OpenGL, snooping landlords and more…


The Ask Leo! Newsletter

*** Featured

How can I send anonymous email?

I want to send email to a person I'm talking to on a dating service, but I don't want them to be able to get my real email address and find me. What do I do?

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This is a relatively common question.

It's also a fairly common news headline when someone who thought they were sending an anonymous message via email was found out.

Anonymous email is conceptually fairly simple, but once you dive into the details - the details that perhaps investigators and law enforcement might take advantage of - things get complicated quickly.

With no real negative implications, let me ask you: how paranoid are you?

Continue reading: How can I send anonymous email?
http://ask-leo.com/C2257

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*** Answercast

Answercast #72 - Giving away memory sticks, forgetting passwords, multiple monitors, read-only files, Open GL and more...

Do you worry that the government or your landlord may be watching you? Mystified by missing Open GL or forgotten passwords? Is it safe to give away RAM sticks, and what about Win8 updates when you still have Win7? All that and more in this Answercast from Ask Leo!

Listen

Continue reading: Answercast #72 - Giving away memory sticks, forgetting passwords, multiple monitors, read-only files, Open GL and more...
http://ask-leo.com/C6051

How do I change a file from read-only to read/write?
Removing read-only is easily done in Windows Explorer... but the read-only notice may not be real.
Continue reading: How do I change a file from read-only to read/write?
http://ask-leo.com/C6052

How do I adjust the brightness of my screen in Windows 7?
Adjusting monitor brightness can often be done right on the monitor itself. In addition, the driver for that monitor may have some settings.
Continue reading: How do I adjust the brightness of my screen in Windows 7?
http://ask-leo.com/C6053

What's Open GL, and what do I do if it's not supported, but needed?
"Open GL not supported" means that it is not available in your video driver software. Getting it may be a problem.
Continue reading: What's Open GL, and what do I do if it's not supported, but needed?
http://ask-leo.com/C6054

Is there a way to search so the government can't see what I'm doing?
Hiding your searches (potentially from the government) is not a practical reality as you need to use an outside service to search the internet at all.
Continue reading: Is there a way to search so the government can't see what I'm doing?
http://ask-leo.com/C6055

Will Outlook XP Work in Windows 8?
Upgrading XP to Windows 8 should not require you to change your email service or programs, unless you are currently using Outlook Express.
Continue reading: Will Outlook XP Work in Windows 8?
http://ask-leo.com/C6056

Is there a best or better way to set up multiple monitors?
Setting up multiple monitors is easily handled by Microsoft Windows. You may want to consider resolution and size factors when looking at what to buy.
Continue reading: Is there a best or better way to set up multiple monitors?
http://ask-leo.com/C6057

Why isn't my browser remembering my usernames any more?
Remembering passwords in a browser is not secure. They can be recovered very easily. Rather than turn the option back on, let's look at some other solutions.
Continue reading: Why isn't my browser remembering my usernames any more?
http://ask-leo.com/C6058

Should I accept application software updates relating to Windows 8 even though I'm running Windows 7?
Windows 8 updates can be included in software updates and should be installed, even if you have not upgraded to 8.
Continue reading: Should I accept application software updates relating to Windows 8 even though I'm running Windows 7?
http://ask-leo.com/C6059

Can my landlord see the websites I go to?
A landlord could conceivably see the websites you go to if you use a shared internet connection. But there are ways to stay safe.
Continue reading: Can my landlord see the websites I go to?
http://ask-leo.com/C6060

Is it safe to donate or give away RAM?
Giving away memory sticks is a great idea, and removing power will cause the volatile memory to disappear.
Continue reading: Is it safe to donate or give away RAM?
http://ask-leo.com/C6061

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*** Last Issue's Articles

*** Comments

I'm told my firewall isn't working, but it is turned on. Do I have a problem?

Karl Uppiano writes:

I would caution against a false sense of security from NAT routers or even corporate firewalls. While those devices can protect against unauthorized break-ins, they do not protect against authorized break-ins -- i.e., social engineering exploits -- basically any number of attacks that trick the user into executing them, such as users clicking on malicious email attachments, users downloading and installing malicious software that looks useful or is misrepresented by the provider, cross-site scripting, phishing, and so on.

Some of these exploits are very amateurish and easily spotted even by casual users. Others are very sophisticated, and can easily fool even a very knowledgeable user.

Once the malware has gotten a foothold inside the firewall, all bets are off. This is particularly true if you have multiple users inside the firewall, because it only takes one infected computer to compromise all the rest. And that happens so quickly, it is often too late by the time a virus scanner or knowledgeable user detects it.

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I have an old machine. Can I install Ubuntu Linux on my Windows XP OS?

A Richter writes:

Several points:

50 GB (unusual figure, I believe) hard disk will handle any Linux just fine. What could be at issue, though, is the memory. In case of Ubuntu 12.04, and by trial and error, I find that RAM at 512 MB barely suffices, and that 1 GB is the minimum for smooth running; 2GB would be preferable. It all hangs on the RAM, really, not HDD.

Installing Ubuntu alongside XP, thus having a dual system, is advisable with at least 80 GB hard disk.

Running Ubuntu live off a DVD, not so good due to speed and response issues. Just to get a taste of it, perhaps, and see how it goes with the system; otherwise, it is plain cumbersome.

Much, much, and I will say it again, much better option would be getting a live CD with Puppy Linux. If there currently is a Linux to fall in love with, this is the one. Lightweight, nimble, fast, and no install is needed since it gets stored in the memory (RAM again, mark), not on hard disk.

So the XP could stay, untouched, as long as the boot hierarchy is set to give preference to CD-ROM over HDD. One needs to get used to Linux, e.g., no Internet Explorer, MS Office, and the proprietary likes. Plenty of impressive equivalents, though.

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Why is typing in Yahoo! Mail so slow?

cruelas writes:

I had the same problem with Yahoo--very frustrating. I've used IE and nothing else for years, often hearing the trouble-shooting tip of trying a different browser, but I assumed it wasn't worth it. After hearing/reading this Answercast today I decided to try Chrome and WHAT A DIFFERENCE it has made with my Yahoo mail and my Comcast email. I didn't think the change would be so dramatic. Thanks for the question and thanks for the answers.

I am concerned, though, about the line: "by downloading a new browser, you don't have those extensions installed in that browser yet."...yet? Ughh. I'm hoping that doesn't mean this is a short-term solution. Well, I'm off to read the follow-up articles.

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Macrium Reflect - Powerful Windows Backup Software

Tony writes:

Just to clarify for some people complaining about the free product - there's a difference between the FREE version of Macrium Reflect and the 30 day TRIAL version of Macrium Reflect Standard. I'm quite happy with the Standard Trial and will most likely pay to continue its use after the 30 days.

*** Leo Recommends

Kindle - Much more than an electronic portable book reader

Not quite three Just over 5 years ago (has it been that long?) I received my original Kindle as a Christmas gift from my wife.

I wrote an article back then So, what do you think about Kindle? and discussed some of its more immediately striking features. I ended that article with the statement "...I think Kindle might end up changing the way I read books."

2.5+ 5 years later, I'm here to tell you that it has. And in some ways that, in retrospect, I never would have predicted.

Kindle's not about the device as much as you might think.

Continue reading: Kindle - Much more than an electronic portable book reader
http://ask-leo.com/C4365

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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