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Ask Leo! #424 – Disable Java, disposing of old hard drives, flash memory wearing out and more…

*** Featured

Another vulnerability has been discovered in Java; if Java is installed on your machine, malware authors can exploit it to infect your computer with something as simple as your visiting a malicious or hacked website.

As I write this, there is no update to Java, which means that there is no fix. Technically that makes this a "zero-day exploit".

The fix that most experts, including myself, are recommending is to remove Java from your machine. Chances are you don't actually need it anyway.

But before we go further, we have to do the old "Java vs. JavaScript" dance.

Continue reading: Should I disable Java? And if so, how?
http://ask-leo.com/C6234

* * *

*** Answercast

Answercast #87 - Cleaning drives, posting comments, tablet flash drives, large videos and more...

Are you having troubles with video files downloading or playing? Can't post comments online or delete your Gmail account? Are your Office programs suddenly slow or need more room for email? All that and more in this Answercast from Ask Leo!

Listen

Continue reading: Answercast #87 - Cleaning drives, posting comments, tablet flash drives, large videos and more...
http://ask-leo.com/C6235

How can I safely wipe and dispose of old hard drives?
You can safely wipe old hard drives using a USB connector and free software. Giving them away will require a local solution.
Continue reading: How can I safely wipe and dispose of old hard drives?
http://ask-leo.com/C6236

How do I get Windows Live Mail to increase my storage allocation?
Windows Live Mail storage should increase as you need more space, although it might be better to use your own PC for your email storage and bypass online limits.
Continue reading: How do I get Windows Live Mail to increase my storage allocation?
http://ask-leo.com/C6237

Why are my Office programs suddenly taking a long time to start and stop?
Office programs that take a long time to start and stop is a tough one to diagnose long distance. There are a few steps to try to get you back up to speed.
Continue reading: Why are my Office programs suddenly taking a long time to start and stop?
http://ask-leo.com/C6238

Why can't I copy this large video from my camera to my PC?
Copying a large video from a camera should just work - unless there is not enough room, or errors, on your hard drive.
Continue reading: Why can't I copy this large video from my camera to my PC?
http://ask-leo.com/C6239

Why can't I post a comment on your website?
In order to post comments on a website, you need to have your computer configured in a way so that spam prevention programs can work. Otherwise, you'll get errors.
Continue reading: Why can't I post a comment on your website?
http://ask-leo.com/C6240

How do I delete my Gmail account if Gmail won't let me?
Closing a Gmail account requires several steps. If there is a problem, the error messages will help sort out what's going on.
Continue reading: How do I delete my Gmail account if Gmail won't let me?
http://ask-leo.com/C6241

If flash memory is being used in solid state drives, isn't it going to wear out?
Solid state drives with flash memory will wear out much slower than their very cheap counterparts in thumbdrives and dongles.
Continue reading: If flash memory is being used in solid state drives, isn't it going to wear out?
http://ask-leo.com/C6242

How do I get this downloaded .avi file to play on my DVD player?
You won't be able to play an .avi file directly in a DVD player. Look for DVD creation software that allows the disc to be burnt properly for DVD player formats.
Continue reading: How do I get this downloaded .avi file to play on my DVD player?
http://ask-leo.com/C6243

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*** Last Issue's Articles

*** Word o' the Week

Java

Java (not to be confused with Javascript) is a general purpose programming language designed, as much as possible, to have as few dependencies on the underlying computer platform as possible. One of its original marketing messages was "Write once, run anywhere."

Java is both a compiled and interpreted language. What that means is that the actual Java program is first transformed or "compiled" into an optimized platform-independent intermediate form, which is then read and executed by a platform-specific runtime or VM (for Virtual Machine).

Java is most commonly used in one of two ways:

  • for traditional desktop applications
  • for web-based or web-hosted applications

In the later case a web page hosting a Java-based application will first require that the Java runtime be installed and add-ons integrated into the web browser. For desktop applications the Java runtime is typically installed as part of the application installation process.

Java has come under fire in recent years as programming errors or bugs in the runtime have been discovered and subsequently exploited by malware. Common advice is to uninstall Java, as it is not required by many programs, however it is easily installed and left on a computer by even just once visiting a website that happens to use Java.

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

Reminder: Leo's 2013 Sabbatical starts at the end of the month.

Uninstalled Java yet? You probably should. Chances are you don't need it, and if its installed on your machine it represents a security vulnerability. There's been lots of discussion in the tech press and elsewhere, and the consensus seems to be: uninstall it. More in this week's article Should I disable Java, and if so, how?.

Leo
Leo A. Notenboom
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