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Ask Leo! #433 – Why reboot is step one, clicking on spam, TOR, comparing Cable and DSL and more…


The Ask Leo! Newsletter

*** Featured

Why do so many tech support solutions start with "reboot" or "turn it off"?

It seems like every time I call the tech support line for my software, operating system, or even my broadband connection, the first thing out of the technicians mouth is "reboot". Or worse yet, "Turn the power off for a while." What does that have to do anything? And why does it work?

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It does seem like a bit of magic, doesn't it? The computer's acting up, you reboot it, and - poof - things are better again. At least for a while.

It gets even weirder when you achieve the same effect just by shutting it all down and pulling the power cord for a while.

A friend of mine provided a nice explanation for the power scenario, and I can speak a little bit to the magical mess that is software.

Continue reading: Why do so many tech support solutions start with "reboot" or "turn it off"?
http://ask-leo.com/C2434

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*** Answercast

Answercast #96 - Paying to remove viruses, replacing CPUs, TOR, grouping emails, just looking at spam and more...

Ever wonder if it is safe to just "look" at spam or if you need to pay someone to remove a virus? Need to know about TOR or to compare DSL to cable? Ever want to group emails or speed up a browser? All that and more in this Answercast from Ask Leo!

Listen

Continue reading: Answercast #96 - Paying to remove viruses, replacing CPUs, TOR, grouping emails, just looking at spam and more...
http://ask-leo.com/C6328

Can I remove malware myself or do I need to pay someone?
Paying someone to remove a virus may be okay depending on how you found that person. If they found you... don't!
Continue reading: Can I remove malware myself or do I need to pay someone?
http://ask-leo.com/C6329

My CPU doesn't meet Windows 8 requirements, can I simply replace it?
Replacing the CPU for Windows 8 requirements could easily cause you to replace much more than just the CPU. There may be other alternatives.
Continue reading: My CPU doesn't meet Windows 8 requirements, can I simply replace it?
http://ask-leo.com/C6330

Which is better, cable or DSL?
It's hard to say, on a global basis, which is better: Cable or DSL. There are going to be differences related to the number of users on the line and distance from your ISP's equipment.
Continue reading: Which is better, cable or DSL?
http://ask-leo.com/C6331

Does the TOR Browser provide any additional anonymity as compared to just running TOR?
TOR anonymity is because of the TOR network, not the browser - though the browser certainly makes it easier to set up.
Continue reading: Does the TOR Browser provide any additional anonymity as compared to just running TOR?
http://ask-leo.com/C6332

Why does a web page redraw several times before it's done?
When a web page flashes and redraws, it's usually a result of the code for that page. There may not be much you can do about it.
Continue reading: Why does a web page redraw several times before it's done?
http://ask-leo.com/C6333

How can I see all emails from a specific person grouped together?
You can group emails, in most email programs, by using the column headers. It may take two clicks to get it in the order you want.
Continue reading: How can I see all emails from a specific person grouped together?
http://ask-leo.com/C6334

Is it safe to look, just look, at spam?
Just looking at spam may be safe... if you know how to take the proper precautions.
Continue reading: Is it safe to look, just look, at spam?
http://ask-leo.com/C6335

How should I deal with two different programs that handle the same file extension?
Program file extensions can sometimes be in conflict. You can't change the programs, but you can still run them both on your machine with an easy work-around.
Continue reading: How should I deal with two different programs that handle the same file extension?
http://ask-leo.com/C6336

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*** Last Issue's Articles

*** Featured Comments

When I visit a web site, can the server identify me?

DT writes:

Leo is right.

The average citizen (even most above average citizens) are simply of no interest to the government.

The people who you might think are spying on you have 200 million other adult people to worry about, and they're only paid to care so much. They have a life, too, ya know.

Stay within the huge boundaries of normal, legal, and acceptable behavior and you will NEVER be interesting, which is exactly how I like it.

If you're the only car going 70mph down the rural highway at 3am, of course, police will find you interesting -- they've got no one else to watch.

Now imagine they're watching hundreds of cars go by at 70mph at 3pm in the afternoon, the interest in any one car drops dramatically.

Chances are, unless you stand out *on purpose*, there are just too many other people more interesting than you.

*

When I visit a web site, can the server identify me?

John H writes:

Leo This is the dawn of BIG DATA. Every piece of data is going to be connected with every other piece of data. No matter how insignificant. Data storage and manipulation is dirt cheap these days. Individually we are not very interesting but to an advertising company, every little piece of data is value added to the end product. It is not conspiracy, just good business. And that detailed data base is just sitting there for use by someone, for better or worse.

*** Thoughts and Comments

I'm on sabbatical this week. Today's newsletter contains a featured article which is a selection from The Best of Ask Leo!, and a new Answercast, pre-recorded before I left.

I'll be back on April 1st, 2013.

Leo
Leo A. Notenboom
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