Leo's Answers #133 – June 24, 2008

Leo's Answers
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Leo Notenboom


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*** Contents

*** This Week's New Articles on Ask Leo!

Is it possible for a hacker to get my Hotmail password without access to my computer?

Is it possible for a hacker to get my Hotmail password without access to my computer?


There are several ways a hacker can get your password. The good news is that there is something you can do to prevent that from happening.

The bad news is that most people don't.

Continue reading: "Is it possible for a hacker to get my Hotmail password without access to my computer?"

* * *

What do I do if I'm being harassed, bullied or stalked online?

Normally, this is where I'd quote the original question.

This topic appears in so many different guises and in so many different ways that quoting a single question would represent only a slice of a much larger issue.

Call it what you will, cyber-bullying or online harassment, is a frighteningly common occurrence. Those most at risk appear to be children, and individuals who've been in abusive domestic relationships.

The questions I get most often are:

  • Isn't it illegal?

  • How do I find out who's responsible?

  • How do I make them stop?

  • How can I get back at them?

I'll tackle each one of those, and a couple more.

Continue reading: "What do I do if I'm being harassed, bullied or stalked online?"

* * *

How do I put a picture into the body of an email?

I have been wondering for a long time how to put pictures and other things on the face/body of an e-mail. I'm not referring to a separate attachment.

The big problem with attempting to answer this is that the answer is different, depending on what email program you use, and perhaps even dependant on the email provider you might be signed up with.

In many cases the pragmatic answer is: you can't.

On top of that, even if you do put your images in the body of your email, there's no guarantee that your recipients will see them there.

But I can at least cover a few of the requirements, and some of the more common methods.

Continue reading: "How do I put a picture into the body of an email?"

* * *

What is "Limited Connectivity" and how do I fix it?

I have recently started receiving "limited connectivity" messages at our vacation condo. Looking on the web I've found a jillion ways to fix this problem and can't believe all the advertising. I've found that cycling the repeater that is in our condo will usually clear this problem. What causes it and what do I do when cycling the repeater doesn't work?

"Limited connectivity" happens when your computer can connect to the network ... but it can't.

I know, that wasn't very helpful. But it's actually accurate. Your computer was able to connect the network in one way, but was unable to complete the next step.

Continue reading: "What is "Limited Connectivity" and how do I fix it?"

* * *

What's your background? Did your University education help?

I've seen you answer many questions in depth and with many details, you show that you are a very experienced person in the field of technology. My question is what university did you attend and how much did it help you? What courses did you take?

B.S.E.E., University of Washington, class of 1979.

Yes, it did help, but to be totally honest ... it was just a part of a much larger puzzle. A very important part, don't get me wrong, but to look at just my college education I think misses a tremendous amount of what brought me here.

I mention all of this because I get asked similar questions all the time, and for those considering or embarking on a career in technology ... well, you just know I have opinions.

Continue reading: "What's your background? Did your University education help?"

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*** Featured Comments

A sampling of some of the comments that have been posted recently on Ask Leo!

* * *

How do I determine what I absolutely need to load at startup?

Jason writes:

Another good site for tweaking your Windows services is
This give several suggested configurations for which services you may or may not need.

Indeed, I recommend Black Viper's site frequently. It can get a little technical, but it's a great resource.



Did I really just win an email lottery or sweepstakes?

Jay writes:


I just received a check, a real check, not a voucher, not a form that says this is not a check, or a check that obligates me to do something when I endorse it -- a real check for $2850 from a marketing company in Mass. that sent me a list of tasks to be done as a mystery shopper -- nothing that I've ever agreed to do.

The check, a real check, is written on Silicon Valley Bank, has the water marks, and has my name right after "pay to the order of". The letter says that if I don't call them they will stop payment on the check. In the meantime, I could cash the check at a check-cashing place. What the heck is going on and should I just go and cash this check? It was sent out of the blue from information "they ascertained" that qualified me to be part of this "select group". Any ideas?

On the above article, all of the signs you note are red flags. If you pop the email up to reveal full headers, it probably started in Nigeria, or,like many that I have received, University email addresses from accounts that were stolen, hacked into, or belonged to a retired professor.

All I can say is that if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. There's no way I would cash that check.

A couple of possibilities come to mind:

  • Cashing the check obligates you to something. I know you've indicated that this isn't the case, but I'm pretty skeptical that it's not.

  • The check is bogus. It's trivial to make a check - or rather something that looks like a check. What you may find if you do deposit it, in 10 days or so the check will bounce and the money will be removed from your account. In the mean time this mystery shopping thing may well have asked you to pay them, or someone they work with, out of pocket for "expenses" of some sort. When the check bounces not only will you be out that money, but the money you spend on their behalf as well.

I could be wrong about the specific scenarios, but both are common.

There's just no way I'd trust it. Even if it's legit, it's a stupid way for them to do business just because of all the caution and skepticism we continue to recommend.


*** This Week's Most Popular

The ten most popular articles in the last 7 days on Ask Leo!

  1. How do I resolve my MSN Hotmail sign in problems?
  2. How do I make a new MSN Hotmail account?
  3. How do I put a picture in a comment on myspace.com?
  4. How do I delete history items from my Google tool bar?
  5. Svchost and Svchost.exe - Crashs, CPU maximization, viruses, exploits and more.
  6. What are MSN HotMail's POP3 and SMTP settings for Outlook Express?
  7. How do I change my MSN Hotmail password?
  8. How do I hack into someone's account?
  9. How do I put a picture into the caption of a picture on myspace.com?
  10. What are the POP3 and SMTP settings for Hotmail?

*** Leo Recommends

RSS and Google Reader
Subscribe to information feeds and read it all for free

If you've not heard of RSS, or don't know exactly what it is, that's ok, you're not alone. It still suffers from a fairly high geek factor.

But I'd strongly recommend getting at least a few of the basics down, because it's a very powerful technology to get the information you want delivered to your virtual doorstep.

And I recommend using Google's free Reader to view the RSS feeds you've subscribed to.

Continue reading my recommendation: "RSS and Google Reader - Subscribe to information feeds and read it all for free"

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?

*** Popular Articles from the Archives

A few years ago I was visiting a friend, and of course knowing what it is I do she asked about a problem she was having. Apparently that problem continues to this day for many people, as the article that resulted remains pretty popular.

Why don't running programs show in my taskbar?

I used to be able to see items in my task bar for programs that were running and I could click on them to switch between programs. Lately, though, those items aren't there. The only way I can figure to switch between programs is to use the task manager. How do I get my taskbar "running programs" buttons back?

The task bar is a busy place, and there are lots of things on it; the start button and menu, the quick launch bar (if you have that enabled) and on the far right, the notification area. Most all of those are configurable to some degree, but the area where buttons representing your "currently running programs" is not. It's always supposed to be there, there's no way to turn it off.

As a result, no way to turn it on should it disappear.

Well, no obvious way.

Continue reading...
Out of Why don't running programs show in my taskbar?

*** Thoughts and Comments

I have to apologize for a broken link in last week's newsletter. The problem is that not only did I get it wrong, but the way the newsletter works it almost looked like intentional deception. Rest assured, it was not.

Here's what happened:

In the featured comment section of last week's newsletter was this link:


That was intended to go to a page for a product called "Genuine Fractals". Instead the link took you to a page for an unrelated product called "Snag It". That was my mistake - I mistakenly coded the link improperly. (Snag It's a fine product by the way, but that's topic for another day.)

Further confusing the issue is that when you hovered your mouse over the link in the newsletter, it actually looked like it went here:


If you didn't know better, that looks like a very misleading link - a link to www.ononesoftware.com actually goes to clicks.aweber.com.

The key to this puzzle is that AWeber.com is my newsletter publishing service. They've been instructed to count the clicks on the links in my newsletter so I can see what's popular, both in terms of ads, articles and whatever else I publish. For links that don't go to ask-leo.com, they do so by "intercepting" the links - sending them first to aweber.com to count the click, and then redirecting them onward to their intended destination.

Even if the intended destination is wrong, due to my error. Smile

So Genuine Fractals can be found here: http://www.ononesoftware.com/detail.php?prodLine_id=2, even though that looks like it's about to go to aweber.com.

And remember, you can always copy/paste the link into your browser manually, bypassing whatever I or others might do behind the scenes.


As always, thanks for subscribing, reading, and for your feedback.

As always, if you appreciate this newsletter or the site, one of the best ways you can say "Thank You!" is to link to Ask Leo! or simply to tell a friend or colleague. Just send folks to askleo.net.

'till next time...


* * *

A selection of Leo's articles are available for free re-use at EzineArticles.

Some of Leo's other sites: The Ask Leo! Store, Leo's Online Business Card, Forwarded Funnies, Taming Email, MovableType Tips, Leo's Blog, Buy Leo a Latte (or a Beer), A Letter To Myself, Dolls and Friends, Corgwn.com

*** Newsletter Administration

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Newsletter contents Copyright © 2008, Leo A. Notenboom & Puget Sound Software, LLC.

Posted: June 24, 2008 in: 2008
Shortlink: https://newsletter.askleo.com/3425
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