Leo's Answers #13 – February 17, 2006

Leo's Answers
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Leo Notenboom


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*** Contents

*** New Articles of Note on Ask Leo!

Can my company monitor my IM conversations at home?

I work from home using a cable broadband service I pay for. I connect to my company's server through a proxy server for email, etc. I use AIM for business IMing. I recently received a notice from my company that all instant messaging conversations are being monitored. I am wondering if it is possible for my company to archive my AIM conversations when I am at home using my own cable provider, or if they do in fact have archiving capability if that would apply only to on-site employees. I am concerned because not all of my IM conversations are work related as I use my screen name for both business and personal conversations.

Hey, at least they told you. Most companies that do monitor bury that fact in their employee handbooks, if they even mention it at all.

But can they monitor your IMing at home?


Continue reading: "Can my company monitor my IM conversations at home?"

* * *

Can I Control the Volume of Podcasts I Download?

I regularly download podcasts but find that often the volume of talkback shows is too low to hear when I am in a busy, noisy area (ie. walking down the main street, sitting on the bus). I currently use ipodder from Juice for my downloads and it is a great app. But do others allow for higher quality volume in the download? Is there anything I can do?

I definitely understand the problem. I find myself adjusting the volume on many podcasts, and especially when I switch from one to another. The levels are rarely the same.

Continue reading: "Can I Control the Volume of Podcasts I Download?"

* * *

Tech Site: SpywareGuide


From their website: "The Spyware Guide was created to provide an all inclusive and updated resource on spyware applications, what they do and how they're used. These resources include: which software applications can detect and defeat spyware, an extensive database of all known spy software and adware applications and contact information as well as other privacy related products. As the spy versus spy battle rages on we have decided to document this fascinating battlefield."

Continue reading: "Tech Site: SpywareGuide"

* * *

Where are the ethics?

I whine a little about the lack of ethics in a large percentage of the questions I get.

Continue reading: "Where are the ethics?" Article Includes Audio

* * *

Why does my laptop bounce email?

When I send email with an attachment (an mp3) to my laptop from my desktop computer, it bounces back with a message that my laptop inbox is full. However, it isn't full. In fact, I've cleaned everything out of my Outlook Express on my laptop, including deleted messages, sent mail, etc. There's nothing there. Why is this happening and how can I fix it?

It's not your laptop that's complaining. Exactly who is complaining depends on how you've got your email accounts set up, and which account you're sending it to.

Continue reading: "Why does my laptop bounce email?"

* * *

Why does my clock reset on every power-on?

I have a system time & date problem on my HP laptop running Windows XP. It returns to the same date (probably a production date) after reboot. I tried setting it up in boot menu, but the problem remained.

I have good news and I have what might be bad news.

The good news is that the problem is most likely a simple dead battery.

The bad news, is that replacing the battery could be difficult.

Continue reading: "Why does my clock reset on every power-on?"

* * *

Could the Hotmail Servers be Infected?

I tried to help someone whose computer had been infected by the Nimda worm. After the computer was disinfected, and before my friend even used that computer again, she complained that all her contacts (in her Hotmail Contacts list) suddenly started getting virus attachment emails which appear to be sent from her Hotmail account -- even though she wasn't using the previously infected computer -- and wasn't sending them anything. She is sure the other computers she is using are well-protected and "clean". I had advised to her close the Hotmail account -- but, nevertheless, it's hard to believe the Hotmail servers are this vulnerable -- and if they are, how can she be sure she won't have this problem with another Hotmail account? There are additional issues -- but first, I want to be sure this is really the root of the problem at this point: an infected account on the Hotmail server.

Hotmail definitely has its problems, but this probably isn't one of them.

While someone's got a virus, it's not Hotmail. And it's probably not you.

But it might be someone you know.

Continue reading: "Could the Hotmail Servers be Infected?"

* * *

Should I Leave AOL?

I've been with AOL for many years. For the most part they've worked well for me, but lately it seems that I'm not getting email from mailing lists I've signed up for, and the list owners blame AOL. What's up with that? I also heard these rumors that AOL is charging to send email? How will I be impacted by that? Should I just find myself another ISP?

I actually can't answer that last question - it's a decision you'll have to make for yourself. Some of it depends on your level of comfort with computers in general, since AOL remains relatively easy to use for the less computer literate.

But apparently it's also going to depend on your level of tolerance for AOL's attempts to thwart spam.

Continue reading: "Should I Leave AOL?"

*** Popular Articles from the Archives

Here's an old one that still confuses many, many people:

How do Outlook and Outlook Express relate?

The short answer: they don't. They have, essentially, only two things in common. They're both primarily mail programs, and they both have the word "Outlook" in their names.

And that's where the similarity ends.

It's unfortunate, too, because lots of people infer from the names that Outlook Express is some kind of "Outlook Lite", and that's not the case at all - it's a completely separate program.

Continue reading...

*** Thoughts and Comments

You might notice that the "Interesting Sites and Useful Resources" section of the newsletter has disappeared. Have no fear, the items are still there! I've started treating my site recommendations like "normal" Ask Leo! articles. So you'll now see them in with the "New Articles of Note on Ask Leo!" section.

Why? Well, I could give you all sorts of flowery words about it being better, easier to read, easier to find on the site (there's now an separate archive of site recommendations), and so on.

But in all honesty, I really did it to make my life a little easier. Treating it like an "just another article" allows me to further leverage the process I use to create this newsletter.

Ok, ok ... I'm lazy, and I try to let the software do as much of my work for me as possible. But then, isn't that what computers and software are supposed to do?

Speaking of software, some of you may realize that Ask Leo! runs off of the MovableType publishing platform (which, by the way, I love!). I've done many things with it, and have started collecting and publishing some of my "tips and tricks" at (yet another) new site: MovableType Tips and Tricks - http://mttips.com. I'm not publicizing it much yet, but figured any newsletter readers with an interest are most certainly welcome to poke around.

* * *

The latest essay out at Taming Email: "It's Time for a Road Map"

The latest entry out at Forwarded Funnies: "Stress Management Technique"

*** Newsletter Administration Department

Do you have a question? A comment, perhaps? Newsletter subscribers can drop me a line at leo <at> ask-leo.com. (I only give that email address to newsletter subscribers, so I'll know it's from one of my loyal readers.) If you like, you can make sure you get past any spam filters by simply posting your question or comment using the Ask Leo! question form: http://ask-leo.com/askleo.html.

I'll be honest: I'll try to respond, but I get a lot of questions every day - I'm currently quite backlogged. I simply cannot answer absolutely every one. Rest assured, though, that even if you don't hear from me directly, I read every email I get.

Leo's Answers Newsletter is a weekly publication of Ask Leo! and Leo A. Notenboom. It's also available as an RSS feed at this URL: http://ask-leo.com/newsletter.xml?UD=nl. Archives of previous newsletter issues can be found on the Ask Leo! web site, http://ask-leo.com/newsletter.html.

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Till next week!

Leo Notenboom

Posted: February 17, 2006 in: 2006
Shortlink: https://newsletter.askleo.com/2561
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