Leo's Answers #17 – March 17, 2006

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Leo Notenboom


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*** Contents

*** New Articles of Note on Ask Leo!

How do I put a picture in a comment on myspace.com?

How do I put a picture into a comment I post on someone's myspace.com account? I see others doing it, but I can't figure out how.

I get this question a lot, so I opened my own myspace account, and enlisted the help of a buddy to try it out. It's actually not that hard.

Caveat: I'm not a myspace guru, so there might be easier ways. That being said, this wasn't too bad, and it most importantly, it worked.

Continue reading: "How do I put a picture in a comment on myspace.com?"

* * *

What's so special about myspace?

Folks are concerned about myspace.com. Should they be?

Continue reading: "What's so special about myspace?" Article Includes Audio

* * *

How do I remove my email address from a malicious blog post?

Someone has posted an entry on a blog that contains my e-mail address and a picture of me. I can not find this info and people are sending me e-mails asking to date me. I am married and have never put a blog on the internet like this. This is causing problems in my marriage. I just want to find this and delete it. What do I do?

Sadly, this kind of harassment isn't all that uncommon on the internet, basically because it's so easy to do. Normally I see it among teenagers or kids with nothing better to do.

It's also one of the reasons I firmly believe that the days of having a single email address are over. As part of maintaining our privacy for both this, and things like spam, I advocate a multiple-email address strategy that would allow you to discard the email address being used in this harassment. More on that in my article over on TamingEmail.com: How many email addresses do you need?.

Your options on what to do next are limited.

Continue reading: "How do I remove my email address from a malicious blog post?"

* * *

What Windows Services can I turn off?

I'm trying to reduce the amount of "stuff" that's running on my Windows XP machine. I note that there are a lot of services enabled by default. Do I really need them all? What can I safely turn off?

I get this question a lot. People are concerned about how much software is running on their machines, and when they look at the list of services, there's a long list of things they don't understand.

The problem with this question is that there's not a single, or simple answer. Like so many things about Windows and your computer... it depends.

Continue reading: "What Windows Services can I turn off?"

* * *

Tech Site: BigBlueBall.com


Instant messaging is a popular topic of Ask Leo! questions, second only to email related issues, I would guess. Big Blue Ball is a resource for both the latest news and support for all popular IM clients and technologies. From their site:

BigBlueBall provides news, tips, tricks and support for all major instant messengers including AIM, MSN, Yahoo!, ICQ, Trillian, and many more.

BigBlueBall has an extensive support forum including help for many, if not most, of the common problems people experience with various IM clients. The MSN Messenger FAQ alone is worth a visit.

Continue reading: "BigBlueBall.com"

* * *

How do I hack into someone's account?

This is actually an over simplification of many variations:

I think my boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse is cheating on me. I want to hack into their email/im/myspace/other account and find out what he/she/it is doing behind my back. Can you help me?

Can you get me the password for *****@hotmail.com/yahoo.com/myspace.com? This person's been saying really bad things about me, and I want to hack in and teach him/her/it a lesson.

I've lost the password for *****@hotmail.com. Could you please find it and send it to *****@hotmail.com? It's really my account. Honest.

A family member has passed away, and I'd like to retrieve whatever was in his/her email account before it gets deleted for lack of use. But I don't have the password. Can you get it for me?

You get the idea. People want to hack into other people's accounts for various reasons. Some, like that last one, sound perfectly legitimate. Others, not so much. And others are just blatant attempts at theft or harassment.

And do you want to know what's really scary?

I get several of these requests every day.

Every day.

Continue reading: "How do I hack into someone's account?"

*** Popular Articles from the Archives

Last week I highlighted a previous article on email security, and just how secure it is, or is not. This week, we'll continue the "paranoia" theme with what I consider to be a commonly overlooked and serious risk: what happens if you're traveling and you lose your laptop? My recommended solution includes some encryption software that I've come to really appreciate ...

How can I keep data on my laptop secure?

I travel a lot, and have sensitive data on the laptop I take with me that I need as part of my job. But I'm in fear of losing the laptop and that this data will fall into the wrong hands. What do you suggest?

I know how you feel. I, too, have sensitive information on my laptop that I would prefer not to fall into the wrong hands. I can handle losing the laptop, but the thinking about the data in the wrong hands ... well, it just gives me the willies.

So, yes, I do have a solution, and it turns out to be fairly easy, secure, and free.

Continue reading...

*** Thoughts and Comments

OK, prepare for a shock.

I'm seriously considering switching from Outlook, which I've used for years, to Thunderbird.

Naturally, having worked at Microsoft for so many years, I've used Outlook, as well as its predecessors, since shortly after Microsoft even began offering an email program. I know how to "drive" Outlook well, and it's one of the programs that I regularly answer questions on, both here in Ask Leo!, and for friends who also use it.

Thunderbird appeals to me not only because it's smaller/faster, but because many of its fundamental concepts are just simpler. My biggest example is that Thunderbird, unlike both Outlook and Outlook Express, does not rely on some proprietary file format like ".dbx" or ".pst". Mail, in Thunderbird, is stored as a plain text file, with a companion index that's simply rebuilt if corrupt or missing. Simple. I like that.

What Thunderbird lacks in functionality, it's starting to make up for with extensions. One deal breaker for me was a calendar, for example, which is now an extension under development.

If you have experience with Thunderbird, good or bad, I'd love to hear from you. Email your comments to leo <at> ask-leo.com - please put "Thunderbird" in the subject line. I'll report back here with interesting comments, and my final decision, next week.

* * *

This made the rounds earlier this week, but if you haven't checked it out already, Google Earth - http://earth.google.com - is pretty cool. Not content with that, a while back they followed up with Google Moon - http://moon.google.com. Sure enough this week the trend continued with Google Mars - http://mars.google.com.

As my friend Chris White at http://topfive.com quipped ... "I can see my house!"

I hope they continue the trend. It's pretty cool.

* * *

The latest essay at Taming Email: Choosing an Email Program

The latest entry out at Forwarded Funnies: "And the Mother of the Year award goes to..." (R-Rated)

*** Newsletter Administration

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Till next week!

Leo Notenboom

Posted: March 17, 2006 in: 2006
Shortlink: https://newsletter.askleo.com/2596
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