Leo’s Answers #306 – October 25, 2011

A Weekly Newsletter From
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Leo Notenboom

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*** New Articles

What's the difference between RAW and JPG image formats?

I am new to this digital photography. What are “RAW” and “JPEG”? What's the difference? What do they do? When do you use them? Where do you find them?

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The best analogy that I've seen compares RAW format to old-style photographic film negatives. They're never something that you want to look at directly, but if properly processed, they can be used to produce the image formats that you're more commonly used to seeing.

Formats like jpeg (aka jpg).

I'll look at both in a little more detail, discuss what I do, and then suggest a course of action.

Continue reading: What's the difference between RAW and JPG image formats?
http://ask-leo.com/C4961

* * *

How do I recover from a bad virus infection?

Over the past weeks on my machine:

  • I've had frequent re-infections of some virus or Trojan that resets my IE home page, disables Task Manager, and blocks my access to System Restore.
  • Several times each day, I run AdAware, Spybot, and my virus program (Panda) to remove identified infections and spyware.
  • I read where disabling System Restore and then running a virus scan would clean out any virus strands that were inadvertently being backed-up with each shutdown/startup cycle.
  • My virus and spyware programs sometime identify Services.exe and Winlogon.exe as viruses. When this happens, these files are referenced as being in located in the C:Windowsinetdata sub-directory (which is not where they should be).

Did I royally screw things up by disabling System Restore? I understand by doing this, I erased all existing restore points so that wouldn't surprise me.

*

First, let me say this...

YIKES!

You've got a serious infection here that some of us would technically characterize as a "mess".

In all honesty, I'm not sure that the patient will survive.

Before we bring out the big guns, let's run through the steps that I'd consider using to try and recover without just giving up and starting over.

Then, after all that, I'll explain why starting over might well be the most pragmatic, safest thing to do.

Continue reading: How do I recover from a bad virus infection?
http://ask-leo.com/C2271

* * *

A brief overview of Evernote

Evernote is one of several applications that I install shortly after setting up the basics of any new machine, or rebuilding an existing one.

In this video created for an Ask Leo! webinar, I'll walk you through some of Evernote's features and functionality.

Continue reading: A brief overview of Evernote
http://ask-leo.com/C4960

* * *

How do I delete someone from my Hotmail address book?

How do I remove names from the address book? I'm using Windows Live Hotmail and Windows 7.

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Actually, it's not hard at all once you get around a small terminology barrier.

The problem is that what you and I might call an address book, Hotmail calls your contacts.

Let me show you how to get at that and how to remove an entry.

Continue reading: How do I delete someone from my Hotmail address book?
http://ask-leo.com/C4959

* * *

How do I protect my email address book?

How do I stop [email being sent as me] or prevent a hacker from getting into my address book?

*

This was a follow-up question from someone who'd discovered that, as they put it, "Somebody is using my email address book to send spam to my friends." I had pointed them at Someone's sending email that looks like it's from me to my contacts, what can I do?

What's critical to realize here is that it's extremely likely that they don't just have access to your address book - they have access to your entire email account.

And that's exactly where prevention begins.

Continue reading: How do I protect my email address book?
http://ask-leo.com/C4958

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*** Last Week's Articles

*** Comments

What's a "super cookie"?

Stephen writes:

You should have mentioned that the vast majority of cookies are benign and actually add to the browsing experience. For example on my website, there's an introduction video on the splash page. And I drop a cookie that simply tracks that this browser has been here before. The next time they visit my site, they won't have to watch the intro video again - they go straight to the home page.

Even your site has a benign "Remember me" cookie.

Cookie paranoia has really been blown way out of proportion.

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What's a "super cookie"?

Jim writes:

Leo, you were spot-on when you wrote, "browser features and add-ons will be developed that increase your privacy, and new tracking techniques will be developed that bypass them."

Yet another trick web sites can use to track you goes beyond any sort of cookie or pixel hack. The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Panopticlick project asks, "Is your browser configuration rare or unique? If so, web sites may be able to track you, even if you limit or disable cookies. Panopticlick tests your browser to see how unique it is based on the information it will share with sites it visits. Click below and you will be given a uniqueness score, letting you see how easily identifiable you might be as you surf the web."

Just your combination of browser, fonts, plug-ins, time zone, etc. probably makes you unique.

http://panopticlick.eff.org/ http://browserspy.dk/ (a similar site that shows the information your browser discloses)

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What's a "super cookie"?

James writes:

As Rod pointed out, if you use Firefox there is the Better Privacy add-on. Moreover Firefox has long had an option, under Privacy, to keep cookies only until "I close Firefox". And it's not difficult to clear the cache (Clear recent history, under the Tools menu).

And if your worried about what can be done with Javascript, get the add-on NoScript, though I have to admit it can be a confounded nuisance.

Then there's "Tell web sites I do not want to be tracked", "Always use private browsing mode", and "Clear history when Firefox closes".

This might not be enough for some, but it's more than enough for me. (I'm happy with Opera)

Those are all good, but my point here is that they do not currently protect you from all the different technologies that might be used to implement tracking.

-Leo

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What's a "super cookie"?

James writes:

And I should also have mentioned that, if you really want to be anonymous, you can always try Tor (https://www.torproject.org/). Though I have to confess I haven't bothered to myself.

TOR will hide your IP address, but I don't believe that it provides any protection relating to the information that your browser might present - including cookies and/or super-cookies.

-Leo

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What's a "super cookie"?

Leif Lagerstedt writes:

There are some programmes that remove cookies. I have used Maxa Cookie Manager for some time and it removes all the usual cookies and flash, silverlight, IE UserData DOM and FirefoxDOM cookies. It also marks all persistent cookies so you can remove them.

But to be clear, super cookies aren't technically cookies at all, and use techniques that cookie-clearing utilities cannot detect and thus do not currently clear.

-Leo

*** Leo Recommends

Seagate FreeAgent Go - Portable USB External Harddrive

I currently own five of these.

If that isn't a recommendation I don't know what is.

One of the problems with recommending a specific disk drive is that drives change, capacities increase and what I might tell you about today may not even be available next year. The external drive I recommended some years ago is no longer even being made.

With that having been said, today the FreeAgent Go is an incredibly handy and valuable device.

The version I use has a capacity of 500 Gigabytes, all in a package that's smaller than a paperback book.

Continue reading: Seagate FreeAgent Go - Portable USB External Harddrive
http://ask-leo.com/C3834

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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

I delve into why you can't count on bounce messages any more.

When will Hotmail return an undeliverable message?

My question is this: Does Hotmail send an "undeliverable" message to the sender if I send an email to another Hotmail account which is inactive due to the "30 days of inactivity"?

One of the casualties in the war on spam is the "message undeliverable" message that you might get back in response to an email that ... well ... couldn't be delivered.

I say casualty, because you simply can't count on it any more.

I'll look at your specific scenario and then I'll delve into why you can't count on bounce messages any more.

Continue reading...
When will Hotmail return an undeliverable message?
http://ask-leo.com/C3529

*** Thoughts and Comments

I'd like your opinion.

It's been suggested that I change the publishing schedule for this newsletter slightly. A number of reasons contribute to it, but the thinking is that a smaller newsletter delivered more frequently might be more useful to more people. Perhaps something like half the size, but twice a week.

As you can imagine it's not a simple change, but I can definitely see that there could be benefits.

But I'm not yet completely convinced.

That's where you come in.

Please take a few seconds and answer my one question survey. You'll find it by clicking here.

Thank you very much for your time. I'll let you know the results - and my decision - in a couple of weeks.

'till next week...

Leo
Leo A. Notenboom
Twitter - Facebook - Google+ - YouTube

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