January 12, 2017 – Security and Great Windows 10 Apps

THE JANUARY MEETING IS IN MATTHEWS

Our regular second Thursday meetings will now “permanently” meet at the BBB’s new office in Matthews. The location is 9719 Northeast Parkway, Suite 300, Matthews. (see the map at the end of this newsletter)


A Message from the Common Table

January 6, 2017

By the time you see this the Winter storm Helena will be upon us. I hope all you stay safe and without incident during this storm.

The New Year is here. Have you broken your New Year’s resolutions yet? I haven’t, I didn’t make any. I hope all of you had a great Holiday season. This past year our Jewish friend’s Hanukkah (The Festival of Lights) started on Christmas Eve thus our celebrations were at the same time. I also encountered another Jewish tradition that I was not very aware of last month. I was ordering a new tech gadget on a Saturday afternoon from B&H Photo in New York. The web site said that orders could not be processed until 5:45 PM in observance of Sabbat. Shabbat is observed from a few minutes before sunset on Friday evening until the appearance of three stars in the sky on Saturday night. I think this observance for a day of rest is great, also think about Chick-fil-a and their closing on Sundays. I waited till the appointed time and ordered my Lexar Jumpdrive C20i. I will show it at the January meeting.

We had a great time at our Holiday Party. Many of you came out to Kickstand. Good food and fellowship.

This month Bill B will tell you of many ways to secure your life and computers from the bad guys. Many of these are from an article in Consumer Reports Magazine recently. I will present 15 programs that you may want to consider adding to your new Windows 10 computer. I will also show you how to secure your Win10 from the prying eyes of Microsoft. You do know that Microsoft is getting sneaky about what they want to know about you?

I had lens replacement in both of my eyes in the last few weeks (cataracts). For the first time since I was about 9 years old, I can see without glasses, well at least four feet or more distance. I still need reading glasses for computer work and of course reading. I have 5 different diopter reading glasses lying about for different tasks. I even can see my favorite constellation in the sky (Orion) without seeing double stars. Yes, my vision even with glasses was that bad. My favorite star in the constellation is Betelgeuse, a red supergiant. If Betelgeuse were at the center of the Solar System, its surface would extend past the asteroid belt, wholly engulfing the orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. The constellation and star are very prominent in the southern sky during the Winter, when star gazing is good here even with our light pollution.

I look forward to seeing all of you this week, January 12, 2017 at the BBB. Look for where the BBB is in this newsletter or online at www.pc3.org. We still have dinner before the meeting, so bring a bag dinner or your favorite take out and come at 5:30 PM.

Find the maps to the BBB below. If you get lost, call us at
704-607-6461.

See you Thursday.
Galen Bolin, President PCCC


Homebound in the blizzard of ’17

Sitting here Saturday morning I look out the window at the snow steadily falling on the already white ground. As usual, the forecasters may have had a good prediction; but they were several hours early. The snowing was supposed to be over by the time we got up; but it only started after breakfast. That means, rather than snow on top of an hour’s worth of light sleet, we had 8 hours of rain and light sleet for the fluffy stuff to cover. Tomorrow I’ll pick up a 10-pound shovelful of refrozen snow only to expose a half-inch of hard ice. At least there’s no ice on the trees.

Being “stuck” here for 2-3 days means I should publish a good newsletter and be all prepared with a good presentation for the meeting Thursday; in addition to cleaning off my desk and getting a good start on the taxes. In fact, it means I’ll probably spend hours with Netflix while my pedometer count languishes at half its usual total. After a colleague’s recommendation, I watched the first episode of their original series “Travelers.” You might check it out, but don’t be like him and finish all 12 shows in 24 hours.

For Christmas I “gave” my wife a subscription to Texture. This is a service that offers complete electronic editions of 150+ magazines for a single monthly subscription. She is an inveterate collector of subscription promos (“get 12 issues for $5” – then renew at our regular rate of $60 / year). Although she reliably never lets the subscription roll over, I sense some of them she’d genuinely miss.

Previously, when I’ve looked at magazine consolidators, they rarely had much I’d read regularly. They were mostly lifestyle and niche sports publications. Texture has real magazines. The one that caught my eye was The New Yorker that would be $100 / year if she succumbed when her samples run out. They don’t just offer People, Better Homes and Gardens, and Self. They also have Time, Newsweek, and Mother Jones; Business Week, Forbes, and Fortune; PC Magazine, PC World, and Wired; and 100 more titles.

While you can download the issues for when there’s no internet, you have to read them on the app which is only available for Amazon, Android, iOS, and Windows 8/10. Most of the magazines are in more-or-less facsimile format with only one level of enlargement; so reading can be tedious on anything less than a 10-inch tablet. Another caveat is that their $10 / month advertised price only gives you monthly magazines. Including those that publish weekly bumps it up to $15. If you’re interested, drop me an email to editor@pc3.org and I’ll send you a link to a 14-day trial. Of course, you have to manually cancel to avoid rolling over on your credit card.

Galen may have been a little optimistic at the extent of my offer for the program Thursday. My preparation will be for a couple techniques you should be using to protect your privacy online. After that, we’ll be off-the-cuff on general security issues including how to keep the Russians out of your email.

We’ll see you on January 12 at the BBB in Matthews. Join us with your bag supper at 5:30 or for the program at 6:30. While the white stuff should all be gone by then; if there are any changes in the plans, we’ll send an email to this account by 1:00 Thursday.

Bill Barnes, PCCC


Don’t forget! January’s meeting is at the BBB in Matthews.
Maps and directions to are below.

Our new, hopefully long-term, home will be at the BBB, now in Matthews. The location is 9719 Northeast Parkway, Suite 300, Matthews. Northeast Parkway runs behind Windsor Square Shopping Center on Independence Blvd. The BBB is in a new office condo which may not be well marked; approximately across from Kohl’s back entrance. As of this writing, the address is in Google Maps, and Mapquest.
Short Link to map https://goo.gl/jaUJDB