Tech Treats

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This category is reserved for finds by our Editor Rhiannon Dent.

Items should consist of at least two paragraphs.

The first should be a "teaser" paragraph. This paragraph will be automatically published in our RSS feed. It should state the nature of the find and the benefits without mentioning the product name or providing a product link. For example:

"For months I've been looking for a good way of deleting 'undeletable' files. Finally I've discovered a free utility that does the job reliably and simply."

The second paragraph should at the very least, expand the benefits, name the product and provide a product link. For example:

"Unlocker is a tiny 230KB utility that works with Windows 2000 and XP. Vista users are out of luck. Just right click on the 'undeletable file', select 'Delete with Unlocker' from the context menu and next time you boot the file will be gone for good."

You can have a third paragraph if you wish; indeed as many as you like. However there must at least be a second paragraph after the opening "teaser" paragraph.

How to Protect Your Smartphone From Malware

Smartphones, like computers, can be infected with malware. Grab these tips to protect your smartphone.

It's rather astonishing how quickly malware has been developed for smartphones.
Astonishing, but not surprising since there are so many of them, as malware traditionally has been directed at whatever operating system has the most users.

This article has some useful suggestions for all types of smartphones including how to update your OS, mobile antivirus programs and app safety. Worth a quick read if you own or operate any type of smartphone. :)

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What are Thumbs.db Files and Can I Delete Them? (Windows)

Thumbnail imageGot thumbs.db in Windows Explorer? Here's what they are and what you can safely do with them.

I spend a good amount of time in Windows Explorer doing various tasks. Every now and then I run across a file I'm not familiar with and I'm not sure what to do with. Thumbs.db is a good example, it has an odd extension: .db.

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Where Did That Scammer Get Your Email Address?

An eye opening look at the underpinnings of scam emails.

If you've ever wondered how scammers get email addresses you'll want to read this article.
It's a great overview of how scammers acquire and use email addresses they obtain.
 

@ symbol on green background

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This Image Processing Application will Blow Your Mind

This item is not about something that is free or even something you may want.  It is about an awe inspiring  application of technology. 

I  like to keep up with technology but sometimes I encounter something that totally exceeds what I thought was possible. Possible at a practical level that is, rather than theoretical.

The Microsoft ICE image panorama program is a good example.  When I first saw it It struck me as pure technological black magic. 

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24 of the Best Apps to Remember Everything You Discover Online

These 24 web applications can help you remember what you come across online.

Instead of trying to find one place to store all the items you want to save online, this article takes a different approach by breaking items into categories and offering different applications for each category.

Whether it's saving bookmarks, storing your notes online, keeping copies of what you find using PDF services, or want to view web pages without clutter and save them for reading later on, these apps have you covered.

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21 Great Tips For Using Microsoft Word 2007/2010

Microsoft Word is a complex program that can do thousands of things.
I've dabbled with it over the years, doing small, easy things. When Word 2007 was released it had a new interface, called the Ribbon. I can't comment on whether the Ribbon is an improvement or not, but I can pass along some sites with tips to help you work with the newer versions of Word. Most of these tips work with Word 2007 and Word 2010. If something applies to only one version it's mentioned in the article.

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Sounds You Don't Want To Hear: Failing Hard Drives

Failing hard disk drives will often (but not always) make distinctive noises. Here's an excellent compilation of the sounds they make.

This is a great list of the various kinds of sounds that hard disk drives make when they are failing.
The sounds are grouped by manufacturer, with the sounds that you really don't want to hear listed for each vendor - Western Digital, Seagate, Samsung, Hitachi/IBM, Maxtor, Fujitsu, Toshiba, and Quantum.

Just click on the circle with the triangle inside next to the link to hear the sound for that manufacturer.

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