SMILE

What? As if 900 crypto-currencies were not enough, we now have “Dentacoin.” You guessed it, Dentacoin is for paying dentists. At the moment, you can only pay two dentists with this digital currency, one in Bulgaria and the other in London, but the wheel, and the planet, turns. These digital currencies, also called “crypto” or “e-cash” are a way of getting out from under bank fees, inflation, security risks and of course government control. Eeek, as they say in the treasury. We are fast approaching a thousand varieties and there’s no reason to expect it to stop there. Shades of early America, when banks in all the states used to issue their own currency. Except they could keep printing money. […]

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FUN WITH WEBSITE NAMES

We learned some interesting things about websites. For example, the minimum length for a website ending, which refers to the site’s “domain,” is two letters. There are more than one billion web sites and every possible letter combination has been taken. We went to GoDaddy.com to verify this and searched on tv.tv. Sure enough, it’s taken, though apparently it isn’t being used. (If you go to tv.tv, it just hangs there. It’s sort of a no-show show.) The domain name “tv” is for the Pacific island country of Tuvalu. Domain name sales are big business. HomeAway.com bought VacationRentals.com for $35 million back in 2009.  You can buy the website name “TV.xyz” for $3,250. “TV.lgbt” is $4000. We know a few […]

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FINDING YOUR ANCESTORS ONLINE

Topics in this column include: Finding Your Ancestry Online, Brain Teasers and other interesting websites, Getting a hacked Gmail account back, Fun Projects from Maker Lab’s new book, Sending birthday greetings online, Tips and Tricks for your cell phone.

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THE CAR HACKER’S HANDBOOK

“The Car Hacker’s Handbook,” by Craig Smith is for the techie in the family. It’s an in-depth look at the computer-based systems in modern cars that make them vulnerable to attack. The book is $50 from No Starch Press.

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ONLINE WRAPPING PAPER CREATOR

Epson.com/community/wrapping-generator   Choose your message, a holiday or birthday theme, and a background in whatever colors you wish. Presto! Out comes one sheet of wrapping paper suitable for a small gift. Be sure to click “settings” or “setup” and check the box for background graphics or images. We used it and printed the person’s name onto the wrapping paper.

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HACKING THE GARAGE

An ordinary kid’s toy, Mattel’s “I M Me,” can be used to open garage doors in under ten seconds. Hackers aim the toy at your garage and presto, it opens.

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TIPS AND TRICKS

Here are some time and frustration saving tips and tricks: — Scroll down a website by tapping the space bar. It’s faster than finding the scroll bar with your mouse. — When filling out a form online, tap the “Tab” key to jump to the next field. — To find your state quickly in a drop-down list that has all of them, keep tapping the first letter until it pops up. — To increase the size of text on the screen, hold down the “Ctrl” key (or the “Cmd” key on the Mac), and then tap the plus sign. Ctrl-minus will decrease the size. –On a smart phone, tap the period to fill in “.com” automatically. When you’re in an […]

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SAVING BOOKMARKS

A friend of ours lost all her favorite pages on the web even though she bookmarked them. It happened when her husband restored her computer back to its factory defaults. Sure the computer is fast, but what about all that stuff that took many hours to find?

First off, this should never happen to users of the Google Chrome or Firefox

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FASTER THAN FAXING

Joy’s 96 year-old friend Ida had a real estate document that needed faxing. Joy’s scanner didn’t work, so what to do? Well, she took a picture of Ida’s document and emailed it.

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CAPTURING THE SCREEN

After extensive research – we talked to several people – we found that most people don’t know how to capture what they see on the computer. This is shocking but true. Why would you want to do that in the first place? Well, if you can capture the screen image or any part of it, you can print that out, email it, use it yourself, or post it to Facebook. Somewhere in all that there may be a copyright involved; so it you think there is, don’t do it without permission. You can capture anything you see on your computer screen. No exceptions. And there are lots of different tools for doing it. What’s more, you can add comments, include […]

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