Having trouble finding a particular photo from your family trip four years ago? Finding yourself with multiple copies of the same document and not sure which edits are the latest? February 13th just happens to be National Clean Out Your Computer Day.
A banana-powered piano? A video game controlled by a couple of watermelons? No, this is not the aftermath of a collision between a fruit cart and a Geekmobile. They are tools our Agents use to get young people excited about technology at our Geek Squad Academy camps.
With the explosion of video content on the Web, many of us are using our computers, at least some of the time, to just watch TV.
Video sharing services like YouTube, Web broadcasting sites like Hulu and Netflix, and pay-for-play services like Amazon Prime and iTunes have made our computers a key source of video entertainment in the modern home.
Last week we published an blog post about how to avoid being a victim of a phishising scam. We hope you took a minute to read it. Although some think the identity theft that happens on the Internet is techie wizardry, nearly all of it can be thrwarted by just being a little more aware of what you’re doing when you’re out on the big bad Web. Skepticism is always the best first line of defense against cyber criminals.
A couple weeks ago, I wrote a post encouraging everyone to make backing up their data their New Years’ resolution. As I was reviewing the different ways to create data backups, it struck me how many devices we use on a daily basis now create and store digital files.
Our Agents are finding that clients we serve have become more savvy web users and have generally gotten better at avoiding malware like viruses and spyware in their travels down the Information Superhighway. But many clients still come to us asking why their system has slowed down without their antivirus program detecting any new malware infections.
Sharing your living space with our four-legged friends can be tough on your tech. Maybe it’s their lack of opposable thumbs or limited understanding of the alphabet, but it seems to me that my cat just doesn’t understand why I spend so much time at my desk staring at screens. (I should be petting them, after all.) Flop around on my keyboard, chewing on the antennae of my wireless router, or attacking my printer every time I print something out.
The makers of the Opera web browser announced recently that their internal network was “breached” earlier this month. The company says they have resolved the issue, and that it doesn’t appear that any user information was touched. However, the intruder was able to infect the browser update file, and some Windows users of Opera may have downloaded the infected update.
So you splurged over the holidays and bought a brand-spanking-new laptop. Or you decided to pool all those gift cards and upgrade your home computing hardware. Let’s face it – you needed to put that old desktop that was still running Windows XP out to pasture. Feels better, doesn’t it?
In part one of our Holiday Light Show series, we showed you how to set one up using computer hardware with a light controller. In part two, we covered how to control it using specialized software. In our final segment, there are a few extra items to consider before settling down with a big bowl of candy for the trick-or-treaters to arrive.
So what happens when a non-Windows OS gains traction? Well, the inevitable happens – and people using such systems without malware protection face a nasty wake-up call (yes, even systems with fruit-based logos adorning the front). Today’s example? Mac Defender.
One of the more popular complaints about the home computer that we run across is “My computer is running slow. Why?” Today we are going to go over the top ten reasons your computer may be running like molasses.
One thing that struck me as I walked through the displays of gadgets and gizmos at the International Consumer Electronics Show was how CES 2010 had made good on a word that was often used in the last decade, but hadn’t seen much mention recently: “convergence”.
It’s always interesting to see how a product category handles the progression from being the hot new technology at previous Consumer Electronic Shows, to being a more accepted, if not mature, member of computer society.
With WiFi hotspots popping up in all kinds of places, Geek Squad returned to the lab for a “next-gen” holiday gift. Now “Secret Agent Santas” will take WiFi technology to the next level, releasing WiFi hotspots from the electrical outlet through the use of high-speed USB modems and battery-powered routers.
Language was shortened long ago for ease of Instant Messaging. So when text messaging became popular, people were already armed with ‘c u l8r’, ‘IDK’, and ‘BRT’ (or “see you later”, “I don’t know”, and “be right there” for proponents of the Queen’s English). This computer lingo comes in handy now that social networking sites, like Twitter, are designed for short and succinct updates.
In order to protect yourself it’s important to understand how a phishing attack occurs. Phishing basically comes down to this: An identity thief composes an email that looks official and sends it out to a huge lists of emails that may be either generated by a computer or obtained by other sources. This official looking email ends up in your inbox and usually prompts you to do something like re-verify personal information, like your email address and password. There may be a link in the email that appears to take you to a legitimate website.
Holidays are no exception. One of my favorite projects is a yearly Halloween graveyard lightshow I put together for my home display. Check out this video I created explaining the basics behind on the spooktacular show!
Recently, the New York Times website had a rogue ad displayed in one of their banner ad spaces. Visitors to the website may have noticed abnormal operation of their computers, popup ads, or hijacked internet connections after clicking on the advertisement.
How effective is your strong password if an identity thief can change it themselves?
Plenty of attention has been given to helping find ways to generate stronger passwords–avoiding birthdays, pet names, phone numbers, and of course, the list of the most popular, such as “password”, “love”, “hope”, etc. But now that users are starting to make their passwords harder to guess, identity thieves are turning to a new weapon—the secret question.
If you’ve been shopping in Best Buy lately, you may have come across laptops with a big orange and white sticker declaring “THIS COMPUTER HAS BEEN TESTED AND SET UP BY THE GEEK SQUAD” along with the specific services performed, such as an “Optimization & Restore CD Creation.” So what does this mean for you as the new owner of that PC?
I’ll confess. I’m excited. Windows 7 is almost here. Geek Squad Agents like me have been getting ready for this launch for a while now, and I wanted to share a few tools we’ve created to help you make the transition if you need them.
From homework to video games, school-aged children are connected to the online world now more than ever. In this 2 Minute Miracle video Geek Squad Agents Josh Musicant and Eric Irish offer five simple tips to protect your children online.
My son, who’s six, often asks me while I’m on the computer if he can see what I’m doing and go to his sites. It’s important to get your children started early on safe computing practices. There are plenty of places on the web you can visit with your children—here are a few of my recommendations to stay safe and have a little bit of family time online.
The release of a Blu-ray 25th anniversary edition of the film last week is like welcoming an old friend back in shiny, new HD duds. As soon as the movie starts up again, I’m instantly transported to the first time I saw this classic as a kid in the theaters, and it is wonderful!
This year at E3 Microsoft announced some new additions to the XBOX360 video game console that will make it a more social experience for players. One of the fastest growing social platforms on the web right now is Facebook. Microsoft announced an add-on that uses Facebook Connect to allow XBOX360 players to take gameplay photos and upload them to their Facebook account automatically.
With innovations like this, it begs the question: are personal computers going to become obsolete?
Many major US airlines have begun offering passengers a wireless internet connection in-flight. As long as your device has a wireless internet card (wireless B or G), you should be able to connect while in-flight (usually for a fee). But what do you do when you are jetting at 35,000 feet and have a connection issue? Here are a few quick tips that might get your WiFi up and running. And they will even work if you’re having trouble connecting in other public WiFi spots (like Starbucks for example).
There’s a new Star Trek movie coming out today and it got me thinking – what has Star Trek contributed to the modern-day universe? Could it be possible we owe some modern day conveniences to this long-running series of fictional TV shows and movies?
Often, our enthusiasm overwhelms us when purchasing a new laptop or TV. Maybe it’s the fresh smelling aroma of manufactured plastics that encase these glorious devices, or what wondrous things they can help us do. But, that also means you should never let your guard down, as there can be evil lurking around the corner, ready to enjoy your tech just as much as you do.
This Saturday at 8:30 pm (your local time) marks Earth Hour. For those not in the know, Earth Hour is a World Wildlife Foundation event that originated in Sydney in 2007, promoting energy conservation. People, cities and organizations come together to power off as many electronics as possible for one whole hour. If you want to learn more about Earth Hour, you can visit their official Web site here.
At our top secret Geek Squad research labs, located deep inside the cone of a dormant volcano in Minneapolis (whoops, I just let the secret out), we’ve been working on new ways to better serve our clients. One ongoing project involves the combination of teleportation devices and time machines, so our on-site Agents can not only be anywhere there’s a computer emergency, they can be there BEFORE you need them.
Geeks and sports don’t normally mix together. However, according to a recent USA Today’s Technology Live blog, sports fans and geeks alike are being targeted in a new SEO/malware scheme. Sports fans searching Google for “March Madness” related sites could have troubles ahead.