Tips & TricksTutorials
March 25, 2018

How to Remove Ads From the Windows 10 Lock Screen

I've discovered I have a new passion in life, and you know what it's all about? Helping people remove as much of the ads and sponsored content from Windows 10 as possible, assuming, of course, that that's something they want to do to begin with. And so today, a very quick but essential tip... how do you remove the"helpful" facts and/or links that appear on the login page? Here's an example: No, Windows 10. Bad. Stop trying to get my attention. These icons visually pollute the lock screen image, and in many cases, Microsoft uses them to sway consumer behavior - something they've clearly grown fond of doing since people accepted free Windows 10 upgrades. Solution If Windows 10 isn't doing what you want, beat…
Tips & Tricks
December 16, 2011

Using Google Alerts to Fight E-mail Spam

I was recently reminded of the existence of a particular Google service, one which I had completely forgotten. To my surprise, it turned out to be a significant discovery, as the product can be used to improve one's privacy on the web, while reducing spam. The service, Google Alerts, allows users to choose specific search queries that they'd like to monitor. When new results appear in one of these queries, the user can be automatically notified by e-mail. Here are some suggested uses, according to Google: monitoring a developing news story keeping current on a competitor or industry getting the latest on a celebrity or event keeping tabs on your favorite sports teams All very interesting, sure - but what does it have to do with privacy,…
July 12, 2011

Your Friends Will Miss You

As much as I currently enjoy Facebook, I've been known to disable my account every now and then. I never considered this a big deal, as I knew it would remain dormant until I decided I wanted to return. Right now, I'm in one of my active phases, and don't plan on leaving anytime soon. Despite this fact, I recently found myself visiting the deactivate page, purely out of boredom. In doing so, I unexpectedly came face-to-face with an amusing attempt at manipulation: Instead of just telling how the deactivation will affect the data I've shared, they go as far as saying that my friends will miss me. They don't have a true sense of how significant Facebook is in my life, so the statement comes off…
July 11, 2011

Visual Feedback in Google+

I've been using Google+ for about two days now, and I have to say - I'm impressed. While they certainly still need to iron out a few things, I'm happy to see they've put some serious thought into polishing the social experience. While testing out some of their features, I noticed a "Feedback" button that appeared on the bottom right of all their pages. When I clicked it, I expected to see a fairly standard feedback form, where I could describe the problem, and then submit. Boy, was I wrong.   Sure, the feedback form was there - but they also added the ability to highlight or black out elements of the page. With the highlighting controls, you can easily point out the area you're…
Personal Stories
October 23, 2010

When Gaming Handles Invade Real Life

Having been a gamer since my teenage years, I'm pretty familiar with representing myself in a virtual world. While some games offers customization of an avatar, the most common element is usually a username, also known as a gaming handle. When other players encounter you in this online world, they know you by your handle, not your real-life name. Over the years, I came to realize that my online personna could sometimes find its way into the real world, with undesirable results. The first situation I'm going to describe revolves around the handle. When creating gaming handles, I now know to exercise caution, as the name may be seen in a context that isn't... appropriate. I have personally experienced this before, and it is both…