Tech Talk #7 – Aug 29, 2015

In a word, great! In the month or so since Microsoft’s new Windows 10 operating system was released, pretty much all of my clients who have done the upgrade are happy. They’re happy that it was easy, that all of their files and programs and settings are just the way they were before the upgrade, and they like the new start button. Some older printers don’t work with Windows 10 because the printer manufacturers aren’t providing current drivers, but everything else ‘just works.’

 

If you’re on a hotspot connection from Verizon or AT&T, be aware that Win10 is a 3GB download and will most likely eat your whole data for the month. Try hanging out with somebody with broadband Internet or at least an unmetered connection to do the main download.

 

 

Ad blocking – Rewind back to when I worked for a couple of major corporations. I was around for the death of text-based Bulletin Board Systems (anyone remember those?) and then the rise of the Internet and all this free content. At the time, we wondered who was going to pay for all this free stuff, since we knew how much it costs a company to keep servers and datacenters and multiple redundant connections to the Internet backbone up and running 24/7. Fast-forward to today and now we know who’s paying for all this free Internet stuff. We are.

 

With ads. Ads, ads, ads. They’re everywhere these days on every page we open. We get ads in the form of pictures, animations, embedded audio and video, text, and even (most hideously) autoplaying video ads.

 

Many of these ads are just misleading click-bait. But some ads can be malicious. While tricking you into installing “free” software (that you actually have to pay for to use) these ads also silently install other “free” software that you not only don’t want, but can affect how your computer starts up and runs. That’s where ad blockers come in.

 

Using an ad blocker can result in quicker-loading and cleaner-looking Web pages, can lower your bandwidth usage, and may give you some privacy benefits. They will also improve your security while online by blocking the click-bait and the not-really-free-software ads.

 

As the ad blockers gain in popularity, the advertisers argue that widespread ad blocking results in decreased revenue to a website sustained by advertisements. Advertisers have begun trying to detect ad blockers and may notify users of how ad blockers affect their site and give you options for their particular site.

 

The most popular ad blockers are AdBlock and AdBlock Plus, no relation to each other. They’re both free and you can find them by Googling.

 

 

New puppy? – You can name it whatever you want, but be sure it’s something memorable you’ll probably be using that name as the answer to a security question answer for the rest of your life.

 

Do you have a computer or technology question? Greg Cunningham has been providing Tehachapi with on-site PC and network services since 2007. Email Greg at greg@tech-hachapi.com.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

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