When he isn't bicycling, prowling used bookstores, or watching movies, PC World Contributing Editor Lincoln Spector writes about technology and cinema. More by Lincoln Spector
Concerned about a slow PC, Davis13 asked the Laptops forum about all the processes that Windows runs.
Processes are programs or pieces of programs running within Windows. It's normal to have a great many of them. As I write this, I have only seven running applications, but 120 processes. And Windows is running just fine.
To examine your processes, right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager (Start Task Manager in Windows 7), then click the Processes tab.
You should never, ever just email credit card numbers, passwords, or other private information. You don't know how many servers the message will pass through between your computer and the recipient's, or who has access to those servers. Email is only slightly more private than a billboard. (A slight exaggeration, but you get the point.)
A truly private message must be encrypted before it leaves your computer, and remain encrypted until the recipient receives it. To complicate things further, you can't assume that the recipient is any more tech savvy than that uncle who freaks out when you open a new tab on his browser.
Technical terms can get overwhelming, especially when they include too many TLAs (three-letter acronyms). Even people who use these terms sometimes need to step back and remember what they're talking about.
So here are some of the most common labels for the technologies used to store data inside your computer:
Dhiren11 is considering buying a 3D HDTV, and asked the HDTV & Home Theater if a family of six can sit around it and all have a good view.
Whether or not extreme viewing angles affect your television enjoyment depends on a lot of things, including the TV's basic technology, the quality of your specific model, and how extreme of an viewing angle you're talking about.
LCD televisions have a viewing angle problem. So do LED TVs, which are really LCDs with LED backlighting. As you move farther to the side and away from the central sweet spot, the picture gets darker and the color duller.
Richard Wiringa has problems sharing speadsheets between his PC and his iPad. "I don't iCloud. I do Dropbox."
So do I, Dick. And I've had the same experience.
I'm guessing that you're using Apple's own spreadsheet app, Numbers, which is a part of the company's iWork collection of office apps (you can't call it a suite because Apple only sells the programs separately). None of the iWork programs play well with Dropbox, and as near as I can tell, that's intentional.
After discovering how easy it is to recover data from a hard drive removed from one PC and attached to another, Melker asked the Hard Drives, NAS Drives, Storage forum if password protecting Windows actually protects your data.
Your Windows logon password--the one you type every time you boot--does not protect your files in any meaningful way. (There's an exception, which I'll discuss below.)
The logon password isn't intended to protect your files. It's intended to keep others from logging onto your computer as you.
Arcticsid asked the Answer Line forum if his ISP can "sit back…watch a screen, and see everything you are doing at any given time?"
Not quite, but it's frightening close. Your Internet service provider tracks what IP addresses you contact, which effectively means they know the web sites you're visiting. They can also read anything you send over the Internet that isn't encrypted. Whether they actually do that is an open question.
According to Dan Auerbach, a Staff Technologist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, what they mostly collect is metadata--things like IP addresses and port numbers. With a little bit of work, this information can tell them who you're communicating with and help them make an educated guess about whether you visited a Web page or sent e-mail. As Auerbach told me in a phone conversation, they're tracking "who you're sending mail to but not the content."