Ira Wilsker's archive

You have undoubtedly seen countless TV and print ads for a service that promises to give you a “free credit report” but requires a monthly or annual membership for credit monitoring in order to get your “free” credit report. According to the Federal Trade Commission, many people did not realize that in order to get their “free” credit report, they were committing to a $79.95 annual fee for credit monitoring.

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Despite the term “Google” becoming somewhat synonymous with the term “search,” where people say “Go Google this” meaning to do an Internet search, Google is far from a monopoly. I sometimes have a hard time convincing others that Google is not the only search engine available, and that Yahoo!, Bing, and others are highly competitive and in some cases superior to the ubiquitous Google. Of the major search engines today, Yahoo! is the oldest, starting operations in early 1994, when the World Wide Web was in its infancy.

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A few weeks ago, I wrote about some Web sites that evaluate and rate free Android apps (tinyurl.com/d9mjm6j). Since that column was published in The Examiner, I have received numerous requests from readers asking for a similar column on iPhone apps. This is my response to those requests.

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It has been about three years since Microsoft released its very popular Windows 7, intended both as a full release product and as an upgrade for the problem-prone and controversial Windows Vista. Now, Microsoft has simultaneously released a free “Microsoft Windows 8 Release Preview,” as well as a nominally priced Windows 8 upgrade offer for anyone purchasing a new Windows 7 PC, as of June 2.

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About two years ago, I upgraded my traditional cell phone to a (then) state-of-the-art Nokia smartphone running the latest version of the Symbian operating system. With that smartphone I had 3G Internet speeds, could read my e-mail, watch YouTube videos, browse Web sites and download any of the hundreds of Symbian apps then available.

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