Ira Wilsker's archive

We are all likely cognizant of the major social networking Web services, as they have become an integral part of many of our daily lives. I have written about Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus in this column, and have accounts on all three. I use Facebook and Google Plus almost daily but admittedly have not been on Twitter in several months.

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I was recently doing one of my cyber security presentations at a professional meeting in a posh Dallas area hotel, and there was a need for several users to get online for research purposes. As the speaker, I had a hard-wired Ethernet connection allowing me to access the Internet, but the available WiFi connections in the room were weak and slow, making it difficult for the others to connect to the Internet.

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I have to admit that the most frequent sources of ideas for this column are interesting questions asked by callers on my weekly radio show on KLVI (6 p.m. Mondays, 560AM), and e-mails from readers of this column. In a somewhat unusual move for me, I will respond to two of those inquiries in this column.

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Over the years, I have written about several free alternatives to Microsoft Office. Many of my students cannot afford the roughly $100-plus that it costs for a student version of Microsoft Office, and a lot of senior citizens, small businesses and individuals that I work with cannot afford the $250-plus for a commercial version of Microsoft Office.

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In the past few days, there has been some controversy in the media and on the blogs about Google’s new privacy policy, Google overriding the Safari browser’s “do not track” feature, and other potential privacy issues. While many Internet users are aware that the “free” online services such as Google and Yahoo!

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