Ira Wilsker's archive

It never ceases to amaze me how much reliable and quality help is available on the Internet. One of my favorite resources for tips, tricks, cheat sheets and apps is the Web site at www.makeuseof.com. Hosted in the U.K. but with an international staff, MakeUseOf has established a reputation of excellence in terms of tips and tricks to improve our cyber lives, regardless of what operating system we choose or devices we own.

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We are now well into hurricane season, and tropical storms started early this year. Compared to just a few years ago, when we had to manually plot storms on a map provided as a free hand out from the supermarket, today there is a plethora of hurricane tracking and information sites available online, and as apps for our Android devices, Windows phones, Blackberry devices, iPads and iPhones.

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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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