technology

Android powered smart devices, including smart phones and tablets, are currently outselling the other major smart operating systems by a huge margin. While published figures differ, some pundits allege that Android devices outsell Apple’s iOS and Microsoft’s Windows (smart device versions) by factors of between three or seven to one. According to Wikipedia, as of October 2012, Android powered smart phones had captured 75 percent of the market, with more than 500 million devices currently using Android.

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One of the most frequent requests that I get from readers of this column has to do with removal of malware from infected computers. Most frequently, I have recommended the free versions of MalwareBytes (malwarebytes.org) and SuperAntiSpyware (superantispyware.com). I typically suggest downloading, updating and running one, and then repeating the same cycle with the other in order to reasonably ensure that the computer is free of malware.

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The major search engines, along with most of their competitors, use a linear type of search results. The user simply types a search term, which promptly displays a linear listing of results, with little indication of how those results displayed are connected to each other.

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In April 2013, we will be celebrating “National Financial Literacy Month” for the ninth time. Growing out of earlier initiatives, the United States Senate officially recognized April as National Financial Literacy Month in March 2004. It should not be surprising that much of our population is blissfully unaware of important financial topics such as the wise use of credit, investing, banking, spending, saving, and other areas of personal finance.

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In every basic economics or introduction to business class since the original “Adam Smith,” the business student has learned that competition between strong competitors is good for the consumer. As competing businesses battle for consumer acceptance, these businesses tend to offer some combination of better services, higher quality or lower prices in order to entice the consumer to acquire the products or services of that business.

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With a very few exceptions, I have used Microsoft Word as my word processor when writing these columns. Tonight I am using LibreOffice Writer, a component of the newly released LibreOffice version 4.0.0.3, a totally free and open source competitor of Microsoft Office. 

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Many of us can discuss the latest sports news with vigor, debate the crazy lifestyles of our favorite celebrities, and argue the fine points of politics and public policy, but we are often blissfully ignorant about how our dependence on the Internet has made us vulnerable to attacks that can close our banks, disrupt our communications, shut down our utilities, and otherwise destroy much of what makes our life possible in the 21st century.

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There are several excellent websites that provide information and evaluations of free software. One very popular site that has a large and loyal following is ilovefreesoftware.com. What makes I Love Free Software so popular are the constantly updated listings covering a variety of operating systems and applications. In addition to listing each title, a comprehensive review and evaluation is posted such that the viewer can fully understand the functionality of each free item prior to downloading the file.

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Regular readers of this column are well aware that digital books (eBooks) are making tremendous inroads in the publishing industry. With the purchase of millions of e-readers, along with smart phones, tablets and other digital devices, the market for eBooks has exploded. Several companies including Amazon and Barnes & Noble have introduced dedicated readers such as the Kindle and the Nook that allow the user to carry an entire library of books and magazines in a lightweight, thin electronic device.

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There has been a recent buzz in the blogs about Adobe possibly releasing full, registered copies of their popular software products for free. A reader of this column sent me a link a few days ago that appeared to be an authentic Adobe website that offered full copies of its “Creative Suite 2” (CS2) software for free, including license codes.

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