June 2013 - LUG


Dec 3, 2013 (3 years and 8 months ago)


The ASCIIriber


Volume 32 • Issue 6, June, 2013

Malware, Photo Printing, Lightroom

Last month there were some questions about the
quality of prints from digital images. To help answer
that question I made some black and white digital
image. The prints are 8 x 10- one is the image as
shot, the other a section of the image blown up 4

We’ll also look at some other things that can affect a
digital image including ISO settings on the camera,
paper types and printers.

Speaking of digital images, Adobe has announced
that all future version of Create Suite, including
Photoshop will be cloud based and require a monthly
subscription. At the meeting will talk about prices.

With Photoshop going to the cloud, Lightroom is
looking even more attractive as the primary tool for
editing digital images.

There are some limitations with Lightroom but many
of them can be overcome with third party software.
Sunday will look at couple of programs that boost the
power of Lightroom and may lesson your need for

Last, we will look at some additional tools for
cleaning up malware from a computer. As malware
gets more pernicious it is a good idea to keep
expanding your toolbox.

See you on Sunday


June 2, 2 P.M.
Note: There will be no meetings in July and

Time to
begin your summer reading, courtesy of Jim McGorry

• Google Apps Share/Collaborate
• Show for your favorite TV shows
• Traveling with digital devices
• TouchFreeze
• Using a smart phone to get Windows on line
• What is a bitcoin?
• Where to get Android tablet news

From: The Desk of Jim McGorry
Excerpts taken from the Windows Secrets Periodical

If you've ever tried to share documents or struggled with merging edits from multiple collaborators,
Google's productivity apps make the process easy.

Here's how to share and collaborate with Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides — three apps that are both capable
and free.
The two previous articles in this "Going Google (apps)" series — "Part 1: Move your mail" and "Part 2: Move
your docs" — have generated more than the usual amount of reader comments, especially among long-
entrenched Office users. (I've used Office since its beginnings — making me, until recently, very entrenched.)
For many Office users, some missing features will make using Google's productivity apps a nonstarter. For
example: Yes, Google Docs does not have anything like MS Word's Document Map. No, there are no pivot
tables in Google Sheets and cell data does not automatically flow into an adjacent empty cell. True, you can't
go back and retrieve an email you deleted three years ago. If Google apps don't provide some feature you can't
live without, that's cool. Stick with Office.
On the other hand, Google apps provide a viable — and cheap — Office alternative if your productivity-app
needs are relatively simple. And in some instances — particularly sharing and collaborating — Google's apps
are surprisingly capable. They're also easy to set up and use; they work the first time, every time; and they don't
freeze (unless, of course, your browser does). And even if Windows crashes, Google saves your edits nearly
continuously, so you never lose more than the last few seconds of changes.
To that, I add the liberating experience of viewing and working on Google documents on mobile devices such
as the iPads, iPhones, and Galaxy Note I own.
Some readers expressed concerns over privacy and storing their data in the cloud. How can you trust a
company that readily admits scanning all your email? It's a good point — I hear ya. I'll be tackling the privacy
issues, which are thorny, in a future article in this series.
Others are concerned that Google could lock you out of your own data. It's extremely unusual, but it does
happen — as Tienlon Ho reported in a Last Word On Nothing blog. You can mitigate that problem by keeping
local backups of files created with Google apps. Use the Google Takeout tool (more info) or one of the
growing number of third-party apps.
So yes, Google apps have their drawbacks. But so, too, does Office. It's good to have the choice.
Going Google (apps)' Recap — and What's Next
The first article in this series showed how to move from Outlook and other email systems to Gmail — without
giving up your current email address. The second article showed you how to move your Office documents
(Word docs, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations) to the Google Drive cloud and convert them to
native Google-app formats.
In this article, I show you how to share documents now sitting in Google Drive. I'll also discuss collaboration
— how two or more persons can simultaneously edit different parts of the same document.
Most file-synching services are great — for keeping files updated on your own devices. But collaboration is
not their strength. For example, if you currently use Dropbox to share files with others, you might be weary of
getting partially out-of-sync files with conflicting copy warnings added to the file name (e.g., Accounts
Payable 2013 02 (MyLenovo's conflicted copy 2013-03-02).xls). Dropbox creates those files when two people
have the same file open and one or both of them save their edits.
On the other hand, I'm impressed with the way Google approaches collaboration. As long as a file is in a native
Google format — Docs, Sheets, or Slides — when two or more users have the file open, any changes are
quickly (within seconds) and automatically propagated to everyone. You can see what your collaborators are
doing, in real time. And collaborators can be working simultaneously on any device (Windows PC, Mac, tablet,
or phone) with a browser or device-specific Google app. There's just one document — no copies, conflicted or
For business users, Google Drive's collaboration tools are remarkably inexpensive. (It's free for personal use.)
Here's how to make Google sharing and collaboration work.
File/Folder Sharing: A Few Simple Settings
For the following Google sharing/collaboration steps, I assume you already have files created in (or migrated
to) Google apps in Google Drive. If you don't, I recommend going back to "Part 2 of this series before
continuing here. (If you've installed Google Drive on your Windows PC, you can drag and drop files and
folders into it via Windows Explorer.)
1. If you haven't already, sign in to Google Drive.
2. Navigate to the file or folder you want to share. Right-click on it, select Share, and then click Share. (Yes,
you're selecting Share twice.) You should see the Sharing settings dialog, as shown in Figure 1

Figure 1. Google Drive's
Sharing settings

dialog box

3. Decide how you want to share the file or folder. By default, Google Drive wants to set up Private sharing —
only people who have a Google account and whom you've have added to a list (the Add people box) can
access the file or folder. Those who are granted Private access need to have the link highlighted in the
Sharing settings box at the top), and they need to be able to sign in to an account you put on the list.
You can also make the file or folder available to collaborators who don't have a Google account. To do so,
click Change link; another dialog box will open with two more options: make the file/folder completely public,
or give anyone with the link access. Pick one of the options and go to the next step.
4. If you picked either the public or link option, a new control — Access (see Figure 2) — will appear in the
dialog box.

Figure 2. Setting the visibility level for a shared file or folder to
Anyone with the link


pops up the


If you want to restrict others only to viewing the file/folder, leave the Access setting at Can view, as shown in
Figure 2. Click the Can view link, and you can also allow others to make edits or add comments. When you're
done, click Save.
5. Back in the Sharing settings box, before clicking Done, copy the lengthy link you see near the top of the box.
Send the link to your collaborators via email, text message, or whatever means you prefer.
Collaboration: As Easy As Opening a File
Anyone receiving a link simply clicks it to go to the shared file or folder. If you have Private access enforced,
the recipient then needs to sign in with the proper Google account. If you used Anyone with the Link or
Public on the Web, they'll have immediate access to the shared data.
Clicking a shared file automatically launches the appropriate Google app (assuming it's in a native Google
format) — and you're off to the races. If you enabled Can view, they can see anything in the document but not
make changes; with Can edit enabled, they can immediately start plunking away at the file.
If more than one person has the file open at the same time, multicolored indicators show where everyone is
working in the document. For example, if you have a Sheets spreadsheet open, your location (the cells
currently selected) is shown with a blue outline; your collaborators' selected cells show up with a red outline.
Any changes show up within seconds in everyone's instance of the spreadsheet.
You might want to practice this a bit before working on important documents. Play around with dueling edits
— see whose edits, typed in simultaneously, take precedence over another's. In general, it's easy to stay on top
of the changes — in real time on your netbook, MacBook Air, iPhone, Galaxy Tab, or other Web-connected
In the next Going Google column, I'll fill in some of the gaps with mail, contacts, and calendars. It's easy to
keep everything synchronized on every computer you own. I'll also cover how to make backup copies of your
Gmail messages and store them locally — in Outlook, if you feel so inclined.

Weekly Download Section
from Jim McGorry

Get This: Shop Your Favorite TV Shows

Ever seen something really cool on your favorite TV show and wondered where you can get it? Back in the
day, you had to wait and hope something about it might come out in a magazine or even actually mail off a
letter to the network making a polite inquiry and hope you might get a response as to where Joan Collins got
those sweet-looking shoulder pads on Dynasty.

These days, we’ve got this thing called instant gratification.You can pull out your laptop or tablet and do a little
Googling and you’ll likely find something out or at least some suggestions. A new free app for the iPad makes
it even easier. Get This -is a shopping app that syncs up with a the show you’re watching and lets you know
what clothing brands a character is wearing, where that sweet sofa came from or just what is that cool gadget
the main character is using. You can purchase the items right from the screen while you’re watching the show.
Love those leggings from Vampire Diaries? Want that watch from Scandal? You can buy them with just one
click.You can use your iPad or visit the website.

But it’s not all about shopping, the app also lets you ask questions about style trends featured in the shows
directly to costume designers, hair stylists, make-up artists and set designers.

They’ll even offer lower-cost alternatives to designer items featured in programs. Plus a percentage of each
transaction is donated to charity.
Right now the service is only offered for a few shows like Scandal and Vampire Diaries, but the developers are
actively recruiting more partners. The app is only available for iPad but one for iPhone will be available soon.
You can also find and purchase Learn more about it at:

From: The Desk of Jim McGorry
Excerpts taken from the Windows Secrets Periodical


Taking a multi-week trip out of the country takes careful planning. Making
sure you can use the technology you take with you, even more.

Gone are the days when we vacationed without our phones and portable PCs. Now they're as essential as shorts
and sandals.
Planning for Overseas Communications
I do a fair amount of traveling within the U.S. — for business, personal pleasure, and visiting friends. I take it
for granted that my digital technology always goes with me. Wherever I am, I can be relatively assured that my
smartphone will find a local cell tower and my notebook will find Wi-Fi somewhere nearby.
But this summer, I'm taking an extended trip overseas. I'll be in places where my phone might not work — a
problem that must be solved before I leave. My office and my aging father must be able to contact me in an
A few years ago, it was almost guaranteed that a U.S.-based cellphone wouldn't work overseas. However,
newer phones, such as my iPhone, work internationally. In my case, I just need to call my service provider at
least one day before travel begins and have an international plan added to my cellphone plan.
Because international calls can be expensive, I'm also adding a personal Skype phone number. At U.S. $18 for
three months or $60 for a year, it will ensure that, no matter where I am, as long as I can get to Skype on a
computer, tablet, or smartphone, my father can reach me relatively inexpensively. And Skype will give me a
local number so he doesn't even have to call long-distance.
Of course, Skype-to-Skype calls are a free call, even overseas. So our first mode of regular communication will
be at a set time, Skype to Skype, over the Internet.
Make Adjustments to Your Phone Before Departure
I rely heavily on technology and have added various alert and messaging services to my phone over the years.
These services will consume bandwidth and roaming charges while I'm overseas. So one of the items on my
pre-departure checklist is to disable all push email services. While on the road, email will download only when
I request it. Typically, this change is made within the phone's email settings.
On my iPhone, I can also use the Do Not Disturb option under Notifications. Two additional options in Do Not
Disturb, Allow Call From and Repeated Calls, give me other choices. The former lets me control who calls me;
the latter rings my phone if the same person calls twice within three minutes — a good precaution for
I'll also adjust the phone's location services so it doesn't waste minutes/data by constantly — and unnecessarily
— checking its current location. I'll also need to adjust some of my phone's apps. Some apps can sense when
they don't have a full network connection and will wait until they're on a good network before synching the
data back to online web servers. In my case, I'll have to adjust my personal fitness apps (RunKeeper and
Jawbone UP) to make them less chatty while I'm on vacation.
I protect my phone with a passcode. If you haven't done so, create a passcode before you leave. Also enable
any options for automatically erasing your phone's data if someone enters too many incorrect passcodes. And if
your phone supports it, enable remote phone locking and wiping.
I plan to take my phone with me so I can use convenient tools such as Google Maps and translation services.
But there is the option of purchasing an inexpensive phone that works only overseas. This temporary phone is
no great loss if it's stolen or misplaced, but it will provide another emergency number for my office or my
The question is whether to buy this backup phone before or after departure. It's probably going to be cheaper
overseas. However, it might make life a bit easier to have it in hand before leaving.
There are stateside phone and Internet companies that will rent international MiFi (or mobile hotspot; more
info) devices with unlimited Internet use while abroad. That will give your traveling Wi-Fi-only devices an
easy connection to the Internet. A review of many cruise and travel forums will provide recommended vendors.
If you do a lot of traveling, purchasing a pay-as-you-go MiFi device would make more sense in the long run.
Part of my trip will be on a cruise ship. I'll be able to make calls on my phone while aboard — as long as the
ship has electricity. (Not a given these days. The ill-fated Carnival cruise–ship passengers lost cellular when
the ship lost power.) That said, using your phone aboard ship can come at a high price. Consider leaving the
phone mostly off and enjoying the "solitude" — or use the onboard Internet to contact loved ones. (I'll keep my
phone on in case of emergency, but I plan to rely on technologies such as Skype to stay connected.)
Back Up All Devices Before Leaving Home
Before departure, fully back up all devices you plan to take with you. If any of the devices has sensitive
information, ensure that the data is encrypted. On laptops, use TrueCrypt (site) or Windows' BitLocker to
encrypt the hard drive.
That full-backup task includes your phone, in case it's lost or damaged. Tethering my iPhone creates a
complete backup on my personal computer. You can also place key documents you might need while traveling
— copies of reservations, for example — in a SkyDrive or Dropbox folder, where you can get to them at any
Speaking of reservations, there are any number of online applications and services for planning, coordinating,
and keeping track of reservations. TripIt (site), for example, will document your itinerary; simply forward the
service your confirmation and reservation emails. (If you'd like to know what the site does with your
information, check out its posted privacy policy.)
On the Road: Use Internet Kiosks with Caution
Internet kiosks — pay-to-use public computers — can be useful when you want to do some online research on
a full-size screen. However, they're also a favorite target for malicious keylogging software used to steal
usernames and passwords. Never sign in to a sensitive site, such as your bank, from an Internet kiosk. Even
checking your email could leave you exposed, if you use the same password for both email and banking.
If you must contact your bank, ensure it's on a trusted Internet connection. Better yet, simply call the
international number on the back of your credit card.
Rutgers University published a helpful security guideline for traveling with technology on its website.
Although focused on business travel, its suggestion for taking the bare minimum with you when traveling
applies to individuals, too.
One of the Rutgers recommendations is to use a virtual private network (VPN) for transmitting sensitive
information. So before you depart, consider whether to sign up short-term with a VPN service such as USA
Proxy Server (site). A Google search will give many other VPN solutions.
Be Especially Cautious Using Public Wi-Fi
Several years ago, an acquaintance traveling overseas had to call his email provider to gain access to his mail.
For security reasons, the provider blacklisted ranges of IP addresses for suspect countries. It's still the case that
some countries have had their entire IP ranges dropped from the international Web presence. If you suspect one
or more of the countries you plan to visit might be a problem, call your provider before departure and check
whether it blocks email addresses from those locations.
As in the U.S., some hotels include Internet access with their room charges. For others, connecting to the Net is
a separate charge. Be sure to ask about Internet charges when you check in.
In the U.S., you can generally assume that every coffee shop has Internet connectivity. That's typically the case
overseas, too. Whenever you connect to one of these public nets, always set the connection as "Public profile"
to ensure that your firewall is set for maximum protection. (In Windows 7, it's the "park bench" setting in the
Network and Sharing Center window.)
Bring Along Your Own Portable Power Source
When traveling, evenings are when you have the best opportunity to recharge your digital devices. Most
mobile devices can go all day on a charge — if you rarely use them. Turn on services such as mapping, and
your phone or tablet power can drop like a rock. I travel with a portable power brick; it lets me fully charge at
least one of my devices without connecting to an electrical outlet. Although several are available, I use one
from Mophie (site). It's relatively compact and weighs about a pound. If you're driving, take along a small
power inverter that will power 110-volt chargers.
Travel carefully with these battery-powered devices. Don't leave them in hot cars or in trunks where they can
overheat and possibly explode.
Posting Travel Plans on Social-networking Sites
In these days of online social interaction, some of the information we post could be read by people other than
just our friends and family — by potential thieves, for example. Among the many such tales on the Web,
WBIR.com posted a story about a family that put all the details of their vacation on Facebook — before and
during their travels. They returned home to find their house vandalized and burgled.
Never post where, when, and for how long you'll be gone. Law-enforcement authorities recommend posting
recaps of your vacations after you get back. If you're traveling in a group, make sure you don't end up tagged
in your fellow travelers' photos. An Ehow page gives step-by-step instructions for blocking tagging. Also, don't
upload smartphone photos directly to public or social sites; they could contain specific location data in their
So that's my plan for traveling with my digital devices. I'll let you know how it goes — when I get back.
(Following my own advice, I'm not about to say when or where I'm going.) Needless to say, I plan to
thoroughly enjoy myself and not be totally off the grid (unlike my editor, who tends to travel to less civilized
places). My digital devices will add peace of mind and enhance my vacation.

Weekly Download Section
from Jim McGorry

Welcome members and visitors alike to this new section I hope it will be of interest and use to you.
Each month I will try and have interesting and useful programs for you to download and try on your systems as
you see fit. Some are free and some may have a nominal fee.

A brief write-up and link to download page will be displayed here so you can determine if you wish to get it
and use it.

ALSO NOTE: Some web addresses may not be a direct link. If not, then just copy and paste the address into
the “Address Location” window and hit enter.


Please help save my few remaining marbles. I have a Toshiba laptop with Windows 7 Premium Edition. My
touch pad has a naughty mind of its own. When I type my cursor goes all over creation. If I type an “a” the
cursor will find an “a” somewhere else on the page and then start typing there. It takes forever and ever to type
a message. Sometimes the window I’m typing in will even disappear. I have gone into the Control Panel and
adjusted the sensitivity of the Elan touch pad at lest a hundred times. It’s a great laptop otherwise but this
typing thing makes it pretty much impossible to deal with. Can you help? I’m so desperate.

It is a general problem with many laptops. When the sensitivity increases, it starts responding to little touch
during typing. To avoid this the best way is to install TouchFreeze. It is a freeware program available for

Touchfreeze disables the touchpad when you are typing and automatically enables it back when you stop

Here is the procedure to download and install Touchfreeze.

1. Click Here To go to the TouchFreeze website

2. Click on TouchFreeze-1.1.0.msi

3. When Windows asks for permission, select Run – since this is a trusted source.

4. Then click Next , Now select Current user or All user. Continue to press Next for few steps, Then Finish.

5. Now the Icon will be available in the System tray( Icons at the bottom right corner of the screen)

6. Click on the icon and make sure “Load on startup” is checked.

By using this Application, it avoids almost all touchpad problems while typing. If you have any trouble
installing the software, please comment and I’ll try to help.


Getting your PC online can be a challenge when there's no Wi-Fi, cable, or other standard network
immediately available.

But with cell service and a compatible phone, free or low-cost tethering software can connect Windows to the
Web — with no added charges to your phone's data plan.
Sooner or later, this happens to everyone: You need to get your Windows PC online, but the network is down.
Maybe the local Wi-Fi is out due to a power failure; or possibly a storm has taken down your cable, DSL, or
land-line service; or you could be away from your home or office, out on the road, or stuck in a motel with
poor or no Internet connectivity.
In those instances, the simple, easy, inexpensive answer is to use your BlackBerry or Android-based
smartphone as the PC's connection to the Net. With a USB cable and tethering apps running on both phone and
PC, you can email, chat, surf, and otherwise use the Web — just as you do when connected to a Wi-Fi or wired
In the past six months, I've relied on tethering in three, real-life instances — twice during weather emergencies
(including Hurricane Sandy) that took out regular communications, and once when I was traveling in an area
without reliable Wi-Fi or Ethernet. You've actually read the results: a Windows Secrets Top Story and two
columns researched, written, and submitted by email — all via a tethered connection.
Best of all, you don't necessarily need to sign up for any add-on service or pay additional monthly fees to your
cellphone provider. This form of tethering uses your existing smartphone's data plan. (I don't use an iPhone or
Windows Phone, but it appears that tethering on those platforms reqires either an added service from your
phone provider or, in the case of iOS, jailbreaking [Wikipedia info] the phone.)
Tethering also adds an additional layer of security. Unlike Wi-Fi hotspot solutions, USB-based tethering
provides a private, non-broadcast data conduit between PC and phone. The USB connection can also supply
power to your phone during a tethering session, saving phone battery power.
Many Android-based Tethering Apps to Choose From
There are dozens of tethering apps available at the Google Android apps store. You're free, of course, to try
any or all. (In fact, I've tried many of them myself!) But for the purposes of this article, I'll focus on one
tethering app — EasyTether from Mobile Stream/Polyclef.
There are four main reasons why I like EasyTether:
Unlike some other tethering apps I've tried, EasyTether for Android (site) is quick to set up and use. It works
on unmodified, stock smartphone software it doesn't require rooting or any other complex or potentially
dangerous system changes.
EasyTether reportedly works on all major cellphone carriers' data networks, most major Android-based
smartphone models, and most Windows-based PCs. Specifically, the EasyTether phone app is available for
Android (1.5 and higher) and as a free prerelease app for BlackBerry (site
). Its PC-
side app is available
for Windows (XP through Win8; 32- and 64-bit) and Mac OS X (10.4 and higher) as well as for several flavors
of Linux. EasyTether can even get an Xbox, PS3, or Wii online via your phone!
Under the covers, EasyTether is pretty slick. It creates a virtual NAT router with full TCP and UDP (Wikipedia
info) support. The newest version of EasyTether (released as I write this) also adds a Bluetooth tethering
option, in case a USB cable won't work for your setup.
Finally, EasyTether is low-cost and risk-free. There's a free, feature-limited, demo version — EasyTether Lite
— that installs and sets up just like the full versions. Use Lite to make sure everything works with your
combination of phone, carrier, and PC.
If the Lite version works — and it probably will — simply upgrade to one of the full versions. I use EasyTether
Pro, which currently costs U.S. $10 — a one-time fee that qualifies you for lifetime free software upgrades.

Tethering an Android Smartphone, Step by Step
In the rest of this article, I'll show you how to set up the Android/Windows combination of EasyTether. But the
information generally applies to other versions as well. You'll also get the gist of how tethering apps work,
should you prefer to use some application other than EasyTether.
Install the free EasyTether Lite app for your phone.
Wake up your smartphone and download a copy of EasyTether Lite from Google Play (site), shown in Figure
1. You can also download the app directly from its Mobile Stream (page).

Figure 1.
EasyTether Lite

lets you test
drive the software for free.

Depending on your phone, Android version, and other variables, the screens you see could differ
slightly from the examples shown here and in the following steps.)
Once the app downloads, let it install normally, granting all the permissions the app requests.
When you launch EasyTether, it offers a wizard option to assist with setting up the software. Unfortunately, the
Wizard's instructions are terse and constrained by screen size. I recommend that first-time EasyTether users
skip the wizard and use the following instructions, which are more complete and easier to follow.
Install the free EasyTether Windows drivers and software.
The drivers and software are bundled in a universal package that runs on 32- and 64-bit versions of XP, Vista,
Windows 7, and Windows 8. You can directly download the easytether.zip file from a Google/easytether
downloads page or from an EasyTether support blog.
Windows will open the ZIP file natively — just click on it — or open it with the ZIP-tool of your choice.
With the .zip file open, double-click the enclosed easytether.exe; the drivers and software will then install and
set up (see Figure 2).

Figure 2. The EasyTether

Windows software installs and sets up just like any other Windows app.

Install the optional drivers, if required.

If you have a Samsung or LG smartphone, download and install the free supplemental drivers required by those
models (as shown in Figure 3). Go to the Easytether/Android page
and look for the Samsung and LG
supplementary Windows-only driver links on the right side of the page. You also can download the
supplemental drivers from the EasyTether support

Figure 3. LG and Samsung phones require an optional, free driver package.

Enable USB Debugging on your smartphone.
USB Debugging allows for full, unhindered/unfiltered data communication between your smartphone and your
PC. EasyTether (and many other tethering apps) make use of this feature, so it must be enabled for tethering to
Although the Android setting is always called "USB Debugging," its location varies somewhat. On older
versions of Android (3.2 and earlier), it's under Settings/Applications/Development.
On Android 4.0 and newer versions, it's under Settings/System/Developer options (see Figure 4).

Figure 4.
USB Debugging

must be enabled for Android tethering to work. It's under
Developer options

in Android 4 and
above ( shown).

On Android 4.2 and newer versions, the Developer options menu is hidden by default. You reveal it by
this obscure (and somewhat silly) process:
Go to Settings/About phone and tap the Build number seven times. You'll see a small toast (popup window)
confirming that you've enabled the developer options. Return to the previous screen to access the Developer
options menu and the USB Debugging setting, as described above.
Launch the EasyTether app on your phone.

Open the EasyTether app in the normal way. (If you've been following along in this step-by-step article, bypass
EasyTether's setup wizard offer.) Tap the USB checkbox, as shown in Figure 5. The app will report "Ready for
connection from the host."

Figure 5. Use EasyTether's

connection option.

Run EasyTether on your PC.

Find and launch EasyTether from the Windows Start menu. The EasyTether icon will appear in the notification
area, as shown in Figure 6.

Figure 6. When EasyTether is running, its icon ( circled) appears in the Windows notification area ( Win8 shown).
Disconnect your PC from all networks.
To simulate a no connection available condition (i.e., when you'd use tethering), turn off the PC's Wi-Fi
connection and unplug any Ethernet cables. You're now ready to go online via your phone. Establish the USB
connection between your PC and phone. Connect your phone to your PC with a known-good USB cable.
(Note: The first time you connect your phone and PC together via USB, several drivers might automatically
install. This should be a one-time event; just let the process run to completion.)
At the end of the initial setup, EasyTether will typically open a Windows notification-area dialog box similar to
that shown in Figure 7. If the dialog doesn't appear automatically, you can open it manually by right-clicking
the EasyTether icon in the notification area.
The dialog box lets you make the connection to your phone. Via Settings, you can also control other
EasyTether behaviors such as launching itself at Windows startup and automatically connecting to a phone,
when one is available, via USB.

Figure 7. This popup menu also lets you control EasyTether's settings.

Make whatever settings adjustments you wish, then click the Connect via Android option. EasyTether should
then report that the connection has been made, as shown in Figure 8.

Figure 8. A Windows notification balloon tip reports a USB connection has been established and is working.

At the same time, the EasyTether app on your Android phone should report a connection (see Figure 9).

Figure 9. Phone and PC are now connected via USB.

That's all there is to it! If everything went as it should, your PC will now be online via your phone. Test your
setup by surfing the Web from Windows, using your preferred browser.

If you run into problems getting Windows online, EasyTether has a comprehensive FAQ and troubleshooting

An important reminder: Keep in mind that EasyTether Lite is a demo ve
rsion. Although you can use it to
access any standard http: web site, the Lite version blocks access to https: sites such as Gmail, Amazon, eBay,
and most banking sites. The Lite version also blocks UDP-based game and messaging applications.

EasyTether's paid versions ($10 per phone) have no such limitations.

If the Lite demo version works and you'd like to use EasyTether for real, visit the same location where you got
the Lite version and purchase a full, unlocked version.

Some fine points on tethered network connections

To Windows, an EasyTether connection appears to be a completely ordinary, Ethernet-based network. Figure
10, a screen capture from my PC, shows what Windows' Network and Sharing Center reports when my PC is
online via my tethered phone.

Figure 10. Windows Network and Sharing Center view of the EasyTether connection

Clicking the Ethernet 2 link next to Connections pops up the connection status dialog box (see Figure 11). It
shows that EasyTether is emulating a gigabit-class Ethernet connection.

Figure 11. The connection status dialog box

Keep the following well in mind when using a tethered connection: You're using your phone's data plan. As
shown in Figure 11, the connection status box gives a running total of the bytes sent and received. This can be
helpful if your data plan has a usage cap; you'll want to keep an eye on how much data your tethered
connection is consuming, to avoid overages. (Obviously, if you have an unlimited data plan, there's no concern
about the extra bandwidth that tethering will consume.)

What connection speeds can you expect?

Although EasyTether emulates a gigabit-class Ethernet connection, the true network speed depends on your
phone, the kind of data connection it provides (2G, 3G, 4G, LTE, etc.), and signal strength.

To give some idea of real-life speeds, I used the throughput tests at Speedtest.net to compare ping, download,
and upload speeds on a Windows system connected three different ways:

Tethered to a 4G phone on the Sprint network with good signal strength in Boston,
Running on a conventional 802.11n Wi-Fi connection in my Boston apartment
Running on a true gigabit-class hardwired Ethernet connection, also in my apartment.

Each of these connections was tested separately.

Table 1 shows the results. (The ping test is in milliseconds; the download/upload tests are megabits per

Table 1. A tethered connection is significantly slower than Wi
Fi and wired networks.

Although these tests show that my tethered connection speed is well below that of Wi-Fi or wired Ethernet, it's
still fully usable.
Tethering won't replace a good Wi-Fi connection and could get expensive if used daily, but when no other
networking is available, it can easily save the day!

From: The Desk of Jim McGorry
Excerpts taken from the Windows Secrets Periodical

You might have heard in recent weeks about Bitcoin millionaires — people who raked in vast sums of
real money riding this relatively new form of currency.
Bitcoins offer both a fascinating, new approach to money and many potential pitfalls. Here's what you should
know about this online phenomenon.
The history of money is fascinating. Ancient humans traded salt for fish, wheat for beer, and camels for wives.
Around 9,000 BC, give or take a millennium or three, people started using an intermediary object — something
they might not need but could exchange. For example, I'll take one bag of rice for my duck; I'll give you a half-
bag of rice for that small clay pot or a whole bag for that big pot.
In Asia, cowry shells (considerably easier to carry than bags of rice, no doubt) were used long ago for
bartering. But as trade expanded around the world, more sophisticated forms of "currency" were needed:
bronze-cast knives in China, silver bars of set weights in Mesopotamia, gold bars in Egypt.
Around 700 to 500 BC, the first coins appeared — typically, stamped bits of naturally occurring silver/gold
metal called electrum. Minted coins followed, their value dictated by the weight and fineness of gold or silver
used. Coins from Athens, Persia, and China circulated all over the world.
Around the 11th century, paper money appeared alongside coins in China. In Europe, the first paper money
was a sort of IOU used to document loans in gold. The IOUs gradually formalized into official banknotes.
In the 17th century, European governments (and much of the world soon after) moved into the business of
issuing paper money, backed by deposits of gold and silver.
Skipping over centuries of hyperinflation, bank runs, and the end of the gold standard, we arrive at the
monetary system in use today.
With the exception of cash and trade, every monetary transaction we make today goes through the same basic
cycle: you offer to buy something with a credit card or check, a central record-keeping organization verifies
whether you have sufficient funds or credit, the purchase is approved, and the transaction is posted to your
All forms of electronic money work the same way. You put through a charge using a credit card online, or you
receive or send money via PayPal, or you tap your stored-value card or phone to make a payment. As long as
you have enough money or credit, you're good. The system works because the currency used remains relatively
Establishing an Entirely Different Kind of Money
Bitcoins are currency, but they're unlike anything most of us use today. They're a blend of new technology,
old-style bartering, and free-market thinking. Although completely electronic, a Bitcoin's value is set by the
open market — not by any government entity.
Like cash, Bitcoin transactions are untraceable. If you want to transfer significant amounts of money through
traditional channels, it takes either suitcases of cash or at least one intermediary bank — along with all the
required paper trails and fees. Not so with Bitcoins. Using some cryptographic magic and extreme redundancy,
the Bitcoin network requires no central bank, no list of Bitcoin holders, nothing that can trace a person to a
specific transaction. If that sounds like an ideal setup for money launderers, drug dealers, and/or fugitive prime
ministers, you're on the way to understanding the early attraction of Bitcoins.
About four years ago, Bitcoins came to prominence as the preferred currency on the Silk Road website. As
reported by the Guardian and other sources, the majority of sales on Silk Road involved drugs. Bitcoins made
those transactions untraceable.
Today, Bitcoins are undoubtedly used for less sordid transactions. But their fluctuating value also gives them a
commodity- or stock-like aspect. Through 2012, a single Bitcoin's value grew from U.S. $5 to about $13. This
year, a Bitcoin cost $266 on April 10 and then fell to $125 the next day, prompting the crash of the largest
online Bitcoin exchange, the Japan-based Mt. Gox (site). When the exchange came back online a day later,
Bitcoins hit a low of $65. As I write this, a couple of weeks later, the value's almost doubled to $120.
Now that's what I call volatility!
Nobody knows for sure why the Bitcoin market soared, then crashed. One theory places the blame on Cyprus's
banking crisis, where thousands of bank accounts received involuntary "haircuts" by a Cypriot government
flailing for cash. Panicked depositors ran for alternatives — among them, Bitcoins. Others speculate that
organized crime manipulated the market to buy low and sell high. (On April 24, Mt. Gox was also hit by a
massive distributed-denial-of-service attack.)
Steve Forbes, no stranger to the subject of money and finance, put it succinctly in his op-ed article, "Bitcoin:
Whatever it is, it's not money!" He states that the Bitcoin is too volatile to be "money" in any traditional sense
of the term. "It has no fixed value. It trades like a stock or commodity."
To Bitcoin proponents, that's precisely the point. Bitcoins are kind of an anarchist's version of cowry shells —
not beholden to any government, bank, political group, or individual trying to corner the market in a specific
How a Distributed-currency System Works
As mentioned above, Bitcoins are entirely electronic. At its heart, a Bitcoin is simply a number — like the
serial number on a banknote. To use a Bitcoin, you sign in to your Bitcoin wallet, stored either at an online
service or in an application on your personal computer or mobile device. The wallet shows your Bitcoin
balances; it's also where you get Bitcoin addresses (essentially separate accounts), which you give to other
Bitcoin users when transferring the currency. According to the "How does Bitcoin work?"
page, the system is
somewhat like a distributed email network.
Bitcoins also work somewhat like a typical online bank transfer but with important differences. For instance,
there's no bank-like clearinghouse for Bitcoin transactions. Nobody has a list of all account numbers and
owners. There is, however, an ongoing list of transfers: which accounts transferred how much to which other
accounts. The list is public — it's stored in hundreds of different locations, on hundreds of different computers.
(You can see every transaction going by in real time on Clark Moody's site.) Who owns the accounts is, on the
other hand, private.
The technical details of Bitcoin transfers — how Bitcoins change ownership and how the system prevents
transferring the same Bitcoin twice — involve public-key cryptography and some fancy computing techniques.
Unlike a bank, the Bitcoin network doesn't keep track of your Bitcoins — only Bitcoin transactions. Which
means you're responsible for protecting your Bitcoin wallet.
When you ask somebody to send money, you have to give them a Bitcoin address — essentially an encrypted
public key. The Bitcoin software actually encourages you to generate a new address number for each
transaction. If you get money from one person and then send that money to someone else using a different
address, it's basically impossible for anyone other than you to know where the money came from or where it
There's some time delay on the transactions. Typically, it takes 10 minutes for Bitcoin transfers to take effect.
The reasons are complex, but they're associated with preventing double spends — trying to spend the same
Bitcoin twice, either intentionally or inadvertently. Since there's no central repository of accounts and balances,
the delay is basically the price you pay for having a whole bunch of computers simultaneously verify the
If you're accustomed to bank wire transfers taking an hour, a day, or even a week to complete, 10 minutes
doesn't seem like much of a hardship. And the Bitcoin verification runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week on
hundreds of computers, making the system fairly reliable.
Incidentally, the first widely recognized Bitcoin transaction was the purchase of two pizzas. The buyer
reportedly paid 10,000 Bitcoins — pricey even at early Bitcoin rates.
Where Bitcoins Came from; Where They're Going
Bitcoins have a fascinating history. The originator of the concept, who went by the handle "Satoshi
Nakamoto," has never been identified. I say "went" because Satoshi appeared out of the blue in 2008,
published a few papers, never made a public appearance, and stopped answering emails in December 2010.
However, the importance of Bitcoins doesn't rest in the person or persons who created it. The creation itself
holds the answers to pressing money problems such as making private transactions without resorting to piles of
If you want to keep your Bitcoin transactions private, there are two points of vulnerability to online snoops:
when you buy Bitcoins using some other currency, and when you sell your Bitcoins. Once inside the system,
you're anonymous. In other words, when you use Bitcoins only to pay for purchases, there's no traceable
record. (One person recently sold his house with Bitcoins, another sold a Porsche.)
That obviously presents a problem for law enforcement. Because Bitcoins make investigations more difficult,
law-enforcement agencies are leaning hard — sometimes with sanctions, sometimes with legislation — on the
Bitcoin clearinghouses to provide information about transactions. Mt. Gox's sign-up page warns that if you try
to access your account using the Tor network or public proxy servers (two common means of disguising your
location), they might suspend your account and force you to submit anti-money-laundering documents. (A
bitcoin.org page, on the other hand, recommends using Tor to hide your PC's IP address.)
Today there are approximately 11 million Bitcoins in circulation. The system is designed to let the number of
Bitcoins increase at a very slow rate — by 2140, there should be about 21 million Bitcoins in circulation. If
you want to learn more about Bitcoins, take a look at the official Bitcoin FAQ.
Bottom Line: If you do become a Bitcoins user, keep in mind that the value of your Bitcoins can change

rapidly and unpredictably. Whenever someone asks me whether I'd buy Bitcoins right now, my answer is a
resounding "Hell no!" It's an interesting concept — a currency not tied to any country or financial institution —
but the recent run-up and decline of Bitcoin pricing give me nosebleeds. Put your savings in Bitcoins, and you
might make enough money to retire in the next year. Or you could lose 90 percent of your gamble — er,

Weekly Download Section
from Jim McGorry

I just got a new Android tablet as a Mother’s Day gift. My kids said it would be a great way to keep up with the
news (They call me a news junkie) without having to turn my computer or TV on all the time. Where are the
best places to find news that I don’t have to pay for?
There is a wide selection selection of news and information apps available for Android.
Programs for tablets are called “apps” (short for applications), and the largest resource for Android apps is the
Google Play Store. There are apps for every purpose you can imagine, and many of them are free. I’m going to
highlight some free news apps you might want to try out.
I’d start out by checking for your local newspaper. Many newspapers offer apps and a lot of them are free.
Your paper may feature a link to their app on their website or search for it by name in the search box.

Below is the app for my local paper. If there was a cost associated with the app, it would appear in the gray
box. Since this is free, I can simply click INSTALL if I’d like the app and it will download and install on my

Many papers with national distribution like USA Today and The New York Times also offer apps.
Most local TV stations offer local news apps as well. You can search by name. These apps are nice because
they often offer breaking news, weather and traffic updates that will alert you if something big is happening in
your area.

News networks such as FOX News, CNN and MSN also have free apps, as do sports networks such as ESPN.

One of the biggest treats for news junkies are news aggregator apps such as Pulse News that bring hundreds of
news sources together in one place.. You can find out more about Pulse here.

I also have to add my greatest guilty pleasure, The Daily Mail. This is the app for a UK based tabloid
newspaper. When you download it, you can’t select either U.S. or the UK for your news source. It’s a constant
supply of sensationalized news and juicy celebrity gossip with big, bright color pictures. And if you like, you
can check out the salacious events Great Britain as well.
One more thing a news junkie might enjoy is Scanner Radio App. This will allow you to monitor police and
emergency frequencies where you live and all over the world. You can hear the news before it makes the news.
Enjoy your tablet.