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Dec. 13, 2008—Vol. 12, No. 50
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CLICK & FIND MY NATIONAL RADIO SHOW IN YOUR HOMETOWN
I'd really like you to call me. After all, they call it "talk radio" for a reason. You can join in the fun. I'm sure you have at least one question about something digital. I'm here to help with unbiased advice.
HO! HO! HO! IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT THIS WEEKEND'S SHOW: The Kim Komando Show "Annual Great Giveaway" continues this weekend. Details about how to enter and what you can win are a few paragraphs down. I have over $80,000 in great prizes!
HERE'S HOW TO CALL ME DURING THE SHOW
WOW! EXTRA HOUR THIS WEEKEND ONLY!
I'VE JUST MADE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING A LITTLE EASIER
Start by visiting my Electronics Gift Guide. You'll find great ideas for all the wonderful people on your list. You can even find the lowest prices on a certain product. You probably want to give more than electronics, though. In that case, hit my Holiday Shopping Guide. You'll find great gifts and supplies to make it the best Christmas ever!
SPEAKING OF CHRISTMAS
ENTER DAILY TO WIN—OVER $80,000 IN PRIZES TO GIVE AWAY!
WHAT CAN YOU WIN DURING MY GREAT GIVEAWAY?
We're giving away over 280 prizes, including 10 Grand Prizes valued between $1,000 and $4,000 each!
Here's a peek at our Grand Prizes:
• Photographer's Dream Prize Pack: Are you an avid photographer? You'll love this prize! One lucky winner will be taking pictures with his or her new Nikon D90 Digital SLR Camera! Plus, the winner will be able to edit, print and share photos with the great prizes included! Value: $2,509.96
• Gadgets & Gizmos Prize Pack: Everyone loves gadgets and gizmos. So, we've put together some of our favorites for this grand prize. We're giving away everything from an LG 19-inch W52 LCD Monitor to Garmin's nuvi 255 GPS Navigation System! Value: $1,128
• Home Entertainment Bundle: If you like games or movies, you'll love this prize package! It includes an 80GB PlayStation3 Entertainment System, along with four PlayStation3 games, eight Universal Home Entertainment DVD movies, and 10 Big Fish Games computer games. Value: $1,073.82
• GE Security's Simon XT Wireless Security System: Simon XT is a cost-effective wireless security system offering burglary and fire protection. Value: $2,100
• Sonos Multi-Room Music System: The Sonos Multi-Room Music System makes it easy to add music to every part of your life and every room in your house. Value: $1,715
• The HP TouchSmart IQ506: The HP TouchSmart IQ506 is a touch-enabled PC with a 22" diagonal widescreen. Value: $1,499.99
• Polk Audio SurroundBar 360˚ DVD Theater: Polk Audio's SurroundBar360˚ DVD Theater is the best performing single-speaker surround sound theater system on the market. Value: $1,199.99
• TriGem's Averatec 2575 Series Notebook Computer: The new Averatec 2575 Series notebook is a full-featured machine, combining powerful dual-core processing with infotainment capabilities in an ultraportable, ultra-light form factor. Two lucky Grand Prize winners will win an Averatec 2575 Series Notebook Computer! Value: $1,099.99
You could win a Sony PlayStation 3, Logitech network music player, Panasonic Blu-ray Disc player, LG 19-inch LCD monitor, Xbox 360 gaming console, Epson all-in-one printer, Garmin GPS, Shure earbuds, Kodak digital camera, Universal Home Entertainment DVD collection, DXG HD camcorder, Adobe photo software, Myvu Crystal media viewer, Microsoft goodies, Sony game or software package, Microsoft's Zune player, SOLO leather rolling laptop case, Total Training one-year subscription, Gifts.com gift card, Lynda.com online training library, Motorola GPS unit, Logitech QuickCam Webcams, Seagate's FreeAgent Go portable storage solution, Genius Touch Speaker System, Omnitech digital photo frame, Audiovox Homebase Message Center, Motorola mobile phone, Pathfinder Luggage CompuBrief, Big Fish Games package, Staples gift card, Rosetta Stone Spanish language software, and more!
HOW YOU CAN WIN DURING MY NATIONAL RADIO SHOW:
HOW YOU CAN WIN ONLINE:
DID YOU WIN?
Every day, I pick a new winner. Check the winner's page http://giveaway.komando.com/winners.asp and maybe you'll see your name in virtual lights.
Be sure to tell 10 friends and family members! And get ready to call in to my show! Finally, don't forget about our sponsors. Be sure to check out the great prizes on the Great Giveaway area. The sponsors make the giveaway possible. So, if you ever want to learn more about any of the prizes, click those links (hint, hint) and you'll land at the sponsor's site.
HERE'S ONE GREAT WAY TO PINCH A PENNY
You could bite the bullet and fork over hundreds of dollars to big software companies. Or, you could hit my Download of the Day site! I've got hundreds of great programs in the archives. You're sure to find what you need—without spending a dime!
Here are some of my favorite freebies from the past week. Click on the links below to learn more about the free programs. There's still plenty of ground to cover. Hurry back!
• Got questions? For directions, trivia and business listings, your cell phone holds the answers.
Want a tip? Bookmark my Downloads page. Just go there and press Ctrl+D. That will add my downloads to your browser's favorites!
And remember this: If I say a program is free, it's FREE. There are sites on the Internet that sell free programs. There are also many ads on the Internet for similar programs, which aren't free. If somebody tries to charge you for a free program, back up. You've clicked on the wrong thing.Saturday's download — We all have friends with whom we've lost touch. Maybe you have family with whom you'd like to get in touch. Why not turn to the Internet? It's a great resource for finding people, if you know where to go. Fortunately, I've done the homework for you and found some great sites that will help.
IT'S LIKE YOUR OWN PRIVATE CINEMA
Don't miss these hot videos from the past week:
• Christmas music is one of the highlights of the season. And everyone has a favorite. This might be my new favorite!
The best lessons can be learned by looking backwards. History is a magnificent guide for those willing to study it. It's full of triumph, sorrow and hilarity. Look back through the Video of the Day archive:
Saturday's video — Reunions are always happy occasions. But this one is especially heartwarming. The story behind these two men is awe-inspiring.Sunday's video — Where is the most exciting street in America? You can travel down it with Google's Street View. This was a cool project.
NOTE: Are you having trouble seeing my daily video picks? Do you get a message that the video is not available? Sorry to say, it's probably not the video. It's your computer, my friend. Get help on my troubleshooting page. These problems are pretty easy to fix.
THE EASY WAY TO SAVE MY VIDEOS
Again, to download the video, all you need is the video's Web address. Don't know how to find that? Click here for step-by-step instructions.
And to start saving videos you find online, use the free tool on my Web site. It's located at http://www.komando.com/myvideo/
PRIVACY AND SECURITY TIP: Save with free security software
Need to find a radio station near you? Click here to use the official Kim Komando Show Locator Map. With over 450 stations, there's a station near you.
STILL TO COME: Useful tips, important news and a few laughs!
• Last minute tech gifts for around $50
• Important security tips; and some awesome freebies!
Back to the top
MOVING YOUR ITUNES LIBRARY TO A NEW MACHINE
Moving an iTunes library isn't terribly difficult, Tom. But it does take some time. First, make sure all the music is in the same folder. Then, transfer all the necessary files.
Start by clicking Edit>>Preferences in iTunes. Open the Advanced tab and select "Keep iTunes Music folder organized." Click OK. Next, click Advanced>>Consolidate Library. You'll see a message that library consolidation can't be undone. Click Consolidate. It can take awhile to consolidate the library. It just depends on how many files iTunes must move.
Now you're ready to move the files. In addition to the music files, you need to move iTunes Library.itl and iTunes Music Library.xml. The default location is My Music\iTunes. You should also see a folder named iTunes Music. This contains the music files. You can copy all of these files to an external drive. Then, move them from the hard drive to the new laptop.
Install iTunes on the new laptop before moving the files. Then, open the Music folder. If iTunes has created files, delete them. Move your wife's files to the Music folder. Double-click iTunes Library.itl. This will open iTunes and set the library as the default.
iTunes may not be able to locate the music files. This usually happens if you move the music files to a different location. If this happens, you can fix it easily. Open iTunes and click Edit>>Preferences. Open the Advanced tab. Under General, you'll see the iTunes Music folder location. Click Change. Navigate to the iTunes music folder. Click OK and OK.
Now, let me make another suggestion.
Consider buying your wife a subscription to Carbonite. Carbonite is one of my advertisers. I use its online backup services myself at both home and my office. With Carbonite, your backups are completely automated. And restoring your data is a snap. If your wife had Carbonite now, you wouldn't have any trouble moving her iTunes library!
With Carbonite, you can restore any files on the new maching that were backed up on the old machine. That means not only do you get the music onto the new laptop, you can restore her documents, photos and more.
You can learn about Carbonite's services on its site. I also answered a question about Carbonite's security recently. Some people are worried that their data will be seen while traveling over the Internet or by Carbonite's staff. Read my free tip to get the low-down on Carbonite's security.
For more help switching machines, here's a quick glimpse at some of the help you'll find at my site:
• Transferring data and programs to Vista the easy way
• Get rid of your old PC the PC way
BUYING AN LCD HDTV: DOES RESPONSE TIME REALLY MATTER?
He hasn't seen response time mentioned in product specs. And the clerks tell him it doesn't matter. They say the refresh rate is what matters; it will stop blurring in action scenes. Donald would like me to weigh in on the matter.
I would be frustrated by this situation. You need all of the specifications to make an informed decision. Don't go shopping without knowledge. My tip will help you find HDTV specifications.
But, there's a grain of truth to what the clerks say. A fast refresh rate can help reduce blurring. However, response time is still important. Ideally, you want a fast response time and a high refresh rate. That way, you shouldn't have to worry about blurring at all.
Take a deep breath and let's start with response time. This is the time it takes for a pixel to go from black to white to black. If the response time is slow (more than 8 milliseconds), you could see blurring. The pixels can't keep up with changes in the picture.
LCDs use backlights to illuminate the pixels and display the image. That's where refresh rate comes in. It refers to the number of times the backlight turns on per second. For example, a 60-Hertz LCD is illuminated 60 times per second. The higher the refresh rate, the less likely blurring becomes.
You mentioned 120Hz LCD HDTVs in your e-mail. I assume salespeople have been pushing 120Hz sets. This will likely cost you more than other sets. If your budget allows for one of these sets, I'd go for it! Now, different manufacturers use different technologies with 120Hz LCDs. My tip explains the technologies.
HDTVs are hot items this Christmas season. It's the perfect time to get a deal! But a deal is never a deal if you buy the wrong product! My tips will help you avoid a costly mistake:
Finally, you'll need to set up that brand new HDTV you bring home. Do it right! These handy columns will help you get more from your home theater setup:
OPTING OUT OF ONLINE DATABASES ISN'T ALWAYS A SNAP
I know why you can't find the information on my site, Alton. You're misspelling the company's name. It is Intelius, not Intellisys.
Intelius gathers information from public records. It has your date of birth, address and much more. Anyone can purchase your records from Intelius. And the company has been expanding its reach. A number of other people-search sites link to Intelius.
Intelius doesn't make opting out particularly easy. But it can be done. I have the steps you need to take outlined on my site. Don't stop at Intelius. You'll also find instructions for opting out of other databases.
A wealth of information about you is available online. These databases are a treasure trove for data thieves. So, I recommend that everyone opt out. Of course, this won't make you immune to having information about you online or identity theft. So, head over to my site.
I have plenty of tips that will help you protect your data from thieves:
• 'Vishing' is the latest security threat
• Your e-mail is at risk, too
• Protect your data before taking a PC in for repair
• Keep intruders off your wireless network
BUYING ANY TECH FOR THE HOLIDAYS?
AMERICAN FORCES RADIO & THANKS
NO PREEMPTIONS! DOWNLOAD & LISTEN WHEN YOU WANT!
DON'T STOP YET – THERE'S MORE YOU NEED TO KNOW:
• Keep reading! I have more money-saving tips!
Back to the top
LAST MINUTE TECH GIFTS FOR AROUND $50
Let's start with the kids. They love remote control helicopters. So, why not give the child on your list something even better? Wowwee's Bladestar ($40) flies and hovers like a helicopter. But it's designed for indoor use. Sensors prevent it from crashing into walls.
It can even be guided with your hands. Pair two Bladestars, and you have an in-air dogfight. They can shoot each other down.
A LITTLE ABOUT ME:
HOW TO CALL ME DURING THE SHOW
HOLIDAY SHOPPING GUIDE
STILL TO COME IN THIS ISSUE:
• What you need to know about SLR lenses
Back to the top
Oh, John. I wasn't sure whether to answer your question at first. You see, there is a bit of controversy when it comes to laptops and notebooks. Many people use the terms interchangeably. Others insist there is a difference between the two.
They claim that notebooks are smaller and lighter. Notebooks have longer battery lives and don't include CD drives. On the other hand, laptops are bigger and more powerful. Or so they say. Personally, I wouldn't worry about the terminology. Life's just too short to nitpick!
That said, a new breed of portable computers has taken off lately. Netbooks are light, inexpensive portable computers. Their specs won't wow you. That's because they're really just designed for light computing tasks. One of these machines may suit your needs.
But most people will prefer a laptop (or notebook) to a netbook. Laptops are more powerful machines. More importantly, though, they're easier to use. They will have larger screens and keyboards. Things won't be so cramped when you're working.
E-mail and Web surfing doesn't require a particularly powerful computer. And, virtually all laptops will have a Wi-Fi chip. This will let you connect to the Internet at public hotspots. So, you should be fine with an inexpensive laptop.
Of course, you'll see a lot of specifications when buying a laptop. So, arm yourself with knowledge when you go to the store. Read my helpful buying guide first. It explains specifications. It will also tell you which specifications matter. You can read the buying guide for free on my site.Once you get your laptop, you'll need to set it up. First up is securing the machine. My step-by-step guide makes securing a PC a breeze. Next, you'll need software. I have you covered there, too. You don't need to spend hundreds of dollars on an office program, photo-editing tools or even games. Hit my Download of the Day site for awesome free software.
A MESSAGE FROM THE KOMANDO.COM POSTMASTER
SEE SOMETHING UNDERLINED? CLICK & LEARN
GET MORE FREE TIPS FROM ME TO YOU
As always, I guarantee your privacy. Your e-mail address will not be sold, leased or given to anyone, ever!
STILL TO COME IN THIS WEEKEND'S EDITION:
• Get the lowdown on SLR lens specifications
Back to the top
MY CHRISTMAS LIST: HAPPY LISTENERS AND AFFILIATES
WE'RE LIVING HERE IN ALLENTOWN
STILL TO COME IN THIS WEEKEND'S EDITION:
• SLR lens buying made simple
KIM'S TIPS FOR KOMANDO KIDS: Webcams help you stay in touch
CONTEST SITE: Win a trip to Hawaii
CONTEST: The Annual Kim Komando Show Great Giveaway
FREEBIE OF THE WEEK: Get some Gmail stickers!
FREEBIE FROM KOMANDO.COM: Explore our world
GET A COOL SITE EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK
THIS WEEK'S FOCUS: Tools for finding long lost friends
Let's keep it going; there's plenty more to cover:
Brought to you by my book, Complete Guide to Computer Security & Privacy. Order your copy today!
TIME TO UPDATE WINDOWS AGAIN
On a related note, Microsoft is warning of an unpatched flaw. The vulnerability affects WordPad Text Converter for Word 97 files. Criminals can use the flaw to execute code on your machine remotely. Microsoft has already spotted targeted attacks.To exploit the flaw, criminals must trick you into opening a file. Word 97 documents will open automatically if you have Word installed. But criminals can give a malicious file with the .WRI extension. This will cause WordPad to open the file. Of course, you know better than to open an unexpected file, right?
THE END IS IN SIGHT, BUT I WILL BE BACK NEXT WEEK
My husband has been an avid photographer for years. His current SLR uses film. So, I've decided to buy him a Nikon D60 for Christmas. I also want to buy him a lens so he can start using it right away. I know very little about cameras—and even less about all those numbers on lenses! So, I would like some help. The lens should be fairly versatile.
Woah! Slow down, Betsy! It sounds like you really want to give your husband an awesome gift. And I'm sure your husband will really appreciate your efforts. But, you should do some thinking before you buy the gift.
The D60 is Nikon's entry-level digital SLR. It's great for new photographers—or those new to digital. The reviews have been very positive. Any photographer would like this camera.
That said, it may not be right for your husband. Why? Well, it all comes down to lenses. First, your husband already has an SLR and lenses. These lenses should work on a digital camera of the same brand.
If his film camera is a Canon, don't buy the Nikon. Go with a Canon. Your husband won't need to buy new lenses. After all, photographers usually invest more in lenses than camera bodies.
Maybe you already thought of this. You're not out of the woods yet, though! The D60 does not have an internal focusing motor. So, autofocus doesn't work with some Nikon lenses. Also, the camera's light meter doesn't work with some lenses.
For best results, Nikon's AF-S (autofocus-silent) lenses should be used. These contain a motor for autofocusing. They won't interfere with the camera's light meter. When buying a lens for the D60, ask about compatibility.
Say your husband does use Nikon gear. Let's also assume he has nothing but AF-S lenses. In that case, the D60 is a great choice. Otherwise, you will want to select a different gift.
If his camera is a different brand, look at that company's DSLRs. You'll find one comparable to the D60. If worse comes to worst, note the brand and model of your husband's camera. Then, head over to your local camera store. A salesperson can help you find a comparable digital model.
Your husband may use Nikon gear. But, the lenses may not work with the D60. In that case, take a look at the D90. This is Nikon's step-up model. Your husband shouldn't run into lens-compatibility issues. The D90 is more expensive. But you won't need to buy a lens. Your husband already has what he needs.
Let's talk lenses now. You don't really need to buy one. But, maybe you'd like to, anyway. Besides, many other readers will find the information valuable.
The first thing you need to understand is focal length. Focal length is the distance from the lens' surface to the point where the image comes into focus. Focal length is measured in millimeters. Wide-angle lenses have shorter focal lengths. Telephoto lenses have longer focal lengths.
Normal lenses provide the same viewing angle as the human eye. Many photographers consider 50mm to be the normal lens length. Others say 35mm is the normal lens length. In truth, a normal lens length is somewhere in between. But that's a different tip for a different day.
Let me throw out a good rule of thumb. Anything below 35mm is a wide-angle lens; anything above 50mm is a telephoto. You say you want a versatile lens. This means you'll want a zoom lens. A zoom lens is capable of multiple focal lengths. I would aim for an 18-105mm zoom. This is a good lens for day-to-day shooting.
You'll also see macro lenses. These have a short focusing distance. You can get up close to your subject. Macro lenses can be wide angle, normal or telephoto.
There is one thing that can trip you up. Focal length measurements are generally based on a 35mm film camera. The sensors of most digital cameras are smaller than a frame of film. This results in what's called the crop factor.
The crop factor increases the focal length of lenses. So, you need to multiply the lens' focal length by the camera's crop factor. This gives you the effective focal length. Say you put a 50mm lens on a camera with a 1.5 crop factor. The lens will behave like a 75mm lens. Consult the manufacturer's site to find a camera's crop factor.
Now, some lenses are designed for digital cameras. With them, you don't need to worry about crop factor. The focal length specified is the effective focal length on a DSLR. The manufacturer will specify that these lenses are for digital cameras.
The other important thing to consider is lens speed. You want to get the fastest lens possible. Lens speed refers to the maximum aperture. With a large aperture, more light enters the lens, allowing faster shutter speeds.
Aperture is expressed as an f-stop. This number is really a ratio. For example f3.5 is really 1/3.5. So, smaller numbers mean a wider aperture. Incidentally, you probably won't do better than 3.5 on a zoom lens. That is, unless you're willing to mortgage your first born!
I also recommend a VR, or vibration reduction, lens. (Other manufacturers have different names for image stabilization.) A VR lens will greatly reduce blurring associated with shaky hands. Trust me, your husband wants it.
No matter what digital goodies you're buying, don't miss my buying guides. They will give you the lowdown on all of this year's hottest gifts. Here's just a small sampling of what you'll find:
• Choosing a video game console
• Find the perfect HDTV
• Digital cameras on a shoestring budget
• Pricey yet practical digital gift ideas
• Cool camcorders for tight budgets
OK, this is shameless, but my book about digital photography is a perfect Christmas gift. It covers all you need to know about taking pictures and editing them, too! Order yours now and if you use coupon code BOOKS, you save 50%. Heck, use the coupon code on any of my books. It works until Monday. Click here to check out my learning tools about digital video, computer security and more!
IF I HELPED YOU, CAN YOU PLEASE HELP ME?
1. Tell your co-workers, employees, team members, fantasy sports buddies, family members and friends to check us out. I have a form that makes it easy.
2. Link your blog, online profile or site to my site. Instructions and cool artwork await you.
Have a great weekend. Thank you for your support of my show and newsletters! I appreciate it!
IT'S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF YEAR
Have a great day and I'll see you on the radio!
Remember, there's an extra hour of the show this weekend. So you have even more time to give me a call! I'd love to hear from you. It takes just three easy steps: 1.) Call the LIVE broadcast. That's this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the East Coast, or, if you live on the West Coast, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. 2.) Know the phone number. It is, of course, toll-free 1-888-825-5254. 3.) Talk to our call screener Andrew and tell him what's on your mind. That's all there is to it!
GET MORE TIPS FROM ME TO YOU
• Free cool site daily
• Free news links Mon-Fri
Copyright © 2008, The Kim Komando Show. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of The Kim Komando Show is prohibited and strictly enforced. Newsletters may contain links to sites on the Internet owned and operated by third parties. The Kim Komando Show is not responsible for the availability of, or the content located on or through, any such third-party site. Information in this document is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and freedom from infringement. The user assumes the entire risk as to the accuracy and the use of this document. We will not be liable for any damages of any kind arising from the use of this information, including, but not limited to direct, indirect, incidental, punitive, and consequential damages.
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