Saturday, December 13, 2008

Kim Komando Show Electronic Newsletter - Dec. 13, 2008

The Kim Komando Show

Kim's Club Shop Listen Columns Cool Sites Tips Buying Guide Video of the Day

Your e-mail address will never be sold to anyone, ever. I promise!

  Enter Kim Komando's 13th Annual Great Giveaway Sweepstakes!


  World's Tiniest 8 GB Flash Drive

  The Yes Dear Mug is a Fun Great Gift!

  Pyramid Power Strip

  Professional Photo Studio

  Digital Camera Tote

  Make sure that little bundle of joy is blessed from the very beginning!


Dec. 13, 2008—Vol. 12, No. 50

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Official Kim Komando Show Weekly Newsletter! It doesn't matter if you've been naughty or nice. I've got handy buying advice, money-saving tips and fun sites! Each week my national radio show and newsletters reach millions. Thanks for joining us!

- ON THE QT: Over $80,000 in prizes; fun videos and freebies
- DIGITAL DIGRESSIONS: Easy and fast tips that work for you
- MY COLUMN: Last minute tech gifts for around $50
- COOL SITES: Komando Kids; and more fun stuff you'll like and use
- COOL USEFUL FUN FREEBIE: Finding long lost friends
- SECURE COMPUTING: Microsoft releases massive update
- YOUR WEEKLY Q&A: Buying a lens for a digital SLR

With 465 radio stations throughout the United States, there's bound to be a station near you that's broadcasting my show this weekend. To find the one closest to you, click here and you'll be magically transported to the Official Komando Radio Map. Then, join me for three fun-filled, jam-packed hours of great talk radio about the Internet, HDTVs, MP3 players, DVRs, marketing tips for your site, digital cameras, camcorders, making money online, using the Internet to save money and a bunch more!

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!

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.) Tell our call screener Andrew what's on your mind. That's all there is to it!

This Saturday morning, I will be taking your calls for a whole four hours! The extra hour will be broadcast when I take a winter trip in a few weeks. So, if you have a question about something digital this weekend, you have an extra hour to give me a call. So, that's Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the East Coast, or, if you live on the West Coast, 7 to 11 a.m. The number is the same, toll-free 1-888-825-5254.

Listen to my shows when and where you want. Wow! The shows sound incredible in crystal clear digital audio. It's commercial-free, too! Listen on your computer or take me with you in your MP3 player.  You can even burn them to CDs and listen in the car. Click here to join Kim's Club today! It's just a few dollars per month.

When something is underlined in our newsletters, click it. It's a link for you to learn more. So go ahead, click the link. Expand your horizons. You'll be glad you did!

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ON THE QT: Things I pass along just for you!

Christmas is less than three weeks away. If you're like me, you can barely contain your glee. But, there's still so much to be done before the big day. Thank goodness you have gifts for everyone on your list. What? You haven't started on your gift list? Well, it is time to get the lead out! You can get all of your shopping today—if you do it online.

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!

My husband Barry has been hard at work writing and producing Mannheim Steamroller's An American Christmas. This national radio show is hosted by Mannheim Steamroller's Chip Davis. It features Christmas stories and Christmas music from top artists.

It's actually two shows. There is the daily show, The 12 Days of Christmas, and the 12-hour program that airs on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day on more than 260 radio stations.

You can also download about an hour of the show directly from iTunes. It's commercial-free and only costs $4.99. To download it, open iTunes and click this link. Or open iTunes and search for Christmas Companion.

Enter Kim Komando's Great Giveaway Sweepstakes ENTER DAILY TO WIN—OVER $80,000 IN PRIZES TO GIVE AWAY!
What do I love more than hottest gadgets? Giving them away to my loyal listeners! You can still win big with my 13th Annual Kim Komando Show Great Giveaway. This year, I have the best prizes ever and new ways to win!

You can win weekly on my national radio show. But don't forget to enter on my site each day. Just head to and enter daily for your chance to win!

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:

    Ultimate Travel Pack: Do you like to travel? If so, you may never want to leave home without this package! It includes great items that are perfect for traveling. Plus, four Southwest Airlines roundtrip tickets are included. They'll get you to any published, scheduled destination nationwide. Value: $4,069.84

    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 

But that's not all! Click here to see all the great prizes at the Annual Giveaway Site.

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, gift card, 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!

You can win by calling the show and speaking with me live on the air. And new this year, you can also win by entering daily at my Giveaway online.

Any caller who speaks to me on the air wins one of our fabulous prizes. The number to call is 1-888-825-5254, but ONLY on Saturdays between 7 and 10 a.m. Pacific (10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eastern).

If you don't get through during the show, you are still eligible to win. Just enter on my Web site. We're giving away great prizes every day of the giveaway. So, you could win daily. And if you enter online, you are also eligible for one of the GRAND PRIZES!

Here are just a few of our lucky winners:

— Douglas Halbert listens on KAOI 1110 AM in Wailuku, HI. He'll be listening in crystal clear audio with a pair of $250 Shure E Series Earphones.
— David Hansman in the Bronx, NY, listens on WCBS 880 AM. He's the new owner of a Polk Audio ES2 Entertainment System valued at $400!
— Emily Bastien tunes in on WWTN 99.7 FM in Gallatin, TN. She's receiving the gift of knowledge. She won a 1-Year Premium Subscription to valued at $375!
— Kathryn Christenson from Woodbury, MN, catches me on KTLK 100.3 FM. She'll never be lost again with her $250 Garmin nuvi 255!
— Larry Pelletier listens on WVOM 103.9 FM out of Mattawamkeag, ME. He won a stylish $180 SOLO Smart Strap Rolling Laptop Case.
— Denise Farris listens on KTRH 740 AM in Katy, TX. She'll be editing photos and video like a pro. She won a $200 Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Elements 7 bundle.
— Jason Otoski catches me on WHIO 1290 AM / 95.7 FM, in Dayton, OH. He won an awesome Motorola MOTOZINE ZN5 5 megapixel mobile phone! He'll look cool pulling this $323 phone from his pocket!

Every day, I pick a new winner. Check the winner's page 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.

The stock market and home prices are down. Our budgets are strained. You've probably suspended all unnecessary spending. So, what do you do when you need a new computer program?

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.
• Don't buy cards and labels for your holiday gifts. They're expensive. Instead, make your own!
• You may find Microsoft Office's capabilities overwhelming. I have a bunch of templates to make you look like a pro.
• Some decisions are too tough to make alone. This program will help you organize your thoughts.

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.

There are millions of videos online. This makes sites like YouTube overwhelming. So, let me do the heavy lifting for you! Each day, I feature one cool video as my Video of the Day. You may laugh or cry. But it is always worth your time!

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!

• Anyone with even a passing interest in carpentry has a table saw. Hopefully, you have all your fingers. This tool will help you keep them.

• So, you think you know sports? This man may be the most amazing athlete ever. And you probably don't know his name.

• The best place to spend Christmas is right at home. But what if you were a wild animal? Where would you spend Christmas?

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:

• History can actually be very lucrative. You've probably seen Antiques Roadshow. This man had the most valuable thing of all.

• Our history is filled with heroes of all kinds. Take time to honor those who have served. This video is a fitting tribute to our armed forces.

• People used to be excited to go to the airport. Today, flying is a chore. Let's go back to a more glamorous time in flight.

• The Great Depression defined a generation of Americans. One photo captured the feeling of that era. Get the story behind that photo.

videoSaturday'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.

Ever want to save a YouTube or other video that you've found online? You've come to the right place. On my site, all you need do is enter the Web address for the video, click a button and download the video to your Mac or PC.

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

PRIVACY AND SECURITY TIP: Save with free security software
You need quality security software on your computer. But you don't need to pay for it. There are plenty of free security programs online. I'll show you how to save money every year. Be sure to tune in to the second hour of the Kim Komando show!

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!

    • Moving your iTunes music to a new computer
    • Last minute tech gifts for around $50
    • Important security tips; and some awesome freebies!

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DIGITAL DIGRESSIONS: Tips that work for you!

Tom in Chicago catches my show on WLS 890 AM. Tom's wife is very lucky. She'll be receiving a brand new laptop for Christmas. Tom's also going the extra mile: He's going to set it up and transfer her data to it. That way, it's all ready to go Christmas morning! There's just one thing. Tom needs help transferring her iTunes library to the 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:

Donald in Oshkosh, WI, tunes in on WOSH 1490 AM. He's looking for a new LCD HDTV. But he's confused by response times and refresh rates.

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:

Alton wrote in from Jackson, MS, to ask for a little help. He caught last weekend's show on WJNT 1180 AM. He heard me talking about opting out of online databases. Alton is particularly interested in opting out of Intellisys' database. But he can't find the information on my site. So, he'd like me to repeat it.

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:

Visit the Buying Guide. Here, you can find unbiased advice on buying laptops, desktops, TVs, monitors, scanners, video cards, digital cameras, software, audio, printers, cell phones, networking gear, handhelds, memory cards and, well, let's just say a heck of a lot more! You can scan the categories. Or use the Search banner on the page. We hope you like the improvements at the Buying Guide and use it often!

At, we now have a shopping guide that will help you find the perfect gifts and the lowest prices online. Check it out by clicking here.

Listen all over the world! My shows are broadcast on the American Forces Radio Network. If you know someone in the military, let them know. And if you have served, or are currently serving our country, THANK YOU. With the holiday season here, check our page that spotlights ways that you can thank our troops.

Listen to my shows when and where you want. Wow! The shows sound incredible in crystal clear digital audio. It's commercial-free, too! Listen on your computer or take me with you in your MP3 player.  You can even burn them to CDs and listen in the car. Click here to join Kim's Club today!


    • Rookie Rundown—Shopping for an inexpensive laptop
    • Keep reading! I have more money-saving tips!

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Kim Komando Fans – Get 2 FREE bonus months when you subscribe after your FREE trial.

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Great technology gifts don't need to cost a fortune. You'll find fantastic tech toys for everyone on your list for about $50.  Here are some of my favorites:

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.

Christmas isn't just for kids! Find some great ideas for the adults on your list. Read the rest of my column on my site for free!

Did you know that I host two radio shows? I have a Digital Minute that airs Monday through Friday. I also host a three-hour show on the weekends. Over 460 radio stations in the great United States broadcast my shows. Plus, from here in the desert come all kinds of tidbits about living a digital lifestyle. You can read my weekly column in over 100 Gannett newspapers across the country. And I write two columns a week for the USAToday Web site.

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 Andrew and tell him what's on your mind. That's all there is to it!

At, we now have a shopping guide that will help you find the perfect gifts and the lowest prices online. Check it out by clicking here.


    • Some freebies and a contest for you to win!
    • What you need to know about SLR lenses

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ROOKIE RUNDOWN: Tips to get you newbies up and going!
John wrote in from Fort Walton Beach, FL, where he tunes in on WFTW 1260 AM. He's needs help buying a computer. He wants to use it at coffee shops and other places. He'll use it for e-mail, online banking and surfing. John is particularly confused by the difference between laptops and notebooks.

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.

Did you move and get a new e-mail address? Let us know so you don't miss a single issue of our free newsletters. It's easy. Just use our Change of Address form at the Komando Newsletter Center. Click here to access it now.

When something is underlined in our newsletters, click it. It's a link for you to learn more. So go ahead, click the link. Expand your horizons. You'll be glad you did!

You get this newsletter. Now, sign up for my other three free e-mail newsletters.

• Free computer or digital tip Mon-Fri
• Free Cool Site daily
• Free news links Mon-Fri

As always, I guarantee your privacy. Your e-mail address will not be sold, leased or given to anyone, ever!


    • Security tips to keep your computer safe
    • Get the lowdown on SLR lens specifications

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Get Someone the Gift of Kings for Christmas!

RADIO REWIND: Your guide to all things radio!

Need some help with all of those digital items on your Christmas gift list? Join me each weekend for my big, three-hour radio show. You'll be sure to learn a thing or two—I promise! During the week, you can catch my Digital Minutes on your local station. Or, join Kim's Club and get audio on your schedule!


I love what I do! Hosting my radio shows is such a great time for me. I appreciate every listener and each station airing my shows. Kudos to a few fine affiliates carrying my weekend show and Digital Minutes: stations on The American Forces Radio Network; New York (WCBS 880 AM); Houston (KTRH 740 AM); Washington (WTNT 570 AM); Windsor, Ontario (CKLW 800 AM); Miami (WIOD 610 AM); Seattle (KTTH 770 AM); Nashville, TN (WWTN 99.7 FM); West Palm Beach, FL (WJNO 1290 AM); Richmond, VA (WRVA 1140 AM); Shreveport, LA (KEEL 710 AM); Waterloo, IA (KXEL 1540 AM); Grand Junction, CO (KNZZ 1100 AM); Barre, VT (WSNO 1450 AM); Watertown, SD (KSDR 1480 AM) and hundreds more!

It's not just the subject of a Billy Joel tune! Allentown, PA, is a city of vast history. It's the largest of three cities (including Bethlehem and Easton) making up Lehigh Valley. The Liberty Bell was hidden in the basement of Zion's Reformed Church of Christ from 1777 to 1778. This prevented the British army from melting it down for munitions.


WAEB 790 AM airs my Weekend show at 5 p.m. Sundays. Catch my Digital Minutes in the 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. hours weekdays.

Use my handy map to find a station airing my show near you. It's easy! 1) Click a location near you. 2) Enter your e-mail. 3) Get an instant e-mail with a station.

Kim's Club members reap the benefit of cool premium content. They also get Message Board posting and audio on demand. Check it out here.


    • Security tips to keep your computer safe
    • SLR lens buying made simple

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Make Recipients Unlock the Wooden Box Puzzle to Get Their Gift!

• Ingenious way to give a gift certificate, cash, tickets or even a marriage proposal
• Easy to use, includes protective liner
• Fun for birthdays, holidays & more

Other Items of Interest
Fine Sterling Silver Keepsake Necklace & Photo Charms
Kimg of the Road Travel Mug


KIM'S TIPS FOR KOMANDO KIDS: Webcams help you stay in touch
There are some things you only get one chance to see. The baby's first steps. Your child bringing home the first A from school. Don't miss it because you're out of town. I'll tell you how to catch those moments in real-time over the Internet. Listen to the third hour of the Kim Komando show.

CONTEST SITE: Win a trip to Hawaii
Hilo Hattie is giving away a trip for two to Hawaii. You'll spend six nights in an ocean-view suite! Open to U.S. residents, 18 or older. Deadline: 12/31/08

CONTEST: The Annual Kim Komando Show Great Giveaway
The Great Giveaway is going full blast! Every caller who speaks with me live on the air wins a great prize! Online winners are picked daily! So, enter every day to win a valuable prize on my Web site. Hurry! Deadline for online entry is 12/22/08.

FREEBIE OF THE WEEK: Get some Gmail stickers!
Gmail is a great Webmail service. These Gmail stickers started as a cool handout for Google engineers. But now everyone can get them.

Google makes it easy to search the Web. Google Earth makes it easy to search the entire planet. Visit all your favorite destinations virtually. You might even learn a thing or two.

There are plenty of great sites on the Web. But who has time to find them? Every day, I pick one great site and share it with you. Try it for a week and you'll love it!

In case you missed any this past week, here's a list of some of our favorites:
Improve your digital photos
Send Christmas greetings to the troops
A cool new way to surf
Who's afraid of Santa?

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THIS WEEK'S FOCUS: Tools for finding long lost friends
We all have friends with whom we've lost touch. The holidays are a great time to reconnect. But finding people can be a real challenge. The Internet is a great resource, if you know where to go online. Fear not, I have sites that will help.

Let's keep it going; there's plenty more to cover:
• SECURE COMPUTING: Microsoft releases monthly patches

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Genius Front Pocket Leather Wallet!

The Genius Front Pocket Wallet has a revolutionary curved edge for a comfortable fit in your front pocket. Designed to alleviate back pain caused by sitting on a traditional wallet, it provides a light weight alternative to carrying a heavy, burdensome wallet while deterring pickpockets as well.

Other Items of Interest
Amazing Travel Blanket
Gear Charging System


Brought to you by my book, Complete Guide to Computer Security & Privacy. Order your copy today!

Microsoft released its final security update for 2008 this week. And, boy, is it a doozy! In all, 28 vulnerabilities were fixed in eight updates. Of the updates, six were rated critical. The remaining two are rated important. You know the drill! Run Windows Update now, if you haven't already.

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?

• How to choose an SLR lens

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Lock Away Your Worries,
Thoughts and Prayers!

• The "My Prayer Box" is a
   small, yet powerful gift
• A lovely poem is displayed inside
• Very attractive wooden box


Other Items of Interest
Crosses Tea Light Candle Holder
Gear-Charging System


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.
—Betsy in Myrtle Beach, SC, listening on WRNN 99.5 FM

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:

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!

Help me find new listeners and readers. Here are a couple ways:

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!

Kim :)

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Amazing Travel Blanket

This lightweight travel blanket with a foot pocket and shoulder wrap keeps you warm in cold airplane cabins, on car trips, or even curled up at home. Best of all, no one has used it but you! It's a traveler's dream.

Other Items of Interest
Gear Charging System
Wrist Pressure Monitor


Mike in Florida sent these in. I couldn't decide which ones I didn't like, so here they all are!

What language does Santa Claus speak?
North Polish.

Where does Santa Claus go swimming?
The North Pool.

What kind of motorcycle would Santa ride?
A Holly Davidson.

What is Santa Claus' favorite cereal?
Frosted Flakes.

What do you call Santa when he goes to the beach?
Sandy Claus.

How do Santa and Mrs. Claus travel?
On an icicle built for two.

Some children call him Santa Caus since there is Noel.

What name does Santa Claus use when he takes a rest from delivering presents?
Santa Pause!

Why will Santa go down your chimney on Christmas Eve?
Because it soots him.

If Santa and Mrs. Claus had a baby, what would he be?
A subordinate Claus.

What would Santa's grandfather be called?
Grandfather Claus.

What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus?

Why does Santa have three gardens?
So he can ho, ho, ho.

How many chimneys does Santa go down?

When Santa has a barn dance, what does he call it?
A Ho, Ho, Ho Down.

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!

Kim :)

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Personal & Educational Use Only This blog consists mainly of FREE newsletters from computer web gurus that I receive. I thought you might like to see them all in one place than try to discover them on your own. A moderate amount of editing may be done to eliminate unrelated repetitious ads or unnecessary text which bloat the post. However I have given the authors full credit and will not remove their site links because you deserve to see where it comes from and they deserve to get credit for what they have written. Your use of this site is simply for educational purposes. For more computer-related help go to: CPEDLEY.COM for free software, advice and tips on low cost products which are very helpful. If you want to contact the editor, please go CPEDLEY.COM and check the Contact page for email address.