Infopackets Reader Bill V. writes: " Dear Dennis, I recently upgraded to Windows 10. Everything worked fine for a few months, but all the sudden my Start Menu stopped working. To fix that issue, I created a new user account and migrated over my data ... to the new account. Everything worked fine after that - however, my Thunderbird spell check won't work. If I go to Tools -> Options -> Composition -> Spelling tab, it has a check mark beside 'Enable spelling as you type', but the 'Language' option is grayed out. How can I fix this? " My response: I have not had this problem before, so I ... (view more)
Infopackets Reader Gale S. writes: " Dear Dennis, I read with great interest your series of articles on Mozilla Thunderbird. The last article I read was in regard to Thunderbird: One Inbox, Multiple Email Accounts . Near the end of that article you ... mentioned there would be another editorial piece to explain how to archive emails for offline viewing using Thunderbird. I would personally love to download my Gmail emails to my PC and store them locally. Can you explain how to do that? " My response: I've already written an article on how to do that , though I'd be happy to go over it again in ... (view more)
Major changes to privacy laws in Europe could affect the way websites deliver advertising. The move is meant to protect user privacy, but critics claim it could make ads more annoying and intrusive. The proposed changes would affect websites used by ... people in European Union countries, but the regulatory impact could be so severe that sites find it easier to change their policies worldwide. According to European officials, the changes are designed to take existing rules that affect telecommunications companies and apply them equally to Internet companies. The main principle of the change is ... (view more)
Mobile users on "unlimited" data plans got a double dose of bad news this week. Verizon will be kicking the heaviest data users off the plan, while AT&T's remaining unlimited users face a price hike. Cellphone service providers have largely ... moved away from offering truly unlimited data plans over the past few years. That's partly because of a big increase in how much data mobile customers use, particularly as faster speeds made streaming video more practical. While new unlimited deals are almost non-existent, most providers have continued to allow people to keep existing ... (view more)
Microsoft has started public testing on the next major update for Windows 10. Many of the new features are for the Edge browser, but tweaks to security and usability are also on the way. The changes are now available to members of the Windows ... Insider program that allows users to act as guinea pigs and try out new features and fixes, albeit with the risk that not everything will always work perfectly. It appears the new features will be rolled out to the general in the spring as part of a major update. Initially it appeared that update, codenamed "Creators Update" or "Creative ... (view more)
Infopackets Reader Shirley B. writes: " Dear Dennis, Thanks for your article on how to remove AVG Web TuneUp ! I have a similar question. Recently I downloaded Adobe Flash Player and it came bundled with McAfee Security Scan Plus. I already have ... antivirus software installed on my machine so I don't need it. I tried to remove Mcafee Security Scan Plus using the Control Panel -> Programs and Features, but it won't uninstall. Can you help? " My response: I had a hunch that the removal procedure for McAfee Security Scan Plus was going to be similar to the article I had already written on how ... (view more)
Infopackets Reader Steve S. writes: " Dear Dennis, I have a program called 'AVG Web TuneUp' which refuses to uninstall from my system. I have gone to the Control Panel -> Programs and Features and right clicked it, and selected 'Uninstall' ... multiple times. It goes through the process each time and tells me to reboot - however, after the reboot the program is still there. Is there a way I can remove AVG Web TuneUp from my machine manually? " My response: I asked Steve if he would like me to connect to his machine via my remote desktop support service to have a closer look, and he agreed. ... (view more)
It's the week of the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, and this year smart home gadgets seem to be attracting attention - rather than the latest TV technology. Everything from fridges to hairbrushes is getting some form of upgrade ... from gadget makers. One big story is the attempts by firms such as Google and Amazon to get their voice-operated "virtual assistants" connected to home devices. While gadgets such as Google Home and the Amazon Echo already control of some more common smart tech such as automated lighting and thermostats, several manufacturers showed ... (view more)
Apple is being sued after a fatal crash in which a driver was using the FaceTime video chat tool. The parents of the child who died are putting forward an unusual legal argument. Normally lawsuits relating to technology involve a product or service ... a company has made. In this case, Apple is under fire because of a feature it didn't develop. 5-year-old Moriah Modisette died when her parents car slowed and stopped as a result of a highway patrol stop 1,500 feet away. The driver of the car behind failed to stop and crashed into the rear of the Modisette car. The lawsuit says police ... (view more)
A $30 tracking device could make it easier to find lost wallets or other items, but there's a big catch. While the "TrackR" range works fine around the house, if you lose your wallet while away from home, you may be reliant on other people having ... subscribed to the service. The range is billed as being the smallest tracking devices on the market. It comes in two models: the $30 TrackrR wallet 2.0, which is a two millimeter thick credit card-sized device for putting into a wallet, and the $25 TrackR Pixel, which is a similar size to a quarter coin but a little thicker, designed ... (view more)
Infopackets Reader Gord F. writes: " Dear Dennis, I recently installed Windows 10 on my PC. Everything has been working fine for over a year, however, all the sudden my Logitech webcam 300 stopped working with Windows 10. I thought perhaps I may ... need to reinstall the driver, so I went to Device Manager to locate the webcam but it is not there anymore. Instead, I see an 'Unknown device' and if I double click it, it says: 'The drivers for this device are not installed. (Code 28) This operation requires an interactive windows station'. I have absolutely no idea what that means. I tried ... (view more)
Infopackets Reader Karin S. writes: " Dear Dennis, I recently received a letter in the mail from the government requesting additional information on my account. The letter states that I can mail or fax in my information back to them (they won't ... accept email attachments for some reason). As such, I would prefer to fax the information as that is the fastest method. I would like to know if you can recommend a good, free fax service over the Internet that I can use to send this information? Thanks! " My response: I did a bit of research, and there are two popular websites offering free faxes ... (view more)
Amazon has refused to give police access to data from a home gadget that may have recorded audio relevant to a murder investigation. The company says its policy is to only provide customer information if and when it gets a valid court order. The ... request by Arkansas police is for information that may have been recorded by an Amazon Echo. That's a gadget that combines a wireless speaker with voice recognition and an Internet connection. It lets users give voice commands for actions such as selecting music to play, carrying out voice searches of the Internet and controlling smart devices ... (view more)
A Google employee is suing the company, claiming it imposed unlawful confidentiality agreements. The plaintiff says staff are banned from speaking out even about illegal activities. The lawsuit has been filed anonymously and is thus in the name of ... John Doe. It alleges violations of the Private Attorney Generals Act, which is a technical measure that lets private citizens bring claims against a company for breaching labor laws. "Doe" claims that although he remains at the company, Google falsely told other Google workers that he had been fired for leaking information to the press. ... (view more)
Tesla's automatic car steering tool will now restrict the car to the local speed limit on most roads. Users had previously been able to set the system to run up to five miles over the limit. The changes are to a feature which has the full title of ... Autopilot Traffic-Aware Cruise Control. It not only controls the car's speed as with normal cruise control, but automatically adjusts to keep a safe distance from surrounding vehicles and steers the car to keep in the lane. (Source: electrek.co ) Freeways an Exception to No-Speeding Policy Once the latest update takes effect, the feature ... (view more)
Infopackets Reader George M. writes: " Dear Dennis, I upgraded to Windows 10 a few months ago - however, just recently when I right click on a file, the 'Open with' option is missing from the menu. For example, normally when I right click on a video ... file, I have the option to 'Open with', and then I can choose Video Lan Player, or Windows Media Player, etc - but that option is no longer available. I have searched the web on how to fix the broken 'Open with' option but NONE of the fixes online work! Can you please help? " My response: I contacted George and asked if he would like to connect to ... (view more)
Google has tweaked its search algorithm after discovering holocaust denial sites were topping the results for some queries. The incident may have highlighted a difference in the way Google and other search engines rank pages. The issue came to light ... when a newspaper reporter experimented with searches for the phrase "did the Holocaust happen" and discovered that the top result returned by Google was a site specifically dedicated to denying the Holocaust. Other journalists checked up potentially controversial queries and found unsettling top results, such as a search for "are ... (view more)
Stolen Yahoo account details could be changing hands for as little as three-hundredths of a cent according to security researchers. It follows a hack of more than a billion accounts. It's the second Yahoo breach reported this year. Back in September ... the news broke that details of more than 500,000 accounts had been accessed by hackers in 2014. Now Yahoo has confirmed a separate attack in 2013 involved the theft of data for more than a billion accounts, something security experts believe makes it a record breach. It's suggested that the stolen data includes email addresses and passwords, ... (view more)
Taxicab-rival Uber says it will ignore orders to stop using self-driving cars to pick up passengers. It disputes a Department of Motor Vehicle statement that it requires a test permit to use such vehicles. Uber has long caused controversy with its ... attitude to regulations. Its service uses an app to let customers book a vehicle driven by a private individual, with Uber handling the payment, providing navigation directions and taking a commission. That set-up often means it doesn't face the same level of regulation as licensed taxi cabs, which can pick up customers on the street without a ... (view more)
Infopackets Reader Dan A. writes: " Dear Dennis, I upgraded to Windows 10 last year and now all the sudden I keep receiving popup notifications from the Windows 10 Action Centre that my Windows 10 password is about to expire. I have never received ... this password expire notification before. How can I disable these notifications? " My response: I also started receiving these notifications some time in the last two weeks and I'm not sure why. Perhaps there was an update to Windows 10 that caused these notifications to appear. How to Fix: Disable Windows 10 Password Reminder There are a few ways ... (view more)
This article will explain how to keep your email inbox clean, and how to sort and store your email messages locally (or by remote) using Mozilla Thunderbird. This article is the 6th article in a series of articles I've recently written on ... Thunderbird, including: How to Fix: Thunderbird: One Inbox, Multiple Accounts How to Fix: Minimize Thunderbird to Tray Bar (Not Task Bar) How to Fix: Thunderbird Paragraph Mode (Press Enter Twice) How to Fix: Disable Thunderbird Popup Notifications How to Fix: Disable Thunderbird Attachment Reminder How to Fix: Sort and Archive Emails with Thunderbird ... (view more)
Infopackets Reader Julia S. writes: " Dear Dennis, Thanks for your articles on Thunderbird. I have a question! I have multiple email accounts that I use with Thunderbird; one issue I find is that it's difficult to figure out which inbox has my new ... emails. Some accounts are set up with POP3, others with IMAP. The IMAP accounts have their own 'Inbox', 'Sent', 'Deleted items', etc, whereas the POP3 emails end up in my 'Local Inbox'. Is there a plug-in or a way to configure Thunderbird so everything goes into one single inbox? It would make my life so much easier! " My response: I wondered the ... (view more)
Google has published eight letters sent by the FBI demanding details about its users. Normally the company isn't allowed to even acknowledge the letters exist. The letters, known as National Security Letters, are formal demands from the FBI for ... details about users - in this case, Google users. The letters are controversial for two reasons; first, the demands can be made without a specific search order, something that raises constitutional issues. The second is that Google isn't normally allowed to tell the user about the demand. While it's been argued that doing so may tip off a ... (view more)
A new form of ransomware offers victims the chance to escape the release fee by fooling two friends into paying up instead. A security expert likened it to a malware version of a pyramid scheme. Traditionally ransomware involves malware getting onto ... a computer and then encrypting all files, with an on-screen message demanding the victim pay a fee to regain access. It's unknown what proportion of people pay up, but some big organizations such as hospitals and police forces are known to have paid the fee in the past, rather than lose sensitive data or access to control systems. The new ... (view more)
Samsung is to remotely block the controversial Galaxy Note 7 phone from recharging. It's an attempt to persuade users who've hung on to the potentially-exploding handset to return the device for a refund. The phone was officially recalled by Samsung ... after reports of handsets overheating and causing burns, and in some cases catching fire. While Samsung is yet to release an official report into the causes of the problem, independent analysis suggests the phone's thin design put too much stress on the battery . To date, around 93 percent of the Note 7's sold to the public have ... (view more)
Infopackets Reader Richard L. writes: " Dear Dennis, Thanks for your ongoing articles on Thunderbird. I have a question about Firefox. Lately when I visit websites, I get a popup asking me: 'Would you like to receive notifications from this ... website?' with the default option 'Always receive notifications'. In sheer frustration I've tried to select 'Never receive notifications' but accidentally clicked on 'Always receive notifications' and now I'm getting a barrage of website spam! Whoever thought of this 'notification' idea should be shot! I should not have to keep clicking on 'NO!' I don't ... (view more)
Infopackets Reader Barb F. writes: " Dear Dennis, Thanks for your ongoing articles on Thunderbird - they've been a big help! I have a question as well. In earlier editions of Thunderbird, there was an option such that if I minimized Thunderbird, it ... would minimize to my tray bar (where the clock is) rather than on the task bar. I've searched and searched inside the program preferences but I don't see an option for Thunderbird to 'minimize to tray bar'. I prefer this behavior because I leave Thunderbird open all the time, but I don't want it taking up space on my task bar. Is there a way to ... (view more)
T-Mobile is to let customers use a single phone number on multiple devices, including computers and tablets. It will even work on handsets with service from rival carriers. Although tools such as Google Voice already allow a similar function, they ... use data networks to carry voice calls, which can mean lower quality. The T-Mobile tool will work over ordinary voice networks wherever possible. The technology, which T-Mobile dubs Digits, involves a fundamental rethink of what a SIM card is for. At the moment it involves identifying a specific device that's linked to a mobile service plan. ... (view more)
Some of the biggest Internet firms say they'll work together to remove images and videos that promote the message of terrorists. The announcement comes in the same week that European officials have criticized companies for failing to live up to a ... promise to tackle hate-based speech online. The agreement involves Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube. They'll build a joint database of images and videos that they have removed from their site after human moderators have flagged them as being either violent imagery produced by terrorists, or imagery specifically designed to recruit ... (view more)
An independent report suggests the spate of Galaxy Note 7 phone explosions was caused by the design of the phone itself. Engineering analysts "Instrumental" say Samsung blundered in its attempts to make the phone as slim as possible. After initial ... reports of the phones catching fire this year, Samsung appeared to believe a particular batch of faulty batteries was to blame and proceeded to recall the affected handsets. When phones that had been replaced in this way continued to explode, Samsung took the costly and embarrassing step of abandoning the handset entirely . While Samsung ... (view more)
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