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Welcome to this week's edition of the Computer Kindergarten Newsletter.
Today is Sunday, January 20, 2013

In this Issue:
Special Feature: Telephone Scams
Special Series: Twenty Things I Learned About Browsers and the Web: Cloud Computing
This Week's Topic: Speed Up a Slow Computer - Uninstall Unused Programs
Special Feature: iPad Basics: Buying an iPad - When You're Ready to Buy
Websites of Interest: Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Special Feature: Telephone Scams

By Shari Einhorn of News12 Long Island

WARNING FROM SUFFOLK POLICE: Due to an increase in reported incidents within the last several months, since the initial warning was issued in November of last year, including five in the past 24 hours, the Suffolk County Police Department is again warning residents of telephone scams during which people are asked to wire money immediately for a family member in trouble.

A potential victim will receive a telephone call from someone claiming that they know a family member who is somehow in trouble and needs money wired immediately. The caller attempts to pressure the victim to send money without verifying the family member’s whereabouts.

In one scenario, the caller claims that they have just been in a motor vehicle crash with a relative of the victim who refuses to pay for the damage. The caller claims to be holding the relative at gunpoint until the victim pays several thousand dollars. Other scenarios may include the caller claiming a family member of the victim has been arrested and needs money for bail, or a family member owes someone money. The victim is asked to withdraw money from an ATM and the caller will guide them to an institution where they can wire money.

Investigations have determined that the victims are randomly selected and the caller is usually able to convince the target that the scenario is real.

These types of scams have been reported throughout the nation and the Suffolk County Police Department has knowledge of several similar incidents that have occurred locally during the past few years.

The Suffolk County Police Department advises residents to independently verify the threatened relative’s whereabouts and not to give out any personal information during the call. If someone receives a call of this nature, they are advised to call the Suffolk County Police Department for further investigation.

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Special Series: Twenty Things I Learned About Browsers and the Web: Cloud Computing

Many of us these days depend on the World Wide Web to bring the world’s information to our fingertips, and put us in touch with people and events across the globe instantaneously.

These powerful online experiences are possible thanks to an open web that can be accessed by anyone through a web browser, on any Internet-connected device in the world.

But how do our browsers and the web actually work? How has the World Wide Web evolved into what we know and love today? And what do we need to know to navigate the web safely and efficiently?

“20 Things I Learned About Browsers and the Web” is a short guide for anyone who’s curious about the basics of browsers and the web. Here’s what you’ll find here:

First we’ll look at the Internet, the very backbone that allows the web to exist. We’ll also take a look at how the web is used today, through cloud computing and web apps.

Then, we’ll introduce the building blocks of web pages like HTML and JavaScript, and review how their invention and evolution have changed the websites you visit every day. We’ll also take a look at the modern browser and how it helps users browse the web more safely and securely.

Finally, we’ll look ahead to the exciting innovations in browsers and web technologies that we believe will give us all even faster and more immersive online experiences in the future.

Life as citizens of the web can be liberating and empowering, but also deserves some self-education. Just as we’d want to know various basic facts as citizens of our physical neighborhoods -- water safety, key services, local businesses -- it’s increasingly important to understand a similar set of information about our online lives. That’s the spirit in which we wrote this guide. Many of the examples used to illustrate the features and functionality of the browser often refer back to Chrome, the open-source browser that we know well. We hope you find this guide as enjoyable to read as we did to create.
Happy browsing!
The Google Chrome Team
http://www.20thingsilearned.com
http://www.google.com/chrome

Cloud Computing

Modern computing in the age of the Internet is quite a strange, remarkable thing. As you sit hunched over your laptop at home watching a YouTube video or using a search engine, you’re actually plugging into the collective power of thousands of computers that serve all this information to you from far-away rooms distributed around the world. It’s almost like having a massive supercomputer at your beck and call, thanks to the Internet.

This phenomenon is what we typically refer to as cloud computing. We now read the news, listen to music, shop, watch TV shows and store our files on the web. Some of us live in cities in which nearly every museum, bank, and government office has a website. The end result? We spend less time in lines or on the phone, as these websites allow us to do things like pay bills and make reservations. The movement of many of our daily tasks online enables us to live more fully in the real world.

Cloud computing offers other benefits as well. Not too long ago, many of us worried about losing our documents, photos and files if something bad happened to our computers, like a virus or a hardware malfunction. Today, our data is migrating beyond the boundaries of our personal computers. Instead, we’re moving our data online into “the cloud”. If you upload your photos, store critical files online and use a web-based email service like Gmail or Yahoo! Mail, an 18-wheel truck could run over your laptop and all your data would still safely reside on the web, accessible from any Internet-connected computer, anywhere in the world.

In our next edition: Web Apps

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Today's Topic: Speed Up a Slow Computer - Uninstall Unused Programs

As your Windows computer ages, its speed can decrease. You will notice an increase in response time when you give commands to open programs, files or folders, use the Internet and other tasks. There are several things you can do to speed up your computer.

Over the next several editions of this newsletter, we will present articles discussing some of the steps you can take to speed up your slow computer.

Important: before making any changes to your system, always create a Restore Point. If anything goes wrong with the changes you make, this will allow you to revert back to a point when the computer was operating correctly. Please visit our Newsletter Archives to read our article, All About Restore Points:
http://computerkindergarten.com/021311.html

Uninstall Unused Programs

When you install a program on your computer, a connection is created between the program and the operating system. Even if you never use the program, it can slow down the computer.

Your computer may have programs on it that you installed and no longer use or programs that came packaged with it that you never even opened. Instead of allowing them to slow things down, get rid of them.

Uninstalling a Program in Windows Vista / 7

The uninstall feature in Windows XP and Vista are somewhat similar. In Vista, click the Start Orb (bottom left) and open Control Panel. Click Control Panel Home on the left.

Under Programs, click on Uninstall a program. This will open the Uninstall or change a program window. It may take a few moments to completely populate the list.

Once all the programs are listed, scroll down and find the one you want to uninstall. Click on it to select it. Once you select it, you will see the word Uninstall appear on the blue bar above the list of programs. Click it. Windows will display a box asking for your permission to continue. Click the Continue button.

Another window should display asking you if you want to uninstall the program. Click Yes. The uninstall wizard will start up, and begin to uninstall. Depending on the program that you are uninstalling, the uninstall wizard may ask you to click OK at steps throughout the process. Just follow the instructions on the screen.

This will remove the program from your computer.

Uninstalling a Program in Windows XP

Click the Start button, choose Control Panel, choose Add or Remove Programs.

Select the program to be removed; click the remove button. Depending on the program you select to be removed, you may be prompted to confirm the removal, or Windows Uninstaller Wizard may just start up to begin the uninstallation.
Uninstalling a Program with the Program’s Uninstall Function

Many programs come with their own uninstall program that will quickly remove programs from your computer. Some installers do not put their program on the Add/Remove list, so your next place to look is in the Start menu.

Find the program in All Programs in the Start menu and see if there is an item called Uninstall. If so, click on it and the Uninstaller will run. Follow any prompts that appear on the screen.

In our next edition, learn how to speed up your computer by turning off programs that start up automatically.

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Special Feature: iPad Basics: Buying an iPad - When You're Ready to Buy

From gcflearnfree.org

When you're ready to make your purchase, you have several different options. Depending on your preferences, you can:

Buy an iPad directly from Apple—online or at your local Apple Store
Choose a third-party retailer like Target, Walmart, or Best Buy
Go through AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon Wireless if you plan to buy one of the Wi-Fi + Cellular models

Your decision will probably come down to whoever has the iPad you want in stock—and which store is most convenient—rather than who's offering the best deal. The truth is, you'll almost never find an iPad for significantly less than the suggested retail price.

Beware of any sales, promotions, or contest giveaways that sound too good to be true. Because the iPad is in high demand, there will always be scammers and other disreputable sellers—especially online—who will try to take advantage of unsuspecting buyers. When in doubt, purchase your device from a well-known retailer.

iPad 2 vs. The New iPad

As of November 2012, the iPad 2 (the previous version of the iPad) is still being sold online and in select stores. It's available in two different lower-cost models:

16GB Wi-Fi starting at $399
16GB Wi-Fi + 3G starting at $529

The iPad 2 lacks the hardware advancements of the current version—and it doesn't support Siri. However, the savings may be worth it to you depending on your budget and individual needs. To learn more, visit the links below.

Compare iPad Models at Apple.com to compare the iPad 2, the new iPad, and the iPad Mini side by side
http://www.apple.com/ipad/compare/

Select an iPad 2 at Apple.com to view current availability
http://store.apple.com/us/buy/home/shop_ipad/family/ipad2

In our next edition:
Getting to Know the iPad

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Websites of Interest:

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Take a look at the Seattle Times website for stories, photo, some audio clips and a very interesting Civil Rights timeline.
seattletimes.nwsource.com/mlk/

The Stanford University website provides a biography and some of his speeches and letters.
http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/

From Louisiana State University, this website provides a biographical sketch and much more information.
www.lib.lsu.edu/hum/mlk/

From Time Magazine, profile, photo, and timeline of the civil rights leader.
www.time.com/time/time100/leaders/profile/king.html

Listen to King's I Have a Dream speech given on August 28, 1963.
http://tinyurl.com/yaqwfqx

For the Kids:
familyeducation.com/topic/front/0,1156,1-4644,00.html
www.holidays.net/mlk/