Windows 7 Tip: Speed Up The Shut Down Process

Sometimes it seems like it takes forever for your computer to shut down.  If, in fact, it really DOES take forever to shut down, this registry tweak will speed up the process by shortening the interval that Windows waits for services and programs to close themselves before force-closing them.

Start regedit from the Search box on the Start Menu, and navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControl.   Find the WaitToKillServiceTimeout key in the right column, double click on it to edit and change the interval ...

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Malware Writers Using HTML Email Exploits to Spread Trouble

This from PC World:  Malware writers are turning to SPAM to distribute their software exploits.  Please read the PC world article at the above link for more details.

The mail contains an HTML attachment with a JavaScript component that, when clicked on by an email reader, can send you to web sites selling everything from pharmacy prescription medications to fake anti-virus programs.  Often these programs install a backdoor Trojan so your machine can be accessed from the web without ...

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Be warned: Telemarketers Will Be Calling a Cell Phone Near You.

REMEMBER: Cell phone numbers go public this month.  All cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies and you will start to receive sales calls on your cell phone.

To prevent this, call the following number from your cell phone:  888-382-1222.  It is the National DO NOT CALL list It will only take a minute of your time.. It blocks your number for five years. You must call from the cell phone number you want to have blocked. You ...

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Hotmail Users: Beware Phishing Scam

Microsoft just posted this alert for Hotmail users.  You may receive an email allegedly coming from Hotmail Customer Care threatening to deactivate your account unless you supply your user ID and password via an active link on the email that guides you to a fraudulent but realistic looking Hotmail web site.  This email is a scam.  The web site is phony.  If you supply your user credentials, in all likelihood your account will be taken over and used ...

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Ransom Demands Accompany Fake Anti-Virus Malware

This in via PC World:  Fake anti-virus product Total Security, once installed, will disable all applications except the browser, claiming the computer is “infected” and keep the computer frozen until the owner pays for their “fix.”   This works by disabling your actual security product, and then reinstalling itself in a slightly different form when you attempt to remove it using traditional means.  Read the full story on the PC World link above.

The best defense I’ve found against the ...

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Watch Out for the Facebook “Dislike Button” Scam, It’s a Virus

There is a scam being promoted on Facebook that supposedly allows you to install a “dislike” button.  Do NOT click on the short Bitly URL, it will take you to a place you do not want to go, show you images you make not want to see, and update your Facebook profile to help perpetuate the hoax.  For a complete description of the hoax including some nice screen shots, see the article on the Sophos web site.

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Access Hidden Desktop Themes in Windows 7

Here’s a great tip from Support.com.  The nifty rotating Aero desktop themes that are available to you are determined largely by your language and geographic area.  As an American, I see scenes from the United States.  There are themes available in the English Language version of Windows 7 for Australia, Canada, Great Britain, and South Africa as well.

To add the themes to your palette, navigate to  C:WindowsGlobalizationMCT.  In the MCT folder you will see the additional country folders.  Open each ...

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How to Calibrate Your Monitor

I occasionally get asked how to calibrate a monitor to get truer color, brightness, and contrast.  This is definitely an issue for professional and serious amateur photographers.  Often the results from a session in Photoshop will be dramatically different when you print the image on your photo inkjet printer.  While this simple program that is included in Windows 7  may not get you all the way to perfection, it can go a long way toward improving your viewing experience.

Click on ...

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AVG Internet Security Scores Highly On VB100 Test

I subscribe to a newsletter called the Virus Bulletin, and earlier in August they sent out the results of their latest lab test of 54 for the most popular anti-malware products on the market.  You can see the results here.  The Reactive and Proactive Quadrant shown in the article rates a products ability to react to known virus and malware attacks, as well as its ability to proactively deal with unknown or new threats, based on technologies such ...

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Facebook Survey Email is a Hoax

I have been getting several survey requests from Facebook in my email lately, and most end up in my SPAM folder, where they belong.   Do not click on any links or worse yet take the survey.  This is an exploit to allow criminal hackers to acquire your Facebook credentials and hijack your Facebook account in order to steal your identity and raise funds from your Facebook Friends.

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