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Here’s how you can optimize your computer

Your computer needs regular check-ups and maintenance runs to be in an optimized state. Is your PC really slow? Does it take too long to respond? Do you regularly perform any checks on your computer to see if it is running well? You must. Here are a few things that you can do to optimize your computer easily.

Disk error clean up

Disk error is a log that your computer creates whenever an error happens on the hard disk. If there’s a power outage, which doesn’t leave you with time to save your documents and shut down the PC, the Disk Error tool creates a log entry for it. If these errors get accumulated, there’s a chance that your computer might run slow. You need to run a program called Disk Check to check and clear these errors from your computer. To run this program, you need to login from the administrator account of the computer because only an administrator has the rights to run this program.

Windows update

Sometimes, your operating system might need a bug or an update to keep up with the times. That’s why Microsoft releases patches and updates on a regular basis. To automatically install these updates and patches/fixes, Microsoft came up with the tool, Windows Update. On Windows Update, you can set the option to ‘Install Updates Automatically’ to automate the Windows Update Process. You don’t have to worry about the fixes and updates anymore! They would be downloaded automatically as soon as they are available for download.

Cleaning up temporary files

Whenever you open any file or a document on your computer a copy of that is saved in a folder that’s called ‘Temp’. This folder is on RAM of your computer because it’s easy for the computer from retrieve the file from RAM than Hard Disk. This ‘Temp’ folder on your computer needs to be cleaned regularly. This folder can be cleaned with another Microsoft Tool called ‘Disk Cleanup’. Again, you need to have administrator rights on your computer to run this program.

These are a few things that you could do, to ensure that your computer is in an optimized state, all the time.

Are You a Human to replace CAPTCHAs with games

The CAPTCHA test must have been taken by almost all of us to authenticate that we are human beings and not an automated bot while visiting a website. And, many must have failed in the test at the first attempt or even at the second or third attempt. The CAPTCHA test is very annoying as it leads to multiple failures. But, soon we might get rid of this annoying verification exercise.

The Savior

Detroit-based company, Are You a Human, is replacing the CAPTCHA with easy-to-play small games. Its human authentication tool PlayThru has the capability to help companies fight spammers and bots that have begun to evade the CAPTCHA tests.

How PlayThru will work?

With PlayThru, companies can embed a simple game instead of CAPTCHA test. For instance, one minigame requires users to look at a set of five images and pick up the two tools and put them in a toolbox. Or, the user can drag and drop toppings onto a pizza. As the games are dynamic and keep on changing, they are hard for computers to solve but easy for people to complete. To know more about the Are You a Human company and its tool PlayThru, click here.

News source: VentureBeat
Image credit: Are You a Human

How To Use iPhoto Keywords

The photos that the user wants to keep always with him are generally very large in number. These photos have to be synchronized so that whenever the user wants to have a look at them he can easily get access to it without any extra effort. There are many devices that are useful in capturing the precious moments of the user and keep it safe. The best device that the user can ever have is the iPhoto ’11. There are many methods to organize and categories different pictures. The user can dump the pictures into albums. The user can use Faces and Places features to sort by people or location.

There is another technique to sort the pictures, using flag photos. There is one more technique of sorting, this is by using Events feature to sort according to the events and functions in the specific time period. Although, these methods of sorting the photo is not too bad and are easily applicable. But there is a more good method of sorting the pictures by just using the Keywords. These keywords act as tags and help the user to quickly search a particular photo or picture. There are a series of steps that need to be followed so that the photos can be assigned a keyword. This will ultimately complete our task. Following are the required steps that have to be considered:

Step 1: The first step is to click on View that is situated at the top menu and then click on keywords. This leads to the formation of check mark next to it. This actually shows the keyword menu options, then the user has to click on the info button in the toolbar that is located in the lower right corner of iPhoto.

Step 2: The next step is to add a Keyword and then highlight a photo or photos. After that click on the info button. Now from this info pane the user can see the Keywords between the Faces and Places. Now the user has to click on “Add a Keyword” and then the user can type as many keywords he likes to.

Step 3: Now the user can search the library by Keyword. The user has to click on the search button situated on the lower left corner of the iPhoto. The words used in the title or in the description field for the particular photo or the evnt also acts as an Keyword.

Step 4: If the user wants to edit the keywords he has used earlier, then he has to go to Window > Manage My Keywords (or use the keyboard shortcut Command-K). This will result in a pop up window and then show a list of keywords used.

The user can draw keywords into the Quick Group field, which will assign a letter to a keyword, letting the user add it with a single keystroke. Click the Edit Keywords button, and the user can add or remove keywords, rename them, and assign a letter for a shortcut.

How To Import Sound Clips Into The iOS Voice Memo App

At times, you might feel that you need something to note down a brilliant idea but you do not have pen or paper. For such occasions, you can use Voice Memo app from an iOS device like iPod, or an iPhone. Not all iOS devices support this app like users cannot use Voice Memo function in iPad and, iPod Shuffle and iPod Nano. It is only available for the latest iPhone and iPod models.
A Voice memo is an application which allows users to record any important message and play it back whenever required.
Users can keep all the recorded memos in an organized manner by selecting labels.
There is one more cool use of this application; users can import MP3 files into a Voice Memo app.
For this, users need to use iTunes to import voice recording and sound clips. These sound clips and voice notes can be made with any device as these files can be converted and imported into iTunes and then can be marked as Voice Memo. Finally these Voice Memos can be synchronized with iPhone or iPods as well.

Here are some of the simple steps to import sound clips into the iOS Voice Memo app:

Step1: Firstly, you need to convert the desired sound clips into M4A file format. You can use Adapter app for converting files in M4A format and this app is compatible for both Mac and Windows operating systems.

Although, iTunes can import WAV and MP3 files and sync it with iPhone without any problem, but when you try to sync the iPhone next time, it will not detect those MP3 or WAV files and those sound clips will not be shown in Voice Memo app. This is the main reason why we need to convert the files into M4A format.

Step2: Once the Adapter app is downloaded, launch the application. Now, drag and drop the desired sound files onto the app and select the desired location of the converted files and change the output format as M4A. Now click on Start conversion.

Step3:

Once the conversion process is completed, you need to import the converted files into iTunes. You can simply drag the files and drop into iTunes or you can select the file by clicking on File menu and then select Add library option.

Step3: After the file selection and import is completed, you need to make sure that the Media kind option is changed to Voice Memo.
Right click on the desired file and then select the Get Info option. Now go to Options tab and then change the Media Kind from music to Voice memo.
Pres OK to confirm the changes. This process has to be repeated for all the files you want to use as Voice Memo.

Step4: Once the above mentioned steps are completed, you can sync the files with your iPhone.
For this, your iPhone must be connected with the computer. Select the Music Tab and check the option “Include Voce Memos” and then click next. This process will sync all the music files including the voice memos which you have recently added.

Microsoft’s Open Office XML for Australian Government Offices

Australia Finance Department, in its recently announced desktop policy, has asked all its agencies to choose Office Open XML as their standard document format. This move by the Australian Government has ensured Microsoft Office Suite will continue to be part of the Government policy documents.  This comes as a surprise for international community when majority of the governments are embracing open source desktop publishing suites to cut down on costs.

The Whole-of-Government Common Operating Environment has made it mandatory that an agency productivity suite  should have the capability to read and compile in Office Open XML which is the file format endorsed by the Government. The desktop policy document also states that the productivity suite should be compliant with the ECMA-376 version Office Open XML (OOXML) standard.

The Australian Government decision of favoring OOXML has not gone down well with international community. Many experts have questioned Australian Government decision as the ECMA-376 version Office Open XML (OOXML) standard was disapproved by the International Standard Organization (ISO).  The reason given for rejection was OOXML has many Windows-platform dependencies make it less compatible with other similar formats. The Open Document Format Alliance which is backed by Google and IBM has also warned governments globally against adoption of ECMA-376 standard. The ODF Alliance  in its document titled “ What Government needs to know” has specifically mentioned that user of ECMA-376 standard OOXML will eventually tie the user to using Microsoft Office Suite only.

The Alliance has also pointed out that  ECMA-376 standard OOXML had several Windows-platform dependencies an in order  to get the product approved for ISO-29500, Microsoft was asked to remove the Windows platform dependencies which the developer has not been able to do till date. Hence, in this scenario, the ECMA-376 standard OOXML stands rejected by ISO.

The directive from Australia’s Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) is surely going to limit agency choices as many of the rival productivity suites have the ability to import and read Microsoft’s OOXML format which is denoted by .docx extension for Word files, but only few have the ability to write in that format which prevents the agencies to use other office suites. This  government directive leaves agencies with no choice but to use Microsoft Office Suite.

The ODF alliance was surprised when the ODF format was not even mentioned in Australia’s Government Information Management Office policy. They have cited an international example where both the formats, ODF and OOXML were clearly mentioned in  2009 UK open document format policy the UK government giving room for both formats.  The biggest surprise for ODF Alliance was Australian Government did not even mention ODF standard in their The Whole-of-Government Common Operating Environment desktop policy. They have also mentioned that ODF was standard format selected by National Archives of Australia back in 2006.

AGIMO has clarified that it has selected OOXML to make the exchange of information easier between the agencies. Australian Government has clarified that their desktop policy is aimed at securing Government data and reducing possible leaks. The desktop policy makes it mandatory for Government offices to use Microsoft Office suite only.

Updates for Windows Live Essentials Wave 3

Windows Live Essentials is distributed free of cost to all Microsoft OS  users that makes a PC running Windows 7 do more great things like e-mail, messaging, photo editing, and blogging. It has several in-built tools like Windows Live Photo Gallery, Windows Live Movie Maker, Windows Live Mail and Windows Live Messenger. Microsoft developed so many applications for Windows and they are famous also. Windows Live Essential is mostly used by users for Live Messenger. It is far better than other messenger and has amazing features. You have experienced the yahoo messenger and so many other messengers but the latest release of Windows Live Messenger is a great way to chat, play games, or share photos. You will be excited to use this messenger because of a new look and feel with so many other personalized settings. If you are listening to music then it has option to let other user know the kind of music you’re listening to, and customize the scene in the conversation window. The photo gallery is also very interesting feature in it and one of the best applications in-built.

If you are using Windows Live Essentials and now want to upgrade it then Microsoft announced the compulsory update. Recently Microsoft released a small QFE update for Windows Live Essential Wave 3 with a new version number 14.0.8117.416. This update targets several bug fixes and minor changes but users were upset by the removal of the one-way video conversation feature from the Windows Live Messenger wave 3. This update was optional for those who had installed Windows Live Essentials Wave 3 before May 2010 but after this date you download any update then it will give you the new version.

Now they announced that this new update will become obligatory for all users who are running Wave 3 version. It is due to the security improvement of this application. The Microsoft’s official announced that the update is going to be compulsory for user running this application, (including messenger), on Windows XP. The update will be rolled in next week in 48 different languages which will include the security related updates, bug fixes, performance improvements and some minor and major changes f for Windows Messenger and Windows Live Essentials. The updates ging to be very useful for the users who are uses these application frequently as it is going to add some more features to this tool.

Microsoft recommends you to upgrade to Windows Live Essential 2011 Wave 4 to take advantage of its latest features, if you are using Windows 7 and Vista.

To satisfy the consumer’s needs it is very important to upgrade applications on regular interval. With new and innovative features Windows Live Essentials is comfortable to use by an average computer user.

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