Security Issues Big and Small

Written: September 28, 2015

I used to have my digital photos printed out at Costco, however gradually over time I stopped printing them all-together and instead mostly share my digital photos directly on Facebook to friends and family. Costco is a large retail provider that continues to offer printing of digital photos and they have a fine online system for uploading and ordering. One small detail is that Costco actually contracted out this online service to another company, and then that company got hacked, so I received the following ominous email about the security breach by email last week:

costco photo security breech


Wow, the Costco photo system was hacked for some 13 months until it was recently found. Now that doesn’t install much confidence in me about the security. Coincidentally in the past 12 months my Visa card company has issued me 2 new cards as part of their on-going security efforts.

So Costco photos online was the big security issue, and now for the small security issue – an email warning about my email account being over quota:

Christine Largade

It’s important to note that my Internet Service Provider is and they have a totally different look to their emails than this fake email. Notice how this email has no company name listed, no toll-free phone number, no logo and no address. Furthermore, when I click on the email sender it shows some bogus address of, certainly not a real company that I do any business with.

email sender is bogus


Hovering over the link reveals another fake address that is not any company I know of:

fake link address

So, to stay safe by identifying bogus emails like this, just double check a few facts before clicking any links:

Hopefully you will stay safe and secure in running your business and personal life online by not falling for security scams, or taking immediate action if a scam has stolen any of your vital information.


Customized Videos for Clients

Written: September 4, 2015

In my household we have five cell phone users, so for each user we have a two year contract that allows us to upgrade and pick a new phone from a variety of choices. Our phone carrier is AT&T and they just sent me the neatest thing ever, an email with a link to a customized video on what to do when my new smart phone arrives.

AT&T customized video

In this customized video they displayed and spoke:

They also described a free app to migrate my existing phone content to the new one using AT&T Mobile Transfer. A final step was to let AT&T know that I had my new phone all ready to use, so I visited

They’ve really made the process of upgrading smart phones easy to do, and that customized video was a first time experience for me, quite impressive, so I wonder how many other businesses would benefit from creating customized videos for their clients to be delighted with.

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What About that New Google Logo?

Written: September 3, 2015

I’ve been a loyal Google user for many years simply because their free search feature provides me the answers to my questions very quickly, and accurately. The folks at Google have a sense of humor and history, so they often show a different logo on their site to commemorate something important or fanciful. Recently they decided to change their iconic logo. Here’s the familiar, old logo with a serif font style:

Old Google logo

I like the serif font choice because it adds a touch of class to the logo, and is easy to read.

Now for the new Google logo with san-serif font:

New Google logo

With this new font the logo looks more child-like and simple, not at all sophisticated. There is a general trend now on the web to make graphics and logos super-sized, which to me looks a bit childish and doesn’t appeal to my sense of design. Of course, this is just my impression about the graphical feel for the new Google logo, others may just love it.

So it goes with your web site, the decisions that you make for your logo, font colors and sizes, type face, and combinations of graphics with text will all combine to create a feeling for your visitors. Do you want to come across as business-like, or playful? It all depends on your market place. A CPA or banker will want to appear more formal, while an author of children’s books may want to be rather playful in appearance and content.


Windows 10, Should I Upgrade?

Written: August 21, 2015

The short answer is Yes, go ahead and upgrade to Windows 10. My technical son Solomon works at Staples in PC support and has only good things to say about Windows 10, and the vast majority of reviews on the Internet encourage us to upgrade, so that’s exactly what I did last week, upgrading for free from Windows 8 Pro to Windows 10.


Make sure that you have about an hour to wait for this upgrade to complete, although I wish that there was a faster way. Just follow the directions provided by Microsoft here.

Windows 10 upgrade


What’s New

Eye candy on the new login page.

Windows 10 eye candy


My only Windows apps are Quicken and Internet Explorer, so Windows 10 opens to the familiar desktop mode, not the tiled mode. The start window makes a long-awaited come-back in the lower-left corner:

windows 10 start window


Clicking the Start window lets me quickly navigate to apps, the File Explorer, or just quickly Power down.

start window details

A complete list of new features is provided by Microsoft here.


As a long time Windows 8 user I found Windows 10 quite easy to adapt and use with very little learning required.

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