Ira Wilsker's archive

In the not too distant past, we communicated with each other with the spoken and written word, telephone, telegraph, and by mail complete with a postage stamp. Fast forward a few decades, and now, in terms of personal communication, we use satellite dependent cellular phones, e-mail, texting, video conferencing, social networking, and other forms of digital media. While generally very efficient in terms of time and energy, these new digital communications technologies have also made us somewhat lazy.

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Weeks ago in this column, I reviewed several Android and iPhone apps that can be used to possibly locate lost or stolen phones and tablets. While several of the apps were free, most were limited in capabilities without a paid, usually nominal, subscription fee. Now Google, known for its innovation and services, has offered a pair of very simple and free ways to locate almost any lost or stolen Android device, totally for free. 

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I have been vehemently advocating for many years that all computer users (including Mac users) absolutely need a comprehensive security suite in order to protect them and their machines from the malware that has become endemic. While I have one of the top rated commercial (paid) comprehensive security suites on all of my computers and other smart devices, I am also cognizant that for a myriad of reasons, there are many who prefer one of the numerous decent security suites that are available for free.

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As many of you have seen firsthand, I have been doing a series of free presentations for local and national groups titled “Are We Under Cyber Attack?” With the constantly increasing volume of information that has indicated that we are indeed under an increasing level of cyber attack, it has been difficult for me to keep my presentation up-to-date without it becoming excessively long.

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Over the past several years, I have written columns praising Google for its Herculean efforts in digitizing and compiling massive amounts of historical data, digitizing and archiving millions of pages of old newspapers, creating an outstanding historical resource that could be searched as easily as today’s Web pages. In more than one column, I documented the enormous library of millions of old books and magazines that had been digitally preserved by Google, making them freely available to the public.

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