Commentary

As a user of alternative telephone services for several years, I have been very satisfied with their performance. All of them use some variety of VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, to send voice-grade telephone conversations over the Internet, terminating at the recipient’s local phone service (landline or cellular), which ultimately connects the call to his or her local phone. Over the years I have used the voice features of Yahoo!

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In case you have not heard the news, on July 9, 2012, hundreds of thousands of computers will lose access to the Internet. This is not some hoax or urban legend, but a fact announced by the FBI.

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Living in United States to attend college was supposed to be temporary for Iranian born Sina Nejad. And while relationships between the U.S. and Iran were strained, Nejad could not have imagined he would never be able to go home again. But politics and revolution intervened and in 1977, Nejad found himself stranded in the United States, specifically in Beaumont, Texas.

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Some time ago, I wrote about an early beta (pre-release) version of Microsoft’s free Mr. Fixit utility. With the early beta test now closed, I am happy to report that Mr. Fixit is alive and well and offering many times more free fixes than it did when I first reviewed it. Mr.

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Q. Can a debt collector call a person at work? I work as a receptionist for a company that often gets collection calls for an employee who works here. This person is unable to take the calls because he works out in the field. The calls are very harassing because they are often rude and have even resorted to calling me names because of my refusal to take these kinds of messages. What can be done to stop these calls?

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It never amazes me anymore when I try and help people having computer problems, often performance related, and find that their hard drives are so badly cluttered with useless garbage that hard drive performance is seriously degraded. While there are many potential causes of poor computer performance, one of the easiest problems to detect and remedy is hard drive clutter.

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With the 2012 Major League Baseball season starting in earnest this week, it seemed only natural to use a baseball term when describing the downtown revitalization of Port Arthur.

It’s been in a slump of legendary proportions.

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Many times before, in this column and regularly on my radio show, I have repeated the three most important words in computing: “Backup! Backup! Backup!” Hopefully by now, most of you are maintaining current backup copies of all of your critical data, and an image of your hard drive for the inevitable failure of your primary hard drive. I have published numerous reviews on good quality free and commercial software and online services that can be used to back up your hard drive.

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Q. I recently left a store and found a shopping cart up against my car in the parking lot. It obviously had gone quite a distance to get there because it left a scratch. Is the store liable for the damage to my car?

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Available basically for free (with charges for some services and content), Google recently rolled out the public release of Google Play (play.google.com), which integrates movies, music, apps, games and books under a single banner. One interesting feature of Google Play is its “Play Anywhere” feature, where the user can access content from any Internet connected device including computers, tablets, smart phones, compatible video games, Internet connected televisions, and other devices.

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