Your Social Media Posts Do Not Belong To You

By Tom Ledford | The Practical Computer ~

In the video below, Mark Cuban warns us about the biggest mistake we don't know we are making on social media. You will hear the real reason he made this video at the 4:18 mark. For those first 4 minutes and 18 seconds, Mr. Cuban is artfully employing a tried and true sales tactic called FUD - Fear, uncertainty and doubt. If he can cause even just a little fear, uncertainty or doubt, he may make you believe that you need to be protected from whatever is causing it.

GoDaddy's Social Outreach Made this Customer Feel Important


By Tom Ledford | The Practical Computer ~

I want to give a shout out to *Heather* at GoDaddy. I wasn't having a good time yesterday. My GoDaddy website was down. I talked to two different support people while trying to figure out how to get it back up and running.

Crowdsourced Web Safety

By Tom Ledford | The Practical Computer ~

Web of Trust (WOT) is a unique, community powered website rating system. Global communities of millions of users rate websites for safety based upon their experience. The WOT browser plug in then uses a simple traffic light metaphor to warn you of potentially unsafe sites. It also allows you to add your rating for several criteria of safety.

I Survived Without Windows For a Whole Week

By Tom Ledford | The Practical Computer

No Windows Allowed
No Windows Allowed

I started with the goal to use Ubuntu Linux on my computer exclusively for a week. I wanted to go seven full days without using Windows. I knew the only way I can learn about new software, especially operating systems, is to dive in – to make it necessary to survive using only the tools and software available in my new Linux environment.

Manage Your Gmail With

By Tom Ledford | The Practical Computer

Most of us have more than one email address. It's practically a necessity nowadays. There are a lot of good reasons. You may want to keep your personal email separate from your business email. You may need one as a backup for lost passwords, or you may want a disposable address to give sites so you receive less spam in your main inbox. If you want to use Microsoft's Office Online you will need an (formerly Hotmail) email address. If you want to use Google+ you will need a Gmail address. You get the picture.

Windows 9 - Will It Be Everything You Want It To Be?

By Tom Ledford | The Practical Computer

Microsoft stumbled badly with the release of Windows 8. What happened and why, became bottomless subjects for the blogging technorati. A consensus formed that they rushed a touch UI out the door because Apple once again one upped them in the tablet market with the iPad. 

Stream Netfilx with Chrome on Linux using HTML5 - Finally!

By Tom Ledford | The Practical Computer

NetFlix using HTML5 on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

Netflix and Linux fans have been waiting patiently for a native Netflix player. Well, they have been waiting. The best solution will ultimately be based upon standards like HTML5. In fact Netflix offers an HTML5 video player now, but the only browser that supports it is Internet Explorer 11. Obviously, that isn't a solution for Linux.

Canvas Fingerprinting - Internet Tracking Just Became Sneakier

By Tom Ledford | The Practical Computer

Everyone knows, when an ad displays for running shoes at Zappos and they are on a completely unrelated website, but they recently viewed running shoes on Zappos' website, their Internet whereabouts are being tracked. 

Not everyone minds being tracked, especially if they understand how and why they are. Ads are a fact of life on the Internet. Why would you object to seeing only those that are relevant to you? Still, others may have good reasons they don't want their online activity tracked.

Adieu Netflix in Chrome for Linux!

By Tom Ledford | The Practical Computer

Chrome failing in foreground, Firefox working in background

Update - 8-11-2014: Netflix now has an HTML5 player that will work with the latest beta or developer version of Chrome. --

Nice while it lasted

Netflix will no longer work on Chrome for Linux. From version 32, Chrome will not support NPAPI, or the Netscape Plugin, Application Programming Interface. 

Netflix uses Silverlight to stream movies in Windows. Until now the only way to stream movies in Linux with Sliverlight, was to emulate both Windows and Silverlight. In a previous post "How to Stream Netflix Movies on Linux," I wrote about how to stream Netfilx with both Firefox and Chrome. Well, now you can skip over the Chrome part!

Internet Fail Over Strategies for Small Businesses

By Tom Ledford | The Practical Computer

Single Router/Firewall - Two Internet Circuits

Congratulations! You are on the leading edge. You're blazing a trail into the future and leaving your competitors in the dust. Your company is saving buckets full of money on information technology by wholeheartedly embracing the cloud. You are even using the cloud for mission critical applications and data. 

What if your connection to the Internet goes down?

Sync your Cloud with CloudHQ

By Tom Ledford | The Practical Computer 

What if you could have two months to backup your Gmail to Microsoft OneDrive, and your SharePoint files to Dropbox, so you could put your BaseCamp files on your Google Drive? You could make sure you had room to backup your Evernote files to OneDrive and around again but asynchronous instead of bisynchronous this time. 

If you could bet a $5 Trifecta, three horse box, full wheel at Keeneland, it would cost you... Nevermind. They'll tell you at the window. Might come in big though!

Please forgive me but, calculating, prestidigitating, and creating a big lead-in graphic, were all sacrificed for the sake of expedience. 

CloudHQ is the eel's hips baby!

At least until your time runs out...

Perfect Storm for Microsoft, Perfect Wave for Linux

By Tom Ledford | The Practical Computer 

2010 Mavericks Surfing Competition. - Wikimedia Commons

Ok. I'm sorry about the melodramatic headline. It's easy to laugh at the idea of Microsoft in trouble. After all, they are entrenched in the enterprise and corporate world. And they have billions and billions in cash.

I'm not betting against them to weather the storm, but...

How to Stream Netflix Movies on Linux

The Practical Computer | By Tom Ledford

The Yards
Netflix, Firefox 29, Linux Mint 16 w/Cinnamon Desktop

C'mon Netflix. Give us a Linux video player!

As of yet, NetFlix doesn't have a video player for Linux. NetFlix uses Microsoft's Silverlight video player. Silverlight is available for Windows, Mac, Android tablets and phones, iPads and iPhones. It isn't available for Linux. Ergo, no native NetFlix player. However, all is not lost! You can use the Linux, Windows emulator software, Wine to run a special version of Silverlight called Pipelight. It's a good workaround. 

To be fair to NetFlix, they have finally decided to stop using Silverlight and begin using their proposed HTML5 premium video extensions. They are available now if you are using Internet Explorer 11, and Windows 8.1. 

Until Firefox or Chrome implement these extensions in their browsers¹². Linux users will need to use the work around explained here...

Goodbye Windows XP - Hello Linux Mint!

By Tom Ledford | The Practical Computer

Linux Mint 16 "Petra" with Cinnamon desktop 

It's been a great ride!

Microsoft gave ample notice of when they would stop supporting XP. Even so, Windows XP is still installed on millions of computers. When Microsoft announced that all versions of Internet Explorer had a zero day vulnerability, they made an exception to make the patch available to XP after it's end of support date. 
"A zero day vulnerability refers to a hole in software that is unknown to the vendor. This security hole is then exploited by hackers before the vendor becomes aware and hurries to fix it—this exploit is called a zero day attack." - PC Tools by Symantec
That gave me the push to install Linux Mint. There are many reasons people are clinging to XP, but my reason was simple. I don't want to buy another new PC. I only recently bought a new Windows 7 desktop. But I have another desktop and two laptops. My other desktop and one of my laptops were still running Windows XP and neither one had the specs to run Windows 7 or Windows 8. Or to run them well. Enter Linux! 

Linux is ready for the everyday computer user

I know this seems like a departure from "Practical advice about technology for the everyday computer user," but I think Linux is ready for the everyday computer user. And what can be more practical than free? The new versions of Linux are easy to install and easy to use. Here is how...