TWT Newsletter, Issue#060 – More Windows 8 news, cloud storage and chilling internet legislation
Welcome to our May 2012 TWT Newsletter. This month we’ve got our almost regular update on the latest Windows 8 news, some potentially bad news about new legislation that could affect internet users both here and in America and a special “free utility” segment about two new cloud storage facilities.
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In this months issue:-
1) What’s new at Top-Windows-Tutorials.com?
2) Windows 7 Superguide now available as a physical book
3) Thank you for your suggestions for new tutorials!
4) Windows 8 updates – Launch dates announced and another preview to come
5) Tip of the Month – Backspace and delete, do you know the difference?
6) Free Utility of the Month – Cloud storage special
7) A bad month for censorship and privacy on the net?
What’s new at Top-Windows-Tutorials.com?
Two updates on the site last month, along with an update to one of our popular digital downloads. The Top-Windows-Tutorials.com Offline Archive has now been updated to include all the content on the site as of the end of April 2012.
The Offline Archive is a complete copy of our site taken at the end of April 2012. With over 400 pages and 200 video tutorials, this product is a gold mine of tricks, tips, techniques and information for Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 users.
With a fully functional offline search engine you can quickly search the contents of the archive without ever needing to connect to the internet. This product is perfect as a Windows reference library or simply for use where an internet connection is not available.
The new Offline Archive is available to purchase now for 50% off the regular price, until June 1st 2012. To order your copy or to learn more, click here.
Apart from the Offline Archive launching last month, we also updated the tutorials for two of our favourite free security packages. Ad-Aware is one of the oldest and most well respected anti-spyware utilities on the internet. Our tutorials for Ad-Aware have now been updated for the newest version. You can view them by clicking here.
If you’re looking for a free firewall, ZoneAlarm is still as popular and effective today as it ever was. Our ZoneAlarm tutorials are now updated for the very latest version of this fantastic free security product. You can view them by clicking here.
As always we’ll have new content for you in May too, so keep checking our site or better still, subscribe to our Facebook, Twitter or RSS feeds.
Windows 7 Superguide now available as a physical book
Our Windows 7 Superguide has been far and away our best selling Superguide product to date. Businesses, schools, learning centres and individuals all around the world have used this guide to help them learn Windows 7. Now, for the first time, the Windows 7 Superguide can be purchased as a physical book. Get the convenience and ease of reading that only a traditional, physical book can offer. With 345 pages of lessons and screenshots, the book is like the missing manual for Windows 7! Order your copy now for just $15 + shipping by clicking here.
Thank you for your suggestions for new tutorials!
Last month we called on you all to suggest new tutorials for us to consider in the future. A handful of you have already made suggestions over on this page. We’d still like more of you to contribute, so get your suggestions in now, using the link above. The suggestion box will remain a permanent feature on our site and we welcome any suggestions at all.
Windows 8 updates – Launch dates announced and another preview to come
As the launch date of Windows 8 gets closer, we can now reveal that another preview version, this time dubbed the “Release Preview” will be released the first week in June. Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows Division, made the announcement during the Windows 8 developer event in Japan. The final release date for Windows 8 has not yet been confirmed, but it seems likely to be October 2012, well in time for the holiday buying season.
In our initial assessment of Windows 8, we concluded that the operating system felt “disappointing for desktops”. While we still have some reservations, terrific technology site Ars Technica has taken a hugely in-depth look at new features for desktop and power users in Windows 8. While the Ars Technica article echoes many of our concerns about how Windows 8’s metro interface can make for an uncomfortable hybrid with the desktop it also showcases several very powerful features that computer pro’s and advanced users will love. The article points out several of the improvements we discussed, such as the new improved file copy windows, and goes in-depth with the new task manager. If you’re a power user and you felt a little like Microsoft was abandoning you with Windows 8, maybe this article will change your mind (though, like us, the reporter seemed distinctly unimpressed with the fiddly ‘hot corners’). To read the article, click this link.
Tip of the Month – Backspace and delete, do you know the difference?
It’s a simple little tip this month, but mastering the keyboard is an important skill if you want to get the most out of your computer. Have you ever noticed that there are two delete keys on your keyboard? The backspace key is usually at the top right of the main bank of keys, and is labelled with a big arrow pointing to the left. The ‘Del’ key is usually to the right of return on a full sized keyboard. What is the difference between the two? Pressing backspace will delete the character you have just written, while the ‘Del’ key will delete the character in front of the cursor, which is useful if you’re editing text.
So there you have it, the next time you are editing an e-mail or other important text, and you realise you made a mistake, don’t delete chunks of information, simply click with your mouse where you want to make an edit and use the ‘Backspace’ or the ‘Del’ key to alter the text accordingly!
Free Utility of the Month – Cloud storage special
We’ve got something a little different for our free utility this month, for starters it’s more a service than a utility, although there are utilities associated to help you get the most out of the service, and there’s actually two services we’re mentioning. If you follow the latest news in the IT world you may have heard about Google Drive and Skydrive. These services allow users to store their files online, in the cloud. This is great for any files you want to backup securely off-site, or share with your friends. With Googles entry into this market, Microsoft stepped up their game and offered an improved service from their established “Skydrive” network.
If you have a Windows Live account (which is used for Hotmail, Xbox Live, and Windows Live Messenger) you can now get access to a much improved version of Skydrive that allows you to instantly access your cloud storage from the desktop. What’s more, if you already use Skydrive or Live Mesh, you qualify for a free upgrade to 25 gigabytes of storage! To find out more, visit this link.
Google are also getting in on the act with their long awaited offering, Google Drive. With Google Drive you can now store up to 5 gigabytes of data for free, and access it through the web or on your desktop or smartphone. To find out more or to claim your 5 gigs of space, visit this link.
A bad month for censorship and privacy on the net?
Seems we can’t go more than a couple of months before another law or bill is proposed that would affect internet users! First up in April was the shock of the new Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011 in America. This sinister new legislation looks innocent on the outside, and is sold as a bill that would allow for easy sharing of internet traffic between government investigators and technology companies. Under the surface however, the bill includes scant few protections for citizens privacy and could actually be worse for the internet than the sinister SOPA act that was recently in the headlines. Under the proposed law, companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter or your internet service provider could intercept your emails and text messages, send copies to one another and to the government, and modify those communications or prevent them from reaching their destination if it fits into their plan to stop ‘cybersecurity’ threats. (Source: The Inquirer). Of course, CyberSecurity threats may mean terrorism, hackers or, increasingly, anyone who is suspected of file sharing. We urge all our readers to visit the Avaaz campaign against CISPA and sign the petition, and our US readers to call their senators before the US sleepwalks into a surveillance state.
Here in the UK, we’re not immune from chilling new internet legislation either. As the UK government brings back plans to snoop on UK citizens e-mails and instant messaging conversations. Despite assurances that the data stored would only contain information on who contacted who at what time, government ministers are unable to explain how data like this could be accurately gathered from the hundreds of different communication protocols available online. With the use of off-shore e-mail accounts, anonymous remailing tools and virtual private networks, organised criminals can easily circumvent logging systems such as those that the government is proposing. At best, a law like this will put more burden on ISP’s to log and collect data that will be largely useless in tackling organised crime, at worst it will pave the way for more and more intrusive surveillance just like CISPA is doing in America. We urge all our readers in the UK to write to their MP’s regarding this latest threat to their privacy. You can find out more by visiting the 38 Degrees campaign here.
Some of our readers have asked why we are opposed to laws like CISPA and SOPA when we are a small publisher affected by piracy ourselves. It is true that online piracy hurts us a great deal, but we also believe in a free and open internet. Creating laws like SOPA, that could have seen our site closed down in the US due to a comment someone made on our site would totally cripple us, as we simply don’t have the legal clout to operate on a playing field like that. Fighting piracy is important, but not at the expense of the free and open internet that lets smaller site operators like us thrive.
That rounds off our newsletter for May. On behalf of everyone here at Top-Windows-Tutorials, I’d like to thank you all for your continuing support. The TWT Newsletter will return on the 10th June 2012 and will bring you more tips, tricks and techniques to help you get the best out of your PC, be it Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7! We hope that you found this newsletter informative and useful. If you did not then please let us know why, you can contact us by visiting this page or by leaving us feedback in our forum. If you have enjoyed this newsletter, feel free to pass it on to all your friends and family, or better still encourage them to sign up for their own copy. Until next month, keep checking Top-Windows-Tutorials.com, and enjoy happy, safe and stress-free computing!