Friday, 4 December 2009

Newsletter Issue 176, December 2009

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 176, December 2009

Hi guys,

According to Computerworld news and Symantec, in 2009, 87% of All Email was Spam.

Microsoft has really improved their new OS with the addition of Windows 7 Libraries. Read all about it below.

Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

87% of All Email is Spam

Spam accounted for 87 percent of all email messages in 2009, says Symantec.

According to the security vendor's December State of Spam and Phishing report, spam peaked in May, when it accounted for 95 percent of all email messages sent and was at its lowest level (74 percent) at the beginning of the year, just months after US ISP McColo was shut down.

Celebrity spam attacks continued to surge, especially since 2009 saw a number of high-profile celebrity deaths including Patrick Swayze and Natasha Richardson.

However, the death of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, generated the most celebrity spam in 2009. According to Symantec, the levels of Jackson-related spam accounted for just under two percent of all spam messages.

Symantec said it expects 2010 to be an active year for spammers, with botnets playing a heavy part in distribution of spam. The security vendor also revealed spammers will continue using tactics such as URL shortening services such as and free web hosting servers to evade detection by antispam filters.



Windows 7 Libraries

If you use a computer music application, you will be familiar with the concept of a library - where the music isn't stored in your application, but all over your PC; the software just makes it accessible from one place for you to 'see', play, copy and delete. You can have your files in multiple playlists without you having to create another copy. You can search them as one group, you can add as many folders as you want wherever you want, and the application treats all your files as if they were in just one folder.

Microsoft's new OS, Windows 7, is using the Library concept for file management. Woody Leonard at Windows Secrets Newsletter wrote:

You start with four libraries: Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos. [T]he Pictures Library has your Pictures folder and the PC's Public Pictures Folder, Documents has your Documents folder and Public Documents, and so on. Very simple hooks let you add more folders to those Libraries or create entirely new Libraries.
When Microsoft reworked Windows 7's Library routines, the company also enhanced the OS's search function... searching a Win7 Library just plain works. Vista's search interface suffers from the late changes Microsoft made to the OS, which did away with some planned new features but retained vestiges that served only to bollix things up. By contrast, Win7's search interface benefits from a ground-up design and is much less confusing.
Here's the magical part: When an application running under Windows 7 looks for the Documents folder, Win7 hands it the entire Documents Library. If you start a graphics program and click File, Open, you don't go to your Pictures folder. Instead, you open up the Pictures Library.
Why is this a big deal? Imagine that you have a folder on another computer containing documents you commonly use. When you add that folder to your Documents Library, every time you crank up Word and click File, Open, the contents of that remote folder are staring right at you.

It sounds like it should be a big improvement. I guess time will tell if the expectation matches the results!

Thanks to Woody Leonard at Windows Secrets Newsletter (

Word Auto Captions

If you are writing any kind of formal document with graphics, diagrams or tables, you are likely to need a caption that explains it. When using Word you can create a generic label automatically on create or insert, by doing the following:

  1. Go to the Insert menu | References | Caption (in Word 2007, click the References tab and then Insert Caption in the Captions group).
  2. In the Caption dialog box, click the AutoCaption button.
  3. Tick the object to be associated with an automated caption.
  4. Go to the Use Label drop-down list and enter the text you want to appear at the start of each caption (eg "Figure ").
  5. Go to the Position drop-down list and enter where each caption should appear in relation to the inserted item.
  6. Click OK.

After setting up auto caption, Word will automatically include your specified label with each new table - or image, or Excel spreadsheet - you insert; then you can edit as required (eg adding a number and name details).

Repeat this procedure for as many insert items as you need to use.

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) for you:

  • P3P, Platform for Privacy Preferences. A protocol developed to increasing consumer confidence in online transactions and specifying if a Web site's security policies meet a user's privacy requirements. When a user requests a Web page, that Web site's P3P policy files are sent to the browser, which compares the files with the user's privacy preferences and delivers an alert if there is a conflict between the two.

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Tips, Short+Hot Keys

Over the next few newsletters, we are looking at all the things you can do with Alt, Shift, Ctrl in Windows Media Player. This is our seventh section in this series:

  • Windows Media Player "Open Help" F1
  • Windows Media Player "Search specified locations for digital media files" F3
  • Windows Media Player "Refresh the information in the panes in the Copy to CD or Device feature" F5
  • Windows Media Player "Mute the volume" F8
  • Windows Media Player "Decrease the volume" F9
  • Windows Media Player "Increase the volume" F10
  • Windows Media Player "Show the shortcut menu for the selected item" Shift & F10

Hot Linx

For an interesting view of ACC and its shortcomings, take a tour past and see what Dr Jim McVeagh has to say. Very interesting, statistics - look for the "ACC for FREE" thread.

For a bit of a laugh, head over to this blog to read the NY Post's contest winners on new meanings for old words, and the Washington Post's words with one changed letter & a new meaning contest winners at

Canadian anti-energy drink Slow Cow is positioned as a "relaxing, anti-energy drink”, promoting the benefits of de-stress rather than speeding up. Check it out at

Outside the UK, the Kiwi accent comes out top in a BBC reader poll of 5000 people to find the top 'fave accents' amongst English speakers - check out the results at

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here

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