Friday, 5 April 2013

Newsletter Issue 233, April 2013



Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 233, April 2013
Hi guys,
Are we likely to see The Death of Print sometime soon? Read on below.
Is your PC or laptop fit for the job ahead? or do need to go undertake the Seven Tips for a Faster PC
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.

The Death of Print?

A Mashable (http://mashable.com/2013/01/16/e-books-vs-print/) article by Josh Catone in January this year cited some stats on ebooks, relating for the first time, in 2011, that ebook sales outperformed print; with ebooks increasing the performance gap in 2012. A Texas library announced plans for the US's first solely electronic library. Scholastic did a study on children's' ebook habits, with almost half of all kids aged 9 to 17 having read an ebook, and the number who said they will continue to read print books rather than ebooks declined from 66% to 58% (http://mediaroom.scholastic.com/kfrr). 
Bit of a trend happening then.
Now I love books. I am so enamoured with the written word that I suffer withdrawal symptoms if I can't get my word-fix. I have been known to read toilet roll packets and the contents of the pantry if a dearth of books unexpectedly occurs. A small stack of paperbacks has always accompanied me on trips overseas.
However, over the past five years, I have bought more ebooks and talking books than printed books. My textbooks I prefer to get as pdfs or Kindle versions, so that they become searchable. Talking books I prefer for light reading and non-fiction, because I listen to them on my nano. For the first time two years ago I went overseas without a printed book. I survived three weeks with only my nano and Kindle (actually, I had one relapse and borrowed a book from my husband's cousin - but only because it looked interesting and I hadn't read it!).
I have probably have a couple of thousand books, so we are not talking about someone who only has three tatty paperbacks on the spare room bookshelf. I am a collector of - my favourite - printed words. But more and more, the print books I buy are special books - almost art pieces - that I intend to keep, or books to continue building my favourite author collections, usually in hardback.
There is some talk already about print books eventually becoming an expensive niche product like vinyl records: crafted artisan collectors pieces... and I can see the day coming where whether a book is published in hardback or paperback will depend on audience pre-orders for that particular author. 
Apparently Readers' Digest's parent company has filed for "Chapter 11" bankruptcy in the US. Even they can't make money, with all their ads plastered around inboxes and mailboxes around the planet. I think it is harder getting off their mailing list than anyone else's.
In an article by Daniel Gross in February this year (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/02/05/the-death-of-print-buildings.html), he noted that three US newspaper buildings - housing collectively the Washington Post, the Detroit Free Press, the Detroit News, the NY Democrat and the NY Chronicle - are to be sold. Gross notes that newspaper advertising income has halved in the past ten years, and is now level-pegging with 1983 $, with circulation falling to 1996 levels. Papers are selling off assets at an alarming rate. Journos are being cut. Newspaper content is being increasingly mashed, is advertorial or is press release content. Increasing use of free online news services is also taking revenue from the papers: fewer people are buying a paper.
Some papers have decided they will become purely online, such as the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The NY Times has tried to reverse the revenue drain by putting their content behind a paywall, but only time will tell whether people will continue to pay for news that can be picked up freely elsewhere. The last time the NY Times tried this, their revenues took such a dive they had to do a U-turn, so it will be interesting to see if the time has come.
I now get my news from Pulse. It is a news accumulating ap (http://www.pulse.me/about/) that picks up loads of different news-feeds based on what I am interested in, and gives me a range of shorts that are very easy to pick up the key ideas from. I can then mine more deeply for things that catch my eye. No more print newspapers for me: I like things to be searchable, and loathe having to get rid of all that paper afterwards. I keep pestering the magazines I get for ezines. Takes so much less room, and the articles are accessible forever on my PC.
A shake-up in the entire printing industry seems pretty certain. How great it will be, and how much material will just segue into new formats will remain to be seen.
The one thing I am absolutely sure of is that I will never be short of something to read :-)

More reading:

Seven Tips for a Healthier & Safer PC

With winter nearly upon us, the change of season usually prompts us to think about health in all matters. That also means thinking about running through a few health checks on your PC to ensure its WOF is up to date.
My suggested list of maintenance checks, largely thanks to WindowsSecrets, are: 
  1. Backup your data REGULARLY. Download Microsoft's SyncToy 2.0 from http://www.microsoft.com/en-nz/download/details.aspx?id=15155, set up folder pairs with your removable hard drive  and regularly run (weekly is generally recommended).
  2. Temp files. Delete all your temp files. This is really easy - go to http://windows.microsoft.com/en-nz/windows-vista/delete-files-using-disk-cleanup and follow the instructions. 
  3. Empty Recycle Bin. Clean out the rubbish from time to time. Makes the house smell fresh :-)
  4. Defrag. defragging is still good maintenance in all versions of Windows - run it after you have done the first three steps. Windows defragmentation utility — defrag.exe — is adequate in XP, moderately good in Vista, and more refined in Win7. Vista’s and Win7's Task Scheduler automatically runs defrag.exe weekly during system-idle times, determining whether defragging is needed by estimating the percentage of fragmented files. If fragmentation is low, it skips 'til the next  week. A percentage in the high single digits or greater should trigger automatic defragging. However, you can verify that it’s working properly by entering defrag.exe in the search field above the start button in Windows 7.
  5. Antivirus. AVG is still a great free piece of anti-virus software for private use. Download it from http://download.cnet.com/AVG-AntiVirus-Free-2013/3000-2239_4-10320142.html. Ensure you download all the updates, and run it regularly. I have used this on my home PC for fifteen years without one single infection.
  6. Malware. Windows Defender Offline (WDO) for Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 & 8. Download at http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/security/pc-security/mse.aspx. WDO is Microsoft's most powerful anti-malware consumer tool. It's a self-contained, downloadable utility that operates completely outside Windows. After you've downloaded and launched, it swill walk you through creating bootable media (from a CD, DVD, flash drive, etc.) and installing the WDO files. You then restart the PC with the bootable disc/drive. Because WDO is both operating system and AV scanner, neither the Windows installed on the system hard drive nor any other software is active. Everything on the hard drive is effectively inert. This lets WDO detect malware that is in one way or another well hidden in the Windows system. Because it's completely standalone, WDO can't conflict with other security tools you normally use. Scan regularly.
  7. Malware. Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows XP, Vista & Windows 7 (or go for "Windows Defender" - not "offline' if you have Windows 8). Download at http://windows.microsoft.com/is-is/windows/what-is-windows-defender-offline. Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is Microsoft's all-in-one, consumer-security tool. It targets both types of malware - malicious software and potentially unwanted software. It's a free download (site) for XP, Vista, and Windows 7. MSE provides always-on, real-time protection for your PC. It detects and removes a wide range of malware. It's also highly automated, operating with little or no user intervention. Do nothing aside from checking for updates from time to time.
That lot should keep your computing fit and healthy until spring!
Thanks to Windows Secrets for a lot of this information. Go to https://windowssecrets.com/newsletter/microsofts-six-free-desktop-security-tools/ and https://windowssecrets.com/best-software/a-windows-system-that-never-needs-defragging/ to read Window's Secret's original updates.


Customising Recent Files & Places

PC Magazine has published yet another handy MS Office 2010 tip. This time a "how to" on ensuring all files or places you use regularly are pinned to your application list, and a shortcut to opening the list itself. 
You need to first activate the open file shortcuts in Office 2010. Enter the 'Backstage view' to do this (ie click the File button): File | Recent | Tick "Quickly access this number of recent [files]". 
You may also want to change the number of recent files you want listed. Once done, you only need key Alt, then F (for the File menu), then the number your desired file is on your list - ie, 1 for the most recent, 2 for next most etc. 
Also you can "pin" a file or folder so that it will always appear in your Recent Files list, even if you haven't opened it recently. The left side lists files, the right folders. Click the push pin to 'pin' them. You can remove files from your recent file list by right clicking over them and selected "Remove from list". Great for those files that you rename.
So easy!

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) for you:
  • </3, Broken Hearted. Text language
  • RPM, revenues per pageview. The (surprisingly initialed) formula of revenue generated per online pageview. Not sure how we got to M for pageview, but there you go.

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

Tips, Short+Hot Keys
In this newsletter, we look at all you can do in Windows with shortcuts:
  • Windows "Create a shortcut (while dragging the file)" Ctrl & Shift 
  • Windows "Create a shortcut icon for a selected file in a selected place" Ctrl & Shift & Drag A File 
  • Windows "Display the shortcut menu for the selected item" Application Key (Also The Right Mouse Click) 
  • Windows "Show the shortcut menu" Shift & F10

Hot Linx
Did you realise that Amazon's future is probably not in selling directly, but in being the shop-front for third-party stores? Check out http://www.wired.com/business/2013/01/amazons-future-not-selling-stuff/
Heard of skeuomorphism? This is where we borrow a historic, but redundant thing… like horseshoes for good luck or our PC save icon being a floppy disc. Check what Sacha Greif has to say about skeuomorphism at http://sachagreif.com/flat-pixels/ 
Did you know there was a list of questions you could walk through to help differentiate pseudoscience from the real thing? It’s an oldie but a goodie by Forbes. Read all about it at http://www.forbes.com/sites/emilywillingham/2012/11/08/10-questions-to-distinguish-real-from-fake-science/

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

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