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eThinker Newsletter October 2019 

    If you're still using Microsoft's Internet Explorer, you need to get off it--NOW! A vulnerability has been discovered that affects virtually every version of Internet Explorer for Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10 (also Windows XP, but nobody's using that anymore, right? Right?).
     The bug corrupts memory in such a way that an attacker is able to gain the same user rights as the current user. If that user is logged on with administrative rights, the attacker could take control of an affected system and then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.
     Internet Explorer was, of course, the default internet browser for the earlier Windows versions, but it was installed on Windows 10 along with the new improved Edge browser for the sake of the users who wanted to stick with the old and familiar. Frankly, the switch from IE to Edge was not that great a shock to the system, but many users disagreed.
     If you are still using an older Windows version, or if you have Windows 10 but persist in using IE, the solution is simple: Stop using it. Edge is the safer and more functional browser, and if that's not an option, there are other browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, Opera, etc. which can be downloaded. Virtually all of them can import your previous bookmarks, if that's what's been holding you back.
     Need help with this? That's what we're here for.


Paul Fountas
MicroComputer Resources, Inc.
How to Tame the Email Monster
    Emails can be a conglomerate monster, pouring into your inbox like tribbles cascading over Capt. Kirk's head in what is probably the funniest and most famous Star Trek episode ever. You can get so many in one day that you just don't want to deal with it, so you scan through hoping to catch the essential items, while the rest wait for you to get around to it, and then wait and wait until there are hundreds if not thousands clogging up the inbox.
     So here's two great articles by TechRepublic to help you reach the nirvana of Inbox Zero. First, Tom Merritt does another one of his Top 5 Tips episodes on how to empty the inbox. Olivia Krauth offers 11 hints to do the same thing. Check them both out, but here are some of the best suggestions:
  • Use filters to automatically move emails with specific keywords or from a specific user to a different folder. This should be for items that are low priority and can wait a couple days. However, don't forget they're waiting in that folder, for that, too, can grow to hundreds or even thousands of emails.
  • If it's something you don't ever need to read, like a newsletter from a website that you looked at exactly once, check to see if there is an Unsubscribe option. If not, use the filter rules to send it straight to Junk or Trash or Deleted.
  • Set up a time of day for dealing with emails, and go through each one, responding, filing or deleting as needed. If an email requires an involved and lengthy reply, then treat it as a project or task to be put on your schedule, and go right back to processing your email.
More Cities Switch to LED Lighting
    The Trump administration may have rolled back regulations on light bulbs, but across the country, municipalities are moving full speed ahead on plans to upgrade their street lighting with cost-saving LEDs.
     Cleveland, Ohio, has launched the next phase of its ambitious Smart, Safe CLE program, which includes the installation of 61,000 LED streetlights throughout the city by 2021. The lights alone are expected to cut the city's annual electric bill by 50%, but there is more to the project than that. Cleveland is installing a new electric network that will include remote control of individual lights and groups of lights as well as pre-programmed schedules for routine and special events.
     The city will also be installing 1,000 cameras around parks and recreation centers and in areas identified as crime "hot spots."
     Los Angeles, which began swapping out its old sodium-vapor streetlights with LEDs years ago, reported last year that it was saving over $10 million a year.
     Another benefit is improved lighting, which makes city areas safer and residents more likely to trust public transportation, as well as making the streets safer for drivers.
     The one drawback reported is that the first generation LEDs were too bright and that the "blue light" could have a bad effect on sleep patterns. But this seems to have been addressed by later developments in the technology. Click here for more information.

In This Issue
How to Tame the Email Monster

More Cities Switch to LED Lighting

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Check This Out

Got seven minutes to waste? That is how long it takes for this set of falling dominoes to complete its path around the world. The setup of 128,000 multicolored dominoes in a gymnasium in Germany in 1912, representing numerous countries, broke two world records, including the largest collapsing pyramid, representing Egypt. It's fun to watch, kind of pretty, and yes, a complete waste of time.
Tips and Tricks
If you use emojis and want instant access to the ones provided by Microsoft, click the Windows Logo button + Semi-Colon. Then just select the one you want, and it will be pasted into your document.
Fun Facts
The Good Old Days?
Medieval dentists had many of the same skill sets as modern dentists. They could fill cavities, treat facial fractures, spot oral cancer, whiten teeth, and make dentures out of cow bone and human teeth. Of course, there was one very important modern invention they lacked: novocaine or laughing gas.
Quotable Quote
"The farther we've gotten from the magic and mystery of our past, the more we've come to need Halloween."
-- Paula Curan