Techman Texts: Don't ignore your computer update requests

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You're in a hurry to leave the house but you have to do one thing on the computer. After waiting for what seems like an eternity for it to boot up, you are confronted with a slew of requests to update applications. You say no and maybe tell them not to ask you again.

That could be a big mistake.

Early versions of Windows were riddled with security holes and the bad guys would attack it as an easy target. But operating systems tightened up security significantly. So hackers switched their focus to applications, particularly ones that are on many computers -- among them Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash Player and Oracle's Java.

As new security holes are discovered in these programs, numerous updates have been pushed out, creating a pain in the posterior for the user.

But do not ignore these updates -- download and install them. Most are vital security fixes and will make your computing safer.

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Fear the app: HP recently tested 2,107 apps that allow employees to work from the road. They were all iOS (Apple) apps, but HP believes Android (Google) apps would yield similar results

The testing found that nine out of 10 had obvious security flaws including inadequate protection of personal address books and social media pages; lack of proper encryption of data such as passwords and personal information; and sending user names and passwords over unsecure websites.

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Freaky: British Airways has launched innovative digital billboards in London's Piccadilly Circus that picture a boy standing up and pointing as a real plane flies overhead. "Look," the billboard says, "It's flight BA475 from Barcelona. British Airways."

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Sprint to the bottom: Sprint has landed at the bottom of Consumer Reports' annual ranking of cellphone service providers, down from No. 2 last year.

Sprint received "dismal marks" for value, voice, text and 4G reliability, based on a survey of 58,399 subscribers.

Verizon was again the top major carrier and AT&T and T-Mobile got mostly middling marks.

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VCR queen: Fast Company reports that Philadelphian Marion Stokes, a former librarian, recorded 140,000 VHS tapes from 1977 to 2012.

It was the life work of Ms. Stokes, who concentrated on news broadcasts, recording cable news around the clock by running as many as eight recorders at a time.

Now the Internet Archive will make them public and searchable.

The project took over several of the apartments she owned.

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Website of the week: Imagine a Wikipedia where all the information is fake -- and funny. That's uncyclopedia.wikia.com. (Warning: some of the material could be offensive and not for children.)

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Cult movie quote of the week: "True love is the greatest thing in the world -- except for a nice MLT -- mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomato is ripe. -- Magic Max in "The Princess Bride"


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