Sunday, February 13, 2005

The best forum threads in the world... ever

Hitting the intehweb any second now is the all new 2005 edition. This year the order of presentation has been randomised and the CD cover prettified with shinier spangles and glitter... just like last year! Upon visiting the hallowed grounds of the ex-ASB community site, forum denizens everywhere rejoiced; there was rapturous singing, embarrassing, drunken dancing and a complimentary savoury party pack for every reveller.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

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Disposable email

Once the spammers become aware of your email address it could be doomed to electronic bombardment for life - responding to spam in order to have your address removed from mailing lists often has the opposite effect as it demonstrates that yours is an active account and makes it a target for further junk mail. Shying away from submitting your email address to online services or giving it to people you meet online isn't the solution.

A more viable alternative is to register an account with Sneak Email and use it to create and terminate randomly generated email addresses as and when the need arises. If you wish to sign up for a web service which requires email verification, but suspect that your details may be passed onto spammers, you can provide a throwaway Sneak Email address and have any email sent to it forwarded to your real address. If the resultant spam becomes unmanageable you can delete the temporary address and create a new one.

Sneak Email can also be used to send anonymous emails - how would anyone know that is really Jane Doe from California? To make your correspondence seem more credible you can have this address substituted for a name label which will appear in the 'from' line. Anonymous doesn't necessarily have to equate with malice. For instance, you may wish to tell your boss how you imagine the work place would benefit from certain changes without risking repercussions. No I mean it, really - see, no tongue in cheek here. The possibilities are endless.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


How can I play movies through my computer and beam the picture to my TV?

To be able to do this, your graphics card must support what's known as 's-video out'. You can tell if yours does by looking at the connectors at the back of your computer - s-video out sockets are round and look a bit like PS/2 mouse connectors. Now you need the right kind of cables to connect the two devices. You can buy PC to TV cables from cable specialists such as Belkin for about £15 and use them to transmit a signal from your computer's graphics card to your TV's scart socket. Once you have the right cables in place you can employ TV Tool to tweak the quality and geometry of the picture. The software which came with your graphics card will probably be able to handle this task adequately, though TV Tool will give you much more control over the way you view movies on your TV so is worth getting to grips with.

Silent movies aren't much fun, are they? To transmit sound to your TV as well you will need an additional cable, this time to connect your sound card's 'line out' socket to the left and right 'audio input' connectors of your TV or video. Again, Belkin or a similar electronics/cable specialist retailer should stock these. What you need to look out for is a cable with a mini stereo phone plug at one end (see the plug attached to your computer speakers or walkman for an example), and two RCA plugs at the other.