Friday, September 22, 2006

John W. Scherer Video Professor Blog Sept. 22, 2006

Technology Today!

ID Theft playgrounds
Do you ever wish it was 1950 again? I know, the grass is always greener, but you have to think it was a much simpler time. I highly doubt that Ward and June had to deal with some of the same things we deal with today. As much as technology helps our lives, it often times makes it more of a hassle. More and more Americans use the Internet to bank, pay bills and manage their retirement accounts. For every person that signs up for these services, it gives hackers more fuel. Identity theft is rampant we all know that. Some studies show that ID theft cost the US economy more than $56 million last year. Read this story. It shows how easy it is for thieves to buy and sell our personal information in chat rooms. Chat rooms for thieves are what convenience stores are for us. You need a social security number and an address? No problem, that’ll be five bucks.
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Don’t leave anything behind
I am thankful, however, that there is plenty of good in the world. As the number of thieves rise, so does the number of things we can do to protect ourselves. Firefox is testing a new browser that will enable you to surf the Internet and leave little or no trace. As you surf, this new browser will automatically change your IP address, making it more difficult for hackers to find you. Click below to read more about this new browser.
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Get off your Soapbox
Do you YouTube? I bet you do. With more than 100 million downloads each day, I’m willing to wager that more people YouTube than we think. Well, Microsoft has taken notice and wants to jump on the horse. In the coming weeks, the software giant will begin testing a new site called Soapbox ( in an effort to get their piece of the advertising pie. In business, if you can’t beat them, copy them!
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A significant Internet vote
I really wouldn’t be surprised if someday we begin casting our votes via the Internet. Yes, we have a very long way to go in terms of security, but with the advances we’ve already made in the past five years, the sky is the limit. A recent study shows that more and more Americans are turning to the Internet to gather information about the candidates they will support in the upcoming November election. It stands to reason that someday, we’ll no longer have to bear long lines at the polls to cast our votes.
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DSL use on the rise
It stands to reason that someday we’ll use the Internet for everything. We already use the Web to shop, gather info and stay in contact with friends and family. What next? High-speed Internet use continues to surge. According to recent findings, worldwide DSL use rose 38 percent in the past 12 months. The 56K modem better watch itself. I think it’s headed to the endangered species list.
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Be cautious of a new AOL IM worm
As you know, Video Professor teaches people how to use and get the most out of their computers. I feel it is my duty to pass along information I find about potential Internet threats. Here is a warning to all AOL Instant Messenger users. Apparently there is a new Trojan Horse on the loose that is masquerading as a JPEG file. If you open it, it can play havoc on your computer. Read the attached story for more information.
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Picks o’ the week!
Ok, admittedly my three picks last week weren’t exactly shockers. Cincinnati was heavily favored, and they took care of business at home. Washington, with Mark Brunell as QB, isn’t off to the best start, and it’s no surprise that Dallas handled them. The only game I picked that could have been a stretch was taking Jacksonville over the defending Super Bowl Champion Steelers. But, after further review, Pittsburgh didn’t have much of a shot. Jacksonville is very, very tough at home, and nobody knew how Big Ben would play in his first game back. But, at the end of the day, I’m 5-1 on the season and confident heading into Week 3. And, just in case you think I made some easy picks last week, here are three games that go against the grain. Here are my picks.

Jacksonville over Indianapolis: The Jaguars treated me last week so I’m going to continue on this bandwagon. Jax has a potent defense and I think they can go in to the RCA Dome and come away with an upset. If any team can stifle Peyton and company, it’s the Jags.

Denver over New England: There will be a lot of people who will think I’m crazy for making this pick. Denver on the road vs. an undefeated team? Plus with Jake Plummer playing the way he’s playing, Denver should lose by two touchdowns. Right? That’s exactly why I think they’ll win. Coach Shanahan will have a great game plan, and Jake will surprise a lot of doubters.

Minnesota over Chicago: For a team that many experts wrote off well before training camp began, the Vikings are playing well. They are at home Sunday and play a very confident Bears team. Rex Grossman has the Bears playing well, but I think that comes to an end Sunday. Minnesota will win, improving to 3-0 on the year, and all the “experts” will have to eat crow.

John W. Scherer
CEO and Founder