How to Secure Your Facebook Account

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Facebook, Social Networking

Facebook drew back the curtain Wednesday on new privacy settings designed to keep users’ personal information more secure, but consumer advocates say the social networking site’s update will still leave some information vulnerable.
Because that data remain at risk, users should take caution with the information they post on Facebook, these advocates say.
Parry Aftab, the executive director for Wired Safety, a consumer resource that focuses on online security and privacy, says she has a simple test for gauging which information is Facebook-safe. “Would you put it on a sign in front of your house?” she says. “That’s got to be your measure.” (Wired Safety is one of five groups that sit on Facebook’s unpaid safety advisory board.)
Facebook has come under fire from users since December, when policy changes made more of users’ information open by default, unless they activated controls to keep it private. The outcry picked up in late April when the social networking site began pilot testing an “instant personalization” feature that allowed partner sites visited by a user to pull data from his or her profile and automatically share it with others. (For example, the feature could inform users’ Facebook friends that they had been using the Internet radio station Pandora to listen to Justin Bieber.) To avoid having their information shared, consumers must actively opt out on Facebook and on the partner sites, but they could still unwillingly have their information shared if their friends didn’t opt out, as well. The policy changes spawned user complaints, as well as concern from consumer advocates, Congress and the Federal Trade Commission.
Facebook’s new policy, which it plans to roll out in coming weeks, will provide simpler controls, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a conference call. Among the changes:
• Basic privacy setting controls will be condensed to a single page, reformatted as a chart so that users can easily review who has access to what.
• Once a user chooses who can see a particular type of content — “friends only” for photos, for example, or “friends of friends” for status updates — that choice will apply retroactively and going forward in the case of future policy changes.
• Opt-outs for “instant personalization” and other applications that access a user’s profile will be made easier.
• Users can opt out of sharing information with Facebook platform and third-party apps, even if what’s collected is something consumers have set that “everyone” can access. Apps must also ask permission to access any information a user has set to more private settings.
Although the new policy addresses some of users’ concerns, it doesn’t do enough to protect their information, says Jeffrey Chester, the founder and executive director for the Center for Digital Democracy, an advocacy group focused on digital media.
“It does not bode well for protecting privacy on Facebook in the future,” he says. Of particular concern: Facebook’s desire to share user data with advertisers to better target the ads that appear on pages. Policy changes have weakened users’ ability to opt out as that business grows, Chester says.
A Facebook spokesman says the site doesn’t sell currently user data to advertisers or anyone else and that the company’s revenues are not tied to how open its users are with their information.
Here’s how to navigate the new settings and keep your profile secure:
1) Review Settings
Simpler controls may help most users, but an opt-out system will do little for users who don’t look at those controls, says Paul Stephens, the director of policy and advocacy for the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group. Unless users say otherwise, everything is shared. Use the “preview my profile tool” on Facebook’s privacy settings pages to see what others can spot. Also consider downloading the free tool at ReclaimPrivacy.org, which flags unsecure settings and offers tips to revise them.
2) Eliminate ‘Everyone’
Users would do well to stop thinking of social networks as somehow cut off from the broader Internet. “People understand that when they tweet [using Twitter.com], that it’s a broadcast to the world,” Aftab says. Anything in Facebook settings that’s available to “everyone” is available publicly in the same fashion, potentially showing up to anyone who clicks on your profile, visits sites such as OpenBook or conducts a search on Google (GOOG, News. “Don’t post it unless you want your parents, the police, predators and your principal [or boss] to see it,” she says.
3) Opt for Security
Facebook’s new policy still allows users to specify restrictions post by post. Opt for a more secure setting and tighten or loosen it further if the situation calls for it, Aftab suggests. For example, users can set photo sharing to “friends only” but then specify that their boss can’t view the newly uploaded pictures from a recent party. On the other hand, they can broaden a job-hunt status update to include “friends of friends,” instead of just people in their immediate circle.
4) Share With Caution
Even information shared with “friends only” could pose a security threat if a friend’s account is hacked or a bug occurs, Stephens says. Seemly innocuous data, such as a birthday, a mother’s maiden name or a favorite pet’s name is enough for hackers and identity thieves to do serious damage. “You’re providing a source of data that might be used by a hacker to access password-restricted sites,” he says.
There’s also the embarrassment factor. In February, a temporary bug resulted in a handful of Facebook users receiving hundreds of private messages meant for others. In early May, another glitch allowed users to view friends’ private chats with other people.

Apple overtakes Microsoft as biggest tech company

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Apple Inc, Microsoft

Apple Inc shot past Microsoft Corp as the world’s biggest tech company based on market value on Wednesday, the latest milestone in the resurgence of the maker of the iPhone, which nearly went out of business in the 1990s.
Apple’s shares rose as much 2.8 percent on Nasdaq on Wednesday, as Microsoft shares floundered, briefly pushing its market value above $229 billion, ahead of its longtime rival.
Both stocks ended down after a late-day sell-off, but Apple emerged ahead with a market value of about $222 billion, compared with Microsoft’s $219 billion, according to Reuters data.
Apple shares closed down 0.4 percent at $244.11 on Nasdaq, while Microsoft fell 4 percent to a seven-month low of $25.01.
Shares of Apple are worth more than 10 times what they were 10 years ago, as it has profited from revolutionizing consumer electronics with its stylish, easy to use products such as the iPod, iPhone and MacBook laptops.
The last time Apple had a higher market value than Microsoft was December 19, 1989, according to Thomson Reuters Datastream.
Microsoft, whose operating system runs on more than 90 percent of the world’s personal computers, has not been able to match growth rates from its hey-day 1990s. Its stock is down 20 percent from 10 years ago.
Apple, which struggled for many years to get its products into the mainstream, resorted to a $150 million investment from the much larger Microsoft in 1997 in order to keep it afloat. At that time, Microsoft’s market value was more than five times that of Apple.
Microsoft still leads Apple in sales. In the latest quarter, Microsoft reported $14.5 billion in revenue compared with Apple’s $13.5 billion.
Cupertino, California-based Apple is now the second-largest company on the Standard & Poor’s 500 index by market value, behind energy behemoth Exxon Mobil Corp.

Survey Says: iPad Is Killing Netbooks

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Apple Inc, iPad, Technology

A new survey shows consumers are “overwhelmingly leaning” toward the iPad instead of netbooks, and cheap laptops are also taking a toll on netbook sales. The study, which surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. consumers, was commissioned by consumer electronics site Retrevo.
Apple’s iPad has proven popular with shoppers, as more than one million devices have already been sold. That popularity is hurting netbook sales, says the survey, as the iPad offers many of the same advantages that netbooks offer over a traditional laptop, such as higher portability and longer battery life.
The Retrevo survey asked consumers whether they are planning on buying an iPad or a netbook: 78 percent said they would be choosing an iPad, while only 22 percent would choose a netbook.
Respondents were asked whether they held off on buying a netbook after Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad in January. 30 percent answered that they did, and consequently bought an iPad, while 40 percent did hold back but eventually bought a netbook instead. 30 percent of respondents said they did not hold back and just bought a netbook.
Regular laptops are still popular with U.S. consumers, the survey shows, especially the cheap lower-end models. 65 percent said they would go for a laptop instead of a netbook when faced with the choice this year.
Those who preferred netbooks over laptops or iPads said that the main feature that attracted them to a netbook was the smaller footprint of the machines (55 percent), while 20 percent considered price, and 19 percent considered battery life as the main trait.
Analysts say however, that the iPad won’t cripple sales of netbooks, at least not this year, mainly because the $200 or so gap in pricing between the two types of devices. Jeff Orr, an analyst with ABI Research, reportedly said earlier this month that just one percent of potential netbook buyers would be impacted by tablets, like the iPad.

Facebook adjusts privacy controls after complaints

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Facebook, Social Networking

In Facebook’s vision of the Web, you would no longer be alone and anonymous. Sites would reflect your tastes and interests — as you expressed them on the social network — and you wouldn’t have to fish around for news and songs that interest you.
Standing in the way is growing concern about privacy from Facebook users — most recently complaints that the site forced them to share personal details with the rest of the online world or have them removed from Facebook profiles altogether.
Facebook responded to the backlash Wednesday by announcing it is simplifying its privacy controls and applying them retroactively, so users can protect the status updates and photos they have posted in the past.
“A lot of people are upset with us,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged at a news conference at Facebook’s Palo Alto, Calif., headquarters.
The changes came after Facebook rolled out a slew of new features in April that spread its reach to the broader Web. Among them was a program called “instant personalization” that draws information from a person’s profile to customize sites such as the music service Pandora. Some users found it creepy, not cool.
Privacy groups have complained to regulators, and some people threatened to quit the site. Even struggling MySpace jumped in to capitalize on its rival’s bad press by announcing a “new, simpler privacy setting.”
To address complaints its settings were getting too complex, Facebook will now give users the option of applying the same preferences to all their content, so that with one click you can decide whether to share things with just “friends” or with everyone.
For those who found it complicated to prevent outside websites and applications from gaining access to Facebook data, there’s now a way to do so in a couple of clicks.
It’s not clear whether the changes will quell the unease among Facebook users, which has threatened to slow the site’s breakneck evolution from a scrappy college network to an Internet powerhouse with nearly a half-billion people.
“They’ve lost the users’ trust. That’s the problem,” said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, an advocacy group. “In the earlier days, there was time to regain it. It’s not so clear now. I think it’s getting more serious than making changes and moving on.”
Some of Facebook’s loudest critics offered cautious praise but indicated the young company will need to do more to prove it cares about privacy.
Sen. Charles Schumer called it a “significant first step that Facebook deserves credit for,” but added he’d still prefer that Facebook require users to actively turn on sharing with outside sites, rather than having sharing be the default setting.
For some users, the problem has been that the company has changed its privacy settings so often that keeping up with them became too much. Before Wednesday’s announcement, Craig Mather, a 28-year-old graduate student in Portland, Ore., was already complaining of having to adjust his privacy settings every time Facebook comes up with a new plan.
“It puts us on our guard, where we feel like we are trying to plug a leak,” he said.
For Facebook, being seen as a company people can trust with the personal details of their lives is key. Users will only share information if they have control over who sees it.
“The kernel of what we do is that people want to stay connected and share with those around them,” Zuckerberg said.
Jules Polonetsky, a former AOL executive who now co-chairs the Washington-based Future of Privacy Forum, said the privacy concerns stem from Facebook’s transformation from a place to socialize with friends into the “de-facto identity system for the Web.” It’s a big step. Facebook is no longer just a place to share photos and play “Mafia Wars.” It’s a reflection of who you are online.
Facebook has touted its culture of authenticity from the beginning. It asks users to go by their real names on the site, and it deletes obviously fake profiles.
Zuckerberg described his vision for the Web in April with “an old saying that says when you go to heaven, all of your friends are there and everything is just the way you want it to be.” He challenged software developers, entrepreneurs and others to make “a world that’s that good.”
Facebook’s lifeblood is advertising. It makes money by letting businesses target ads to specific types of users — such as 30-year-old single men living in Brooklyn who are interested in motorcycles and yoga.
Zuckerberg, who turned 26 earlier this month, says his vision is not about the ad dollars. He was 22, he said, when “Yahoo and Viacom and all these companies” were clamoring to buy Facebook, offering $1 billion or more. For a 22-year-old to pass that up might be kind of crazy, he acknowledged, but he said it shows “it’s not about the money.”
Even so, convincing people that sharing more is good for them has at times been an uphill battle. Users revolted against Beacon, a feature that broadcast people’s activities on dozens of outside sites when it launched in 2007. Facebook gave people more control over Beacon before scrapping the program completely as part of a legal settlement.
More recently, Facebook has come under fire for a security glitch that exposed some users’ private chats, and another that revealed users’ information to advertisers in a way they could identify them, going against Facebook’s own terms of service.
For Luke Finsaas, who is 24 and has been using Facebook since college to keep in touch with friends and family in Australia, whether the site’s vision works out in the end is a matter of trust.
“It’s incredibly brilliant but wildly terrifying,” he said. “Google has been around for a while, and we know that they are pretty serious about privacy and protecting us. We know that they’ve got our back. But Facebook has had privacy issues in the past.”
Google Inc. has struggled with its own privacy issues — most recently with its Buzz social media experiment and, particularly in Europe, with sending cameras into cities to take photos for its Street View map feature.
But users feel a deeper connection with Facebook, where they exchange not just messages and 140-character tweets but news of major life events and newborn baby photos. That means privacy concerns are heightened, too.
“Facebook wants to be the social center of the Web, and any social interaction that takes place on the Web they want to be in control of,” said Debra Aho Williamson, a senior analyst at research firm eMarketer. “If its plan succeeds, that could be a big problem. They will have access to too much information.”

3D TV Buying Guide: Everything You Need to Know

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: iPhone

You’ve worn the glasses. Seen the demos. Winced at objects flying out the screen. And you’re ready to buy a 3D TV.
Congratulations, brave early adopter. Although the 3D TV maelstrom at CES 2010 generated a fair bit of skepticism, the technology also managed to floor many people, and if the commercial success of Avatar is any indication, 3D movies aren’t going to disappear any time soon. Ready to get in on the ground floor? Watch out, it’s still under construction. But our 3D TV buyer’s guide can help show you how to set up shop in three dimensions. Follow along as we lay your questions on the new format to rest.
Which new models were announced at CES 2010? When will they be available?
Just about every major manufacturer announced a 3D television at CES 2010. Here’s a rundown on the big models in order of their release:
•Panasonic Viera VT25 Series Plasma (Available now)
•Samsung LED8000 Series LCD (Available now)
•LG LX9500 Series LCD (Available in Korea, coming to U.S. in May)
•Sony LX900 Series LCD (Summer 2010)
•Vizio XVT Pro Series LCD (Available in August 2010)
•Toshiba Cell TV ZX900 Series LCD (Fall 2010)
With the exception of Samsung’s LED8000 series (which will be trumped by the LED9000 later on), these represent flagship models. Most manufacturers are also offering more stripped down versions at lower price points. Check out 3DMovieList for a comprehensive list of models, release dates and features.
Can I watch 2D video on a 3D TV?
Absolutely. All of the upcoming 3D TV models above represent flagship models from their respective manufacturers, which means they won’t just play 2D television, it should look top notch. Nothing about the tech needed to make 3D-capable sacrifices 2D images quality, so even if you intend to watch 99-percent of your programming without glasses, you shouldn’t think twice about buying a 3D TV.
Will I absolutely need 3D glasses? How do they work? How much will extra pairs cost?
Every consumer-grade 3D TV today requires glasses to produce a 3D effect. Although many companies have demonstrated tech demos at trade shows that show how 3D can be produced without glasses, none of them are yet ready for prime time.
Unlike movie theaters, which use polarized glasses, 3D TVs use active-shutter LCD glasses. This means a tiny transmitter inside actually communicates with the TV to block your left eye when an image for the right eye is on the screen, and vice versa, 120 times per second. This rapid-fire trickery requires electronics and a small battery, making them heavier and bulkier than the cheap polarized glasses you may have used in a 3D cinema.
Although most 3D TVs will come with one or more pairs of glasses, you should also be prepared to buy additional pairs unless you really plan on sitting in your basement watching Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs all by yourself. Although not all manufacturers have announced pricing for the glasses that will pair with the new models, don’t expect them to be cheap. Samsung, which already has 3D displays on the market, charges $130 for a pair of its rather dorky 3D shades. Nvidia charges $149. Even if the TV you buy comes with a two pairs, that’s another $260 to get the kids on board, and more if you want to invite the neighbors over to gloat. Make sure to factor the price into your purchase.
What will I be able to watch in 3D?
To be frank, not that much, right off the bat. Although standards for generating and distributing video in 3D have expanded, the market is still pretty slim at the moment.
Your best bet for the time being lies in 3D Blu-ray movies. Manufacturers only recently ratified a 3D standard for Blu-ray, but a few titles are already available. Samsung throws a 3D copy of Monsters vs. Aliens in its Blu-ray starter kit, and Panasonic recently sweetened the deal for its buyers with Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and Coraline in 3D with the purchase of any Panasonic 3D TV.
Some TVs, such as Toshiba’s ZX900 Cell TVs and Samsung’s LED9000, will actually be able to generate 3D content from 2D content as well. Although the artificial 3D effect from this method clearly won’t look as good as native 3D (in our demo at CES, it looked a bit like cutouts from a pop-up book, and the rendering tech causes some people to have halos around them), we still think it will be an extremely useful feature while 3D remains immature, and content scarce.
Television stations will start to offer 3D content soon, too. DirecTV will fire up three 3D stations in 2010, ESPN will broadcast select games in 3D, and Sony and IMAX are slated to start their own 3D nature channel. Unfortunately, many of the specifics remain quite vague now, so you may be better off waiting for more information before committing to any one provider.
Do I need a special Blu-ray player for those 3D Blu-ray discs?
Unfortunately, yes. The same companies pushing 3D TVs have committed to producing 3D-capable Blu-ray players this year as well. Here’s a quick list:
•Panasonic DMP-BDT350 / BDT300
•Samsung BD-C3900 / C6900
•Sony BDP-S770 / S470
•Toshiba BDX3000
•LG BD580
So far, it doesn’t look like any previous Blu-ray players will be upgradable, except Sony’s PlayStation 3, which should get a firmware update to make it happen this summer, along with stereoscopic gaming.
What is HDMI 1.4?
At the moment, a certified HMDI 1.4 cable is the only way to carry a 3D signal. That means that your existing HDMI 1.3 cables (which have been the standard since 2006) won’t do the job. A new cable isn’t much of an upgrade investment, but keep in mind that other HDMI accessories won’t work, either, including A/V receivers. If you plan to pass your video signal through a receiver with HDMI, Sony’s STR-DN1010 is currently the only model that will fit your needs.
How big of a screen do I need?
You may recall from our HDTV buyer’s guide that we dismissed the caveman “bigger is better” mentality when it comes to TVs, favoring one that fits the room instead. Well, grow out your unibrow and grab yourself a club, because the reverse is true with 3D. Let’s state this bluntly: You need a big TV to appreciate 3D. Immersion is the name of the game, and the more the screen fills your field of view, the more you feel like you’re “there.” Fortunately, TV manufacturers seem to realize this as well, since we haven’t seen a single 3D set under 42 inches. If you have the extra money to throw at a luxury like 3D TV, make sure to go all the way and buy the largest screen you can reasonably afford or fit in a room, because it will drastically affect your 3D experience.

Google Buys Simplify Media To Power Music Syncing For New iTunes Competitor

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Apple Inc, Google

Google just announced that it bought Simplify Media, a startup that offers software that lets you share your iTunes music across platforms, including the web.
The software lets you share your photos and music using programs like iTunes, iPhoto and Windows Media player. According to the startup’s site Simplify Media “connects people directly with their content, without the hassles of synching or uploading all their files. Simplify users can also share their personal media with family and close friends in a private, secure group.”
It appears that that deal may have taken place in March, when the company announced a “new direction” on its blog, discontinuing its software to users and removing its iPhone app from Apple’s App store.
Google VP Vic Gundotra said that Simplify’s technology will be used to offer a desktop app that will give you access to all of your (DRM-free) media on your Android devices remotely, using Google’s new iTunes competitor on the web.

Twitter to Launch Twitter Business Center

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Social Networking, Technology, Twitter

It has been confirmed with Twitter that beta testing of its new business features, dubbed the “Twitter Business Center,” has begun.
According to the company, “only a handful of accounts have these features presently,” but it will expand on a gradual business to more accounts. One of the biggest additions: the ability for businesses to accept Twittter direct messages, even from people they don’t follow.
A small group of business users are getting emails from the Twitter team, inviting them to test “the Twitter Toolkit.” This is how the invite email begins:
“Congrats!
Your account has been invited to participate in testing one of Twitter’s newest business-centric features, the Twitter Toolkit. We’ll be rolling it out to you within the next few days (if you don’t have it already) for your business or organization’s Twitter account. To get started, visit your business’ Twitter account settings…

http://twitter.com/settings/account

…and look for the “Business” tab. From there you’ll be directed to fill out some information which will help us verify your business or organization.”
Once businesses clicks the link, they have to activate the business features for their accounts. It then takes them to a page where they fill in information such as business contact info and whether they are a small business, large company, or an individual/group:
Digging into the Features
Once a business activates its account, it is automatically verified. This is important because Twitter Verified Accounts have been limited to individuals thus far. It seems like Twitter has finally decided to expand the Verified Accounts program to brands and organizations.
After activation, four tabs appear: Overview, Business Info, Verification, and Contributors. Overview provides basic information about business accounts and Business Info allows a company to change the information that it submitted during initial registration. The Contributors tab, which we revealed several months ago, gives businesses the ability to add multiple users to a business account so that they can tweet on its behalf.
The tab that interested us the most though was the “Verification” tab. Take a look at the “Preferences” section in this screenshot we obtained of the Verification tab:
Twitter has a new feature for businesses: the ability to accept direct messages from any of its followers, regardless of whether they follow that person or not. This is huge for businesses that perform customer service via Twitter: they can get feedback and deal with private customer issues without having to follow the person back first.
The microblogging startup seems focused on getting more businesses the tools they need to effectively manage their Twitter accounts. There are no details yet as to how much Twitter will charge businesses for these features. For now though, the company is refining and testing its Twitter Toolkit before its eventual public debut.

Dynamic Stamps in Acrobat 9

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Adobe, Applications, Technology

Here is how I was able to create dynamic stamps in Acrobat 9 Pro.
STEP ONE – create your stamp image(s)
Create your stamp image. I used Illustrator but I suspect that most programs that will create PDF’s can be used. Export that document as a PDF and open it in Acrobat. Under the Forms menu invoked the “Start Forms Wizard”. This will convert your document (stamp) into a form. Save it.
At this point, there is one document open. It is an Acrobat PDF form.
STEP TWO – copy the dynamic element from a furnished stamp
On a Mac, using the Finder, navigated to the Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro applications folder and right click the object named Adobe Acrobat Pro. Select the “Show Package Contents” command from the menu and you will be able to see the component files of Acrobat. Navigate to this folder “Contents/Plug-ins/Comments.acroplugin/Stamps/ENU/” and open the file “Dynamic.pdf.
(On a PC I found the Dynamic.pdf inside an object named Data1.cab and was able to open it. Data1.cab resides inside the C:/Program Files/Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro folder. I suspect the rest of this will translate easily enough for Windows XP users.)
At this point you should have two Acrobat documents open on your desktop. The document you wish to make dynamic and Acrobat’s furnished dynamic stamps document. Both documents are Adobe Acrobat forms.
In the document Dynamic.pdf chose the Forms drop down menu and selected the “Add or Edit Fields” command. That allows you to select a form field. Once the field is selected copy it and paste it into your first document. Save your document.
STEP THREE – customize the dynamic field!
Now that the form field is in your document invoke the Add or Edit Fields command to change the content of the field to your own needs.
Once the Add or Edit command has been activated, right click the form field and chose Properties from the menu. This will open the Text Field Properties Controls box. Here you control the appearance of the text (font, size color, alignment, etc.) as well as the content of the field. Select the Calculate tab to see the script that controls the field. The fourth radio button (Custom Calculation Script) contains the script that makes your field dynamic.
I started from a field that showed time and date and rearranged it to read date and time. I don’t recognize the kind of script but I suspect it was java. I could not change the am and pm elements with java and so used a 24 hour clock instead. I am no scripter. What I ended up using actually fit better so I accepted that.
You can now save and close your newly dynamic PDF form.
STEP FOUR – add dynamic stamps
After saving that document you can add your new dynamic stamps to your stamps library. Navigate to Tools: Comment and Markup: Stamps: Create Custom Stamp to open the Select Image for Custom Stamp dialog box. Use the browse button to find your file, use the window to navigate to the first stamp image, click OK and the Create Custom Stamp dialog box opens. Select an existing Category or create a new one and name your stamp. Since my stamps were already PDF’s I didn’t need to use the Down Sample check box. I did this four times to select four different images as stamps.
Unlike instructions I found for earlier versions of Acrobat nothing was added to the directory where the original dynamic file existed. So it is a good possibility that the location and path to the file you created is important to their being available in the future. I haven’t checked that yet.
NOTES
I actually use my new Acrobat form document as a watermark as well as a stamp. All I have to do is select Document: Watermark: Add from the Document menu and select the PDF form I created. My proof stamp now appears on each page of my proof in the same position on each page with the date and time that the stamp applied. I achieve the positioning by starting with an InDesign document into which I placed the Illustrator stamp. The InDesign document is sized to match my target files. The PDF I worked from actually came from this InDesign file. It does not affect the size of the stamp image and it makes your work useful in other ways.

Dead Zone Doldrums Test Skills of iPhone Customers

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: App Store, Apple Inc, Applications, iPhone, Technology

Owners of iPhones know that their love for Steve Jobs’s touch-screen marvel comes at a price. The iPhone’s cellular coverage, provided exclusively by AT&T Wireless (NYSE: T – News), is notoriously spotty. In some parts of New York and San Francisco, it’s impossible to connect.
If you go for a dim sum lunch at Yank Sing restaurant on the edge of the financial district in San Francisco, you are likely to miss calls from the office. Some owners can’t use their iPhones in their own homes. Even AT&T Park, the city’s waterfront stadium, can be a dead zone.
The iPhone service is affected by several factors. First, AT&T’s 3G network doesn’t cover as much ground as Verizon (NYSE: VZ – News), America’s largest carrier. Second, urban areas packed with tall buildings are bad for wireless signals. Skyscrapers can block radio waves, or they can bounce them around to create what’s called multipath interference, where signals from different directions collide and cancel each other out.
But the iPhone’s worst enemy is the iPhone itself. So many Americans use them in the same places and at the same time that they are competing with one another for use of the network. “A hundred cellphones demanding bandwidth per cell site may not be out of the question in congested downtown areas,” said Tim Pozar, a wireless engineer who installs custom repeater systems to improve cellphone coverage at offices in the San Francisco area. IPhone owners have proved to be heavy consumers of network capacity.
What to do? There is no single magic bullet to improve iPhone service. You can spend hours trying to persuade AT&T to let you out of your contract. The time you spend doing that will cost more than the contract termination fee.
Knowing a few tricks might get you a connection. If your touch screen says “No Service,” the easiest fix is to hold the phone completely vertical, rather than slanted across your cheek. The iPhone’s antenna is meant to reach furthest if it is held straight up and down. If that doesn’t work, move. Indoors, walk to a window. Outdoors, cross the street.
For the newer 3G-capable iPhones, turning off the 3G in favor of AT&T’s older Edge network is sometimes effective. Go to the iPhone’s Settings icon. Tap General, then Network. Slide the Enable 3G toggle from On to Off. But you can’t talk and browse the Web at the same time on Edge.
Another alternative is to use a Wi-Fi hot spot to make calls. Skype, the popular Internet phone service, will make and take calls as long as you leave the app running and signed in. (Until an iPhone can multitask, that means you have to have the Skype app on all the time.) Calls with other Skype users are free, but calls to and from phones cost about two cents a minute. The app is available in the iPhone App Store.
Skype call quality varied in our tests from clear to sputtery, with a delay from one half-second to three or four seconds. Also, the app works only over Wi-Fi, so you will need to juggle between Skype and AT&T, depending on where you are.
Or, for $15 a month, you can subscribe to the Line2 app that mimics Apple’s phone in look and feel, but switches calls to a Wi-Fi network whenever the iPhone connects to one.
Line2 can start a call on AT&T’s 3G network and then transfer to Wi-Fi, whereas Apple won’t allow Skype to handle calls via AT&T. If left running, it will also receive inbound calls over Wi-Fi. (If Apple were to add a Wi-Fi option to the built-in Phone app, this wouldn’t be a problem.)
But for reliable service, there is no substitute for hardware that increases range. That is why AT&T has begun offering home 3G base stations that look like Wi-Fi routers, but send and receive 3G radio signals instead. These microcells, as AT&T calls them, connect to the Internet and offer wireless coverage of up to 40 feet in any direction. They work with any 3G AT&T phone, but not with Apple’s older non-3G model of iPhone.
The catch is that you will have to pay AT&T for the boost. There are two payment plans: If you buy the microcell for $150, AT&T will charge your voice calls made using the device against the minutes on your monthly wireless plan. Or you can sign up for unlimited calling for a $20 a month fee, and get the microcell free.
Many people consider it outrageous that AT&T isn’t handing out microcells to solve what they see as a problem that AT&T created. But you do get your own personal cellphone tower without needing the approval of your neighborhood’s opposition watchdog group.
AT&T’s microcell is built by Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO – News), a company with a reputation for solid network gear. Setup isn’t exactly plug-and-play, but it doesn’t require you to be a technician. You log in to attwireless.com — you’ll need to create an account if you haven’t already — and open a URL clearly labeled on a sticker that covers the microcell’s cable ports. Enter the microcell’s serial number and the 10-digit phone numbers of the iPhones you want it to serve. Then, as the instructions warn, you must wait up to 90 minutes while the microcell configures itself.
Call quality over the microcell was almost shockingly clear, ungarbled and free of the underwater sound that plagues many cellphone calls. You also might be less likely to experience the common many-second delays between your saying something and the other party’s hearing it. Cellular experts warn that delays and stuttering calls are still possible because these are caused by Internet traffic jams rather than the microcell.
If you make a call from inside the house and then walk outside, you can expect the microcell to reliably hand off the call to a local tower. Calls made outside, though, don’t transfer to the microcell when you get home. The only annoyance you may find with the AT&T unit is that whenever it is rebooted, as home networks sometimes are, it may take about 20 minutes to come back online.
AT&T’s solution will work for homes and small offices. But the company is clear that you can’t take it with you. It may not connect if plugged in somewhere else. So how to solve the restaurant dead-zone problem?
Mr. Pozar says the best fix is for the location to install its own repeater. For $1,000 to $5,000 in parts and labor, a hot dim sum spot could route calls through an outside antenna that connects to an inside amplifier.
That’s not cheap. But instead of a Free Wi-Fi sign, what better way to attract big spenders than one that says iPhone Hot Spot?

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