Share photos with family and friends
When you get back from your summer vacation, you may be tempted to send a huge batch of your favorite photographs as e-mail attachments, but dispatching a 20MB e-mail message to all of your contacts is both clumsy and annoying. Instead, upload the pictures to an album on a photo-sharing site and invite your relatives and friends to view your shots at their leisure.
The trick is to upload your pictures directly from the local application that you'll be using to organize your photos, whether the particular program is Windows Live Photo Gallery, Picasa, or something else.
In Photo Gallery, select the photos you plan to share, either with tags or by clicking them while holding down the Ctrl key. Once they're selected, click Publish, More services, Publish on Flickr...
You will need a Flickr or Yahoo log-in name. The uploading process is exceedingly simple. Afterward, you can log on to Flickr and tell your contacts that the photos are ready for viewing.
In Picasa2, select the photos in question and click the Web Album button. If the various files are not already collected in the same album or folder, you'll find that it's easier to create an album in Picasa2, put the images there, and then create the Web Album.
After signing in (you'll need a Google account for this), complete the resulting form and start the upload. When that's finished, click View Online. If you are happy with the result, click the Share Album button to e-mail anyone the link.
Most good photo applications include a similar feature, so take advantage of yours to simplify the process of sharing memories with your loved ones.
Add titles to your home movie
If you've just shot some video with your camcorder, you can add titles to it in a few minutes with Windows Movie Maker, which comes with every version of Windows.
To get started, import your video and enter Timeline mode. In the timeline at the bottom of the window, select the clip that you want to superimpose the title over (in most instances this will be the first clip). In the left pane, under Edit Movie (just Edit in Vista), click Make titles or credits (just Titles and credits in Vista).
Click Add title on the selected clip in the timeline (just Title in Vista). Type in your title text, and watch it appear in the view screen (which may be displaying a black screen instead of your video at this point).
If you don't like the way the title looks, use the links located below the text field to change the animation or font. I recommend the Fade, Slow Zoom animation.
Last, click Done, Add Title to movie in XP (or just Add Title in Vista). Then play the video and see if you like it.
If you're unhappy with the result, double-click the title in the timeline's Title Overlay band to change it.
Identify a hoax e-mail message
We've all received forwarded e-mail messages from relatives and friends. Some of these missives warn of devastating viruses that require immediate attention; others alert us to predators lurking in shopping-mall parking lots. Many are obvious hoaxes. But if you're not sure, here are some telltale signs that a newly received message is bogus.
The hoax:If you have a file with a particular name, you're infected.
The truth: Real malware changes its name from infection to infection, or replaces an existing file. The file named in the e-mail alert is more likely a standard part of Windows, and removing it will probably mess up your PC.
The hoax:The virus will wipe your hard drive--or do some other horrible thing--if you don't remove it.
The truth: Malware no longer behaves that way. Bad guys find it much more profitable to steal a victim's passwords and credit card numbers, quietly.
The hoax:This virus is so cleverly crafted that McAfee and Norton software can't identify or remove it.
The truth: If that were really the case, you wouldn't be able to identify and remove it simply by deleting one file, as these messages often advise.