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February 2009 - Ask the Geek Ask the Geek

Archive for February, 2009

Microsoft Equips Individuals With New Training Resources Needed for Jobs

Elevate America initiative provides technology skills tools at no cost and low cost.

This is great news for anyone who wants to pursue a technical career. This is the kind of stimulus that will really make a difference!

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 22, 2009, Microsoft Corp. today announced a new initiative, Elevate America, which will provide up to 2 million people over the next three years with the technology training needed to succeed in the 21st-century economy.

Microsoft has worked for years with other businesses and community-based partners to broaden access to job opportunities through information technology education and training. Elevate America expands these efforts and provides immediate support in response to the current economic crisis in partnership with others in the public and private sector.

Elevate America has two main offerings, one available immediately and one that will be provided in partnership with state governments including those of Florida, New York and Washington.

A new online resource, located at http://www.microsoft.com/ElevateAmerica, is available today. This new Web site helps individuals understand what types of technical skills they need for the jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities of today and tomorrow, and resources to help acquire these skills. The Web site provides access to several Microsoft online training programs, including how to use the Internet, send e-mail and create a “sum”, as well as more advanced programs on using specific Microsoft applications….

If you would like to receive information when the Elevate America resources become available in your state, please follow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/elevateamerica.


Cool Tools Use New Ultracapacitor Technology

These two new products are a Tool Geek’s dream. Since I don’t yet own either of them, I’m going to let the web sites and pictures speak for themselves. Both of these tools are powered by ultracapacitors (aka SuperCapacitors) and both recharge in 90 seconds. Check them out!


(Click on the logo above for the website)

Coleman claims 500,000 charge cycles life on the power cell.
$79.99 plus shipping


Light for Life Flashlight UC3.400

“In just 90 seconds, your Light for Life” UC3.400 will be fully charged and ready to produce another 90 minutes of light. Flashpoint Power Technology system is rated for 50,000 charge/discharge cycles with virtually no degradation. That’s a charge a day for more than 135 years!”

$169.99 plus shipping (pre-order only–they’re not yet available)



The Geek


Why Your Wallet is the Best Password Manager

Although I use them to store passwords for sites that don’t require much security, password managers are something I generally stay away from. Why? Because they store the information on my hard drive, a thumb drive, or a website, all of which could be compromised by a determined hacker. Even a relatively unsophisticated hacker could exploit an unpatched vulnerability leaving my passwords open to inspection. My personal security policy is to make it as hard as possible for someone to get to my passwords.

So, I write them down and keep them in my wallet.

Yes, that is the most secure “password manager” there is. No one can get to your wallet from the Internet or your PC. Passwords written on a piece of paper and stored in your wallet are nearly impossible to compromise – someone would have to steal your wallet (or you’d have to lose it) to get at them. How likely is that? I’m 55 years old and have never lost my wallet or had one stolen. Even if someone did get hold of wallet, they wouldn’t know what sites the passwords apply to. I have a secret code that tells me which password goes with what site, and no one is likely to be able to decipher it.

Just be sure not to write down your username with the passwords.


The Geek

Filed in: Password, Security, Tips
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