Jeffrey Archer’s "Old Love" Redefines Love Story

The “Old Love” of Jeffrey Archer is a unique amorous tale between two brilliant students of English literature from Oxford. Archer makes an exploration of the theme of love from a completely unusual standpoint. The rendition is fiercely honest while he portrays a chronic sense of envy and rivalry between two sworn arch-rivals in the Oxford University: William Hatchard and Philippa Jameson. Initially, their aggressive competition unsettles their tutor Simon Jakes. In their constant intellectual debates, Philippa confronted the deep, confident voice of William with her high-heeled boldness. The mutual hatred was absolute. Their sharply perceptive and analytical mind refused to be submissive to each other. Indeed, this fierce sense of competition enabled them to outshine everyone else in the field. Given the background of 1930’s she, to him, was “that silly woman” and he “that arrogant man”. Yet strange is the way of destiny that an unusual love story should blossom between the bitterest of academic rivals!

This rivalry assumed an unpalatable intensity when both excelled as toppers in their final degree exam. The Charles Oldham Shakespeare’s essay writing competition fed fat to this fire of passionate jealousy and became a life and death question for each to defeat the other.There were liberal exchanges of scornful remarks between the two to play each other down. However, things took a dramatic turn when William unwittingly discovered about the death of Philippa’s father (who was a Vicar) from cancer, and also, his secret dream to let his daughter study in Oxford and win the Charles Oldham award. The sight of silent sobbing of his proud and powerful adversary stirred up a sudden feelings of empathy in his guts. He got over his tentative doubts and offered to accompany her to her village for the burial ceremony. They held hand for the first time and discovered the new bond of friendship as they started their journey to her village. They communicated with each other spontaneously while returning to Oxford which bounces Philippa back to her normal competitive spirit. She slowly discovers the growth of her new found intense attraction for William. The latter secretly enjoys this interesting conversion in the Vicar’s daughter.

The transformation of hatred into love has always been a captivating subject in itself, and Archer makes the situation entertaining with the employment of sparkling wit in their conversation. They make a visit to Stratford and have meals together. But their first date was far from usual: it is a unique blend of warmth and intellectual antagonism! If this instinctive antagonism triggered a strong sense of hatred before, now it drew them closer. In fact, this killer instinct became a delirious source of entertainment for both. Archer makes the reader question if intense hatred could indeed be an expression of hidden attraction?

Anyway, the situation takes a quirky turn while returning from Stratford. On their way back to Oxford, Phillipa and William had to spend the night in a car as the petrol gauge showed empty. The former obviously did not miss the chance of expressing her doubt about the cerebral power of a person who couldn’t even read a petrol gauge! The day next William gave her the reason why he let the car run out of petrol: He said with a rare sense of humor: “My father told me if I spent the night with a barmaid then I should simply order an extra pint of beer, but if I spent the night with the vicar’s daughter, I would have to marry her.” He came down on his knees and said,” Will you marry me if I win the Charles Oldham?” Philippa answered that “as there is absolutely no fear of that happening I can safely say, yes… ” When William declared his love for her she told him not to show his face in Somerville again if he failed to win Charles Oldham. The readers wonder if the writer reveals Philippa’s secret wish that she could marry himeven at the cost of losing Charles Oldham! Otherwise why would tears come to Philippa’s eyes when a girl informed her that she had won? It was a moment of crisis for her because between the conflicting emotion of ambition and love in her heart, the latter had won and for once the proud girl confessed, “I do love nothing in the world so well as you; is that not strange?”

However, when she discovered that William was a joint winner, her puckish spirit returned as she said ” I take thee for pity” to which William replied ” I yield upon great persuasion… ” They were locked in a passionate embrace, and after that, they were never apart for more than a few hours. Strangely, their honeymoon in Athens ended up in a heated argument over the relative significance of Doric and Ionic architecture!

Later in life, this constant battle of wit prevented their romance from dwindling into boredom and banality. Their serious research works and creative activities, though on different fields, kept them deeply connected. After three years, “with well-received D. Phils”, they moved on, in tandem, to college teaching. But their fierce encounters continued and their sharp wit at each other’s expense would flash across the dinner tables at Oxford. However, those who understood their love felt envious of their unique relationship! They were childless yet their life was not tasteless.

Returning home after the celebration dinner (being declared the Joint Professor), their heated argument over Proust’s monumental work took such an intimidating turn, that a policeman, nearby, asked Philippa “Is everything all right madam?” “No, it is not”, William declared “this woman has been attacking me for over 30 years, and to date the police have done deplorably little to protect me”. Yet, beneath this apparent antagonism, their bond continued to grow stronger with each passing year. Interestingly, their intense love was inseparable from their zealous intellectual antagonism which lent a peculiar aura to their relationship. When Philippa was made the Dame of the British Empire, William referred to her as an “Old Dame” he had to live with now. It is this bitter-sweet flavor of their love which defines their marriage.

The most irritable habit of Philippa to William was her determination each morning to complete “The Times” crossword before he arrived at the breakfast table. One fine morning in June, William, studying the clue, filled in the eight boxes left incomplete by Philippa. Philippa’s instantly retorted that there was no such word. To the delight of Philippa the word “Whym Wham” could not be found in the shorter Oxford Dictionary. William assured her that the word could be found in OED on his desk, made for scholars like him. William left the breakfast table with sharp comments on Philippa’s limited command of English language and that she will have to eat a humble pie at Somerville’s Gaudy Feast as she reads the collected works of John Skelton…

William left with a sigh, kissing his wife on her cheek, wishing he had lost Charles Oldham. Philippa replied that he did indeed because it was highly inappropriate during those days to declare a woman as the sole winner! Having closed the front door, as she entered the kitchen, Dame Philippa suddenly suffered her lone heart attack. She called out to William hoarsely but in vain. The news of her death was conveyed and the story ends with a note of dark humor in the suicidal note of Sir William (who shot himself with his pistol): “Forgive me, but I had to let her know”. There was the volume of the work of John Skelton held open in one of his hand with the word “Whym Wham” underlined neatly, his fingers stiff and cold around it. Such weird ending, subtly hints at the essence of special relationship this couple shared so that they rise above the great marriage vow “TILL DEATH DO US PART.” Archer’s love story excels because death could not part Sir William and Dame Philippa! Even while following his wife to her grave, William felt the need to camouflage the inseparable bond they shared, and the insufferable loneliness he would feel without her… he does it with a wry sense of humor!



How to Install Skype on Your Smartphone

Skype is becoming increasingly popular for video calls to loved ones and even making cheap, long-distance phone calls to anyone you know, around the world. Are you wondering how to install Skype on your smart phone? Maybe you’re a mom or dad who travels a lot and just wants to see their families faces daily as you speak to them. Perhaps you have a son or daughter serving overseas. Skype can make it possible to video and talk to them at the same time.

For the purpose of this tutorial we will use the Android OS, the Android Market and Google Play to learn how to install Skype on your smart phone.

6 Simple Steps to Installing Skype on Your Android Phone

Step 1: Find the Google Play or Market widget icon on your smart phone. Just recently, Google switched from the Android Market to a full site, called “Google Play” that includes books, music, movies and Android apps.

Step 2: Once you’ve found the icon it will open up and Google will show you all of their featured apps, books, movies and music. There should also be a magnifying glass at the top right of the screen. You can click on it and a search text field will open. Here you can search for any Android app. For the purpose of this tutorial, type “skype” into the text area. Once the “skype” shows up in the drop down area, tap it and you will be brought to the download area. There will be a few different options, such as “Skype-Free Video calling” and “Direct Dial with Skype”. The rest will be music and book options, so choose the top option, “Skype-Free Video calling”.

Step 3: The next window will give you detailed information about the app; screen shots, the amount of downloads, user reviews, overall rating and developer’s webpage. This is all good information. In the top right hand corner of the window there should be a “download” button. See it? Now, Tap it!

Step 4: Before you accept and download the app and Google must disclaim what permissions this app will need for your phone. In the case of Skype it requires permission to your storage issues, your location, system tools, etc. There are certain apps that you don’t want to give these permissions to. However, knowing Skype is a trusted source and app, that means you can safely hit the button that says “Accept and Download”.

Step 5: Once you hit “Accept & Download” your Android smart phone and Skype app will join! You can watch the progress in the download bar. Your Android smart phone will then automatically install it on your phone.

Step 6: Once download is complete you can immediately open and start using the Skype app by creating an account and starting to search for contacts, loved ones and interesting people! Enjoy!



Nokia N95 Smart Phone Review

Over the past years I’ve had a number of different types of cell phones, many of them were great but some complete failures. However, all my Nokia cell phones have done their job well, that is why my latest phone was also a Nokia. Nokia N95 to be exact.

The N95 is simply an amazing phone, it does not matter whether you are a teenager or a teacher, this phone is for everyone. It consists of many different and cool little attributes such as a huge 2.6″ LCD screen which can flip both up and down. It has an internal MP3 player and a magnificent camera with a Carl Zeiss lens, the camera is 5MP, which is plenty for a cell phone.

5MP camera in a phone is truly astounding; I’m no expert but that the highest pixel amount I’ve seen in a cell phone, the ever so popular iPhone for instance only has 3MP. This camera also allows you to record videos, and let me tell you, those videos are just pretty decent. It is much better that I had anticipated in a cell phone.

Another feature I really like is the build it MP3 player. The 8GB version of the N95 has a built in 8GB flash memory which gives you plenty of storage for all your songs. If you flip the phone’s screen down you can access one on N95 coolest features, the media control pad. There you can play, pause or change tracks with ease.

All in all, I’m extremely happy about this phone of mine, one flaw is that once you start to fill up all the flash memory the phone tends to lag a bit.

I rate the Nokia N95 cell phone 7,5 out of 10



The Development of M-Learning

Gadgets that access the Internet have become more and more popular as they became more affordable. Several companies released iPhone comparable smart phones (e.g. Samsung Galaxy) and several tablets are on the market as well. Although the first impulse is to consider these gadgets only for entertainment purposes, the idea of mobile-learning (m-learning) is gaining fuel and actually becoming a reality. Actually, it’s the fastest growing area of e-learning, having the enormous advantage of mobility. What we thought mobility meant for e-learning (having the ability to easily collaborate with people from across the globe) is increased by a thousand times in m-learning, where you have the possibility of learning without being bound to a desk, or even a plug.

If m-learning hasn’t been taken seriously before, tablets make it seem like the next big thing in education at a distance. Tablets are now being bought by companies for their employees in the Oil and Gas section as well as in Constructions. The numbers also increase for the tablets used in higher education. Apparently, the first million iPads have been sold in the first week from release.

Some of the tablets that are now available have features that make them have an impact on the learning experience of the 21st century. The best example would be the iPad 2, of course, which includes such applications as MathBoard – quizzes for kids from kindergarten to elementary school; Solar System – interactive 3D tour of the galaxy; Intro to Letters by Montessorium – learning sounds and phonograms; Shakespeare in Bits – animated illustrations and modern-language translations of Romeo and Juliet; Virtual History, Roma – 3D reconstructions of ancient Rome etc. The iPhone4 also comes with a range of educational applications, such as National Geographic – exploring any corner of the world; New Oxford American Dictionary – containing more than 250,000 entries; Cliffs Notes – reviews of great literary works; Periodic – the compact periodic table, and so on.

Although these applications are educational and beneficial, there are very few Learning Management Systems (LMS) that are supported by mobile devices. Some platforms, such as emTrain, Element K, Sum Total and Blackbord Learn offer applications that are available on iTunes and can be used on hand-held devices. However, there are no easy to use (rapid) content authoring tools.  Very few vendors offer web conferencing tools as downloadable applications. The importance of tools being available as applications lies in the user’s ability to access them faster. For example, if one is looking to create a quiz from the iPad, they would rather search “quiz” in iTunes then search “creating a quiz m-learning” on Google.  Moodle is one alternative as an open source LMS that works very well on the iPad.  The Moodle system itself it is not in Flash, and the input fields are very accessible for end users and administrators.

Knowing how to take advantage of such an opportunity in the market, Apple brought along iTunes U, with the U standing for “university”. This provides institutions with a home for all their digital content created by educators, which can be downloaded on Mac, PCs, iPhones and iPads. Knowing that students are already using iTunes and are familiar with the environment, it’s easy to slip in some educational apps. Needless to say, iTunes U is accessible by all students.

For those educators, both small and large, looking to get content online quickly there are other options.  Using your own LMS allows you to make your content accessible to a large audience.  Using an open source platform, like Moodle as mentioned earlier, could be a real time saver in bringing your content to the masses.   Note: the Apple approval process for their store iTunes can be difficult to navigate and time consuming.



Types Of Fiber Optic Tools For Cleaning And Improving Network Connection

Cleaning your fiber optic cable regularly is the answer to improved transmission and communication signal. Knowing what type of tools to use beforehand can save time and money as well. If this is your first time cleaning of your cable or you have noticed any problem with your network, below are some of the cleaning materials that you can use to clean and troubleshoot your connectivity issues.

Wipes

Wipes are the most popular cleaning tools for fiber optics cables. There are three kinds of wipes currently in the market today – pre-moistened individual non-woven cloth, lint-free tissue and outdoor wipes. The pre-moistened are one-time individually wrapped wipes that contain fast evaporating isopropanol and are used to remove oils, dust and dirt from the endfaces of the cable.

Non-woven cloths prevent the risk of scratches to the connector when wiped. This is also an excellent tool to prevent any lint residues left on the ferrules when cleaning. Lint-free wipes may be used either dry or wet. Dry lint-free wipes remove visible marks and can be used when fiber cables are to be terminated or spliced. Outdoor wipes are specially designed to remove and clean outdoor cables. Gels are used to clean the cable before termination or splicing and can also be used to clean fiber optic tools.

Many wipes contain 99% isopropyl alcohol which is needed for proper cleaning. However, care must be observed when using liquid alcohol as residual liquid can cause problems later on. No alcohol must penetrate guide pin holes for female multi-fiber connectors as this can damage and contaminate the fiber later on during mating.

Lint-Free Swabs

Lint-free swabs are perfect for cleaning sleeves, bulkheads and other recessed areas as it makes it easier to clean hard to reach areas. Swabs can be wrapped, foam or just regular cotton swabs. To use the swabs, technicians must do a complete revolution in the same direction several times or as needed. It is important not to reuse the swab with other connectors as this would cause contamination. Use a new one when repeat cleaning is necessary. Lint-free swabs can also be used for wet cleaning technique, simply use a single drop of 99% alcohol and clean the endface. Remember to dry the area immediately to prevent any residue.

Canned Air and Gel

Canned air makes it easier to clean the surface area beside the connector. This makes it easier for technicians to remove the dust particles surrounding the cable before actual removal and prevents the dust from contaminating the endface area. Gel on the other hand is the perfect tool to reduce losses that occur during splicing. Technicians should apply the gel at the interface of the matted fibers.



Pokemon Tutorials on YouTube – What Else Are Your Children Learning?

As a (young) middle-aged mother, I have little interest in video games. In fact, I have almost none at all. Watching my son, I’ve disapproved of some of the violence in these games but beyond the bloodshed, they have seemed to me for the most part to be pretty innocuous. About the worst I could say about them is that they were too absorbing and the overwhelmingly focus on hand-eye coordination rather than logical thought processes. They also keep kids from the physical world, which by the way, isn’t going to go away any time soon. I forced my son to grow vegetables this year in our small Japanese garden and, you know, he’s actually enjoying it.

Recently however a new Pokemon store opened at a mall near us and I got my son something called a Pokemon Plush, which is just another way of saying ‘stuffed character.’ He chose ‘Ampharos,’ which looked friendly and hardly seemed a ‘monster’ to me (the origin of the word ‘pokemon’ is hard to describe: technically it’s Japanese but if comes from the Japanese transliterations of the two words ‘pocket’ and ‘monster,’ which is then abbreviated to ‘pokemon’ or ‘pocket monster’). But most of these Pokemon Plush toys seem more like cute animals than monsters.

There are different facets to Pokemon playing, and a very popular one is from the original- the computer game. I must confess that I have become rather interested in Pokemon recently as they appeal to my curiosity for both science fiction and evolution. I also like computers and robotics. So I decided to have a gander at how to play a game and chose a tutorial from YouTube. I heard Black and White was the latest thing in Pokemon goods and playing and chose one of those. I must say though that as a parent I was shocked and appalled by the 22 year old narrator. His language was very obscene. For adults I have no problem with violence or profanity, but when its under the pretext of a children’s video is where a line needs to be drawn.

I’ve watched hundreds if not thousands of YouTube videos, and I can’t recall a more venomous narration than this. I was shocked and angry as I made a lengthy complaint to YouTube and I realized that this is not confined to Pokemon games but games across the board. As a mother, I thought was harmless children’s content was not the case. I’m sure there are a lot of unsuspecting parents out there who also are unaware of this. I really think that something needs to be done to give these videos a warning label or at the least some sort of rating that would make it easier to identify which ones are suitable for young children.

I am happy to report that I checked out a lot of Pokemon web sites and found most of them innocent and cute. I picked up my son’s plushie and will continue to monitor what my child watches. I urge all parents to do the same.



Acer Iconia Smart Smartphone Review And Specs

Acer has just unveiled a new device in the Iconia family at Mobile World Congress 2011, namely Acer Iconia Smart. The Iconia Smart is designed with full metal body and has capabilities of a tablet with a smartphone format. New Iconia Smart smartphone tablet is integrated with HDMI interface with support for DLNA technology and clear.fi media sharing system for saring your favorite multimedia content to other device or HDTV.

The new Acer smartphone is powered by 1GHz Snapdragon processor, a 4.8-inch touchscreen display with resolution of 1024 x 480 pixel (21:9 aspect ratio), 512MB RAM, 8GB of on-board flash storage, up to 32GB MicroSD card slot, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with autofocus, LED flash image stabilization, Geo-tagging, face and smile detection, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, and support 720p HD video recording at 30 frames per second.

New Acer Smart also equipped with Stereo FM radio with RDS, Accelerometer sensor, Six-axis gyro sensor, Proximity sensor, Dolby surround sound, support Adobe Flash Player 10.1, 3.5mm jack, GPS with A-GPS support and Li-Po 1500 mAh battery that offer up to 8 hours of 3G talk time and up to 500 hours on standby. For connectivity, the device is offers 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP, 14.4 Mbps HSDPA support, microUSB 2.0, HTML browser and works on GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 and HSDPA 900 / 1900 / 2100.

The Iconia Smart mobile phone also support MP3/WAV/WMA/eAAC+ player, XviD/MP4/H.264/H.263 player, Document viewer (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF) and measures in 141.7 x 64.5 x 13.6 mm with weight 185 g. The handset is runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS with Acer UI 4.2 and expected will be release from 1 May but pricing has yet to be confirmed.



Adobe Flash Player: A Risk To Privacy and Security

Adobe Flash Player: a greater risk to privacy and security than you may realize

Do you know that if you have Adobe’s Flash Players plugin installed on your web browser that your internet activity and history is potentially being tracked and used without your knowledge or permission? Just managing your web browser’s tracking cookie through your web browser doesn’t prevent your internet browsing activity, and its history, from being tracked. Additionally, just keeping your computer current and fully patched with all of Microsoft’s critical updates keeps your computer safe from hackers, think again. Even using an antivirus program, with the most current virus definitions current doesn’t always prevent your computer and privacy from being at risk.

Recently I came across a news article that caught my eye. It was a New York Times technology piece with the title “Code that tracks users’ browsing prompts lawsuits” (Vega, 2010). This article reports about the increasing number of consumers taking legal action against companies that track their web activity without the consumer’s knowledge or permission. Adobe’s Flash Player is the main conduit for capturing this tracking data. This isn’t the first time that Adobe’s Flash player has created legal privacy issues. In 2008, Windows Secrets Newsletter published an article on Adobe’s Flash cookie privacy issues. Recently they published another article called “Eliminate Flash-spawned “zombie” cookies” following up on the same issue (Leonhard, 2010). Adobe has done little to resolve this issue. These law suits are directed at Adobe and other companies that collect and sell information about your web browsing activity without your knowledge or permission. Another ominous contention is that some companies are surreptitiously using Flash cookies to glean information from your browser, even though you have your web browser set to reject tracking cookies.

How does this happen

Adobe’s Flash Player browser plugin uses and stores Flash cookies on your computer, separate from your better known browser HTML cookies. Both types of cookies are used to store browsing and site preferences, along with your browsing history and tracking information. Flash cookies, like your web browser cookies, are small bits of data saved by the websites you visit. These websites use these cookies to store website settings and info (like your name, preferences, Flash game scores, etc.), to track website behavior, and to target you for specific advertisements. They can also create what is known as persistent identification element to uniquely identify you and track what websites you have visited.

Flash cookies are not managed through your web browser’s cookie settings. This same Flash cookies storage area can also be used to store a copy of your browser’s cookies, allowing Adobe’s Flash to recreate cookies that have been previously deleted from your browser, i.e. spawned ‘zombie’ cookies.

What to do to protect yourself

Adobe doesn’t make it easy for users to manage Flash cookies. By default, when Flash Player is installed, it automatically allows third parties to store and access your computer. To change these settings you need to access Flash’s Global Setting Manager. The easiest, most straight forward way to get started is to open your web browser and copy the Adobe URL listed in my references (Ezinearticles does not allow me to place the link here). Or do a Google search on: “adobe flash player setting manager.” The macromedia.com link should be the first and second items found.

This will take you to the Global Setting panel for Adobe’s Flash Player (see Adobe Flash Player Global Setting Manager below). The image embedded on the web page is the actual management console, not a picture. The current version of this panel has eight panels or tabs. Each tab covers a different aspect of privacy and security. You may want to add this to your browser’s Favorites for future reference.

Adobe Flash Player Global Setting Manager Global Privacy Settings

The first tab on the Global Setting Manager is for your computer’s camera and microphone settings. You have the option of setting this as “Always deny…” or “Always ask…” The “Always ask…” option forces the Flash Player to ask for your permission before allowing a third-party to access your computer’s camera and microphone. “Always deny…” does just that, it always denies permission to access your camera and microphone. You will not receive any notification that a third-party tried to access either your camera of microphone with this option.

Your current settings are not displayed. Clicking on “Always deny…” or “Always ask…” overrides any previous global setting made for this. This setting is for sites you have not already visited. I recommend that you select the “Always ask” option. This will allow you the option of using an interactive flash site, requiring the use of your camera and microphone. You will be prompted to confirm your selection.

You will always be prompted for your permission at any website requesting access to your camera and microphone.

Global Flash Cookie Storage Settings

The second tab of the Global Setting Manager controls how much disk space you will allow for new web sites (third-parties) to store information, Flash cookies, on your computer. By denying all, you may prevent some websites from functioning correctly.

This panel determines the amount of disk space you will automatically allow third-parties to use for websites you have not already visited. Some websites may not function correctly if you do not allow some disk space storage. This is the total amount for each website. If a website needs or wants more you will receive a prompt to allow or disallow this additional space (see below). Your installed Flash Player must be version 8, or newer, to have the option of allowing or disallowing third-party flash content. If your Flash version is older than version 9, you will not have the option to allow/disallow storage and sharing of common Flash components.

The suggested settings that work for me are shown above. The Allow third-party Flash, and Store common Flash, are needed by a lot of sites to allow them to function correctly.

Global Security Settings

The third tab is the Global Security Settings panel. This panel controls how Shockwave Flash (SWF) and Flash Video (FLV) are handled. The problem with these types of files is that they can contain applets or computer scripts that can be used to collect and share information about you without your knowledge or permission. Both SWF and FLV files can be embedded on web pages. These files can and do exchange audio, video, and data using Macromedia’s Real Time Messaging Protocol. It is possible for SWF or FLV content stored locally on your computer to communicate with the Internet without your knowledge of permission.

I recommend setting this to “Always ask.” If a website needs to store Flash cookies on your computer, you will be prompted for permission. By being prompted, you will be aware of the website’s tracking activity.

Global Flash Update Notification Setting

The fourth tab is the Global Notification Settings panel. This is where you set how often Flash checks for updates. I recommend enabling this feature and having Flash check for updates at least every seven days. I strongly recommended that Flash updates be installed as soon as possible for security reasons. By keeping your Flash Player updated, you make the malicious code writers’ job just a little harder. The security vulnerabilities for Flash Player plugins are very well-known.

After installing any Flash updates you should validate that your privacy and security settings have not changed. With previous Flash updates, the settings within the Flash manager have reverted back to default, i.e. wide-open, settings.

Protected Content/License Settings

The fifth tab is the Protected Content Playback Settings panel. When you purchase or rent Flash “protected” content, license files are downloaded to your computer. Sometimes these files become corrupted. By resetting these files, new licenses can be downloaded. This option should only be used when protected Flash content is not playing correctly, and a technician has advised you to reset the licenses files. This will reset ALL license files stored on your computer; you are not able to select individual files.

If you click on the “Reset License Files” button you will be prompted to confirm or cancel your selection.

Website Privacy Settings

The sixth tab is the Website Privacy Settings panel. This is the list of websites you have granted permission to store data on your computer. This panel is where you can “Always ask,” “Always allow,” or “Always deny” access you your computer’s camera and microphone.

The recommended setting is “Always ask” or “Always deny.” You can edit these by highlighting the website and change the permission or delete the website. You can also remove all the websites from this list by selecting “Delete all sites.” The settings on this panel override the default setting from the Global Privacy Settings panel for these particular websites.

If you choose to delete a website from this list you are prompted for confirmation.

Note: The list of websites displayed in this and the following panels are stored on your computer and displayed to allow you to view and change your local settings. Adobe claims that it has no access to this list, or to any of the information that the websites may have stored on your computer.

Website Storage Settings

The seventh tab is the Website Storage Settings panel. This lists all the websites that you have visited that use Flash content, and how much storage they are using on your computer. You can change the amount of storage you allow, delete individual websites, or all the websites. This panel overrides the Global Storage panel settings.

On a Windows 7 computer, the storage location for these files is: C:Usersuser_nameApplication DataMacromediaFlash Player in a folder called #SharedObjects or a subfolder of: macromedia.comsupportflashplayersys.

Note: Deleting the website using the Flash Global Settings Manager only removes the website’s storage content; it does not remove the folder created for the website. An empty folder will remain on your computer.

By selecting a website and using the “Delete website” button, you can delete that website from the list of visited websites. This also removes all data that the website has stored from this storage area.

Peer-Assisted Networking Settings

The last tab is the Peer-Assisted Networking Settings panel. This is where you allow or disallow users who are playing the same content to share your bandwidth. If you are not on a broadband internet connection, you never want to use this option. When in use, this option increases network traffic on your internet connection and to your computer.

It is recommended that you disable this option. This will not prevent Flash from working.

Other Notes and Considerations

The current versions of Internet Explorer 8 and Firefox version 3.6 share the same Flash settings. Changing or updating Flash through this console makes the changes for both. To verify this, validate the Flash Management console from within each web browser you use.

After installing any Flash updates you should validate that your privacy and security settings have not changed. With previous Flash updates, the settings within the Flash manager have reverted back to default, i.e. wide-open, settings.

On a Windows 7 computer, you can manually manage Flash cookies by navigating to: C:Usersuser_nameApplication DataMacromediaFlash Player in a subfolder located at #SharedObjectsnonsensical-filename and macromedia.comsupportflashplayersys. Deleting the website using the Flash Global Settings Manager only removes the website’s storage content; it does not remove the folder created for the website. An empty folder will remain on your computer in the C:Usersuser_nameApplication DataMacromediaFlash Playermacromedia.comsupportflashplayersys folder. The Application Data folder is a hidden systems folder. You will have to have hidden directories visible using the “Show hidden files, folders, and drives” option under the Fold Folder View option. You may also need systems permission to actually view and navigate these directories on a Windows 7 computer.

Instead of doing this manually, you can also use a free utility like Flash Cookie Cleaner 1.0, produced by ConsumerSoft (www. ConsumerSoft.com). This product will clean up and eliminate unwanted and unneeded Flash cookies in both the #SharedObjects and macromedia.com subfolders. This is a much simpler and more efficient way to clean up Flash cookies. You can download this free program from: http://www.flashcookiecleaner.com/ . This utility is free of spyware, adware, viruses, and other malicious programs. Download and save this file to your desktop and run it from there. This is a stand-along program that does not install itself on your computer.

References

Adobe – Flash Player: Help. (n.d.). Adobe. http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager02.html

ConsumerSoft – Freeware Products. (n.d.). ConsumerSoft.

Leonhard, W. (2010, August 5.). Eliminate Flash-spawned “zombie” cookies. Windows Secrets.

Vega, T. (2010, September 20.) Code that tracks users’ browsing prompts lawsuits. The New York Times.

To request a pdf of the article with screen shot please visit the Friend Consulting web site and send an email from there with the Title: Adobe Insecurity.



How to Learn French

To know how to learn French, it is important to realise that learning French (or any other language) involves familiarity with pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary and cultural contexts. Here are some tips on how to master these four essential features of language learning in relation to French language.

1. Learn correct French pronunciation from the start.

French pronunciation is quite tricky; it is almost always different from English, even for words with similar spelling and meaning. Consequently, self-study through audios and videos may not help much, unless you have an exceptional ear for music and an extraordinary talent for mimicry. Classroom learning, though more effective than self-study, has its own limitations: it is not always possible for a teacher to correct the pronunciation of individual students in a group.

Learning pronunciation with a native French tutor is undoubtedly the best, tried and tested option. Apart from tuning up your ears and getting you how to produce French sounds, a private tutor can also provide cultural contexts to help you make better sense of the language. However, not any French tutor will do. You need an experienced tutor with a sound knowledge of rules governing French pronunciation and who is familiar with common mistakes made by students speaking your language.

2. Memorise the gender of French nouns at an early stage.

French, the language of passion, is also one of obsession, especially with genders in grammar. In French, all nouns are either masculine or feminine; there is no neuter gender. Native speakers generally learn which words are masculine and which ones are feminine from childhood, through trial and error, and getting corrected in the process.

For those learning French as a foreign language, learning the gender of individual words can be a daunting experience and it can take you a lifetime! Fortunately, there are some general rules that can teach you to make out the gender of French words with about 90% accuracy. Learn these rules to save yourself time and future mistakes.

3. Build on what you already know.

Due to similar roots, a lot of French words are either identical or similar in spelling and meaning to English – they are called cognates. By knowing these cognates, you can easily transfer and simply add a French pronunciation to them. For instance, portion = portion; élégant = elegant; chapitre = chapter; île = isle; honnête = honest. Et voilà! Now you have loads of French words that you never thought you knew and which you can put to immediate use.

4. Find a logical approach to learn French easily.

If you are not a young learner, it is much easier to learn French by using a logical approach – mainly through an intelligent organisation of information and memorisation techniques.

Let’s first see how a better organisation of information can assist with learning. Take the gender of French nouns which have to be either masculine or feminine. As a very general rule (with some exceptions), words that end with either vowels (A, I, O, U but not E) or consonants tend to be Masculine whereas words that end with E (with some exceptions) are usually Feminine. At an earlier stage, it is much more effective to remember this simple rule than to go through the tedious and painful exercise of memorising the gender of each and every French word.

Let’s now look at one memorisation technique: mnemonics. One of the rules of French pronunciation is that, generally, the consonants D, S, P, T and X are silent at the end of a word. You can remember this rule through the wordplay DESPOTIX which contains all the silent consonants.

5. Create your own French vocabulary notebook.

It helps to create your own French vocabulary notebook. You can organise new words you learn under related Themes (e.g. Food) and further categorise then into People (chef, pâtissier), Nouns (escargot, baguette), Adjectives (délicieux, bon), Adverbs (bien, fraîchement) and Verbs (manger, couper). For an easier retrieval of information, you can number all the pages in the notebook, and create an Index containing a detailed list of the Themes with page numbers next to them.

6. Take a French Proficiency Test.

Learning for fun is exciting, but many give up along the way, especially when they hit a wall. To keep track of your progress and measure yourself at an international level, it is good to take a French proficiency test such as TEF, TCF or DELF-DALF. Taking these proficiency tests at various stages of learning will give you more confidence to keep learning and improving.

7. Get a tutor who shares a common language with you.

A personal French tutor who speaks your language is essential for beginners. Not only you’ll spend less time looking up difficult words in the dictionary, you will also, through cross comparison, understand French grammar easier and faster. Most importantly, you will have someone who can guide you, motivate you, and share with you all the shortcuts so that you don’t reinvent the wheel.



Math is Fun

I have a situation in my house where two of my children do not even seem to have to think about the math problem to know the answer and the other two struggle with their math homework on a constant basis. I am sure that this is a normal situation in most households. It seems that you either get math or you do not. My now eight year old son was multiplying double digits in his head at age six, while his sister who is five years older than him was working like crazy just to keep a “B” in math class.

Over the years, while helping the two children who struggled with math with their homework, there have been times when both my children and myself have become very frustrated. The only thing that was happening at that table was the creation of a very strong dislike for math. No matter how many different ways I tried to explain the math concept, they just were not getting it. The longer that we sat there, the worse it got. While 2 x 2 = 4 may be true, so was math + homework = frustration.

So, I did what every parent does these days, I sat down at my computer and entered the word “math” in the Google search box. The search results showed that there were over 100,000,000 results. I decided I better be a little more specific and so I entered “math is fun” That is when I found this product, “Making Math More Fun”.

I decided to try this math resource and boy was I glad that I did! Not only did I get games sheets, board games and card game sets but it helped me be a better teacher to my children.

Now when we sit down to do math homework the kids are excited and happy to learn. They even ask me to quiz them on math facts when we are in the car driving as a way to pass the time.

This resource also taught me some good tips for helping them everyday to become a better math student.

1. Learn the basic facts so that you do not have to count it out. Create flash cards with the formula on one side and the answer on the other. This way you can have someone else quiz you or you can study by yourself.

2. Play math games. There are many good resources for this or create your own. For instance, look through a magazine and find several coupons and then figure out which one offers the best deal.

3. Practice using math in your everyday life. Almost all of us use math everyday; a chef preparing a recipe, a contractor measuring and cutting a piece of wood, a store owner deciding on a profit point for a particle item.