Good-bye Yahoo (And long gone Hotmail)

For some, Yahoo has a been a beloved site with everything from free email, to free advertising, and free chat, dating, stock quotes, just about everything under the sun. Sadly, Yahoo hasn’t had a very robust financial backing for some time.

Yahoo email is now owned by Verizon and Verizon has announced it will slowly but surely discontinue the Yahoo brand in favor of its own brand. While we have no definitive details about when or how Verizon intends to accomplish this, here at B. A. Computer Services we must warn and strongly suggest that users of Yahoo Mail find an alternative as soon as possible.

As for Hotmail, it was officially discontinued decades ago, but is incorporated into Microsoft’s other email websites. An attempt to access Hotmail.com will redirect you immediately to https://outlook.live.com. If you are still using an email ending in @hotmail.com it may still work for the moment because Microsoft has forwarded the email internally through its primary email servers, but that is no guarantee at any given day they decide to turn that forwarding off. You should take action and move to another email address as soon as possible.

B. A. Computer Services offers services that can move your existing mail, folders, and data from Yahoo or Hotmail over to another email and data provider of your choice.

Additional References regarding Yahoo

https://proprivacy.com/email/comparison/least-secure-email-providers

USA TODAY (2017): Yahoo Is No More

TeraGibiMega Jumble

If you think Computer Geeks all speak in tongues, no not all of them. Here is a quick reference guide to help you with the storage size language:

Inside the computer the smallest piece of information is a bit but in real world, no one needs to talk about bits because even a single character is the next smallest unit up, a byte. Counting bits and bytes is like counting kernels of sand on the beach. Typically one would not count the letters in a document, but might count the words or pages. Similarly, typically one wound not measure how many letters a memory stick can hold, but would measure how many megabytes it holds.

Memory sticks, and drives are measured in megabytes (MB) or Gigabytes (GB). Mega- is thousands of, so instead of counting every grain on the beach, take a scoop of sand and call it a megabyte of sand. If one scoop isn’t enough for your castle, then get two scoops, or 64 scoops, or 128 scoops. M could represent Measuring-cup-full.

Disk drives are long term storage devices meant to last for years. Today drives come in Gigabyte capacities. Giga- is a thousand times bigger than a mega-. Instead of thinking measuring-cup full, think of a barrel of sand. You might want 100 barrels of sand to fill in a land depression–100 Gigabytes is enough to install Windows and have minimal space available for your documents, just as 100 barrels of sand may be enough to create a small backyard pool area.

If you have 1000 barrels of sand, you now have a tera- amount of sand. Perhaps you have seen a pile of sand or rocks near a road construction site. That might be a few tera-grains of sand. A terabyte drive is therefore quite a sum of bytes. Typical drive sizes today hold 500GB (= 1/2 Terabyte), 750 GB (=3/4 Terabyte), 1 TB, or 2TB. You can figure with a Tera-grain pile of fertilizer, it will spread out for years. So it is with a Terabyte drive. Usually a half Terabyte, the same as a 500GB drive, is sufficient for the life of the computer for most people.

Incidentally, the difference between a Mega- and Mibi- or a Giga- and a Gibi- is that all the -gas are 1000 times greater while all the -ibis are 1024 times greater. The number closest to 1000 in a power of 2 is 1024 and is often used because computers speak binary: 2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2 = 1024 = 2^10

Upgrade Windows 10 to Windows 10?

Windows 10, version 1809 (Enterprise, Education, IoT Enterprise)
Windows 10, version 1909 (Home and Pro)
Windows Server, version 1909 (Datacenter, Standard)
EXPIRES
May 11, 2021
Windows 10 Versions Expire

The title isn’t a typo–Windows 10 must be upgraded to… Windows 10. In truth Microsoft has elected to not rebrand it’s Windows Operating System yet, but is in fact pouring out major updates. The table above shows which “versions” of Windows 10 will be expired early next year. In addition, these previous “versions” of Windows 10 are already expiring: Windows 10, versions 1507, 1511, 1607, 1703, 1709, 1803, 1809, 1903, and 1909.

The upgrade process from one of these older versions of Windows 10 to the newest 2004 (a version number, not a year!) feature release is daunting over slow or unreliable Internet connections. Some machines have been known to require more than 24 hours and multiple reboots to accomplish the final result. B. A. Computer Services is here to help in East Texas with our very-high-speed Internet to remove the headache from this process.

See Also https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/deployment/update/waas-quick-start

Spammed with Antispam Software?

TrapCall.com is one of many software solutions that claim to reduce your spam calls: www.trapcall.com/blog/how-to-stop-spam-calls. The entire article is geared toward getting you to buy into their software product by giving you a pretense of information about how to stop spoofed robocalls. The software is a TRAP itself!

It is mostly a misnomer to call it random or “cold” calling. In today’s information age, huge lists of phone numbers targeting certain markets are collected. Only the very first call is “cold”, a call you may have dismissed as unknown or innocently answered and hung up.

Let’s look at how random calling works:

  1. A number is chosen from a list, and an automated dialer or call-monkey [a person who acts essentially like a robot] makes the call. With each call, the call status is recorded into a database for the next call-monkey or dialer to read. These possible scenarios happen:
    • If the call comes back disconnected, database is updated, and the number is not dialed again for a time. This is not helpful to an individual at all, since it came back disconnected, it is not your active number anyway. Or,
    • If the call is answered, either by you or by a voicemail, then again database updates number to be active, and the game is on. The number will be called again and again attempting to connect with a real person. Or,
    • You personally answer and hear some sort of recording, for which you stay on the line until an actual person picks up and you are then able to ask them what company they represent. You demand to be removed, you go to your favorite spam call website and register the phone number, and then you post a complaint to the federal trade commission website. NONE OF THIS WORKS! KEEP READING TO FIND OUT WHY!
  2. With each call, new information about the called number is collected, and if you happen to be the one that actually answers the call in person, you will continue to get oodles of calls, no matter how many times you say “remove my number from your list.” Why? First of all, these people do not follow the law in the first place. But even if they were to remove your number from THEIR list, there is nothing that has prevented previous sharing of your number, and the newly collected information that your number is “active”, to the next group of call-monkeys.

WHY BLOCKING PHONE NUMBERS DOES NOT WORK

It is futile to block a specific phone number because most spam calls are not coming from fixed phone numbers anyway. There is a large pool of available phone numbers that can be randomly selected by these spam callers to make their phone call. They call, they get a status on your phone–disconnected, voicemail, or answered–and hangup. Then later they proceed to call on a different randomly chosen phone number. Even if you block the first number, and the second number, in as little as a week later, both of those blocked numbers might now be legitimate numbers newly assigned to a your neighbors newly purchased cell phone! Blocking numbers is a BAD IDEA.

SOLUTIONS

First of all, B. A. Computer Services is NOT selling any call block software. This article was written out of sheer hatred of getting the calls on our business lines. Secondly, these solutions are not fully tested, and do not handle every situation. Thirdly, B. A. Computer Services has never been engaged in cold-calling or using automatic dialers. We despise them altogether. Nevertheless, we CAN SAY the following methods have definitely reduced the number of calls that actually disturb us with a ringing telephone.

  1. Do NOT block phone numbers. In fact, we recommend you remove all blocked numbers, especially those in your local calling area code, from your blocked number list. Most numbers themselves are NOT permanently owned by the spam callers and therefore cannot be deemed to be “bad” numbers intrinsically. In a few days or months one or more of those blocked numbers will be a legitimate business or consumer, could even be your own phone number for a newly purchased phone.
  2. Log the number. Most cell phones save the number automatically, but as a human it is difficult to remember which number is which. The simplest method for meaningful logging is to add the number to your contacts with a tag of, “Potential Spam”, or similar descriptive name. Other valuable information can also be added to the contact’s notes so that over time you can identify the actual source of the caller.
  3. If your phone company offers a call spam guard, we suggest you use it. Most of these spam guards are based on probability that a call from a particular number is legitimate or not. Probability is like reporting the weather — 50% chance of rain and 50% probability of unwanted call — are both approximates, and leaves 50% possibility that the call is legitimately your doctor, lawyer, or other important caller using a phone number you didn’t expect them to use. This again is where logging all calls comes in handy. Add ALL calls to your contacts. (If desired, you can label it Z-Potential Spam, so it drops to the bottom of your contact list!)
  4. Put very important callers in your Starred or ICE groups. Most cell phones now have the ability to tag certain contacts with one or more tags, and your phone can be set to ring only if one of the tagged contacts are calling you. This works great for personal phones where you have a very limited number of people with whom you regularly communicate. This does not work at all for business numbers where you want to be able to receive calls from potential customers.
  5. A solution that works for business numbers, is to incorporate your phone number into an automatic answering service that reads off a brief menu or requires the person to press a digit on their phone pad to continue. A great many of the robot callers will instantly hangup when a call menu is encountered. Unfortunately, a small percentage of potential customers may also hangup before you are able to connect with them.

IN SUMMARY

Call blocking by the number alone not only does not work in the long run, it can be a bad idea overall. There are better methods of preventing unwanted calls from ringing your phone. None of the methods are going to block 100% of the time. Some calls are legitimate businesses in your community that you actually may want to receive calls from periodically.

B. A. Computer Services is able to help you establish your In-Case-of-Emergency (ICE) or Starred call list and functionality so that only known contacts ring your phone, and all others will have to leave a message. B.A. C.S. also offers automated call assistant solutions for businesses who need to keep their number available but resistant to unwanted calls.

Appointments Now Available

People vary in how they like to meet up. You may be driving by and see our sign and decide to pull in. It’s a good bet if you see the neon open sign turned on.

Or you may be on a tighter schedule and prefer to pre-plan when you will be able to have your computer with you for drop off, or pickup. Scheduling a time may be your best friend. Click Book An Appointment from the menu. If you are not certain which services you need, you may choose any FREE item to get the schedule made, and we will confirm the charges when we meet!

Click to Book An Appointment now in a new window.