Ask Rick Maybury 2014

  

 

Ask Rick 309 17/05/14

 

Voicing Concerns With iOS 7

Since upgrading my iPad 4 to iOS 7, voice activation for Google and YouTube no longer work.

Jeff Glynn, via email

 

There have been a few glitches with voice-controlled apps on the iPad since the iOS 7 update. Initially there was a problem with the YouTube app but this has since been fixed, and updating to the latest version should get that working again. Google Voice Search was unaffected, though, but the iOS upgrade may have disabled the iPad’s microphone, so go to Settings > Privacy > Microphone and make sure that all of the apps that you want or need to use the mike are enabled,  

 

 

Easy As AC

I have a laptop with Windows 7, printer and Internet Radio all connected by wireless. I have just upgraded to BT Infinity and will be supplied with the new Router Hub 5. I received a mail shot from BT, which mentions that a dongle is required for Dual Band AC wireless, and it has push-button wireless security, without a password. I prefer to use the existing password security system. What is the benefit of AC? I don’t want to buy a dongle. Can you advise?

Ray Clay, by email

 

The 802.11ac wireless standard, now being rolled out, is backwards compatible with existing Wi-Fi standards (802.11b, g & n). Basically that means you can continue using your existing setup and you do not have to do anything, or buy any new kit. Your devices almost certainly use the g or n standard so they will continue to work as before. Web pages may load faster in your browser, but it will not make a blind bit of difference to the performance of your Internet radio or printer, though you can take comfort in being at least partially future proof

 

The new standard’s main claims to fame are increased speed, up to 1.3 gigabits per second, and in some instances, better range. The latter is thanks to a combination of using the less congested 5GHz band, and smart antennas (on some models) that focus or ‘beamform’ the signal to linked devices, rather than squirting it out in all directions.  In the real world 802.11ac download speeds are currently between 200 and 500Mbit/sec, which is still very impressive, and two or three times faster than the best ‘n’ systems can manage, but this us under ideal conditions. The devices that connect to the new router must be ac-compatible, hence the need for an ac dongle. There are obvious gains for gamers, for heavy-duty media and data downloading and streaming HD video, especially when several members of the family share the same wireless connection. Some of those BT upgrade offers can be good value but only if you are going to make good use of the higher speed.

 

Incidentally, you do not have to use the simplified push-button WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) feature; you can still set up your wireless devices using the provided passkey (printed on the back) or better still create a new and even stronger one in the router’s setup menu. 

 

 

Opposing Views

How do I escape from an unwanted advertising survey service called Viewster, which seems to have attached itself to everything on my web browser? It does not appear in the Control Panel list of installed programs and an anti-virus software scan does not help.

David Paul, by email

 

Viewster.com (not a web address and not to be confused with entirely legitimate companies with the same or a similar name) is a piece of malware that infiltrates and hijacks your browser. You probably picked it up after clicking on a web page popup’; the ones that offer to do a free virus scan or performance check are often suspect. It can also hide inside fake updates and software downloads, so the message, as always, is be very careful where you click. Fortunately removal is usually fairly straightforward. It can often be found in the add-ons or extensions menus on your browser, if so delete or remove any instances of Viewster.com that you find. You also need to make sure that no fragments are left behind so scan your PC with a good malware cleaner as well. The two most effective ones are HitmanPro (http://goo.gl/rFRMA0 for a fully functional 30 day free trial), and our old friend Malware Bytes (free from http://goo.gl/GDeIau ). As always be on your guard during the installation and make sure that you uncheck any kind offers to install ‘extras’ or upgrades that you do not require. This is particularly important if you choose to download from anywhere other than the official web sites, as you could end up with even more rogue software on your machine.

 

 

Moving Messages

I have recently upgraded my ancient Dell Inspiron from XP to Windows 7. I had backed up the whole of the C: drive to an external USB hard drive and managed to recover all of my Outlook Express contacts and the folders I had created in Word, by restoring the Ghost image to another external hard drive. However I cannot find the various folders I had created in Outlook Express. I have tried running XP in emulation mode under W7, which works well and I can open Outlook Express, but I am unable to locate my email folders.

Tony Chamberlain, by email

 

Outlook Express buries its message store folder deep inside Windows system files and they can be quite difficult to get at. The solution is to move them to a more accessible location, preferably before you upgrade Windows. However, since you can still run Outlook Express in XP emulation mode you should be able to do so retrospectively. Open OE then go to Tools > Options > Advanced > Maintenance and click Store Folder > Change. Select a new location, preferably a newly created folder on the C: drive and follow the prompts. Once it has finished copy the Store Folder to the drive on the new PC and you can Import the messages into your email program.

 

 

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© R. Maybury 2014 2804

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