Ask Rick 334 08/11/14
I was somewhat amazed to receive a
congratulatory wedding anniversary message that had been sent 3 weeks
previously! Can you explain what might cause such an inordinate delay? It didn't
matter on this occasion but had it been a reminder to put my car in for an MOT
for example, it might have had more serious consequences!
Richard Lewis, by email
Text messages can be held up by temporary
network overload or faults that can last for minutes or hours and occasionally
a day or so, but delays of that magnitude are very unusual. Assuming that you
have not just returned from a three-week holiday, and did not take your phone
with you, and it only happened on this one occasion, then there are a number of
possible explanations. These include the sender switching off their phone,
their battery running down, or losing coverage before the message was sent, and
for some reason the connection not being restored for 3 weeks. They may have
run out of credit or had a fault with the phone or SIM card, the message may
have been corrupt, the sender’s Sent Items, or your Received message boxes
could be full, or there may be a software glitch on your phone, that
disappeared after a reboot. Take your pick but if your text messages are now
arriving normally, do not worry about it and blame it on those pesky gremlins…
We are often advised to regularly change
passwords, but what is the point of this? If a hacker has obtained, say, your
bank login, your money will quickly be taken. If a hacker has not got your
details, how will your security be improved by a new password?
Robert Clark, by email
There is more to it than users simply looking
after their own passwords and PINs. One of the biggest threats to online
security lies in the theft or loss of credentials of thousands and sometimes
millions of users from the companies charged with looking after them. These
breaches may not be made public immediately, it at all, and it takes time to
raid several million bank accounts so changing your passwords on a regular
basis offers you some protection against corporate carelessness. You should
make a point of changing default passwords and those that have been issued to
you, as there is no way of knowing if they have been intercepted or
compromised. Regular change also invalidates passwords stored on devices that
have been lost, forgotten, sold or discarded without being wiped. It is by no
perfect but unless and until biometric systems are perfected, pins and
passwords are the best that we have and hopefully those constant reminders to
remain vigilant makes us all more security minded, and life more difficult for
villains and others with malicious intent.
I use an Acer laptop running Windows Vista and
appear to have blocked several senders and do not know how to unblock them.
Also, for a period of a month, a couple of e-mails sent to me never arrived,
although subsequent ones from the same sender did. Any suggestions much
Nancy Moss, by email
In Windows Mail, the option to block a sender
is on the Tools menu in an open Message Window, under Junk Mail Options. To
remove an accidental or deliberate entry, go to the Tools menu on the main
Windows Mail screen, select Junk Mail Options then the Blocked Senders tab.
When emails from one particular sender mysteriously, and temporarily fail to
arrive do not dismiss the obvious, which is that the messages were never sent,
or they were incorrectly addressed. Other possibilities include sever problems
at the sender’s end and ISPs may briefly block a domain responsible for sending
large volumes of Spam or infected messages.
It appears that photos taken on Apple iPads or
iPhones and then emailed to me cannot be received on my Nexus Tablet but they
come through fine on my Windows 8 laptop. The message appears on the tablet but
not the photos. Is this because of differences between Apple and Android? Is it
surmountable or do I have to live with it?
John Broadbent, best regards
There is nothing special or unusual about
photographs emailed from iPhones and iPads. They are standard jpegs and
viewable on almost any device but the way some email programs handle
attachments does vary and in some cases makes them unnecessarily difficult to
open and view. One very simple way of avoiding this type of problem is to
switch to another email program. My personal favourite for Android is a free
app called K9 Mail and it downloads and displays photos in your preferred image
viewer with just a couple of taps.
Our Sony ebook reader is showing its age and we
have been investigating replacements. The Kindle is not compatible with our
ebooks and after talking with a very persuasive salesperson we settled on a
Kobo Aura. What neither the salesperson or the Kobo web site told us is that
the software doesn’t work on 32 bit computers!
We now have several unread ebooks on our computer in epub format but
cannot transfer them to the reader. Is there any way a 32-bit computer can be
linked to a Kobo Aura, or have we been misled?
Peter and Audrey Pallett, Lichfield,
The Kobo Aura works happily with 32-bit
versions of Windows but the Desktop software does not work with XP, which is
probably why you are seeing the ‘…not a valid Win32 application’ error message.
If you are using Windows 7 or 8 it is probably just a glitch so download the
latest version from the Kobo website, where you will also find simple
instructions for transferring epub format books to your new reader (http://goo.gl/MYL7aL). If you are using XP all
is not lost and an excellent freeware program called Calibre (http://goo.gl/rxhz) can connect and sync your
Aura’s library; it also downloads, manages and displays ebooks and converts to
and from all popular ebook formats.
© R. Maybury 2014 2010