Online Innovation

The Key To Proficient Web Use

Update: Conficker C Receives Instructions

The popular computer worm, Conficker C, has began downloading instructions that will execute on the the infected computers. It is unknown exactly what the instructions tell the computer to do, but the worm still is capable of controlling the computer. As Microsoft and Anti-Virus Software companies try to crack the worm, all of us computer users sit back and see when and how the worm will act.

  • As of now, the update is characterized to execute and ensure that it can connect to the internet by connecting to several popular sites, such as AOL, MySpace, eBay, and MSN. Also, the worm makes sure the computer is set to the right date and time prior to shutting down.
  • After ensuring that it has the capabilities of connecting to the internet, the program shuts down and supposedly complete deletes itself off of the computer.
  • Although supposedly deleting itself completely, even the registry keys that it creates when it executes, the Conficker C worm is still present. Hidden somewhere on your computer with no trace.
  • Due to the encryption of the program, it is still unknown what the instructions tell the computer to do.
For more information regarding the Conficker C Worm, check out the two previous articles that I wrote.

Conficker C a Fool? Wait and See
April Fools? Tricks not so Funny

What's Better Than FREE Virus Protection?

Now days, it is critical to be protected from the vicious attacks made on your computer. With these threats growing each day, it is important to find an anti-virus that will keep you safe. Although most anti-virus software will run you around $40 to $50 for a year subscription, AVG operates a little differently. Who would think that you could get full virus and spyware protection for the cost of . . . FREE!

AVG Free Anti-Virus is a great value for the price (Well, there is no price...but most people would pay for the features it provides for free). The list of features that AVG provides is quite long for being a free product.

AVG 8.5 Free features include:
  1. Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware: Obviously! These two features provide protection against viruses, trojans, spyware, and adware.
  2. Link Scanner: A link scanner protects users from clicking on links that could harm your computer. With Link Scanner, you know which sites are safe to surf and which ones to stay clear of.
  3. Email Protection: No more downloading attachments from emails only to be surprised with a virus or trojan! AVG's email protection will let you know ahead of time if the attachment is safe to download.
  4. Virus and Spyware Scanner: Something you wouldn't expect to be free comes fully functional in this free version. Not only can you scan your computer for threats, but you can also get rid of them. This is not a trial where the scan finds the threats and makes you buy the product to remove them!
  5. Automatic Updates: AVG is committed to keeping its' users(even the people using the free version!) protected with new updates on a regular basis.
Who would think that all of that can be provided for such a low cost? Free! If you are in need of an anti-virus program, why go spend $50 when you can get one that keeps you safe for free? I have been using AVG Anti-Virus for over a year now and have had no complaints. I have had no problems with my computer since downloading the software. Also, on a side note, the program is VERY easy to use. With such a simple layout, it is hard to not be able to use the software to its' full potential.

If you're interested in downloading AVG Anti-Virus 8.5 Free Edition, head over to AVG's website (

Direct Download:

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Top 7: Reasons to browse with Mozilla Firefox

With Internet Explorer losing market share over the past few years, you may ask what possibly could replace the standard IE? The answer is simple. Firefox. Since the release of Firefox back in November of 2004, this browser has been replacing IE on computers around the world. Not only is it fast and secure, but it allows for user customization and is user-friendly.

Are you still stuck in the days of Internet Explorer? Well check out these top seven reasons you should make the switch to Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Built In Pop-Up Blocker: Firefox's built in pop-up blocker performs amazingly. Since the day I downloaded Firefox, I can't recall having a pop-up. Compared to Internet Explorer's pop-up blocker....wait, IE doesn't have a built in pop-up blocker.
  2. Tabbed Browsing: Unless you have never used tabbed browsing, you will not grasp how much of a benefit it is. No more having ten windows open at once! With Firefox, you can open as many "tabs" as you want; "tabs" are basically windows inside of a main window. I could not explain how beneficial tabs can be; I use them every single time I browse the internet.
  3. Integrated Search Bar: Instead of going to Google or Yahoo's homepage, just use the built in search engine that is placed next to the address bar. With the ability to add any search engine, you are able to make one search the internet from any web page.
  4. Smart Location Bar - A quick way to get to the sites with addresses you only vaguely remember. The new Firefox 3 address bar learns as you use it. Over time, it adapts to your preferences and offers better matches. Type in a term and the auto-complete function lists possible, matching sites from your browsing history, as well as sites you’ve bookmarked and tagged in a drop down. This feature saves a lot of time and headaches or trying to remember what the link to that site you looked at last night.
  5. Browser Options: Yes, I know that Internet Explorer has most of the same options that Firefox offers, but the user-friendliness of Firefox's options menu is far superior. You don't have to be an internet wizard to be able to block certain sites, choose a program to open certain types of downloads, or set your user preferences.
  6. Security: Search the web and find how many people have problems with Internet Explorer and spyware. It is common knowledge that the most popular web browser right now is IE. What does this tell us? Simply put, there is going to be more people making spyware and malware for Internet Explorer. Guess what that means? It is safer to use Mozilla Firefox at this time.
  7. Performance -Short and sweet, Firefox now uses less of your computer’s memory while it’s running. Also, a redesigned page rendering and layout engine means you see web pages faster—and in the way they were meant to be seen. Improved text rendering is just the beginning of the benefits of an all new graphic engine for Firefox 3.
Is this not enough proof to get you to make the switch to Firefox? Well check out Mozilla's video section that has several videos explaining key features of their web browser (

You can download Mozilla Firefox 3.0.6 at Mozilla's homepage -

XP Lives On...Again!

Right when we thought Windows XP was going to go into the history books, Microsoft extends its' life. Last year, June of 2008, XP disappeared from the shelves of your local Bestbuy, Walmart, Target, and any other tech stores. Although it will still not be sold individually, Microsoft has extended the life of XP on new computers (as of now only new HP computers). No more walking into BestBuy to only find computers running Windows Vista!

How long will it last this time? As of now, Microsoft is allowing HP to sell computers bundled with XP until April 30, 2010. But who knows, we could see even another extension from Microsoft if Windows 7 is a flop.

Save Time with these Shortcuts

These are the basic shortcuts that most computer users grasp the hang of and remember quite easily:

CTRL+C - Copy
CTRL+X - Cut
CTRL+V - Paste
CTRL+Z - Undo
DELETE - Delete

HERE is a link to a great article that explains these basic shortcuts.

But shortcuts go beyond the basics, these are shortcuts that most do not know, but lead to saving quite a bit of time:

F2 - Rename selected item
F3 - Search for a file or folder
F4 - Display the Address bar list in My Computer or Windows Explorer.
F5 - Refresh the active window
F6 - Cycle through screen elements in a window or on the desktop
F10 - Activate the menu bar in the active program

ESC - Cancel the current task

RIGHT ARROW - Open the next menu to the right, or open a submenu.
LEFT ARROW - Opent the next menu to the left, or close a subname.
BACK SPACE - View the folder one level up in My Computer or Windows Explorer

ALT + TAB - Switch between open items
ALT + F4 - Close the active item, or quit the active program
ALT + SPACEBAR - Opens the shortcut menu for the active window.
ALT + ENTER - View properties for the selected item.
ALT + ESC - Cycle through items in the order they were opened

CTRL while dragging an item - Copy selected item
CTRL + A - Select all
CTRL + F4 - Close the active document in programs that allow you to have multiple documents open simultaneously.
CTRL + SHIFT while dragging an item - Create shortcut to selected item.
CTRL + RIGHT ARROW - Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next word.
CTRL + LEFT ARROW - Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous word.
CTRL + DOWN ARROW - Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous paragraph.
CTRL + UP ARROW - Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous paragraph.
CTRL + SHIFT with any of the arrow keys - Highlight a block of text.
CTRL + ESC - Display the Start menu

SHIFT + 10 - Display the shortcut menu for the selected item.
SHIFT with any of the arrow keys - Select more than one item in a window or on the desktop, or select text within a document.
SHIFT + DELETE - Delete selected item permanently without placing the item in the recycle bin.
SHIFT when you insert a CD into the CD-ROM drive Prevent the CD from automatically played.

Remembering these shortcuts, even if only a few, will speed up your computer work. Computer shortcuts will make the use of a computer easier and allow for a more efficient experience.

XP - Vista - 7?

In won't be long before the release of the much anticipated Windows 7. In a second attempt to kill Window XP by Microsoft, they have developed a "better" Vista. Everyone knows how well Windows Vista did in the Operating System market; only having abuot 20% market share, which is very unusual for a Windows product. Will Windows 7 be able to live up to the expectations of Windows XP users?

I, along with many others, have been a die-hard Windows XP user for many years now. I never switched over to Windows Vista. Working at Best Buy, which only sold computers with Windows Vista, I had to find ways to convince customers that it wasn't a bad operating system. This was probably the hardest part of trying to sell computers! I couldn't tell you how many people approached me and asked why all of our computers had Vista, when the demand was for XP. Many customers out right refused to buy a computer that had Vista installed!

The question is...will Windows 7 be another flop? Has Microsoft lost its touch when it comes to developing an operating system for today's world? Only time will tell as we await the release of Windows 7. Rumors going around the tech world say that the planned release is sometime in October of 2009. But, there is a way for you to try it out before then! In May, Windows is allowing users to test it out! For more information, click here!

Conficker C a fool? Wait and See

As the clock ticks down to April 1st, 2009, computer users are awaiting the unleash of Conficker C. Who knows what is going to happen? Will it be 2KY all over?(Wait...Nothing happened on 2KY! It was all just a bunch of hype) Will the internet be taken over by a group of hackers? What can the hackers actually do with the worm?

If you are not familiar with the worm "Conficker C", check out my recent article that will get you up to date (Conficker C Article).

Only time will tell what is going to happen to the 10 million plus computers that are infected with the worm. Make sure that you are up-to-date on your Windows Security Updates and be careful while browsing the web!

Stay tuned for an update come the unleashing of Conficker C!

UPDATE: Conficker C Receives Instructions

Subsribing To a RSS Feed

What is an RSS Feed? A RSS Feed is a abbreviation for "Really Simple Syndication" and is used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video. Today, it is common for blogs, news sites, and businesses use RSS Feeds to keep their users up-to-date.

What does a RSS Feed do?
A RSS feed, to put simply, is used to inform those who are interested that something new happened. For Example, if you are a subscriber to a RSS Feed from CNN, you will receive up-to-date news when it is posted. No more having to go to the CNN Site to read the news! These updates can be read in many different ways, allowing the reader to choose what best fits them.


Subscribe to a RSS Feed: Now that you know what a RSS Feed is and how handy they can be, subscribe to your favorite web site's RSS Feed! You can choose where you want to have the information "sent" and view all of the sites that you would have to go to individually all at one time; saving a lot of time!

Where can I read a RSS Feed?
It is important to set up the RSS Feed correctly, ensuring that the content reaches your destination. There are a lot of options to where you can read the feed. The most popular places include: Windows Outlook, Google Home Page, Yahoo Home Page, your desktop, or any site that has an RSS Feed Reader. The possibilities are unlimited!

Last, But Not Least! Subscribe to Online Innovation RSS Feed! If you enjoy the content on the site and would like to help spread the word, subscribe and tell others who might find the information interesting. I need your help! I love writing articles that will help others, but I need the "others"!

Click HERE to subscribe now!

Slow Computer? Let's fix it!

It is said that ninety percent of all computers connected to the internet are infected with Spyware. Spwyare can cause a lot of frustration to internet users. From popups to the stealing of personal information, spyware can cause all different types of damage and annoyances.

Several retail stores and local computer shops offer basic optimization of your computer for a hefty price. Anyone can speed up their own computer with the use of a few tools and a little time. In this first article about fixing your slow computer, I will discuss the basics that will increase the speed of your computer.

Steps to a faster computer:

1. Spyware Removal: It is very important to remove the spyware that your computer is infected with. There are numerous spyware removal programs that can be used, some free and some not. The best free spyware removal programs that I have experience with are:

- Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
- Ad-Aware Free
- Spybot Search & Destroy

Feel free to search Google for Spyware Removal programs and choose one that suits you best!

2. Use EasyCleaner: ToniArts EasyCleaner is one of the best programs to find and fix problems with your computer. Some of the features provided are: Registry Cleaning, Unnecessary File clean up, Start Up Management, Add/Remove Programs, and several other useful tools.

Download EasyCleaner HERE:

Use the following tools from EasyCleaner to help speed up your computer:
- Registry Cleaner: Find and delete all registry errors.
- Unnecessary Cleaning: Find all types of files that are unnecessary to be on your computer and use the "delete all" button to get rid of those files.
- Startup Manager: Manage what programs start up when your computer boots! Get rid of those unnecessary programs that you never use and slow down your computer. Make sure you know what the program is before disabling it!

3. Update your Windows: Keeping your computer up-to-date is important. Use Windows Update to ensure that you have the latest updates for Windows.

4. Disk Clean-up: It is always smart to do a disk clean-up about once every couple of days. To run a disk clean-up, do the following:

1. Click on "My Computer"
2. Right Click on Local Disk(that you want to clean) and click on properties.
3. In the "General" tab, there will be a button "Disk Clean-up". Click this.
4. It will gather information regarding how much space will be freed up. When a screen pops up, ensure that all check boxes are checked. Click OK.

This is something that should be done every couple of days. It takes a minute or two, depending on how much cleaning is necessary.

These are the basic steps to cleaning up your computer and making it faster! Whenever you notice that your computer is running a little slow, follow these steps to getting the speed you desire back!

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April Fools? Tricks not so funny

When we think of April Fools, we think of funny pranks and jokes played on our friends. This April Fool's day is another story. "Conficker C", a nasty computer worm, is said to have infected between 5 million and 10 million computers as of today! To put it simple, this is not your ordinary computer worm. As a result, we have seen many worried, microsoft offer a $250,00 reward to find the author, and top security software firms trying to prevent the worm from spreading.

"Conficker C" is a different type of worm because it has been proven by the authors of the worm that they are in complete control of it still, even when it is on other computers. This is scary because they are able to code the worm to do whatever they feel like, which they have said will be done April 1st, 2009. Whether it is just a prank, steals personal information, slows our computers, or erases hard-drives, we will have to wait and find out.

What you can do to surf safe:

Because Microsoft realizes the potential damage this worm could do, they have done what they can to help protect their users. Head over to and run a system scan. Also, ensure that you have all of the windows updates by going to

Also, you will want to make sure that your anti-virus is up and running and has the up-to-date virus definitions. It is a smart idea to run a complete system virus scan at least once a week.

Lastly, you should always avoid websites that you are not familiar with and that could be home to viruses, worms, and malware.

I will be posting an article tomorrow about how to effectively clean your computer of malware and others tips on how to get more speed out of your computer.

*** For More Recent Articles Pertaining to the Conficker C Worm:

Update: Conficker C Reveives Instructions
Conficker C a Fool? Wait and See

Why You Should Use Google

Why should you use Google?

Well Google provides the internet users with very accurate results when you search for nearly anything on the internet. Of course there are other search engines that do this though, so what separates Google from the rest?

Google's main goal is provide their users with accurate results, but within less than half a second. Half a second! The main idea of efficient use of the web is to save time. What better way to save time than to find results for what you are looking for in less than half a second?

Add the google search toolbar to your web browser and have the ability to search google at any time while your browser is open.

Why you should trust google to meet your expectations and provide accurate results? Well simply put, Google had over 30 Billion searches last month. If that isn't enough proof to be legit, I don't know what is!

Is It Worth Turning Your Computer Off Every Night?

Millions of people in the United States don't turn their computers off at night. Are you one of them? Well, what is the reason you don't turn it off every night? I'll admit it, I'm one of those people. After reading an article over on Yahoo (, I will be turning my computers off each night.

How much money do you think is wasted yearly in the US by computers running overnight?
$10 million?
$100 million?
$1 Billion?

Well guess again! $2.8 billion dollars. The US alone wastes $2.8 billion a year, which many consider nothing in today's world.

This article also made another interesting point. This amount of wasted energy each year is the cause of 20 million tons of CO2! It says that is the amount produced by 4 million cars on the roads!

To the Reader: Turn your computers off at night! Save money! Stop adding to the pollution problems in the states!

Heck, if you don't care about that stuff, turn your computers off at night because it will make them run smoother and more efficiently for a longer period of time!

Just a reminder...please register as a reader and subscribe to the RSS feed if you enjoy the content! Also, I'm always open to receiving recommendations on what to write or even readers writings!

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Do even more!
Submit articles that are relative to proficient web use or computers and there is a good chance that it will make it onto the blog!

It is my goal to bring my knowledge and the knowledge of the readers to those who seek to use the web more efficiently!

Welcome to my Blog - "Online Innovation"

I would like to start off by welcoming everyone to my new blog that will feature articles related to proficient internet use and new ideas and technologies in the world of computing. It is my goal to extend my knowledge and the knowledge of the readers to everyone that yearns to use the world wide web efficiently. I say the knowledge of the readers because I really encourage the readers of my blog to submit articles or posts that they feel will benefit others! Or if you just have an idea that you would like me to look into and make a post about, let me know and I will hopefully have something written within a few days!

Spread the word! Help others become more efficient users of the internet and their computers. Tell anyone that has any interests in computers or the internet to check out this blog.

I am open to ideas of what kind of content the readers want to see! Feel free to contact me by email with your suggestions.

Thank you,