Trails End Computer Club

Bulletin for the month of SEPTEMBER 2016





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It's loaded with ideas, how  to's, learning and
Education sites.

Interactive Tracking Websites

By Doug Palmer, Tampa PC Users Group, FL          dkp205 (at)

I have an extensive list of weird, odd and interesting websites that I've run across over the years. Here are two that might qualify as tracking maps as they track something. Most also qualify as interactive as the user has some control over the data seen.


RAIDS Online is a free public crime map developed by BAIR Analytics. Crime mapping takes data available from law enforcement sources and makes it available to the public in a visual format. This is just one of several such websites available. Raids Online also has mobile apps available for Android and iPhones.

This map works much like Google Maps or other such maps on the Internet. A toolbar is on the left side of the screen that contains controls to specify multiple layers of data. At the top of the toolbar type in a city name, an address or even a zip code. The map will adjust accordingly. The Buffer section of the toolbar allows you to adjust the size of the area you wish to pinpoint. Below that are several filters that you can use to specify a date range, a long list of various events and crime to either include or exclude. Tabs on top allow you to view the data on the map, in charts or in a spreadsheet format. Once you have adjusted the area and events to your liking, you can create a daily or weekly email alert notification of crimes within a certain distance of your home or business.


The Worldwide Marine Traffic interactive map is serious fun for those who love to explore and tinker and learn. This site and several other similar websites are free Internet-based vessel tracking services. They do not require any user registration. They list the position of thousands of ships around the world. On occasion it’s interesting to look specifically at the waters around Tampa Bay to see how many ships are out there, where they’re from, where they’re going, which are underway and which are anchored. Other times I’ll pick out a really busy port somewhere in the world – there are many. Those ports make Tampa Bay look like a backwater! Here are asettings few basics from the FAQs.

trafficVessels over 299GT (Gross Tonnage) are required to have an AIS transponder on board, which transmits their position, speed and course, among some other static information, such as vessel’s name, dimensions and voyage details.

Data received are uploaded in the database in real time and are immediately available on the map and on other pages. However, several positions shown on map may not be continuously refreshed (e.g. when a ship goes out of range).

Vessel positions shown on the map may be up to one hour old. Please note also that map web page is only periodically refreshed or whenever the ‘Refresh now’ link is pressed manually.

There are numerous filters and controls. The shape of the icons tell you whether the ship in in underway or anchored.

The color of the icon tells you what type of ship it is. Running your cursor over the icons will give you the name of the ship, the heading, speed, destination and age of the data. Left click on the icon to see bring up an information box with basic details of the ship along with a small image.

Inside that box is a button called 'Vessel Details' which will provide extensive information as well as one or more images of the ship. 

Nibblers compiled by Jeannine Sloan, Ambassador for Friendship Village, Twin Cities PCUG

The Digital Viking sharonwalbran (at)

Swiss to Capture Co2 From The Air

By next summer, the world's first commercial plant that captures carbon dioxide directly from air will begin operation in Switzerland. A handful of other startups are working on similar technology, but Climeworks AG may be first to start turning pollution into cash. The plant pulls air inside, where it gets absorbed in a reusable filter. When it's heated up, the filter releases pure CO2 gas that can be sold to industry.

Read more:

Common Advice On How To Make A Strong Password Is Misleading

A study that tested state-of-the-art password-guessing techniques found that requiring

numbers and uppercase characters in passwords doesn’t do much to make them stronger. The results show that making a password longer or adding symbols is a better way to strengthen it than by adding uppercase characters or numbers.

Trash-Collecting Boat

Baltimore’s Waterfront Partnership is making a change for the better thanks to the Inner

Harbor Water Wheel, affectionately known as Mr. Trash Wheel to Baltimore’s residents.

Installed in May 2014, the Water Wheel sits at the mouth of the Jones Falls River in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The Jones Fall river watershed drains fifty-eight square miles of land outside of Baltimore and is a significant source of trash that enters the harbor. The Water Wheel has been astonishingly successful at trash removal, visibly decreasing the amount of garbage the lands in the harbor...Read more:


If you have told your computer to remember one or more passwords to web sites that require them the method involves the use of “cookies” hosted by your own computer. One site explains it this way: If you are a site member, your User Name and Password are stored in a "cookie" file on your computer. If you have to re-enter your login information whenever you access that site, your cookie file is being deleted from your computer between visits.

Logo or Windows Key Shortcuts

Since Windows 95

Win+D: Hides all windows. Hit again to restore windows.

Win+E: Opens Windows Explorer.

Win+R: Opens the Run window.

Since Windows XP

Win+L: Locks the desktop.

Since Windows 7

Win+Up: Maximizes the current window.

Win+Down: Minimizes the current window.

Win+Left: Docks the current window to the left.

Win+Right: Docks the current window to the right.

Win+#: Switches to the corresponding program in taskbar.

Since Windows 10

Win+A: Opens the Action Center (notifications and quick settings).

Win+C: Activates Cortana listening mode.

Win+I: Opens the Settings app.

Do You Find Passwords Too Darn Hard? Then Poetry's Your Hidden Card!

There's a new sort of password in town: the iambic tetrameter. In a word, poetry. Read this Sophos article:

Features in Windows 10's Task Manager

Here's a rundown from Tech Republic of the enhancements and changes incorporated into Windows 10 Task Manager.

Web Site Recommendation

Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, and more. Great site to waste time.

(Twin Cities’ Editor’s note: check out the Electric Sheep)

This info originally came from Linda Nelson, but I am a fan.

Submitted by Dianne Runnel

New Features in Windows 10's Task Manager

This article at TechRepublic will provide you with an overview of all the information that Windows 10's Task Manager provides.

Emoji Keyboard™

Finally a keyboard that speaks your language.

Free Game

What Game Has Been Included Free With Every Copy Of Microsoft’s Operating System?

Anonymous Hackers Begin Offensive Against Isis

(Editor’s Definition of “Anonymous”: Confederacy of hackers attacking whomever they disagree with.) They have been called a “digital vigilante group”). After declaring war on the Islamic State, Anonymous says it has taken down more than 5,500 Twitter accounts associated with various IS members and associates.

Want To Stop Apps From Sharing Your Data? There’s An App For That, Too

Northeastern University researchers launched an app called ReCon to track and limit the personal information that's collected and shared by other smartphone apps.

Windows Journal

Do a system search for journal and you’ll come across Windows Journal, an application you might not even have known existed. This tool first came to life in Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, a touch-orientated version of the operating system which didn’t sell particularly well, allowing users to create and organize their handwritten notes. In order to type into Journal you need to insert a text box.

Compare Anything

Recently Compared, Every Day vs Everyday, Carpet vs Laminate Floor, Guarantee vs

Warranty, Hyperthyroidism vs Hypothyroidism, vs,

Hydrocodone vs Oxycodone, Dominant vs Recessive, Double-Hung Windows vs Single-Hung Windows, Gout vs Pseudogout, HDMI vs VGA. Good site to consider checking:

Battery Saver Settings

Windows 10 comes with a new tool called Battery Saver. Once your battery charge falls below a certain percentage, Battery Saver automatically kicks in and throttles back various mechanisms that draw power, thus extending the battery life. To access Battery Saver, select Settings from the Start Menu/Screen. When the Settings screen appears,

select the Battery Saver tab. Read instruction with illustrations here:

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