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Spammers Beware!
First U.S. Felony Conviction For Spam Law Violation

FREE INSTALLATION To All
And To All A Good Night!

Ask The Help Desk
Are There Any Alternative Web Browsers To Microsoft's Internet Explorer?

Sites Of The Month
Great Sites To Check Out In December!

Short Tutorial
Reducing The File Size Of Digital Photos Before E-mailing Them

 

 

Greetings from Polar's E-Connections Team

Happy Holidays from everyone at our shop to everyone in your home! How about spreading some holiday cheer of your own by cooking the perfect turkey and then e-mailing a picture of it to those loved ones who couldn't be with you? This month's eNewsletter will show you how to do both.

The goal of each of our monthly eNewsletters is to keep our subscribers informed regarding their Internet connection and to improve their Internet experience. To meet this goal, each monthly newsletter will usually contain information related to:

  1. Warnings on a recent virus or e-mail hoax that may affect you
  2. An update on new services and other local interests
  3. An answer to a frequently asked Internet related question
  4. Some fun, seasonal websites to check out
  5. A short, step-by-step tutorial on an e-mail or browser related task

We think you'll find the information contained in this newsletter to be a valuable tool for enhancing your Internet experience. If, however, you'd prefer not to receive these bulletins on a monthly basis, click HERE.

To see what's inside this issue, take a look at the index to the left and thanks for reading!

- The E-Connections Team

Spammers Beware! - First U.S. Felony Conviction For Spam Law Violation

Last month's conviction in Leesburg, Virginia, of a 30-year-old Raleigh, North Carolina, man and his sister was the first ever felony conviction for violation of anti-spam laws in the United States. The jury found Jeremy Jaynes and his sister, Jessica DeGroot, guilty on three felony charges and recommended a nine-year prison sentence for Jaynes.

The recent nine-day trial shed light on the Jaynes' operation. Using many aliases, including Jeremy James and Gaven Stubberfield, Jaynes sent out at least ten million e-mail messages a day using sixteen high speed Internet lines. Despite making money on only one in every 30,000 or so e-mail messages, the business raked in up to $750,000 per month. Although Jaynes constantly tweaked and rotated his bogus product offerings, the trial centered around software, work-at-home, and pornography scams. Prosecutors alleged that Jaynes amassed a fortune of twenty-four million dollars through his scam/spam operation.

So how do you keep from getting scammed by spammers? Here are two common sense tips that will protect you:

  1. Don't Open E-mail Messages From People You Don't Know
    If you receive an e-mail from someone you don't know, don't open the e-mail message. Simply delete it. Opening the message may validate to the spammer that your e-mail account is "active" which then only encourages the spammer to send you even more spam e-mail messages.
  2. Don't Buy Products From Spammers
    Spammers can't stay in business if nobody buys from them. NEVER purchase a product from or give a credit card number to a person/company that you first heard about through a spam e-mail message. The chances are very high that the company operates a scam operation.

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FREE INSTALLATION To All - And To All A Good Night!

The holidays mean new computers, new gear, and new games - now you need an Internet connection that keeps up! Sign up for Polar High Speed Internet before January 15th, 2004 and your installation is FREE! That saves you $125 and you get download speeds up to 1.5Mbps from a local provider. Light up your holidays with Polar High Speed Internet. For more inforamation on how to take advantage of this limited time offer...log on to www.thinkpolar.com or call 1-800-284-7222.

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Ask The Help Desk - Are There Any Alternative Web Browsers To Microsoft's Internet Explorer?

Question: With all of the vulnerabilities, spyware, pop-ups, and viruses that seem to plague Internet Explorer, are there any other programs that I can use to browse the Internet?

Answer: Yes. There are good, free alternatives to Internet Explorer. Netscape 7.2 and Opera 7.54 are good Mozilla-based options that don't suffer from Internet Explorer's vulnerabilities. However, an alternative that has many people talking right now is a Web browser called FireFox 1.0. This is another browser based on Mozilla software. The updated release was made available just last month. It's a free download at http://www.getfirefox.com/. Over eight million people already use FireFox. Plus, it works on both PCs and Macs.

Some of the features within FireFox 1.0 include pop-up blocking, privacy tools to combat spyware, and "tab browsing" which allows you to click on tabs instead of opening new windows for each web page. FireFox is also purported to be noticeably faster than Internet Explorer. For more information, including downloading instructions, go to http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/.

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Great Sites To Check Out This Month

Take A Virtual Tour Of America's Largest Home
http://www.biltmore.com/ -  In 1895, George Vanderbilt completed the construction of and celebrated Christmas with his family in his new home. He called his new 250-room chateau, which sat on 125,000 acres, the Biltmore Estate. The home included 34 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces. The Biltmore is still America's largest home totaling 175,000 square feet -- that's four acres of floor space. It took 484 employees to run the estate in 1895. Today, more than 1,500 people work at the Biltmore. Visit this website for information on tours, lodging at the estate's inn, or ticket reservations to the Candlelight Christmas Evenings taking place at the Biltmore during the holidays. If you can't work the Biltmore into your busy holiday schedule, take a virtual tour by typing "virtual tour" into the site's search tool.

The History Of Toys And Games
http://historychannel.com/exhibits/toys/ -  Games and toys have been around since early civilization. The Babylonians were playing a board game in 4000 B.C. that was probably an ancestor of chess and checkers. Marbles were first used in Egypt around 3000 B.C. Kites appeared in China in 1000 B.C. Playing cards were first used in Asia in 969 and roller skates were invented in 1759. To learn more about games, toys, and their inventors, check out this interesting site.

Answers To Your Turkey Cooking Questions
http://butterball.com/en/index.jsp -  If you're looking for a new turkey recipe this holiday season or cooking your first-ever bird this month, this site is for you. Butterball, the number one selling brand of turkey in North America, has what it calls its "Butterball Turkey Talk-Line." The Turkey Talk-Line consists of more than 50 specialists including dieticians, nutritionists, and home economists who give expert advice on thawing, cooking, carving, and even making leftovers. You can speak directly to a Turkey Talk-Line representative during business hours or e-mail your question anytime and receive a personalized response within 48 hours.

Cassini-Huygens Spacecraft Nears Saturn's Largest Moon
http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/home/index.cfm -  The Cassini-Huygens spacecraft's plunge into Saturn's outer orbit last summer resulted in brilliant photos of the planet's mysterious rings. The images were at least five times better than those from the 1980-81 Voyager missions that flew past Saturn. This month the Cassini Orbiter detaches and sends the European Space Agency's Huygens probe to Titan -- the largest of Saturn's 31 known moons. (Titan is almost a planet in its own right at a size larger than Mercury.) After a 22-day decent, the Huygens probe will parachute into Titan's atmosphere. Check out this site for daily updates and amazing photography.

Start Training For The 2005 Ironman Triathlon World Championships
http://vnews.ironmanlive.com/ -  It's only ten more months until the Ironman Triathlon World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii (October 15, 2005). This site provides a listing of qualifying races, lots of training tips, bios on triathletes, and recent race results from across the globe. Qualifying for this championship race gets more difficult every year so the organizers also select an additional 200 race participants via a lottery system. Applications are due February 28, 2005. Remember, it's a 2.4-mile ocean swim, 112-mile bike race and a 26.2-mile run -- so get busy training today!

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Short Tutorial - Reducing The File Size Of Digital Photos Before E-mailing Them

Have you ever taken a digital photo at high resolution for printing purposes only to find out that the image was then too big to send by e-mail? That's happened to most of us. During this holiday season, many people are going to be sending photos as e-mail attachments. Many of them will be too large and may jam the inboxes of intended e-mail recipients. There are, however, some simple steps you can take to insure your photos are easy to open by your intended recipients.

Since most Windows-based programs include Microsoft Paint as a standard program, many people use it to adjust the size of photos before e-mailing the images. To find Microsoft Paint, click your cursor arrow on the START menu at the lower left side of your screen and click on "All Programs." Through subsequent menus and submenus, locate "Accessories" and then "Paint." Click your cursor arrow on "Paint" to open the program. Here's how to reduce the size of a picture:

  1. Open your specific picture in Microsoft Paint by using the "File" menu and clicking on "Open." When the "Open" dialog box appears, navigate to the picture you want to modify and select it. Then click the "Open" button.
  2. Check your file's size by going to the "Image" menu and selecting "Attributes." You will see a line that says "Size on Disk." It will show the size of your picture in bytes. Anything over about 100,000 bytes (or 100K) will be slower to send -- especially if you are sending more than one photo as an attachment to a single e-mail. (FYI - 1,000,000 bytes is one megabyte.) Close the "Attributes" dialog box when you are done.
  3. Go to the "Image" menu again and select "Stretch/Skew" from the drop-down menu. The "Stretch and Skew" dialog box will appear. You'll see both a "Stretch" area and a "Skew" area. You'll work only in the "Stretch" area for this exercise.
  4. You will want to reduce the stretch percentages of your photo by the same amount both vertically and horizontally to keep the image from being distorted. Start out with 50 percent both vertically and horizontally. Click "OK." The photo will become visibly smaller.
  5. To save your new photo while preserving your original image, go to the "File" menu and drop down to "Save As." When the "Save As" dialog box appears, give your reduced photo a name in the "File name:" field and then click on the "Save" button.
  6. Go to the "Image" menu once again and recheck the "attributes" of your new smaller sized image. If you think you've reduced the file size enough, you're finished. The new photo is now ready to send to your friends and family. Otherwise, repeat the process by making adjustments to the percentage of reductions. If you aren't satisfied with a result, simply throw the smaller copy away and start over with your original. Remember to always use "Save As" to avoid losing your original image.

Additional Notes:

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We hope you found this newsletter to be informative. It's our way of keeping you posted on the happenings at our shop. If, however, you'd prefer not to receive these bulletins on a monthly basis, click HERE.

Thanks for your business!

Best regards,

The E-Connections Team

Polar E-Connections



(We have used our best efforts in collecting and preparing the information published herein. However, we do not assume, and hereby disclaim, any and all liability for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions resulted from negligence, accident, or other causes.)

2004 Cornerstone Publishing Group Inc.

Trademarks: All brand names and product names used in this eNewsletter are trade names, service marks, trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.