Link to Polar E-Connections

 

 

 


Warning!
Arm Yourself In The Battle Against Botnets

Cable TV Rates

This Month's FAQ
When Did Flash Mobs Get Started And How Are They Organized?

Sites Of The Month
Great Sites To Check Out In January

Short Tutorial
Creating A Facebook Account And Profile

 

 


Greetings from Polar's E-Connections Team

This month begins a new year filled with new possibilities and this issue contains content to help you in this journey of discovery. First, you'll find an explanation of the criminal use of botnets including what you should do to protect your computer. We also share the history and organizational methods behind flash mobs—the public events (such as singing or dancing) that seem to spring up out of nowhere. If 2011 is your year to join Facebook, check out the tutorial for a guide to creating an account and profile. And if you're looking for resources to inspire you in the areas of cooking, travel, home decorating, or money management, you'll find them in Great Sites.

The goal of each of our eNewsletters is to keep our subscribers informed regarding their Internet connection and to improve their Internet experience. We think you'll find this information interesting.

To see what's inside this issue, simply scroll down the eNewsletter or click on the links within the index to the left. Thanks for reading!

- The E-Connections Team
 

 

 

 

 

Warning! – Arm Yourself In The Battle Against Botnets

In the most recent Microsoft Security Intelligence Report, the company warns that computers with older operating systems are more susceptible to infections from bot-related malware. What is a bot? The term is short for robot. It refers to what your computer becomes when criminals distribute malicious software that forces your computer to perform automated tasks over the Internet—without you knowing it. Large numbers of bots form a network called a botnet.

It's a Robot Download Graphics to ViewCriminals use botnets to send out spam e-mail messages, spread viruses, attack computers and servers, and commit other kinds of crime and fraud. It can be difficult to tell if your computer has become part of a botnet but there are warning signs including:

  • Your computer slows down and seems sluggish.
  • You receive mysterious e-mails accusing you of sending spam.

If you suspect your computer may be infected, you can visit https://consumersecuritysupport.microsoft.com and click on "I think my computer is infected" to access the online Safety Scanner.

To strengthen your computer's defenses in the battle against botnets, Microsoft recommends the following:

  • Install antivirus and antispyware programs from a trusted source.
  • Keep all software up to date.
  • Use strong passwords and keep them secret.
  • Never turn off your firewall.

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Cable TV Rates

Cable Rates Image


We think so too! As we look at our costs of providing services each year, one service always stands out - Cable TV. It's a demanding service that gives little back. The state of our economy has given consumers no choice but to cut back on discretionaries that involve entertainment outside the home. That leaves us with one very important thing - Cable TV. If we aren't going out as much, we are staying in...and watching more TV.

Cable TV programmers such as ESPN, Discovery, Turner Networks, Disney, etc., hold all of the cards. They charge big fees per channel, place requirements on cable providers for placement of their programming, and have virtually no service-quality requirements. They are continually increasing their pricing, resulting in TV price increases by Midco, Cable One, Time Warner, Cox Cable, Verizon, DirecTV, AT&T, and yours truly...Polar Cablevision.

Local network affiliates like KXJB & KVLY are also playing a big role in these rate hikes. A few short years ago these local networks that brought our local news, sports and entertainment charged nothing to cable companies. They since have started charging cable companies like Polar to broadcast their stations. In the past year they have raised rates over 125%.

Currently 64% of Polar's Cable TV rate is made up of programming costs. That leaves very little for the high costs of maintaining our network, yet we are committed to bringing this service to our rural area.

Unfortunately, Cable TV is a product/service in which we will continue to see a price increase...like the price of gas, the price of milk, and the price of medication. However, we are committed to bringing this service to our customers.

Please contact our customer service department with questions on any of your services - 701.284.7221 or sales@polarcomm.com.

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This Month's FAQ – When Did Flash Mobs Get Started And How Are They Organized?

Question: Sometimes I see stories in the news about a flash mob, like the people who break into song in a shopping center. I'm curious—when did flash mobs get started and how are they organized?

Flash Mob Video Download Graphics to ViewAnswer: A flash mob is defined as a large group of people who gather at a public place to perform a pre-defined action—often a brief song or dance—and then disperse rapidly afterwards.

The first "official" flash mob was attempted in Manhattan in May 2003 (the early days of social media) and organized by Bill Wasik, senior editor of Harper's Magazine. It was unsuccessful after the targeted retail store, Macy's, was tipped off about the plan for people to gather. Wasik avoided such problems during the second flash mob, which occurred one month later, by sending participants to preliminary staging areas where they received further instructions about the event and location just before the flash mob began.

Flash mobs are generally organized via social media or viral e-mails. Potential participants receive all necessary instructions including the date, time, and meeting point in the real world, as well as the action to perform. A video of the required dance moves, for example, may be posted for participants to review.

Click on the triangle in the picture above to play a video of a recent flash mob where holiday shoppers in a food court were surprised with a song to go with their sandwiches.

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Sites Of The Month – Great Sites To Check Out In January

Recipes for Foodies
www.publicradio.org – Each week, the American Public Media radio show, The Splendid Table, offers recipes and tips "for people who love to eat." Their website features recipes in categories including comfort, inexpensive, seafood, vegetarian, grilling, and holidays. Explore the rest of the site to hear recordings of the show, read tips and wine picks, and find great places to eat in your state.

Unusual Hotels
www.unusualhotelsoftheworld.com – This site is called Unusual Hotels of the World and the name says it all. Here you'll find out about ice hotels, undersea lodges, castles, boats, treehouses, and lighthouses—all of which are places you can stay! Search by type of hotel, type of experience (wild, family, romance), or destination. You're sure to find a unique place to spend your next vacation.

Home Decorating Guide
www.sunset.com – Looking for some new decorating ideas for the new year? This site is a great place to start. You'll find key decorating strategies, paint and shelving ideas, and pointers for decorating with travel treasures or your favorite photos. Look for tutorials on topics like "How to Paint Like a Pro." Or try a DIY (do-it-yourself) project like making over a dresser, designing your own painted glassware, or creating a designer bouquet.

National Recreation Information
www.recreation.gov – Recreation.gov provides access to information about federal recreational activities and reservations. You can use it to discover parks, forests, museums, and other destinations near your home; plan a trip to other areas of the country; make reservations for activities like picnicking, camping, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, and boating; or book a tour at any one of a number of stunning national parks and monuments.

Financial Planning How-to
www.fpanet.org – The new year is a good time to take a new look at your finances. The Financial Planning Association promotes financial well-being by connecting financial planners with those who need their assistance. This website includes loads of information on planning for specific life events (such as retirement or marriage), coping with a disaster (such as loss of a home or job), and choosing a financial planner. You can also find helpful tools and resources or ask a financial planning question.

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Short Tutorial – Creating A Facebook Account And Profile

Facebook Download Graphics to ViewFacebook now has more than 500 million active users and half of them log on to Facebook in any given day. In total, the site reports that people spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook. If you're not yet part of this group of 500 million, it's easy to join. Simply follow the steps below to create a Facebook account and profile.

  • Visit www.facebook.com and create a personal account by filling in the required fields as well as entering the encrypted password provided by Facebook.
  • Once you have entered your information, Facebook will send you a confirmation e-mail to the address you provided in the setup. Click on the link within the e-mail to begin personalizing your new Facebook account.
  • Facebook will take you through a series of steps in which you can add as much or as little personal information as you want. This information includes the names of the high school and college you graduated from, as well as your current company/employer. You can also upload a Profile Picture or take a picture with your webcam at this point.
  • Once you have completed the initial steps, the next screen will ask you if you want to find people you know or if you would like to view and update your profile. For this tutorial, we will update your profile page.
  • To update your profile, click on "Edit Profile" located in the "Fill out your profile information" section on the Welcome page. Here you can enter as much personal information as you are comfortable with in the Basic Information section. There are eight other sections to personalize. Again, only fill in information in which you are comfortable sharing. Remember to click on the "Save Changes" button located at the end of each section.
  • Many members choose to add a picture to their profile. There are multiple places along the way during the initial setup to add a photo. If you choose not to upload a photo during the initial setup process, it can be done easily at a later time.

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

Thanks for your business!

Best regards

The E-Connections Team




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