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April 29, 2011

Kim Komando answers your electronics questions

OSKALOOSA — Q. I have an original iPad, and I love it. Is there a reason to upgrade to the iPad 2?

A. Apple has made improvements with the iPad 2. However, if you’re happy with your original iPad, I would stick with that. The iPad 2 has a faster processor and graphics system. Plus it now has two digital cameras, a front-facing one and a rear-facing one. That’s good for high-end games and video chatting. However, the iPad 2 doesn’t offer much else new beyond that. The screen and storage are the same, for example. I would save your money for the iPad 3. It should be a more substantial upgrade.

Q. I see a lot of third-party sites that let you log in using Facebook. You don’t have to create a new account. However, is it safe?

A. Yes and no. Logging in using Facebook Connect is a secure procedure. You are communicating directly with Facebook’s servers. The third-party site doesn’t see your username and password. So it won’t necessarily compromise your Facebook account. However, your Facebook account could be hacked some other way. Phishing email and scammy wall posts are all over. That would give a hacker access to all your other accounts as well. I suggest only using Facebook authorization for non-critical Websites. For Websites containing sensitive personal information, create a separate account. 

Q. I use iTunes to manage my music. I have more than 100 gigabytes of music and lots of Smart Playlists. iTunes keeps getting slower. Is there a way to speed it up?

A. iTunes’ Smart Playlist feature lets you build song lists automatically. You specify options like genre and decade. iTunes will add songs to the playlist. Unfortunately, they can cause iTunes to drag. That’s because iTunes continually checks for new songs. This forces iTunes to keep rescanning your music library. Deleting your Smart Playlists or turning off Live Updating will speed up iTunes. To turn off Live Updating, CTRL + click on a Smart Playlist and select Edit Smart Playlist. Find the Live Updating option and uncheck it. Do this for every Smart Playlist. That should help speed up iTunes.

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