June 24, 2011

Kim Komando answers your Web, computer questions

OSKALOOSA — Q. Is it possible to tether an e-book reader to a laptop? I’m hoping that I could use my reader’s Internet connection to get my laptop online. Thank you, Kim. I love your national radio show that I hear in my hometown Chicago on WLS 890 AM.

A. It’s a good idea. Tethering is using a cellular-enabled gadget to get your computer online. Several e-readers have 3G capability and can surf the Internet. However, there is no easy way to tether them to a laptop. An iPad running iOS 4.3 can technically be tethered to a computer. However, AT&T and Verizon have this feature turned off. Even if it weren’t, it would cost upward of $20 a month. If you need mobile Internet, you’re better off using a dedicated cellular modem. You can also find free or inexpensive Wi-Fi hotspots in many locations.

Q. I use Google’s Web apps for a lot of my work. I just heard its dropping support for older browsers. What does that mean? Do I need a new computer?

A. You don’t need a new computer. You simply need to be using a current version of your Web browser. On Aug. 1, Google will no longer support Firefox 3.5, Internet Explorer 7 and Safari 3. Google Apps will not be guaranteed to work with those browsers. Only the two most current versions of any browser will be officially supported. So when Firefox 5 is released, Firefox 3.6 will no longer be supported. Google claims this will help keep its services cutting-edge. So if you rely on Google Apps, make sure that you’re using the most current version of your browser.

Q. I heard about a fun Mac program called Photo Booth. I bought a new iMac but I cannot find it.

A. Photo Booth lets you add cool effects to photos and videos taken with your Webcam. It’s great for all ages. Photo Booth is installed by default in OS X 10.4 and above. Look in your dock for the Photo Booth icon. Alternatively, open Finder and look in the Applications folder. You can make silly faces and add effects in real-time. Then, you can share your creations with others over email or on social networks. Sharing options are built into Photo Booth. 

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