By KIM KOMANDO
The Oskaloosa Herald
Q. I live in a rural area with limited cell reception. But I have a wireless network. Which smart phones can access the Internet over Wi-Fi?
A. Most mobile gadgets now have wireless capabilities. This includes most smart phones. Accessing the Internet over Wi-Fi shouldn’t be a problem. However, you may still have to purchase a cellular data plan. That may be a waste of money in your situation. Consider getting an iPod touch or a tablet computer instead. These are designed primarily to work with Wi-Fi. That means a data plan is often not needed. But they’ll still run the same apps as their smart phone counterparts. And you won’t have any trouble accessing the Internet.
Q. I’m buying a flat-screen HDTV. Should the screen size be influenced by my room size?
A. TV screen size and room size do have a correlation. Sitting too close to a large screen can mean worse image quality. Plus, you will have to move your head to see the whole screen. A screen that’s too small isn’t as immersive. A general guideline for sitting distance is about 2 times the screen’s diagonal measurement. So, for a 40-inch screen, you should sit about six and a half feet away. I recommend measuring the distance from your couch to where you will place the set. Then stand that distance from the TVs while shopping. This will help you get the appropriate size.
Q. Is it possible to create custom keyboard shortcuts on a Mac?
A. Keyboard shortcuts make it faster to perform common tasks. But not every task has a shortcut. Fortunately, you can make your own shortcuts. Open OS X’s System Preferences. Then select Keyboard. On the Keyboard screen, click the Keyboard Shortcuts tab. Now hit the plus button near the center of the screen. Select an application and type in the name of the menu item for which you want a shortcut. You must type the exact command name, including any punctuation. Then enter the desired keyboard shortcut. Once you’re done, hit the Add button.
Q. I recently did a search for myself on Google. There are a lot of sites that have compiled information about me. What can I do about?
A. Regulating personal information online can be tricky. Your best bet is to be proactive. Be careful about what and where you share. And remember to set the privacy controls on sites like Facebook. Once personal information is released, it’s hard to get back. However, some information is already publicly available, such as address and phone number. Databases collect this information from public records. The data is then made available online. Some major directories will assist you in removing this data. Visit Komando.com/news for help removing your data from some of the largest online databases.
Q. Internet Explorer 9 should be coming out soon. Should I upgrade when it’s available?
A. Yes, you should definitely upgrade to IE9. It will be infinitely faster and more secure than current versions. The control layout is also more efficient. And there are some great new things you can do with tabbed browsing. Plus, it will natively support emerging Web standards. Unfortunately, IE9 will only be available for Windows Vista and 7. XP users will have to stay with IE8. However, I recommend switching to Firefox or Chrome instead. They’re also much faster and more secure than IE8. And they’ll support emerging Web standards and technologies.
Copyright 2011, WestStar TalkRadio Network. All rights reserved.
Kim Komando hosts the nation’s largest talk radio show about consumer electronics, computers and the Internet. To get the podcast or find the station nearest you, visit: http://www.komando.com/listen. To subscribe to Kim’s free e-mail newsletters, sign-up at: http://www.komando.com/newsletters.