Free calling in Gmail extended through 2011

Google initially rolled out free voice calls in Gmail (via Google Voice) as something they would offer through 2010. Now, "in the spirit of holiday giving," they’ve extended free calling through all of 2011.

In case you haven’t tried it yet, dialing a phone number works just like a regular phone. Look for “Call phone” at the top of your Gmail chat list and dial a number or enter a contact’s name.

More info here

Microsoft releases upgrade to Superb Anti-Virus Product

Microsoft’s next version of Security Essentials is actually a pretty great update from its already-great predecessor. Microsoft Security Essentials is sparking the ire of the big security companies for being extremely high quality and annoyingly – free. I spoke about it here and here.

It’s consistently ranked alongside the best paid anti-virus options out there in terms of detection and removal. And it basically blows its free competitors out of the water. The latest version adds an improved heuristic detection engine for weeding out threats that haven’t been positively identified yet.

If you’ve already installed Security Essentials you should find a notice to upgrade under the app’s update tab. If you haven’t downloaded MSE yet, well then, what are you waiting for?
Head over here and grab the latest version to protect your computer for free.

Initially, Security Essentials was legally available only for individual home users, but in October Microsoft relaxed the rules so that businesses with up to 10 users can install the product as well.

Be safe out here folks.

Electronic Pickpockets

This is some pretty scary stuff.

Many new credit cards carry an RFID chip for ‘fast pay/swipe pay’.

RFID stands for Radio-frequency identification. RFID is a technology that uses communication via electromagnetic waves to exchange data between a terminal and an electronic tag attached to an object, for the purpose of identification and tracking.

Here is a video showing a technique of stealing your information with out you even knowing it. Sadly this has been known for quite a while and not publicized much. I have seen many security related articles on this but I guess the public is just now being made more aware of it. And I think that is good. Be careful out there folks.

Learning Photoshop and tips

Photoshop left you confused?

Start at the Beginning!

Check out the How-To Geek’s Guide to Learning Photoshop.

I’ve been in and around Graphic Arts, printing pre-press and service bureaus for over two decades and this is one of the simplest and well thought out basic how to’s for Photoshop I’ve seen in a long time.  I hope it helps some of you. I’m sure it will if you take the time.

 Part 8: Filters