From:         Bob Rankin 
Subject:      TOURBUS - 22 AUG 2006 - Banning Myspace / Cancel Your Card


The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved

In today's TOURBUS, we'll delve into the controversial subject of schools that are banning Myspace usage, both ON and OFF campus. Also in this issue, you'll also learn the easy way to cancel a credit card, and some other goodies too. Read on!

Is Your School Banning Myspace?

Recently a TOURBUS reader wrote to me and said:

> "My school has banned Myspace, so we can't access it from any
> computer in the school. They are also making new rules about
> what we can post on our private Myspace profiles. One student
> got suspended for criticizing the principal on Myspace. Is
> this legal? Can they really control what we do at home? Is
> there any way around the Myspace ban?"

It's a growing trend... Myspace, the popular online hangout, is being banned in schools. And some schools are limiting the use of Myspace and other social networking sites even OFF the school campus.

There is no doubt that public and private schools are within their legal rights to block access to Myspace via school computers. They own the computers, and pay for the network access with school funds, so they can set the rules. But can schools control what students do on the Web, at home on their own time? Read more about the Myspace banning/blocking controversy here:

Ever Try to Cancel a Credit Card?

Have you ever tried to cancel a credit card, close a bank account, or (shudder) terminate your AOL service? Some of these companies can really put you through the ringer with their "customer retention specialists" who ask you endless questions, then try to talk you out of your decision to cancel. They lay on the guilt, question your sanity, and make it sound downright unpatriotic.

My wallet had been feeling a little too heavy, and it wasn't because of all the money stuffed in there. So I decided to lighten my load and cancel the Visa card that I hadn't been using. Here's a great little shortcut I learned that might help you, too...

Is Your RPC Server Unavailable?

After helping a friend clean up a nasty spyware infestation, we had one remaining problem. Windows would say "RPC Server is Unavailable" when starting up, and also later when trying to print or install new software. Some other things just didn't work, like copy and pasting text, and right-click menus.

A little background... RPC is an acronym for Remote Procedure Call, and typically is used to allow a program running on one computer to access services on another networked computer. I say "typically" because Microsoft added extensions to the standard RPC protocol and intertwined RPC into the communication of Windows system components.

So if RPC stops working, lots of other Windows features will fail as well. In this case, I didn't know if the problem was caused by the malware we had removed, by one of the anti-virus or anti-spyware tools, or something else. No matter, it was broken and my friend wanted me to fix it. Here's how I solved the problem...

College: On Campus or Online?

If you're a high school student considering college, or an adult looking into the possibilities of an advanced degree, here's a good resource for you. The All College Directory lists every college in the USA, by city & state, with contact info.

There's also an extensive list of Online Colleges that offer fully accredited Associate, Bachelor's, and Master's degrees. If you're searching for the flexibility to fit education into your life, a distance education or online degree program can allow you to "attend class" any time, and anywhere you have access to a computer.

That's all for now, see you next time! -- Bob Rankin

The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
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