From: Bob Rankin
Subject: TOURBUS - 16 MAY 2006 - Google Desktop / Free Fax / Myspace
In today's TOURBUS, find out who is claiming that Google's Desktop software is Evil, and why. Also in this issue, how to send a free fax on the 'Net, and more articles in my series about Myspace safety and privacy. Read on!
A reader concerned about online privacy wrote to me and asked:
> "I got a warning from a friend who told me not to use the Google
> Desktop program. He says it will secretly make copies of my
> personal files and send them to Google's own servers, and they
> could also be made available to the government. Is this true?"
If you've gotten a copy of an email saying things like "Google Copies Your Hard Drive - Government Smiles in Anticipation" and "Consumers Should Not Use New Google Desktop" -- you can relax... the Google Desktop software won't secretly send copies of your love letters to Uncle Sam. Here's the truth about the "Search Across Computers" feature that was added to Google Desktop software earlier this year.
Yes, it's true that if you use the Search Across Computers feature, Google Desktop will transfer an encrypted copy of certain files to a Google server, so you can search for files on all of your computers at once. It's a handy tool for power users who have files scattered across multiple computers. But nothing is being done in secret, or without your permission, and your personal files are NOT available to other users.
So why are some privacy pundits claiming that if files are stored on Google servers, then the government, business rivals or an ex-spouse could easily obtain them with a subpoena? To get all the facts about the Search Across Computers feature, and the identity of the *real* bad guys in this story, continue reading here:
Don't have a fax machine? That's no longer an obstacle to sending or receiving a fax. And the news is even better than that. You can use the Internet to send a fax for free.
There are a bunch of websites that make this claim, but some of them ask for your credit card in order to open a "free trial account." If you want a truly FREE internet fax service, with no strings attached, then FaxZero fits the bill. It will help you send a fax to any fax machine in the United States (including Puerto Rico) or Canada for free. For complete details on how it works, and other free fax alternatives, click here:
Are you concerned about young teens who are using Myspace? I've written a series of articles that look closely how kids are using Myspace, what they (and their parents) can do to stay safe, and the privacy concerns of social networking that you may not have thought about. Here are some of the articles in the series:
* [PRIVATE MYSPACE PROFILE] - "My child is 16 and has a Myspace page. He tells me the only way to make his Myspace profile private is to set his age to 14 or 15 years old. Is there a way to set the account to private (so only friends can visit their page) without lying about your age?"
* [BLOCKING MYSPACE] - "My daughter is 12 years old and I just found out she has a Myspace account with some inappropriate content. The account was deleted, but I want to make sure she has no access to Myspace in the future. How can I do this?"
* [MYSPACE SAFETY TIPS] - Are teens putting themselves at risk by posting too much personal information on Myspace? Is Myspace a danger to kids that should be tightly controlled or shut down?
If you are a regular user of Myspace and want to learn more about customizing your Myspace home page, or how to use the advanced search features, read these other articles in the Myspace series:
* [MYSPACE LAYOUTS] http://askbobrankin.com/myspace_layouts.html
* [ADDING MUSIC TO MYSPACE] http://askbobrankin.com/add_music_to_myspace.html
* [MYSPACE GRAPHICS] http://askbobrankin.com/myspace_graphics.html
* [SEARCHING IN MYSPACE] http://askbobrankin.com/searching_in_myspace.html
That's all for now, see you next time! -- Bob Rankin