"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Wednesday, October 1st, 2014
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Tech Bytes - Uninvited Guests


By Mitchell Walbridge

Fri, Jul 26th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists



Keeping in touch with family and friends via instant messaging is great, through video is even better. Skype, for example, is a great program to video chat at people’s convenience by utilizing your computer’s webcam. However, if a stranger was calling, you probably wouldn’t be so thrilled to talk to them, let alone hit the ‘answer’ button. Hackers have found their way around that though. And, when you’re least expecting it, you may have some stray eyes watching you within the security of your own home without even noticing.

It’s easier than one may think for a hacker to work their tech magic and attach to your computer system’s webcam. In fact, you’re probably doing most of the work for them. These online privacy invaders take advantage of your mistakes such as clicking on an insecure or virus infected attachment, not using a firewall, having weak anti-virus protection, or even not using a secure wireless connection. Once you let your guard down, the game is pretty much over.

So, what is the best way to tell if someone’s watching you? If your webcam indicator light is on when it’s not in use or you did not turn it on, that’s a good hint that something suspicious is going on.

To be on the safe side, Norton Anti-Virus Company suggests that computer owners cover their webcam lenses with a Post-it note, for example, just to be on the safe side. You probably don’t want to put anything sticky directly on the lens as damage may occur. If you have an attachable webcam, it is suggested that you detach it when it is not in use.

Norton reported in 2010 that one Chinese hacking group alone was able to tap into more than 1,300 webcams from more than 100 different countries. I’d hate to be one of them.

So, we may grumble and groan on occasion when unexpected company arrives at the front door, but that would be the least of my worries if I had complete strangers looking in watching my every move at their convenience – not through a window, but through my computer. And everyone stores their computer in a different place in their home… some in the living room, the home office, perhaps the kitchen, and even some in the bedroom-- Just simply stating a word of caution. Surely we wouldn’t want uninvited guests in any of these places.

A View From The Woods - Blackcaps and Bites

By Loni Kemp

Fri, Jul 26th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

I rose at sunrise, anticipating a sweltering hot day with only a couple of hours of relative comfort in the shade before the sun reached the forest edge. I forced myself to put on lightweight slacks and a long-sleeved shirt, both stained and relegat ..... 
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More notes from a country kitchen.

By Vicki Christianson

Fri, Jul 19th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

Summer always makes me think of hay and that is one hot, sweaty, and itchy subject! When we first started farming, we had many acres of hay ground. We didn’t have any animals that ate hay as we only raised pigs, but we sold our hay to others. Si ..... 
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Tech Bytes - The-end-for-the-telegraph-has-come. Stop.

By Mitchell Walbridge

Fri, Jul 19th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

The telegraph; it has served as a worldwide communication platform decades ago, sending messages with its dot/dash combinations that proved to be the most innovative technology at the time. What is most likely considered a primitive device to many ..... 
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Postcards from the Windy City - A Taste of Chicago

By Abby Stocker

Fri, Jul 19th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

Dear Readers, This week I went to Chicago. I felt very hip, very urban as I boarded the Metra commuter train and headed downtown to meet a friend. Our destination? Taste of Chicago, an outdoor food festival which ChooseChicago.com promises is ..... 
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Tech Bytes - Printing in 3-D

By Mitchell Walbridge

Fri, Jul 12th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

Printing in 3-D Today we can watch movies in 3-D, we can buy three dimensional television services, we can even buy 3-D, real life greeting cards, but what if we could print in three dimensions in our own home office? Well, to no surprise, you actu ..... 
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A little of this, A little of that.

Fri, Jul 12th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

I grew up in the “Ice Cream Capitol” of the world, Preston, Minnesota! In 1958 at the age of 10, I really believed that. Naturally naïve and not well-traveled, I was impressed with all the places that sold ice cream and the variety of frozen ..... 
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Postcards from the Windy City - Three is for Thrifting

By Abby Stocker

Fri, Jul 12th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

Dear Readers, I don’t mean any slight on Minnesota nice in what I am about to say. I will be the first to tell you that I get along just fine with a society of “courteous, reserved, and mild-mannered” people (in the words of Wikipedia). I l ..... 
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Becky's Food Tales - July 8, 2013

By Becky Hoff

Fri, Jul 5th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

A Tale of Blackberry Jam Blackberry season is coming soon! Every summer I go out picking, or at least buy pints of the wild growing ‘blackcaps’ at a local farmer’s market. Their sweet-tart taste reminds me of hot summer days spent roaming the ..... 
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