Author Archives: Kathleen Atkins

Kathleen Atkins

About Kathleen Atkins

Kathleen Atkins is the Windows Secrets associate editor. She's also a freelance writer, editor, and photographer. Prior to joining Windows Secrets, she worked at Microsoft Press.

Airport voice speaks to you kindly — from Maine

In any of 200 airports around the world — or subway stops or train stations — you might think you recognize that voice announcing “the next uptown train ” or declaring, “the flight will be delayed.” And you’d probably be right: the voice you hear in a transit lounge far away from home most likely belongs to a cheerful woman who lives in a village in northern Maine.

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Among the browsers: Firefox endangered

In the wild landscape, foxes stay alert not only for their own next
meals but also to avoid becoming a morsel for a bigger set of teeth.

In the tech landscape, Firefox might be endangered because it failed to
follow either of those imperatives — according to growing number of blog
and press reports. You can see one posted by Lounge member Roderunner.

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Against SPAM: Retaliation considered

Even if you sensibly use an excellent spam filter and seldom get junk e-mail, can you make a case for offensive action against spammers? Lounge member E Pericoloso Sporgersi puts this question to his fellow Loungers, and discussion ensues.

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Turkeys in pursuit of state troopers

In the U.S., roast turkey has pride of place on millions of well-laden Thanksgiving tables. And while we’re on the way to the feast, few of us expect to see our dinner strutting wild along the roadside.

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Riddle: When is a computer preoccupied?

Lounge member sellewe73 has had Windows 7 installed on his machine for only the past three months. He also has a 1TB hard drive and 4GB of RAM. But he’s recently perplexed by the discovery that his capacious hard drive is almost full — and he’s darned sure he didn’t fill it up.

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Wily dog takes over the beautiful game

Nowhere is speed and cunning play valued more greatly than in soccer. So when a dog took to the field in the middle of a game and cheerfully eluded all potential capturers, the fans were not annoyed.

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Fortunate exchange between Scotland and Earth

Lounge member Tinto Tech of Scotland, puzzled by the behavior of a telnet client, posted details of his perplexing problem in the Networking forum. Paul T, who lists his residence as Earth, solved Tinto Tech’s problem — illustrating almost by the way that geographical location is no impediment to clearing up digital difficulties and human errors.

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Facebook really ought to have a manual

One way to explore a technology is to read the how-to books about it. That’s precisely what forum member DavidToronto wants for his examination of Facebook — “a thorough, intelligently organized, up-to-date online manual.”

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Mixed media for e-mail? All advise against it

Imagine receiving an e-mail with a five-second audio clip that plays automatically when you open the message. An attractive idea? Does it depend on what those five seconds sound like? Lounge member RobG floated the audio-clip idea this week on behalf of a friend, who wants to add one to her e-mail signature — believing it will be a positive change.

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Making happy history of the Cold War

Now, here’s a cult to admire: a Finnish rock-and-roll band, the Leningrad Cowboys, with a penchant for performing with choirs. Notable among the band’s collaborators is the official choir of the Russian army forces.

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