Author Archives: Tracey Capen

Tracey Capen

About Tracey Capen

Editor in chief Tracey Capen was the executive editor of reviews at PC World magazine for 10 years, from 1995 to 2005. He was InfoWorld's managing editor of reviews from 1993 to 1995 and worked in the magazine's test center and as networking editor from 1989 to 1992. Between his stints at InfoWorld, he was senior labs editor at Corporate Computing magazine.

Link of the Week: Lies, damned lies, and statistics

No one really knows who came up with that clever phrase, and in this instance it’s overstating the case. But a story in the Business Insider has a rather startling headline: To wit, “Internet Explorer Users Are Dumber.” It’s an amusing piece with a couple of reminders: statistics don’t automatically translate into reality and what we read on the Internet should never be taken immediately at face value.   

Add an armored laptop to your security checklist

Some security threats simply can’t be foreseen. Who guesses that someone, in the middle of a workday, will decide on the spur of the moment to demolish a computer?

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Possessed by a supernatural … vacuum?

It’s the fear of every TV-show producer — a product commercial that proves more creative and more interesting than the show it’s intended to support. Think of the many VW Beetle commercials of the past. (Look ‘em up on YouTube if you’re too young to have seen them.)

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Watch out! This photo booth has attitude

Remember the photo booth? It was right up there with riding the Big Dipper and eating cotton candy as things you had to do at the amusement park.

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Stolen camera turns into critter-cam

As opportunistic scavengers, seagulls have few equals. For these consummate foragers, anything and everything — from French fries to cigarette butts — is worth a try.

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Ready for a house that’s smarter than we are?

From the Jetsons to Blade Runner, the house of the future is portrayed as a technical marvel that does your shopping, cleans itself, and even customizes itself to your every whim. Meanwhile, most of us are still trying to figure out how to program the clock on our microwave.

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For one it’s a toy — for the other it’s a meal

What each of us sees through a window can be vastly different. It all depends on your perspective.

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Windows 8 — Lots of smoke, little fire

A couple of days ago, one of our readers sent me a link to a Windows 8 video demo that I’d missed. Since then, there has been something about Windows 8 from almost every computing pundit. Well, I’ve watched the demo and read the stories, and most of it is simply journalistic junk food. Almost all of the Windows 8 stories are the same spin on that one quick, thin Microsoft demo. What is now known comes down to this: the demo showed a radically new interface for Windows. There was nothing in the demo about important new features or major changes to the architecture of the OS. I suspect that the demo was a trial balloon. There’s probably a big battle within Microsoft over what Windows 8 should look like. So MS put out the demo to see what the pundits and future users would say about it. In my humble opinion, it would be a mistake. Why take a format that is optimized for small screens and move it to full-sized displays? One wonders if Microsoft will ever really understand fundamental PC usability. Most stories state that Windows 8 will be out in 12 to 18 months. My … Read More »

Protecting your personal information online

All those things we have connected to the Internet, from our cell phones to our desktop PCs (and even possibly our kids), are ratting on us to online marketers and hackers.

Our second theme issue of 2011 tackles the thorny topic of personal privacy and security on the Internet and provides a wealth of tips on how to protect your children and yourself.

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WindowSecrets.com 2.0 formally launched

Nearly a week ago, the new Windows Secrets site moved from beta to the real thing.

The migration was far from easy and we’re still working out a few kinks, but our updated site is live for all to see.

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