Link to Park Region Telephone/Otter Tail Telcom/Valley Telephone

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

Beware Of Ad Threat
Malvertisements Appear On Top Websites

Retransmission Fees
Important Information for You

Two To View
A Couple Of Amazing Videos You Don't Want To Miss

This Month's FAQ
What's The Difference Between POP And IMAP?

Sites Of The Month
Great Sites To Check Out In December

Short Tutorial
How Do I Create A New Photo Album On Facebook?


Hello prtel.com customers

Presents Pic Happy Holidays! Our gift to you this season is a December issue filled with valuable ideas and information. As we've done throughout 2011, we start with a warning. This time it's about malvertising, or corrupted ads, appearing on some of today's top websites. Take a minute to read about this threat so you don't become a victim. We also encourage you to learn the difference between POP and IMAP when it comes to email, as well as how to create a new photo album on Facebook. Just for fun, check out the Two to View videos and Sites of the Month to get inspiration for the holidays and beyond.

The goal of each of our eNewsletters is to keep our subscribers informed regarding their Internet connection and to improve their Internet experience. We think you'll find this information interesting.

To see what's inside this issue, simply scroll down the eNewsletter or click on the links within the index to the left. Thanks for reading!

- The prtel.com Internet Team
 

 

Beware Of Ad Threat – Malvertisements Appear On Top Websites

Worm Eating Computer PicMalvertisements are online advertisements that are capable of infecting a PC with malware. Compromised computers can then be used to create powerful botnets to carry out identity theft, corporate espionage, or other nefarious activity. Malvertising is the current computer hijacking technique of choice for organized crime gangs.

According to research disclosed by security intelligence firm RiskIQ, the spread of malvertisements has spiked tenfold over the past year. It's a growing threat to consumers since the infected ads are appearing on some of the top 500 commercial websites including weather.com, foxsports.com, monster.com, and usnews.com.

You can help protect your PC from malvertisements by making sure the following are current:
  • Antivirus and antispyware programs
  • Updates for your Web browsers
  • Updates for popular applications, especially Adobe Flash and Adobe PDF
For added protection, you may want to consider using browser plug-ins, such as NoScript and AdBlock, that block all online ads.

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Retranmission Consent Fees Likely to Increase Cable Fees

What is Retransmission Consent? The U.S. Congress has authorized broadcast stations, such as those that air ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX programming, to grant or deny permission (provide "consent") for a cable television operator to "retransmit" the signal to its customers. In order to acquire consent the owner of the television station will demand some form of compensation from the cable operator, which is typically re-negotiated every three years. Frequently, a broadcaster demands the smaller cable operators pay an exceptionally higher per-customer fee than other larger operators in the same market. Broadcasters charge smaller cable operators retransmission consent fees as much as twenty times more than what the largest distributors pay. There is no justification for the price discrimination faced by small cable operator because the retransmission is costless for the broadcast station owner. The burden to a broadcaster of having its signal carried on a large system or a small one is identical.

Cable operators who refuse to accept the higher charge (as it frequently would result in higher rates for customers) face retaliation from the broadcaster - a dropped signal and the refusal to allow a cable operator to deliver its programming to customers.

Making matters worse, federal rules and regulations hinder small cable operators serving small and rural markets to offer broadcast signals from neighboring television markets, even when the neighboring broadcast is willing to offer the same network programming at a more reasonable rate.

How Does Retransmission Consent Harm Consumers? When independent cable operators are dealt disproportionally higher per-subscriber fees to broadcast a signal, the result is increased costs for consumers and reduced competition by undercutting smaller companies' ability to compete on price. Notably, independent cable providers often have to redirect investment that should go towards increasing system capacity and improving infrastructure for broadband to instead line the pockets of big broadcasters and programmers, putting already underserved markets even further behind the Digital Divide.

Your help is needed! An online petition was recently posted by an ACA Member Company at “We the People,” a website hosted by WhiteHouse.gov, that could result in the Obama Administration reviewing the current retransmission consent and broadcast carriage rules, and issuing an official response.

Specifically, this online petition says;

It has been nearly 20 years since the laws and regulations governing broadcast television have been updated. Since that time, the way Americans consume and view television has changed dramatically. Even though technical barriers have been eliminated, consumers remain trapped by artificially drawn geographic boundaries that give broadcast stations monopoly powers over network and syndicated programming in their respective markets. This government constructed marketplace has stifled competition and innovation, limited consumer choice, led to threatened and actual blackouts of must-have programming, and dramatically driven up the cable and satellite rates. We urge the Obama Administration to initiate a process to update this outdated regime.

“We the People” petitions are citizen-made initiatives to spur policy action on important issues. If a petition gets enough support, White House staff will review it, and ensure it is sent to the appropriate policy experts and issue an official response.

The deadline to ensure that the petition receives the 25,000 signatures is December 8. Don’t let this opportunity pass to let your voice be heard! A WhiteHouse.gov account is required to sign a petition. To create your account, review and sign the petition following this link. If you have trouble setting up an account, try this link.

Throughout the negotiation process, Park Region will keep our customers updated via our website, www.parkregion.com. We will do our best to obtain fair pricing for our customers.

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Two To View – A Couple Of Amazing Videos You Don't Want To Miss

Cool Surfin' Bulldog   Cool Christmas Light Show
     
"Surfin' USA" Bulldog
This English Bulldog, named Tillman, is one multi-talented (and cool) creature. Tillman skimboards, snowboards, and skateboards to The Beach Boys classic, "Surfin' USA," in this fun video that more than 1,600,000 Web surfers have already viewed.
  Beauty of Bulbs and Bells
Want a quick way to get in the holiday spirit? Watch this spectacular light display that's perfectly synchronized to "Carol of the Bells." It features Christmas trees of all sizes that appear and then disappear, while changing colors to the beat of the music.

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This Month's FAQ – What's The Difference Between POP And IMAP?

Question: I've seen the acronyms POP and IMAP used with respect to email but I'm not clear on what they mean. Could you explain the difference between POP and IMAP?

Computer Couple Pic Answer: We understand your confusion. There are so many acronyms that apply to technology, it can be difficult to stay on top of them all. In a nutshell, POP and IMAP are simply different protocols for handling email.

POP stands for Post Office Protocol. When using the POP protocol, the mail server receives email and stores it until you request it by opening your email client (such as Windows Live Mail or Thunderbird) and pressing the "Send/Receive" button. Your email client, in essence, uses the POP protocol to ask the mail server if there are any email messages waiting. If there are, it tells the mail server to send them to you. When the mail server receives your POP request, it sends the messages to your email client. Once you receive the messages, they're usually deleted from the mail server.

By contrast, IMAP stores a copy of the email messages. IMAP stands for Internet Message Access Protocol. IMAP allows you to download emails from the mail server to your email client in much the same way as POP does. However, the difference is that when you request your email from the mail server using IMAP, it sends a copy of each email message to your email client software and also stores a copy on the mail server.

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Sites Of The Month – Great Sites To Check Out In December

Easy Goal Setting
dayzeroproject.com – Read y to set goals for the new year? You can create goal lists on this site and will be encouraged to come up with 101 things to do in 1,001 days. If you're not sure what to put on your list, check out the "Top 101 Things to Do" list or the "Idea Finder." Click on the "Features" tab and you'll find pre-set goals to choose from under various categories.
Movie Ratings for Kids
kids-in-mind.com – The holidays provide more time for kids to go to the movies and this site helps you determine which ones are appropriate for them to see. You'll find movie ratings based on three critical indicators—Sex & Nudity, Violence & Gore, and Profanity—along with detailed descriptions of exactly what is depicted in each movie. Discussion topics are also covered.
Cookie Central
foodnetwork.com – The only thing that might be more fun than eating holiday cookies is making them and this site gives you dozens of delicious ways to do it. Check out the recipe gallery of "50 Fabulous Holiday Cookies," the cookie swap video, and other instructional videos featuring some of your favorite Food Network stars.
Budget-Friendly Gifts
homemadegiftguru.com – Looking for some thoughtful yet inexpensive holiday gift ideas? This site offers plenty of inspiration, especially if you're crafty. You'll find instructions for making things like gift baskets, food in jars, tie-dyed items, and homemade bath salts. You can also do a search for a gift you want to learn how to make.
Tips for Saving Energy
energysavers.gov – Now that cold weather is here, it's a good time to think about saving some cold cash on heating bills. Get practical ideas here for how to do just that, as well as other energy-saving tips. Check out the home, vehicle, and workplace sections, and click on the "Tips" tab to download the comprehensive Energy Savers Booklet that covers areas throughout your home.

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Short Tutorial – How Do I Create A New Photo Album On Facebook?

FacebookFor many people, the holiday season inspires more photo-taking sessions than any other time of year—from pajama-clad family members under the tree to smiles of delight as gifts are unwrapped. Once you capture the holiday memories, share them with your Facebook friends using the steps below:
  1. Click "Add Photo/Video" at the top of your Facebook Home page.

  2. Pick "Create Photo Album."

  3. Click "Select Photos" and then choose the photo files you want to upload. To upload multiple photos at once, hold down the "Control" button on your PC or the "Command" button on your Mac, while clicking the image files.

  4. Click "Open" once you've selected your photos.

  5. After you select photos to upload, you'll see a prompt to choose your album title, audience, and photo quality.

  6. A progress bar will show you the status of your upload. Once it's complete, click the blue "Create an Album" button to see your new album.
You can upload 200 photos per album on Facebook and create as many albums as you want.

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We hope you found this newsletter to be informative. It's our way of keeping you posted on the happenings here. If, however, you'd prefer not to receive these bulletins, click here.

Thanks for your business!

Best regards

The prtel.com Internet Team




Park Region Telephone Co.
100 Main St
Underwood, MN 56586

800-247-2706


©2011 Cornerstone Publishing Group Inc.

Trademarks: All brand names and product names used in this eNewsletter are trade names, service marks, trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.