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The Times
  • On Computers: Giving advice on tablets a risky business

  • Tablets basically are data pass-through devices, meaning you stream data into and out of them but don’t keep it. It automatically flushes memory when you leave the app or shut down the tablet. A tablet in this regard is more like a TV set than a computer.

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  • First, a caveat: There are few standards in the computer tablet business. This means what works for one will not work for all (usually). Accept all advice on tablets with this in mind.
    Given this, here’s the latest flock of tablet questions from my email:
    Most of your questions concern security and identity theft. The good news here is very little data is stored on your tablet and subject to theft.
    Tablets basically are data pass-through devices, meaning you stream data into and out of them but don’t keep it. It automatically flushes memory when you leave the app or shut down the tablet. A tablet in this regard is more like a TV set than a computer. Still, use your tab’s password option to keep prying eyes at bay.
    Where is my tablet most likely to be stolen?
    No. 1 is the airport. No. 2 is a college dorm. No. 3 is a hotel room. Any time a tablet is left unattended, it will soon attract the bad boys.
    Can I hook up my TV to my tablet?
    It’s easy if both devices support HDMI, a video standard. You’ll need an adapter and a cable available online and in electronics stores. You may find your TV displays videos better than your tablet. Some day, all this will go wireless, and will be truly convenient.
    How do I save battery time?
    This is something little used and never advertised. Wi-Fi is the biggest consumer of batteries. Many tablets come with a convenient option to control it with a “sleep policy.” Look under settings, Wi-Fi networks. This turns Wi-Fi off when your screen goes blank and switches it back on when you’re active. It saves almost as much battery time as switching it off permanently, which is another option.
    Can I speed up my tablet?
    Tabs are the same as PCs here. They offer a lot of animations such as when you load and exit an app. All of these eat memory and slow you down. Go to the settings, screen display menu and turn off animations. You should be running faster now.
    What apps will I need to buy for my tablet?
    Don’t buy any until you check out what comes with it for free. A lot of users purchase a satellite-mapping service not knowing one is already on their device. If you don’t have it, try searching “Google maps navigation” for a free download.
    Must I back up my tablet?
    You must, if you have data on it that you want to keep permanently. Most tablets now use cloud computing to accomplish this chore (hooking to a larger server elsewhere). Back-up apps coming with devices often include an automatic process that makes the chore effortless. You can still manually back up by hooking your device to a computer via USB and dragging and dropping folders.
    Page 2 of 2 - Can I speed up sending files from my PC to my Kindle?
    Amazon.com months ago released a useful tool called SendToKindle. This free utility lets you right click on a file and send it directly to your Kindle. It’s handy for those who upload e-books to their PC and then download them to their reader. It also works on Web pages.

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