How to delete a blank page at the end of a Word document

I can’t even count how many times I’ve had a blank page stuck in the end of my Word documents and fought endlessly to get rid of them. Well today I figured out what’s going on and how to do it.

Word can stick a final paragraph in, especially after a table, and that’s what ends up on that last blank page. To get rid of it:

  1. Click on the ‘file’ tab then go into your options and in the display area make sure ‘Show all formatting marks’ is checked.
  2. Select the marker for that final paragraph
  3. Right click on the selection and click ‘paragraph’
  4. In the ‘spacing’ category set both the before and after spacing to 0
  5. With the paragraph marker still selected click on the font size and type 1 (it’s not on the little dropdown list of font sizes you can select so you have to type it in).

This has fixed it for me many times – but not always. If that doesn’t work, you can still see where that final paragraph marker is that is forcing the last page to show up so then you can try things like making other paragraphs on the last page smaller or make the bottom margin a bit smaller.

It’s easy to protect yourself from today’s biggest online threat: Phishing safety tips.

One of the most common ways cybercriminals attack their victims these days is phishing. In fact, in the first three quarters of 2015 the Anti Phishing Working Group reports the total number of unique phishing sites was 630,494. So while it’s increasingly common, the good news is it’s beatable, and it’s fairly easy to protect yourself.

Phishing (pronounced “fishing”) is a kind of identity theft. By using fake websites and false emails, these criminals attempt to steal your personal data – usually credit card numbers or login information for financial sites.

Criminals gain this information by sending you links to sites that look like sites you trust, like online banking or social networks, and then steal your data as you enter it in those fake websites. The most commonly spoofed sites are PayPal and Amazon, but banking sites and other retail sites like eBay are also commonly used sites.

Protect yourself.

Be wary of emails asking for confidential information, and especially financial information. Legitimate organisations will never request sensitive information via email, and banks will tell you to go to their site yourself and login, rather than clicking a link in an email.

Don’t get pressured into providing sensitive information. Phishers like to use scare tactics, and may threaten to disable an account or delay services until you update certain information. Be sure to contact the merchant directly to confirm the authenticity of their request.

Here are a few tips to keep you safe:

  1. Guard against spam. Be especially cautious of emails that come from unrecognized senders or ask you to confirm personal or financial information over the Internet and/or make urgent requests for this information.
  2. Only communicate personal information by phone or secure web sites. Pay close attention to the URL – the web address in your browser. If you see anything you think is unusual give them a call.
  3. When conducting online transactions check to see that the site you’re on is secure. Look for a lock icon on the browser’s status bar, or an “https:” URL whereby the “s” stands for “secure” (rather than a “http:”)
  4. Never click on links, download files or open attachments in emails from unknown senders. Only open email attachments when you are expecting them and know what they contain, even if you know the sender. If you’re not sure, ask the sender before opening.
  5. Pay close attention to emails and read them carefully. Watch for the warning signs like subject lines that seem odd, spelling or grammatical errors, and even a sender address that seems odd.
  6. Never email personal or financial information, even if you are close with the recipient. You never know who may gain access to your email account, and email may not always be completely secure.
  7. Be wary of pop-up windows, and never enter personal information in a pop-up window.
  8. Check your online accounts and bank statements regularly to ensure that no unauthorized transactions have been made since you only have a certain amount of time to report fraudulent charges to your bank or credit card company.

Lastly, remember that phishing isn’t always done by computer. Beware of phone phishing schemes as well – never divulge personal information over the phone unless you make the call. Be cautious of emails that ask you to call a phone number to update your account information as well.

So it is not lightly that I say I might just have to find a new hobby. We bought an iPad and I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed reading on it. The ability to have several books with me at all times, and the much lower price of the books was very attractive. There was also the fact that I could keep copies of those books on my iPhone, meaning I’d have them with me whenever I had 5 minutes to read.

Over time, though, I’ve found some limitations that had me back in the bookstore. The iPad was heavy, it�s very hard to read in bright light, and its high price means you have to be very careful with it.

But then we bought a Kindle. When Amazon introduced a wi-fi version with a $139 price tag I was intrigued. Though I found the iPad difficult to read for long stretches, the convenience of having all your books with me at all times almost outweighed the drawbacks.

Having used the Kindle, I’m now completely sold on dedicated e-book readers. They have all the advantages of the iPad, and address many of its limitations:

  1. Almost perfect screen. The Kindle’s electronic paper display (EPD) looks strikingly like reading a printed page. It is remarkably easy to read and very easy on the eyes, even for long stretches – especially with the ability to adjust fonts to suit the reader.
  2. Non-reflective screen. Anyone who has ever tried to read an iPad outside in bright light knows it is very hard, and almost impossible for long stretches. The Kindle’s screen, however, isn’t reflective and is very easy to read in these settings.
  3. Very lightweight. One of the real knocks against reading the iPad for a long time is that at over a pound and a half it is heavier than even the longest hardcover books. The Kindle, however, comes in at just over 8 ounces, or less than the weight of most magazines.
  4. Ridiculous battery life. The Kindle’s battery life is reported to be over three weeks (!) without needing a charge. The iPad’s 12 hours seems almost embarrassingly paltry next to that.
  5. VERY cheap. At just $139, it will pay for itself fairly quickly just in the amount we save in lower ebook prices as compared to traditional books. Plus that puts it into the realm of devices I’d take with me to the beach, for example, where it might get broken or stolen. Not so for the iPad.

Microsoft has confirmed that they are downloading Windows 10 to users machines without their consent

Microsoft confirmed today that they Windows 10 is being downloaded to computers whether or not users have opted in and without notifying users. An article in The Inquirer quotes Microsoft as saying:

For individuals who have chosen to receive automatic updates through Windows Update, we help upgradable devices get ready for Windows 10 by downloading the files they’ll need if they decide to upgrade.

In other words, ask for it or not Microsoft is going to drop a 6gb file on your machine – whether or not you have the room for it, and regardless of what kind of internet connection you’re paying for.

So my question is, after watching people lose their minds when Apple automatically downloaded an album of free music, how did they think this would go? Did no one there think that pushing a giant operating system image to people’s computers without notification wouldn’t upset people?? Arguing that this will be more convenient for users doesn’t come anywhere near justifying the hubris of this move, and Microsoft has done their reputation a great deal of easily avoided damage.

Apple bought Beats, but are they going to pay for it down the road too?

Will rumoured proprietary headphones spell the end of the road for the love affair between consumers and Apple?

Apple’s purchase of headphone maker and music streamer Beats has been widely reported recently, with a tremendous amount of speculation onwhy Apple made the purchase. Some of the early betting was on Apple taking Beats’ streaming music service and using the technology to improve lackluster Apple’s iTunes radio.

The sale struck me as odd, but only slightly so. The two companies seem very similar in the sense that they both do a tremendous job of focusing on style, design, and image. And I don’t mean that as an insult as some people do. Apple’s products are some of the best designed on the market, so people justifiably like to show them off – and making them part of their own personal style in the process. People can relate with a company that focuses so much on creating such beautifully built products.

But there’s a new rumour out that would mean the end of the road for me and Apple products. Now pundits are suggesting Beats wasn’t just bought for their streaming music service, and that Apple intends to build headphones with Beats, which also sounded like a good thing at first since Apple’s stock headphones are notoriously bad.

But then new rumours started to swirl saying the new headphones would use Apple’s proprietary lightning connector instead of a standard headphone connector. The stated reason is to improve audio quality – but let’s be honest. Apple isn’t going to fool anyone with that: if they go this route, the sole reason is to build another, very steep wall to keep people in the Apple ecosystem.

For a lot of consumers I believe if they go this route it will be the last straw. There is only so much you can do to consumers to lock them in to your products before they revolt, and this will be it for me. I think consumers will put up with a lot to be able to enjoy good products, but this is too much. Asking me to pay for new headphones when I have great ones already, or making me pay a lot for a big bulky adapter just to be able to use an Apple phone or tablet is just too much. There’s a point where you can push consumers too far and ask too much of them, and I believe this would be it.

Canada’s spam law might not make a massive dent in spam – but it’s still great.

The new Canadian anti-spam law may not mean a whole lot less spam for you, but you should still be happy about it.

A new anti-spam law will take effect on July 1 that regulates commercial emails sent to or from Canadians. It’s one of the strongest such laws in the world, with penalties up to $1million for an individual violator and up to $10million for companies.

The law will make it illegal to send commercial emails without getting permission first, and this will apply to social network and text messages as well. And with those stiff penalties the law should take a huge dent out of the amount of spam Canadians receive, right?

Well, maybe not. Security and spam experts say only 1.3% of the world’s spam is sent from Canada. So even if the law significantly reduces that, we will still continue to get plenty of spam from people all over the world (primarily China, USA, South Korea and Taiwan).

Nonetheless, it’s easy to get over the disappointment of finding out that we won’t wake up to spam-free mailboxes on July 2 when you take a closer look at the law.

The government had to move now because while the overall amount of spam from Canada is still relatively low, it is growing. In 2013 Canada for the first time made the top 20 list of the world’s worst spamming countries, coming in at #14. So the new law and its stiff penalties should stop and ultimately reverse that trend.

One of the most significant aspects of the law (that is receiving strangely little attention) addresses viruses and malware. Under the new law it will be illegal for anyone in Canada to install computer software on a Canadian computer without the consent of the computer’s owner. This means anyone who installs a virus, bot or any other unauthorized program on a Canadian’s computer has broken the law, regardless of what the program does. And for a country with a relatively small population, Canada is one of the world’s top 10 generators of malicious software, cranking out 3.5% of the worlds malicious bots.

Then there’s the problem of phishing, or sending emails designed to look like they come from businesses, financial institutions or government agencies that try to collect personal information like login information or credit card numbers. The new law also makes that illegal.

There is no question that the new law places significant responsibilities on Canadian companies, and a huge lobbying campaign has gone on at some length about that burden, But while it remains to be seen just how much of a burden these new rules will be, what is clear is that this much-needed legislation will take a strong first swing at some very serious issues.

A fascinating post showed up on TechCrunch recently.

The article is worth a read and is actually quite thought-provoking. In short, the premise is that by trying to integrate the app mentality of phones and tablets, computers have short-changed users, resulting in “a junky experience”.

I’m not sure I agree. Looking specifically at Windows 8, there’s not question that the experience is not quite entirely ‘appified’, nor is it entirely a traditional program based experience.

When users think of ‘apps’, they are usually thinking of self-contained little programs that install and run without a whole lot of effort on the part of users. Traditionally programs have required a little more in the way of setup, but offer a lot more in the way of customization and functionality. What will be interesting in this case will be to see how players come down in terms of what they prefer.

Now all that being said, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the DRM issues that have plagued this game. Genuine intellectual property deserves to be protected. But the way that EA has abused their customer’s goodwill is yet another example of how some unethical companies try to abuse the legal system. I won’t go on my standard screed about my hatred for the poorly designed intellectual property laws that allow companies to abuse the system, but suffice it to say this is yet one more example of why intellectual property laws need to be reformed.

Me and 60,000 of my closest friends.

My 3 year-old son loves to play hide and seek. He’s not the most challenging opponent that I’ve played against, but he absolutely loves the game. My ridiculously compeitive nature means that I sometimes struggle to enjoy the game (and supress my urge to coach him), but my mother more than makes up for my shortcomings in this area.

She is officially the hide-and-seek queen of our family, since she plays almost endlessly with our son – who absolutely loves the game. Last week he picked a terrible hiding spot (even by his standards) and she took a second to snap a quick photo.

Why my 3-year-old always looses at hide and seek.

Normally this is where the story ends, but I had a few minutes to kill the other morning and had a copy of the picture on my phone so, when I had finished laughing about it, I posted it to reddit.com. I didn’t think any more of it until my lunch break when I took a quick look at reddit – and noticed that my post had taken on a life of its own.

About 4 hours after posting the story over 4000 people had read it. By the end of the work day, almost 25,000 had read it. As of now (a couple days later) the picture has had almost 60,000 views.

There are some great comments too. “You’re screwed when he gets floor colored shoes.” “That’s why I stopped playing hide-and-seek with 3-year-olds. Well, this and the court order too.” “I know you’re thinking about it, and it may even sound like a good idea on paper but I must insist that you Do Not cut your son’s feet off.”

My initial reaction is amazement. To think that a group of people the size of Fort McMurray has seen a family photo of ours is an odd feeling. On the one hand I feel connected to a larger community, but on the other hand it somehow puts an exclamation point on just how many people there are in the world now.

And I have to confess that I can’t help but wonder about the potential this kind of opportunity presents to businesses. What would a retailer pay for that kind of exposure in one day? What opportunities are available for content providers – who often get far, far higher ratings than my photo – to sell content to online stores. How could an online store generate this kind of exposure?

Will Usage Based Billing kill Google’s Chrome OS in Canada?

As Google hosts it’s I/O conference this week, I can’t help but watch from Canada and wonder what the future of the Chrome OS will be here.

Google appears to be loading the new operating system with innovative new features and functionality that could make it a very useful tool for many Canadians. But it is a true ‘cloud’ OS, meaning that virtually everything you do on your computer goes through the Internet. So the big question for Canadians is, how will we be able to take advantage of these features when our Internet service providers (ISP) seem intent on limiting the amount of bandwidth we can use (or gouging us on our bills if we use too much)?

For example, Google has already launched a tool to integrate it’s Picasa photo service so your photos are stored in the cloud instead of on your computer. They’ve also released some detailed information showing how printing will work with the new OS, and it will mean that every file will be transferred to the cloud before it is printed.

I can see a lot of interesting possibilities for both of these features, and though I’m not an advanced programmer it is clear to even me that cloud features will eat up an awful lot valuable bandwidth – that will cost Canadians a pretty penny if UBB goes ahead.

So, for Google and especially for Canadian consumers, the big question is what the future of these kind of cloud-based initiatives will be in our country if the ISPs who hold a virtual monopoly on Internet access are allowed to implement UBB. Seems to me like that kind of future would look pretty bleak.