NWA-PCUG Newsletter Articles 2003

The Northwest Arkansas Personal Computer
User Group

Newsletter Articles


Jan thru Mar - 03

Apr thru Jun - 03

Jul thru Sep - 03

Oct thru Dec - 03

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October thru December - 2003

December - 2003
  • Internet Help
    Many technical help and price comparison links
  • President's Corner - by Dale Oliver, President
    Recap of November meeting -- Q & A session
  • Jalbum, A Photo Album Generator - by John Clark, WebMaster
  • Computer News & Updates - by Ira Wilsker
  • A Review on TaxAct 2003 - by Gilbert Jay
  • Digital Cameras for the Holiday Season - by Ira Wilsker
  • Behind the Scenes with Disk Defragmenter - by HAL PC "Bob the modem guy"
    Have you ever wondered what happens with Disk Defragmenter with its reorganizing of files?
  • How To Make the Toolbar Y0UR Toolbar - by Patricia Hill
    Customize your toolbar for greater productivity and fun
  • Heard on the Internet - Humor
  • The Deals Column - by Bob Click, The Dealsguy
      Who Would Have Thought? Ringing Cell phones igniting fumes while refueling your car?
      Just Some Comments regarding the cruise
      Who's Next? - Symantec and PowerQuest
      A Show I Love To Hate - working Direct Marketing Assoc. Trade Show
      Correction - to last month's screensaver's URL
      Still Good - that great Serif Offer
      Enough Of Those Darn CC Offers
      More On Long Distance Deals
  • SideBar #1 - CDR Longivety
    Are the CDRs created for safe keeping still reliable? Fred Langa's LangaList newsletter discusses approaches to checking them and stretching longivety
  • SideBar #2 - Bargains - by David Hinds, Vice President
    See advertised bargains prior to showing up in newspaper circulars
  • SideBar #3 - Virus in System Restore Files - by Robert Davis
    Removing a virus from the system restore files
  • PowerQuest Products Special Discounts - by Gene Barlow (Not in hardcopy newsletter)
    Email from Gene notifying of discounts prior to the merger with Symantec
  • O'reilly Publishing User Group Features - by Marsee Henon (Not in hardcopy newsletter)
    Email from Marsee notifying of User Group features including 20% discount on all books
  • November - 2003
  • Internet Help
    Many technical help and price comparison links
  • President's Corner - by Dale Oliver, President
    Reca of October meeting -- PC Maintenance
      Uncheck most all items in the MSCONFIG Startup Tab
      Defragment that hard drive -- OFTEN
      Run Scandisk
      Minimize items in the Quick Launch Bar
      Keep only those icons on the desktop that you use on a daily basis
    Also a note on the new Wireless Internet Access service in NWA
  • The Recipe - by Ed Maxey
    Want to hide that Network Neighborhood icon?
  • Feeling Annoyed With Your PC? Fight Back! - by Steve Bass
    "Steve Bass tackles six of his most irritating annoyances - from the dumb logos manufacturers plaster on screen during bootup to removing weird lines in Word."
      System Restore on Your Desktop
      Remove weird lines in Word
      Stop annoying crash reports
      Big hard drive corruption
      Stop quick launch pop-ups
      Ban annoying boot logos
  • Lockergnome's Win XP Tips - by Chris Pirillo
      Windows update transfer details
      Driver queries and wasted space
      Built-in spell checker
      Compact flash formatting
      Media access control
  • Would You Like Printer Repair With Your Order? - by Mark Presky
    "Hunger contributed to the repair of my inkjet printer."
  • The Value of Removable Hard Drives - by Allan Pogensky
    One of the most frequent topics on any newsgroup...or when users get together is what's the best strategy for backing up one's hard drive? In my opinion, the best backup system...is having two removable hard drives."
  • Archiving Genealogy Information in a Generic Fashion - by Richard Robusto
    "It's challenging to find a way to preserve our genealogy information in a manner in the near and distant future, our descendants will be able to access it in a timely and understandable manner."
  • The Deals Column - by Bob Click, The Dealsguy
      Dave Whittle's special offers still good.
      Let freedom ring - flag screensavers.
      Free software that is also popular (PagePlus, DrawPlus, PhotoPlus, etc.)
  • SideBar - USB 2.0 Transfer Rates
    Get the full USB 2.0 speed you paid for (480 Mb/s).
  • October - 2003
  • Internet Help
    Many technical help and price comparison links
  • President's Corner - by Dale Oliver, President
    Recap of September meeting -- Partition Backup
      PowerQuest's PartitionMagic 8, Drive Image 7, and Norton's Ghost. And... user group discounts on PowerQuest products, at least for the time being.
  • In Memoriam
    It's with sadness we report the passing of member James Bohannan and Philanthropist Bernice Young Jones
  • Glitch - by Ed Maxey
    Ed offers a revision to his June 2003 "A Notebook Burner Upgrade" article.
  • Attack of the Worms - by Ira Wilsker
    Blaster and Sobig-F broke all records for the speed of dissemination and the numbers of computers infected.
  • What We Should Have Learned By Now - by Ira Wilsker
    View suspicious emails using web mail, in text only, not HTML, without physically downloading them.
    Free Mailwasher from Firetrust to identify email that possibly contains spam or viruses.
  • eBay Hints and Tips - by Cathy Margolin
    The largest global marketplace with very low entry cost. Tons of new and used and collectable items are bought and sold every day. Buying and selling tips are provided.
  • Intel Pentium 4 3.06GHZ - by Dennis Kemper
    Experiences with a new high speed Intel Pentium chip.
  • Would You Like an Upgrade With That? - by Gary Inglish
    OK, so what's the deal about installing upgrades vs full versions of software?
  • The Big Debate - Fire Wire vs USB 2.0 - by Cade Metz
    Both are rated at comparable speeds, so which one should you use? Is it worth upgrading from USB 1.1 to 2.0? Will a FireWire card deliver faster speeds for your peripherals? How about an external hard drive?
  • The Beige Box is DOA, or Is It? - by Robert Newcombe
    Is the beige box dead? The author builds one from scratch.
  • The Deals Column - by Bob Click, The Dealsguy
      Russ Walter's book "The Secret Guide to Computers"
      Masque Publishing's "A Computerized One Armed Bandit"
    Our Friend Dave is Baaaack -- User group discounts on Intel, iSeeMedia, 3D Album, muvee, and Alpha Software
    Do Much Long Distance Calling? Try http://www.bigzoo.com for 2.9 & 3.9 cents, http://www.onesuite.com for 24/7 at 2.5 & 2.9 cents, or http://www.gtctelecom.com for 24/7 at 5 cents.
  • SideBar - Protect Your PC - by Ed Bott (This article not in hard copy newsletter)
    Excerpt from Microsoft Windows Security Inside Out for Windows XP/2000 by Ed Bott and Carl Siechert

    "The recent Blaster and Sobig.F fiascos made us realize that not everyone has read our book and heeded our advice! Having been besieged by worried readers wanting to know how they can protect themselves from viruses, worms, and hackers, Ed adapted material from an updated excerpt of our book and created an easy-to-follow, four-step program that should help any user at any level."
    óCarl Siechert, co-author, Microsoft Windows Security Inside Out.
    Find it at: http://pcgroup.nwark.com/protcta3.htm
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    July thru September - 2003

    September - 2003
  • Internet Help
    Many technical help and price comparison links
  • President's Corner - by Dale Oliver, President
    Recap of August meeting -- More on Backing Up
      Keep data documents in a single folder tree
      Scan for viruses prior to backing up
      Keep backup media (diskette, CD, tape, DVD, etc) offsite
      Backup media types most discussed, along with ballpark costs, capacities, and comparative pros & cons
        USB Memory Stick
        CD-ROM disc
        DVD ROM disc
        Additional Hard Drive
        Tape Drive
  • My New Tool Box - USB Flash Storage Drive - by John Clark, WebMaster
    Funtionally it's just an USB pluggable hard drive, recognized by XP and ME with no problem; SE needs a driver
  • Organizing a Digital Darkroom - A Personal Perspective - by Bill Moeller
    Four years ago, more or less, I entered the world of digital photography, wondering whether it would ever replace traditional film photography.
  • Portable Backpack Writes, Reads, DVDs with ease - by Bob Schwabach
    A new Backpack solves the problem of which path to take, and we're not talking about hiking. This Backpack is a portable DVD reader and writer and weighs less than three pounds.
    If you'd rather have a protable hard drive, there's nothing more portable than a "Pockey."
  • More on Spam - Bane of the Internet - by Ira Wilsker
    It's estimated that spam will cost American businesses over $10 billion this year...
  • Windows XP Guides Review - by John Weigle
    Four books I've read to learn about the XP operating system.
  • Browser Fun and Games - by Steve Bass
    Tweak Internet Explorer for Fun and Productivity
  • Deep Thoughts
    Any resemblance between.... (You know the rest -- something about coincidental)
  • The Deals Column - by Bob Click, The Dealsguy
    Has This Kind of Stuff Made You Mad?
    Shorter Column Format
    Let There Be Justice
    Still Good - Sane Solution's "NetTracker"
    This Author is Unusual - The Secret Guide To Computers" by Russ Walter
    Let The Gaming Begin! - A Computerized One Armed Bandit
  • SideBar -- Three Interesting URLs
  • August - 2003
  • Internet Help
    Many technical help and price comparison links
  • Vice President's Column - by David Hinds, Vice President
    Recap of July meeting -- Backup Basics
  • PowerQuest Announces Drive Image v7 & V2i Protector Desktop Edition - by Gene Barlow
    Two great new backup utilities from PowerQuest. Unlike their predecessors these always run in Windows, never booting to DOS. V2i Protector also includes the ability to do incremental image backups. Two CD training discs are also included. The ultimate in backup and at user group discounts! A must read. (This article not included in hardcopy newsletter)
  • A Clever Scam - by Norm Koehring
    As Norm says, "Stay Vigilant!" Careful scrutiny usually gives a clue.
  • Start Here to Transform the Windows Start Menu - by Steve Bass
    "Customizing the Start Menu is a Snap"
  • Spam -- Bone of the Internet - by Ira Wilsker
    "I hate it; I absolutely hate it. I open my email in the morning and find up to 100 email solicitations offering illegal cable TV descramblers, cheap prescription drugs without a prescription, devices and treatments for "personal enhancement", university degrees without attending class, voyeuristic opportunities, and the infamous offers of easy riches from the family members of deceased Nigerian dictators." Sound familiar????
  • To Linux or Not to Linux... - by Nancy Cristoclear
    "Should you or shouldn't you take the plunge? First, what are your expectations? OK, the next thing we will consider is your skill level. Then, there are the Unix commands. Lastly, what is your goal for your Linux system?"
  • Uses for old CDs - by Gordon Woolf
    "What do you do with that pile of now useless CDs? Frisbees? coasters? crocheted covers for absorbic coasters? If anyone has better ideas let me know...."
  • Hunt for the Lost Font - by Mick Topping
    "Did you ever lose a font? Web searching on 'lost font' turned up 300+ pages. I guess I'm not alone in losing fonts? How do I find the one I was using????"
  • Database Nation: The Death of Privacy in the 21st Century - by Simson Garfinkel -- Reviewed by Ron Feiertag
    "When it comes to privacy, Simson Garfinkel wrote the book. He makes it clear that privacy is not dead, that our privacy is worth preserving, and that we can act to defend our right to privacy."
  • The Deals Column - by Bob Click, The Dealsguy
    Alas, It's Another Goodbye From a Great User Group Supporter
    Eliminating The Competition
    Ink Jet Deal Is Jetting Back Again - Good until the end of the year.
    It's Not Free This Time, But Its Still A Bargain
    What's Going On Your Web Site?
    Talk About Tweaking! TweakUI, that is.
  • SideBar -- Change Case (of filenames) Need to change the case of multiple filenames (hundreds or thousands) quickly? Maybe to be compatible with Unix for the Internet? or just for esthetic reasons. Then here's your program.
  • July - 2003
  • Internet Help
    Many technical help and price comparison links
  • Vice President's Column - by David Hinds, Vice President
    David shares with us the results of the Interest Groups survey taken at the previous meeting.
  • Ultimate Backup - by Warner Mach
    Backup by partition imaging to a second hard drive, or "Why can't you buy standard PC's with multiple removable hard drives?"
  • Siegel Reports - by George Siegel
    This month George tackles dumb applications he can do without, provides a way to prevent virus attacks and tell users how to avoid hoaxes.
  • Watch Out For Fizzer - by Ira Wilsker
    Another dangerous computer Worm. "The Fizzer worm, one of hundreds of newly created computer viruses and worms may reach endemic proportions if more of us do not protect out computers from its potentially damaging payload."
  • Requiem For a Mouse - by E.M. Hazell
    "Did you check the batteries?"
  • Ask Not What You Can Do For Your Computer, But What Your Computer Can Do For You - by Elise M. Edgell
    "I would really like to hear from anyone who is using or knows of interesting programs or devices that can be used to improve the quality of life for so many of us."
  • Security Test Online - Fraud or Not? - by Greg West
    One user's experience testing "Shields-Up" (http://www.grc.com)
  • Right Click: Try It, You May Like It - by Les J. Kiser
    "My friends, there was a time long ago..." "When the rodent arrived and we plugged its tail into the PC, many advances came."
  • Path Copy - submitted by John Clark
    Copy the path of a file or folder into the clipboard in any of many methods.
  • The Deals Column - by Bob Click, The Dealsguy
    To clarify things
    Bob's taxes with AARP saga
    Watch that power rating
    APC uninterruptable power supplies overloaded?
    Another warning
    File sharing sites contaminated?
    TeleZapper update
    Coping with Telemarketers?
    Lets shrink it -- PicoZip, a compression utility for $40 discount http://www.picozip.com
    Need a web host? Matt McCann. $9.95 per year
  • SideBar -- Interest Groups!
    New at the July 19th meeting will be Interest Groups, which will be discussion groups immediately following the program. (see Vice President's column above) Groups will be formed based on common interests as determined by members at the meeting. Interests will be selected at each meeting, which may or may not be the same week to week. Be there to offer the subject(s) you want to discuss.
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    April thru June - 2003

    June - 2003
  • Internet Help
    Many technical help and price comparison links
  • President's Column - by Dale Oliver, President
    Recap of May meeting covering Data Security through RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks)
  • Digital Camera RoundTable - Chaired by Thornton Jacobs
    We're pleased that Thornton offered to chair this roundtable. He brings over 50 years experience in photography and requests that digital cameras AND manuals be brought to the roundtable. However, those that don't have digital cameras but are interested, are welcome.
  • Back to Back-Up - by Bob Schwabach
    "Acronis TrueImage 6.0" for Windows backs up the whole drive while in Windows.
  • Sony DSC-F717 - A Digital camera review by Bill Moeller
    With 5 megapixel resolution, Zeiss optics, and Sony electronics, images up to full page are very impressive when printed on a photo quality printer.
  • A Notebook Burner UpGrade - by Ed Maxey
    If the manufacturer doesn't provide the upgrade you want, make your own (literally)
  • Homeland Security on the Net - by Ira Wilsker
    It is imperative that we get our important and critical information from reputable sources, and not from spam emails or rumormongers.
  • Windows UpGrade Options - by Michael Horowitz
    A comprehensive review of the pros and cons of the many ways of upgrading Windows.
  • The Deals Column - by Bob Click, The Dealsguy
      Beware If You Remodel a Dell
      Need Memory? I think I Do, But Cant't Remember
      Plenty of Choices for an Office Suite
      Mac Choices
      Fed Up With Doubleclick Cookies?
      Free Photo Editor
  • SideBar
  • May - 2003
  • Internet Help
    Many technical help and price comparison links
  • Vice President's Report - by David Hinds, Vice President
    Recap of April Meeting Presentation - Partition Magic v8
    User Group members visit PowerQuest's secure website, http://www.ugr.com/order/ for discounted prices on all software
  • Hello, PR? or Back Door Tech Help - by Steve Bass, Pasadena IBM PC Users Group
    Bass Shows Alternative Ways to Get Help
    Digital Camera articles:
  • Doh! Avoiding Self-Inflicted Computer Disasters - by Alan Luber
    Author of PC Fear Factor: The Ultimate PC Disaster Prevention Guide
  • Tech TALK - by Brian Jacobs
    Sometimes doing 'simple' things with a Windows computer aren't so simple after all
  • The Deals Column - by Bob Click, The Dealsguy
    Maybe using the 'cheapskate' method to prepare your tax return isn't the cheapest after all
    Update from Linda Barlow (PowerQuest)
    How Much Hot Water Does It Take To Get Hot Water?
    More About the Show (FACUG, Florida Association of Computer Users Groups)
  • SideBar - Disk Investigator T - by Robert Lewis
    Discover all that is hidden on your hard disk and recover lost data
  • April - 2003
  • Internet Help
    Many technical help and price comparison links
  • Vice President's Report - by David Hinds, Vice President
    Recap of March Meeting Presentation - General Q&A
      Current hoaxes,scams, and viruses; example: Ethiopian
      Upgrading anti-viruses
      Copying MP3 files
      Error using Windows setup with Windows Me
      Blank areas in web sites
  • PowerQuest's Partition Magic v8 - A Review by David Hinds, Vice President
    PowerQuest's latest hard drive management program, without losing data
  • Professor Teaches Office XP - A Review by Bill Shook, Editor
    Very user friendly and comprehensive tutorials on eleven MS Office XP programs (on 8 CD discs): Word 2002, Excel 2002, PowerPoint 2002, Outlook 2002, Access 2002, Publisher 2002, FrontPage 2002, and Windows 2000, Me, and XP Home and Professional.
    Also, Individual Software, developers of Professor Teaches Office XP, has just announced a DISCOUNT PROGRAM for user groups on 6 selected products which includes Professor Teaches Office XP and extends through May 2nd. Descriptions, prices and ordering procedures can be found at: http://pcgroup.nwark.com/discnt43.htm
  • Spies - by Bob Schwabach
    Find lots of Spy programs on your hard drive with SpyBot and AdAware
  • Software Download Sources - by Ira Wilsker
    View and/or download many free or almost free programs and information, primarily from http://www.Download.com and http://www.Tucows.com
  • The Truth About Mail-in Rebates - by Roger Poverny
    Nine steps to ensure getting back every one of those pesky rebates
  • Linux vs Windows - by Jim Haynes
    Comparing costs, usability, standardization, security, new hardware, the best of two worlds, rumors and falsehoods
  • Just For Grins - From Langalist newsletter
    News in PHYSICS: A new element discovered
  • The Deals Column - by Bob Click, The Dealsguy
    An Old Deal Resurfaced: Drive Rescue
    Zap those Telemarketers: trick the Predictive Dialer
    Backup Solutions for you are on sale: Centurian Guard
    Everything You Wanted To Know, and Also Things You Never Wanted To Know
  • SideBar - CORRECTION! - by Thornton Jacobs
    A Correction in the Drive Copy availability statement in the Drive Image review article in February newsletter
    (The following are not included in the hardcopy newsletter)
    • "eBay for Begineers", - by Michael Miller and Que Publishing and brought to us by Amy Sorokas.
      Book excerpt: Absolute Beginner's Guide to eBay. This chapter covers getting up and running on eBay from registration to fees and can be found at: http://pcgroup.nwark.com\ebay--43.htm
    • "Web Pages for Beginners, - by Todd Stauffer and Que Publishing and also brought to us by Amy Sorokas.
      Book excerpt: Absolute Beginner's Guide to Creating Web Pages, 2nd Edition.
      This chapter covers the tools needed for creating a Web page and acquiring server space to host the site and can be found at: http://pcgroup.nwark.com/web---43.htm
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    January thru March - 2003

    March - 2003
  • Internet Help
    Many technical help and price comparison links
  • President's Column - by Dale Oliver, President
    Recap of February Meeting Presentation - Setting Up a Cost- Effective Linux Computer
  • Quicken Premier 2003 - A Review by Betty Davis, Past President
    Many improvements. A must read.
  • New Year's Resolutions & Your Computer - by Ira Wilsker
    Most of us make New Year's resolutions, but unfortunately, we often neglect resolutions that can make our computing more enjoyable, productive, efficient, and secure.
  • Random Access Memory - by Bob Elgines
    A history of PC Ram memory from the ferrite iron core to today's RAMBUS/RIMM/RDRAM modules.
  • Use Your CD Drive More Productively - by Ira Wilsker
    Some good tips for better using our CD drives, or "burners."
  • Ants in My Hub - by Paul Lujan
    This has got to amaze you.
  • Advice on Digital Camera - from Coastal Area User Group
    A club president getting advice from a few members through email - sounds like a typical PC Users Group?
  • The Deals Column - by Bob Click, The Dealsguy
    Dr.-Dr., Where Art thou
    And Now For The Deals
      You Could Take This Keyboard Scuba Diving.
      You'll Come Clean With this One - The Lenspen optical lens cleaning system.
      Do You Need A fix? BigFix.com, that is.
  • SideBar - RETIRED! V.P. David Hinds
    (The following are not included in the hardcopy newsletter)
  • February - 2003
  • Internet Help
    Many technical help and price comparison links
  • President's Column - by Dale Oliver, President
    Recap of January Meeting Presentation - Linux vs Windows - Under the Hood
  • Our Loss - The passing of Arvest Lawson
  • Meeting dates for the remaining months in 2003
  • Drive Image 2002 - by Thornton Jacobs
    The latest in the PowerQuest Drive Image Series: when you need it, it can save you from having a really bad hair day.
  • NetMeeting - by David Hinds, Vice President
    Setting up NetMeeting in XP.
  • BugBear - by BillShook, Editor
    Have You Had Your Turn Yet?
  • New Computer Viruses Are Deadlier Than Ever - submitted by Pat McAlister, Secretary
    A couple of bad ones: Simile D or Etap D and Perrun. Use an anti- virus program and STAY UPDATED.
  • M3U - by Ed Maxey, Past President
    So you have a folder with hundreds of songs and wish to make a list file which will play all of them...
  • Outrageous Help Desk Stories - reproduction coordinated by Steve Bass
    From the Help Desk of a company that would rather stay anonymous.
  • W(help)! - by Judy Lococco, APCUG Past President
    My youngest bitch, "Boots", was nesting, and we were all eagerly anticipating the new arrivals...
  • The Deals Column - by Bob Click, The Dealsguy
    Speaking of viruses: eCards - Have you received one yet?
    Viralock deal still good, as is SpamNet.
    Tax Time - look at 2nd Story Software's TaxAct (download is FREE). (See Gilbert Jay's review in our November 2002 newsletter.)
    Can't Afford Acrobat? Then there's Jaws PDF Creator
    Sort of a Swiss Army Knife For Your Computer: Try Total Commander, formerly Windows Commander
  • SideBar #1 - Run programs in XP in 95/98/ME Compatibility Mode - by John Clark, WebMaster
  • SideBar #2- Wait...and Wait...and Wait...etc. - from Langalist newsletter
  • January - 2003
  • Internet Help
    Many technical help and price comparison links
  • OpenOffice/StarOffice 6 vs MS Office - by Ken Hreha
    Recap of November Meeting Presentation
  • ArtIcons - by John Clark, WebMaster
    Easy to make your own icons from most any type of file.
  • Your Old PC - Keep it or Dump It - by Steve Bass
    Bass explores the hassle of giving away your PC
  • Computing Factoids - by Steve Bass
    Unrelated things picked up in e-mail that are terrific
    but not long enough for an article. Here are 2 of them.
  • MP3s Aren't Just Music Anymore - by David Navratil
    Itching to record Old Time Radio Shows (OTRs)? i.e., Amos & Andy, Fibber McGee & Molly, etc? Here's how, with a number of web sites to download them from.
  • Lockergnome's Win XP Tips - by Chris Pirillo
    Five XP tips from a highly regarded author and tech/tv host
      Windows Update Transfer Details
      Driver Queries and Wasted Space
      Built-in Spell Checker
      CompactFlash Formatting
      Media Access Control
  • Your First Sale - by Morris Rosenthal
    Starting & running your own PC business
  • A Computer Adventure - Final Chapter - by John Hoffmann
    Planning, building and trouble shooting your own computer, with a few web sites to get you started.
  • The Deal Column - by Bob Click, The Dealsguy
      Happenings at fall Comdex: Comments on Casady & Greene,
      Microsoft, PDAs, Mercedes, Tablet PC, Toshiba, DVD, etc.
      Gear Software
      Backup for Your AntiVirus Protection
      An Interesting Spam Tool - SpamNet
  • SideBar - No One at Home
    "Thieves Using Cyber-Methods to Commit Brick-and-Mortar Crime." (through email) It may be of interest.
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