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Issue #182: January 16, 2011

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This past week, on my Yahoo! home page, a yellow strip appeared at the bottom, advertising a game application called “Fishville” by Zynga.  Looking at the description, it sounded like it might be a fun little diversion, so I considered installing it on my page.  However, I quickly put on the brakes when I read their caveats under “What am I sharing? (and other legal information)”.  BE WARNED!  When you agree to use Fishville (or, apparently, any other apps Zynga’s offers through your MyYahoo! page), you are agreeing to give Zynga near total access to your Yahoo! account, including your Yahoo! Messenger account, your Contacts data, permission to read AND WRITE TO your public AND PRIVATE profile, permission to read AND WRITE TO your social relationships with people, and the ability to read AND UPDATE your Yahoo! status message.  I personally find it abhorrent that a company is demanding this level of access just to play a few games.  The Geek’s advice: get away from these apps as fast as you can.  There is no telling what Zynga (or worse, a rogue Zynga employee) might do with any data they glean via the incredibly irresponsible access they are demanding.  This has been a public service announcement from The Geek.  We now return you to your regularly scheduled newspaper column.

Q: I have a question, but first I must tell you how much I enjoyed your Christmas display. I was privileged to be able to watch the performance more than once. You are blessed with one of His great gifts and also your wife who when I was there handed out the little glow sticks to the children. What a nice remembrance for them too. Thank you so much for sharing your skills. Now to my question: it deals with Power Point slides. I do a lot of Power Point slides for my family and friends. I put sounds and music on them to coincide with sections of slides. My problem is that instead of downloading them to a USB flash drive and having to send the flash drive to them, I would like to be able to send them as an email attachment. The email attachment slides work just fine on their pc’s and lap tops, but NOT THE MUSIC.  Is there a way to insert my songs into the slides so that they can view this with the music? 

– Patricia N.
Fort Walton Beach, Fla

A: Thanks for the kind words on the Geek Lights on the Corner.  Anyone who has been reading the column for any length of time knows just how big a part of my Christmas it is to produce the show.  It is a huge undertaking, and it is always nice to hear from someone who was touched by it.

You can indeed include your sound files directly in your PowerPoint documents, but only if they are not too large.  I’m going to assume you’re using PowerPoint 2007, but you’ll find a similar configuration item under the Options settings of other versions.  In 2007, click on the circle button on the left of the tool ribbon, and select “PowerPoint Options”.  Select “Advanced” and scroll all the way down.  Second from the bottom, you’ll see an option to link or embed sound files based on their size.  “Link” means keep the file external, and just refer to it when needed.  The default is to link to any files that are bigger than 100K bytes in size, which is probably most of your audio.  The maximum file size you can embed is 50,000k, or about 50 megs.

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