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Issue #424: September 6–12, 2015

Q: A lot of times when I am surfing the web, a message pops up at the bottom of the screen saying “Internet Explorer blocked a popup from”. It’s good that IE blocks the popups but it seems to make my computer hesitate while the popup is trying to open. Is there any way to stop Voicefive from attempting the popups? I am running Windows 8.1.

– Leon W.
Odessa, Texas

A: Yes, there is, Leon. VoiceFive is a market research company that lures people in through the promise of earning cash and prizes by participating in surveys. At some point you, or someone else who uses your computer agreed to allow them access to your computer. Unfortunately, the software that VoiceFive installs acts more like adware, popping up notifications and being a general nuisance, instead of patiently waiting for you to go and take surveys when you want to.

The actual steps to completely eradicate VoiceFive’s software from your system are too comprehensive for me to repeat here, but you can find them online without too much difficulty. You can find one example at

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 Q: The internet is fast approaching TV as a source for news information. Are there any internet sources you would recommend as reliable?

– Gerald M.
Fort Walton Beach, Florida

A: That’s an interesting question, Gerald. In cogitating on an answer, it struck me that the answer may be different depending on what device one is using to access the Internet. Also, the decision of which sources one might consider “reliable” are going to be strongly affected by one’s political leanings. For example, if you tend towards conservative, or Republican, you might choose Fox News or The Drudge Report, while if you’re more liberal, or Democrat, you might choose CNN, MSNBC, etc. Any major news source these days has multiple media outlets, including websites, cable/satellite channels, and smartphone/tablet apps.

One thing I like about getting my news through the Internet are news aggregators. These are websites or apps that get news feeds from multiple sources and present them through a unified interface. For example, on my PC browser, one of the tabs that automatically opens for my Home Page is Google News, which I have customized with my own preferences. It gathers news from various sources all over the globe, and presents only the categories I want to see. On my iPhone I have dedicated apps installed for ABC News, Fox News, USA Today, the Drudge Report, TMZ, Fox 10 TV, Yahoo News, CNN, MSNBC, and others (I like to keep an open mind, though I do have a definite political bent). I also have a few news aggregator apps installed. I have one called Stitcher that gets various radio feeds, and another called Hourly News, which gets the kind of “Top of the Hour” news reports that you hear on many FM radio stations. I have it programmed to play about 10 different feeds, so every time I run it, I get about 15 minutes of audio news, and it updates hourly. When I’m working on something, I like to run it and just set my phone where I can listen. One final note: many news apps have the ability to send a notification to your phone. This feature is widely used when important, breaking news occurs. When you’re linked-in like that, you can be among the first to know something is going on, and if it’s important to you, you can go to the Internet for more information.

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