News and Notes

Check your HP laptop for a battery recall. See cute pictures of kittens. Readers comment on Works to Word files and speed tests.

HP just recalled laptop batteries. Again.

HP recalled 41,000 batteries last June, and last week they expanded the recall to include another 101,000 batteries sold in the USA, Canada, and Mexico between March 2013 and October 2016. HP’s recall notice states that these batteries pose a fire and burn hazard.

Visit that page to learn if your battery is included in the recall, and if it is, take the precautions listed there: Stop using the battery right now. (You can continue to use the laptop by removing the battery and connecting the power supply.)

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission notification is here.

You can get a Chrome extension that turns Trump into kittens

Well, not literally. The Make America Kittens Again extension for Google Chrome turns pictures of President Trump into pictures of kittens. It doesn’t work on every picture, and it doesn’t work on videos. But it significantly reduces the number of pictures of Donald Trump you’ll see.

To get MAKA:

  • Open Chrome
  • Click on the three dots at the top right to expand the Menu
  • Click on Settings
  • On the Settings page, click on Extensions
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on Get more extensions
  • Search Make America Kittens Again
  • Follow the prompts to add the extension

When you’re finished, you’ll see a red hat in the top of the Chrome window. I had to restart Chrome to make the extension work.

Sadly, you can’t Make America Kittens Again on Facebook. But you can use the Social Fixer app for Chrome or Firefox to create a filter that will hide all the posts about Trump (or any other person, place, or thing).

I mentioned Social Fixer in and earlier column. I’m still using it, and I still like it.

More on Works to Word and speed tests

Lots of feedback on the last couple of columns! Regarding The Need for Speed, reader Al writes:

You could help people (and ISPs) more by explaining the need to test their speed at different locations to better understand their speed.

  • Speed where they normally use their device(s).
  • Speed near their Wifi Router.
  • Speed on a wired connection to their router.

If wired speed is close to their plan, but speed near their Wifi router is poor, maybe time for a router upgrade.

If speed near their Wifi router is good, but poor at their normal location, it may be that the router location should be relocated or they may need an extender.

Great tip!

And regarding the column on Works vs Word files, long-time reader Richard reports that he found and has had great success with a free download of Microsoft Works 9.

Richard downloaded the file, checked it with Malwarebytes, installed it, ran it, and found that he could view and edit his Works documents and spreadsheets from versions of Works older than Version 6, and save them in Office-compatible and OpenOffice-compatible formats on his Windows 10 machine.

Will this work on your computer? I have no idea. The folks at Winworld offer this disclaimer:

Disclaimer: Please note that all our downloads are provided free of charge, and come with no guarantees or warranties of any kind. While we will do our best to assist when possible on the forums, we cannot be held liable for any difficulties you may encounter as a result of using this site or the software contained herein.

I heartily endorse Richard’s method of making sure his download is safe before installing it. If you don’t have Malwarebytes on your computer (or even if you do) you can visit the VirusTotal website and check a file or a website to see if it’s safe. Here’s a quick tutorial.

Thank you so much, everyone who wrote, for the excellent information.


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About the Author

The Technology Shaman, Cate Eales, has been helping people make online computing safe, accessible, and fun for over 30 years.

Cate lives in Kelowna with her husband, Eric. She owns and operates Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile computer business providing on-site service for home and small business customers.

Cate is here to help you and your home or business computer get along.

E-mail Cate at [email protected] with comments, suggestions, or questions.

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