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Alexander: Webcam not showing intruders

  • Article by: STEVE ALEXANDER
  • Star Tribune
  • February 21, 2012 - 4:39 PM

QI have a Web camera set up in my condo in Winter Haven, Fla., so that I can tell if anyone enters it when I'm at home in Colliers, W.Va. The camera is supposed to send photos to my e-mail address whenever the Web camera is activated by motion. But I'm not getting the e-mail alerts, even though I know people have entered my Florida condo. The camera is a Cisco Model No. WVC80N. What can I do?

DAVE VELEGOL,

Winter Haven, Fla.

AYou many not have set up your camera as Cisco intended. The camera (also known by the brand name Linksys) is designed to work through an intermediary company, TZO.com, which passes the video from the Florida camera to your e-mail account in West Virginia.

Why? Your Florida Internet service provider may occasionally switch your camera's Internet Protocol (IP) address; TZO.com keeps track of that so that the video transmission isn't interrupted.

Try setting up your camera again. Details can be found at tinyurl.com/76slda7, and a helpful video is at tinyurl.com/83jun8y.

QWhen I signed up for Netflix online, I used a Comcast e-mail address. The next day, Netflix sent e-mails to my AOL address. How'd Netflix get my AOL address?

MARY SWANSON, EDINA

AMaybe it didn't. I suspect that your AOL address received a new scam e-mail that uses the Netflix name to fool people into downloading malicious software. See tinyurl.com/64axkgn and tinyurl.com/73llfh8. If that's the case, it's merely coincidence that you received the scam e-mail right after signing up for Netflix using another e-mail address.

QA friend of mine bought a three-book package on her Kindle e-reader, but only the first book downloaded. What can she do?

GLORIA MAJKA, SYRACUSE, N.Y.

 

AShe could have trouble downloading books if the Kindle has a low battery; is in an area with poor wireless coverage, or hasn't been turned off recently. Try turning the Kindle off, then on again (this works wonders on nearly any type of computer or smartphone). Also charge the battery, and try downloading from a different location. (If the Kindle uses Wi-Fi, get closer to the Wi-Fi antenna; if it uses the 3G cellular network, get closer to a window or go outdoors.)

If those things don't work, you can find more advice at tinyurl.com/6nxmztq.

If none of these do-it-yourself fixes works, there may be a flaw in your friend's Kindle. If so, she has a one-year warranty from the date of purchase. Contact Amazon by filling out the form at tinyurl.com/844buap.

E-mail tech questions to steve.j.alexander@gmail.com, or write to Tech Q&A, 425 Portland Av., Minneapolis, MN 55488. Include name, city and telephone number.

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