Find old friends online without using Facebook |

Find old friends online without using Facebook

Question: I’m organizing a reunion, and I’m trying to track down a few old schoolmates of mine from way back. I tried Facebook, but came up empty. Where else can I look?

Answer: Even with 1.3 billion users, Facebook isn’t always the best place to hunt down people, especially if they have common names. Instead, try a people search site like PeekYou or Spokeo. These collect public information on people, including names, phone numbers, email addresses, current addresses and even where they used to live. This gives you a better shot of finding someone.

Make a security camera

Q: I think my roommate is sneaking into my room when I’m at school, but I don’t want to accuse her without proof. It would be great to have a security camera to watch my room while I’m out, but I don’t have money to buy one. Do you have any suggestions for something cheaper?

A: If you have a spare smartphone or tablet around, you can turn it into a motion-activated security camera with an app such as Salient Eye (Android, free) or Manything (Apple, free). Just set the gadget on a stand, point the camera at the door and you’ll get instant alerts when someone enters the room.

Smartphone photo tip

Q: Are there any tricks to getting better photos with a smartphone?

A: One thing a lot of people get wrong is using the digital zoom to get close to their subject. This feature doesn’t actually “zoom” like a high-end camera; it just blows up the existing image and crops it, which reduces image quality. You’re better off moving your feet to get in closer.

Check for spying

Q: I heard on your radio show how the government is spying on people, and it got me really worried. How do I know if I’m one of the people being tracked?

A: The government has some very powerful spy viruses, including two called FinFisher and Hacking Team RCS.

These viruses have several ways of slipping on to your computer to read your emails, listen in on calls, snoop on you using the computer’s microphone or camera, and more. Fortunately, you can detect them using an open-source program called Detekt.

Email Kim Komando at [email protected].

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.