Who or what regulates the Internet?

Ask Mr. Modem

Q. Is there a governing body that regulates the Internet in the United States?

A. No one person, company, organization or governmental agency oversees the Internet at this time, though that is certainly subject to change. There are some individuals who feel the Internet should be overseen by the government, much like a public utility. At present, however, it is a globally distributed network comprised of many voluntarily interconnected autonomous networks. It operates without a central governing body with each constituent network setting and enforcing its own policies. However, to help ensure its operation, several key technical and policy aspects of the underlying structure and the principal “name spaces” are administered by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which is headquartered in Los Angeles. ICANN is a very influential agency whose employees adhere to the philosophy, “ICANN if I think ICANN.”

Q. Where does Microsoft Word save a document if all you ask it to do is to save it? I forgot to use “Save As,” and now I can’t find the saved document.

A. It depends. If no destination location is selected – in other words, if the “Save In” field is blank, the default is usually Documents or My Documents, but that can vary, depending how Word was configured originally. You can check the default location by going to Tools > Options > File Locations and see what it shows as far as the default location for Documents. (You can also use Word’s Help to search for “File Locations.”)

Without a specific location designated in the Save In field, often the destination selected for a previous document will appear, in which case the document will be saved to that same location. If you are saving an existing document with the same name (as opposed to using Save As and providing a different name), you will overwrite the existing document with your newly saved document, so it should reside in the same location as the “original” document.

If you truly can’t locate a saved document, run a Windows Search via Start > Search > For Files and Folders and you will be able to find it, as long as you can remember either the name of the file or a specific word or phrase within the document itself.

Q. I just switched to Windows 7 from XP and I want to create an icon on my Desktop that would allow me to go straight to a Web site. Can you help me with that?

A. Start by going to the website to which you would like to create a shortcut. Make sure that the window in which it appears is small enough so you can see part of your Desktop.

Look for a little icon next to the address of the Web site as it appears in your browser’s Address bar. Click and drag that icon to your Desktop and voila! A shortcut is born! To rename the shortcut, click to select it and press F2.

Q. Do flash drives have a limited life span? Do they deteriorate after a couple of years?

A. The general consensus is that flash drives are good for a maximum of ten years. That estimate depends on the manner in which the device is stored, as temperature, humidity, proximity to electro-magnetic devices, small animals that chew things, and small children that flush things, can also adversely affect the useful life of a flash drive.

I’ve seen flash drives fail in less than a year, though that can also happen to CDs and DVDs. Some CDs claim a shelf life of 100 years, which is silly, since CDs weren’t mass produced until 1980, so it’s pure speculation if they will last 100 years.

I would avoid relying on flash drives for long-term data storage. Ten years is an industry “best guess,” but failure can occur in far less time. I wouldn’t place all my digital eggs in one basket. I replace storage media approximately every five years, just to keep it current.

Mr. Modem's DME (Don't Miss 'Em) Sites of the Month


This is a fun social media site with a focus on dogs. You can become the leader of your pack today and create a page for the pooch in your life. When you arrive at the site it begins by asking you if you have a dog. Just answer the questions as they appear and have fun. http://packdog.com/

Veteran Owned Businesses

A comprehensive directory of more than 21,000 veteran-owned businesses. If you’re a veteran and would like to add your business, click the red “Sign Up Now” button and select the Basic Listing, which is free. Fill out the online forms and click “Submit Your Listing.” Be sure to visit this site often and support our veterans.


Virtual Tours of Historic Britain

Quicktime videos of many historic sights, including The Beatles’ Abbey Road, Leeds Castle, Gloucester Cathedral, Stonehenge, the Master Modemshire Pub, the Tower of London, Oxford and more. Once the images load, drag your mouse cursor across them to view the entire panorama. Images require the free Quicktime Player at http://www.apple.com/quicktime/. http://britishtours.com/360/.

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