General Questions About P.Bio
Security and Privacy
How P.Bio Works
General Quesions About P.Bio
1. Why would I want P.Bio?Click here: 50 Reasons to Use P.Bio to see lots of reasons you might want P.Bio!
2. My life is not very interesting, wouldn't P.Bio just remind me how boring it is?One of the nice things about P.Bio is that it shows you how there are actually many days with small details which will remind you of minor, but nonetheless enjoyable events in your life. These could be things such as when you got a phone call from someone you haven't heard from for a while, or when you went out for pizza with your friends or family. These don't seem like much at the time they happen, but months or years later when you are reviewing these days from your past they'll probably bring a smile to your face...
3. Why isn't P.Bio web-based, like GMail or Flickr?
There are three main reasons for this:
1) Security and Privacy: If P.Bio was web-based all of your personal information, and that of thousands of others too, would be located on servers somewhere. If a hacker was able to get into that system (as they've gotten into other systems) they would have access to the personal information of thousands of people. The information would still be encrypted (as it is now) and it would be very difficult to decrypt, but the fact is access to your information would be out of your hands. Instead, with P.Bio based on your computer you have total control over access to the information.
2) By installing P.Bio directly on your personal computer you don't need to have internet access to view your P.Bio. You only need internet access for occasional refreshes, which can be done only once a week or even less if you want. So if you install P.Bio on a laptop you can take your P.Bio to a cafe, camping, to a friend's house, or even on a trip to another country... anywhere you want, with or without internet access, and you can still browse your life in P.Bio.
3) If P.Bio was web-based you would have to upload every picture you take. Some people choose to do that (users of Flickr for example) but many would prefer not to. You would have to upload every one of your pictures (maybe thousands, and multi-gigabytes) before you could see them in your P.Bio. You can still use web-based photo services to share pictures if you wish, but for P.Bio your pictures stay on your own computer and backup drives - no need to upload them anywhere, and no need to expose them to everyone on the net.
4. Why isn't P.Bio free?
"Free" almost always means advertising-based. Do you really want to have ads appearing in your personal diary for the rest of your life? For $50 you get a lifetime subscription to P.Bio and all future upgrades - isn't it worth that small amount to avoid being bombarded with ads in the personal record of your life for many years to come?
Security and Privacy
5. Is it safe to let P.Bio gather my personal info in one place?
There are many reasons you can feel safe about your P.Bio information:
1) All of your information is encrypted with the highest level of encryption currently available for commercial use (called "256 bit AES ecryption"). This is such high level encryption that P.Bio cannot be exported to some countries due to restrictions on this type of security. It also means you could give all of your P.Bio files to a very skilled hacker and he would still need a multimillion dollar super computer and months of time to be able to decode the information in the files (as long as he doesn't have your P.Bio login and password - that part of security is in your hands! ).
2) Because your P.Bio information resides in your own computer (rather than a server somewhere on the internet) the only way anyone can get access to your P.Bio files is through your computer's connection to the internet, or if your computer is stolen. If your computer is turned off, hibernating, or not connected to the internet no one can get your P.Bio files from it via the internet. If it is on and connected to the internet, your computer is probably protected by many levels of "firewalls" in your internet service provider, the router that connects your computer to the internet, and in the operating system. But remember, even if someone penetrated all these levels of protection, and somehow got your files, they are still protected with very strong encryption (see point 1).
3) If a person did somehow get full access to your computer they could open all sorts of other things on your computer which aren't encrypted at all - such as most of your documents, pictures, local e-mail, and other files. Your P.Bio files would be among the most difficult files for anyone to examine.
4) If in spite of all these security precautions you are still concerned about some of your personal info, then just don't give P.Bio access to it. It's just that simple. If there are purchases you don't want to show up in P.Bio use a credit/debit card which you don't put in your P.Bio list - or even simpler, use cash! If there are phone calls you don't want to show up in your P.Bio, don't add your phone service to P.Bio, or use a land-line, or a pay phone. If any information shows up in your P.Bio would prefer not have there, simply delete it from P.Bio. You can still use many features of P.Bio, but if there are some things you are concerned about, just don't put those things in your P.Bio! You have complete control over this.
6. Doesn't P.Bio help the government get information about me?
No, for several reasons:
1) Because your P.Bio information is NOT saved on a server on the internet, there is no way the government can get your P.Bio information unless you give the government access to your personal computer. Yowza Software cannot give any of your files or passwords to the government because they are all in your home, on your personal computer.
2) Even if they get your computer, they need to have your password to decrypt your information. Yowza Software never knows your password and cannot give it to the government, only you can do that.
3) The government already has the means to access your information directly from the banks, phone companies, and e-mail services. They would not even bother to use little 'ol P.Bio to get this info when they can use their own much more sophisticated computer systems. P.Bio simply gives YOU easy access your own information.
7. Can I hide some things in P.Bio so only I can see them?
Yes, every event or picture in P.Bio can be made "private" so that only you can see them. You can usually get to the option to make an item "private" by right clicking on it.
8. What if I don't want some things I buy to show up in P.Bio?
There are several things you can do to prevent purchases from showing up in P.Bio:
1) Pay cash for the item. P.Bio cannot track cash transactions.
2) Pay for the item with a credit or debit card which you do not track in P.Bio. You might want to reserve at least one of your cards for this purpose if there are some things you don't want to show up in P.Bio.
3) You can always delete any item from P.Bio's record of your purchases.
9. What can I do if I lose my password for logging in to my P.Bio?
Yowza Software never has any information about your password, and there is no shortcut or secret way to access your P.Bio info. This means if you lose your password you will lose access to your P.Bio information. So: DO NOT LOSE YOUR PASSWORD or you will have to start P.Bio over again, possibly losing a lot of information.
How P.Bio Works
10. Is it REALLY automatic? I don't want to spend hours in front of the computer entering things.
Yes, it really is. After you install P.Bio and set up access to your online information the only thing you need to do is hit the "refresh" button every few days. The rest is all done automatically: P.Bio finds any new pictures you may have added, no matter where you put them; if you want to track your purchases, social networking and other contacts P.Bio will make the connections, get the info, and display it without you doing anything. Just wait a few minutes and the new information will show up automatically.
There are a few things you will probably want to do to make your
P.Bio experience better, but they aren't strictly necessary:
11. Does P.Bio work on a Mac?
Yes, as long as you have Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
12. What Windows versions does P.Bio work on?
All variations of Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows 2000.
13. Does P.Bio move, copy, or change my pictures?
When you install P.Bio it will scan your computer and external hard drives to find all your pictures and create a catalog of when they were taken and where they are located, but it does not move, copy, or change any of your pictures. P.Bio makes it easy to do basic picture editing (rotate, resize, and crop), and to change the filename, and add notes and search keywords to your pictures, but only if you want to.
14. How far back into my past can P.Bio go?
This depends on your online serives (your bank, mobile phone company, web-based
e-mail and social networking) and your digital pictures.
Because almost all services remove information as it gets beyond a certain age you should install P.Bio and do your first refresh as soon as possible so that you get the oldest available information immediately, before it is deleted. If you install P.Bio today you will preserve the oldest records immediately; the longer you delay, the more information you will lose!
Note:If you really get into P.Bio it can be a great tool for documenting your entire past - but it takes work! Doug Rogers, the co-creator of P.Bio has scanned pictures going back to his childhood, taken digital photos of all his old letters and postcards, and OCR'd credit card statements from as far back as the 1980's to create an extremely "deep" P.Bio of his life with nearly 80,000 pictures, over 120,000 e-mail messages, and over 6,000 purchases!
15. What banks, phone companies, and social networking sites work with P.Bio?
This list will always be growing as Yowza Software adds more services to P.Bio. For the latest list of supported services, go to ________________.
16. How big is P.Bio, and how big will it get after a year?
The P.Bio program itself is quite small (about 2 megabytes) but it requires some large supporting data: Themes require 80 Megabytes, Mapping info requires 60 Megabytes, and other support files require about 15 Megabytes. Also, if your system does not have Java installed it will need Java (avaialble free from Sun.com), which is about 70 Megabytes. Most computer systems have Java pre-installed these days though.
As for your personal P.Bio data, it is quite small. Even if you lead a very active life with many contacts, pictures, and purchases, and you write quite a lot in your journal your P.Bio data will still typically be less than 1 Megabyte per month (not counting the size of the actual pictures - but the pictures are not part of P.Bio; P.Bio only creates a catalog of your pictures, it doesn't copy them).
17. How often should I do a refresh?
Because a refresh of your online information is pretty quick, you will probably want to do an online refresh every morning so you can see your most recent purchases, social networking, e-mail, and phone records. If you have a very large hard drive a local refresh (a scan of your computer) can take more than half an hour, so you might want to do that less frequently. Whenever you add digital pictures from your camera to your computer you will want to do a local refresh, but you can do that on just the new folder of pictures so it will be quick. You should do a full refresh of your local computer and all online services at least once a week.
18. Can I use P.Bio without an internet connection?
Yes, except for online refreshing you can use almost every feature of P.Bio without an internet connection. You should run P.Bio when your computer is connected to the internet at least once in a while to do an online refresh and to get the latest free P.Bio updates, but most of the time you can use P.Bio without an internet connection if you wish.
19. Does P.Bio work in countries other than the United States?
Only partially. You can use all of P.Bio's picture organizing features with no problem, and some online e-mail and social networking features will probably work outside of the US. But banking (purchases) and mobile phone features will not work at all, and mapping outside of the US is very limited. Also, because of P.Bio's high security encryption, there are strict limitations on exporting P.Bio to some countries.
If you are travelling in foreign countries but you use a US credit or debit card your purchases will probably show up, but the locations for those purchases may be inaccurate because other countries encode purchase information differently. Also, the mapping of your location in countries outside the US will be much less detailed than it would be for activity inside the US.
20. How much will updates cost?
At this time Yowza Software's policy is to make all upgrades available for free download to legitimate P.Bio customers. In the future there may be a charge for major upgrades, but for now the plan is to provide all downloadable upgrades for free.
21. Can I install P.Bio on more than one computer?
P.Bio's license agreement does permit a legitimate P.Bio customer to install P.Bio on their own personal computers (eg. a desktop and a laptop) plus a computer used at work if they wish. P.Bio cannot be given to people other than the legitimate customer or installed on other people's computers.
If you do install P.Bio on more than one computer you may see different things for each day depending on whether you use local e-mail (such as Outlook Express) and whether you copy your digital photographs to each computer. Also, your journal entries will only exist on the computer where you made the actual entries. The best approach would probably be to devote a laptop to your "main" P.Bio (install all your pictures and make all your journal entries on that computer) and only use the other installations for a trimmed down version of your P.Bio (eg. only online refresh information).
22. How many people can use P.Bio on my computer?
Because a couple or a family may share one computer at home, P.Bio allows several people to create separate accounts for one P.Bio installation on a single computer.
23. Can I send my P.Bio info to a friend?
At this time there is not a simple way to send your P.Bio information to someone else, but that feature should be coming soon.
24. How do I backup my P.Bio?
A sophisticated backup system is in development, but it isn't ready for release yet. For now, the best way to backup your P.Bio is to simply copy your P.Bio data folder to an external hard drive or a backup CD or DVD. Full instructions for doing this can be found at _________________.