What’s Happening with Windows 10?

green windows10 postOn July 29th those of us who have Windows Operating Systems will probably run toward the new operating system Windows 10.  In the meanwhile, in case you are not sure what to expect, here are a few articles that should help you understand what to expect, and what you are entitled to.  As usual, just click the link at the end of the summary to get full details.

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Back To School Technology Tips…

canstockphoto15263592Could it be that the time is actually upon us to think about purchasing ‘Back to School’ items for our Echo-Boomers (children or grandchildren  of Baby Boomers)?  However, it may seem (or not), once again the time has arrived for us to make decisions about Laptops, Apps, Cell Phones, and other mobile devices for the new school year.
With that in mind, I looked around for some of the best HELP I could find on the Web, which I think will help you in making informed decisions.  Make sure to click the links at the end of each suggestion for more details.
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  1. Find age-appropriate movies, books, apps, TV shows, video games, websites, and music that you and your kids will love. Browse our library of more than 18,500 reviews by age, via Parent reviews, Family reviews | Common Sense Media.
  2. Make sure to read the Common Sense Media Blog. Click the link:  Making Sense – Common Sense Media Blog | Common Sense Media.
Below is a list of discount programs. Make sure to click the link for more details.
  1. Amazon StudentFor college students.  Amazon offers students a free six-month trial of Amazon Student to those with a valid .edu e-mail address (or you can provide proof of your student status). It includes free two-day shipping, deals and promotions exclusively for students, and a $10 credit when you refer a friend. After six months, you get a discount on Amazon Prime ($39 instead of $79 a year), which adds unlimited video streaming and the ability to borrow books on a Kindle.
  2. Apple Store for Education. For college students and their parents. You can buy a Mac and get a $100 App Store Gift Card. If you buy an iPad or iPad mini for school, you’ll get a $50 App Store gift card. And currently Apple’s offering free shipping on any school supplies.
  3. BestBuy.com College Student Deals Find the best laptop or desktop for your needs and budget with our computer buying guide and Ratings. via Back to school: Discounts on computers and other electronics – Yahoo! Finance.
  4. For college students. Best Buy has discounts on computers and lots of other accessories; currently, you can get $100 off MacBooks and iMacs, and 10 percent off some touch-screen all-in-one computers plus free shipping, for example. Sign up with your .edu student e-mail address, and the store then sends coupon codes that you enter online at checkout.
  5. In 2013, every student — from the first-grader learning to read to the graduate student writing a thesis — needs a full-fledged Mac or PC laptop.Tablets can be helpful for taking notes in class or doing some quick research, but when you want to get that term paper done, you need the real keyboard, screen and operating system that only a laptop can provide. Here are 8 tips to help you find the right student laptop for any age and course of study. via 8 Laptop Buying Tips for Students | LAPTOP Magazine.
*** Other Resources Worth Checking Out ***canstockphoto0947076
  1. Smartphone Buyers’ Guide 2013: 7 Things You Need to Know via Smartphone Buyers Guide 2013: 7 Things You Need to Know.
  2.  Consumer Reports Guidelines are at the link below:
    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/computers.htm?EXTKEY=AYAHRE02

I hope this is helpful 🙂

Privacy On-line.. Should We Surrender?

surrender privacyHow many of you are wondering if your attempts to control your privacy on-line is probably going to be one of the most challenging tasks before you?

In recent weeks there have been so many news articles headlining breaches in security safety for people as well as for government information!  Just when we think we have it under control they pull us right back in with stories that suggest there is no sure-fire way to secure our information.  How can we not feel vulnerable?

So are you planning to surrender?

eyespy

For those of you who believe you want to continue the challenge of protecting your digital identity, below are some guidelines that have been suggested from various professionals.  As always, click the link provided at the end of the summary for a more detailed description.

  1. Use Adblock Plus:  Adblock Plus (ABP) is an open-source content-filtering and ad blocking extension for Mozilla Firefox (including Firefox for mobile, Google Chrome and Opera web browsers. In November 2012, Adblock Plus was also released as an app for Android devices. ABP, a forked version of Adblock, allows users to prevent page elements, such as advertisements, from being downloaded and displayed. via Adblock Plus – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
  2. Adblock is free:  Click this link to learn more: Adblock Plus – Surf the web without annoying ads!.
  3. Use Ghost E-Mail: Create various e-mail addresses. Companies often share your email address. Using the same email address across various sites may allow companies to connect those address with your identity. When using sign-up forms it may be wise to withhold some of your personal information.
  4. Use a “dumb phone:  Low tech phones can only make calls and send text messages. Smartphones are designed to track everything you are doing on the Internet. You can use this link to check what services are available for this type of equipment. http://www.engadget.com/2013/04/12/verizon-new-prepaid-basic-plan/
  5. Use Multiple Browsers:  Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox. Use one browser for email, one for social networking, and another one for general browsing.
  6. Pay Cash.  All credit cards leave digital trails and are used for tracking purposes.  Pay cash for items you want to keep private (such as, health items).  Pay cash for alcohol, cigarettes and other personal items.   via Ways to Make Your Online Tracks Harder to Follow – NYTimes.com.

Twitter Privacy

twitter_mannersTwitter users will want to read this post about Online Privacy Settings, by Susan Wright-Boucher in Communications, Social Media .  Click the link for details.  3 Steps to Better Online Privacy on Twitter | Susan Wright-Boucher.

I hope this is helpful!  🙂

Keeping up with tech news…

iPhone/iPad

 ♦ Periodically tech4boomers highlights articles that have tips, tricks and useful information.  This week we want to call your attention to an article by Katherine Boehret, of the Wall Street Journal, which covers iPhone and iPad things you should get to know. Don’t forget to click the link provided for the details.  A sample of what she covers is: how to directly access apps, how to Tap to scroll up, keyboard shortcuts, how to take screenshots, how to swipe search.  In all she covers ten things you will want to know.  Click this link for the article: via Ten Tips and Tricks Every iPhone and iPad User Should Know – WSJ.com.

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Choosing Computer Monitors

The next article we think you will want to read is by Kate Murphy at the New York Times, Personal Tech section.  This article covers what you should consider when buying a computer monitor.  Since we spend sooo much time these days looking at computer screens, it’s important to know why you choose one monitor versus another, and how important  the specs are. Ms. Murphy explains resolution, and how the picture elements (pixels) are supposed to give a sharper picture quality.  However, that may be true only up to a point.  Murphy checks with a retinal neuroscientist for his opinion.  In addition, contrast ratio is explained. But, after all of this discussion it turns out “Response time is the first thing to look at”. Ergonomics play an important role when choosing a monitor. How monitor ergonomics affects eye, back, and neck strain is also reviewed. All said, this is an important article.  Read more by clicking this link: via Things to Consider When Buying a Monitor – NYTimes.com.

I hope this is helpful 🙂

Green Wi Fi in New York

Who doesn’t remember the mild-mannered avatar Clark Kent using the iconic telephone booths to change into Superman, and then flying off to ‘protect’ Metropolis !  Those were the good old days!

Well let’s Flash Forward to our Metropolis, New York City, where the telephone booth will now be used to enhance the lives of its citizens by providing Free Wi-Fi… Read on…

Let’s review what Wi-Fi is againWi-Fi internet is a way of accessing the internet using a wireless network through an wireless access point. This replaces the traditional use of using a networking cable to access the internet. Read More »via Ask.com – What’s Your Question?.

 New Yorkers and visitors are now able to connect free-of-charge using their smartphones, tablets, and other WiFi-enabled devices. Access is currently available at 10 locations, with additional hotspots to follow in the coming months.  via NYC Digital – News.

The wireless signal of the pay phone booths will span an 100 to 200 foot radius and the network will appear as “Free WiFi” or “NYC Free Public WiFi” on phones, laptops, tablets, and other WiFi devices.

 The network isn’t password protected, but when you launch your browser, you will be required to agree to terms and conditions before surfing the web. Read More via New York City Pay Phone Booths Now Free WiFi Hotspots – ABC News.

LOCATIONS:  Manhattan 402 West Broadway (at Spring Street); 458 Seventh Avenue (at 35th Street); 410 Madison Avenue (at 48th Street); 1609 Broadway (at 49th Street); 1790 Broadway (at 58th Street); 230 West 95th Street (at Broadway).Brooklyn 545 Albee Square; 2 Smith Street (both at the Fulton Street Mall).Queens 30-94 Steinway Street (at 31st Avenue). Read More via City Begins Wi-Fi Pilot Program in 10 Phone Booths – NYTimes.com.

Click for Maps:  via City of New York – NYC Public WiFi Hotspots – foursquare.

HOW TO USE PHONE BOOTH Wi-Fi

Look for a phone booth that says WiFi or Free WiFi labelled on it.

Stand within 200 feet of the WiFi-enabled phone booth.

On your phone or laptop, connect to either of the wireless networks, “Free WiFi” or “NYC Free Public WiFi.”

Upon launching your browser, agree to the terms and conditions.

Go on the Internet, email, stream, or do anything else Internet-related.

For more details click link: via NYC phone booths will be free WiFi Hotspots – How to connect to NYC WiFi phone booth? — New York Computer Help Blog.

I hope this is helpful 🙂

Tech Savviness… Email Savviness … & More

FBI Deadline for DNS CHANGER IS

JULY 9, 2012  

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Email Savviness:

How many of us have thought that the ‘rules and regulations’ implemented by our workplace management is put in place to  protect us? I bet most of us are grumbling about the Internet restrictions imposed by management at our workplace.  Did you know there is an ePolicy Institute?  You can find out what the ePolicy Institute thinks is worth “protecting employees from”.  What are eRisks, eRights, eResponsibilities? Can employers ‘legally’ read your email? Is it OK to email your kids during work hours? What is ‘social engineering‘?  The next time you have an opportunity you may want to visit the website.  There is much to learn.  In addition they have free literature.  Click this link to go to the website-  Search the ePolicy Institute.

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Tech Savviness:  Router Passwords

In a previous tech4boomers post we discussed the importance of using up-to-date equipment.  In particular old routers, which may not be providing you with the best service.  Equally as important is knowing how to protect your home network from unauthorized access.  PASSWORDS are very important when it comes to protecting your Network.   Below are some guidelines I found in an article recently. Click on the link provided to get the full details.

Though no password is foolproof, you can build a better password by combining numbers and letters into a complex and unique string. Remember to change both your Wi-Fi password (the string that guests enter to access your network) and your router administrator password (the one you enter to log in to the administration console–the two may sometimes be the same). via How To Lock Down Your Wireless Network | PCWorld.

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Healthful Computing:

iPad users will want to pay attention and be careful of their body posture when using this device.  Read what the article I found in the New York Times Science section recently had to say:  The scientists studied 15 experienced tablet users in their natural viewing positions. Placing a tablet on the lap created the greatest strain, the researchers found, because it forces the user to look down at a steep angle, causing head and neck flexion – a particular hazard for users who are doing a lot of typing. via WELL – Really? The Claim – Using an iPad can strain your neck. – Question – NYTimes.com.

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BuddyTV Guide App

According to what I have read this APP is worth looking into 🙂

  • Speedy
  • Find what you want to watch in 20 seconds or less
  • Tailors to your TV tastes.
  • Even changes the channel for you.

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I hope this is helpful 🙂

Getting a Grip on AutoCorrect!

It’s downright embarrassing!  Causing my professionalism to be questioned!  Yes, you know what I’m talking about  #@%!AutoCorrect!

Someone is putting their words in my messages! Recently I sent a message discussing something I thought showed that I was comprehending the subject and in the middle of the sentence was the word ‘toot!   The list is long of those AutoCorrect/Autocomplete moments; however, it seems we can’t live with, or without it. Just in case you want to remove it or venture into finding out how to control it more to your liking, here are some tips that i found for Android, iPhone, and iPad users.

First, let’s review some of the selections for inputting information with the keyboards provided by your mobile devices.  For example, you may find Swype easier to input text on your mobile device. Here’s a brief description:  Swype   is an input method for touchscreens where the user enters words by sliding a finger or stylus from letter to letter, lifting only between words. It uses error-correcting algorithms and a language model to guess the intended word. It also includes a tapping predictive text system in the same interface. Swype is designed for use on touchscreen devices with a traditional QWERTY keyboard. via Swype – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

According to Swype, it’s a faster way to input messages.  Maybe this will help you to control those AutoCorrect errors (?) Swype provides basic/advanced training guidelines, which you can get at this link: http://www.swype.com/

Android users can find a Tutorial for Swype  right on their mobile phones.  In addition, there is Swype Help with more details.

To find the tutorial  take the steps below:

  • Select Settings
  • Select Language & keyboard
  • Select Swype settings
  • Scroll down to find Help
  • Choose Tutorial

If you decide you want to stay with “Touch input” I suggest you take the Tutorial for how auto-correction works.

Use the steps below to find the tutorial

  • Select Settings’
  • Select Language & keyboard
  • Select Touch input
  • Select Tutorial

Touch input users may also want to consider adding their often used personal acronyms to their Personal dictionary, which is an option available right beneath the Tutorial. Choose the Edit personal dictionary, and add your words.

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iPhone users can check out Business Insider, which has some suggestions for “teaching” your phone new words among other ideas.  http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-fix-iphone-auto-correct-2012-2#

iPad users can turn autocorrect off using the settings options.

I hope this is helpful.  See you at the next Post 🙂

Eye Ergonomics

I am certain that many of you spend hours working on  your desktops, laptops, mobile phones, then there is  Twitter, Facebook, Email,  Excel, Word, APPS, etc. etc.  Have you considered that all of this constant viewing of computer screens during the many hours of a given day  is having an impact on the ability for us to focus with our eyes?  I know I have not been thinking about the strain, although I have suffered from headaches. I have also had blurred vision during the course of the day, along with  neck and back pain.  That’s why I was interested to learn about a New York Times article by Mickey Meece, which offers solutions for eyestrain caused by computers. via Easing Eye Strain With the Right Lenses – NYTimes.comAfter reading the article, I thought it would be helpful for you to know what else I found out, so here is my synopsis.  As always you can click on the links provided for more details.

Computer vision syndrome (CVS) is a temporary condition resulting from focusing the eyes on a computer display for protracted, uninterrupted periods of time. Some symptoms of CVS include headaches, blurred vision, neck pain, redness in the eyes, fatigue, eye strain, dry, irritated eyes, double vision, polyopia, and difficulty refocusing the eyes. These symptoms can be further aggravated by improper lighting conditions (i.e. glare or bright overhead lighting) or air moving past the eyes (e.g. overhead vents, direct air from a fan).via Computer vision syndrome – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Presbyopia is a condition where the eye exhibits a progressively diminished ability to focus on near objects with age…The first signs of presbyopia – eyestrain, difficulty seeing in dim light, problems focusing on small objects and/or fine print – are usually first noticed between the ages of 40 and 50 . . .via Presbyopia – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

What can you do about eye strain?

In the article by Mickey Meece he discusses special purposes glasses which enhance your ability to see the computer with a sharper focus.

Here’s a list of suggestions I found at the Ergonomics website:
How To Prevent or Treat Eye Strains?

  • Take breaks by getting away from the computer desk for a few minutes
  • Eyes need to focus at different distances from time to time. It’s a good idea to follow the “20/20 rule” — every twenty minutes, look twenty feet away for twenty seconds
  • Every 20 minutes, blink 10 times by closing your eyes as if falling asleep (very slowly). This will help rewet your eyes.
  • Blinking is very important when working at a computer; it rewets your eyes to avoid dryness and irritation
  • Massaging the temples with your eyes closed for a minute may alleviate the symptoms
  • It is recommended that the viewing distance be around 45 inches away at horizontal eye level or 35 inches away with a 30-degree downward gaze angle
  • The general rule is to keep viewed material as far away as possible, provided it can be read easily. There is no such thing as sitting too far away from the screen as long as you can comfortably read what is on the screen! And don’t forget that you can increase the font on the screen by zooming into the webpage, document or changing the resolution on the screen.
  • keep viewed objects at about the same distance if you have to look back and forth a lot eg. Reading paper documents and looking at the screen to perform a task
  • Looking downward means more of the eye surface is covered by the eyelid, and two other things happen: the eyes unconsciously blink more, and they produce more lubrication

Computer glasses put the optimum lens power for viewing your computer screen right where you need it for a clear, wide field of view without the need for excessive focusing effort or unhealthful postures. The simplest computer glasses have single vision lenses.

a. This lens power relaxes the amount of accommodation required to keep objects in focus at the distance of the computer screen and provides the largest field of view

b. The lenses can be tinted to remove reflections of light from the front and back surfaces of your lenses that can cause eye strain. They also reduce glare caused by harsh overhead lighting found in many office environments. Read more about these unique computer glasses via Computer Eye Strain – Eyestrain.

I hope this is helpful! 🙂



The Scoop About Online Snooping

Just when you thought you understood how to handle the privacy protection issues, they pull us right back in. That’s why many of us are worried about how Google’s new privacy policy will affect our privacy online, and what we can do to have a say about how information is currently collected about us, and how it is manipulated.  Last week we delved into the use of  various tools provided by Google to allow us to put a stop to some of the information being collected about us in order for Google and other ‘first party(cookie) sites”  like Amazon to sell Ads.  For example,  consumers may not know that when they  go directly to first party sites (e.g. Google, Amazon) data can still be collected on them before they are given the option to “Opt-Out”.  It appears that the “Opt-Out” option works best with third party sites. Read more about how to Opt-Out and what controls you really have  at:  Network Advertising Initiative.

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I have listed some of  the topics reviewed by  Associated Press via Google’s new privacy policy: 6 key issues you need to know | NJ.com.

  1. Can Gmail, Google Plus, YouTube, users prevent personal data from being collected?
  2. Which Google services are covered by the privacy policy?
  3. What role does the U.S. Federal Trade Commission have in overseeing Google’s treatment of personal information?

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And, do not forget to check out what Mozilla’s Firefox has available to avoid tracking  in their new release.

Firefox for Android includes the Do Not Track privacy feature in this release, making Firefox the first browser to support Do Not Track on multiple platforms. Mozilla created Do Not Track to give users more control over the way their browsing behavior is tracked and used on the Web. The feature, which lets users tell websites that they wish to opt-out of online behavioral tracking, is now easier to find in Firefox Preferences. via Mozilla Delivers New Version of Firefox – First Web Browser to Support Do Not Track on Multiple Platforms | The Mozilla Blog.

I hope this is helpful 🙂

APP Therapy?

As Benedict Carey writes in Science Times . . . a new generation of apps may soon offer psychotherapy on the go. In the past few years, researchers have been testing simple, video-game-like programs aimed at relieving common problems like anxiety and depression. These recent results have been encouraging enough that investigators are now delivering the programs on smartphones — therapy apps, in effect, that may soon make psychological help accessible anytime, anywhere, whether in the grocery store line, on the bus, or just before a work presentation.via Coming to Your Smartphone: Therapy Apps – NYTimes.com.

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These days, many of us complain about the 24 hour response lives we are leading due to Smartphones, iPads, Laptops, Twitter, Facebook, Email, Internet, the SOCIAL MEDIA THING!  We want a breakNow it seems, even our relaxation and therapy will  come from a computer!  The ‘Relaxation Response‘ is now available in various  APPS.  No Kidding!

The Relaxation Response,  a term coined by Herbert Benson in a book of the same name, where he describes his research into the effects of meditation via Relaxation response – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

I am eager to see where this will lead us in the future since it seems  there is a serious discussion about the potential help these APPS may offer. The following excerpt is a brief description of what to expect. You can click the link at the end of this short description to read the full details.

♦ Objective: This exploratory study examined the potential of mobile phone technologies to broaden access to cognitive behavioral therapy techniques and to provide in-the-moment support. ♦ Methods: We developed a mobile phone application with touch screen scales for mood reporting and therapeutic exercises for cognitive reappraisal . . . and physical relaxation. via JMIR-Mobile Therapy: Case Study Evaluations of a Cell Phone Application for Emotional Self-Awareness | Morris | Journal of Medical Internet Research.

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Android cell phone users will want to take this opportunity to check out some of the APPS already on the market to help you with relaxation techniques available for Android cell phones.  Some favorites appear below, and are available, with many others at this  link  http://www.androidfreeware.net/tag-relaxation.html

Rainy Jungle – A rainy jungle view over a river and a stimulating hail of the raindrops for your relaxation or deep sleep.
Guide to Psychotherapy – Learn The Basics About The Healing Power Of Psychotherapy.
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iPhone and iPad users can find a great choice for meditation and relaxation APPS by clicking the links below.
I hope this is helpful 🙂   PEACE!