macOS 10.14 — mountains to the desert — High Sierra to Mojave

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Sep 252018
 
macOS 10.14 -- mountains to the desert -- High Sierra to Mojave

Today Apple officially released a new version of its macOS. The name of the new system — “Mojave” — celebrates the desert rather than the mountains of the High Sierra, and updates to version 10.14 from 10.13.6. Available on your Mac from the Apple Menu > App Store > Featured > Mac App Store, Apple [Continue reading]

iOS 12 — what’s new in Apple’s iPhone system upgrade

 Phone, Tablet  Comments Off on iOS 12 — what’s new in Apple’s iPhone system upgrade
Sep 172018
 

It’s that time of year again. New Apple devices. New iPhones and watches, and new versions of the stuff that makes them work. MacWorld highlights the best new features in iOS 12 in this article: “How to use the coolest new features in iOS 12” (September 17, 2018). At last, iOS 12 is here, bringing [Continue reading]

Google privacy settings — check how you’re tracked

 General  Comments Off on Google privacy settings — check how you’re tracked
Aug 282018
 

Another go at this topic, this time by PC World. The Google ecosytem is impressive, with devices and services which we use on a daily basis. Lots of services: search, contacts, calendar, web browsing, etc. Google Assistant, the digital personal assistant (butler). Lots of Google apps on our Android-powered smartphones. Google programs on our notebook [Continue reading]

Best PC anti-virus program?

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Aug 282018
 

An annual review by PC World: “Best antivirus: Keep your Windows PC safe from spyware, Trojans, malware, and more” (updated August 27, 2018): Antivirus software is nearly as crucial as a PC’s operating system. Even if you’re well aware of potential threats and practice extreme caution, some threats just can’t be prevented without the extra [Continue reading]

Aug 202018
 

I’ve followed this topic for years: When and how often to charge your smartphone’s battery. What to do and not — in order to prolong the usable life of that battery (and so not worry about replacing the battery before you’re ready to get a new smartphone, eh). For many of us, charging the battery [Continue reading]

Mute web page videos — Apple Safari Auto-Play settings

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Jun 072018
 
Mute web page videos -- Apple Safari Auto-Play settings

Safari > Preferences > Websites > Auto-Play and audio for web site videos The other day a client thought that her built-in (internal) Apple computer’s speakers weren’t working. Well, more specifically, on her favorite news site,  posted videos were playing without sound — muted. Her iMac recently had been upgraded to the latest macOS version. [Continue reading]

GDPR privacy notifications — primrose path of default settings

 Computer, General, News  Comments Off on GDPR privacy notifications — primrose path of default settings
Jun 012018
 

I’ve been getting a lot of privacy policy update notifications in my email since last month. As part of terms and conditions for use of a product or service. All in response to the GDPR — General Data Protection Regulation, a European Union Regulation which was implemented on May 25, 2018. Many companies sell products and [Continue reading]

Phishing attacks — fake “Apple” emails

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Mar 282018
 

I’ve noticed these types of scams for awhile: email messages (supposedly) from Apple purportedly about a payment or Apple ID or login from another device (which in fact you may not own). More and more email apps (especially on mobile devices) do not permit examination of the raw message text, which often permits detection of [Continue reading]

Spectre and Meltdown — Intel patches progress

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Mar 022018
 

Yesterday, PC World posted some articles regarding progress in the continuing Spectre and Meltdown saga. Intel quietly releases Spectre fixes for Haswell and Broadwell CPUs The fixed Spectre fixes are coming fast and furious now. Intel quietly pushed CPU firmware updates out for Haswell (4th-generation) and Broadwell (5th-generation) processors earlier this week, following in the [Continue reading]

Ad blocking — Chrome enters the mix

 Computer, News  Comments Off on Ad blocking — Chrome enters the mix
Feb 142018
 

If you’re already using an ad blocker with your favorite Web browsers, you’re in good company. Eliminating the clutter and distraction is one thing (which some browsers’ Reader View can do). But ad clutter also slows down page loading, consumes more battery power, and poses some privacy and security risks. Google and Facebook command the [Continue reading]

Which Mac to get?

 Computer, Research  Comments Off on Which Mac to get?
Feb 012018
 

Considering purchasing a Mac for the first time or replacing an older one? Apple computers are premium products; so, congrats on your decision. If you’re a typical user, your experience on a Mac will be smoother, more consistent over time, particularly due to less housekeeping distractions than on a PC. And while Macs are not [Continue reading]

Best TV streaming service?

 Desktop, Notebook, Phone, Site, Tablet, Video  Comments Off on Best TV streaming service?
Jan 312018
 

PC World, January 31, 2018: “Best TV streaming service: SlingTV vs Hulu vs PlayStation Vue, and all the rest.” Which streaming TV bundle is the best deal for cord cutters? Our head-to-head reviews hash it out. When you “cut the [cable TV) cord]” and keep your high-speed Internet service, whether you also switch to over-the-air [Continue reading]

Mixed reality — if the price is right?

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Jan 292018
 

I’ve been following this topic for a couple of years: virtual reality and mixed reality consumer gear. I have one PC which meets the requirements, but I’ve yet to make the investment in a headset. Now there are choices other than Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive if “mixed reality” is good enough. Price still can be [Continue reading]

Best smartphone case — CES 2018 drop test

 News, Phone, Site, Video  Comments Off on Best smartphone case — CES 2018 drop test
Jan 292018
 

Get a new smartphone and you’re probably going to get a case. I got one because my bare phone was slippery. I had no particular brand loyalty. So, if you’re not loyal to a previous brand, there are lots of choices. If drop protection is vital, then this Cnet video article “We broke $9,000 worth [Continue reading]

Best video streamer — Roku?

 News, Research, Video  Comments Off on Best video streamer — Roku?
Jan 292018
 

Some of my clients are using streaming devices (or sticks) for viewing movies and TV shows on their TVs over the Internet. Quite popular — these over-the-top (OTT) services versus over-the-air (OTA) or cable TV channels. Personally I’ve used a Fire TV Stick since 2015. And if all you’re interested in is getting to Netflix, that’s [Continue reading]

Microsoft Store — some free services

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Jan 242018
 
Microsoft Store -- some free services

I received an email message from the Microsoft Store recently reminding me of services available there, some of which are free. While these retail stores are scarce, if you’re near enough to one, you might consider that an option or a place to get general help — Answer Desk. Or if you’re thinking about a [Continue reading]

Meltdown and Spectre — Intel vs AMD status

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Jan 192018
 

If you have a computer powered by an AMD processor, is your risk profile any different from someone with an Intel-powered PC? This Ars Technica article (January 18, 2018) summarizes the situation: “Meltdown and Spectre: Good news for AMD users, (more) bad news for Intel.” Windows patches are fixed, but microcode updates are causing even [Continue reading]

Patches for Spectre — impact on your iPhone?

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Jan 172018
 

Much in the media still about global computer security vulnerabilities Meltdown and Spectre. Apple, among other companies, released patches to mitigate the risks. This PC World article (January 16, 2018) summarizes the situation for Apple’s mobile devices — your iPhone: “Apple’s iOS 11.2.2 Spectre patch probably won’t slow down your iPhone, but here’s what to do if it [Continue reading]

Jan 122018
 

Yesterday, MacWorld posted a useful article about Apple’s $29 iPhone battery replacement program. All of your questions answered. The article covers the usual FAQs. In particular, “How do I initiate a battery repair?” As for the “How do I check my own iPhone’s battery life?” question, I downloaded and tried the coconutBattery macOS app and found [Continue reading]

Jan 052018
 

Much in the media this week about an industry-wide problem with all devices using Intel processors — CPU chips, and perhaps those from other manufacturers as well. A security vulnerability: Meltdown and Spectre. It’s like Dorothy, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow walking through the dark forest in the 1939 classic The Wizard of OZ and [Continue reading]