Charging your smartphone battery — best practices

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 Charging your smartphone battery — best practices

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 Mute web page videos — Apple Safari Auto-Play settings

GDPR privacy notifications — primrose path of default settings

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 GDPR privacy notifications — primrose path of default settings

Phishing attacks — fake “Apple” emails

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 Phishing attacks — fake “Apple” emails

Spectre and Meltdown — Intel patches progress

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 Spectre and Meltdown — Intel patches progress

Ad blocking — Chrome enters the mix

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 Ad blocking — Chrome enters the mix

Which Mac to get?

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 Which Mac to get?

Mixed reality — if the price is right?

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 Mixed reality — if the price is right?

Best video streamer — Roku?

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 Best video streamer — Roku?

Meltdown and Spectre — Intel vs AMD status

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 Meltdown and Spectre — Intel vs AMD status

Patches for Spectre — impact on your iPhone?

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 Patches for Spectre — impact on your iPhone?

Apple’s $29 iPhone battery replacement program — FAQ

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 Apple’s $29 iPhone battery replacement program — FAQ

Spectre and Meltdown — phones, tablets, and computers, oh my!

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 Spectre and Meltdown — phones, tablets, and computers, oh my!

Rose Parade — screenshots

My Rose Parade 2018 screenshots: Rose Parade 2018 • 42 items • Shared [Wiki] The Rose Parade, also known as the Tournament of Roses Parade, is part of “America’s New Year Celebration” held in Pasadena, California each year on New Year’s Day (or on Monday, January 2 if New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday). The… Continue reading Rose Parade — screenshots

New holiday computer?

If you got a new PC for the holidays, congrats. What’s next? Windows 10 updates, Cortana practice, customization, privacy settings, another browser, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, backup, … fun. As in the past, PC World posted an article yesterday about what to do first with a new PC: “How to set up your new computer.” Best practices:… Continue reading New holiday computer?

Doing email — options

When I ask some of my clients how they get to their email, a typical response is “AOL” or “hotmail” or “Google.” Or they might say “myname@hotmail.com” or “myname@aol.com.” Well, that’s not what I’m trying to understand. Knowing their preferred service company or email address is a start, but I’m more interested in whether they… Continue reading Doing email — options