Thursday, May 31, 2012

Setting a Home Page on Apple Devices

There are two ways to set or quasi-set a home page in Safari: (i)Launch Safari and navigate to the page that you'd like to use as your home page. Tap on the arrow icon at the top - next to the address field - and select - Add to Home Page. That will put a shortcut on your home screen and when you click on that icon on the home screen - it will open to that page in Safari that you selected as your home page; or (ii) buy the tweak here for $1 http://9to5mac.com/2010/09/09/cydia-tweak-allows-for-safari-home-page/ as explained here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oo0qm2Mbgkk. Alternatively, for a much better browsing experience with the ability to set a home page, again for $1, try http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/perfect-browser-extraordinary/id317836614?mt=8

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Movie Theatre Apps

Flixster, Moviefone and Fandango are apps for your smartphone or tablet that will give you movie locations, times, and previews, and for participating theatres, the ability to buy your tickets.

Turning Off Error Reporting in Windows 7

When a program or the operating system hangs or crashes, Windows 7 sends an error report to Microsoft by default. It will also spend time looking for a solution. (In my experience, it never seems to find one.) If you find the error messages and the delay in closing down a hung application annoying or have concerns about privacy, you can turn off error reporting. The procedure for disabling error reporting is quite simple. Here’s how: http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/how-disable-error-reporting-windows-7.htm

Monday, May 28, 2012

Bernie

Even if you are sitting in front of a totally oblivious couple who look like they were at the State Fair all day before heading for the movies, who insisted on making gutteral and other disgusting throat-clearing noises and felt the need to shake the ice in their cups while continuously drawing more ice chips into their mouths to make loud cracking sounds with, this is a most enjoyable movie. Jack Black is outstanding, but the townspeople steal the movie.

Screen Capture

If you're not happy with your current Screen Capture, give Jing a shot. It will do Screen Capture plus a whole lot more (e.g., record 5 minutes of video; let you edit what you capture). http://www.techsmith.com/jing.html

Thursday, May 24, 2012

TV Guides on Your Phone

There are apps for your smartphone that will give you a far superior and easier to use TV guide than you will find on your television. BuddyTV Guide and Peel are free and available for both Apple and Android devices. Peel Smart Remote is free on the Android and, depending on your device and television, might also serve as a remote control for the television. Here is an article discussing each of these apps: http://www.nytimes.com/chrome/#/Business//www.nytimes.com/2012/05/24/technology/personaltech/buddytv-peel-and-tv-guide-apps-find-shows-worth-watching.html

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Tips for Saving on Rental Cars

Here are seven ways that might lead to your paying less for a rental car: let go of name brands; search for discount codes and coupons; track rates through autoslash.com; avoid the airport; prepay; negotiate; and--least intuitive at all--reserve the car for longer than you need. These are all explained at: http://travel.nytimes.com/2012/05/20/travel/7-tips-for-saving-on-rental-cars.html?ref=travel&pagewanted=print

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Microsoft Office and Google Calendar Troubleshooting

If you have a problem with Google Calendar not syncing correctly with Microsoft Office, there is a good chance the problem will fix itself if you uninstall Google Calendar sync and reinstall it. If that does not fix the problem, try running a Repair with Microsoft Office. To do that, go to Add/Remove Programs, highlight Microsoft Office, select Change, and run the Repair Wizard.

Fat Fingers on eBay

The app Fat Fingers searches eBay not only the product you want, but countless misspellings of the product as well. For example, a PlayStation on eBay will likely be over $150 after bidding has ended. However, Fat Fingers searches for “PlaStation” and “PlaySation” as well. You can bid on these misspelled goods that no one else will find, which could end up saving you real money. In my experience, Fat Fingers searches for up to ten permutations of a single word. For iPhone (compatible with iPad) Size: 4.3 MB Download: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fat-fingers-for-ebay-bargains/id316770302?mt=8 For Android Size: 2.3 MB Download: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.StarburstSoftware.FatFingers

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Easy Way to Track Smartphone Data Usage

As more and more cellphone owners are herded from unlimited data plans into the capped data plans, keeping tabs on how much you’ve used your phone this month is an increasingly urgent task. If you go over any of your monthly limits — calling minutes, text messages or data — you’ll pay overage charges. As it turns out, all the carriers have an app (My Verizon; My ATT) for the iPhone and for Android phones that in one place will give you all the current minute and data usage and much more information. The only drawback is you have to log-in to the app. If all you're interested in tracking is data usage, built into your contact list will be a call entry for data usage, so that with one tap (an no need to log-in) you will get an immediate report back on your current data usage.

You May Not Need a 3G iPad

If you're buying an iPad, it will cost you much less to buy a Wi-Fi only model both in terms of the purchase price of the iPad itself and in terms of not using a 3G connection which will cost you $20-30 per month. But you may be concerned that, without the 3G connection, you might not be able to get on the internet whenever you want and wherever you are. If you have an iPhone or even an Android phone, with a data plan, you can put that concern to rest because you can tether your Wi-Fi only iPad to your smartphone which then will act as a Wi-Fi hotspot and allow your iPad to access the internet. There are some drawbacks. Here is a good article on tethering to the iPhone. For tethering to an Android, go to YouTube for a short instructional video for your particular phone. iPhone: http://www.tuaw.com/2011/03/06/iphone-4-personal-hotspot-wi-fi-only-ipad-possible-but-wit/

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Don't Just Sit There

If you're sitting at a desk reading this article, take a minute and stand up. That's the latest advice from New York Times Phys Ed columnist Gretchen Reynolds. In her new book, The First 20 Minutes, Reynolds details some of the surprisingly simple ways you can combat the effects of a sedentary lifestyle. Federal health guidelines recommend 30 minutes of moderate exercise — such as walking or jogging — every single day. But new research shows that even regular exercisers may not be doing enough to counteract the health hazards of sitting down at a desk all day long. Full Article: http://www.npr.org/2012/05/09/152336802/stand-up-walk-around-even-just-for-20-minutes?sc=emaf

Friday, May 11, 2012

Chrome to Android Phone

With one click, you can send anything from your computer (web page; map; phone number; etc.) to your Android device. Just install the Google Chrome to Phone extension on your computer and Google Chrome to Phone app on your Android device.

Verifying Suspicious Email

Although email is a useful tool, it has its problems. Primarily, that it can easily be forged or faked. All too often, you might suspect that a message you've received is not all that it seems. Maybe, for example, it appears to be from a friend of yours who's in trouble, but you suspect that it might be a scam. Here's a handy tool to help put your mind at rest (or to confirm your worst fears). Paste the header from the email into the web site at iptrackeronline.com and you'll get a detailed report about where the message actually came from. http://www.iptrackeronline.com/header.php

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Finding Netflix Streaming Titles More Easily

A Better Queue is a very simple service that allows you to filter Netflix streaming titles, based on genre, release date, and their Rotten Tomatoes rating (Tomatometer). Once you find a title you like, just click on it and you'll be redirected to the listing on Netflix. You can then choose to add the title to your instant queue or watch it immediately http://abetterqueue.com/

Free Photo Editor

Photoshop has long been the gold standard photo editor, but it's also very pricey. Gimp is a free photo editor originally created at UC Berkeley. It has many of the same features as Photoshop, but it's 100 percent free. http://www.gimp.org/

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

HomeSnap

HomeSnap is one of the neatest apps ever. Its unique technology was built to do one thing: instantly tell you all about any home you snap. What is it worth? When did it last sell? For how much? Beds? Baths? Lot size? Which school would my child attend? HomeSnap answers all these questions with a single tap for over 90 million homes. HomeSnap seamlessly integrates real-time data from the Multiple Listing Service. If a home is for sale, you see the current list price, interior pictures and complete listing details; even schedule a showing then and there. For a home that just sold, HomeSnap shows the final sale price and complete listing history. It's available immediately for the iPhone and iPad and will be available soon for Androids. Here is a site you can download it from now for your Apple device or sign-up for an alert when it becomes available for your Android device: http://www.sawbuck.com/homesnap

Monday, May 7, 2012

Law & Order Doink Doink Ringtone

Here is where you can download for free the ringtone that is that doink doink sound from Law & Order: http://audiko.net/ringtone/law+and+order

Best Free Apps

This link will lead you to the best apps for the iPad, iPhone, and Androids. http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-ipad-apps.htm

Sunday, May 6, 2012

When Stuck, Re-boot

Often times, rather than trying to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it, re-booting your device will solve the problem, particularly where the problem is that the device is "stuck" in some wrong mode. This is true for computers, cell phones, cable boxes, modems, and routers. If the device will not re-boot by clicking or pushing on the appropriate icon or on-off switch, pull the battery out or unplug the device from the wall, and upon re-connecting the device, it will re-boot.

Getting Travel Refunds If the Price Drops

Here is a good article on various websites that will get you a refund if the price drops on your flight or hotel booking, even after the fact. http://travel.nytimes.com/2012/05/06/travel/how-to-get-refunds-when-you-book-travel.html?ref=travel&pagewanted=print

Saturday, May 5, 2012

IE Tab for Chrome

Sometimes a webpage (like Vudu or Windows update) will not display correctly in Chrome, but will in Internet Explorer (IE). Rather than having to open IE, you can add an IE button to your Chrome Extensions that will allow you in one click to open any webpage you're on in IE. https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/hehijbfgiekmjfkfjpbkbammjbdenadd

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Cool Things to Do With a Thumbdrive

There are many things you can do with your thumb drive besides just putting data on it, including: turning it into a "key" that will lock and unlock your computer; revive a virus-ridden system; encrypting your documents; maintain your computer by cloning your system and partitioning your hard disk; installing Windows 7 on a MacBook; and more. This article will explain all these in detail. http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57426513-285/10-awesome-ways-to-use-a-usb-flash-drive/

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

LastPass

I've written about LastPass before as the best free password manager, but I just discovered a new feature on it. Not only will it remember all your passwords and login information, and any information you want to store, and your credit card information, so all you need to do to fill in any form is one-click (from any computer in the world and never have to remember anything), on your computer or smartphone or tablet, it also will allow you to create custom forms, so that, for example, with one click you can bring up your Costco member number or Southwest Airlines Rapid Reward Number. https://lastpass.com/

Sweet Potato Fries

Frozen french fries from the supermarket cannot match fast food restaurant fries. But, here's great news if you like sweet potato fries: Frozen sweet potato fries from the supermarket, even Safeway's own brand, are fabulous and they take just 15 minutes in the oven to prepare.

Computer Stuff for Kids

Computer literacy is crucial to keeping up with today's fast-paced world. Fortunately, kids are good at picking up technology. Don't just set your kid down at the computer without direction, though. This free download will help educate your child in computer literacy, as well as basic cognitive skills. Childsplay is a package of fourteen basic games for young children to play on home computers. There are memory games, typing games and problem-solving games. It was designed to teach kids to do basic math, the alphabet, spelling, hand-eye coordination and critical thinking. At the same time, they're learning to use the mouse and keyboard. http://www.schoolsplay.org/

Stunning Views

Airpano was set up by a team of dedicated photographers, determined to bring us some superb panoramic shots of the world's best sights. Scroll, pan and zoom through ultra high resolution images of castles, US states, Victoria Falls, the Himalayas, and more. The result is quite stunning. All you need is a modern web browser and a reasonably fast broadband connection. http://www.airpano.com/

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Keeping Up With Tech Stuff

If you want to keep up with what's going on with technology and web trends but don't want to wade through tech jargon to find out, ReadWriteWeb is a great place to start. ReadWriteWeb follows technology trends, providing thoughtful commentary and analysis with jargon kept to a minimum. http://www.readwriteweb.com/