PSE Miami Director of Technology Ben Nader has been sending e-mails out to the chapter with tech tips and tricks for both the savvy techies and the perpetually confused. In case you missed it, here are some highlights:
Techno Tuesday June 3
Training Tidbits and Technology
Apple has unveiled their newest operating systems OS X Yosemite (for Mac) and iOS 8 (for iPhone and iPad). Both of these systems will be released for free in the fall and have a lot of cool features including:
- A redesigned interface
- Streamlined Safari toolbar with increased performance and privacy options
- Mail will now allow you to send larger files more easily (up to 5GB)
- iCloud Drive allows you to store any type of file on iCloud (now located in Finder) and access it on any device
- Messages now work with your iPhone to allow you to send and receive iMessages and SMS messages right on your Mac. You can add people to group conversations, send short video/audio clips and even make phone calls all from Mac
- They also introduced Handoff which allows you to start a task on one device and finish it on another, so you can start writing your e-mail on your phone and seamlessly pass it off and finish it on your Mac or vice versa.
- All of your photos will now live in the iCloud, allowing you to free up space on your phone.
- With messages, you can now add voice to any conversation you want, send video of what you’re seeing in the moment you’re seeing it and easily share your location right where you are.
- New helpful shortcuts allow you to access the people you talk to the most. There is a new time-saving feature in Mail that allows you to swipe to the right to mark an email as unread, swipe to the left for more options including flag, trash or move to a specific folder.
- The keyboard now has a “smart feature” on it that will suggest contextually appropriate words to complete your sentences. It even has the ability to recognize whom you are talking to and whether you’re in Mail or Messages and adjust your tone accordingly.
- Additionally, they are leaving the keyboard open for developers to that they can create third-party extensions to improve the keyboard – so you will soon be able to swipe/connect the dots rather than type.
- Family Sharing makes it possible for up to 6 people in your family to share each other’s iTunes, iBooks and App store purchases. Whenever one person buys a new song, movie or app, everybody gets to share it.
- Apple has created an application called Health that allows you to utilize your health and fitness information in a new way. You can now merge all the information from various health/fitness apps in one location to track your activity, heart rate, etc.
- Additionally it allows you to create an ICE (In Case of Emergency) contact card that will be accessible on all iPhones, even if they are locked, so that you can record information (Date of Birth, Allergies, Who to Contact, Medical Conditions, etc.) that may be important to EMS and doctors in case of incapacitation.
Check out Ben’s Technology Tidbit on disabling iPhone tracking and saving battery life here.
Techno Tuesday June 17
Fun Facts about Google:
- Google’s unofficial slogan is, “Don’t be evil.”
- It is estimated that the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button has cost approximately $100 million dollars in lost ad revenue. However, Google still keeps the button on the page because trials of removing the button made people feel uncomfortable.
- 97% of Google’s revenue comes from advertisements.
- Larry Page is currently worth $23 billion, and Sergey Brin a modest $22.8 billion. As of February 2014, Google itself was valued at over $400 billion dollars!
- During the creation of the Google logo, designers wanted a way to display a sense of playfulness without bulky objects or symbols in the logo limiting what they could do. This was initially achieved by skewing some of the letters, but this idea was scrapped and instead focus was directed toward color. The current logo features a pattern of primary colors being broken with a single letter shown in the secondary green color. The broken pattern represents playfulness and the idea that Google isn’t a company that plays by the rules.
- Google rents goats from a company called California Grazing to keep their lawn all nice and tidy. The goats help Google to cut down on the amount of weeds at the Google HQ. They rent 200 goats plus the herder and a border collie to cut the weeds – Google says it is “a lot cuter to watch than lawn mowers.”
Learn how to Google!
Techno Tuesday June 24
Snapchat, Slingshot, and Autonomous Vehicles
Techno Tuesday July 1
Some interesting statistics on mobile phone usage were released yesterday as part of the inaugural Bank of America Trends in Consumer Mobility Report, a study that explores broad mobile trends and banking behaviors among adult consumers across the country who own a smartphone and have an existing banking relationship. The study found that:
- 47% of US Consumers admitted they wouldn’t survive a day without their smartphone
- 91% of respondents said that their phone is just as important as their car and deodorant
- 76% said their phone is significantly more important than their television
- 60% said their phone is significantly more important than coffee
- If their phone was taken away from them, 79% of respondents would be willing to give up alcohol or chocolate to get it back
The report also found that the youngest millennials ages 18-24 are most likely to view their mobile phones as very important (96 percent) — more so than deodorant (90 percent) and even their toothbrush (93 percent).
Techno Tuesday July 15
How many of you would be surprised if I were to tell you that every time you move a file to the Recycle Bin on your computer and press ‘erase’ or ‘empty’ the file still remains on your computer even though you can no longer see it? Many people aren’t aware that your computer trash bin only removes a file from your desktop, and even when you empty your trash bin you only delete the virtual pathway to that file. The file is still saved in your hard drive which makes it difficult to access… unless you know what to look for. So this week, I will be giving you some tips on how to properly delete a file and fully remove it from your computer.
There are a few easy and effective ways of getting rid of files for good from your computer, all of which involve overwriting the file with other data. Overwriting a file is similar to scribbling over written words on a piece of paper, because even if you erase the pencil marks or use white out, there are always still things that you can do to read the words. Below are some tools that you can purchase or download for free that will properly overwrite your files so that you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that your deleted items are being disposed of properly.
Eraser is a free tool that allows you to pinpoint specific files on your Windows computer and overwrite them before you delete their directories. Once installed, you can use Eraser just by right-clicking on the condemned file, clicking on the Eraser icon and selecting erase. You can choose how many times you want to overwrite the file, too. While 20 overwrites might give you more peace of mind, you’re probably fine with two or three. Once the file is overwritten, you can junk it with the knowledge that it’s now nearly impossible to read. You can also set Eraser to clear out your trash bin and schedule automatic deletions, if you’re producing a lot of information you need to delete.
If you’ve already deleted a few files the conventional way, or if you think there might be a few things floating around in the nether-regions of your computer you want to erase, CCleaner is a free tool to help you. With CCleaner, you can target specific areas and applications on your computer — like your trash bin, your browser or a folder — and clear out the empty space of any deleted files that you didn’t get rid of correctly in the first place. Like Eraser, you can also set CCleaner to perform a specific amount of overwrites, and the space is still free to use when you’re done.
Secure Empty Trash (Mac)
Deleting files securely on an Apple computer is built into your trash bin. Just drag whichever files you want to eviscerate into your trash bin, then go to Finder > Secure Empty Trash — and the deed is done. You can also securely erase your entire hard drive by entering the Disk Utility app and choosing “Erase.” Then click “Security Options.”
If you want to streamline the process and skip the trash bin all together, you can download FileShredder for $3.99. Instead of dragging your files to the trash bin, you can use the app to overwrite and delete the files. Instead of you needing to fuss over how many times to overwrite something, FileShredderuses an algorithm to determine how many times the given file needs to be overwritten to make it unreadable.
Techno Tuesday July 22
- On a Mobile Device – first navigate to the More tab and tap Saved
- On a Computer – click on the Saved link located on the left side of your screen (in the navigation panel)
Techno Tuesday July 29
Today I’ve got a short little tidbit to help you organize your Gmail inbox, which if it’s anything like mine is overflowing with junk mail and unnecessary emails from Miami.
According to Gizmodo, One trick that you may or may not have picked up about Gmail is that you can add in periods anywhere in the front part of your email address and it will make no difference whatsoever:firstname.lastname@example.org works just the same as email@example.com. What’s more you can add a plus sign and any word before the @ sign (firstname.lastname@example.org) and messages will still reach you. If these tweaks make no difference, then why use them? One major reason: filters.
Here are a few ways that you can make use of the feature to bring order to the chaos of your inbox.
- Signing Up for Newsletters:
- The next time you sign up for a newsletter, app or website, use an address like email@example.com. That way you can filter out everything sent to this address to a low-priority label or folder
- Giving Friends VIP Status:
- In addition to using this to sort unimportant messages, you can of course do the opposite. Try handing out an alternative email address – such as firstname.lastname@example.org – to your friends and family to help them stand out from the less important email that usually fills up your inbox. Then all you have to do is set up a filter to mark these messages as important and top priority
- Dividing Work and Personal Life:
- It could be as simple as adding “+w” to your Gmail address (e.g. email@example.com) for any work-related emails. That then gives you the ability to mark every incoming work email with an appropriate label, with no manual effort required—not only will your inbox look tidier, but it will make searches much more efficient. You can restrict queries to one particular label and leave yourself with fewer results to sift through.
- Creating a To Do List:
- If you set up a filter that labels every email coming in firstname.lastname@example.org then you can pull up this label as a makeshift to do list. As well as emailing tasks when you’re sat in the office or on your phone, you can forward emails from other accounts or even send photos to the list from wherever you happen to be. Anything that can be emailed can be added to your to do list, and as usual there’s the option within the filter to automatically archive these messages and mark them as read so they don’t clutter up your inbox.