FREE (for personal use) Multi-Purpose Design Tool

June 27, 2016

Noticed that PicPick, a multi-purpose design tool that features a powerful capture tool, image editor, color picker, color palette, pixel ruler, protractor, crosshair, whiteboard, etc. was recently upgraded and continues to make strides in its’ development. This is a must-have tool that is FREE for personal use. A portable version is available, as well…

PicPick

PicPick


Bill And George Fall For The Flash Drive Scam

June 22, 2016

What is nice about having your own blog is that you can have some fun with your friends and at the same time educate others…

My elders alway told me, “If it is too good to be true, stay away from it…” Two computer friends of mine, who I will call Bill and George, came across a “no name” flash drive that was advertised as 1 TB for $16 (out of China). They were excited when they received their perfectly packaged “no name” drives (all the way from China) and were bragging to ALL, “look what we got, 1 TB drives for $16″… Their excitement soon turned to blush when they started filling the drive with data and discovered at approximately 10% capacity of the drive the data started spilling out and the drive would not accept anymore data.

Flash Drive Scam Alert

Bill and George were victims of what has become a very common scam on the internet of counterfeit USB flash drives. Many of the these drives can be found on eBay (and even Amazon); typically ship from China; and, often are in packaging (and branding) that replicates popular manufacturer’s such as Kingston, SanDisk, Toshiba and Corsair. Oftentimes, the seller themselves are unaware that the drives are counterfeit and take the hit on this, as the middleman (resulting in poor customer feedback that affects their seller ratings).

So, as you can see great measure and tactic has been taken by these crooks to take your money. Usually, with these drives, most folks do not realize in time, that there is an issue, due to the fact most folks do not “right away” start maxing out the capacity of the drive.

Again, “If it is too good to be true, stay away from it…”.  Here are two tips to abide by when purchasing these drives:

  1. Do your homework… See what is current from reputable manufacturer’s (such as Kingston, Corsair, Sandisk, Patriot, etc…). You will get a general idea of what the current generation drive capacities are (and their true costs). For example, CLICK HERE to see the real cost of what a 1TB drive can be at present…
  2. Buy only from a reputable online source or buy at a local box store… I am seeing that a great majority of these counterfeit drives are found on eBay and typically ship from China (making it difficult to get your money back).

Noticed A Feature In PangoBright That I Never Noticed Before

June 20, 2016

PangoBright is a simple to use screen dimmer utility that I have featured on the blog in the past. Recently, while sitting in my garage watching a ballgame, in the dark, and multitasking on my notebook PC, I needed something to tone down the brightness on the notebook. I remembered PangoBright and downloaded it. When I ran PangoBright it defaulted to a 70 percent screen brightness (which made me happy); but, I noticed something when I clicked on PangoBright’s tray menu. There is now an option to select a fade out color, which further makes this small (116k) portable utility valuable (in terms of reducing eye strain). This option was not there the last time I used PangoBright.

Oh, PangoBright does work on Windows 10…

PangoBright

PangoBright


Only Encryption Program You Will Ever Need (very easy to use)

June 18, 2016

There are occasions where we need to safeguard a file or a folder that contains sensitive information. This is especially true if you are storing the files online. The program that I use on a regular basis to accomplish this is EncryptOnClick (by 2BrightSparks). EncryptOnClick meets four of my conditions when it comes to encryption software:

  1. It is not here today and gone tomorrow. I have been using this program going on 5 years (or more) and it continues to be improved and up-to-date with changes in the operating system;
  2. It is very easy to use. Many encryption programs can be difficult to understand and navigate. EncryptOnClick is not one of them;
  3. It can be made portable to carry around on my flashdrive (or stored online for quick download). This is important since I use EncryptOnClick as my main encryption program (at home and at work);
  4. It is a very secure method of encryption (256-bit AES encryption) that is password protected. The encryption file result is also compressed to make the file smaller.

EncryptOnClick

EncryptOnClick

EncryptOnClick Password Dialogue


It’s Now Possible To Play A Slideshow From Any Google Photos Album

June 17, 2016

If you use Android, it is very likely that your photos are being backed up to Google Photos. If you are not using Android, and have a Google Account you have option of uploading (storing your photos) at Google Photos. Go to photos.google.com

Google Photos continues to improve (almost weekly) and one notable improvement is that it you can now play slideshows from and Google Photo Album.

Play slideshows from an album

You like crowding friends and family around your computer or TV to show them photos of last weekend’s adventure. You don’t like clicking 132 times to show them each photo.

Luckily for you, it’s now possible to play a slideshow from any album. Just open the album, click on a photo, and select Slideshow from the dropdown menu.


Upgrade To Bluetooth 5 To Be Announced

June 13, 2016

According to the Bluetooth SIG (Special Interest Group), a formal announcement will be made, on June 16, 2016, in regards to the next version of Bluetooth. It will be marketed as Bluetooth 5.

“On the technical side, Bluetooth 5 has a lot to offer. As previously announced, it will double the range and quadruple the speed of low energy Bluetooth transmissions. But there’s more. Bluetooth 5 will also provide significant new functionality for connectionless services like location-relevant information and navigation. By adding significantly more capacity to advertising transmissions, Bluetooth 5 will further propel the adoption and deployment of beacons and location-based services to users around the world. It’s a great story and one we’re looking forward to telling from our upcoming media event in London on 16 Junedd”…. READ MORE

Bluetooth

What is bluetooth? 

Have you ever paired your smartphone (or cell phone) with your car’s stereo in order receive or make calls?; or, Paired your music device with headphones?; or, Paired a keyboard with a tablet?  If so, you was using bluetooth wireless technology to make the connection possible (over short ranges and distances). With this weeks coming announcement of Bluetooth 5, the range will be doubled and the speed will be quadrupled.

Bluetooth is a wireless technology standard for exchanging data over short distances (using short-wavelength UHF radio waves in the ISM band from 2.4 to 2.485 GHz[4]) from fixed and mobile devices, and building personal area networks (PANs). Invented by telecom vendor Ericsson in 1994, it was originally conceived as a wireless alternative to RS-232 data cables. It can connect several devices, overcoming problems of synchronization.

Bluetooth is managed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), which has more than 25,000 member companies in the areas of telecommunication, computing, networking, and consumer electronics. The IEEE standardized Bluetooth as IEEE 802.15.1, but no longer maintains the standard. The Bluetooth SIG oversees development of the specification, manages the qualification program, and protects the trademarks. A manufacturer must make a device meet Bluetooth SIG standards to market it as a Bluetooth device. A network of patents apply to the technology, which are licensed to individual qualifying devices… Source: Wikipedia


A List Of Just About Everything You Can Say To “Google Now”

June 11, 2016

Ok Google“, search for “What’s On My PC“…

The “OK Google” command is very powerful feature; especially if you know what to say and how to say it. If you have an Android phone or tablet with Google Now, I strongly encourage you to learn how to use it. You can ask your device just about anything and Google will most likely give you a smart answer. To activate the Google Now voice command, simply pick up your Android device and talk directly to it and say, “OK Google” and a pulsing microphone icon will appear on your screen awaiting for your command. Typically, if you ask Google Now something and it is not in its’ command line structure, you will be taken to a list of google search results. 

So, what commands can you use? Greenbot, a site that specializes in the Android platform, has posted “A list of all the Google Now voice commands” of just about everything you can say to Google Now. I think when you review these commands you will find that Google has done a nice job of keeping the commands simple (with common sense in mind).

If anything, by asking Google Now a question or giving a command is fun and will be sure to impress your friends… “Ok Google“, “Do a barrel roll

 

 A list of all the Google Now voice commands

Greenbot


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