Archive for August, 2010
If you’re a GMail user who receives many e-mails a day and would like a way to separate the important e-mails from the not so important ones, such as automated e-mail from lists and such, perhaps you should try using a new beta feature in GMail, called Priority Inbox.
Priority Inbox works by separating the messages in your inbox into three sections, which include “Important and unread”, “Starred”, and “Everything”.
When you receive new e-mails, GMail’s Priority Inbox will automatically scan them and if they’re important, GMail will flag it as such, eliminating the need to search through all of the messages in your inbox to look for an important e-mail.
Priority Inbox works by using a variety of different signals in order to determine which e-mails are considered important, including the people that you e-mail the most, as well as whether or not you open and reply to a message, rather than just skimming through it or skipping over it.
Also, the more you use GMail, the better the Priority Inbox feature will get at categorizing your e-mails.
Gmail’s new Priority Inbox feature will be rolling out to users over the next week or so, so when you notice the “New! Priority Inbox” link near the top right corner of the GMail interface or the Priority Inbox tab in GMail’s settings, perhaps you should consider trying it out if you receive a lot of e-mail.
As you may already know, Digg was planning on launching version four of their website for a while now, with some users getting invites to try the new version of the social news website before it was officially launched. However, yesterday Digg v4 was officially launched to everyone – no invite needed.
The new version of Digg features a redesigned homepage, as well as a variety of new features, such as making submitting a story easier.
Another new feature of Digg v4 is that there is now a “My News” section, which displays the stories that your friends and people that you’re following are digging and submitting. If you would like to view stories and such that were submitted by everyone using the website, you can do so by clicking on the “Top News” button, which is located near the top of the website, next to the “My News’” button.
Also, the new version of Digg makes submitting a story, video, or picture easier than it was previously. If you would like to submit a new story, you can do so simply by typing or pasting a link into the “Submit a Link” box and then clicking on the “Digg it” button, where you should be able to enter a description for your story, as well as choose the story’s topic and picture. When you’re ready to submit the story to Digg, you can do so by clicking on the “Digg it” button again.
If you would like to learn more about Digg v4, you can do so by visiting the Digg Blog, which features a video walkthrough of the new version Digg. You can also learn more by checking out this article on TechCrunch.
If you’re someone who enjoys discovering new applications for the iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, but haven’t really found a good way to discover, as well as find reviews about applications, perhaps you should try using Chomp.
Chomp is an application discovery engine that enables people to discover new applications, as well as read reviews and recommendations about them, either online, using the Chomp website or by using the Chomp iPhone application.
The Chomp website looks similar to a search engine, with a search box, as well as an area that shows applications that are one sale, new applications, and enables you to view applications that have been reviewed.
When you would like to search for an application, you can simply type the name of the application or the type of application that you are looking for and then you will be presented with results pertaining to what you searched for. For example, if you are someone who likes to keep organized and keep a to-do list and would like to find a good “to-do list” application, you could search for “to do” on Chomp and would be presented with multiple applications, which are related to what you searched for.
The search results page includes screen shots of the applications that you searched for, as well as how much people like them, how many reviews they’ve had, as well as what the price of the application is.
If you would like more information about a particular application, you can click on the name or icon of the application, which will then present you with more detailed information about the application, including multiple screen shots, a description, how many reviews the application has had, how much people like the application, as well as user reviews.
The Chomp iPhone application works similar to how the Chomp website works, as there is a search box. Also, you can view applications that are on sale, recent reviews, and what’s new. If you have a Chomp account, you can also view the reviews of other Chomp users.
When you would like to search for an application, you can do so in the search box on the “Discover” page or click on the “Search”, which is located at the bottom of the application.
There is also a “My Apps” section, where you can add applications to your watch list, track application downloads, as well as view the reviews that you have written. However, this section requires that you have a Chomp account.
Also on the Chomp iPhone application is a “People” section, where you can search for users, view suggested users, view the top reviewers for that week, find your Twitter or FaceBook friends, invite friends by e-mail or FaceBook, view the users that you’re following, as well as view the users that are following you.
As you may have heard, either online or through other forms of media, there have been many iTunes users who were reporting fraudulent purchases being made with their PayPal accounts.
However, according to various technical blogs and websites, there are not any security holes or problems in either iTunes or PayPal, but rather, people have fallen victim to a “phishing” scam.
“Phishing” is a way of scamming users out of personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. An example of a "phishing” scam is when a user receives an e-mail, asking them to verify their personal information for a service, such as PayPal, by clicking on a link to an external website.
When the user arrives at the website, it may look very similar to the real website, however, the website is actually a rogue website, which scammers use to steal a user’s personal information.
There are some ways, however, that users can protect themselves against “phishing” scams, some of which are quite simple.
Double Check the Address Bar
If a user receives an e-mail from a bank or other company, asking them to verify their personal information, they should be aware that the e-mail could be a part of a phishing scam because even though an e-mail may look as though it’s legitimate, it may not be.
A simple check of the e-mail and web address may be able to stop somebody from becoming the victim of a phishing scam. However, some e-mail may look as though they are coming from and linking to a legitimate company, but may actually lead to a phishing website, so if you’re going to click on any links, you should double check what is in your browser’s address bar.
In addition to making sure the web address of the company is correct, you should also look for “https” in front of the web address, rather than “http” if you’re being asked to provide personal information, such as a password or credit card number, as “https” means that any information you provide is being sent over a secure, SSL connection.
Do not Respond to E-mails
If you have received an e-mail from a company, asking for you to respond with your personal information, be aware that this may be a way of scamming you out of your personal information.
Most companies probably won’t ask for your personal information via e-mail, so if you happen to receive an e-mail asking for personal information, it may be an attempt at a phishing scam.
Should you receive an e-mail asking for a reply with personal information, I would suggest that you manually type in the company’s web address and then either call or e-mail their customer support department, letting them know what happened.
Keep Your Password Secure
Another way that you can prevent yourself from falling victim to a phishing attempt would be to keep your passwords and other personal information secure.
You should not provide your password to anyone via phone or e-mail, unless you are positive that you are speaking to someone from a company or organization. Don’t be afraid to deny someone your password if they asked for it, as many companies will probably not ask for your password in an e-mail or over the phone.
It may also help to change your passwords every now and then, that way, if you were to accidentally fall victim to a phishing attempt, nobody would be able to access your account.
In order create a secure password, you should use both uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as numbers and even symbols, as all of these things would make a password harder to guess or figure out. Also, the longer a password is, the harder it is to figure out, so longer passwords are definitely better.
If you have any tips on how to prevent phishing scams or if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, or would like to make a correction to this post, please feel free to leave a comment below or use the Contact page to send me an e-mail!
If you’re looking for a fun game to play on your iPhone or iPod Touch, perhaps you should try playing NinJump by Backflip Studios. NinJump is a game in which you have to run up one of two walls, trying to avoid obstacles, as well as getting various power-ups.
The purpose of the NinJump is to try to climb the wall to the highest distance that you can, without getting hit by or running into an obstacle. The higher your character goes, the more obstacles you will have to avoid.
When you first launch NinJump, you should see a loading screen, but after that you should see the game’s main menu. From the menu, you have the options to play the game, view and change the game’s options, as well as view more games.
NinJump’s game play is fairly simple, as the only thing you have to do is tap on the screen, enabling your character to jump to and from one of the two walls. When your character jumps, he also swings his sword, allowing him to defeat obstacles, as well as catch power-ups.
Some examples of obstacles that you may encounter while playing NinJump are other ninjas, who may throw stars, birds, as well as foxes, which you can either attack or avoid. Attacking one of the obstacles will enable you to gain a “point” towards a power-up.
Once you have attacked three of the same type of obstacles, you will receive a power-up, which enables your character to move up the course faster, as well as with the ability to hit obstacles without falling.
In addition to power-ups, there is also a shield that you can get by simply running into it. The shield protects you if you were to run into or be hit by an obstacle. However, the shield can only be used once, as it goes away after you’ve been hit.
If you do not have a shield and run into or are hit by an obstacle, your character will fall off of the wall and the game will be over.
After your character has fallen, you will see a menu, showing you how high your character was able to climb, as well as what your best score was. Also, you can choose to post your score to OpenFeint, FaceBook, Twitter, or send it in an e-mail. There are also options to play NinJump again or return to the main menu.
If you would like to try playing NinJump, you can download it for free from the iTunes App Store.
If you’re someone who likes to stay organized and on top of things by making to-do lists or taking notes and are also a GMail or Google Calendar user, perhaps you should consider moving from pen and paper lists to managing your tasks and to-do lists online.
After you have logged into your GMail account, you should see a “Tasks” link, which is located above the “Compose Mail” button. When you click on the link, a tasks list will appear on the lower right side of the GMail interface. If you haven’t used the tasks feature before, you should see the “Default List”, where you can add new tasks, as well as check off and view tasks which you have completed.
When you would like to add a new task to your list, you can do so by simply clicking in the blank space next to the check box in the list. If you would like to add details, such as a due date or notes, as well as choose which list to add the task to, you can do so by clicking on the blue arrow, located to the right of where you typed your task.
If you are a Google Calendar user, you can also view your tasks in the “Tasks” sidebar, which is located to the right of your calendar, where you should be able to view and manage your tasks, just like in GMail. However, if you have chosen a due date for your task, you will be able to view the task on your calendar, in addition to any other events you may have added to your calendar.
If you would like to organize your tasks into more than one list, you can do so by going to your tasks list and then clicking on the “Switch list” button, which looks like three bullet points and a blue arrow. From there, you can create a new list, switch between lists, as well as other options.
Hopefully after reading this post, you will be able to manage your tasks and to-do lists online, rather than having to write everything down!
If you have any questions, comments, or corrections for this post, please feel free to leave a comment below or use the Contact page to send me an e-mail!
If you’re a Google Calendar user, you already know how Google Calendar is a great service and that it can be a great tool for getting and staying organized. Below are some tips and tricks that perhaps you didn’t know about, which may be able to enhance an already great experience while using Google Calendar.
Add Other Calendars
Google Calendar doesn’t have to be used for just events, appointments, and other important dates. You can also use it to keep track of holidays, when your favorite sports team is playing, as well as other things. Also, you don’t even have to add the dates to your calendar manually, as Google has created a variety of different calendars that you can subscribe to, making the events appear in your calendar.
If you would like to subscribe to a holiday, sports, or other calendar, you can do so by logging into your Google Calendar account and then clicking on the “Add” button, which is located under the “Other Calendars” section in the left sidebar and then choosing an option, such as “Browse Interesting Calendars”, such as holidays, sports, and others, or you can even add a friend’s calendar, as well as add a calendar from a URL, or importing another calendar.
If you’re someone who likes to create a “To-Do” or task list, you can do so right from Google Calendar. When you first log into your account, you should see a tasks list on the right side of the window. You can add tasks to your list and when you’re done, you can simply check them off or delete them.
You can even create multiple tasks lists, so that you can organize your tasks into their own categories and such. If you’d like to create a new tasks list, you can dos o by clicking on the “Switch list” button, which is located on the bottom right of the tasks list.
From there, you should be able to perform a variety of different tasks, such as refreshing, renaming, deleting, or creating a new tasks list.
Google Calendar has a great feature that allows you to integrate the weather forecast right into your calendar.
If you would like to add the weather forecast to your calendar, you can do so by clicking on “Settings” and then choosing “Calendar settings”. From there, you should click on the “General” tab and then scroll down until you see the “Show weather based on my location” setting, where you should be able to select whether or not you would like the weather to appear in Fahrenheit or Celsius.
Drag and Drop
Another useful feature of Google Calendar is that you have the ability to drag and drop items on your calendar. For example, if you added an event to the wrong day, you can simply click on the event and drag it to the correct day and time.
Also, if you need to shorten or allow more time for an event, you can simply drag the event up or down, which should enable you to change the length of your event.
Change the View
When you log into Google Calendar, you should see the default viewing options, such as “Day”, “Week”, “Month”, “4 Days”, and “Agenda’”. However, if you don’t like the default settings, you can change the views by clicking on “Settings” and then choosing “Calendar settings”.
From there, you should click on the “General” tab and then scroll down until you see the “Default view” and “Custom view” options, which should allow you to change the length of time you can view on your calendar.
If you would like more Google Calendar tips and tricks, perhaps you should check out this post from the WebWorkDaily.com website, as well as this post, also from WebWorkDaily.com. You can also find Google Calendar tips and tricks from this post from the Blogoscoped.com website, as well as this article from the PCWorld.com website.
If you have more than one computer and would like to be able to share an Internet connection, files, and printers between computers, perhaps you should consider setting up a home network. This blog post will cover how to set up a home network using Windows Vista. If you’re using another operating system, you can find networking tutorials by doing a simple Google search.
Setting up a home network doesn’t have to be difficult and can be done by anyone, as long as you have the right information and supplies. In order to set up a home network, some recommended supplies include an Internet connection, a wireless router or modem, Ethernet cable or wireless adapters, and a printer, if you plan on sharing a printer between multiple computers.
Setting up and Configuring the Hardware
Before you begin configuring your home network, you should first ensure that you have properly set up and installed the equipment that will enable you to connect your computers together. If you have a cable, FiOS, or DSL modem, you should ensure that it’s plugged in, turned on, and connected to a wireless (or wired, if you prefer) router, using an Ethernet cable. Some modem and router manufacturers may suggest that you install and configure your modem or router before setting it up or turning it on, so I would suggest that you look at the instructions that came with your hardware to be sure.
Once you have set up, installed, and configured your modem and router, you should then connect your computers to your modem or router, either using an Ethernet cable or using a wireless adapter. Some computers, such as many laptops, come with a preinstalled wireless adapter that doesn’t require much set up. However, if you purchased an external or internal wireless adapter for your computer, I would suggest that you read the instructions to see what the manufacturer of your wireless adapter recommends you do in order to install and configure the wireless adapter.
Creating a Home Network
Once you have both installed and configured the equipment necessary for networking your computers together, you should ensure that you are able to access your modem, router, and the Internet from all of the computers that you plan to network together. If your computers are connected to your router using an Ethernet cable, you should be able to access your modem, router, as well as the Internet, as long as you have properly installed and configured all of the hardware.
If you are using a wireless adapter to connect to your wireless modem or router, you may have to select a network to connect to, which you can do by clicking on the connection icon, which is located in the System Tray, which should say “Wireless networks are available.” and then selecting a network from the list.
After you have connected to your network, you may want to set up a new network by going to the Control Panel and clicking on “View network status and tasks”, which is located under the “Network and Internet” section of the Control Panel.
From there, you should select either “Manage wireless networks” or “Set up a connection or network”. Once you’ve chosen an option, you should be able to either manage an existing network or create a new network. Depending on your choice, you should follow any on screen instructions that you may be given, in order to set up a network.
Configuring File and Printer Sharing
If you already have already set up a network or are happy the way things are, but would like to be able to share files between computers, you should configure file sharing by going to the Control Panel and then clicking on “Set up file sharing”, which is located under the “Network and Internet” section of the Control Panel.
From there, you should be able to select which things on your network you would like to share. You can enable network discovery, file sharing, public folder sharing, printer sharing, password protect sharing, as well as media sharing, as long as your firewall is configured to allow these settings.
You can find out more information, as well as configure the settings for the above things from the “Network and Sharing Center” section of the Control Panel.
If you happen to run into trouble while creating or setting up your home network, there are a few things that you can do in order to figure out what is causing you problems, as well as fix those problems.
One way that you may be able to figure out what is causing problems with your home network or connection is to run the “Diagnose and repair” tool by going to the Control Panel and then clicking on “View network status and tasks”, which is located under the "Network and Internet” section of the Control Panel.
From there, you should click on the “Diagnose and repair” link, which you should find in the left sidebar of the Network and Sharing Center. If the “Diagnose and repair” tool finds out what is causing you to have problems with your network, it should also suggest ways to fix or repair these problems.
If you are having problems with your network or Internet connection, another thing that you may want to do is check to ensure that your computer or router’s firewall, as well as security settings are configured properly.
You can view and manage your computer’s security settings by going to the Control Panel and then clicking on “Check this computer’s security status”, which is located under the “Security” section of the Control Panel. From there, you should be able to view and manage your computer’s security settings, including the Windows Firewall, automatic updates, malware protection, as well as other security settings.
If you would like to view and configure the Windows Firewall’s settings, you can do so by going to the Control Panel and then clicking on “Allow a program through Windows Firewall”, which is located under the “Security” section.
After clicking on the link, you should be able to view the Windows Firewall’s general settings, exceptions list, as well as advanced settings.
Another thing that you may want to check if your having problems with your network or Internet connection would be your router or modem’s settings. If you would like to check your router or modem’s settings, you may be able to do so by going to 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1 in a browser and then entering your username and password.
If you aren’t sure what your username and password are, perhaps you should try using a username and password combination, such as “admin” and “password” or “admin” and “admin”, which may be the default passwords for some modems and routers.
Once you’ve logged into your modem or router, you should be able to both view and manage it’s settings. However, I would suggest that you be careful not to change any settings that you’re unsure of, as they may end up doing more harm than good.
If you have chosen to have a wireless network, other people may be able to access your Internet connection, as well as view your data and files without you even knowing that they were there. However, there are a few ways that you can secure your network.
One way that you can ensure that nobody has access to your Internet connection or data and files it to disable your modem or router’s wireless connection and simply connecting your computers to your modem or router using Ethernet cables. This will ensure that nobody can access your network unless they have physical access to it.
However, if you would prefer to have a wireless network, you may be able to encrypt your wireless connection. In order to do this, you may have to log into your modem or router and then entering your username and password.
From there, you should find the “Security” section or another similar section, where you should be able to view and mange your router’s security settings, including encryption. There are a few different types of encryption that you may be able to use, such as WEP or WPA, which you can learn more about by doing a search on the Internet. Also, there is a post on TechnicalCafe called “Securing Your Wireless Connection” that may be able to help you.
Hopefully after reading this post, you will be able to set up and configure a home network, whether it be wireless or not.
If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or corrections, please feel free to leave a comment below or use the Contact page to send me an e-mail!
If you’re a GMail user, then you probably already noticed that GMail has slightly altered the look of it’s user interface, as well as updated it’s contacts feature recently, making it easier to use, as well as adding some new features.
While GMail didn’t really go through any major interface changes, they did make a few layout changes, which make it easier to access both your contacts and tasks lists.
When you log into GMail, you should notice that there are three buttons, located under the GMail logo, which are “Mail”, “Contacts”, and “Tasks”. If you click on either the “Mail” or “Contacts” buttons, you should be able to view various different options underneath the buttons. For example, if you click on the “Mail” button, you should see a “Compose Mail” button, as well as options to view your inbox, Google Buzz messages, sent e-mails, drafts, as well as other things.
When you click on the “Contacts” button, you should then be able to see a list of your contacts, as well as the option to add a new contact, as well as view your contacts by groups, including by friends, family, coworkers, the people you contact most, as well as your “other contacts”.
In addition to changing GMail’s mail and contacts interface and layout, there are also other new updates, including new keyboard shortcuts, the ability to sort contacts by last name, custom labels for phone numbers, as well as other fields. Also, there is the option to undo changes, automatic saving, structured name fields, which means that you can adjust people’s titles, suffixes, as well as other things. There is also a bigger and more prominent notes field for contacts.
Lets say you’re using your iPhone and would like to quickly respond to an e-mail or write a rather long text message or Tweet. Rather than typing it out, perhaps you should consider using the Dragon Dictation application, by Nuance Communications, which enables you to talk into your iPhone and then presents you with a text version of what you just said.
When you first launch the Dragon Dictation application, you will be presented with a EULA, which you have to accept in order to use the application. After accepting the terms of the EULA, you will then be prompted to allow Dragon Dictation to add the names of your contacts to their server, which better enables Dragon to recognize the names. However, you are not required to allow Dragon to do this.
After you have either allowed or disallowed Dragon to add the names of your contacts to their server, you should then be taken to a screen, where you should see a button, which allows you to dictate what you would like to be transcribed to text. Also, you should see a keyboard (which is disabled at first) in the bottom left hand corner of the screen, as well as a settings button in the bottom right hand corner.
The settings button allows you to add social networking websites, such as FaceBook and Twitter, so that you can post what you dictated to the application. You can also select which language you will be using, whether or not to recognize names, the option to detect the end of speech. You can also choose to reset your enrollment, which will reset your voice profile. However, doing this can cause a decrease in the performance of the application’s speech recognition. In addition, you can view the current build of the application.
When you are ready to dictate to the application, you can do so by going back to the Dragon Dictation application’s home screen and then tapping on the record button, located under the words “Tap and dictate”.
After you’ve tapped on the record button, you should begin dictating to the application what you would like to be transcribed to text. Once you’ve said what you would like to be transcribed to text, you should tap on the “Done” button. However, if you would rather stop dictating, you can tap on the “Cancel” button, which will return you to the application’s home screen.
Once you’ve tapped on the “Done” button, you should be able to view a text version of what you dictated to the application. You can then either edit the text, using the keyboard button, located at the bottom left side of the screen or dictate additional text by pressing the record button, located in the bottom center of the screen.
You can view additional options, such as the ability to send a text message or e-mail, using the text that you just dictated to the Dragon Dictation application, by tapping on the button that looks like a line with an arrow above it. There are also the options to copy the text that you dictated, as well as use it to update your FaceBook and Twitter accounts. You can also access the application’s settings from this menu. When you would like to close the additional options menu, you can do so by tapping on the button, which looks like a line with an arrow pointing down above it.
Having tried this application, I believe it can be useful for a variety of different things, whether it be sending a text message, e-mail, or for updating your social networking profiles. Also, Dragon Dictation’s speech recognition seems pretty good, as well.
If you would like to try using Dragon Dictation, you can download it for free from Apple’s iTunes App Store.