Category Archives: Tips

đŸ––đŸ» Internet 2022 – What’s the ONE thing you can do to make it better?

Way back in 2019 (BC), I summarized why, in 2016, I stopped writing about tech and the Internet. TLDR: I felt like I was always writing and reporting about Negative stuff. Ironically, I never published that blog because it seemed way too negative. đŸ€Ł Today we revisit the Internet to see what has changed, and I will give you TechWite’s ONE Suggestion for Making the Internet Better.

Back in the previous decade, before Covid and so much else, I saw the once promising Internet turning into the mess covered in the categories below:

  1. Bad Manners, Shaming, and Other Rotten Behavior
  2. Facebook
  3. Hacking, Swindling, Blackmail, & Ransom
  4. Harassment and Sexism
  5. Amazon, Uber, Monopoly and the New Workplace Overlords
  6. Net Neutrality
  7. New Technologies
  8. Privacy
  9. Resistance
  10. Trends

* DATB – (Details at the Bottom) For details, scroll down and read the article titles (with links) that I collected at the time.

None of these issues have gone away —except maybe Net Neutrality—and regular readers will note that I even see some hope here and there. In fact, before I dive into the worst of it, I want to add a couple more hopeful signs:

Old Data Never Dies“—Or maybe it does! Some companies are actually cleaning up their accounts — allegedly, they respect your privacy and won’t keep your information forever! Here are two examples:

Realism about Likes and Engagement? — There is the whole Elon thing, and I’m not going to give the guy another stage for his drama; we knew months ago that Twitter didn’t have as many users as they claim. So maybe people are catching on to the fakeness of it all?? One can hope. 🙂

eBooks have a future? — Not addressed elsewhere in TechWite, but a long-time issue for me is the limitations of purchased eBooks when copy-protected by Amazon, Apple, et al. They’re often not cheaper than paper, they have some great tech advantages, but basically if you buy an eBook, you are the only person who ever gets to use it. You can’t loan it, share it, give it away, or sell it. So why buy it? I thought Blockchain might be a way that people could “own” eBooks and have all the options of selling, sharing etc. One company is planning to sell textbooks as NFTs. Of course they want to protect the book as their asset, but the technology could be used to allow individuals to OWN and sell eBooks just as if they were “real”.

Pearson plans to sell its textbooks as NFTs | Publishing | The Guardian
Educational publisher’s move into non-fungible tokens is intended to claw back some of the income lost to secondhand sales
— Read on www.theguardian.com/books/2022/aug/02/pearson-plans-to-sell-its-textbooks-as-nfts

The rest of this stuff sounds much like it did in 2017…

#Hacking and #NoPrivacy

LastPass, a Password Manager With Millions of Users, Is Hacked – WSJ
The company said no information was stolen from its more than 33 million users after an unauthorized party accessed its development environment
— Read on www.wsj.com/articles/lastpass-a-password-manager-with-millions-of-users-is-hacked-11661524398

FTC Sues Over Tracking Data That Could Expose Visits to Abortion Clinics – The New York Times
Federal regulators said the sale of geolocation information on tens of millions of smartphones could expose people’s visits to private places.
— Read on www.nytimes.com/2022/08/29/business/ftc-lawsuit-tracking-data-abortion.html

Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They’re Not Keeping It Secret – The New York Times (2018)
Dozens of companies use smartphone locations to help advertisers and even hedge funds. They say it’s anonymous, but the data shows how personal it is.
— Read on www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/12/10/business/location-data-privacy-apps.html

And then there’s Facebook...

Read this Felix Krause blog from just the other day. (It’s not much different than the 10 articles about Facebook in the DATB.)

iOS Privacy: Instagram and Facebook can track anything you do on any website in their in-app browser · Felix Krause
— Read on krausefx.com/blog/ios-privacy-instagram-and-facebook-can-track-anything-you-do-on-any-website-in-their-in-app-browser

Facebook, Meta, Zuckerburg and everything he owns represent the biggest threat to creativity, safety, security on the Internet, and life as we would like to know it. For all the times he and the company have been caught lying, stealing data, selling it illegally, monopolizing, crushing competition, etc. etc. etc., they’ve never admitted culpability. Oops! We’ll have to do better! Poor Mark! He wakes up every day to find somebody wants to put him down. He’s a victim!! Right.

So What’s the one thing you could do to make the Internet a better place? Delete Facebook. I don’t mean sign out and stay off for a few weeks or months and write an article about how you “Quit Facebook” (you’ll find these all over the Internet). They’re fake quitters. I’m saying DELETE FACEBOOK and never go back to it, never. (Most people don’t understand all the thieving corrosive technology behind the “friendly” interface of Fakebook. I don’t. But I AM TECHWITE, and I know enough to tell you to avoid it.)

Facebook is a time wasting, drama-generating cesspool of scammers and criminals that encourages people to treat each other badly. Never, ever, ever use Facebook or have it installed on your phone or iPad. If you are tempted to go to Facebook via a web browser, don’t. Before you do, learn all about private browsing and clearing your cache, and all the other stuff you have to do to wipe the digital leeches that Facebook will attach to your identity just by using a browser. Unfortunately, this probably applies to Instagram and Mark’s Metaverse, and every other company or product he buys and corrupts or destroys. But let’s keep it simple. #DeleteFacebook

—TechWite Peace Out đŸ€™đŸ»

*DATB (below)

BAD MANNERS, SHAMING, AND OTHER ROTTEN BEHAVIOR circa 2017


Jon Ronson: When online shaming goes too far | TED Talk | TED.com
AT&T and Johnson & Johnson Pull Ads From YouTube – The New York Times
‘Missing Richard Simmons,’ the Morally Suspect Podcast – The New York Times
U-cant-talk-to-ur-professor-like-this – The New York Times

FACEBOOK


Don’t Let Facebook Make You Feel Miserable – The New York Times
‘10 Concerts’ Facebook Meme May Reveal More Than Musical Tastes – The New York Times
After Posting of Violent Videos, Facebook Will Add 3,000 Content Monitors – WSJ
Can Facebook Fix Its Own Worst Bug? – The New York Times
Why Facebook Keeps Beating Every Rival: It’s the Network, of Course – The New York Times
Cleveland Police Seek Suspect After a Killing Seen on Facebook – The New York Times
Facebook denies targeting insecure users – BBC News
Millions duped by Facebook Live video – BBC News
Facebook Live ‘broadcasts gang rape’ of woman in Sweden – BBC News
‘Sex assault’ streamed on Facebook Live – BBC News

 

HACKING, SWINDLING, BLACKMAIL, & RANSOM


Password manager OneLogin hacked, exposing sensitive customer data | ZDNet
Disney hack: Ransom demanded for stolen film
Russian Cyberforgers Steal Millions a Day With Fake Sites – The New York Times
How to Make $80,000 Per Month on the Apple App Store – Medium
India’s Call-Center Talents Put to a Criminal Use: Swindling Americans – The New York Times
In Cyber Attack Where does Microsoft’s Responsibility Lie? – The New York Times
U.S. Far-Right Activists Promote Hacking Attack Against Macron – The New York Times
Hacking Attack Has Security Experts Scrambling to Contain Fallout – The New York Times
Hackers Hide Cyber Attacks in Social Media Posts – The New York Times  
No, Your Phone Didn’t Ring. So Why Voice Mail From a Telemarketer? – The New York Times

HARASSMENT AND SEXISM


Women in Tech Speak Frankly on Culture of Harassment – The New …
Here are 6 of Our Favorite iOS 11 ARKit Demonstrations – The Mac …
Jake Paul, a Reality Villain for the YouTube Generation – The New …

 

Amazon, UBER, Monopoly and the NEW WORKPLACE OVERLORDS


Amazon’s Move Signals End of Line for Many Cashiers – The New …
How Uber Uses Psychological Tricks to Push Its Drivers’ Buttons – The New York Times
Uber to Repay Millions to Drivers, Who Could Be Owed Far More – The New York Times
The Online Marketplace That’s a Portal to the Future of Capitalism – The New York Times

NET NEUTRALITY


FCC and Congress Work to Roll Back Net Neutrality – TidBITS
F.C.C. Chairman Pushes Sweeping Changes to Net Neutrality Rules – The New York Times

 

NEW TECHNOLOGIES


IoT Opens New Door for DDoS Attacks – CIO Journal – WSJ
Google Wants Driverless Cars, but Do We? – The New York Times

 

PRIVACY


Microchip Implants for Employees? One Company Says Yes – The …
Sonos says users must accept new privacy policy or devices … – ZDNet
Your Roomba May Be Mapping Your Home, Collecting Data That …
Clearing Out the App Stores: Government Censorship Made Easier – The New York Times

 

RESISTANCE


Resist the Internet – The New York Times
Hooked on Our Smartphones – The New York Times
Leave Your Laptops at the Door to My Classroom – The New York Times

TRENDS


Mossberg: The Disappearing Computer – Recode
As Coding Boot Camps Close, the Field Faces a Reality Check – The New York Times
Maybe We’ve Been Thinking About the Productivity Slump All Wrong …
How Technology Has Failed to Improve Your Airline Experience – The New York Times
Platform Companies Are Becoming More Powerful — but What Exactly Do They Want? – The New York Times
Valuation Shell Game: Silicon Valley’s Dirty Secret – The New York Times

#ResisttheInternet #AvoidtheInternet Protect your #Privacy #DeleteFacebook — Why I stopped writing about Tech

Back From the Dead—But not using a bootable drive…

My Mac Backup Strategy, was:

1. Backup to Time Machine regularly to have access to that data.
2. Backup regularly to a fast “bootable” external drive “clone” using a nifty 3rd party tool such as SuperDuper.

Having an external bootable backup meant that if my internal drive(s) failed, I could quickly fire up a workable system and continue working, until I restored it all to a replacement drive. But as I discovered last night…

At this writing, you can’t make a bootable backup disk with Big Sur. And the M1 (non-Intel) Macs can’t boot from an external drive. Now what? You could (and should) keep using Time Machine of course, but that is just saving your data and apps, not creating a “boot disk”. You’ll have to repair/replace your drive or Mac first, then recover using Time Machine. Unless you have a backup computer and work with all your data “in the cloud”, hours or days of downtime is inevitable with a hardware failure.

Short version: Make multiple backups of everything that is important to you. Including backing up to (a non-bootable) external drive with SuperDuper or other “cloning” utility. If your recovery strategy is “Make an appointment at the Genius Bar”, make sure you allow for at least a few days of downtime. If your business can’t afford downtime, try to work with all your data “in the cloud”, have a spare Mac, and be sure if you shut one Mac down, you can still do everything you need to on the other. And Test and Verify that this actually works!!

Readable Technical details and workaround(s) at Shirt Pocket Watch (SuperDuper developer’s blog) www.shirt-pocket.com/blog/, and this thorough summary from TidBITS: The Role of Bootable Duplicates in a Modern Backup Strategy.
— Read on

P.S. TechWite is also back from the dead. At least for this one entry. I’ve always been UNPREDICTABLE. 😎


—Techwite

Want a Private Facebook? Try #Slack

NYTimes: A Charming Alternative Universe of You, Your Friends and No News

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/18/technology/a-charming-alternative-universe-of-you-your-friends-and-no-news.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share

imageThe Times article (above) tempts with the idea of an alternative to the competitive, super-public, extrovert dominated world of fake friends and insincere “likes”. But, the NYT never seems to escape from that social norm, suggesting instead the candy sweet illusion of Instagram “Stories”.

Really?

TechWite says: Try Slack
Do you want a place online where you can share photos, web links, movies, and all that other stuff but not have it smeared with ads, streams of articles and media curated by robots, comments from people you don’t know, don’t remember, or want to forget? Do you want an app where you can have a private conversation (the “DM”—Direct Message—in Twitter becomes a “Private Channel” in Slack) with someone you already know, who is already participating in this place, and where you don’t have to use email to do it? And your team only has members that you want in it. Period.

Not “The Next Big Thing”—Better!
Yea, yea, yea, everyone tells you to use Slack for business, for software development projects, to integrate your two diverse companies that now have to merge their email systems and don’t have a common platform to work on, blah, blah. Blech!! I’m suggesting you, and a small group of real friends who want to plan your next bike trip, group vacation, backpacking adventure, etc. etc., create a Slack Team. Spend a little time and effort figuring out how Slack works. Yes, there are apps for iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and POWB (plain old web browsers). And sure, there are tons of plug-ins and commercial upgrades and corporate tie-ins, but only if you want them. This is not “The Next Big Thing”—this is the thing you want to use to communicate and stay in touch with your REAL Friends and Family. The basic version is free.

Life is short. Create a team! Have fun!
These links open in a new window:
Create your own Slack Team:  https://slack.com
Join the public SlackBITS Team run by our friends at TidBITS: http://slackbits.herokuapp.com

Tell them TechWite sent you!

BTW: No, I have no commercial, financial, or stock interest in #Slack. But I am open to the possibility!

—Peace Out

How to Fix Persistent Apple Calendar Entries

Icon_Calendar1Meetings, appointments, reminders—if you’ve put Apple’s iCloud Calendar to good use for awhile, you probably have lots of old Calendar events, maybe years, maybe decades of old events. You are paying for that storage with your money, and for the processor overhead with your time. And…do you really want the NSA to have access to all this? You should clean it up. It’s the past. Let it go! But how?

This is Apple, so it should be easy, right? Well, yes, but friends, this is one of those rare potholes in the normally smooth road of the Apple ecosystem. Apple will help you hide your old Calendar entries, but we want to DELETE, and just locating information on how to delete them requires an epic effort worthy of a Homer narrative. For you, TechWite provides the “Cliff’s Notes” shortcut to the answers:

🙈  The iCloud Ostrich Method

iCloud_hide_events

Hide old events in iCloud: Click the Gear icon for Preferences… > Advanced > Old Events. But they are still there.  We want to DELETE and in iCloud, that’s as good as it gets. On your Mac? Back when versions of OS X were named after BIG CATS, there was a similar option in Calendar > Preferences. That option is GONE.

SAre_you_sure_you_want_to_delete_this_event?top Making Sense—Warning: If you manually delete appointments ONE at a time, iCloud will try to send “updates” to all the meeting recipients of those old meetings. You may have hundreds or thousands of entries. Imagine the annoyed responses from old friends, lovers, family, and former work associates asking why you are cancelling a meeting in the PAST?? My advice: If you encounter this issue, and get queries, DON’T RESPOND.

Like the Labors of Hercules! The long, tedious, and frankly annoying search propelled as if by a motivational prophecy from the Delphic oracle—that this should be easier, this should be obvious, and if “The Steve” were here, this simply would not be a problem.

  • Apple support on Twitter abandoned me because I didn’t “DM” them.
  • Apple Support Communities (formerly known as ‘the boards’) had many, many, many posts asking for help on this topic, and virtually NO solutions.
  • Books about “Calendar”? There were some books about iCloud but otherwise, not to be found.
  • Mac OSX Hints site came closer to a solution by suggesting cool Apple technologies AppleScript, and Automator, but for me, these either worked partially, inconsistently, or not at all. And at last I found…
  • “The Golden Link”—to “Advanced Calendar and iCal troubleshooting“, which was: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204598. (But, this being the Inkernet, where everything is subject to change, as of this update, March 1, 2022, the Golden Link is a DEAD Link! Fortunately, I summarized most of it.—TW)

    iCloud: Advanced Calendar and iCal troubleshooting

    The most common causes for data-based issues with Calendar are:

  • Unreadable or incompatible calendar data.
  • Reoccurring calendar events that have no end date (such as birthdays).
  • Duplicate events.
  • An excess of calendar events that happened in the past (especially those that were previously synced from another calendar client).

Any of these conditions could be the cause of your issues with Calendar in OS X (or iCal) and iCloud.

Well thanks Apple! And in that most important (and now disappered) article, Apple explains how to perform all kinds of maintenance on your Calendars, backing up, disconnecting from iCloud and other services, cleaning up, and restoring. I leave that work to you, reader.

…to delete those old entries, here are the two answers:

  1. Delete Entries in Macintosh Calendar App: In the search bar, type “.“—a single period—and press <Return>. This will produce a search response list of ALL your entries, which you may then select (using the various select options that you know how to use, right?) and <Delete>. (This still has the issue with sending “updates” to recipients, so be careful. Otherwise, go to #2, below.)
    [BTW: Can you do this in iCloud? I can’t even find the Search Bar in iCloud. Where is it??]
  2. Use a 3rd Party Macintosh Calendar Tool: Download a more capable Calendar replacement, or a Calendar utility. These will do the work for you that Apple has abandoned. I recommend BusyCal. You can download the free trial, and use it to batch clean your calendar using their wonderful List View of calendar entries. You may like it so much that you decide to buy it. (I did!)

And there you have it.  Peace Out.—TW

IPad Quirky? Unstable? Manage your storage!

A former colleague, Cary, asked TechWite about her unstable iPad. TechWite responds…

Your iPad, has a limited amount of storage.  You may recall hearing that it had: 16 Gig, 64 Gig, 128 Gig (Gigabytes). Depending on what you do with it, that storage on your iPad gets used by photos, songs, movies, books, and everything else. If the iPad gets slow, undependable, crashes, or won’t install the latest iOS update, chances are the storage space (whatever it was originally) is all “filled up”. A trip to visit your local Apple Store, or Apple Dealer, or friendly, knowledgeable consultant may be in order. But first, you can try clearing out some space yourself.


“What was a lot then, is nothing now.” —Christo’s 2nd Law of Computing

What’s a Gig? A Gigabyte is a thousand Megabytes. What’s a Megabyte? In the PaleoMac days of the PC revolution BI (Before iOS), early adopters and PC enthusiasts liked to throw around numbers the way auto afficianados today talk about the doomed-wheeled-hunks-of-metal-and-plastic that will soon be replaced by autonomous cars. Those PaleoGeeks made hilarious comments such as, “I upgraded my Mac to 512K RAM and bought an external 10Meg SCSI Hyperdrive.” If you’re a Facebook user, or an “elliptical” (as the media calls this new generation), you don’t care what a Megabyte is, and it doesn’t matter. So forget the details.

Just remember, as always in capitalism and technology: more is better. When you buy your next Apple device, try to get the one that has *more*. Eventually, even that won’t be enough, but for now, that’s all you need to know.


To get started, the Settings app is the place to go. Open it, and follow along…

Step 1 – Check Storage

Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage

This will take you to a panel that displays your “Used” and “Available” storage (below). There is no hard and fast rule here, but you want the “Available” number to be big. (If it is already 5 Gig or more, then storage is probably *not* what is causing your problems.) Next, let’s make more storage available by getting rid of stuff that no longer serves you.

Step 2 – Manage Storage

Tap Manage Storage…
It may take some time for your device to fill in the details of your “Storage” panel. Be patient. Eventually, you will get a list of your apps and how much storage they use—sorted from biggest data usage to smallest. You can go through all of these apps, but you are going to get the best results by working on the apps at the top of the list, which are usually Music, Videos, and Photos (below).

Step 3 – Identify and Delete Songs that no Longer Serve You
Tap Music:
You’ll get a list of all the music on your iPad, grouped by Artist, Album, and Song. You can start deleting right at this “top” level, and Delete all songs by one artist.

Tap on one Artist, and Slide to the LEFT, to reveal the “Delete” button.
Tap “Delete” to delete all the songs by that artist.

Don’t want to get rid of everything by that artist? Just want to delete one song? You can “drill down” and use the same method as above to Delete specific albums or songs. Below, we tap Artist “A.C.Newman” > Album “Shut Down the Streets” > Song “Encyclopedia of Classic Takedowns” and then Delete.

6bc6f9ff9c8c058fb88996da1e725d5a

13bc945723bc8de65619270d58ca471f

 

9ca675a1b9de2aaec89eaedfea24992a

Step 4 – Repeat, and Validate
Repeat this process to get rid of as much music as you want. You can then use the same process to Delete the space-eating data of other apps on your iPad. When you are done, check your storage again. (From Step 2, above):
Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage

Finally, power your iPad completely down and restart it:

  1. Hold the “Sleep/Wake” button down until the screen goes dark and you see the “Slide to Power Down” button on the screen.
  2. Slide to Power Down.
  3. After the iPad completely shuts down, wait 30 seconds, and power it back up. How? Hold down the Sleep/Wake button until the Apple logo appears.

NOW, with that extra space that you’ve saved, does your iPad behave better? If not, you could try re-installing the OS, but for most people, that means it’s probably time for a visit to your local Apple support person.

Thanks for stopping by,

—TechWite

This post was written (almost) entirely on an iPad using Evernote. Interested? Tell me.

Overlooked and Underused: iPhone Personal Hotspot

Mac and iPhone—Best of Friends

 

MacWiFiMenu12_17_15

Tether this. On a PC, if you don’t have access to ethernet or Wi-Fi, you can “tether” your cell phone for internet access—if your phone and data plan support it, and if you can figure out the configuration. You set it up with a bunch of steps, using Bluetooth or a USB cable, Windows, and phone configuration settings, and hopefully, it works. The real “road warriors” out there know this and may use it, but for most people? Meh. Too much trouble. (I used to tether a Blackberry. Maybe it’s easier for you Windows folks now. I hope so, but it doesn’t matter to me—because I use a Mac!)

In the Apple world, we expect a little more… Think about it. You guys are “tethered” to the Internet like you’re being tied up or something. iPhones come with “Personal Hotspot” capability, and it’s another one of those overlooked and underused, convenient, “personal” features that makes me want to exclaim, “THERE! See? THAT’S why I use a Mac!!”


Sometimes I wonder if this “personal stuff” is Apple’s snarky revenge for the late-to-the-party IBM PC, that usurped the name “Personal” Computer, and then danced around with a lampshade on its head screaming, “Look at me! Look at me!” for the next 30 years, while the Mac tried to get attention by standing in the corner, being cool, and drawing pictures.


My iPhone is in my backpack. To get to the internet, I don’t have to touch it; I don’t have to see it! It appears on the Mac Wi-Fi menu as a “Personal Hotspot” choice (see screenshot). And get this, incredibly, my iPhone “Personal Hotspot” is actually “Off“. (Check this on your iPhone: Launch Settings > Personal Hotspot.) It’s “Off”, but my Mac and iPhone are pals, so my Mac puts the iPhone on the list, and even displays signal strength (Yellow Arrow) and battery level (Blue arrow). If I select “Christo’s iPhone 6” from the Mac Wi-Fi menu, the “Personal Hotspot” on the iPhone switches to “On“. The secret here is that my devices share the same iCloud account. Cool right? Will it turn it back “Off” too? Of course! After connecting, a “Disconnect from Christo’s iPhone 6” item appears on the menu. As long as I choose that, the “Personal Hotspot” turns “Off“.

Here’s an important tip: Remember to “Disconnect..” if you just close the lid on your MacBook, your iPhone continues to act like a Wi-Fi router, burning battery and cellular data like a FIEND!! So remember to Disconnect first! Why doesn’t Apple just make it turn off as soon as you shut the lid on your MacBook? They could, but remember, you might not be the only one using the Personal HotSpot!

It’s your business if you get “tethered” or get “Personal”.  I know what I like, and to TechWite, this Personal Hotspot functionality has been well thought out and sensibly integrated, end-to-end. And, as I’ve been saying for a long time, “…that’s the difference!”


Would you like to hear more? Sometime soon TechWite will write again about: “Mac and iPhone—Best of Friends”.

Dealing with Bad GUI: Conversation View in Outlook 2013

In Outlook 2013 for Windows, in your Inbox > View by Conversation mail list, conversations are indicated by the little triangle, sometimes referred to as a “twisty”. The target area where you must click to display the conversation is about 10 pixels to the right of the "twisty" triangle. If you don’t know this, you have probably tried clicking ON the twisty—as you would expect from your experience on other programs and platforms. But that doesn’t work in MicrosoftLand. Keep trying, once in awhile you might get it to open, suggesting that the target is a single dot somewhere inside the twisty, but please, stop wasting your time!

Tip: Only click within the range suggested by the red box (below), starting about 10 pixels to the right of the twisty, and vertically in the row of the message. (Clicking on the triangle doesn’t work!)

Evernote helps you remember everything and get organized effortlessly. Download Evernote.

I admit it!!

OS X: Keyboard shortcuts – Apple Support.

I admit it! Although I’ve been using Macs as long as there have been Macs, I still can’t remember those weird symbols that represent the Macintosh “modifier” keys. Okay, the “clover leaf”, i.e. Command key, is easy, but do you really recognize all the other ones? Can you distinguish an Option key from a Caps Lock?

In any case, I present them here from Apple’s most excellent “OS X: Keyboard shortcuts page”. Go there. I guarantee you will learn something. Or use the page to jump to another good one, like how to access the special character variations:

 

Enjoy!

 

A Mac Tip for You

Are you spending way too much time trying to get something done? I’m talking about on your computer. If you don’t have the right tool—or you don’t know how to use it—you’re going to waste time. Time is your life. Don’t waste your life! I’ll focus more on that, next time, but for now, how about a hot Mac tip?

Keeping the “Desktop” on your computer clean and organized can be a challenge. Even for the most disciplined and organized of users, it’s still like the kitchen in your home. It accumulates stuff. Kitchen: Mail you don’t know what to do with, groceries you haven’t put away, dirty dishes. Computer: Files, folders, apps, stuff you haven’t decided if you want to keep or not.

I’m not going to tell you how to clear your whole Desktop, but I will tell you about one awesome, simple feature built into the Mac OS that every Mac user should know about. (Windows users, I can’t help you.) And this feature is so easy, so obvious, and so useful, to me it is a metaphor for the whole Macintosh experience. Check it out.

You’ve got files and folders all over your Desktop. It’s a mess. So sort it.

  1. Click on your Desktop
  2. In the Finder select View > Sort By > Name
  3. Everything on your Desktop is now sorted by Name. Not what you wanted? You’ve got other choices, try one of those, including: by Kind and by Tags.

2_Finder Sort by Name

Does that help? Now you’ve got a lot of organized junk on your Desktop. And that’s not my favorite tip. Go ahead and think about some of those files. Maybe you want to put all the photographs into one folder? Maybe you just want to put most of that stuff into a folder called “Organize Later” and get it out of sight. Either way, follow along…

  1. Select the files that you want to put in a folder. This is basic Mac stuff, you know how to:
    1. [Command]+[Click] to make multiple selections
    2. Use the mouse to drag a selection triangle over a group of files
    3. Or use [Command]+[A] to select All—everything on the Desktop—(but de-select any drive volumes, or this tip won’t work)
  2. Once you’ve made the selection, [Right]+[Click] with a mouse, or two-finger click with a trackpad…
  3. You should see a pop-up menu, with “New Folder with Selection (xx items)” at the top.
  4. Select that menu and, Walla! Watch everything you selected jump into a newly created folder on your Desktop called “New Folder with Items”. Without lifting your fingers from the keyboard, type a folder name and press [Return].
  5. Done!

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These are explicit instructions, but seriously, this is as simple as: Select files, [Right]+[Click], select menu, Name the folder. Oh! Did you make a mistake? Didn’t want that name? Didn’t want all those files in that folder? No big deal, in the Finder Edit menu, right at the top, you can UNDO.

To me, this is an elegant, mind-bogglingly simple function that does so much, and says so much about the Macintosh OS: Choice, flexibility, ease of use, speed, and downright utility! Not everything on a Mac makes this much sense, but if you explore, you’ll find there are many, many features like this to help simplify and automate your work. Because really, shouldn’t the computer be working for you?

Surprise! Your Yoga has some holes in it.

Researcher Discovers Superfish Spyware Installed on Lenovo PCs – NYTimes.com

Surprise! Your “Yoga”, has some holes in it. Designed to be as attractive and useful as any Apple device (and marketed unconvincingly as a replacement for your MacBook Air), the Yoga unfortunately came (past tense, according to Lenovo) with Superfish Spyware pre-installed. “Adware” and “Bloatware” – collectively known as “crapware” – are de rigueur for Windows purchasers, but Superfish takes this to a new level with an unsigned certificate providing easy access to your data for anyone who knows how to use it.

I met an insider years ago (p.s. – Pre-Snowden), who told me he was convinced Lenovo had code embedded in the computer ROM that allowed Chinese authorities full access to the device. He gave up on trying to expose this security “flaw” after everyone, including the FBI, told him he was paranoid. So, who’s paranoid now?

Tip: Savvy computer buyers shop for those “special” Windows computers without crapware. Or buy Macs.