Yahoo Hacked

You are probably aware that one billion accounts at Yahoo have been hacked. It's been in the news and many blogs. Here is an article with some additional comments on how weak Yahoo's security was -- and maybe still is -- to enable this hack. The author of the article suggests things you should do if you have a Yahoo account, and maybe consider switching to another email client, such as Gmail, which I use and like.

Jim Hamm

Learn anything in four steps

John Carter may have left the area and PMUG, but he is still providing information for the group. Dr. Richard Feynman’s four steps to learning: 1. Pick a topic you want to understand and start studying it. Write down everything you know about the topic on a notebook page, and add to that page every time you learn something new about it.

2. Pretend to teach your topic to a classroom. Make sure you're able to explain the topic in simple terms.

3. Go back to the books when you get stuck. The gaps in your knowledge should be obvious. Revisit problem areas until you can explain the topic fully.

4. Simplify and use analogies. Repeat the process while simplifying your language and connecting facts with analogies to help strengthen your understanding.

Check out the video here.

Discovering that anything can be learned by teaching is by far the very best method. This is not a shortcut to learning because a great deal of time and effort goes into developing and practicing the teaching part. But I guarantee, based on my own experience, that you will learn.

Virus Scan

Occasionally I'll do a virus scan on my computer just to see if one is found. So far I haven't found a virus -- which is a good thing. There are several programs available to do a virus scan. What I've recently been using is HouseCall by TrendMicro. Website here. If you'd like to try it, you download a small program. When you open it, it first checks and updates itself to the latest version. Then you run a virus scan. I just did one, and it took a bit over four minutes.

Just something you might consider doing occasionally.

Jim Hamm

Spam in Calender

If you're receiving spam in Apple's Calender, here is a simple way to stop it, in theory, anyway. Just send it to your email account, and the spam filter there should move it to the Spam folder, where you'll never have to look at it. This method looks simpler than a procedure outlined in another article I recently sent out. Fortunately, I've not been bothered by spam in Calender. I'd guess Apple will eventually modify Calender to properly handle this issue.

Jim Hamm

iPad Tutorials

If you've just got a new iPad, or already have one and would like to learn more about how to use it, Read this article. The article also mentions 25 'must-have' apps for the iPad. Here they are. Now, one thing to keep in mind: the more apps you install on the iPad the more apps you'll have to update. This can be tedious, so install with caution. One app in the 25 that I highly recommend is Dropbox. This is probably my favorite, and most used, app ever.

Jim Hamm

Browsing Safely

One thing many of us frequently do when traveling -- whether by RV, car, or plane -- is take a computer with us so we can continue our 'putering'. Most of us also connect to a public wifi network, whether it might be in an RV park, hotel, airport, or restaurant. There's risk in doing that. Read here and here for some examples. You'll note that using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) increases the security of your internet browsing significantly. When I'm traveling I plan to use the Opera Browser. Why, you ask? It has a free, built-in VPN. Read a review of Opera here.

I've been trying Opera out, like it fine, and have noticed no significant slowdown in accessing the internet for browsing or emailing by going through Opera's servers. If you plan to do some traveling, and would like to try Opera, you can download Opera here. Note that if you want to use the VPN feature you'll need to go into settings and turn it on. Then you'll see a "VPN" icon just to the left of the address bar.

Opera is free, fast, and includes a VPN. What's not to like?

Jim Hamm

Safari's Memory Usage

While the Chrome Browser has been noted to be a memory hog, it seems that Safari can become one also, as noted in this article. I did notice that the author seems not to shut off his computer very often, and hence close Safari. My opinion is that it would be a good idea to frequently close any browser, which seems to reduce the memory usage. And talking about browsers, if you have an interest, here is a current article comparing several different browsers. The author thinks that while Chrome is the overall best browser, it is also the biggest memory hog. Right now Chrome is my browser of choice.

Just to see what I think about it, and the impact on memory usage, I may try the Opera Browser for a while.

Jim Hamm

Amazon Package X-ray app for iOS

Amazon’s Package X-Ray Lets You Peek Inside Boxes In this modern world, it’s all too common to be inundated with nondescript cardboard boxes arriving from Amazon in the weeks leading up to the holiday gift-giving season. Typically, I cut the boxes open, see what’s inside, and seal them back up before wrapping and labeling them. But Amazon has introduced a brilliant new feature to the Amazon iOS app: Package X-Ray, which lets you peek inside unopened packages from the company. Unfortunately, it only works in the United States for now.

To read the full story, click here: http://tidbits.com/article/16922 John R Carter, Sr.

iCloud Calendar Spam

So far I have not had an issue with receiving spam in my Apple Calendar, but apparently some people have. Here is an informative article discussing the problem, and a way to partially fix it. If you use Calendar regularly, you'll probably want to read the article. This is a similar problem, it seems to me, like spam in an email system. Gmail, which I use, has an excellent spam filtering system, and I'm practically never bothered by email spam. It just quietly goes into a Spam folder, which I don't look at.

Perhaps Apple will soon address this issue in their Calendar app.

Jim Hamm

Find out if your Google account has been hacked

If you use a Google account, you can use the link below to check to see if youraccount has been hacked. This malware may only affect Android devices, as this article explains. I just checked my computer (which isn't using the Android OS) and I've not been hacked. So, if you're not using an Android device, you're probably OK.

Jim Hamm https://gooligan.checkpoint.com/


Here is an article just for computer 'techies'. Or, for 'wanna-be' techies like me who enjoys reading stuff like this. The article compares the performance of two different types of SSDs vs a HDD. Since I've used an SSD for the past few years with laptop computers, I'd forgotten how slow an HDD can be. A video in the article demonstrates the difference -- which is significant -- on just opening and using normal apps. No fancy graphs -- just dramatic results. If you're still using an HDD in your computer, this video may convince you to update to an SSD.

Jim Hamm