5 Easy Steps To Delete Cookies On Your iPhone

Chris and I had a conversation this morning about the pesky news sites that limit the number of articles you can read each month. There are some newspapers that I won’t even read online because I get that nasty error message that says: “You’ve reached the limit!  Subscribe now!”  He told me that when he runs into that, the solution is to delete cookies on your iPhone.

WHAAAAAT?! I didn’t realize you could do that.

As I started looking into this, I see that there are other benefits as well. Just like with your computer, you do want to delete cookies on your iPhone regularly to keep your private information safe and secure.  And, just like the rest of of the business world, there are companies out there who want to sell you an app to “take care of this for you”.  Don’t fall for that trick!  It’s easy enough to do it yourself.

5 Easy Steps to Delete Cookies on your iPhone

  1. Open up your SettingsHow to Delete Cookies On Your iPhone
  2. Click on “Safari”
  3. Scroll almost all the way to the bottom of the page
  4. Click on “Clear History and Website Data”
  5. Confirm that you truly want to delete all of your history.  This means that every page you’ve opened in your iPhone’s browser will be gone!  This was a surprise to me, because I tend to save my open tabs so I can reference them again.  If there are tabs that you have open on your phone that you would like to keep, it’s best to save them first, then wipe the history!

If you found this helpful, please share with your friends!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fifteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more on our website, or give us a call 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area as well as remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet.  I’ll try that next!   Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission when you sign up.)

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Weather Websites and Apps for Traveling

The winter holiday’s are coming up and lots of folks will be on the road.  I thought this would be a good time to revisit my list of favorite weather websites and smartphone applications.

NOAA –  When you enter your city and state into the “Local Forecast” box, you can see just what is in store for your area.  In addition, if there is a big storm coming, you’ll see a “Hazardous Weather Conditions” box across the top.  I like the NOAA forecast because it is generally right on target.  NOAA also has radar and satellite maps.  By the way, NOAA stands for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is located right here in Boulder, Colorado!Weather Websites - Spring Snowstorm

Weather Underground  – My favorite of all the weather websites is Weather Underground.  I like it because I have several different weather stations to choose from in my town. In addition to the forecast, WU tells me what’s happening right now.  When you click on the information from a particular station, you can also see if they have a webcam set up.  Then you can see the snow and wind for yourself!  Those webcams are especially helpful if you’d like to see the weather in a place where you are traveling to.  You can also save favorite locations, so it’s easy to see what’s going on at Grandma’s house before you get there!

The Weather Channel – The Weather Channel has all the same information the other websites have.  Because they consider themselves a news site, they’ve also got, what I can only call Weather Entertainment.  Big Floods! Amazing Ancient Ruins!  20 Places Overrun by Animals!  And More!!  My favorite feature on the Weather Channel is their travel map found here.  When you enter your starting place and destination, and the date you will be departing, the map calculates your route AND the expected weather.

NEXRAD – “Nexrad (Next-Generation Radar) is a network of 158 high-resolution Doppler weather radars operated by the National Weather Service” This website shows the radar for the whole US, or just your state.

WeatherTalk –  is a Facebook page.  Colorado Weather Analyst Greg Berman gained recognition when he accurately forecasted the extent of the rains and subsequent Front Range floods in September 2013.  If you’re on Facebook, I’d highly recommend this page to “Like” and bookmark.  His forecasts include most of the Colorado Springs and other Front Range areas.

Aurora Alerts – And if you’re looking to see if there may be an Aurora in your neighborhood, check out the NOAA sun activity page.

What is your favorite of all the Weather Websites? Share in the comments below!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more at http://www.GeekForHireInc.com  Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area and remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet, but I’m tempted!   Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission when you sign up.)

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4 Top Sports Smartphone App’s

For those of you who know me well, you know that if there is one sport I follow, it’s baseball. I like hockey too, but don’t follow the games and teams as closely as baseball.  I really L O V E baseball!  I love attending the Rockies games at Coors Field, with the smells, sounds, and excitement.  But when it’s time for the World Series, well, I’ll be glued to a TV, or, one of the Sports Smartphone App’s on my iPhone to keep track of the scores!  After baseball season was over this year, I started wondering how people who follow other sports get their info.  As per usual, any question I have involving technology, however peripherally, gets explored here!

There are a bunch of Sports Smartphone app’s recommended by folks in-the-know.  I’ve checked them out and found these four to be easy to use and very easy to customize so that your favorite teams are listed right up front.Sports smartphone app's

  • Bleacher Report for Android or iPhone – iMore really likes the Bleacher Report.  Here’s what they have to say: “If you pefer something with a bit more of a modern interface, then check out the Bleacher Report. Rather than providing its own coverage, the Bleacher Report curates all the best sources on the web so that you get all the news you can about your favorite teams and players.  You can open a stream to get scores, stories, videos, and photos from local and national newspapers, blogs, Twitter, and more.”
  • ESPN for Android or iPhone – Tom’s Guide says: “The ESPN app brings users the latest and greatest sporting news and information worldwide. Whether you’re looking for updated scoring information, breaking news for various teams and leagues, or professional analysis, the ESPN app has got your back.”
  • theScore for iPhone –  iMore rates theScore as their #1 choice.  Here’s what they have to say: “theScore is the sports app. It’s simply the best. You can follow tons of professional leagues (even including NASCAR) and receive updates on scores and news from any and all teams you’d like to follow.  You can even follow individual players, and you can customize alerts so that you only get pinged for what you want to know. theScore has a great-looking interface and setup is simple — just pick your leagues, pick your teams, and away you go.”
  • Yahoo!Sports for Android and iPhone – AppOlicious says: “Plenty of sports apps will give you the latest scores. Only a few will keep you up-to-date on every single play of the game. And even fewer will do all of that plus let you pick games, chat with other sports fans and set alerts for numerous game scenarios. Yahoo Sports continued to operate in a special stratosphere in 2017, making it a continued must-download for the sports fan who wants everything under one app.”

Which is your favorite sports smartphone app to track your favorite teams?  Share in the comments below!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more at http://www.GeekForHireInc.com  Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area and remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet, but I’m tempted!   Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission when you sign up.)

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Tech Terms Decoded – Operating System

Decoding Tech Terms

Are you as confused as I sometimes am about common Tech Terms?  When Chris talks about RAM and Memory and gigs of storage, I’m not sure what he is saying. I’ve done some digging to see if I can help explain Operating System in non-Tech terms.

OS or Operating System

The Operating System is what allows your computer to run.  Whether you are using a Mac, a Windows, a Linux machine, or something else, the OS manages the internals to make sure your document is delivered successfully to your printer, or your proprietary spreadsheet is automatically saved every 2 minutes.

Some of the Operating Systems available include Windows, OS-X for Mac’s, Linux, Android for Smartphones, and iOS for iPhones. The Operating System is what allows the applications or computer software to communicate with the computer hardware and get things done.  It is software that controls the basic operations of the computer.  The Operating System also oversees file management.

Here’s a good definition from TechTerms

“An operating system, or “OS,” is software that communicates with the hardware and allows other programs to run. It is comprised of system software, or the fundamental files your computer needs to boot up and function. Every desktop computer, tablet, and smartphone includes an operating system that provides basic functionality for the device.”

Which Operating System are you using?

For a Mac, click on the Apple in the top left corner, then select “About this Mac”.  Finally, click on “Overview” to see your OS and version.

Operating System - Mac OSx

Operating System – Mac OSx

For a Windows machine, click on the Start menu, then click on Control Panel, and finally select System.

Windows Operating System

Windows Operating System

Are you happy with your current Operating System?  Have you thought about upgrading to a newer version?  Let us know if you need help!

 

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fifteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more on our website.  Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area as well as remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet.  I’ll try that next!   Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission when you sign up.)

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My 7 Favorite Weather Websites and Apps

With all the snow in the forecast, I thought it was time to revisit my list of favorite weather websites and smartphone applications.

NOAA –  When you enter your city and state into the “Local Forecast” box, you can see just what is in store for your area.  In addition, if there is a big storm coming, you’ll see a “Hazardous Weather Conditions” box across the top.  I like the NOAA forecast because it is generally right on target.  NOAA also has radar and satellite maps.  By the way, NOAA stands for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is located right here in Boulder, Colorado!

Spring Snowstorm

Weather Underground  – I like Weather Underground because I have several different weather stations to choose from in my town. In addition to the forecast, WU tells me what’s happening right now.  When you click on the information from a particular station, you can also see if they have a webcam set up.  Then you can see the snow and wind for yourself!  Those webcams are especially helpful if you’d like to see the weather in a place where you are traveling to.

The Weather Channel – The Weather Channel has all the same information the other websites have.  Because they consider themselves a news site, they’ve also got, what I can only call Weather Entertainment.  Big Floods! Amazing Ancient Ruins!  20 Places Overrun by Animals!  And More!!  My favorite feature on the Weather Channel is their travel map found here.  When you enter your starting place and destination, and the date you will be departing, the map calculates your route AND the expected weather.

NEXRAD – “Nexrad (Next-Generation Radar) is a network of 158 high-resolution Doppler weather radars operated by the National Weather Service” This website shows the radar for the whole US, or just your state.

WeatherTalk –  is a Facebook page I’ve recently found.  Colorado Weather Analyst Greg Berman gained recognition when he accurately forecasted the extent of the rains and subsequent Front Range floods in September 2013.  If you’re on Facebook, I’d highly recommend this page to “Like” and bookmark.  His forecasts include most of the Ft. Collins / Denver / Colorado Springs / Front Range area.

Storm Shield Weather Radio will send severe weather alerts to your smartphone.

Aurora Alerts – And if you’re looking to see if there may be an Aurora in your neighborhood, check out the NOAA sun activity page.

Do you have a favorite website for weather forecasts? Share in the comments below!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more at http://www.GeekForHireInc.com  Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area and remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet, but I’m tempted!   Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission when you sign up.)

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I’m Addicted To My Phone!

Does anyone else wonder if they spend too much time on their phone?  Too much time using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media sites?  I know for me there have been times when I have picked up my phone to (gasp!) make a phone call.  After I enter my passcode, it opens to the last screen I had active.  If it is Facebook, I’ll check my notifications, completely forgetting about that call.  Does that ever happen to you?

Social Media Apps on your phone

        Social Media Apps on your phone

It turns out it is designed that way.  From this month’s Atlantic Magazine article “Tristan Harris believes Silicon Valley is Addicting Us To Our Phones”:

“Messages, photos, and “likes” appear on no set schedule, so we check for them compulsively, never sure when we’ll receive that dopamine-activating prize. (Delivering rewards at random has been proved to quickly and strongly reinforce behavior.)” 

Even I remember that from my Freshman Year Psych class!

And who even knew there is an “Information Overload Day”, let alone an Information Overload Research Group?  They state that:

“Information Overload causes people to lose their ability to manage thoughts and ideas, contemplate, and even reason and think.  It has resulted in work days that never seem to end, completely destroying work/life balance.”

Tips:

What can you do to help yourself be more present and not focus so much on your phone and social media?

  1. Set up a schedule for using your phone to check email and social media.  Set a timer to limit your time to ten or twenty minutes.  Keep your phone turned off otherwise, except when you are expecting a call.
  2. Change your notifications so that you don’t receive an alert whenever you receive a new email, or Facebook message, or when someone has liked your Tweet.  (With my iPhone I receive an alert whenever I get a new email to my business account.  I’ve set it up so that I do not receive alerts for new personal emails.)
  3. Remove some (or all) Social Media apps from your phone and only access them from your computer.
  4. Ask everyone to put their phones in the center of the table during meals.
  5. Charge your phone at night in a different room, not right next to your bed.

I hope these tips are helpful!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more on our website.  Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area and remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet, but I’m tempted!   Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission when you sign up.)

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Wearables

I ambled down the rabbit hole and stumbled across this old PC Magazine article from 2008.  In the article, they look at futuristic devices introduced in movies and show how those ideas have come to fruition in 2008.

  • There’s the transformer cell phone.  Watch the Youtube here.
  • There’s the hoverboard and another Youtube.
  • And there’s this poor substitute for the universal translator/ babel fish and its cringe-worthy video.

The only gadget from the movies that has really taken off is the wrist watch communicator.  In just the past few years watches that alert you to phone calls and texts, track your steps and heart rate, and allow you to search the Internet, have evolved into wearables worth the investment.

Here’s my Fitbit  telling me that Chris is calling:

20160705 fitbit

Aside from the FitBit and the Apple Watch, other wearable gadgets available today include:

Thync: The first wearable for relaxation and energy  The Thync works by signaling nerves on the head and neck to act on the brain’s adrenaline system. These nerves then activate your body’s natural state of Energy or Calm.

Then there are Blacksocks Plus. These are truly wearables with a twist!  From their website:

Imagine your phone could communicate with your socks. Your phone would know:

    • which socks belong together,and could help sort them out,
    • how often you have washed your socks,
    • when your socks were produced,
    • when you ordered your socks and
    • when your socks were dispatched.

Your iPhone can also tell you if your black socks are no longer properly black and help you buy new socks.

If only they could tell you if it was the washer or dryer that stole one of your socks!

Coming out later this year are Jewelbots.  This adorable bracelet is aimed at teaching young girls to code.  The gender gap among boys and girls in science and engineering classes continues to widen, and the number of technical jobs continue to increase.  Getting our girls interested in the sciences at a young age, and keeping their interest through high school and college is so important!  Jewelbots is a just one step on this path.  For more info on this issue, check out Girls Who Code.

 

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more on our website.  Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area and remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet, but I’m tempted!   Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission when you sign up.)

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Is It Time To Upgrade Your Smartphone?

If it’s time for you to upgrade your SmartPhone, you might be wondering which one is best.  There’s no secret that I’ve only used iPhones, starting with the very first iPhone all the way to my most recent upgrade to the 6S.  I love the look and feel of them, and the way it integrates seamlessly with my music collection.  (Yes, I buy CD’s.  If it’s a local musician, I buy directly from them.  Paying musicians for the music you listen to is the topic of a whole ‘nother discussion!)

But I know that the iPhone isn’t the only one out there.  My brother, for instance, will probably never switch from his beloved Android. Some of the things you should look at when getting a new phone are:

  • Battery Life – How long will it last on a charge?
  • Price – How much do you want to spend?
  • Apps – Are the apps that you require available?
  • Size – How big is it?  Do you want a smaller phone or a phablet?
  • Compatibility – Which phone do other family members have?  Is it important to share cords and other peripherals?
  • Camera – Do you want a good camera?  Camera resolution is measured in megapixals.  For example, the iPhone 5 has 8 mp, the iPhone 6S has 12 mp.
  • Storage – How much storage do you want or need? If you have a large music or photo collection, you should choose the largest available.

Here are some descriptions of types of phones and reviews on what others think are the best SmartPhones and why:

Which SmartPhone do you use?  What do you like or not like about it?  Let us know in the comments below!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more at http://www.GeekForHireInc.com  Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area and remote service throughout North America.

Reynolds Wrap

We’re not sure if we should file this under “scary” or “”weird coincidence”.

On Saturday Chris noticed that we were out of aluminum foil.  We had a long conversation about it, revolving around his mom.

When she moved out to Colorado to live with us in 2001 she moved almost her whole house with the exception of some furniture.  And she LOVED the deals at Costco!  So, yes, her closets were full of supersized cases of paper dinner napkins, paper plates, plastic cups, laundry detergent, plastic wrap, AND aluminum foil.  She insisted that she would still be needing all that, so we moved everything across the country from Long Island.  I’ve slowly given much of the party goods away, although we still have a ton of plastic forks, but we always seemed to have a never ending supply of aluminum foil and plastic wrap.

When I went to get another roll from the garage, I noticed we were all out!  We joked about not having any more foil from the Pathmark in Massapequa.

An hour later I was looking for something on Amazon and an ad for Reynolds Wrap was prominently displayed.  Huh?!  When was the last time you saw an add for Reynolds Wrap on your screen?

Reynolds-Wrap
Reynolds Wrap Aluminum Foil, 200 Sq Ft

A year or so ago, I might have said it was just a strange coincidence.  Today, I’m not so sure.

With all of the SmartPhones in the room at the time, one of them was bound to be listening.

There are two apps that I know of that could be listening.  One, “Hey Siri”, had been turned off.  The other, “OK Google”, I wasn’t sure about.  Do you have these running in the background on your phone?  Here’s how to turn them off:

Hey Siri is only available on the iPhone.

  1. Click on “Settings”
  2. Click on “General”
  3. Click on “Siri”
  4. Slide the green button next to “Allow ‘Hey Siri'” to turn it off

“OK Google” is available within the Google app on your SmartPhone.  There are subtle differences in the instructions depending on whether you have an Android, iPhone, or Windows, but these are essentially the same steps each time.

  1. Open the Google App
  2. In the top left corner of the home screen, touch your photo
  3. Touch Voice Search
  4. Slide all of the blue buttons to the left to turn it off.  (You can still speak your request to the Google app, but will need to tap the microphone icon first.)
  5. Touch Done to Save

What are your thoughts about surveillance?  How do you protect your privacy?  Let me know your favorites in the comments below!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more at http://www.GeekForHireInc.com  Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area and remote service throughout North America.

 

Wi-Fi Anywhere

Did you ever try to connect to WiFi and see a Hotspot choice like “Sam’s phone”? The fictional Sam has set his SmartPhone up to “tether” to the cell system so that his phone can send out a WiFi signal.

What is tethering? MobileBurn explains it this way:

“Tethering is the process of using a cell phone or smartphone as a modem for a personal computer of some sort – typically a laptop computer. The term gets its name from how a phone is attached, or tethered, to the computer via a USB cable, but wireless technologies such as Bluetooth can also be used for tethering. Typically the network carrier and the user’s account (contract) have to support tethering before it can be used. Many networks charge an additional fee for users that wish to connect their phones as tethered modems because it typically uses far more data than using the phone normally would.

There’s more information about tethering on Wikipedia.

Chris’ iPhone recently stopped working and he had to get a new one. (Just don’t ask him when the last time was that he backed up his old iPhone and please, please don’t ask him about all the photos on that phone!) He got a new cell phone with Verizon service. We wanted to know how the coverage differed in the Geek For Hire service area. He also had tethering turned on so that he can use his laptop in an area without WiFi. So far we’re pleased – not only with the WiFi tethering, but also with Verizon’s coverage. Plus, there doesn’t seem to be an extra monthly charge for the service, so long as we don’t use more than the 3gig of data we signed up for.

If you do decide to turn on tethering, remember that it will drain the battery of your SmartPhone much faster than just using that same phone for cell service. Think about getting a battery case. (Mophie and LifeProof are two that come to mind.)

Here are some other articles that describe tethering:

If your current SmartPhone allows tethering, you may have to call your carrier (or bring it in to a store) to get the capability turned on.

Do your use tethering? Are you using an app, or do you have your SmartPhone switched on to allow it? Let us know about your experiences in the comments below!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more on our website.  Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area and remote service throughout North America.