Happy Holidays from Geek For Hire, Inc.

Whatever your religion or whatever holidays you celebrate, Geek For Hire wishes you all Happy Holidays!

We all celebrate the Solstice though – Days start getting longer. A minute here and a minute there and pretty soon we won’t be waking up before the sun.  Yay!

Happy Holidays!Happy Holidays!

It’s not too late to get on our mailing list to receive coupons and discounts throughout the year.  Click to add yourself to the list and get our free Password Guide.

Information about Geek For Hire, Inc.

I’ve created a Free Report on what to look for to protect yourself from “phishing” scams. Click here to receive it!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs for the past eighteen years. Angie’s List and the BBB rate Geek For Hire very highly.  You can find more on our website, or give us a call 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3 support) 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 and fast shipping.  With Prime, we have access to online streaming too. Prime is usually $119/year, but you can get a free 30-day trial by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

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Overwhelmed by Google? Internet Searching Tips Save You Time!

Have you ever searched for something on the Internet, using Google or Duck-Duck-Go, and been so frustrated with the results?  You KNOW what you’re looking for, but you get back so many links that are not close to what you really want. When I’m searching for something, I’ll generally just type a word or phrase into the search box. Sometimes I just get too many results back. I’ve picked up a few tips along the way that may be helpful to you too. When I’m looking for something specific, I’ll use one of the Internet searching tips listed below.Internet Searching

Internet Searching Tips:

You might also be interested in these Keyboard Shortcuts for Mac or Windows.

Exact Match:

When you use quotation marks, you only search for what is inside the quotes.  For example:

Women “Science Technology Engineering Math”

…will bring up information about Women in STEM fields.

Exclusion:

When you use the minus sign, you’ll exclude that information from your search.  For example:Internet Searching

“Ada Lovelace” -Babbage

….will bring up information about Ada Lovelace without references to Charles Babbage.

Wild Card – Asterisk:

Instead of typing in “Women Engineers”, and then a second search for “Women in Engineering”, you can use a wildcard. When you use the asterisk after a word or partial word, you’ll get variations of that back. For example:

“Women Engin*”

…..will bring back results about Women in Engineering, Women Engineers, Engineering Programs for Women, etc.

Wild Card – Question Mark:

Similarly, you can use a question mark for a single character. For example:

Wom?n STEM

…will bring back links to womEn and individual womAn in the STEM fields

Specific Web Site:

Do you want to search within a specific web site?  Use “site:website”. For example:

“Wang Zhenyi” site:scientificwomen.net

….will bring up articles relating to astronomer Wang Zhenyi at ScientificWomen.  (She broke gender barriers in China in the late 1700’s.)

Weather:

If you’re looking for weather in a specific location, type “weather” and the zip code or city name. For example:

Weather 80302

…..will show the current weather in Boulder Colorado

Location:

If you want to find something in a particular location, enter the location and then type what you’re looking for. For example:

Colorado “Ski Report”

…will bring up a list of ski conditions at Colorado resorts

Internet Searching with Google’s Search Tabs:

Have you used Google’s Search Tabs? They are located underneath Google’s search bar and provide you with additional options. For example:

WEB     NEWS     IMAGES     VIDEOS     BOOKS     MORE     SEARCH TOOLS

News:

If you are looking specifically for a news story that occurred in the last 24 hours,  follow these steps:

  • Firstly, Enter your search terms in the search bar.
  • Secondly, Click on the News tab.
  • Third, Click on the Search Tools Tab
  • Last, Click on “Anytime” and select “24 hours” from the drop-down menu

Images:

If you’re looking for an image, enter a description in the search bar and then click on the Images Tab.  If you want to fine-tune your search, then you can add other criteria.  Click on “Search Tools” and then, select the color, type of image, usage rights, etc.

Google Cheat Sheet:

You can also print out this cheat sheet from Google:

Internet Search Tool

Have you used any of these Internet Searching tips?  Are there other tips you use?  Please share them in the comments below!

More Internet Searching Options:

Did you know you can use these tips on other Google pages as well?  Try it when you’re looking for something specific in your Gmail or Google Calendar.

Conclusion:

Using these Internet Searching Tips will save you time!

Did you figure out the theme of this post?  Share it with #WomenInTechnology or #WomenInSTEM!

Information about Geek For Hire, Inc.

I’ve created a Free Report on what to look for to protect yourself from “phishing” scams. Click here to receive it!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs for the past eighteen years. Angie’s List and the BBB rate Geek For Hire very highly.  You can find more on our website, or give us a call 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3 support) 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 and fast shipping.  With Prime, we have access to online streaming too. Prime is usually $119/year, but you can get a free 30-day trial by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

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Need To Call 911 – Don’t Use Alexa!

Last week I learned that you can’t use Alexa or other “smart speakers” or “virtual assistants” to call 911 in an emergency.  It seems like this would be the perfect use for such a device.  You slip getting out of the shower, without your smartphone or smartwatch nearby, and break your arm. You call out to Alexa in the next room. “Alexa! Call 911!” And it says “I’m sorry, I can’t make that call.”

Well, why the heck not? (Go ahead. Say that with Lwaxana Troi’s voice like I just did!)  It seems like that would be the perfect application for such a device.

Why You Can’t Call 911:

It turns out that the FCC needs several things in order to allow a device to access its Emergency System.  Here are the most significant requirements:Call 911 - FCC logo

  • First, it needs a two-way connection and must be able to receive incoming calls so the emergency responder can call back.  Currently, most (maybe all) “smart speakers” aren’t designed for that.
  • Also, it needs to be able to provide an exact location.  Frankly, I’m not sure what the issue is here since the location information is much more stable than your standard cell phone.  After all, you’re probably not driving around with it in your car, or bringing it on airplanes to distant cities.  It seems like you would just have to register the device to a set address and they would know where to go.  (Unless you’re using it in your RV or Camper.)
  • Finally, once those obstacles are overcome, the FCC will probably charge a per device fee.  They do this for landlines and cell phones now, so this would not be unprecedented.

Important:

If you do happen to call 911 accidentally, stay on the phone and let the dispatcher know it was an accident.  Because they need to follow up on each call, even hang-ups, it takes less time for them to receive your “Sorry, wrong number” than to try to track you down after you hang up.

I am sure that this technology will all be worked out within the next few years.  For now though, if you (or your parents) are at risk of falling, it would be better to purchase a medical alert necklace or bracelet, the kind you don’t take off for bathing.

Please forward this to your colleagues who have a “smart speaker” at home.

Information about Geek For Hire, Inc.

I’ve created a Free Report to protect you from “phishing” scams. Click here to receive it!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs for the past eighteen 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 and fast shipping.  With Prime, we have access to online streaming too. Prime is usually $119/year, but you can get a free 30-day trial by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

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pwned? 1 PAINLESS step To Find Out If Your Email Info Has Been Compromised

Have you heard of the term “pwned”? Last week Chris shared a news item with me about a recently discovered list of email addresses and passwords.  These are for sale on hacker websites.  If you are on this list or any of the other lists of stolen emails, you have been pwned. This list, “Collection 1”, consists of 772.9 million unique emails along with 21.2 million passwords.  You might wonder why there are so many more email addresses than passwords.  That is because so many people with multiple email addresses use the same password for everything.

Don’t do that!

A little history about the word “Pwned”:

The Urban Dictionary postulates that Pwned came into use after one of the designers for the game World of Warcraft typed “has been pwned” instead of “has been owned”. Another Urban Dictionary contributor says it is actually a commonly used chess term, where you use your pawn to check your opponent. Regardless of the various definitions, this term means “you are dominated”.

Have You Been Pwned? 1 Painless Step to Find Out:Wondering if you have been pwned?

Head over to Have I Been Pwned to find out if your email address is compromised.  Many people use different email addresses for work and home.  If you have multiple emails, be sure to check each of them.

This site will also tell you on which websites or apps the data breach has occurred.  (My email is compromised.)  I immediately changed the password for both accounts.  It also told me that the breach came from my Dropbox account.  I then changed my login information on Dropbox as well. Another breach occurred on my LinkedIn account so I changed my info there too.

5 Quick Steps to keep your information safe:

  1. Change your password on each account frequently. I change my passwords every 3-6 weeks.
  2. Change your password on financial accounts even more frequently – at least every two weeks.
  3. Never use the same password again!
  4. MOST IMPORTANT: Use a password that is hard to guess.  Make sure you use at least 10 characters.  You should use at least one of each of the following: an uppercase letter, a lowercase letter, a number, and a special character.  I always end with punctuation too.  Swap out letters for numbers or special characters. Lately, I’ve been using book titles to craft secure passwords.  So “The New Relationship Marketing” would become “th3NewRel@t1onshipMarket1ng;”  (Check it out.  It’s a great book by Mari Smith.)
  5. Next, always keep track of your passwords using a secure system.  I use a password-protected spreadsheet. (Why don’t I recommend a cloud-based password manager?  I’ve recently heard of two people who lost access to their online password tracking system. They had to go to each of their emails and apps to change their passwords. Each One!)

Let me know if you have an effective tip for setting up great, secure passwords.

Please forward this to your colleagues who never change their passwords.

Information about Geek For Hire, Inc.

I’ve created a Free Report to protect you from “phishing” scams. Click here to receive it!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs for the past eighteen years.  His company is highly rated by both the BBB 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 and fast shipping.  With Prime, we have access to online streaming too. Prime is usually $119/year, but you can get a free 30-day trial by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

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When Should I Turn Off My Computer?

When I got my first computer, I would turn it off every time I left my office for more than a half hour. A few years later I would turn it off when I left for the day. Now, I’ll turn it off a couple of times a week. Why the change? Have you ever wondered: When Should I Turn Off My Computer? You might wonder how often you need to turn off your machine, or if you even need to turn it off at all!

Here’s what Chris says:

“I really wish Gail would turn her machine off more frequently!” When Should I Turn Off My Computer? Not as often as you think. Hint: Don't just puss the power button

Do I need to turn off my machine?

The short answer is Yes! When you turn it off the machine will clean itself, reorganize files, empty the trash, install any updates, and generally make itself faster and more efficient for the next time you turn it on. Other reasons to turn your machine off include saving power.

It’s really a balancing act. The process of turning your machine off and back on takes its toll on the mechanics of your computer. But leaving the machine on all the time does the same thing. If you use your machine constantly throughout the day, by all means, leave it on. If you access your machine from a remote location, then you definitely need to keep it on most of the time!

When should I turn off my computer?When Should I Turn Off My Computer - windows start button

Every couple of days save all of your documents, close all of your applications, and turn the machine off. Leave it off overnight, or just for a few minutes.

If you use it for only an hour or two at a time, then you should turn it off when you are done. If you know you won’t use your machine all weekend, you should turn it off.But, if you use your machine all day long, there’s really no need to turn it off every day. Turning your machine off once a week should be sufficient.

Remember, when you turn off your machine, don’t do it with the power button. Use the off button on the screen menu. This allows the machine to shut off gracefully.

General computer health & Well-being:When should I turn off my machine?

Some other things you should do for the general health and well-being of your machine are:

  • Always use a surge protector. These help even out any power spikes so that they don’t damage your machine. We also advise that you use a UPS (Universal Power Supply). This is a battery backup system that protects your equipment from power surges and provides a limited time of battery life. This is helpful when you’re in the middle of working on a project when the power goes out. It gives you enough time to finish up and save everything. (There is an annoying and frequent beep to let you know that you are using battery power.)
  • During lightning storms, you should turn off AND unplug all of your electronics. Even a surge protector can’t always help protect your equipment if there is a nearby lightning strike.
  • Uninstall and delete any programs that you are no longer using. Even if you’re not running a program, it may still be processing in the background.  This will undermine the efficiency of your machine. (Yes, we can help you with this if you don’t feel comfortable choosing which programs to uninstall.)
  • Keep your machine clean! Periodically open it up and remove all the dust and pet hair that have accumulated. Dust tends to accumulate on the fan, which is there to keep your machine cool. If too much dust is there, the fan won’t run properly and your machine will overheat. (We can help you with this too!)
  • Finally, When Should I Turn Off My Computer?  At least once a week!

Please forward this to your colleagues who ALWAYS leave their machine running.

Information about Geek For Hire, Inc.

I’ve created a Free Report to protect you from “phishing” scams. Click here to receive it!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs for the past eighteen 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 and fast shipping.  With Prime, we have access to online streaming too. Prime is usually $119/year, but you can get a free 30-day trial by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

Please follow and like us:

Cryptocurrency – How To Use

When I read last month that the State of Ohio has begun to accept tax payments in Bitcoins, I knew that the legitimacy of cryptocurrency has turned a corner.  Normally I see the use of Bitcoins limited to investing or collecting ransoms for reasons varying from malware placed in my computer to last week’s example of a bomb placed in my office building.  This act by Ohio sets a whole new precedent. Frankly, I expected to see this first in a state which has legalized recreational marijuana, not in a state which has only just started to offer a medical marijuana program.

Cryptocurrency

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer:

“On Monday, Ohio became the first state in the nation to accept the cryptocurrency, bitcoin, for 23 different business taxes ranging from sales tax to severance taxes on oil and gas…..a business signs up through OhioCrypto.com, enters their tax payment information then pays through a third-party processor, BitPay. BitPay then converts the bitcoin into dollars that are deposited into the state’s accounts. There is a minimal fee, 1 percent, for the transaction compared with 2.5 percent assessed when businesses use credit cards.”

Where could I use Cryptocurrency?

Well, if you lived in Ohio, and ran a business, you could obviously use it to pay your taxes.  You can also use Bitcoins to pay for your vacations (CheapAir and Expedia), Food (Subway and PizzaForCoins), Technology (NewEgg, Microsoft, Dish), Jewelry at Reeds, and coffee (Starbucks will be accepting Bitcoins in 2019).  Here’s a partial list of companies that accept Bitcoin payments.cryptocurrency for coffee

How would I do that?

First off, you’ll need to set up a Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency wallet.  There are a number of different kinds and brands of wallets available.  Here are two articles that explain how to choose a wallet that will work well for you:

Be sure to understand the fee structure, privacy, and security prior to setting up your own wallet.  Read the fine print!

Taxes:

In the US, the IRS considers Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies to be a form of property.  This means that each transaction must be recorded for gains and losses and filed with your tax return.  (This article has an overview, but please ask your accountant for more detailed information.  Hey, at least the Bitcoin tax payments would be deductible!

How much does a Bitcoin cost?

Like other currencies, the price of Bitcoins fluctuates. After hitting a high of about $15,000 last year, Bitcoins are currently trading around $3,500.  Here’s a graph of Bitcoin prices over the past three months:

Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin trading

Bitcoins are used outside of the United States too.  Countries with very high inflation rates see Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies as a “stable” form of currency.

 

Please forward this to your colleagues that might be interested in using CryptoCurrencies too. Did I forget some critical advice, or do you have questions?  Let me know in the comments below.

Information about Geek For Hire, Inc.

I’ve created a Free Report on what to look for to protect yourself from “phishing” scams. Click here to receive it!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs for the past eighteen years. Angie’s List and the BBB rate Geek For Hire very highly.  You can find more on our website, or give us a call 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3 support) 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 and fast shipping.  With Prime, we have access to online streaming too. Prime is usually $119/year, but you can get a free 30-day trial by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

Please follow and like us:

Location Privacy and your Smartphone

There was another article this week about Location Privacy and “Services” on your smartphone. I have services in quotes because I don’t think the entity being served is the person using the phone.

According to this article, Smartphone applications can and do gather and collect location information on individual smartphones.  Then they sell that data.  Marketing firms can find out who is in the ER and sell that list to Legal Firms, or who is at Victoria’s Secret and sell it to Macy’s. Privacy, especially location privacy is on its way out.

Most smartphone users don’t really lock down their security settings, sticking with the default settings that came with the phone. When they add a new app to their phone, they may not think to check what data they are sharing with the app developer.  When the app asks if they can access the user’s location, they may think it makes sense to share their location, without know what the app will do with that raw data.

What do Marketing Firms really need to know?

As I read through the article, I found the whole thing very disturbing. Should anyone really know that one woman, a middle school teacher, went hiking, goes to the gym, visited a dermatologist, and stayed overnight in another home? While location data is supposed to be anonymous, the specificity of the data means that companies are able to track the location of a smartphone down to the minute.  From the article:

“Elina Greenstein, an executive at the location company GroundTruth, mapped out the path of a hypothetical consumer from home to work to show potential clients how tracking could reveal a person’s preferences. For example, someone may search online for healthy recipes, but GroundTruth can see that the person often eats at fast-food restaurants.”

By tracking the smartphone, you can track the person. If you can connect the smartphone location to home and work, you can figure out the person, and track all of their other activities.

Why would you want to share your location information?

There are lots of reasons to share your location.  Getting good traffic information is one.  Getting the weather is another.  But once you’ve checked the forecast, do you really want The Weather Channel (owned by IBM) to continue tracking your location?

What should I do?

I take location privacy very seriously, so here’s what I do.  About once a month I go through my list of apps and see which I’m sharing my location with. I turn off location sharing for any apps that don’t need my location to provide a service; social media accounts for example.  Then I make sure that I am only sharing my location with apps /WHILE THAT APP IS IN USE/.  (I do need to remember to close down the app when I’m done.)

How do I ensure my location privacy?

For the iPhone, click on the “Settings” icon, then scroll down to “Privacy”. Click on “Location Services”, and then scroll through each of your apps.

location privacy - iphoneI borrowed a friend’s Android phone to see how she would do this.  Again, click on “settings”, then “apps”.  At that point, you need to open each app to adjust the location sharing setting. Once you’ve opened the app, click on “Permissions” and adjust the location privacy settings.

location privacy android

Please forward this to your colleagues to help keep their online privacy safe too. Did I forget some critical advice, or do you have questions?  Let me know in the comments below.

Information about Geek For Hire, Inc.

I’ve created a Free Report on what to look for to protect yourself from “phishing” scams. Click here to receive it!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs for the past eighteen years. Angie’s List and the BBB rate Geek For Hire very highly.  You can find more on our website, or give us a call 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3 support) 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 and fast shipping.  With Prime, we have access to online streaming too. Prime is usually $119/year, but you can get a free 30-day trial by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

Please follow and like us:

Privacy Issues and the Marriott

With the latest breach at Marriott, it’s time to take a look at your personal information.  What are you sharing?  Who are you sharing it with?  When a business asks you for info, do you just hand it over, or do you give a little push-back? What online privacy habits do you follow?

First of all:

If you have stayed at any Marriott Hotel in the past FIVE YEARS, you should immediately ask your bank(s) to cancel and reissue your credit and debit cards.  Marriott has reported that this breach began in 2014 or earlier.  Remember that the Marriott brand includes many different hotel chains like St. Regis, Le Meridien, Sheraton, Westin, and more.  (Click here for all of the Marriott branded hotels.)

Online Privacy Issues & the Marriott Brand
Marriott Brands

Next:

Check the Marriott website to see how they will support you if your information was stolen.

Then:

Change your login information on all Marriott sites where you have an account.  While Marriott has said that only Starwood has been compromised, it might be safe to assume that the breach was broader than they currently are aware of.

What if I haven’t stayed at a Marriott hotel in the past 5 years? Do I still need to worry about protecting my Online Privacy?

These kinds of data breaches will continue to happen as the “bad operators” become more skilled in their craft.  Get into committed habits with your online information right now.  Here are some good steps to take:

  1. Create a new “throwaway” email address using Gmail to use whenever someone asks for your email address but you’re not sure about their levels of security.
  2. Make a list of all of your bank accounts. Are you using a different password for each one?  Today is the best day to change all of those passwords AND to use a different password for each.
  3. Enable Two-Factor Authentication for all of your accounts with sensitive personal information.
  4. Make a list of all of your online billing accounts. Same deal here – change to a unique password for each.  Keep this list current and change your password every month.  Don’t reuse passwords!
  5. Do you have subscriptions where you have created an online account? Things like magazines, wine, prescriptions, clothing, etc.  Review all of them to see if you need to make changes.  If they have credit card info, follow the steps above.
  6. Of course, check all the Travel sites that may have your info, and follow the steps above.

What should I do going forward?

I think we all know that this will not be the last time there will be a major data breach and our online privacy is compromised.  There might even be a time when we say “Remember that time when they only stole data from 500,000 accounts at Marriott?”  Changing your password doesn’t help if the hacker already has your credit card info.  Whenever anyone asks for your email or credit card info or birthday or any other private information, think before you just hand it over.  Here are a few steps to take:

  1. Use your “throwaway” email when signing up for anything on the internet in the future.
  2. Consider getting a separate debit card for all online payments. Fund it every week with just enough cash to cover your weekly expenses.  If that data is compromised, your exposure will be limited.
  3. When you purchase something and they ask if you would like them to save your billing information, think PRIVACY, and then click on the “No Thank You” box.
  4. Keep a complete list of everyone who has your credit card info – this includes your banks. Change your password on those accounts AT LEAST EVERY MONTH!

Please forward this to your colleagues to help keep their online privacy safe too. Did I forget some critical advice, or do you have questions?  Let me know in the comments below.

Information about Geek For Hire, Inc.

I’ve created a Free Report on what to look for to protect yourself from “phishing” scams. Click here to receive it!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs for the past eighteen years. Angie’s List and the BBB rate Geek For Hire very highly.  You can find more on our website, or give us a call 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3 support) 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 and fast shipping.  With Prime, we have access to online streaming too. Prime is usually $119/year, but you can get a free 30-day trial by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

 

Please follow and like us:

Weather Websites and Apps for Traveling

The winter holidays 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 PCs for the past eighteen years. Angie’s List and the BBB rate Geek For Hire very highly.  You can find more on our website, or give us a call 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3 support) 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 and fast shipping.  With Prime, we have access to online streaming too. Prime is usually $119/year, but you can get a free 30-day trial by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

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How To: Internet Searching Tips

Internet Searching Tips:

More than once I have been extremely frustrated trying to find something on the internet.  Internet searching either gives WAY too much information or info that isn’t relevant. Most of the tips I will share with you I’ve picked up bit by bit.  I’m hoping they will help you.

Exact Match:

When you use quotation marks, you only search for what is inside the quotes.  For example:

Coffeehouses “live music”

will bring up all the coffeehouses that have live music.

Exclusion:

When you use the minus sign, you’ll exclude that information from your search.  For example:

“Scottish Novels: -“Outlander”

will bring up information about many novels that occur in Scotland except the Outlander series.

Wild Card:

When you use the asterisk with another word or phrase, you’ll get lots of different options. For example:

Hollywood *

will provide results like “Hollywood Bowl”, “Hollywood Blacklist”, and “Hollywood movies”.

Specific Web Site:

Do you want to search within a specific web site?  Use “site:website”. For example:

“Jerry Lewis” site:nyt.com

will bring up articles relating to Jerry Lewis on the New York Times site.

More:

Have you used Google’s Search Tabs? Underneath Google’s search bar, there are a number of options. For example:

WEB     NEWS     IMAGES     VIDEOS     BOOKS     MORE     SEARCH TOOLS

News:

If you are looking specifically for a news story that occurred in the last 24 hours,  follow these steps:

  • Firstly, Enter your search terms in the search bar.
  • Secondly, Click on the News tab.
  • Third, Click on the Search Tools Tab
  • Last, Click on “Anytime” and select “24 hours” from the drop-down menu

Images:

If you’re looking for an image, enter a description in the search bar and then click on the Images Tab.  If you want to fine-tune your search, then you can add other criteria.  Click on “Search Tools” and then, select the color, type of image, usage rights, etc.

Location:

If you want to find something in a particular location, click on “Search Tools”, then click on “Location”, then type in where you would like to search.  For example:

“Hot Springs” California

will bring up a list of all the hot springs in California.

You can also print out this cheat sheet from Google:

Internet Search Tool

Have you used any of these Internet Searching tips?  Are there other tips you use?  Please share them in the comments below!

Conclusion:

Using these Internet Searching Tips will save you time!

Information about Geek For Hire, Inc.

I’ve created a Free Report on what to look for to protect yourself from “phishing” scams. Click here to receive it!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs for the past eighteen years. Angie’s List and the BBB rate Geek For Hire very highly.  You can find more on our website, or give us a call 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3 support) 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 and fast shipping.  With Prime, we have access to online streaming too. Prime is usually $119/year, but you can get a free 30-day trial by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

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