Gmail Revamp Being Launched Today

As reported by TechCrunch: “Today, Google  is launching the biggest revamp of Gmail in years. The company is bringing to the flagship Gmail service many (but not all) of the features it trialed in Inbox for Gmail, and adding a few new ones, too. With those new features, which we first reported earlier this month, the company is also introducing a refreshed design for the service, though if you’ve used Gmail before, you’ll feel right at home”.

gmail-grid

Source: Say hello to the new Gmail with self-destructing messages, email snoozing and more | TechCrunch

Hot Tech News – Microsoft Office version of OneNote being phased out | AlternativeTo.net

If you use Microsoft OneNote, this news story is telling us it is going to be phased out of the Microsoft Office Suite in the upcoming release of Office 2019. At this point, I do not know if this means Microsoft is moving away from OneNote or not. Myself, I moved from OneNote and some of the other notekeeping apps and designed my own, believe it or not, using Gmail (see here).

Source: Microsoft Office version of OneNote being phased out – AlternativeTo.net

ADDED – Windowsreport.com To Bookmarks4Techs

Added the website, Windowsreport.com to Bookmarks4Techs.  According to their About page:

WindowsReport.com is an independent online publication founded in the Fall of 2012 that covers Microsoft’s Windows platform along with its many related products and services, all in the aim of contextualizing the wider implications of their development in the world of technology.

Since its founding, WindowsReport.com has grown to become one of the most important websites when it comes to Windows coverage, with millions of Windows enthusiasts relying on WindowsReport.com’s team of experienced tech journalists, editors, community managers, and more for the freshest news, reviews, features, and product recommendations.

Bookmarks4Techs is a compilation of websites that I have bookmarked over the years. If you run a tech site or know of a tech site that is not on the list, go to the Bookmarks4Techs page and complete the easy to fill out form.


GEEK SQUEAKS’ OF THE WEEK
(17-002)

The 20 best smartphones in the world – If you are looking to purchase a smartphone, this article may give you some insight. Most of the phones reflected are high end phones… READ MORE

The Galaxy S8 was a clear contender for the top spot, and the G6 finally let me place an LG phone within the top 10. To be clear, the top 10 smartphones in this list come very close to each other in terms of performance, design, and features, and you’d easily be happy with our number 10 pick as you would with our number one pick. It all comes down to your personal preference over design and features.

If you see this hook in a toilet, LEAVE and report it – What we’re talking about are innocent looking clothing or coat hooks. However, if you take a closer look, you’ll see there is a tiny hidden camera built-in that peepers are using to watch people undress. Here’s an example of what one of these “spy hooks” looks like…  READ MORE

How Dish Network could shake up your wireless service – The way your service looks in coming years could rest in the hands of a satellite TV provider. Seriously… READ MORE

#1 Best Seller Desktop Computer (at Amazon)Acer Aspire Desktop, 7th Gen Intel Core i5-7400, 8GB DDR4, 2TB HDD, Windows 10 Home, TC-780-AMZKi5… READ MORE


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NEW – Software Downloads Page (with hundreds of titles — updated daily)

Just did a revamping of the software Downloads Page…  The page consists of feeds from numerous reputable software and app sites that primarily specializes in FREE software. I am currently using this as my “go to” source to review software listings and to see what is new and/or has been updated. The list is very, very long…  If you hover your mouse pointer over a software title that interests you, a floating description will appear. 

Image result for download button png

NEW Amazon Photo Printing Service

I am a big fan of Amazon and I just noticed that they now have a photo printing service called Amazon Prints …

Amazon Prints offers high quality, affordable prints of digital photos, delivered by Amazon. Create custom photo books and online photo prints, and receive free standard shipping and free expedited shipping on orders of $15 or more. Every time you print online photos with Amazon Prints, you can customize your order with your favorite photos, themes, paper types, and print sizes. By printing with Amazon, your custom prints are always high quality and made to order especially for you. To get started, upload your photos to Amazon Drive, select your prints, customize your order, and check out.

Amazon Prints 

You Can Now Use Natural Language Processing When Searching For Files In Google Drive

What in the world is Natural Language Processing? 

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a fancy way of saying “search like you talk.” You can type things like “find my budget spreadsheet from last December” or “show me presentations from Anissa.” Drive will understand what you mean and give you the option to click for those specific search results. Drive NLP will get better with each query — so keep on searching. 😉 — Source: Google Drive Blog

ALSO, if you cannot spell very well…

When you’re trying to find a doc fast, it’s easy for typos to slip into your search. Drive now has a new autocorrect feature that suggests corrections to misspelled search terms — which can really help when your brain is moving faster than your fingers. — Source: Google Drive Blog

A NEW Version of Bluetooth Is Soon Coming

Bluetooth, the wireless technology standard for exchanging data over short distances, is about to make a major transformation that will allow you to make data exchanges, in a clear line of sight, up to 400 meters (1312.34 ft.). This new transformation will be found in Bluetooth 5 that is slated to be finalized by the end of this year or early next year.

READ MORE @ PCWorld

Bluetooth logo

Is Your Smartphone Making You Fat?

Came across an interesting article that I felt compelled to share, that indicates that “Looking At Your Phone In Bed May Cause Weight Gain”. I encourage you to read this article and comment below whether you think your smartphone is making you fat. 

It turns out that the type of light emitted by your smartphone is messing up the normal hormones in your body that help you fall asleep. You may think that the only downside to this may be feeling a little groggy in the morning after a late night, but that isn’t the only problem. Browsing your phone in bed may be making you gain weight. The details are pretty incredible…  READ MORE

Is Your Smartphone Making You Fat?

Upgrade To Bluetooth 5 To Be Announced

According to the Bluetooth SIG (Special Interest Group), a formal announcement will be made, on June 16, 2016, in regards to the next version of Bluetooth. It will be marketed as Bluetooth 5.

“On the technical side, Bluetooth 5 has a lot to offer. As previously announced, it will double the range and quadruple the speed of low energy Bluetooth transmissions. But there’s more. Bluetooth 5 will also provide significant new functionality for connectionless services like location-relevant information and navigation. By adding significantly more capacity to advertising transmissions, Bluetooth 5 will further propel the adoption and deployment of beacons and location-based services to users around the world. It’s a great story and one we’re looking forward to telling from our upcoming media event in London on 16 Junedd”…. READ MORE

Bluetooth

What is bluetooth? 

Have you ever paired your smartphone (or cell phone) with your car’s stereo in order receive or make calls?; or, Paired your music device with headphones?; or, Paired a keyboard with a tablet?  If so, you was using bluetooth wireless technology to make the connection possible (over short ranges and distances). With this weeks coming announcement of Bluetooth 5, the range will be doubled and the speed will be quadrupled.

Bluetooth is a wireless technology standard for exchanging data over short distances (using short-wavelength UHF radio waves in the ISM band from 2.4 to 2.485 GHz[4]) from fixed and mobile devices, and building personal area networks (PANs). Invented by telecom vendor Ericsson in 1994, it was originally conceived as a wireless alternative to RS-232 data cables. It can connect several devices, overcoming problems of synchronization.

Bluetooth is managed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), which has more than 25,000 member companies in the areas of telecommunication, computing, networking, and consumer electronics. The IEEE standardized Bluetooth as IEEE 802.15.1, but no longer maintains the standard. The Bluetooth SIG oversees development of the specification, manages the qualification program, and protects the trademarks. A manufacturer must make a device meet Bluetooth SIG standards to market it as a Bluetooth device. A network of patents apply to the technology, which are licensed to individual qualifying devices… Source: Wikipedia

Evernote and Google Drive Become A Natural Pairing

You can read more about this on the Evernote blog, but in a nutshell here is how this pairing will work between Evernote and Google Drive:

All the files you keep in Drive are now easier to access in Evernote. Now, instead of seeing only URL links, anyone can browse anything created or stored in Google Drive right in Evernote notebooks. With this integration, Evernote customers can add any file in Drive to their notes without leaving Evernote. And any changes to files in Google Drive will dynamically update in Evernote.

This feature is currently in “beta” and is currently only available on the web (through Google Chrome) and for Android.

Geek Squeaks (#2015-31) FEATURING — Android 6.0 Marshmallow — and MORE GREAT STUFF

Android 6.0 Marshmallow – If you currently have an Android supported device (smartphone or tablet) there is a possibility that you may be entitled (for FREE) to the newest Android OS called Marshmallow. I currently have a Nexus 5 smartphone, which is a Google based phone, and I received the upgrade this week. My Samsung Galaxy Tab S (tablet), I will have to do some research to determine when and if this device will receive the upgrade. You may have to do the same thing. Again, the OS upgrade is called Marshmallow.

Marshmallow

After receiving my upgrade, I had minimal knowledge as to what the new features were. I went on the hunt and found what I was looking for (to educate myself) at the official Android Marshmallow site (at Android.com). There you will find the complete features list by clicking on “All Features” at the bottom of the page. If you are wondering, Google names their operating systems using a confectionery theme. Below is a complete listing:

Cupcake (1.5) – Donut (1.6) – Eclair (2.0–2.1) – Froyo (2.2–2.2.3) – Gingerbread (2.3–2.3.7) – Honeycomb (3.0–3.2.6)[a] – Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0–4.0.4) – Jelly Bean (4.1–4.3.1) – KitKat (4.4–4.4.4, 4.4W–4.4W.2) – Lollipop (5.0–5.1.1) – Marshmallow (6.0)

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If You Are A “LastPass” Subscriber You May Want To Read This – LastPass is an online password manager where your passwords are stored in an online encrypted vault. They have been bought out by LogMeIn (a company specializing in remote desktop management). If you visit the LastPass blog you can read more about this announcement and the various comments that indicate that people are not happy with this move. This is another reason why I do not store my passwords online and instead use local software to manage my passwords. If curious of what I use to manage my passwords, CLICK HERE..

.LastPass_&_LogMeIn

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How To Hide A File Inside A Picture – I have to give credit to BetaNews for showcasing this little app called Free File Camouflage that is easy to use that gives you the ability to hide files inside a typical jpeg image. What attracts me to this software is that it is small in size (portable); thus, a nice addition to my tech toolbox.

Features:

  • The software can be used with the main interface or via the explorer “send to” context menu (the first time you only need to select a directory with some images).
  • All the files are encrypted using AES and hidden inside an image.
  • What happens if someone tries to open a camouflaged image? Well… nothing! He will only see an image!
  • This software is also useful when you want to send an exe via email. Currently many email providers (or companies proxy) don’t allow this.
  • Recently also GMail has disabled the support for attaching a zip file (even if protected with password) with an exe in a draft message.
  • With Free File Camouflage you can send via email whatever you want!

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Anker CD Slot Mount Car Mount Phone Holder – This is a unique method to mount a phone holder in your vehicle that is made by Anker. There are many variations of this method available by different companies; however, at the time of this blog post, the Anker CD Slot Car Mount Phone Holder was listed at being under $10…  

Anker CD Slot Mount Car Mount Phone Holder

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-30) FEATURING — Use This App To Create Your Own Android Car Dashboard — and MORE GREAT STUFF

Use This App To Create Your Own Android Car Dashboard – Many auto manufacturers as well as aftermarket units are bringing Android to the dashboard of your car. One such example is Android Auto that projects or casts what is on your phone onto a compatible dashboard touchscreen; but, most of us do not have the luxury of this technology. To fill in this gap, did you know that there is an android app called Car Dashdroid.

 Car dashdroid- Car dashboard- screenshot

Car Dashdroid does not project to a screen in your car’s dashboard; however, it will turn your phone into a distraction free device that has been specifically developed for use in your car. I have been testing this app and can attest that it is very good. In summary, Car Dashdroid is a car home dock replacement that makes driving easy (and safer)! It can switch on and off with your car (using Bluetooth), and return from any app to the specially-designed Car Dashdroid homescreen with a press of the Home button while connected (see settings). The interface features large buttons to launch apps (such as your GPS mapping app) and can be set to read incoming text messages to you (and you can respond back without taking your hands off the wheel). This app is fully customizable; for example, you can set up to 16 shortcuts for your favorite apps, contacts, and even shortcuts to custom actions like directions to a particular place, opening a specific playlist, or sending a pre-written message (like “On my way!” or “Stuck in traffic!”). You can use it FREE (with ads) and with some of the features disabled; however, if I were to buy an android app, this is one that I would buy. (UPDATE – I did buy this app!)…

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How To Update Windows In An Isolated Environment – Another tool for the tech toolbox is Portable Update. This tool is used to perform Windows updates on a computer where there is limited or no internet connection. Portable Update uses an external cache to store updates. The cache can reside on any usb external drive or, via private lan network, on a shared path. Once an update is copied to the cache (the only time that an internet connection is required), the same update will be used for all computer that need that particular update. I have added Portable Update to the What’s On My PC downloads page (under the Portable Apps Swarm).

Portable Update Hystory tag

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Daimler Driverless Truck Tested  – I’ve been saying that one of the first areas of transportation that will host autonomous driving is the truck industry. Take a look at the this article, “Daimler driverless lorry tested in motorway traffic” …

Daimler's self-driving truck took to a German autobahn to prove its capabilities

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Compact Portable Charger External Battery Power Bank – I don’t know about you, but my smartphone has become an extension of my body. I feel lost when I don’t have it in my possession and frustrated when it needs charged. To remedy the charging issue, I am exploring (looking at) the compact portable chargers. One that has caught my eye, that is inexpensive and has great customer reviews is the Anker Astro E1 5200mAh Ultra Compact Portable Charger External Battery Power Bank … One in three chargers sold on Amazon are from Anker!

Anker Astro E1

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-28) FEATURING — NEW Gmail Features — and MORE GREAT STUFF

NEW Gmail Feature – Gmail now has a built in feature that gives you the ability to EASILY block a nuisance sender (via the web interface and on Android) and the ability to unsubscribe from various services (on Android only). I am especially eager to test the unsubscribe option…  You can read more (and get a visual of how this works) at the official Gmail blog

Just Added “Feedly” To The Downloads Page – Feedly is an RSS (Really Simply Syndicate) Reader that I use to connect to the blogs and news sites that I am interested in. What RSS allows you to do is subscribe to a sites’ RSS feed.  The reader then pulls down the content into the reader (from the sites that you are subscribed to). RSS allows you to automatically pull down content from numerous sites into one place where you can then read it (just like a newspaper).  If you are not using RSS, then you do not know what you are missing. Feedly does a nice job of this and gives you a ton of options.  I currently use the web based version of Feedly and the Android version of Feedly  …

Cover art

Watermark Your Digital Photos With Ease – Download and Install SquiggleMark, follow these instructions, and you will be watermarking your photos and images in no time. With SqiggleMark you can watermark and resize multiple pictures simultaneously.

Is Tablet Use Starting To Shrink – ZDNet has an article posted, “Tablet use set to fall in 2016 for the first time”, where a new study from ABI Research now suggests the user base for the devices will itself start to shrink next year for the first time. Read this article to find out WHY(???)…

Get Instant Weather Information With This Portable App – Windows based weather software is actually a hard find. One that has weathered the storms over the years, that is a portable app, is WeatherMate.

WeatherMate

Easy-to-use, attractive interface

Displays the weather for multiple locations

Displays severe weather alerts

Displays radar images

Displays a variety of US weather maps

Speaks the weather

Moves out of the way when not in use

Automatically checks for a new version

Highly customizable

100% free!

Check Out The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 – I currently own a Samsung Tablet and can tell you they are a quality build. I encourage you take a look at the Samsung Galaxy S2 9.7 (Samsung’s latest tablet.).

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7″

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-27) FEATURING — Manage Your Computers Easily With CCleaner In The Cloud — and MORE GREAT STUFF

Manage Your Computers Easily With CCleaner In The Cloud – I think everyone knows about CCleaner; even those who are technologically challenged. CCleaner has been around for years, and at one time was called Crap Cleaner. In summary, what this software does is clean out the crap to increase the operational speed of your computer. CCleaner is available as a full install or portable app; AND, NOW you can run CCleaner from the cloud. If you go to CCleaner Cloud, click on the “Signup” button you will receive an invitation via email that will give you access. CCleaner Cloud has been in beta testing for quite awhile and it is now ready for public use and testing. The beauty of the cloud version of CCleaner is that you can run it from any of your Windows based computers, anywhere (without needing to install the software). You can also defrag your drives and perform registry fixes, as well.  Again, go to CCleaner Cloud and signup for your invitation today…

CCleaner Cloud

Microsoft Office 2016 – Released Today – Picked this news up at BetaNews, that gives a good read about the release of Microsoft Office 2016. More about Office 2016 can be found at Microsoft’s Office web site HERE

Microsoft Office 2016

Selfies 12, Sharks 8 – That is the score so far between selfie kills and shark kills.  Read more on this at Pocket-Lint to find out how selfies are the cause to people’s demise (more so than sharks).

Sharks vs. Selfies @ Pocketlint

Want To Learn How To Take A Screenshot On Your Android Phone? – WonderHowTo has posted a great How To article, “Android Basics: How to Take a Screenshot” …  I actually knew how to do this on my Nexus Phone; but, there is a separate way of performing a screenshot on a Samsung phone. What I found out, on my Samsung Tablet, is that this process will work on that too. Taking a screenshot on your phone or tablet is a handy way to capture what you are seeing on the screen (for troubleshooting purposes, to send to someone else, etc…).

This Works On Samsung Devices (as depicted in image below). Other
Android devices visit WonderHowTo to learn more…

Screenshot - Samsung

On Friday, Amazon’s shopping club, Prime, will cost only $67, down $32 from its usual $99 price tag – The sale starts Friday, September 25th ( at 12:00 a.m. ET and ends at 11:59 p.m. PT), and you can sign up here. This is celebrate Transparent winning 5 Emmy Awards.

Transparent

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-26) FEATURING — Get A Six Pack Of Amazon Tablets for $250 — and MORE GREAT STUFF

Get A Six Pack Of Amazon Tablets for $250 – If you want a tablet, here is your chance to pick up an Amazon Fire 7 inch display for $49.99; AND, if you want to buy tablets for the whole family, Amazon has a six pack offer for the same tablet (for $250).  Buy six, get one FREE. This idea is a marketing tactic on Amazon’s part to corral you in on spending more money on Amazon products and services (which in my opinion, are great services). To get a good look at this tablet (and specs) — CLICK HERE

Amazon Fire Six-Pack

7″ IPS display (171 ppi / 1024 x 600)

1.3 GHz quad-core processor

Rear (2MP) and front-facing (VGA) cameras

New Amazon Underground app store. Includes over $10,000 in apps, games and even in-app items that are free

Has access to over 38 million movies, TV shows, songs, books, apps and games

8 GB of internal storage. Free unlimited cloud storage for all Amazon content and photos taken with Fire devices

Can use a microSD card to get up to 128GB of extra on device storage

7 hours of battery life

Supports web browsing, email and calendaring

Star Wars Here We Come – You may already be aware that the Navy (aboard the USS Ponce) has deployed a laser weapon that can take down small boats, drones and other light aircraft. I have seen videos of this technology in action. Inexpensive to operate, automated targeting and no noise. All you see is flames being generated from the intended target. Soon, Air Force fighters will carry laser cannons, cyber weapons by 2020 (read @ arstechnica). Folks, we are entering another era of warfare that is an indicator that star wars may not be that far off.

Laser - Air Force Fighter

A Neat Little Snipping Tool From the Microsoft Garage Project – Here is a nice little snipping tool (screen capture and annotation tool) from Microsoft, called Snip, that may be helpful to you. With Snip you can snip it, annotate it and share it…

Snip

Add Multi-Tab Functionality To Windows 10 File Explorer – With a multi-tab file utility you can open multiple folders in the same Windows. The Windows 10 File Explorer does not have that capability, but you can make it happen by installing the extension called Clover. I nearly forgot about Clover after I upgraded to Windows 10 and when I did remember it, I was questioning, “Will it work on the Windows 10 platform with File Explorer?”.  The answer is “yes”… What is neat about Clover is that it works similar to the tabs in the Google Chrome browser. You can pin tabs and the feature I especially like is that you can add your favorite folders to the bookmark bar (for easy and fast access). I have added Clover to the downloads page (posted under the FREE SOFTWARE swarm)…

Best Web Browser Apps For Android And iPhone – “The web browsers that come loaded on smartphones aren’t always the best, especially in the case of Safari on the iPhone. It may be one of the most used browsers in the world but that doesn’t mean it is the best. These give options are easy to use and compatible with any phone so you can get browsing… ” READ MORE @ Heavy.com 

If you are wondering what browser I use on my Android devices; I use Google Chrome.  I have tried them all and I keep coming back to Chrome!

Top 5 Browsers

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-25) FEATURING — Take A Virtual Reality Ride On A New Dive Rollercoaster Coming In 2016 — and MORE GREAT STUFF

Take A Virtual Reality Ride On A New Dive Rollercoaster Coming In 2016 – When introduced in 2016, this rollercoaster (called the Valravn) will establish itself as being the world’s tallest, fastest and longest dive coaster.  You can read more about it here.  In the meantime you can take a virtual reality ride on it from your computer (see video below) and even on your phone as an Android or Apple app.

Start Video Below To Ride The Valravn
(Click full screen to get the full effect. There is a control at the top left
corner that can be used to get a panoramic view)

Campaign To Ban The Development of Sex Robots – Folks, this is not a joke. Knowing what I know about computer technology and the rapid development of robotics, we are very close to the time where you will be able to purchase your own sex robot. From an ethical standpoint, this is very disturbing. “Dr Richardson, a robot ethicist at De Montfort University in Leicester, wants to raise awareness of the issue and persuade those developing sex robots to rethink how their technology is used — READ MORE

Roxxxy the robot in a publicity shot

Free Security Protection and Speed Booster for Android Phone – If you are looking to take protective measures on your Android smartphone or tablet, you may want to take a look at the 360 Security – Antivirus Boost app. I am currently testing this on my tablet and phone and in comparison to many of the other security apps I have tried, I am really liking what I am seeing with this app. In summary 360 Security is a Security & Antivirus app with features such as:  junk-file remover, memory booster, power saver, anti-theft components (locater, eraser, alarm and lock), privacy & app locks, and real-time protection. This app runs as smooth as silk on both of my devices and carries a high rating at the google play store. I have added 360 Security to the downloads page under the Android Apps swarm.

 360 Security - Antivirus Boost

Could You Spot A Fake Product Review? – When I intend on making a purchase online, I head straight to the customer reviews to see what other people are saying about the product. The problem with this is that there are people paid to post fake reviews (often using automated technology) and you really have to be careful.  I typically will head to other sites that have the product and also check out their customer reviews so that I have a good comparative analysis. I typically try to stick with Amazon for reviews because there are typically many reviewers (often with pictures and videos).  As a matter of fact Amazon will often contact you, after making a purchase, to encourage you to post a review and/or answer a question about the product.  So, how do you spot fake reviews?  I encourage you to take a look at this article at TNW News, “How to spot fake reviews“… As the article states, “The bottom line is that you should easily be able to figure out if an item is a quality product or which companies have superior customer service without going through an exhaustive or misleading web experience”.

How spot fake reviews @ TNW News

How To Spot A Fake Review

Always Check The Deal Of The Day (@Amazon) – At the bottom of the blog you will see an icon for “The Deal Of The Day“.  When visiting, always click on that icon to see what Amazon has going on. For example, as of today’s blog post, they are offering tremendous savings on TP-Link Networking products

Deal of the Day

What Antivirus Do I Use? – I can tell you this… I have NEVER paid for any antivirus software EVER. Much of what we do on the internet and how we do it determines what our risk level is when it comes to becoming a victim of malware. The antivirus software that I currently use is Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition. Once you install it, establish an online account, you will not even know it is there.

Bitdefender Free Edition

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-23) FEATURING — Your FREE Online Tech Tool Bag — and MORE GREAT STUFF

A FREE Online Tech Tool Bag – No, this is not a tool bag that you physically carry around. This tool bag is one that is readily available in the virtual sense and has been specifically made for those who have a passion for information technology, PC troubleshooting and repair, and the desire to learn more. What I am referring to is the GEGeek web site. This site is awesome in the sense that the developer of the site, who is a seasoned IT Professional, has successfully created a centralized index of sorts that will direct you to anything and everything that has to do with fixing and learning more about Microsoft Windows and computers. To show how important I think this site is, I have permanently included a link to the site on What’s On My PC (see tab at top of the page).

GEGeek

On top of all of this, make sure you check out the GEGeek Tech Toolkit which is a “Complete Collection of over 600 Tech Related Free Programs⁄Suites, all accessible from one Menu Launcher Utility” that you can carry around on your flash drive. This toolkit, I highly recommend if you are an IT Professional or training to become one, is available via donationware. Donate an amount that is “Reasonable” and he will send you a download link via email for the toolkit (with includes free future updates). The link to the toolkit is at the top of the GE Geek Web Site (can’t miss it and don’t miss it)…

A Porn App That Snaps Your Photo and Demands A Ransom – “If you’ve used Adult Player, sorry to hear it: It’s an Android porn app that takes a photo of you with the phone’s front-facing camera, immobilizes the device, and demands a $500 payment via a locked ransom screen to fix the phone and delete the photo”… READ MORE

See How Fast Technology Education Is Changing In The Schools – I cannot imagine being a Teacher, Student or Parent these days and attempting to stay on top of all of the information technology changes. Ask A Tech Teacher has posted an article, 13 Changes in Tech-in-Ed in Just Three Years that provides real-world insight on how quickly things have changed, just in a three year period.

13 Changes In Tech Ed

I Highly Recommend This Android App If You Use Google’s Two-Factor Authentication – I just added this app to the downloads page and it is called Authy. Authy brings the future of strong authentication to the convenience of your Android device. The Authy app generates secure 2 step verification tokens on your device. It help’s you protect your account from hackers and hijackers by adding an additional layer of security. Two-Factor Authentication prevents your Google Gmail account from being hacked.

 Authy 2-Factor Authentication

Preserve The Integrity Of An Image With A Curved Screened Monitor – The first time I experienced one of the curved computer monitors and went back to a flat panel, I immediately sensed the difference. To get an idea of what I am referring to take a look at the S27D590CS monitor by Samsung. Definitely takes entertainment to a whole new level. I just need to figure out how to get this monitor to fit into my work area.

Samsung Curved Monitor

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-19) – View And Control Your Android Device From Your Computer — and MORE FREE STUFF

View And Control Your Android Device From Your ComputerVysor is a Google Chrome extension that is currently in beta (testing) that allows you to mirror (and control) your Android device (smartphone or tablet) from your Windows based computer. Keep in mind this utility is in beta testing, so there may be bugaboos… Your smartphone or tablet must be connected to your computer via USB. Typically this is not a problem for many Android device users, due this is a method that we often use to charge our devices. You can read in detail — CLICK HERE — the steps and driver involved for this to work. If you are successful, I think you will find that Vysor is an awesome application in the making where you can control every aspect of your Android device from your computer (even texting).

In summary, the ingredients to make this work are: USB debugging must be enabled on your device; your device connected to your computer via USB; the Google Chrome browser; the Google Chrome Vysor extension,; and the ABD driver installed. May sound complicated, but is not as hard as you think and in the end you have a very impressive (and useful) application.

Maryland University To Eliminate Textbooks – A spokesman at the University said “students will be able use a variety of materials like readings and videos online at no cost”.  Many Universities have been following similar models; however, UMUC is the first in making a transition of this magnitude

(Photo: UMUC)

4-Port USB Car Charger with Intelligent Charging Technology – Check out this Inateck Aluminum 4-Port USB Car Charger with Intelligent Charging Technology. The intelligent charging technology has a built-in smart chipset that detects your devices automatically to deliver the safest current.

Inatech 4-Port Charger

Sandboxie Now Supports Windows 10 – If you do not know what Sandboxie is then you are missing out on a very special piece of software that can keep you safe… Sandboxie is a software application that gives you the ability to run other software applications and surf the internet in an isolated abstraction area called a sandbox. Under the supervision of Sandboxie, an application operates normally and at full speed, but can’t effect permanent changes to your computer. Instead, the changes are effected only in the sandbox; thus, in the event of a malware infection or the software does not meet your needs, you simply delete the sandbox. I currently use Sandboxie to test software that I am not sure about. Since the my upgrade to Windows 10, I found that the developers of Sandboxie are working on a compatible version for Windows 10. If you are a Windows 10 and Sandboxie user, you may want to give the beta (test) version a try (CLICK HERE); HOWEVER, please note that SBIE Beta v5 does not support Windows Metro Apps or the Edge browser at this time. You will need to change your default web browser in Win 10 from Edge to something else. For example, in my case, I am currently (and safely) using Sandboxie to run the Google Chrome browser inside a sandbox.

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-17) – Featuring Drone Event Happens In My Hometown — and MORE FREE STUFF

Drone Event Happens In My Hometown – The drone and robotic technology’s are two technology’s that I fear could have major repercussions to our society, if in the wrong hands. For example, an event occurred in my home turf where a plot was foiled by police to fly a drone into the airspace of a maximum security prison. The intended payload of the drone was drugs, tobacco and porn DVDs. There was some speculation that this may have been pulled off prior to this — Read: Cops foil drone plot to carry drugs and porn into Maryland prison, two arrested

Drone Event

Don’t Like Windows 10’s OneDrive? – Here is how to disable and remove it — CLICK HERE

No OneDrive Windows 10

McAfee FREE Antivirus Beta – Are my eyes deceiving me? I noticed at the Download Crew there is a beta version of McAfee’s Free Antivirus available. Yes, FREE; but, hold your horses. I would not install this until it is a fine-tuned finished product and definitely do not install it alongside another security product. Thought I would post this to let the techies out there (and home based users) know that McAfee is working on a FREE basic anti-version tool.

McAfee's Free Antivirus

Microsoft Print to PDF Is A Feature Built Into Windows 10 – While Windows 10 was in development, I deliberately avoided the test versions. I wanted to experience what everyone else experienced after its’ release. As a result, I am (just like you) learning more and more about Windows 10 (and I love it). I am like a kid in a candy shop. Today, I learned something else that I did not know. Did you know there is a Microsoft Print to PDF feature, built into Windows 10?  I did not know that until I read: Print to PDF in Windows 10 without using any software …  Nice move on Microsoft’s part.

microsoft print to pdf windows 10

Portable LED Projection Micro Home Theater Projector – This may be my next Tech Toy — Taotaole Multi-media Mini 800 Lumens Portable LED Projection Micro Home Theater Projector … This projector is a best seller at Amazon and if you read the reviews you will see why. The big thing about this projector is that it comes in around $100 bucks.

Taotaole Multi-media Mini 800 Lumens Portable LED Projection Micro Home Theater Projector

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Get The Latest (and Best Selection) Of Tech News

Seven years ago this month I started the “What’s On My PC” blog at WordPress. I have met numerous individuals and have seen numerous blogs come and go. To me, it has become a hobby and a way for me to keep up with my passion for information technology.  Blogging has taught me discipline; has improved my writing skills; and, pushes me to keep up with the latest in information technology.

My start with blogging can be attributed to the support and guidance from Bill Mullins’ at Tech Thoughts and Tech Paul at Tech-for Everyone. These guys are true bloggers and still maintain their blogs. Their level of expertise and knowledge of information technology is a level that is very admirable. I can’t say “Thank You” enough to these guys…

To celebrate my 7 years, you will notice that at the top of the blog you will see a tab labelled “Tech News”. Effective today, if you click on that tab you will be redirected to Bill Mullins’ site (Tech Thoughts) where one of his specialties is aggregating technology news (tagged as Tech Thoughts – Net News). What I have found is that we are saturated on a daily basis with information technology news, to the point you can lose a sense of it all and you miss out on the important stuff. With Bill’s insight and sixth sense for technology, he does the legwork for us and provides a good read on current tech news, trends, security, software; AND, even some off topic news.

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Confirmed – Windows 10 Availability Date Is July 29, 2015

Straight from the horses’ mouth or I should say from Cortana’ mouth at Microsoft’s Windows Blog:

On July 29, you can get Windows 10 for PCs and tablets by taking advantage of the free upgrade offer, or on a new Windows 10 PC from your favorite retailer. If you purchase a new Windows 8.1 device between now and then, the Windows 10 upgrade will be available to you and many retail stores will upgrade your new device for you.

The Windows 10 upgrade is designed to be compatible with your current Windows device and applications*. We are hard at work to make this upgrade process a great experience. You can reserve your free Windows 10 upgrade now through a simple reservation process. Look for this icon in your system tray at the bottom of your screen, simply click on the icon, and then complete the reservation process. You can find more details on how this works at Windows.com.

You can listen to Cortana spread the news:

Cortana - Windows 10

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Send Notes and Send Directions To Your Phone From Google Search

This week’s hot Google news is similar news from last week, with a different twist, where you can go to the Google Search page (or the Google Chrome’s omnibox) and type in “find my phone” (see article here).

This week Google revealed you can go to the Google Search page (or the Google Chrome’s omnibox) and type  “Send Directions” (to push driving directions to your phone) or “Send Note” (to push a note to your phone). Appears you have to be signed into your Google account through your web browser (Google Chrome) to make this work. READ MORE…

Send Directions

Send Note

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Microsoft Office Online and Dropbox Are Shaking Hands

If you follow the tech news you will know that Microsoft and Dropbox had earlier established a partnership with a goal to make it easier to work with your Microsoft Office applications from Dropbox. This goal is now to the point where the integration between Dropbox on the web and Office Online is a reality.

Now, when working in Office Online you can add your Dropbox account to easily browse, open and edit Office files with Office Online. You can also create new files in Office Online, and save them directly to your Dropbox.

The same integration is available from Dropbox in a web browser. You can now access Office Online directly from the file you are viewing. Just click the Open button when you’re previewing a Word, PowerPoint or Excel file from Dropbox on the web, and you can edit the file right from your browser using Office Online. [ source: Office Blogs).

READ MORE 

Office and Dropbx _____________________________

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Turn Your Big Display Into A Windows Based Computer

Soon you will be able to buy (for approximately $150) Intel’s Compute Stick that will enable you to turn your TV into a Windows based or Linux based computer. This Windows on a stick device will be available later this month. The Stick has built-in Wi-Fi and built-in Bluetooth support that will enable you to add a keyboard and mouse. Also on board: a quad-core Intel Atom processor, 2 Gigabytes of RAM, 32GB of storage and a micro SD card slot for additional storage. If you check around, you can pre-order today

READ MORE

Compute Stick

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A New Smartphone Battery Technology (charge your phone in less than a minute)

A hot topic in the tech news is the aluminum battery that is being developed that is not only safer than the current existing lithium-ion batteries; but, can be fully charged in less than a minute…

READ MORE

NEW Aluminum Battery

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Turn Your Android Phone Into A Pocket Document Scanner With Microsoft Lens

Currently circulating around in the tech world is news about Microsoft’s popular and free Office Lens app, which turns a smartphone into a pocket document scanner, NOW being offered in Android and iOS versions.

I did take this for a spin and found that it does a nice job of using your camera on your phone and/or tablet to capture a document and saving it to Microsoft OneNote, OneDrive, Word, Powerpoint, or as a PDF or as an image file… One option that I would like to see, is an option to directly share my scanned docs to other services.  You can share to other services, but you have to jump through some hoops to make this happen.

Features in a nutshell:

  • Identifies printed text with optical character recognition (OCR) so that you can search by key word for the image in OneNote or OneDrive.
  • Converts images of paper documents and whiteboard notes into Word documents, PowerPoint presentations and PDF files for easy editing and reformatting.
  • Captures business cards and generates contacts you can add to your phone.
  • Inserts images to OneNote or OneDrive (as DOCX, PPTX, JPG or PDF format) and gives you options to save, export and share the image.

READ MORE ON THIS NEWS

Microsoft Lens

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How To Get Microsoft Office For FREE?

Believe it or not you will soon be able to get and use Microsoft Office for FREE; but, there is a catch (as if you didn’t know).

Microsoft is planning to make the core viewing and editing features of Office FREE, but the catch is, this will only be available for FREE on devices with screens that are 10.1 inches or smaller. The thinking is that anything above that scale would most likely be used in a professional/office/school environment (thus cost is applied) and anything below that scale is mostly in a non-professional home/on the road environment (thus no cost is applied).

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MS Office - FREE

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Windows 10 Non-Genuine Pirate Upgrades Will Remain Non-Genuine

If you are running a pirated version of Windows 7 and you were thinking you would be able to get a FREE version of Windows 10 when it is released

—  THINK AGAIN!  —

If anything, an attempted upgrade of a pirated (illegal) copy of Windows will only reveal and identify that you are breaking the law and running a non-genuine copy of Windows.

“With Windows 10, although non-Genuine PCs may be able to upgrade to Windows 10, the upgrade will not change the genuine state of the license,” Microsoft said. “If a device was considered non-genuine or mislicensed prior to the upgrade, that device will continue to be considered non-genuine or mislicensed after the upgrade.”

SOURCES

Windows 10 - Pirated Upgrade???

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How Can I Upgrade To Windows 10 For FREE?

In the coming months, when Windows 10 is released to the general public, you may be wondering what the upgrade path will be (in order to get it FREE)…

I noticed on Microsoft’s Window 10 web site the following announcement. You can sign up now, via email, to received ongoing information about Windows 10.

“Great News!  We will offer a FREE upgrade to Windows 10 for qualified new or existing Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1 devices that upgrade in the first year. And even better, once a qualified Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it up to date for the supported lifetime of the device, keeping it more secure, and introducing new features and functionality over time — for no additional charge. Sign up with your email today, and we will send you more information about Windows 10 and the upgrade offer in the coming months.”

SOURCE

Windows 10 Upgrade Offer

To read more NEWS on this — CLICK HERE

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OneDrive Users Should Soon See A “Music” Folder Where You Can Stash MP3’s

Everyday I am seeing a Microsoft that is finally understanding the concept of cloud computing and the importance to be a real competitor instead of trying to be the master.

For example, with Microsoft’s OneDrive (online file storage) you could upload your MP3’s and store them; but, you could not play them back (or stream them from your account). Well with the new Microsoft, that has and/or will be changing. You will be seeing a Music folder show up on your OneDrive account that you can upload, store and PLAY those files.

SOURCES

OneDrive MP3 Storage

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Finally… Microsoft Releases Another Windows 10 Build (10041)

Microsoft on Wednesday released Windows 10 Build 10041 after a considerable gap in time from the previous build release — Now promising monthly builds from here on out… Full final version expected to be released this summer.

As I did in Windows 8, I am deliberately not touching Windows 10 until its’ release, so that I can experience (and report back) what it is like to experience it for the first time.

SOURCES

Windows 10 build 10041

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Word On The Street – Windows 10 To Be Released This Summer

Something told me that Microsoft is and has been on a fast track to get Windows 10 on the street and it appears it will occur this summer(???).

Reportedly the release will be worldwide to over 190 countries. We will see. I am excited about this release of Windows.  Are you?

To READ MORE about all of this click on the screenshot below:

Windows 10 Release - Summer 2015

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Goodbye Internet Explorer – Hello Microsoft Spartan

From what I have read, Microsoft is going to slowly drop the Internet Explorer brand and replace it with a brand name called Spartan.  Appears Spartan will be part of Windows 10 when it is released later this year.

You can read more about this news by clicking on screenshot below…

Microsoft Spartan

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HOT TECH NEWS – Yahoo’s New On Demand Password Protection Process

Hmmm…  I currently use 2-step password verification with my Google and Microsoft Live accounts. I like the idea it is a more secure process of locking down my accounts from intruders; however, the downside of this is you need to have this set up with your smartphone in order for the verification process to work. For example, if I log into my Gmail account from another computer, I have an app on my phone that will generate a code that I must further insert in order to access my account. It really is a more secure process, works for me knowing my account is more secure, but in reality most people out there will not want to go through these extra steps and/or do not understand the concept.

Yahoo has taken the 2-step verification and has broken it down to a 1-step verification where anytime you log into your account, a 4-digit code will be sent to you that will get you in.  Will this be accepted?  Only time will tell…

Want to read more about this, click on the graphic below…

Yahoo On Demand Passwords

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HOT TECH NEWS – Google Gearing Up To Handle All Your Email Accounts With Gmail

This is something I know will excite many people. Google is gearing up to handle all of your email accounts with Gmail (for Android). From what I am reading you will be able to setup Gmail (when the new version is released) to pull in mail from other external accounts you may have (such as Outlook and Yahoo).

New Gmail

…the new Gmail will be able to handle email accounts from other providers like Yahoo or Outlook, switching between them with either a simple swipe or by touching the account drop down. Here’s the new onboarding video Gmail will show for returning users upgrading to the new version. Source: Android Police

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