Data Doctors Tech Tips
Tech Tips for Non-Tech People
We give quick, one minute tech tips each weekday! Join us on a radio station near you as we talk tech. It's Tech Tips for Non-Tech People! You can post questions on Facebook anytime!
Any parent of a student that’s in some form of higher level math has probably already run into the situation where you are asked for help on a math problem that’s overwhelming.
Any parent that wants a little assistance in explaining how to solve complex math problems should checkout an app called ‘PhotoMath’.
This amazing app allows parents to use the camera on their smartphones to scan a math problem, attempt to solve the problem and show the steps it takes to solve them.
If you think that kids will simply use this app to cheat on their homework, think about what was said about the calculator when it first came out.
There’s no question that this app can be used to cheat, but it’s truly a learning app that will teach kids how things are solved.
Keep in mind that kids can use other tools like Wolfram Alpha to solve math equations, but they’ll miss out on the explanation required to solve them.
Don’t let your fear keep you from using of this great parental teaching tool: https://photomath.net
Who among us doesn’t live on email? We all spend way too much time getting interrupted by messages that aren’t important because we’re on so many mailing lists.
Most of us don’t even know how we ended on most of the lists, but because of the all-to-common auto opt-in lists, it’s not going to go away any time soon.
If you are overwhelmed with insignificant subscription messages every day, an awesome tool called ‘Unroll’ is worth a look.
Once the system scans your inbox, it alphabetically lists your subscriptions so you can select that ones you want to keep, the ones you want to unsubscribe from or add messages to what they call a ‘roll up’.
It’s a daily digest of your subscriptions that you actually want to see condensed into a single message, so you no longer see them all day long.
You can mark important messages as ’Keep in Inbox’ so that you see them as they come in.
Unroll.Me works with with most major web-based email tools: https://unroll.me
Anyone that knows the life of the hard working working local musician, you also know how important tips from their audience can be as a sign of how well they are connecting.
Throwing a few bucks into a guitar case or tip jar is generally the option, but how many times are you in a position that doesn’t allow you to show your appreciation because you don’t have any cash on you?
Our society is practically a cashless one these days, so a lot of people in the service and hospitality world are making less because of it.
An app called ‘Bravo’ is trying to help by making it super easy to tip out those in the service or entertainment industry that you are near.
It makes it easy to tip tour guides, live musicians, valets or anyone that served you, electronically.
I always tell musicians to consider making a sign for the Bravo app next to their tip jar, which could encourage their audience to download the app and send them tips throughout their performance.
Whether you’re the tipper or the tippee, Bravo makes it a lot easier:
Anyone that spends as much time in the great outdoors as I do is likely to find themselves without any sort of cell signal.
In most cases, that’s probably on purpose, but there are often times when having a communication safety net is desirable in case you get lost or need help.
A handy device called ‘goTenna’ provides a communication option to connect with others whenever a cell signal isn’t available.
The device will allow you to send and receive text messages or share the GPS location where you are with someone that has the companion device. It can work from 1 to 50 miles, depending on your terrain.
An area like a ski resort is likely to provide better range than any city setting that has lots of tall buildings.
I just returned from a popular music festival that would have been a great place to have goTenna to contact my friends as the cell network was so jammed with traffic and virtually useless.
Learn more at: https://gotenna.com
Any of you that spend a lot of time on the road are used to less than desirable Internet speeds from the available wifi options.
It doesn’t matter whether you are on a flight, in a hotel lobby or meeting at a coffee shop, everyone on the connection is sharing a slow data pipe.
Airplane wifi can be especially challenging when you try to access all of the multimedia content that’s so common on most to today’s websites.
There is an option to optimize whichever browser you’re using for really slow connections, but then requires you to remember to put all the settings back to normal when you are back on a high-speed pipe.
To bypass that hassle, I suggest road warriors think about using the less known Opera browser when you are on the go.
The Opera browser provides a special mode they call ‘Turbo’ that optimizes all your content on the Opera servers before sending it to your device to reduce download times.
In addition, by automatically blocking Flash content until you click on the container further reduces the load of unnecessary multimedia content.
When you’re on an extremely slow connection, you can even set Opera to not load images at all, which increases the speed of written content.
More suggestions are posted at:
Anyone that runs a small business that occasionally needs to invoice their customers has probably found that many of the popular platforms are overly complex or just too expensive.
Generating simple invoices, estimates & POs doesn’t need to be rocket science, so the folks at Invoice2go created a system just for micro businesses.
Their tools will work on smartphones, tablets or computers and it will sync your paperwork across all those devices.
It allows you to create customized invoices with your company logo or even create one if you don’t currently have one which makes for a more professional appearance.
They can even help your business track receivables, track expenses, time on a job and your customers can sign estimates or invoices using your mobile devices.
You can use the free trial version to create a couple of invoices so you can test the system out.
Invoices2go will work on either Android or iOS devices: https://invoice.2go.com
The vast majority of email messages circulating the Internet are without a doubt junk messages generally trying to sell you special pills and lower mortgage rates.
It has made processing our email messages a lot more work than it needs to be and now those spammers are taking aim at your smartphone.
Text message spam is growing and no matter what rules are in place, the bad guys won’t bother following them.
But. did you know that you can help by fighting back every time you get spammed with one of those annoying messages?
Each time you get a junk message, you should report it to your wireless carrier by simply forwarding the message to ‘7726’ which is ‘SPAM’ spelled out.
Be sure to forward the exact message in its entirety and don’t add any comments of your own.
If we all start doing this each and every time we get a junk message, we can all put a small dent into the problem so they don’t ruin text messaging as well.
We’ve all found ourselves borrowing a friend’s computer to check on something on one of online accounts.
You need to log into Facebook to check on something and forget when you pop out to catch some dinner.
This scenario actually happened to a friend of ours and what happened later was not good.
The friends got into a heated discussion while at dinner and they both left the restaurant upset with each other.
When one of the friends returned home, he found that his former friend was still logged into his Facebook account, which allowed him full control over the account and proceeded to wreak havoc.
Did you know, there’s a way to rectify this situation if you ever find yourself in it? Facebook has an option that will allow you to remotely logout of any computer or device using the account.
You do this by going into your account settings on a smartphone or computer and clicking on the ‘security’ section.
Towards the bottom of the page, look for the words ‘Active Sessions’ then click EDIT on your computer, or REMOVE on your smartphone.
Computer will see a list of all the open Facebook sessions on any device which you can quickly choose to end, putting you back in the driver’s seat.
So many people from other countries speak many languages, but we typically don’t because new languages are hard to learn using traditional methods of learning.
You can do minor translations on the fly with various apps and websites but you won’t learn anything.
There is an online resource that can make learning that new language a more social experience, because you get to learn with others and challenge them while you are learning.
Duolingo.com takes learning a new language to a different level. they allow you to connect through Facebook or Twitter which will allow you to track your friends that are learning a new language with you.
They use many pictures, words, sentences and more interactive methods for learning, so you can quickly learn basic lessons then move on to advanced levels.
By simply dedicating a few minutes a day to learn the lessons, you will be speaking, understanding and possibly even writing in that new language.
Give it a spin for yourself at:
How many times have you recieved an email that includes a file attachment but you don’t have the proper program that will allow you to open the file.
This can result in one of two scenarios: replying to the person requesting an alternative type of file or finding a program that will convert the file so you can open it.
Not only can this make things inconvenient, there can also be a cost involved. Who needs to buy a program for a single use?
If you find yourself with the need to convert any file in the future, just visit Zamzar.com.
It’s a free website that will convert just about any file type to another file type.
Zamzar will convert ebooks to pdfs, mp3s to wave files, Quicktime to MP4; the possibilities are almost endless.
To convert files, you simply drag and drop them on the conversion tool, then select the format you want the conversion to be and type your email address, before clicking on the ‘convert’ button.
Zamzar will send you a link to download the file once they have converted it.
Targeted hacking known as ‘spear phishing’ is on the increase but lots of victims don’t realize when it’s happening to them.
Nowadays, when you get a random message from some bank that you don’t do business with, claiming than your account has a security issue, It’s easy to quickly figure out that it’s a scam.
But what about when you get email messages from your company's human resources department that includes an important policy update notification or ruling on your vacation time. You’ll generally click on it because you assume it’s from your company.
Today’s hackers are using spear phishing techniques using your own company name because they know most victims don’t think about opening a message that comes from someone in the same company.
So, how can you tell when a message is a spear phishing attempt? It’s impossible to provide absolute indicators, but we should all know enough to avoid clicking on any links or attachments included with the message.
Watch out for spelling errors and bad grammar, which are often the tip off of a scam message.
You can also check the validity of any links by looking for mismatched destinations by simply hovering the mouse pointer over the link and watching the status bar at the bottom left corner of the message to see if it matches. If it doesn’t, you’ll know it’s a scam message for sure.
Anyone that wants a solid photo editing program, but doesn't want to spend $700 to get it or need a cheap alternative to Microsoft Office should know about a website that offers alternatives.
The options in the software world are a lot wider than just the popular commercial ones that you've heard of and in many cases, there may even be some free alternatives.
Programs known as 'open source' are collaborative efforts that allow programmers from around the globe help in the ongoing development and most often offer the programs for free for anyone to use.
An excellent resource for discovering all those cheap alternatives to expensive software programs is a website called https://alternativeto.net
By typing the name of the program that you want an alternative for into the search box at the top, you'll get alternatives that you probably had no idea ever existed!
The options are based on other user's recommendations, so finding great alternatives to the applications you want is easy.
The suggested programs are for Windows, Mac, iPhone and iPad, Android, Linux and even Blackberry devices
The next time you seek an alternative to any program, just pop over to https://alternativeto.net to find it!
Today's tip could an literally change the way you keep up with concert dates for your favorite bands.
Instead of having to remember to visit their website or Facebook page to see when your band will be in town, checkout https://BandsInTown.com
You can either checkout the bands coming to your area or download their app, which connects to Facebook and starts alerting you in the news feed when your bands are booked for a gig in town.
No more remembering to follow you favorite artists, as Bandsintown will notify you and alerts you to similar artists in town; then RSVP for any show or even buy your tickets.
With BandsInTown you will never have to miss a concert again because the app knows which groups you like...HOW? Automagically!
The app can gather your music preferences from iTunes, Pandora and other popular music services by scanning your most listened to, preferred, and liked artists, and then suggest concerts going based on that info.
With BandsInTown, you no longer have to go searching for concerts, the concerts will be looking for you.
Have you ever wondered how some people are capable to creating amazing collages with their images? Do they have exceptional editing skills or are they using a special app that makes great collages easy?
The Photo Grid app is one option for creating collages easily with up to 9 images on your smartphone (both Android and iPhone). You can make appealing collages the very first time you use it.
When you launch the app, it asks you to choose the type of collage you wish to create from options that include free form, single image, grid, high - photo booth-style strip - or wide - a horizontal strip.
This app makes it very easy to swap images, crop, zoom and even change up the orientation along with border and background options as well.
When you feel like your masterpiece is done, simply save it to your smartphone and post it wherever you want!
As the holiday gift giving season rolls in, lots of us are going to be making as many purchases online as we can to avoid those crazy crowds.
After making your purchases, you have to aware of how the items will be delivered. In most cases, it'll be you front door usually when no one's home. This can lead to the growing problem of 'porch pirates'.
Thieves are going to tail delivery vehicles to stalk the best packages to grab after they determine that no one's home.
To fight this problem, it's best to have your packages sent to a neighbor or a friend that you konw will be home or if not, have the packages sent were you work.
Consider providing special delivery instructions for hidden places at your house or leave a note on your door if there's an alternative location for delivering the package.
Anyone that gets packages delivered regularly all year long should really install a motion-sensing camera or doorbell at the front door so everything is recorded any time motion is sensed at the door. You'll also get a text or email notification whenever anyone is ever at your door.
Being a huge fan of dual displays on my work computer, working without them just seems unimaginable.
But when I hit the road and need that extended display space, it isn’t practical to lug a second display around, unless that second display is an iPad.
Mac computer users have been able to use an iPad with their Macbooks as a second screen, but did you know that Windows users can do the same thing? It’s possible through an app called ‘Duet Display’.
Just install the program on your computer and the app on your iPad to start using it as a second computer desktop display.
This setup allows you to drag anything you’re working on from your desktop to the iPad, which is helpful when working with large spreadsheets or when you need to do a lot of copying and pasting.
Duet Display will work with Mac or Windows systems and iPads or your larger iPhones using the charging cable as a connector.
It’s quick to setup and free at https://www.duetdisplay.com
If you're a business owner or employee that has to track your mileage on a daily basis, there are a plethora of apps available to allow you to manually keep track of your driving, but wouldn't it be better to use the built-in GPS in your phone to automate this tedious task?
An app that does this very thing is called "TripLog GPS Mileage Tracker" and it puts the smart back into your smartphone.
Triplog can also track parking fees, fuel costs, tolls and other common driving expenses for a more complete trip report.
An excellent feature of the app is that it simply require you to plug the phone into a power connector or use your Bluetooth connection to automatically start tracking your mileage once you go more than five miles per hour.
It also automatically stops tracking your mileage, when you disconnect your phone from power or from your car's Bluetooth, so it eliminates a lot of the human error.
The basic features of Triplog are free with optional premium features if you feel they are worth spending money on.
As the world of social networking continues to grow, you aren't limited to only the most well known options such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
More obscure networks that serve a niche based on race, religion, gender, age, or any special interest group are available and for those that are fishing enthusiasts, there's a social network for that.
It's called “FishBrain" and it has millions of users that will connect you with fishing fans in over 200 countries.
It’s an interesting resource that's designed to provide information and connections to those that love the sport of fishing.
You can share and track fishing spots, compare your technique & bait options and compete with others as you record your catches using the network.
With over 330K catches and more than 50k bait options, you can engage with thousands of other anglers right from your mobile devices.
The network and apps can be accessed at:
For most households with kids, an iPhone or iPad has become an electronic babysitter of sorts, but allowing a young child to have complete access to your mobile device is pretty risky.
An underutilized option in Apple's operating system can make it easy to protect your sensitive info before you hand it to your child.
It is referred to as 'Guided Access' and it will allow you to completely lock down your device and only allow a single app to run.
Once you turn it on, you simply select the app you want allow, then lock the system to only that app which will keep your child from accessing anything else.
If you want to allow access to a number of apps, using the 'Restrictions' settings to specifically lock down individual apps may be a better way to go.
Both options can be setup relatively quickly using the 'Settings' menu without the need to be very technical.
The how-to links for both options are posted here:
Setup Guided Access: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202612
Setup App Restrictions: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201304
For all you frustrating iPhone photographers that work hard to get that awesome shot just to have it come out blurry so often, today's tip is for you.
You can always take many shots in a row to help improve your odds of a clear pic, but in many cases, the blurry shots are because of the movement created every time you tap to snap the shot.
Holding perfectly still and tapping gently on the screen also helps create clean shots, but there are a couple more ways to take pictures that a lot of probably forgot or didn't know they have.
One alternative is to use the volume buttons on the iPhone, which turns the process into more of an old-school camera method specifically when holding the phone sideways.
If you plug Apple's famous white earbuds in, you can use the volume buttons on those headphones to take a picture as well.
Using the earbud volume control to take a picture can be handy when you're trying to take a candid shot or if you are using a tripod.
Whichever way you go, always remember: hold still longer!