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!
Virtually any new project or product that you want to take to market starts with a search to see if the name you came up with is already being used.
Once you have the name, you’ll generally want to see if the website domain is available, which is where Picky Domains can be a huge time saver.
This web resource uses crowdsourcing to generate ideas for those looking for a name and web address for their new project.
It’s not based on random suggestions as you provide the details of how long you want it to be, what words to use or not use, etc.
You get to leverage the brainpower of a huge crowd of creative people at a very reasonable price because only one person will win your challenge.
It’s such an important step in improving your chances of being successful, so if you’re ever in need of this unique service, make sure you bookmark it: https://www.pickydomains.com
A current phenomenon made possible via social media is the real-time reporting of seismic activity.
Researchers realized that this activity could be helpful to track the activity in addition to all of the standard technology in use.
It turns out that the sophistication of a smartphone can be even more helpful in tracking earthquakes as they occurred.
The point of this approach was to create a more accurate and speedy warning system for those in the vicinity to help prevent surprises.
What makes this project work the best is from wider participation, so if you know anyone that lives in an earthquake-prone area, let them know about this awesome project: https://myshake.berkeley.edu
If you use various chargers for your smartphone and it seems that the ones that didn’t come with your device take a longer time to charge, it’s probably true.
In some cases, this can be caused by a defective cable that’s wearing out from the inside, but it’s more likely the wrong amperage from the charger.
Despite all of the charger amps being at a very low level, which is why you don’t feel any type of shock when you touch them, it’s critical to have the right amount.
Knowing what the proper amperage requirements are for your device allows you to buy a third-party charger that will do the job effectively.
If you happen to have the tools necessary to measure these low power levels coming from your charger, that’s great, but for Android users, there’s a free app.
Ampere (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gombosdev.ampere) is a free app that not only tells you what your charging levels are for each charger, but also looks at heat generation and battery health.
It’s a great way to determine the best chargers you have so you can charge your battery in the best way possible!
If you’re the type that enjoys creating unique images that will easily catch the attention of just about anyone, have we got an app for you to try.
It’s an app called Alien Sky and it will allow iPhone users to do what the title suggests - place alien images in the sky of your pictures.
There are some awesome celestial bodies that you can add to your images that are so realistic that it will likely create questions from those that see it.
You can claim to have caught a comet just in time or say nothing about there being more than one moon in dusk background.
With over 150 effects available, you’ll have endless opportunities for great fun and intrigue.
Check out all of the high-res objects that you can start using to bump up your space photo game at: http://www.brainfevermedia.com/alienSky.html
Protecting yourself from the multitude of threats that can destroy your data starts with having a solid backup process in place.
A traditional backup that is copied to an external hard drive connected to your computer will only provide one type of protection - having a secured off-site backup in addition is today’s best protection.
The ongoing threat of ransomware which will lock you out of your own files and demand a ransom will also compromise your external hard drive.
These sneaky attacks can easily bypass traditional anti-virus programs because they focus on tricking humans into allowing the exploit to start working behind the scenes.
If you’re hit by this attack and don’t have a backup available, your two choice will be to pay the ransom or lose those pictures, videos and document forever.
One of the easiest ways to keep yourself protected is with online backup services such as Carbonite, so if you haven’t accessed your backup situation lately, take a minute to think it through.
Most of us are mindful of our physical fitness in one way or another but not so much when it comes to mental fitness.
As with our physical capabilities that diminish with age, so does our mental sharpness if it isn’t kept active.
If you don’t already have a way to train your brain to stay alert, an app called Elevate is awaiting your call.
It’s much more than a silly gaming app that will distract you from life as it’s backed by science and research in the cognitive world.
This app will personalize the brain training based in a number of inputs from you and your responses to the various interactions.
They use the freemium model which provides the basics for free and premium features for a fee.
It turns out that playing games will help keep your brain stay in shape and beyond exercise, it can make you feel much sharper too https://www.elevateapp.com
Nature lovers tend to seek out the path less traveled so they can commune with their surroundings in solitude, which means they’ll need a solid way to navigate the wilderness.
Google Maps and other navigation apps can be helpful, but most of them require you to think about things well before you hit the trail, such as downloading the information that won’t be available when there’s no signal.
If you’re an iPhone toting nature lover, check out an app called Anchor Pointer that’s a big help.
This app allows you to drop ‘anchors’ along the way, so it can easily bring you back later.
You can set the anchors well in advance or use it to mark where you parked your car.
You’ll get details info on the distance to each of the anchor points so you won’t have to guess how much longer it will take to get there.
It can also work with other iPhone users, so it’s awesome for groups as well.
Get the details at:
Have you noticed how many gadgets you won that can take a picture?
Some are basic while others are very sophisticated and include a flash option to shed light on your subjects.
Low-light situations are an obvious time to turn on your flash, but did you know that it can be helpful when you have plenty of light?
Having the right type of light in the right place is what determines whether a picture will be great or useless.
Larger cameras that have a larger flash can be especially useful when there is too much daylight coming from one direction.
Using the flash to fill in shadows caused by uneven lighting can be done with just about any camera.
When the sun is too bright and is causing your subjects to squint, try moving them to shade and using the flash to brighten up the image.
The best time to experiment with your flash is before you need it to be your savior, so take some time to shoot in different lighting situations so you’ll know what works best with your go-to cameras.
The advances in medical science has led to amazing medications for just about anything we’re dealing with, but as you age, the number of medications is likely to increase.
This can create a complicated routine for when to take which pill on which day.
Well, there’s an app for this common problem and it’s called Mango Health.
Once installed, you select the medications that you are taking along with their frequency to have the app start to remind you, but this app does much more.
Ensuring that none of your medications have adverse reactions along with telling you which foods could create a problem based on what you’re taking is also included in this app.
Since we can often forget to take our medication, but rarely forget to have our smartphone with us, this app is very practical.
Download the iPhone version at:
Download the Android version at:
If you’ve ever watched any financial news channel, it’s likely that you were inundated with technical terms that you had no idea existed.
Learning what those terms mean is just the beginning of becoming a more astute investor, which is where a website called Investopedia can be instrumental.
In the early days, they were focused on teaching the world the meaning of all those investment terms, but it’s grown into something much more valuable.
It’s become an amazing resource for anyone that wants to continue learning about the world of investing in so many ways.
It’s even got a simulator that allows you to invest without actually risking any of your own capital, which allows for learning without the losses.
Unless you have a degree in finance or have been investing for a living, this is an excellent resource for anyone that wants to be more informed and educated on all thing financial!: https://www.investopedia.com
Most of us never go anywhere without our smartphones in our pockets or purses, which is why it’s become such a valuable tool.
Keeping track of our lives in virtually every aspect is possible because of our smartphones and the folks at Google have created an app that’s all about creating, sharing and collaborating.
The Keep platform is an app and synchronized website that allows you to create lists, capture random thoughts and compile information that is instantly available on all your devices.
It’s not limited to text as you can use images and even your voice to create a note in Keep.
Notes can become checklists so it’s easier to keep track of the tasks that you have accomplished and those that are yet to be done.
For any list making or note taking needs, Google Keep is worth checking out https://keep.google.com
If you’re in business, you’re likely using one or many of Google’s services, many of which are free.
Of those tools, there’s one incredibly valuable free tool known as Google Trends that every business should learn to use.
It’s a direct path into all of the insights that Google extracts from billions of searches through their search engines and it’s at your fingertips.
Every bit of marketing that is done online starts with what are known as keywords, which are based on the most popular search terms that you can access via this tool.
The data that you can access through the website goes all the way back to 2004, so annual trends and other historical info can be derived.
For anyone that’s yet to see the awesomeness of this free resource, get started today at: https://trends.google.com
When is one of the best times of day to help your child learn math skills? Would you believe that bed time is an awesome time to learn math?
A group of university researchers studied this and came up with the conclusions with the help of an app called ‘Bed Time Math’.
The app combines fun, engaging stories along with math questions at the end to help your child connect with the lessons more deeply.
Another great tidbit from the study was that it didn’t require this to be a nightly activity as just once a week once found to be effective.
For parents that may feel uncomfortable themselves with math, this is a much easier way to engage with your child in a way that takes away the stress.
The app is available for both platforms in English and Spanish and is specifically designed to teach children ages 3 to 9: https://bit.ly/2ZGcvsZ
The incredible technology for taking videos in our smartphones allows us to make amazing videos, including a very creative effect known as stop motion.
An interesting approach to this unique form of movie-making is available from Stikbot as both an app and some props to really step up your stop motion game.
Stop motion video is a frame-by-frame capture of images that are moved slightly in each frame to create a sense of motion.
The Stikbot props are small figurines that bend in various ways to help you tell your story in stop motion style.
Some of the figurines include suction cups on the limbs to allow them to hang off of ledges or move more precisely.
If you have a child that seems to like taking videos and telling stories, this combo could be the beginning of a historic movie-making career!
Learn more at https://stikbot.toys
The hard drive storage in your computer suffers the same fate as your refrigerator; no matter how big it is, you’ll end up running out of space if you don’t clear it out on a regular basis.
But unlike your refrigerator, when you run out of storage on your hard drive, it impacts the performance of your computer.
The reason this happens is because your computer needs empty drive space in order to create temporary files on the fly.
Knowing what is taking up the space and what is safe to delete to free up that space.
If you want some help where your space hogs reside, check out the Treesize utility for Windows https://www.jam-software.com/treesize_free or if you have a Mac, there’s a built-in utility for the same thing: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT206996
Once you’ve found the folders that are taking up the most space, the next step is determining what is safe to delete.
The best rule of thumb is that if you don’t know what it is, don’t delete it!
It’s probably a good bet that you’ve sung songs you love without any idea if the lyrics you’re singing are correct or not.
Looking up the lyrics online for every song you listen to isn’t very efficient unless you use an app that essentially does it for you.
‘Musixmatch’ does exactly that in conjunction with many popular streaming and song-playing apps.
There’s a massive database of song lyrics that is accessible via the app as long as you have a connection to the web.
In addition to pulling up the lyrics as you’re listening to a song, it can identify songs that are playing anywhere near you and also bring up those lyrics.
The app is free and works with both smartphone operating systems or on your desktop: http://bit.ly/2UWHe1R
When you are using your computer, smartphone or tablet in a crowded public place, being aware of those around you is a good idea.
Nosey people within view of your screens can acquire sensitive information if you aren’t careful - it’s known as ‘visual hacking’.
A security step you can take to thwart this type of snooping is available via the various screen protectors that are designed to impede side angle viewing.
3M has a number of privacy screens that can also serve to protect your delicate displays while reducing the viewing angle.
Unless you are looking at the screen directly in the middle, you’ll only see a dark grey or black display when you add them.
What’s really great about these products is the they aren’t permanent, so if you do want other to be able to see your screen form the sides, just remove it.
If you use your tech in view of strangers on a regular basis, this is worth checking out: https://bit.ly/2CNJOiZ
Virtually every business on the planet is heavily dependent on their technology and data, which needs to be protected.
But no matter how much energy you spend trying to protect your business, there are those unforeseen situations that will test your preparedness.
Anyone that relies on their computers both at home and at the office should take the time to think through what needs to happen in the event of a disaster.
Whether it’s equipment failure, a fire, a flood, the threat of ransomware or even having someone break in and steal critical devices, they should all be thought out.
Protective measures for one of the disasters may not be adequate for another, which is why going through this exercise before you find yourself in any of these situations is critical.
The absolute worse time to think about how to recover from a disaster is while you are in the middle of it, so make it a point to create your disaster recovery plan and keep it updated as things change in your technology infrastructure.
We’re obsessed with all things digital when it comes to photography, so finding the tools that enhance the images is an ongoing pursuit.
The optics in our phones have become so amazing that the point-and-shoot camera has been relegated to a storage drawer, but it’s still not perfect.
Making subtle changes to the image to really make it pop can be done with simple tools such as FOTOR.
You can use the web interface to edit your images or download their software to your Mac or Windows computer.
There are a plethora of tools in the program that can really improve the way others see the images that you shoot.
Everything from retouching tools for portrait photos to HDR capabilities are just a mouse click away with FOTOR.
Give it a try for yourself by uploading an image to their toolset at https://www.fotor.com