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!

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Has this ever happened to you? You go to check something online, but you can’t connect to the more...

Has this ever happened to you? You go to check something online, but you can’t connect to the website, you know like your bank or your favorite online store. Is it your computer or is it the site?

It’s time for another Data Doctors Tech Tip.

Generally, when you go to a site and can’t connect, you start jumping through the “what’s wrong with my computer” hoops. But what if it’s not your computer?

Believe it or not, web sites go down. They’re not infallible. So how do you know if it’s your computer, or their website?

Check out, Is It Down Right Now dot com, to find out... is it down right now?

Is It Down Right Now, monitors the status of your favorite web sites and checks whether they are down or not.

Check easily with their test tool. Just enter the web address and a new site status test will begins in real time using their website checker tool.

You can quickly see what services are down, by seeing how long ago they were checked, the latest sites checked, and the sites currently down. ??They have an active list of the top websites, but if the site you’re looking for isn’t listed, just type it in.

Pretty soon, you’ll know... is it down right now?

We’ve got the answers to your technology questions.

All you have to do is ask.

Go to facebook.com/datadoctors.

http://www.isitdownrightnow.com/

Stalking Congress Legally Aired: 04/18/2013
It’s time for another Data Doctors Tech Tip. Stalking is illegal, it’s dangerous and it’s s more...

It’s time for another Data Doctors Tech Tip.

Stalking is illegal, it’s dangerous and it’s scary for the stalkee. But wouldn’t it be great it you could stalk someone legally, know what they’re doing and how they’re spending your money?

You must be talking about my wife!

No, I mean congress!

Legistalker dot org, is a website dedicated to following every online move of every person in congress.

If they post a video, you'll know it. If they tweet, go on TV, get quoted in the news or post anything, anywhere... Legistalker dot org keeps you in the loop. After all, the legislators work for us right? Right!

From their main site, you can easily navigate to your state page and find everyone representing your state in Washington DC.

Click on any of the names and pictures and you’ll not only see what they’ve been up to online, but how to contact them, where their office is and you can add them to your all important Watch List.

Now, you can keep tabs, on the people spending your money, all from the comfort of your computer, tablet or smartphone. The best part about it, it’s totally legal!

Check up on your congressperson today at legistalker dot org. (playfully) We’re watching you...

We’ve got the answers to your technology questions.

All you have to do is ask.

Go to facebook.com/datadoctors.

http://legistalker.org/

Record Without A DVR Aired: 04/17/2013
Never miss your favorite TV show again, that’s the beauty of a DVR. But did you know you can sa more...

Never miss your favorite TV show again, that’s the beauty of a DVR. But did you know you can save the money and have your computer do the recording for you?

It’s time for another Data Doctors Tech Tip.

If you want to record TV shows without a DVR, you’re in luck. If you’re a Windows 7 user, you already have a powerful TiVo like DVR in your PC. Windows Media Center.

When paired with an inexpensive TV tuner and a decent antenna, it lets you watch and record broadcast television in HD.

Now remember... you’ll also need a pretty good sized hard drive with a decent chunk of free space. A one-hour recorded TV show can easily eat up 7-8 gigs if uncompressed.

Now for you Mac users... it’s not native, but there too is an easy solution.
?EyeTV, is a hardware software combo that allows you to record over the air or basic cable direct to your Mac. You can watch, record, and pause live TV, just like with a traditional DVR.

With their mobile device, you can watch over the air TV on your iPhone, iPod and iPad... all without using any data. It’s like adding rabbit ears to your iPad.

We’ve got the answers to your technology questions.

All you have to do is ask.

Go to facebook.com/datadoctors.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/248681/turn_a_pc_into_a_dvr_install_software_without_a_dvd_drive.html

http://www.elgato.com/

It’s time for another Data Doctors Tech Tip. We saw it just yesterday, a tragic attack durin more...

It’s time for another Data Doctors Tech Tip.

We saw it just yesterday, a tragic attack during the Boston Marathon, that left people running, injured and sadly dead.

When tragedy strikes, whether manmade or natural, the first thing we try to do is find our loved ones who are there, the problem is how?

Back during the Haiti earthquake in 2010, Google launched Person Finder, to help people during times of tragedy, when normal means of communication may be disrupted.

You can either search for someone or share information about someone's whereabouts, but you need to know, Google doesn't review or verify any information, and all submitted details are public to all users.
They do this to expedite information, to help people reconnect, and because Google is such a powerful search tool, why not extend it to finding people when tragedy strikes.
Another tool you should remember after an event like yesterday is the Red Cross and their safe and well site. There you can list yourself as safe and well, or search for people who have registered as safe and well.
We hope you never need to use either of these services, but it’s nice to know they’re there if you need them.

We’ve got the answers to your technology questions.

All you have to do is ask.

Go to facebook.com/datadoctors.

http://google.org/personfinder/global/home.html

http://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php

Animoto Aired: 04/15/2013
It’s time for another Data Doctors Tech Tip... If you took a trip, you may have a bunch of more...

It’s time for another Data Doctors Tech Tip...

If you took a trip, you may have a bunch of photos and videos on your smartphone, perhaps you have a bunch on your camera too. You need to do something with them, we suggest you Animoto them.

Ani what them?

Animoto!

Animoto.com that’s ani moto allows you to upload your favorite photos and videos (or grab them from wherever they’re stored online), add words and music and Animoto does the rest.

Animoto’s video engine will produce a high-definition video that you can share with friends and family by embedding it into your Facebook page or blog.

The free service limits you to 30-second, web-quality, online-only videos. They have a Plus plan that delivers full-length videos that you can also download or burn to DVD,

and there’s even a Pro plan that delivers unbranded videos, 2,000 commercially licensed music tracks, and more.

Instead of making a boring slideshow of your next trip, upload them to Animoto and share the fun with your friends.


We’ve got the answers to your technology questions.

All you have to do is ask. Go to facebook.com/datadoctors.

http://www.animoto.com

Homework Tool For Parents Aired: 04/12/2013
We’re going to tell you about the ultimate homework tool, with this Data Doctors Tech Tip. W more...

We’re going to tell you about the ultimate homework tool, with this Data Doctors Tech Tip.

We’ve told you about Wolfram Alpha to dig into your Facebook data, but wait till we tell you how to unleash it’s full potential, if you can even begin to do that.

Wolfram Alpha isn't a search engine, it’s a computational knowledge engine and it’s a great tool for you parents who have school aged kids.

Wolfram Alpha gives you a fundamentally new way to get knowledge and answers. Not by searching the web, but by doing dynamic computations based on a vast collection of built-in data, algorithms, and other methods.

If your kids are struggling with complex trigonometry, you can use Wolfram Alpha to not only double check their work, but to get an understanding of how they arrived at their answer.

You can also use Wolfram Alpha’s vast knowledge base to compare things, people or places. Albert Einstein versus Thomas Edison, Honeydew versus Watermelon, Washington DC versus Phoenix.

The information it delivers is accurate, fast and gives you a clear unbiased factual comparison.

So next time you need data to back something up, let Wolfram Alpha deliver the answers.

We’ve got the answers to your technology questions.

All you have to do is ask us at facebook.com/datadoctors.

http://www.wolframalpha.com

Google Text Search Aired: 04/11/2013
It’s time for another Data Doctors Tech Tip. If you have a smartphone, the majority of your more...

It’s time for another Data Doctors Tech Tip.

If you have a smartphone, the majority of your bill goes to paying for a data plan, while voice and text are usually unlimited.

Google searches are one of the most common tasks we all do on our smartphones... So if you’re looking to reduce your data consumption, you can search Google... without your browser. Did you know that you can search Google by texting?

That’s right, lets say you are looking for a Chinese restaurant near you. Simply text your request to 46645 (GOOGL). If you text Chinese Food  to 46645 in about a minute, Google will text you back a list of a few places near you.

Another great use is when you want to check flight status. Text your Airline and flight number to 46645 and it’ll text you back an update.

But wait there’s more... it can do math calculations, unit conversions, movie listings, word definitions... All for the cost of a text. Which is nothing.

You can setup your Google Calendar, Gmail and Google Voice all the same way, not one of them needs to use an ounce of data, to get the data you need.

We’ve got the answers to your technology questions.

All you have to do is ask.

Go to facebook.com/datadoctors.

http://www.google.com/mobile/sms/

You composed the perfect email and you sent it... but did they read it? It’s time for anothe more...

You composed the perfect email and you sent it... but did they read it?

It’s time for another Data Doctors Tech Tip.

Whatever happened to that email you sent? How long did it sit in someone’s inbox before it was opened? Or maybe they never got it? Was it even opened at all?

If you use didtheyreadit.com, you’ll know more than if it was read. You’ll know when it was opened, how long it remained opened and where, geographically, your email was viewed.

Using DidTheyReadIt, e-mails that you send are automatically and invisibly tracked. The instant the recipient opens your message, DidTheyReadIt automatically notifies you.

DidTheyReadIt is 100% compatible with Windows and Mac, and all different email programs. It works for Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, Outlook.com, Mac mail... you get it.

Once you sign up for an account, you can start sending tracked messages.

You can sign up for a free trial at didtheyreadit.com.

The service not only works for emails, but attachments like PDF’s too. So if you send an attached PDF, you’ll know if they actually saw it.

The service is great for people selling stuff online to know if the buyer saw the message, job hunting to know if the employer saw your resume, the uses are only limited by your imagination.

We’ve got the answers to your technology questions.

All you have to do is ask.

Go to facebook.com/datadoctors.

http://www.didtheyreadit.com/

Are LEDs For Me Aired: 04/09/2013
The lightbulb in your bathroom just burned out, and now it’s time to decide... CFL or LED, but more...

The lightbulb in your bathroom just burned out, and now it’s time to decide... CFL or LED, but are LED’s for me?

It’s time for another Data Doctors Tech Tip

LED’s or Light Emitting Diodes, are the newest bulbs out there, you see them in all the lighting aisles next to CFL’s Compact Fluorescent Light and old fashioned Incandescent lights.

You notice them mostly because of the price.. they’re far more expensive compared to the other bulbs, but they’re worth it.

LED’s have a 20 year life span, and even though they can cost 5 times that of a regular bulb, they can save you 30-50 times over their lifetime.

So how do you pick the right bulb? Don’t look at wattage. Instead look at lumens, that’s the real measurement of brightness from a bulb.

Select your color... people associate LED’s with harsh bright white, so bright many people say it’s blue. If you’re using them in your home, look for Warm White or Soft White. These are closer to the color of incandescent lighting.

Finally, don’t expect to see your electric bill go to ZERO! LED’s are a long term investment. Think of them like a Hybrid car, they're cheaper to run, but cost more upfront.

We’ve got the answers to your technology questions.

All you have to do is ask.

Go to facebook.com/datadoctors.

It’s time for another Data Doctors Tech Tip It’s happened to most of us who shop online... more...

It’s time for another Data Doctors Tech Tip

It’s happened to most of us who shop online... you find what you're looking for, but the price is so low, it looks suspicious. It happend

When you shop online there are a couple of tools you can use, to help you determine if the place is legit or not.

First, go to scamadviser.com and put in the web address you want to check up on. There, you’ll be able to quickly see if they are known scam sight.

Next, install the safe browsing tool from WOT, this tool quickly gives you a Green, Yellow or Red Indicator, to let you know if you should do more homework. It also tells you what they are being flagged for if they do get a low rating.

Finally, whenever you shop online DO NOT use your debit card. Using your debit card can tie up YOUR money if you get scammed. Some banks can take as many as 10 days to credit you back. If you use a credit card however, you never feel the pain while the bank works to resolve the issue.

We’ve got the answers to your technology questions.

All you have to do is ask.

Go to facebook.com/datadoctors.

Web Of Trust http://www.mywot.com/

Scam Adviser http://www.scamadviser.com

Customizing Facebook Aired: 04/05/2013
It’s time for another Data Doctors Tech Tip Remember the MySpace days? No, not todays versio more...

It’s time for another Data Doctors Tech Tip

Remember the MySpace days? No, not todays version, the old one that you could customize to work the way you wanted it to.

Many of us use Facebook all day long, and when they make changes you don’t like, you wish you could set it back to the way it was, or even improve it. You can with Social Fixer.

Social Fixer is a Chrome extension that makes your Facebook experience better and can make the site easier to use by adding a tons of features you don’t normally have.

Chrome extensions are little add-on programs that allow you to customize your web experience and social fixer is a good one!

You can actually have tabbed news feeds, similar to your web browsing experience. Advanced feed filters, tracking of new comments to old posts, hiding of posts you've already read.

This is one of those cool tools that’s really hard to put into words, you have to check it out yourself to see what it can do.

Social Fixer is free, so you don’t have to commit money to see if you like it. If you don’t you can uninstall it with a click of the mouse.

With the Social Fixer extension, you can enjoy a Facebook even more!


We’ve got the answers to your technology questions.

All you have to do is ask. Go to facebook.com/datadoctors.

http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57575026-285/how-to-customize-your-facebook-page-for-free/

It’s time for another Data Doctors Tech Tip. Google Maps has been leading the way when it co more...

It’s time for another Data Doctors Tech Tip.

Google Maps has been leading the way when it comes to getting from here to there.

If you’re morning commute involves roads, bridges, freeways and side streets, you’d be hard pressed to find a mapping program with more data and accuracy.

But what about you urban dwellers? What if your commute involves mass transit like buses and subways?

Google Maps to the rescue! Yes Google Maps!

Google Maps now has real-time subway data for seven lines in New York City. These include the 1 through 6, and the Times Square - Grand Central shuttle. The other lines need an expensive overhaul before they'll be able to provide real-time data.

Metrorail riders in Washington, D.C. will also now receive up-to-the-second alerts via Google Maps. And, public transit-goers in Salt Lake City, can now get bus and tram information in real time.

Look for Google Maps transit data where you live. Like everything google, it’s enroute to your city.

Just remember... most subway stations don’t have WiFi, so you want to check on transit, before you head underground.

We’ve got the answers to your technology questions.

All you have to do is ask.

Go to facebook.com/datadoctors.

http://youtu.be/LfxmBqKUNm4
http://www.ninite.com
Do A Dirt Search Aired: 04/01/2013
htttp://www.dirtsearch.org
It’s time for another Data Doctors Tech Tip If you’re like most of us these days, your smart more...

It’s time for another Data Doctors Tech Tip

If you’re like most of us these days, your smartphone is practically attached to you. If you’re there, it’s with you. And if you leave it at home... well, you NEVER leave it at home.

When you’re running around during your busy day, you have lots of errant thoughts, random notes you need to make, and your smartphone is the perfect way to keep them in one place.

Google wants to make it easier for you to keep track of those random thoughts, pictures, lists with a new App called Keep.

The app works on Android and your desktop computer, and it keeps all of those notes synced, so no matter where you are, you can access them.

Quickly capture what’s on your mind and recall it easily wherever you are. Create a checklist, enter a voice note or snap a photo and annotate it. Everything you add is instantly available on all your devices.

With Google Keep you can even have voice notes transcribed automatically, use home screen widgets to capture thoughts quickly, color-code your notes to help find them later, and swipe to archive things you no longer need

You can even turn a note into a checklist by adding checkboxes. How handy is that when the message from your wife becomes a shopping list?

We’ve got the answers to your technology questions.

All you have to do is ask.

Go to facebook.com/datadoctors.

http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.keep

Faster is better, but how do you know if you’re getting what you paid for? It’s time for ano more...

Faster is better, but how do you know if you’re getting what you paid for?

It’s time for another Data Doctors Tech Tip

If you have high speed internet, you’re paying your service provider  for download speed.

In the last few weeks Cox Communications announced a major speed upgrade, up to 50 megabytes a second.

Now hold on... that’s UP TO 50 not guaranteed 50.

Speeds vary based on time of day, density in your area, and even the equipment in your home. So to get the best speeds you may need an equipment upgrade.

You should have the latest DOCSIS 3.0 modem. While it’s not going to guarantee you the maximum speed, it makes the best use of what your cable company is offering.

Now, what's the best way to test your speed? We recommend Speedtest.net as one option. But running the test once, doesn’t really tell you your speed.

To do this, you want to run the test 3 different times during the day, over 3 different days. The average of those 9 tests will give you a real look at your internet speed.

We’ve posted a link that includes 3 testing sites for you to test your internet speed, it’s on our Facebook page.


We’ve got the answers to your technology questions.

All you have to do is ask.

Go to facebook.com/datadoctors.

http://www.datadoctors.com/help/columns/21798-How-can-I-test-my-Internet-speed/

Shopping is a chore, and lines generally stink... so Walmart is trying to change that. It’s more...

Shopping is a chore, and lines generally stink... so Walmart is trying to change that.

It’s time for another Data Doctors Tech Tip

When you think Walmart, you probably don’t think about technological innovation right?

Like them or not, Walmart is one of the biggest retailers in the U.S. and they’re rolling out something new to make shopping easier for you.

It’s called Scan & Go, and the idea is simple. Using your iPhone (for now - Android isn’t far behind) you scan the items with the Scan & Go App while you shop.

The app keeps tabs on what you put in the cart and gives you a running total.

Every item has a code, the app simply converts that into the checkout price you pay for it.

Now when you’re finished shopping, you will be able to go to a special checkout lane, the reader gets the checkout info from your phone, you swipe your card, and off you go.

Scan & Go is now rolling out to over 700 stores, and will soon be in your Walmart.

We’ve got the answers to your technology questions.

All you have to do is ask.

Go to facebook.com/datadoctors.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/20/walmart-iphone-scan-and-checkout_n_2915588.html?utm_hp_ref=technology

It’s time for another Data Doctors Tech Tip Birthdays are a time to celebrate, and last week more...

It’s time for another Data Doctors Tech Tip

Birthdays are a time to celebrate, and last week Twitter did just that when it turned 7.

That’s right it’s not even old enough to drink, but it’s changed the world in 7 years. Don’t believe us?

Twitter, (the microblogging site) has brought us breaking news from around the world, has watched governments topple, dictators get captured... yet so many people still thumb their noses at it. Why?

Even if you don’t tweet, Twitter is a great tool for your business. You can follow the conversations about your industry in real time.

If you are a small business owner, Twitter is the one place to be to start conversations with potential clients by monitoring the Tweets around you.

There’s a  great website for keeping tabs on tweets you care about, it’s called Monitter.com.

Monitter allows you to set up searches and watch the stream of discussions going on globally, or locally. You can go from 100 down to 10 miles or just type in your location.

Imagine connecting with a customer who’s looking for your service because they are tweeting about something they need. Now you have a way to connect with them directly.

So, now do you think Twitter is a big waste of time?

We’ve got the answers to your technology questions.

All you have to do is ask.

Go to facebook.com/datadoctors.

http://monitter.com/

It’s time for another Data Doctors Tech Tip These days more and more of us rely on the cloud more...

It’s time for another Data Doctors Tech Tip

These days more and more of us rely on the cloud to store documents, and keep the things we’re working on, synchronized across multiple platforms.

But if you are a user of services like Google Docs, which we are, you may on occasion, have some pain.

When Google Docs takes a dive and the service is unavailable, how are you supposed to get your work done?

You need to know how to use Google Docs offline, setup is easy and it’ll keep you working when the cloud goes dark.

To turn on offline access, simply go to your google drive main page and click MORE on the left side of the page, then offline. Now you can enable offline access by clicking the blue button.

Just like a computer, things go wrong... so to make extra certain your documents are safe, use a backup to the cloud called backupify. This cloud based service can backup all your cloud based services.


We’ve got the answers to your technology questions.

All you have to do is ask.

Go to facebook.com/datadoctors.

How to set up Google Drive offline access:
http://support.google.com/drive/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1628469

Set up backupify
http://backupify.com

If you’re an adventurous traveler, you’ll want to pack a bag for this Data Doctors Tech Tip. more...

If you’re an adventurous traveler, you’ll want to pack a bag for this Data Doctors Tech Tip.

Many travel sites offer low fares, fare watching and discounts on your destination, that’s nothing new, but what if you could save up to 40% by letting someone else choose your destination... remember we did say “adventurous traveler”.

The site is getgoing.com and they offer somehting totally unique. Give them 2 options for your destination, your travel dates and they’ll do the rest. They call it the Pick Two, Get One platform.

Airlines give bigger discounts to flexible leisure travelers, so allowing GetGoing.com to decide which trip to book proves to the airline that you're a leisure traveler. After all, business travelers need to go to a specific location.

The service helps the airline industry by putting butts in the seats and helps consumers by... we’ll it’s obvious right?

We tested GetGoing against Expedia, Orbitz and Kayak. We mocked up a few different European and Asian trips. Without fail, GetGoing.com saved a coupe of hundred bucks per flight.

So next time you want to get going, pick two, and get one... then get going!

We’ve got answers to your technology questions.

Go to http://facebook.com/datadoctors


http://www.getgoing.com/welcome

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