Home internet tune-up, Netflix with friends

Tech Talk #130 – May 23, 2020 Home internet tune-up We're all spending more time at home these days, and for many people, that means spending more time online. Whether on Zoom conference calls, Google Classroom assignments, trying to level up in your video game, or some quality binge-watching, we're online more now than we were last year. Here’s how to make sure you’re getting the most from your internet connection. Go get your latest

5G does not cause COVID-19, Working from home best practices

Tech Talk #129 – May 9, 2020 5G does not cause COVID-19 If you spend any time online or get your news via social media, you have probably run across conspiracy theories about 5G cell towers causing COVID-19. Not true, bucko. 5G technology uses electromagnetic waves, while  COVID-19 is a biological virus. Whole different things. When most people talk about 5G, they are referring to the current fifth-generation mobile broadband technology that companies are rolling

Breaking the internet, easy video conferencing apps

Tech Talk #128 – April 25, 2020 Breaking the internet With more than 100 million people globally working from home, school closures forcing online classes, and just generally staying home instead of meeting face-to-face, internet traffic over broadband and mobile wireless is at an all-time high. Are we close to breaking the internet? The strong point of the world’s internet capability is in the main connections - the undersea cables, and the continent-spanning fiber optic

Back up your computer while you’re self-quarantining. I bet you need something to watch.

Tech Talk #127 – April 11, 2020 Back up your computer while you're self-quarantining. Are you stuck at home? Now is the perfect time to revisit your data back-up strategy or, you know, to create a data back-up strategy in the first place. One back-up is better than nothing, but to keep your data safe, follow a 3-2-1 back-up plan. The old school style 3-2-1 back-up meant you'd keep three copies of your data in

Self-quarantines and the internet, music for productivity

Tech Talk #126 – March 28, 2020 Self-quarantines and the internet So, through no fault of your own, ahem, COVID-19, you’re stuck at home. Now what? In the best-case scenario, the business you work for converted your office to Work From Home (WFH.) The worst-case is the company had to shut down entirely, and no one is working. Either way, you’ll rely on the internet to WFH, to entertain yourself and your family, or both.

Web browser notifications and about:blank

Tech Talk #125 – March 14, 2020 I’m sure it seemed like a good idea at the time, letting web sites show notifications about new messages and emails, even when the browser is closed. But somehow, somewhere along the way, websites started abusing the notifications feature. If you visit a web page just once, to read an article or check on a sale, that site can pop up notification messages to you. Honestly, it can

Protect your social media photos, the last Windows 7 update

Tech Talk #124 – February 29, 2020 Protect your social media photos Did you know that your Facebook photos can, and are, being used by facial recognition software from companies like Clearview AI? Clearview AI sells its facial recognition software to law enforcement agencies and a big selling point is the more than three billion images in their database. Many if not most of those three billion images come from social media posts. Clearview AI

Clouds connected by cables, wet and dry

Tech Talk #123 – February 15, 2020 The internet. Billions and billions of devices loosely connected by copper wires, fiber optic cables, satellites, microwaves, and radio frequency networks. All these devices, whether doorbells, smartphones, thermostats, desktop computers, security cameras, laptops, streaming devices, or tablets, send and receive digital information through these networks. We know about wires in our neighborhood, WiFi routers and modems where we live and work, and cell phone towers. We may even

Windows 7, RIP – Sad emoji, etc.

Tech Talk #122 – February 1, 2020 Windows 7 has become the new Windows XP. Since Microsoft has retired support for Windows 7, it’s suddenly become the best operating system ever. As a technical person, I appreciated the better stability and hardware-integration-without-exploding that Win7 brought us. The menus were faster, and people seemed better able to navigate and get work done. Windows 8 (shudder!) brought even better stabilization and device integration but ruined the desktop

How much RAM do you need for Windows 10?

Tech Talk #121 – January 18, 2020 Before we get started with how much Random-Access Memory (RAM) you need, let’s talk about what it is. There are two types of storage in your computer, permanent and temporary. Your hard drive or solid-state drive is permanent storage, and RAM is your computer’s temporary storage. Your computer uses RAM for loading and running programs and temporarily storing and using data. The contents of your RAM are lost