Tech Talk #43 – January 21, 2017

Google makes things convenient, and that convenience comes, in part, because of what Google ‘knows’ about you and your habits. Everything you search for at home or on your phone, where you go with your phone, and if you’ve ever use OK Google, it keeps that too.


To be fair, Google does give us a way to see what they’re capturing about us and even ways to delete a lot of it.


If you’ve ever used the ‘OK, Google’ feature on your phone or laptop, Google keeps a recording and a transcript of your activities. You can go here: to see your conversations. And yes, there’s a handy Delete activity button.


To see your other activities Google is tracking, head over to this page: to see your YouTube search history, places you’ve been and other tidbits. Most activities have a Delete function.


Google’s default settings makes this information viewable only by you, so no one else can see what you’ve been up to – except Google, of course.



Computer gone a little wacky or not listening to you?
Sometimes a program won’t open anymore. Or you click on something and nothing happens. Instead of saying and thinking mean things about your computer, try one or both of these things: leave it alone for five or ten minutes and then see if it’s working the way it should. If it is, great. If not, then reboot the darn thing. Either way, reboot the darn thing.


Rebooting clears out memory and ends all the tasks running on your computer. It’s possible your computer got all tangled up with programs or saving files, or internet pages or some darn thing and just stopped listening to you and your requests. Giving some time to think might just work out the tangles. Rebooting your computer will untangle things.



Have an AT&T email address, but don’t have AT&T anymore?
The good news is you can keep your old SBCGLOBAL.NET or ATT.NET email address even if you don’t use AT&T’s DSL or U-verse service anymore.


The bad news is that AT&T contracted with Yahoo! to manage the email system, so your account is probably one of the billion (yes, billion with a b) or so accounts that Yahoo! has said were hacked.


AT&T will provide technical support for 60 days after you cancel your account. After that, you need to know your security questions and answers and have had your account linked to your cell phone.


The only way to reset your password is by using the website, where you need to know your security questions or have a cell phone they can send a code to.


I have heard that if you go to an AT&T store and talk to a real person, they may be able to help you reset your password. Mostly because of the whole Yahoo! letting a billion email accounts get hacked.



Some helpful sites
Need to get off a mailing list for paper catalogs? Try Gather your catalogs, find the sender in the CatalogChoice database, and they’ll send an opt-out email for you. Might take a couple of visits, but reviews are good.


If you’re looking for a free movie to watch, check out The site only indexes full-length available for free on YouTube. If a movie’s cover art is missing, the movie isn’t available anymore, even though it’s listed. No blockbusters here, but some good and free choices.


The CIA World Fact Book has, you guessed it, facts about just about every country or territory in the world. Great for research and settling arguments.



Funny, but not the right way to go about it
I changed my password everywhere to “incorrect.” That way when I forget my password, my computer reminds me, “Your password is incorrect.”


Do you have a computer or technology question? Greg Cunningham has been providing Tehachapi with on-site PC and network services since 2007. Email Greg at

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