Taking selfies

Tech Talk #186–August 20, 2022 Okay, I get it. I had hoped the whole selfie thing would be over by now. But it's turned out to be an excellent way to get yourself into your pictures. Now that your smartphone has a zillion megapixels, night modes, light and depth sensors, and even solar panels, for all we know, you can take some excellent selfies. Here's how. Background Since you're taking a picture of yourself, or

Multiple web browsers and Why it’s called that

Tech Talk #185–August 6, 2022 Multiple web browsers Modern computers have built-in web browsers, Microsoft Edge for PCs and Safari for Macs. And it’s just fine to use the Edge or Safari browser to spend time on the internet. But here are some reasons for you to have another browser on your computer, too. The people that develop websites have a pretty tough job these days. A website needs to work on any browser, any

No internet at home? Here’s what to check  

Tech Talk #184–July 23, 2022 After the day you just had, once you finally get home, all you want to do is check your email, play some Wordle, and maybe watch a movie on Netflix. Except, you've got no internet. Not on your phone, your tablet, or your computer. Now what? Getting the internet to your house is a complex undertaking involving global telecommunications corporations, federal, state, and local governments, fiber optic cables, satellites, communications

Email inbox hygiene

Tech Talk #183–July 9, 2022 It’s always been a best practice to keep your friends and family emails separate from the flood of emails from the places you’ve shopped online, the newsletters you’ve signed up for, your social media notifications, and all the political emails. For a long time, the best way to keep those essential emails separate from the rest was to use different email addresses for each type of email. It worked, but

Deleting your phone’s recordings of you, shutting down Windows

Tech Talk #182–June 25, 2022 If you use Amazon's Alexa, Apple's Siri, or Google Assistant, your phone usually keeps and shares your voice recordings. As a result, there can be some pretty personal stuff in your requests to your assistant. Unfortunately, big tech companies have a checkered past about protecting and using our data responsibly. Here's how to delete the recordings on your phone and turn off your assistant if you don't want to use

Upgrade to Windows 11? and RadioShack’s version of Windows

Tech Talk #181–June 11, 2022 Upgrade to Windows 11? You don’t have to upgrade to Windows 11 if your computer asks you if you want to. Microsoft has committed to supporting Windows 10 until 2025. Ten years of support is standard for Windows versions. I did the math for you, Windows 10 came out in 2015, so support ends in 2025. Somewhere in the box that pops up asking you if you want to upgrade

Happy Birthday to the floppy disk

Tech Talk #180–May 28, 2022 Seven months too late, but better late than never, right? Fifty (plus!) years ago, IBM birthed the floppy disk, and, eventually, that’s how publishers distributed new software and how we saved files on our computers. But why and how did the floppy disk come to be? Early mainframe computers used core memory that kept information even when the power was off. Next, the mainframe computer industry moved to solid-state transistor

Basic software and extensions

Tech Talk #179–May 14, 2022 Thankfully, today most computers don’t come pre-loaded with software you don’t need. Okay, there are likely a few programs you don’t want or need, but they’ll stay out of the way and don’t take much space. But there are some programs that aren’t on your new computer but that you need. Adobe Reader–All computers used to come with the free version of Adobe Reader. Then someone at Adobe decided that

On vacation? Check for hidden cameras

Tech Talk #178–Apr 30, 2022 Yay! You’ve got some vacation time, and you’ve found the perfect place for you and your family to stay. Whether it’s for security reasons, industrial espionage, or just because people are weird, you can find another article about people finding hidden cameras in their accommodations every few months. People find surveillance cameras in fake smoke detectors, bedside alarm clocks, behind A/C vents, USB hubs, and even embedded walls. There are

Hiding people and pets, Google Doodle games

Tech Talk #177–Apr 16, 2022 Hiding people and pets Google Photos can automatically make "Memories" from the photos you store with them. But maybe the memories they make for you aren't necessarily good memories for you. What can you do? Thankfully, there's a straightforward way to make Google forget certain people and even animals. Open the Google Photos app on your iPhone, iPad, Android phone, or tablet. (The Memories feature doesn't show up when you