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  • Before you file a piece of paper, ask yourself, "do you need it for tax purposes or legal reasons?" If not, shred it.
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    August 20, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: Email For Old People

    From a #TEDC14 talk by MailChimp’s John Foreman as taken by @jennstolen.

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    June 12, 2014
    Stop Facebook From Sharing Your Browser History

    One of the perils of modern computer use is the fact that your browser history is pretty much fair game for any website you go checking on.  Facebook, in particular, is looking like the sort of company that is willing to steal pretty much all your search and app history for its own uses.  In this case, they’re selling advertisements based on the kind of stuff you’ve been looking at.  If that kind of privacy invasion seems concerning to you, there’s a way to stop that from happening.  Here’s how you stop Facebook from selling your browser history.

    Facebook describes it this way:  ”You might visit a company’s website that uses cookies to record visitors to it.  The company then asks Facebook to show their ad to this list of visitors, and you might see these ads both on and off Facebook.”

    You have to head to the Digital Advertising Alliance and use their tool to help your browser opt out of the potential websites.  I opted out of 34 companies just while writing this post, and there are 116 or so more that participate in the opt out program, which will definitely help you keep your information a bit more secret and blocks the Facebook ad harvesting technique from being successful.

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    June 9, 2014
    Stop Soap Opera Effect

    One of the problems with the modern smart television is that, perhaps, it is too smart.  If you’ve tried to watch a DVD or an older program, you might have noticed some issues with the picture on your screen that might be caused by your television attempting to give you the best possible picture.  Called the soap opera effect, it’s an issue with the frame rate of televisions that causes some films to appear cheap, as if shot on soap opera video at a slightly higher frame rate.  Fortunately, it’s something you can fix if you have a smart enough television.  Some modern televisions can turn off soap opera effect with a menu selection.

    This is apparently common on modern televisions.  They use something called motion interpolation to insert frames into programs in an attempt to smooth out pictures and increase the quality of the presentation.  However, smoothing out blur and stuttering and that sort of stuff typically means the picture ends up looking strange, cheap, and artificial.  Thankfully, that’s a problem you can correct with the right setting within your television’s system files.

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    May 14, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: Tweet The Fire

    Via:  Imgur

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    April 7, 2014
    Surviving Windows XP’s Retirement

    Tomorrow, Microsoft will officially retire its 12-year-old operating system, Windows XP, after a long reign as the most popular and useful operating system in the history of operating systems.  No OS has had a run quite as long, or a run that has covered so many tens of millions of computers around the world.  Just because Windows XP is going by the wayside, that doesn’t mean your computer has reached the end of its life.  Here are some tips and tricks for upgrading and protecting your XP computer for the foreseeable future.

    Honestly, if you’re using XP, you’re probably doing a lot of these things.  Being careful about running attachments, updating your software regularly,  making sure to avoid sketchy online stuff… this is all pretty basic stuff, and since most antivirus programs are going to continue for the near future to support XP, you’re probably going to be okay milking the last of that laptop or desktop’s functional life.  Still, it might pay to be extra cautious from now on, just in case.

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    March 31, 2014
    Happy World Backup Day

    When it comes to computers, there’s one thing you need to do on a regular basis if you care at all about potentially losing all your information, and that’s back up your files.  If you don’t back up your files, well, then you take your chances with losing all your content, all your pictures, all your music and books, and so forth.  With the cloud, it’s even easier to make sure all your information is preserved in case of a disaster scenario, but not everyone is willing or able to walk that line hence the necessity of a day dedicated to backing up files.  It’s World Backup Day!

    I’m not sure why World Backup Day is on March 31.  I guess because if you don’t back up, you’re an April fool of the highest order?  I’m not sure.  Either way, if you haven’t backed up your files and information, make sure to do that as soon as you can.

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    March 12, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: The Magic Sign

    Via Failblog.

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    February 20, 2014
    The Engadget Tablet Guide

    It’s tax season, and if you haven’t filed your taxes, you’d better get on that as soon as reasonable.  If you’re getting a nice refund, and you’re looking to invest in a new piece of technology to get the most out of your couch and television time, why not consider a tablet?  It’s like a laptop but even more portable, and as tablets get more advanced, the line between them and a laptop continues to blur.  Whether you’re looking for a value machine or a top-of-the-line laptop replacement, Engadget has a great tablet buyer’s guide for the latest releases.

    I have to say, the tablets with keyboard attachments, like the above Nokia Lumia 2520, are the direction in which I’d go if I was buying a tablet.  They’re so much easier to type on than having to poke at a touchscreen with a single finger in an attempt to enter any text.  I’ve tried to do more productive things on my Kindle Fire (which I love as an entertainment tool that’s occasionally useful), and a keyboard would make that a whole lot easier.

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    November 27, 2013
    The Geek Gift Guide To DVDs/Blu Rays

    It’s not quite Black Friday yet, but if you haven’t gotten a jump on your holiday shopping, you’re probably waiting a bit too long.  However, if you’re taking the plunge this weekend to get a kick-off to the holidays, it’s time to be thinking about what to buy for the hard-to-buy-for folks on your list.  Well, when in doubt, some sort of movie or television show on home video is a pretty good idea.  Geeks of Doom has put together a Holiday Geek Gift Guide for 2013; it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re not sure what to get the dork in your life.

    Being a new home owner, the gift I need more than any other is probably money.  Money or drywall.  Either way.  However, if someone wanted to pick me up the Game of Thrones Seasons 1 & 2 Blu Ray with Funko Pop figures of Daenerys, Khal Drogo, and Rhaegal, I wouldn’t be too upset.  If only because I love the Funko Pop figured it comes with; I already have versions of Khal Drogo and Dany, but not these versions, and who wouldn’t want a dragon to guard their home theater system?

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    October 7, 2013
    Shakadoo’s Kathy Helbig To Speak At NYC Real Estate Expo

    Even if you think you know something about real estate, you could probably stand to listen to Kathy Helbig.  The owner of the Kathy Helbig Group, a RE/MAX hall-of-famer, a Lifetime Achievement award winner, and one of the best realtors working today; she’s also the founder and owner of the Shakadoo family of websites.  She’s a leading light in the field where real estate and technology meet, and that’s why she’s been selected to speak at the 2013 NYC Real Estate Expo.

    Kathy and partner Kevin Guy have started AppStar Media with one purpose in mind:  to revitalize the real-estate world with cutting edge app technology.  Kathy and Kevin will be delivering a 15-minute TED-style talk at NYCREE in the Technology Breakout room where they will discuss their new app, which is a customized and personalized real estate app branded to an individual realtor’s name and catered to a customer’s specific needs.  I’ll have more information on the app as it is revealed to me, but if you’re in the area, and you’re not checking out their talk or Kathy’s panel appearance, you’re sorely missing out.

    “Real estate agents are sometimes behind the curve when it comes to technology,” said Ms. Helbig in a press release.  ”So I am excited to be a part of developing for agents a new an innovated way to show, buy, and sell real estate.  The honor of being selected, and the opportunity to come together with all these major players in real estate, to help drive the direction in which technology is leading the industry is a true privilege.”

    If you can’t be there in person, you can follow along on Twitter via the @NYCREE feed.

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