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Spring clean your smartphone

April 28, 2016

Spring officially began in March but it’s never too late to do some spring cleaning. I’m not talking about your garage or that home office of yours. I’m talking about your digital devices. Today, I’ll focus on Apple iPhones and iPads as well as Android phones and tablets. Unnecessary apps, photos, videos and other files occupy storage space and, in the case of apps, can [...]

Amazon Prime Now Delivers Meals in San Francisco

April 27, 2016

Amazon is now delivering hot restaurant meals in San Francisco as part of its Amazon Prime Now service. Delivery is free and Amazon pledges that it doesn’t charge more than regular restaurant prices. There is a one-hour delivery window and a $10 discount on your first order over $20. Click here for details. Restaurant delivery is currently available in these San Francisco zip codes: 94104, [...]

Vivint system provides home security and automation

April 9, 2016

Over the past three decades I’ve experimented with do-it-yourself home automation systems to control lights and appliances. This post first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News But now, instead of a DIY system, I accepted Vivint’s offer to lend me a professionally installed system that includes an Internet controllable thermostat, front door lock and doorbell camera along with [...]

Snapchat adds playful video & audio chat features

March 29, 2016

Even though I helped write the Parents’ Guide to Snapchat, I’ve never been a heavy user of the service. Sending a picture that disappears in 10 seconds isn’t high on my priority list. But thanks to some new features, I’m starting to have fun using Snapchat even though I’m a lot older than its prime millennial audience. The company just released an update they’re calling Snapchat 2.0, [...]

iPhone SE vs. more expensive iPhones

March 27, 2016

The most obvious difference between the two phones is size and price. The iPhone SE starts at $399 and has a four-inch screen compared to a starting price of $649 for the 6 S with its larger 4.7 inch screen or $749 for the 6S Plus with its 5.5 inch screen. The SE has the same A9 chip so expect similar performance and the rear cameras have the same 12-megapixel resolution though the front selfie [...]

AlertSec encryption service for PCs and Macs

March 23, 2016

Just about everyone now knows that iPhones are encrypted but that’s not the case for PC and Macs, including the laptops people carry around. Those laptops are vulnerable to theft and loss and even if you have a password, you’re not fully protected because there are ways to break in using “brute force.” For example, there are thumb drives that hackers can plug into a [...]

How Facebook (and soon Instagram) prioritize what you see

March 17, 2016

Facebook-owned Instagram has announced that its changing the order of the posts people see “to show the moments we believe you will care about the most.” In this regard, it’s following in the footsteps of its parent company, which made a similar change several years ago. I’m not sure when and exactly how Instagram will implement this change nor whether they will let users [...]
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