We’ve helped some clients recently with networking problems that seemed to be related to Internet connections. Most notable was intermittently slow Internet performance, causing the client to call their ISP to upgrade to a higher bandwidth connection with guaranteed throughput. But that extra monthly expense turned out to be unnecessary once we tracked the problem […]
The European Union has for many years required that websites—at least those serving European users—gain informed consent before storing the personal data of those users. That data includes cookies, which are bits of information stored in Web browsers that websites can read and write. Cookies are widely used for remembering login information, saving user account […]
We periodically field questions about password-protecting a PDF to prevent the wrong people from reading it. Lawyers want to ensure that drafts of legal documents don’t fall into the wrong hands, financial advisers want to keep confidential financial information private, and authors want to prevent their writing from being shared broadly on the Internet. Others […]
September is here, and with it, Apple’s latest iPhones and Apple Watches. At its Wonderlust event on September 12, Apple threw back the curtains on the new iPhone 15 lineup, Apple Watch Series 9, and Apple Watch Ultra 2. These devices all provide incremental improvements that make them attractive to people planning to purchase a […]
Apple’s Preview is a surprisingly capable graphics editor for making quick changes to screenshots and other illustrations, but it lacks a built-in way to delete content while leaving the background. Here’s the workaround—select a rectangle of the background color, copy it, paste it, and then move it over the undesirable content—as shown in the After […]
In macOS 13 Ventura, Apple replaced the creaky System Preferences with System Settings, which uses a more iOS-like interface. Many people find System Settings overwhelming, partly because they had memorized where to look in System Preferences (but System Settings has many other design flaws as well—it’s not your fault). We have two recommendations to make […]
Friday, 01 September 2023 10:06

Beware Executive Imposter Scams Aimed at New Employees

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We’re hearing about new hires who receive an email or text from someone claiming to be the CEO of their new company, asking the employee to carry out some small task like sharing personal information, purchasing a gift card for a client, or wiring funds to another business. The new employee, eager to make a […]
Keyboard shortcuts are a productivity win, but they can cause confusion if something unexpected happens when you inadvertently press some system-wide key combination. For instance, you might be taken aback if you accidentally press Control-Option-Command-8 and all the colors on your Mac screen suddenly invert. Although Apple has pages listing shortcuts and the KeyCue utility […]
It has been a tough year for extreme weather events. While the connection between weather and technology may seem tenuous, heat waves, high winds, and lightning strikes can play havoc with all sorts of powered and networked electronic devices. Anything that causes power fluctuations—spikes, surges, sags, brownouts, and blackouts—can hurt your tech gear. Protecting your […]
Friday, 01 September 2023 10:03

Things You Need to Know Before Moving to a New iPhone

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Are you among the millions of people planning to get a new iPhone 15? It’s exciting, we know, but don’t move too fast when getting started with your new iPhone, or you might cause yourself headaches. Instead, follow these instructions when you’re ready to transfer your data—and, for many people, much of your digital life—to […]
We strongly encourage using two-factor authentication (2FA) or two-step verification (2SV) with online accounts whenever possible. The details vary slightly, but with either one, after you enter your password, you must enter an authentication code to complete the login. Although it’s always best to get such codes from an authentication app like 1Password (which enters […]
September is upon us, so Apple will soon start releasing major upgrades for all its operating systems. Note that we say “start.” Apple will undoubtedly release iOS 17 and watchOS 10 alongside new iPhone and Apple Watch models in mid-September. The company hasn’t said when it will release iPadOS 17, although it’s likely to accompany […]
Tuesday, 01 August 2023 12:08

Keep Your Apple Devices Cool in the Summer Heat

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June 2023 was the hottest month on record for the planet, at least until July 2023. Among the many ill effects of such heat are what it does to iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple Watches, and other digital devices. Excessive heat shortens the overall lifespan of lithium-ion batteries and increases the likelihood of both transient errors […]
Tuesday, 01 August 2023 12:07

Clean Up Your Mac’s Desktop with Sort Options

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When we help someone with their Mac for the first time, we often notice that their desktop is a disaster. Icons are scattered willy-nilly and often piled on top of one another, making it hard to locate anything. For most people, the solution is easy—sort the contents of the desktop. In the Finder, choose View […]
Loud sounds are harmful to everyone, and many parents worry that their children are at risk for hearing loss due to too-loud headphone audio from iPhones and iPads. To lower the likelihood of this happening, Apple provides a Reduce Loud Sounds option in Settings > Sounds & Haptics > Headphone Safety for both iOS and […]
Tuesday, 01 August 2023 12:05

Look Up Apple Device Details in Mactracker

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It’s difficult for even those who work with Apple devices daily to remember all the details. What processors were available with the 2020 iMac? What resolutions did the Apple Thunderbolt Display support? What are the differences between the fifth and sixth generations of the iPad mini? To find the answers to these and many other […]
We’ve recently heard from people who have been embarrassed when they gave their iPhone to someone to swipe through some innocuous photos of a vacation, only to have the person swipe too far and end up at some NSFW (not safe for work) images. Ouch. Embarrassment might be low on the list of problems such […]
All too often, Mac users put off installing updates because of the bother of having to set everything up again afterward. We get it—you’re busy, and it can take time to relaunch apps, reopen documents, and repopulate Web browser tabs. There’s no avoiding some downtime when installing a full macOS update, which is why we […]
Most people fall into one of two extremes when it comes to device security. Many believe they’re not interesting enough to be targeted by online attackers and thus don’t take sensible precautions, like making sure every website account is protected with a strong, unique password. (Most attacks these days are bots, so whether you’re interesting […]
Tuesday, 01 August 2023 12:01

Web Workers of the World, Give Arc a Try

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Although Web browsers have added productivity features over the years, most have not been overhauled to support modern usage patterns. We have bulging bookmarks bars, tabs by the trillions, and inefficient habits like using searches to load even regularly used websites. Arc, an innovative new Web browser for the Mac from The Browser Company, addresses […]
For most of us, our Mac’s screen is wider than it is tall, so longer Web pages and documents often benefit from more room from top to bottom. To maximize the amount of usable vertical space and reduce the need to scroll as much, you can set the Dock to hide automatically and appear only […]
Monday, 03 July 2023 12:07

Convert Image Formats Directly in the Finder

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If you need to convert images to JPEG, PNG, or (unlikely) HEIF, try this hidden Finder feature: Control-click an image in one of those formats or other common image formats like TIFF, GIF, or PSD, and choose Quick Actions > Convert Image. A dialog lets you choose the destination format, the image size, and whether […]
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