Archive for category: Tech

Easy Fix for Always-On Macbook Fan

Easy Fix for Always-On Macbook Fan

I had an unfortunate incident with my 1.5 year old Macbook Air a week ago and it was destroyed, so I headed to the Apple store and got a new one. The problem with the new one (also a newer version with the backlit keyboard) is that the fan was running almost non-stop at 5000+ rpms. I checked everything. There was no Flash being run, I dimmed the keyboard backlight, I closed every program except Google Chrome, and the fan kept spinning as if the laptop was about to melt.

After a little digging, and refusing to accept the fact that Macs just tend to run hot, I found the solution. This extremely easy fix will take you about 2 minutes, and requires absolutely no technical skills. I will warn you, though, that Apple says this should only be done if you’ve tried everything else first. There is no indication of how it could negatively effect your machine, but I offer that warning just in case.

May 6, 2012 20 comments Read More
Testing Instagram to WordPress IFTTT

Testing Instagram to WordPress IFTTT

Testing Instagram to WordPress ifttt #blog | April 18, 2012 at 09:47PM
Testing Instagram to WordPress ifttt #blog

 

So, obviously this worked. If you want my recipe, here it is.

April 18, 2012 3 comments Read More
I Complained, Roku Listened.

I Complained, Roku Listened.

If you asked any of my friends, they’d confirm that I have tried to convince them to buy a Roku. I simply love it. When I got married in 2010, we decided not to pay for cable. We got a Roku as a gift, and with a $8 Hulu Plus subscription and a $8 NetFlix subscription, we’d save around $30 per month by just waiting a day to see our favorite shows. And we haven’t once second-guessed our decision.

When the second generation of Rokus came out last year, we got one of those for our bedroom, leaving the old one in the living room. That worked great until a couple weeks ago. Our original Roku XD got stuck in a boot up loop, and the support team couldn’t troubleshoot it. It was dead.

Roku Support told me that I was out of luck because it was 15 months old and they only covered hardware for 12 months. That made me a little upset because, while the Roku is a great product, I don’t want to have to buy one every year. I voiced my concern on Twitter, and I got an almost immediate response telling me that they would be happy to replace it.

After corresponding via email for a day or two, a replacement was in the mail. It arrived 2 days after I gave Roku my shipping address and it works perfectly.

Although it took a little public shaming to get them to stand behind their product, Roku did the right thing to keep a customer.

So, what are you waiting for? Go get one. You know you hate your cable company.

March 26, 2012 0 comments Read More
Drugs, Child Pornography and Hit Men: 10 Minutes in the “Deep Web”

Drugs, Child Pornography and Hit Men: 10 Minutes in the “Deep Web”

At 14 I stood chest-deep in a cold swimming pool with a scuba tank strapped to my back. The mask covering most of my face, I plunged my head below the surface in an effort to learn what it feels like to be able to breathe under water, step one in training for scuba diving certification. I looked around the pool, seeing only the legs of the instructor before I lunged upward for air. As I wiped the chlorine from my eyes the instructor asked, “what happened? Why didn’t you just breathe?”

I had grown up around water, learning to ski not long after learning to walk, but breathing under water just felt strange, unnatural.

Yesterday, some 15 years later, I had a similar experience. A popular social networking site was abuzz about the “deep web,” this seemingly mythical internet underworld supposedly filled with drug lords, pedophiles, hackers and hit men. I spent much of my evening reading blogs and forums that explained that the websites that are searchable by search engines such as Google make up just 1% of the content on the Internet. But just out of plain sight, accessible only through certain browsers, is an internet wasteland, an underbelly to the web where old websites go to die. Because this part of the web is difficult to access, it has become a hub of vile and illegal activity, the Internet’s subconscious.

READ MORE ABOUT WHAT I FOUND (INCLUDING SCREENSHOTS)

June 8, 2011 0 comments Read More
Why I Chose the New MacBook Air Over the iPad

Why I Chose the New MacBook Air Over the iPad

I made a decision. For months I’ve been researching and testing different devices to fit my need (or want) for a functional mobile device. Because I’m lucky enough to work for a university, I was able to get my hands on an iPad for a couple months just to see if it worked for me. In the end I decided that the iPad didn’t do enough for me, so I went with the 11″ MacBook Air.

Don’t get me wrong; I love the iPad. It’s a revolutionary device that I think will change how we understand computers going forward. However, I think the technology and the form have not yet been mastered. Transferring files on the iPad is burdensome. The size is a bit awkward given what it’s used for. And creating content (taking notes, writing a blog post, etc.) is difficult on the virtual keyboard. Consuming content is a magnificent experience on the iPad, and for that there isn’t a better device. I just think the price has to drop considerably for people to buy into a device solely used for consumption of media. I also think it could stand to be a couple inches smaller to make it more portable. The Galaxy Tab, I think, is closer to the right size for a portable content consumption device.

So, why did I go with the MacBook Air? A couple reasons: First, its just a beautiful device. It’s small and light, but still gives me all of the functionality of any other Mac. Second, the Mac App store gives me access to a lot of the great applications being developed right now so that I can enjoy all of the awesome innovation going on. And lastly, I was able to upgrade the processor and RAM on my device to make it surprisingly powerful. TechCrunch even claims that the new MBA is just as powerful as the MacBook Pro. So far, I don’t disagree.

I used the new MacBook Air at a conference this weekend, and I am very pleased. It was portable, powerful, and with the combination of Mac and Chrome Apps I had access to awesome tools to make the event a great experience. Final thought: don’t listen to the haters and don’t read the reviews of the first MacBook Air. The new MBA is seriously and surprisingly powerful given its specs, and the portability of it makes it easy to take on the go.

If you’re interested in some more reasons to go with the MBA, check out this blog.

February 6, 2011 0 comments Read More
Delete Your Personal Information from Spokeo

Delete Your Personal Information from Spokeo

I’m usually pretty liberal when it comes to online privacy issues. I’ve even done the unthinkable and willingly lifted the privacy settings on my Facebook page so that everyone can see most of my content. But I do have a limit.

Spokeo.com is one of many sites popping up now that aggregate personal information from public social networking sites. You can search a person’s name and find photos, his/her age, address, phone number, relatives’ names, home value, salary, and much more. Granted, some of the information is behind a paywall, but the fee is minimal – just under $3 per month.

But don’t worry, I’m about to tell you how to remove your information. Hang in there.  First, though, to help myself feel less like a hypocrite, I need to explain why I think Spokeo is inappropriate while agreeing with the seemingly forced openness of recent Facebook rollouts.

On a social networking site that a user willfully joins, all of the content shared is done intentionally. Many argue that the content shared on a given site should only be accessible to the community approved by the user. Mark Zuckerberg disagrees. So do I. Instead of Facebook being a collection of millions of small communities that are blocked off from each other, it is much more powerful as a single community in which hundreds of millions of people participate. When everyone contributes to one large community it opens the door for many positive things, but just like sharing a room with multiple people, there will have to be some restructuring in the way of privacy. The solution is not to disband, but to rethink. Allowing members of the Facebook community access to your profile lets them participate in your debates, invite you to new things, introduce you to new people. Remember, in this community you still have the option to share only what you wish.

Spokeo, and sites like it, are taking advantage of the participants in online communities.  What does aggregating personal information without consent benefit anyone who doesn’t want to use it in a negative way? After all, the only people that would need to look for the information are those that aren’t already connected to the person they are stalking on Facebook or other social networking sites.

Let the information remain open within communities to the extent that the participants choose, and disallow third parties the option of aggregating that information without, in some way, contributing in a positive way to the community. I have to conclude that Spokeo, and the host of other “people search” sites,  adds no value to the internet.

Ok, rant over. Here’s how to delete your record from Spokeo.com:

  1. Search your name from the site’s homepage and navigate to the profile that matches your information.
  2. When the box pops up on the map, click the yellow button that says “See It All”
  3. Copy the URL of that page
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the “Privacy” link (or click here)
  5. Enter the URL, your email address, and the captcha
  6. Login to your email and click the link to confirm your email address
  7. Your data will be immediately removed.

Special thanks to Erin Gerber for passing on the information about how to remove my personal data.

January 4, 2011 13 comments Read More