back in May of 2021
Rich Little Answering Machine
This week's Media Monday has another Radio Shack Answering Machine collection. This one features various impersonations done by Rich Little.
Rich Little does a really good job on these, it is hard to believe that all the voices here are done by one person!
- Jimmy Stewart
- Humphrey Bogart
- W.C. Fields
- Jackie Gleason and Art Carney - "The Honeymooners"
- Jack Benny
- Richard Nixon
- John Wayne
- George Burns and Gracie Allen
- John Houseman
- Clark Gable
How to Make a Successful Bid for Public Office
If you've decided to run for office and you happen to be a differently-abled individual, your personal story and journey could be an inspiring and compelling part of your campaign. There are still the typical everyday needs of running a political campaign to keep in mind, as well as any special accommodations that need to be made when you're traveling, delivering speeches, and interacting with constituents. Communication will be essential throughout your campaign, which can be buoyed with regular blogging and social media updates to keep people apprised of your campaign stops. Expert services can be assets in this area.
Photo by Pixabay
Before making a bid for public office, personally vet yourself. According to Purdue Online, there are smart ways to go about scouring your online presence, including social media accounts, past interviews, media statements, and articles you've written or been quoted in. Do you hold membership in any controversial organizations? Do you have close friends or relatives who have been in trouble with the law? Do you yourself have any legal troubles in your past that could come back to haunt you? You're wise to find out what's out there that has the potential to be embarrassing or damaging, then take proactive measures to clean it ups or prepare to address it.
Develop Your Platform
While your disability might be an element of your political platform, your overall agenda and messaging should be tailored to appeal to a wide and varied demographic. A knowledgeable and seasoned campaign advisor and campaign manager can be invaluable when it comes to helping you tailor your message, develop key strategies and approaches, and help position you within key demographics. You'll also want to evaluate the platforms of your opponents, both to differentiate yourself and to strategize how best to support and advocate for your viewpoints.
Ensure Your Access
Candidates for office often appear at a wide variety of places, from event stages to coffee shops in rural communities. If you have limitations that require special accommodations, have a member of your advance team ensure you're set up accordingly at different event stops. If you have an auditory or visual disability, also consider having events recorded to ensure you can review them in whatever way is most beneficial for you. If mobility is a problem, plan for events that curtail a lot of moving around, and if necessary, place firm limits on the amount of physical campaigning you do in a single setting. According to the Americans With Disabilities Act, you have the right to have a service support animal with you as well, but you'll need to have accommodations for the animal before, during, and after your campaign stops.
Proactively Talk About Yourself
Unfortunately, there may be people along the campaign trail who question your ability to serve based on your disability. While you are certainly under no obligation to divulge personal information, if you want to discredit these types of challenges, consider developing a standard response related to your condition and your abilities. If you can use your disability for advocacy purposes, that can be a positive tact, but give careful consideration to how ' if at all ' you use your disability on the campaign trail.
Surround Yourself With Experts
All candidates, regardless of their abilities, are well-served by hiring professionals with campaign experience in key areas including speechwriting, press writing and coverage, polling, and event planning. You can find qualified individuals on job boards. Freelance writers typically charge between $15-$40 per hour, but the cost of content can vary based on experience and expertise. You might also want to hire people with logistics planning experience, as well as website development and social media campaign knowledge. A researcher and a fundraiser can also be assets.
Running for office can be a daunting undertaking that's mentally, emotionally, and physically challenging. However, if you're committed to doing the public good by becoming a public servant, preplanning and hiring the right people for your team can make your vision a reality.
If you need expert insight into how to effectively use technology to bolster your campaign, visit cryan.com.
flagWaver is a cool flag waving effect. Simply upload any image and instantly it becomes a flag blowing in the wind.
You can change the flagpole type to five different types: Standard, Horizontal, Outrigger, Crossbar or Gallery.
You can change the background: Classic, Blue Sky or Night Sky with clouds.
A web app for simulating a waving flag.
Using a screen capture, you can easily add this to any video project. For example, you could have the school logo as a flag for the intro to a school video.
Combine Files using BBEdit
Earlier this week I had a bunch of Apache log files that I wanted to combine into a single file. I was trying to figure out the best way to do it. A quick Google search showed me a solution from 2014. The purpose of this post is to say that it still works!
Here are the steps to quickly merge a bunch of files:
- Open up BBEdit
- Create a new Text Document (Command N)
- Go Under Edit menu and select Insert then 'File Contents...'
- Select the files that you wish to add then click Insert
- Open up BBEdit
- Create a new Text Document (Command N)
- In the Finder drag and drop the text files into the BBEdit window
Using the Command Line
Another solution is to use the Cat Unix command in Terminal. Here's a sample of what that would look like:
cat access.log.* >> website.log
Travelocity Wall Charger
Most of our devices are now powered by USB. So having USB cables and chargers are essential to travel.
On a recent trip, I found that it was really handy to have a dual-port wall charger. You can get a charger on Amazon for $8 to $11. Which is a pretty good deal. However, you may find it cheaper locally.
I found this 2.1 Amps Wall Charger at Big Lots for only $5! What a great deal! I recently went back to the store and they were out of stock.
You may want to check other discount stores. Make sure that the charger is for 2.1 Amps so that it can charge up iPads and similar high-power devices.
Charger in Action
Here's the charger in action - powering two iPhones at the same time. You should know: Not all airports provide USB charging stations.
Don't forget the cable! Make sure to have at least a 3-foot cable, as there may not be a place to place your phone down near the charger.
Make sure to test the charger! You don't want to find out the hard way that the charger is bad at the worst time.
Best Butter on Popcorn
Everything tastes better with butter on it! Even Popcorn!
The downside to adding butter to popcorn is that it adds more calories than the benefit of taste. If you're looking for a healthy batch of popcorn, I would recommend adding coconut oil that has butter flavor. Most of the calories get melted during the cooking process.
But if you want to add butter, here are some things I learned.
Five things I learned
Over the past few months I have experimented with various brands of butter. I was trying to figure out which one works the best.
- Butter vs Margarine debate. Butter is definitely better than any margarine that I have tried. Margarine makes the popcorn taste chemically
- At the end of the day, there was no clear winner. Store Brand butter tasted just as good as expensive Irish butter. Buying expensive butter didn't really add much flavor to my popcorn.
- Salted Butter vs Unsalted Butter. I like unsalted because I usually add a bit of salt anyways. Unsalted Butter gives you more cream for your buck. If you get salted you run into the risk of having different types of salt in your popcorn. Keep it simple and get unsalted and add salt - if needed
- Extra Creamy butter - Such as Plugra and Land O Lakes - was good. I didn't encounter a lot of butter at the bottom of the bowl.
- Kate's Creamery butter didn't really taste any different than regular melted butter. I only purchased it once as it was more expensive than store brand butter. I thought it would be better because it's more expensive. It doesn't really make the popcorn taste better.
The best butter I would recommend using is the Land O Lakes Extra Creamy Butter. It's extra creamy adds just enough flavor to make the popcorn enjoyable.
Copy Timeline Video
Did you know that you can select a portion of the clip using the Range Tool and then copy/paste it somewhere else? You can!
Copy Timeline Video
Simply use the Range Tool (Keyboard Shortcut R) select the area that you wish to copy then use the Edit menu Copy/Paste to duplicate it elsewhere in your clip.
This is an easy way to reuse part of your video, for example, if you want to playback some of the beginning music at the end.
Here are a couple of classic commercials featuring NBA Legend Micheal Jordan. These came out in the 2000s. These aired when Michel Jordan was in his second retirement from the NBA (1999 - 2001).
Bill Bradley for President Commercial - This aired in California during the primaries.
MCI 5 Cent Everyday - Classic commercial featuring some characters from Space Jam.
This week I am taking a quick trip to Florida. My trip will involve two separate airlines - Delta and Jet Blue. While my time in the air will be short, I thought that I might want to be online doing some work.
Delta Onboard Wifi
Interestingly my trip with Delta doesn't include free WiFi. If I want to use it, I have to pay a monthly subscription for $49.95. Apparently, I can purchase a pass when I get on board, I'll have to update this post with that cost and opportunity.
JetBlue Onboard Wifi
My flight with JetBlue includes unlimited WiFi and no additional cost. As a matter of fact, their website promotes using Amazon Video. So they want people to watch Amazon Prime videos instead of the onboard entertainment.
Both JetBlue and Delta offer power outlets where you can charge your devices while you fly. Make sure to bring your chargers with you!
Business Name Generator
Coming up with a good business name these days can be tricky. Wouldn't it be great if there was a tool that could suggest something useful. Something practical to let people know about the business.
firstsiteguide.com has a great solution. Simply enter in some keywords related to your business and instantly get some great ideas. What's more you also get a list of matching available domain names that you can use to promote your business.
Enter your keywords in the tool to generate unique business name ideas. To get the best ideas, enter highly specific words. Whether you are looking for a company name, a blog, or a startup our generator will help with the process.
Browse the search results conveniently divided into sections. The business name ideas most relevant to your keyword come up first. Take your time to explore word variations.
Why not try it out and see what names that it comes up with.
Sleep via Keyboard
One of the complaints that people have with Apple's Mouse is the location of the charging port. It's located underneath the mouse. This means that you can't use the mouse when you charge it.
So people end up just setting up a reminder to charge the mouse at night - once a week.
The problem with that is, if the computer is on, there's no way to quickly put the computer to sleep using the keyboard.
There's is if you have LaunchBar.
LaunchBar to the Rescue
LaunchBar has a built in action for Sleep. Simple type in the Command Space short cut and then type in Sleep and hit return.
Your computer goes to sleep.
Want to shut it down instead, Simple search for Shut and then hit return.
This is just one of many cool things that makes LaunchBar useful. I would highly recommend getting it.
Not in Spotlight
There's no action available in Spotlight. When you search for Sleep and select it, you are presented with the Energy Saver System Preferences.
Amprobe Battery Tester
Just about everyone has a bunch of batteries in the junk drawer. The problem is that every time someone needs a battery, they just open up a new pack. Nobody gets the one from the junk drawer.
How do you know if those batteries are still good?
That's why everyone should have a Battery Tester in that junk drawer. This is a great stocking stuffer for the handyperson around the house.
I use the Amprobe Battery Tester from Amazon, it costs $7.48. Truely a steal for the usefulness of this tech toy.
Battery Testers can be useful when seeing why remotes aren't working. Is it the batteries? Don't open a new set of batteries, just test them.
Very useful when you have a bag of batteries and you don't know if they are good or not.
The Amprobe Battery tester is very good. I have yet to find a battery that it couldn't test. I purchased this back in January 2016 - and it's still on my desk ready whenever I need it.
Over the past year, I have experimented with a lot of different oils to make really good popcorn. I have tried everything from Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Sunflower Oil and other kinds.
There wasn't any particular oil that has stood out as a winner to really yummy popcorn.
Popcorn connoisseurs will tell you to get the perfect movie theater popcorn taste you should be using Coconut Oil. However, I think most movie theater chains now use canola oil. (No thanks to the Science for the Public Interest!)
I have found that popping with Coconut Oil will give you the "Old Time Taste." However not just any Coconut Oil will do!
Things I have Learned when Testing the Oils
Orville Redenbacher's Popping & Topping - Popcorn turns a little hint of yellow. Not much flavor. I think this is better added after the popcorn pops for flavoring. When using it as oil it mostly burns off and there's not much flavor.
Great Northern Coconut Oil - This collection of popcorn, oil, and salt gives you the best combination that tastes like the movies. The popcorn is nice and yellow and the taste is great. My complaint is that the popcorn is a little big. I think they focus more on quality oil and not on the popcorn. Never the less this is a winner in my book.
Wegmans Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil - This is good but the house smells up. The oil is clear and the popcorn is white - which is fine. I don't like how it leaves a bit of a smell that others don't like. I won't buy this again.
Wegmans Organic Sunflower Oil - Good oil. Doesn't add any real taste to the popcorn. Expensive than the other oils. Doesn't add any new flavor or texture to the popcorn. It's good if you're looking for a healthy solution.
In Final Cut Pro 10.4.9, Apple introduced a long-awaited feature - the ability to add audio crossfade. This makes it so much easier to create a smooth transition between audio clips.
Final Cut Pro Crossfade works very similar to how video dissolves work.
Adding A CrossFade
There are three ways to add crossfades:
- Using the Modify Menu. Select the audio clips and then go to Modify > Adjust Audio Fades > Crossfade.
- Use the Keyboard Shortcut: Option T
- Apply a transition to a clip. Whatever transition you add, the audio automatically gets a crossfade.
Adding a Crossfade
To add a crossfade you need to select two or more adjacent audio clips or video clips that contain audio. (Note: the clips can't be overlapping.)
Use the Keyboard shortcut: Option T
I saw some YouTube videos hyping this feature as something they have been asking for since version 10 came out. I wasn't all that impressed with how crossfade feature works. I think that crossfade should work regardless of where the two audios are in the timeline.
If you have two audio clips, You should be able to fade into the next clip very easily:
For Example: Like how a DJ will start playing the next song before the current playing song ends.
You would think that's how crossfade works, but it doesn't it just fades one clip until it ends and the second clip fades in. You do have some "dead air" time.
Celebrity AnswerAlls #2
This week Media Monday features another celebrity telephone answering machine message. This collection has many of the same voices as the Radio Shack collection.
This tape is from 1982. I can't recall exactly where I got this one. Maybe Caldor or Radio Shack.
There is another "best-of collection" with a similar name. That collection is the best of all the Celebrity AnswerAlls from the series.
This collection was made by the Project Market Group from Boca Raton, Florida. I wasn't able to find any information on the company. I suspect they must have closed sometime in the 1980s.
- WC Fields
- Jimmy Carter
- Barbra Streisand
- Charles Dickens
- Cheech & Chong
- Lou Costello
- Frank Sinatra
- James Cagney
After hearing this tape, would you actually use any of the voices that you heard?
How social media can move your moving business forward
These days, social media is a proven and vital part of society. It's no longer if you want to be on it, but you need to. People can't imagine the world without platforms that help them get connected. No one has time to share their images through email or reach their friends by phone. This, of course, has an impact on businesses also. So, today, we're talking about how social media can move your moving business forward.
According to surveys, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the three platforms you should focus on as a marketer. With these, you can extend your reach, get to your target audience, and engage with them. And not only that. If you're trying to get your home-based business off the ground, you can't do without these.
As you can see, you shouldn't underestimate the influence and reach of social media. So, let's talk about ways these networks can help you propel your business forward and how you can utilize them.
These three social media networks will give you the most for your effort.
Increasing exposure, creating brand recognition and loyalty
If you're running a moving business, the first things you should focus on are raising awareness and building brand recognition. People love to get services from brands they recognize and trust.
Social media is perfect for this for a couple of reasons. The most important among them is that it's easy to put your brand in front of your target audience. In fact, this is one of the most significant benefits of using it. Now, there are plenty of ways to get a bigger audience. Basically, if you want to increase your social media following, you need to be worth following. You should create quality platform-specific content to connect with your audience. Focus on the visual elements through the images and videos. Tell stories and offer advice about what interests your target audience. This way, they'll trust you, and that's what you need to build loyalty.
Social media can drive traffic to your website
Although organic site visits are important, you shouldn't focus solely on them. In addition, use social media to drive traffic to your website. More than 80 percent of the business do this, so it obviously works. In fact, as little as an hour a day spent on social media can boost your website quite a bit.
Having a strong presence on social media can also boost your organic traffic. Social media helps with brand awareness. If you bring value to their lives, people will talk about you with their friends. And you can be sure that the people who hear about what you do for the first time will visit your website.
However, to make sure your audience talks about you, your content needs to be unique and sharable. The more you're mentioned, the more people will go through your lead funnel, and more of them will reach your service offering page. So, always make the share button visible and prominent.
One of the best examples of how social media can move your moving business forward is by increasing your website visits.
You'll be able to keep an eye on the competition
Although this may not be the first thing that springs to your mind when you think about how social media can move your moving business forward, getting insights from the marketplace is another upside we want to talk about.
We all know that in the moving business, competition is fierce. So, it pays out when you can monitor and learn from their performance. This process is called competitive analysis, and it's all about learning from the successes and mistakes of your competitors. However, you'll also get a chance to see where you are compared to your competition.
You can look into how they interact with their followers, what kinds of things they post, and if they're offering something you're not. You'll quickly figure out where they outperform you and what are the areas in which you're ahead. There's a chance you need to update your services, or maybe improving the visual aspect of your branding strategy is all you need. Whichever problem there is with your business, social media will help you put your finger on it more quickly.
You'll generate more leads
If it's not obvious by now, social media does help with generating new leads. However, you can get leads using many methods. So, you might wonder why this one is different. Well, the leads you acquire from social media are generally of higher quality. And the reason for this is advanced targeting.
When you're promoting something on social media, you get to choose who you want to promote it to. Therefore, these are excellent tools for collecting top-of-funnel leads. Here, we're talking about people in the awareness and consideration stage of their buyer's journey.
Make an eBook explaining how to pack some of your belongings, or even better, an explainer video about it. Then share it with your potential customers. Here are some basic guidelines you should stick to.
- Create content that your followers may be interested in. It should be straightforward and easy to understand.
- Include images that are on-brand. They should be visually appealing but also relevant to the content.
- Finally, make a call to action that creates a sense of urgency.
Leads and connections are the two most important things in the moving business, and social media helps you create plenty of quality ones.
Social media will help you establish your brand as a leader
It's not a secret that moving companies that establish themselves as leaders in the niche get the most calls. This is business 101, so there's no surprise here. The best thing about it, however, is that social media can help you do this.
It won't be easy, but with the right tactics, you can get there. In essence, you need to regularly post content in which you'll showcase your expertise, opinions, and thoughts. Coming up with great ideas for blog posts constantly isn't something anyone can do. But you can outsource this part of the job. This way, you'll have time to focus on more important things, like providing your customers with the quality service they deserve.
With time, your website will gain authority, and you'll become a top mover in your area because of it. This is not a quick process, but it will be worth it. As you can see, there are many ways how social media can move your moving business forward. So, don't wait and miss the opportunity that is in front of you the whole time.
If you're a frequent user of Twitter, you probably have seen the latest trend where people post stories in multiple tweets. Wouldn't it be great if there was a way to read it all at once?
There is! Thanks to ThreadReaderApp! Simply reply to any tweet with the @ThreadReaderApp and you get all the posts in one place. In addition, you can copy the URL of a post and paste it into threadreaderapp.com for the same thing.
I'm @ThreadReaderApp a Twitter bot here to help you read threads more easily. To trigger me, you just have to reply to (or quote) any tweet of the thread you want to unroll and mention me with the "unroll" keyword and I'll send you a link back on Twitter
Microsoft Teams Performance
Are you experiencing serious performance issues with Microsoft Teams? Are you having to close out applications like Slack and Chrome before you connect to a meeting?
Is Microsoft Teams maxing out the computer CPU?
Chances are that there's a simple settings adjustment that should be done. You'll need to disable the GPU hardware acceleration. On some older Macs, this may cause a considerable amount of slowness.
How to Disable GPU Hardware Acceleration
The GPU Hardware Acceleration is done in the settings panel of Microsoft Teams. Here are the steps:
- Open up Teams
- Click on your name on the top right and select settings
- Check the "Disable GPU hardware acceleration"
- Restart Microsoft Teams
This is what it should look like when completed:
One More Thing...
I would suggest restarting the computer. It's not necessary as part of the steps, but it couldn't hurt.
You should see improvement in the next meeting. Your computer won't go to a crawl and you shouldn't have any drop frames during the meeting.
HDMI Video Converter
Are you trying to get video into your laptop or Desktop? Well, there is a little device that can take a video/audio input and convert the signal so the computer can read it.
You need an HDMI converter to convert the signal from HDMI to your computer. Basically, a video card to handle the conversion. If you try plugging an HDMI cable into an HDMI port won't work because the port isn't designed to receive audio and video.
That's where the Kalecope Audio Video Capture Card comes in handy.
Things I Learned
Only cost $14.98 on Amazon
Doesn't seem to work when trying to do a pass-through using a Nikon 7500 DSLR. The video works but the audio isn't that loud.
Works great with other HDMI connections. The sound and video are clear. I have yet to encounter any sync issues.
Has a low profile that fits fine in the back of an iMac. You can still access other USB ports. So you can plug this in without losing a USB port that is next to it.
The unit is well built. I have had it in my backpack for several months. It has taken quite a beating and still works great.
The computer treats the connection as a USB camera. No additional drivers or software is needed.
Black Jewell Popcorn kernels
Over the years, I have tried many popcorn kernal brands. I have tried Pop Secret, store brands, Orville Redenbacher and many others.
The one that I really like the most is Black Jewell's Original Black Popcorn.
Four Things about this Popcorn
The resulting popcorn is nice and small. They are extra crispy than standard "cheap" popcorn kernels.
You can buy this on Amazon or various online stores, including Shaws in New England. (Usually cheaper to buy in the store.)
These cook faster than typical popcorn and you don't need as much oil. Try it before adding oil as they do have good flavor without butter or salt.
When making this popcorn, you may want to use slightly fewer kernels than you usually do. The pop-up kernels may not look a lot. However, you'll soon discover that the bowl has a lot more food than your use to.
Record USB Cameras in Final Cut Pro
Final Cut Pro doesn't support using USB cameras as video import. In other words, you can't just hook up a DSLR camera and record live video through Final Cut Pro.
The option to select the video won't appear in the import dialog. Only the built-in camera will show in the import dialog. This prevents you from importing live video, from another webcam or from a USB device such as a VCR or legacy video camera.
See this Import Dialog with two USB cameras connected:
According to Apple's documentation:
Connect the camcorder to your Mac using the cable that came with the camcorder, and configure your device for remote control over FireWire, if necessary.
If your computer does not have a FireWire port but does have a Thunderbolt port, you can connect the FireWire cable using an Apple Thunderbolt to FireWire Adapter or an Apple Thunderbolt Display (which also has a FireWire port).
Note: For best results when importing from a tape-based camcorder, it's recommended that you import the video using the same camcorder that you used to record it.
This apparently true for iMovie. You are not able to select any USB devices to record live video.
Works in Other Apps!
I am able to access USB camera in other apps, such as Apple QuickTime, Wondershare Filmora and Graphic Converter.
What's Going on Apple?
I am not sure why Apple won't let users record from USB cameras in Final Cut Pro and iMovie. Hopefully, its something that will be fixed soon.
Classic Internet Commercial
Here are some classic Internet commercials that I found in my VHS collection. These all aired around the early 2000s.
- Circuit City - "Find it, Love it"
- Earth Web - "Win a Million Dollars!"
- Webstakes.com - "The Easiest Place on Earth to Win a Prize"
- Nokia - "The Petersons"
- Issuz - "Joe Isuzu and the Axion"
- MSN - "Welcome to MSN Broadband"
Top Cybersecurity Mistakes to Avoid in 2021
Visit cryan.com for the latest in tech news, developments, and resources.
Top Cybersecurity Mistakes to Avoid in 2021
With technology expanding by leaps and bounds every day, it's no wonder that small business owners want to make use of innovations that allow their businesses to thrive. Unfortunately, as reliance on technology increases, so do the risks. Cyber threats are a growing issue around the world, and without proactive measures, businesses face the potential for significant damage that could be irreparable. With this in mind, it's critical for SBOs to take a proactive approach when it comes to cybersecurity.
Thinking You're Not a Target
According to Microsoft, small businesses are at an exceptionally high risk of a cyber attack. 43% of all data breaches are committed against smaller companies. With an average loss of more than $180,000, many of these companies ' 60%, to be exact ' go under in six months or less after an incident. The single most important thing you can do is to accept that your business is at risk and take steps to prevent your data from becoming vulnerable.
Assuming Remote Employees Have a Secure Setup
Now that you understand the threat, it's critical to be proactive. If your systems aren't fully protected against security threats like malware, phishing attacks, ransomware and other issues, you could easily become the victim of a cyberattack that could bring your business to its knees. The best way to protect your company and your data is to have a strong IT infrastructure in place, as well as a disaster recovery plan that you can quickly execute in the event of an attack. Make a plan to partner with a data protection solutions company to protect your digital assets. The ideal firm offers a robust data management program with continuous monitoring and expedient disaster recovery protocols to ensure your assets remain secure.
Relying Solely on Antivirus Software
If you choose not to outsource protection, you may think that installing antivirus software on each machine is enough. It is not. Inc explains that antivirus software fails for a number of reasons. One is that it only tests for known viruses. Just as alarming, most companies forgo scanning because it bogs computers down. Another significant concern with trusting antivirus software is that criminals know how the software is written and they can design their attacks around it. While using antivirus software is a smart move, this must also be supplemented by things like firewalls and employee training, as well as teaching your staff how to recognize social engineering attacks.
Creating Weak Passwords
Bad passwords can negate monitoring, training, and antivirus software. LastPass explains that hackers can easily find passwords by using bots that test common combinations. 'Password' and '12345' might be easy to remember, but these and other single words and number combinations are the worst possible digital lock you can put on your accounts. Create stronger passwords ' and insist that your employees and customers do the same, by having a different password for all of your accounts, both personal and professional. You could also use a password manager or create a long-form password that includes numbers, letters, special characters, and unusual spellings.
Understand that cybersecurity threats are real. Even if you are a company of one, if you have customers, bank information, or sensitive data, you are a target. Hackers know that you likely do not have the same financial and technology resources as large companies to protect yourself, and they can exploit all of your weaknesses. While the above will not guarantee that you won't become a target, rest assured that failure to implement these and other cybersecurity measures will greatly enlarge the bull's-eye and make you more susceptible to digital damage.
Image via Pexels
If you need to implement Cookies to test a website functionality, and you are frequently typing it in, why not save some time and make the cookie action a Bookmarklet. This way all you have to do is click on the link in the bookmark bar and instantly add a cookie.
cookie-bookmarklet-generator.com makes this process super easy. Simply put in your Cookie Name and value and instantly a link on the page is generated for you. Simply drag and drop it to your bookmark bar.
Need to easily manipulate cookies when visiting a website? Why not use bookmarklets? This tool makes it super easy to generate them. Just type in the values you want and press the button to generate the links, then drag those links to your bookmarks. Next time you're on the page, click one of the bookmarks to create or delete the cookie.
Recently I connected a new camera to my iMac. After it was connected, I was wondering what applications had camera support that I could try out the new camera.
I know that Apple has apps like Quicktime, Facetime, and Photo Booth that support the camera. What about other Apps on my computer?
The easy way to find out what apps have Camera support is to look at the Camera permissions.
Finding Camera Access
Simple steps to find what Apps have Camera access:
- Go to System Preferences.
- Select the Security & Privacy category
- Select the Privacy Tab
- Select Camera.
Note: That you have to allow Applications to have permission to access the camera. If you haven't used the camera functionality in some apps, you may not have been asked for permission to use the camera.
Using the "New Movie Recording" in Quicktime Player was the fastest way that I found to get RAW video on the computer.
The keyboard shortcut: Option Command N is good one to remember.
This is the capture options that you have:
|High ||H.264 video and 44100 Hz AAC audio
|Maximum ||Apple ProRes 422 video and Linear PCM audio
BN-LINK Light Timer
For years I wanted the ability to turn on/off outside lights using Alexa. The only thing I could find is timers. Which works great except when you want the lights to be off at a different time. This is the Alexa era, surely there has to be something for the outdoors - especially something that can work in the freezing New England winters.
Last year I found the BN-LINK Smart WiFi Heavy Duty Outdoor Outlet, Timer and Countdown Function device on Amazon.com. It has the ability to be connected to Alexa and be controlled by various zones in Alexa.
It was a bit tricky to set up. You have to download their app and configure the device to connect to your WFI. I just remember getting frustrated getting it to work. After several tries it worked!
This device worked great this past winter and we are very happy to use it.
Five Things I Learned
Today it cost $19.99. When I first purchased it in October, it cost $19.99. In December, the exact same device it cost $29.99.
I would highly recommend getting this before the outdoor light season begins.
I purchased two of them because I liked it so much that I had to give one as a gift
Device works great in the New England cold winters. We had no problem with snow or ice. Even well below zero temperatures, the device turned on and off with no problems.
Just have to configure the wireless once. You don't need to set it every time the device is disconnected from power.
Someone on Amazon complained that the three output plugs work the same. They wanted the ability to have different times for each plug. I think if that was the case, it would be really expensive.
If you have any holiday lights, I would highly recommend getting the BN-LINK Smart WiFi Heavy Duty Outdoor Outlet, Timer and Countdown Function on Amazon.com
Orville Redenbacker's Presto Stirring Popper
Currently I am using the Orville Redenbacker's Presto Stirring Popper to make popcorn on a daily bases.
This is a great popcorn machine to use. Simply pour the oil and popcorn in at the same time. It makes popcorn really quick and it's really easy to clean up. The nice thing is that it stores as all one unit.
Three Tips on this Machine
I would recommend warming up the machine for about 30-seconds before putting in oil.
It takes about 6-minutes to make the popcorn. The machine doesn't stop when it's completed. I usually let it run for about 10-seconds after the last pop sound.
I have used regular coconut oil in this machine but it smells up the kitchen. Family members don't like it when I make popcorn with coconut oil - at least the raw coconut oil. Specialty popcorn oil seems to be okay.
8 oz of Popcorn is perfect for this setup. That's about a cup of kernels.
Screen Splitter 2
FCPeffects has a lot of great Titles, Effects and Transitions for Final Cut Pro. These are great additions to help make your videos look more professional.
One of their popular effects is the Screen Splitter 2, which gives you control over how a clip appears in the video. This is an easy way to make a side-by-side video clip.
FCPeffects currently sells the Screen Splitter 2 for $20 - you can get it cheaper if you buy multiple effects and apply their coupons.
Six Things I have Learned
There are 123 Effects in three border type categories: No Border, White Border, Black Border. You can change the border color to anything you want - regardless of what effect you picked.
When using the effect it's helpful to enable the screen you are editing.
You can zoom in and out of a clip by using the inside scale. This helps center the clip content to the appropriate frame.
To get the Brady Bunch effect, you would use the 33 High 33 Wider with a Black Border.
Make sure to crop the clip to the right dimensions (16:9) before applying the effect. If you don't do that you may see some extra black space that can't be corrected using the Inside.Scale settings.
You can navigate through all the effect selections simply by searching for the size you need. So if you need a 100 Wide panel, save time and search for the "100 Wide."
The above shows just some of the design choices that you have.
Radio Shack Outgoing Message
In the 1980s, you could go to Radio Shack and get some cool things. One thing that I found was a cassette tape that featured celebrities' impersonations to spice up your answering machine. The impersonations weren't all that good.
These tapes were to be funny and encourage people to leave messages. I have a couple of different cassette tapes in my collection. I don't know why I felt the need to buy a series. As I recall the tapes cost about $5. They were placed near the phones and answering machines.
- W.C. Fields
- Mae West?
- George Burns and Gracie Allen
- Mad Scientist
- Rodney Dangerfield
- Groucho Marx
- Barbra Streisand
- Alfred Hitchcock
- Gilda Radner
Last month was the A-z Blog challenge. It was a lot of fun trying to come up with topics to post every day. I enjoy the challenge and learn a lot about different topics that I wouldn't normally learn had I not been challenged to come up with a topic.
Six Thoughts on This Year
- Planning content helped deliver some great posts. I had plenty of time to come up with ideas and graphics.
- jQuery topic was a mistake. I changed from Affinity Designer to jQuery thinking it would help deliver some better content. I found that the jQuery post wasn't all that great.
- Media Monday didn't get as much traffic as I hope it would. I'll continue the topic in May. I think focusing on certain content didn't appeal much to users
- Next Year I plan to just focus on one topic all month long. I think it will be easier for planning and come up with more meaningful topics. Perhaps just a A to Z of Boston.
- Toughest letters this year were: M, Q, and X.
- I used Notion Calendar to do the content planning. It worked really well. I was able to see what the upcoming content was and what days were the most challenging.
Linux Cheat Sheet
Linux is a great operating system with a lot of tools built-in. It can be tricky to learn all the various commands.
The folks over at PC & Network put together a very cool Linux Command Cheat Sheet. It's not a typical cheat sheet that you see all over the internet. They walk you through all the most commonly used Linux commands and explain why you would use them.
here are hundreds - possibly thousands - commands available in Linux. Remembering every command is not possible and it can be quite daunting for a novice user. The good news is that you don't need to remember each command. Only a very small subset of those commands are used on a day-to-day basis.
This cheat sheet offers a set of commands that you can use for quick reference. I have prepared this Linux Commands Cheat Sheet as a quick reference for both experienced and basic users.