Seriously. Do you have a problem?
How do you know? Take this quiz and hear from a recovering addict.
Talked to a Samsung customer service rep today, she didn’t know what I should do about a Note 7 because I purchased it from Samsung.com
Oh brother, this is bad
How well do you know your Facebook friends?
Some of them may not be your friends at all, and could be putting your information and identity at risk.
It’s happening more often on the social network.
Con-artists use the social network to get all kinds of information on unsuspecting people who accept friend requests from strangers.
A typical scam involves an imposter setting up an account and friending someone at random. When they accept, they are able to send other requests to their friends and will often use one of those friends profile photo and information to set up an identical but fake account.
Then the fraudster will send out multiple requests from that person’s list of friends.
By accepting a fried request from one of these con-artists, the Facebook user grants permission for the faker to gain access to any and all information they’ve posted to Facebook. That include email addresses, phone numbers, family members, photos, education, workplace and address which is enough to get started on stealing a person’s identity.
While it is rare, other incidents involve the unkown friend to monitor when someone is out of town and have broken into homes using this tactic.
There are signs to look for to determine whether a friend request is coming from an actual person:
- Has the Facebook user posted more than a few updates? Facebook does catch on to fake profiles and will shut them down. A profile with only a few posts and few friends is likely a fake.
- What does the profile photo look like? Most times the fraudster will steal a photo they find online. It is often of a pretty girl. The fake profile we found used a photo from a model stolen from a website.
- To check the photo, go to www.tineye.com to search the web for where the photo has been used before.
The internet has made millions of things easier but some things more difficult.
Artists and photographers know this particularly well. While releasing some of their work to be displayed online they also run a risk of having it stolen.
“It’s been a huge problem for us,” said John Chester, owner of www.wildapple.com. Chester’s group focuses on helping artists protect their work from being stolen and used for profit. Chester says it’s especially a problem for artists who run the risk of their creations being stolen by companies in China that will use the images on things such as home decor, dinnerware, rugs and iPhone cases.
Photographers who post their portfolio in an online gallery can easily have those images copied by anyone who finds them on a simple Google search.
Chester suggests artists use a copyright mark embossed on the digital copy.
“Really use watermarking,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be on the whole image, but in the corner, or make it quite visible,” said Chester.
www.watermark.ws is a good source for photographers and artists. The free site allows someone to upload their work and create a watermark for it that can include their name, website or logo.
www.tineye.com is another good source for artists and anyone who posts their photos on Facebook or anywhere online.
The reverse image search asks for the URL of any image you’re searching for and will then search through billions of posted photos. TinEye will then show you everyplace the image is found online.
We tried it searching for an image of the New York skyline used first by National Geographic. We found it on several websites and used by at least one Twitter user as their cover photo.
Chester told us once an artist finds their work has been copied without permission, they should first contact the person or company using the photo and ask them to either take it down or pay a royalty.
If that doesn’t work he said an attorney may be necessary.
“If someone’s going to take your work and profit from it, that’s not legal, and it’s not right,” Chester said.
Annie Bosko www.anniebosko.com
A country music singer says streaming music services like Spotify and Apple Music makes it hard to earn a living.
Singer Songwriter Annie Bosko told us as people move away from purchasing singles and albums musicians have to
“It’s kind of where we are right now,” Bosko said. “The music is essentially free and it’s going to become even more free.”
Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora and Soundcloud are increasingly becoming the places music fans listen to music. Subscriptions to Apple Music is roughly the price of one album purchased on iTunes. Sales of entire albums is almost unheard of today as most fans will purchase only the singles they like. Spotify, Pandora and Soundcloud have free versions and YouTube is the most popular place for people to listen to music for free.
“I have kind of come to the conclusion that I’m going to make most of my living off touring, live shows and publishing and not so much selling records,” said Bosko who’s opened or sang backup to Darius Rucker, Adele, Josh Groban, Dierks Bentley and others.
Other artists say most of the revenue they and the record companies see come by way of merchandise sold at concerts and shows.
However, Bosko said streaming services aren’t all bad for singers just starting out or trying to get noticed by fans.
“A Lot of people found out about me because of Spotify, so even if it is decreasing the amount of money I make in downloads, the exposure that it’s given me is amazing,” she said.
The most popular artists such as Drake, Adele and Taylor Swift do sell singles and albums on iTunes and the Google Play Store. Swift pulled her music from Spotify and sales of her records shot up in iTunes. Some reports showed her music accounted for as much as 25% of iTunes downloads immediately following the release of her last album.
A news report by a Florida television station that claimed Facebook is evesdropping on our conversations, has been debunked.
The report from WFLA showed a communications expert demonstrating how the social network listens to conversations through our microphones without our knowledge, then sending advertisements based on what it heard.
Dr. Kelli Burns, an associate professor in the School of Mass Communications at the University of South Florida, took to her blog Monday to explain what happened in the news report and clarified she does not believe Facebook listens in the background.
We performed the same type of test shown in the news report by talking about a Florida vacation. We spoke of a vacation with our phone locked then again with Facebook open. We even tried it by asking Siri to find us rental property in Florida.
We checked Facebook 24 hours later but did not see any advertisements or posts related to a beach vacation.
The news report has surfaced on websites and news sites around the world, but it isn’t true.
Facebook responded to the story in its own blog re-iterating it doesn’t listen through the microphone unless the user asks it to identify a song or tv show playing, OR is recording video.
If this still bothers you, the microphone can be turned off by going to Setting>privacy>microphone and uncheck Facebook.
Android users go to settings>privacy and emergency>app permissions then edit which apps have access to your microphone.
So, you took your phone to the lake or beach or swimming pool and accidentally dropped it in the water. Summer’s a bummer.
About 20% of all smartphone ‘deaths’ are attributed to water damage, with most accidents happening in July.
Should your phone succumbs to the depths of a pool, here are several steps you can use to try and resuscitate it:
- Get it out of the water as fast as possible. Each second the phone is wet runs a greater risk at short circuiting it.
- Turn it off. (ditto)
- Take off the case. Your goal is to dry this phone out as quickly as you can.
- Remove headphones or charging plugs
- Shake it, blow air into the earphone and charging jacks. Get out as much water as possible this way
- Let it air dry by placing it outside, unless it is extremely humid. Do not place it in full sun as it will get too hot.
- If it fell in salty, dirty or something other than water, rinse it off under clean tap water. Be careful not to let water get inside any ports.
- If you bury the phone in a bowl of rice to help soak up water, use instant rice rather than uncooked. Soaking a phone in rice hasn’t been proven to help.
- Use couscous instead.
- Instant oatmeal also soaks up water faster than rice. Again, do not let anything like oatmeal dust get inside the ports
- Do not use instant oatmeal from envelope packages. Most of those are high in sugar or contain maple syrup flavoring.
- Plug the phone into a wall outlet and let it sit for a few days before turning it on.
- Be patient and resist the urge to turn it on. The longer you let it sit the better.
These steps won’t help in every incident. If a phone is kept underwater for very long it will never work again. Act quickly to save your phone’s life.
If you shop at Amazon.com you may be missing out on better deals by not shopping at other Amazon companies.
We ran down some of around 35 companies acquired and owned by the online retailer and found some of these websites offer better prices.
6pm.com sells men’s and women’s fashions by name brands. Beautybar.com specializes in beauty products and accessories. Eastdane.com is a high fashion specialty store for men. YoYo.com is an online toy store that offers many products for less than you find on Amazon. We shopped for and found a Star Wars action figure that is $7 cheaper than on Amazon.
Shopbop.com is a high fashion designer webstore for women. Amazon also owns Soap.com, Diapers.com, Fabric.com, Wag.com for pet products, Woot.com that offers a deep discount on a few products each day.
Casa.com is an online furniture store.
Createspace is for content creators. This site helps writers finish a book by pairing them with publishing experts. Users can also publish video and music content for distribution on Amazon. ACX can help authors turn their books into audiobooks.
Abebooks.com sells rare and autographed books.
DPreview is for digital photographers.
Tenmarks.com is for math teachers.
Comixology.com sells digital comic books.
You can also find home repair professionals to paint a house, clean gutters, do electrical work and even put up a basketball goal. These professionals are local service providers who offer free estimates.