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Category Archives: Tech News

Friday Funny 16.12.16

A #fridayfunny – but please please please don’t do this.

#security #techtip

6 smart ways to gain more storage on Android

“Insufficient storage available”, we all dread to see this message popping up right before taking a picture or installing a new app. Limited storage on Android device is frustrating to say the least. But it doesn’t have to be if you know how to manage storage space wisely. Here are some tips on how to free up space on your device ensuring the message doesn’t rear its ugly head.

1.Buy a microSD card

The easiest fix is to buy a microSD card, if your device is compatible that is. Do keep in mind that you cannot use the extra storage for apps or system files but only for music, videos, photos, and other media files.

2.Erase apps you don’t really use

Downloading apps are like snowballs, because before you know it there are too many of them and your device just freezes over. If that’s the case, simply delete the ones you don’t need. Deleting an app doesn’t mean it’s gone forever, you can always download it again. Normally, gaming apps take up a huge chunk of storage space. You can go to Settings > Storage and tap Apps to see how much space each app uses so that you can decide which apps to get rid of, for now.

3.Clear app cache

Apps that remain on your device will still have loads of cached files, so it might be a good time to do some spring cleaning. Don’t worry since clearing app cache will not delete important files on your device. Go to Settings > Apps then go through each app to clear its cache. Or if you want to erase all the cache in bulk, you need to go to Android’s recovery mode and choose to wipe the app cache. Since each Android device is different, you’d better google to see how to enter the recovery mode for your model.

4.Make use of the cloud

Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, iCloud and more. You name it. These are services that allow you to send your media and document files to the cloud and free up space on your device. Google Photos gives you unlimited storage for both photos and videos. The only limitation is that the size of the photos must be smaller than 16 megapixels and less than 1080p for videos. It also has an option that allows you to delete files that have been sent to the cloud. In order to do so, open Google Photos app and go to Menu > Setting, then hit Free up device storage and all the backed-up files will disappear from your device.

But for privacy’s sake, note that by using these services, you’ve granted the cloud service providers access to your files. Make sure you know which photos or videos you should sent to the cloud, since the cloud is essentially other people’s (or in this case, your cloud service provider’s) computers. It’s best that you keep naughty photos to yourself.

5.Stop storing and start streaming

Unless you are heading somewhere with no internet connection, there’s no need to store all your music files on your device. Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play Music, Napster, Tidal are some examples of music streaming services you can use, at a certain price of course. So if you’re a fan of freebies, Plex might be another viable option. Plex is a media server software that runs media content from a personal library and streams them on your device.

6.Add external storage

This option might be a little bit bulky and might require prettiness to give way to functionality. External storage comes in two forms: a plug-in drive similar to USB flash drive, and a wireless media hub. The first one enables you to download files from your device to your PC so you can have some more space left on the device. Or you can just stick the plug-in drive to your device and play files from it directly. Wireless media hubs like Western Digital MyPassport Wireless orRavpower Filehub can be used to backup your files and let you access them wirelessly. Noted that you cannot play DRM-protected music or videos with this external storage–only your own media files.

Dealing with limited storage is just one of the numerous issues regarding Android devices. Compared to its iOS counterpart, Android gives users a lot more flexibility, which means there are many more functions to be explored. Why not get in touch with us today? Our experts are ready to advise you on how to boost your overall productivity.

Improve searches with these Google tricks

During the pre-internet era, locating a document or verifying a fact took countless hours, if not days. Now with smartphones and search engines, it takes less than a second to do the same. However, new tech comes new expectations, ones that demand lightning-fast efficiency. We want our information quickly, yet all we give Google Search to work with are a couple of syllables. Enhance the speed as well as the quality of your next search with the following 12 tips:

Get Olympic updates

Get into the spirit of the games by keeping up with the latest medal tally and other interesting news about the 2016 Rio Olympics. Simply type in “rio olympics” and you’ll be greeted with two options:

1. Above the search results, you’ll see a temporary suggestion offering a shortcut on your home screen to quickly look up the latest Olympic news. Ideal if you want to check every now and then.
2. If you prefer immediate notification, simply scroll down a little and click on “Get Olympics updates.” By doing so, notifications will be sent straight to your phone anytime a major event occurs.

Search for exact phrases with quotes

This tip is ideal if you’re looking to locate results that contain a specific phrase. Searching for a phrase in quotes will bring up results that have only the exact words in the same order.

Specify unknown words within quotes

Look up variations of a certain phrase with ease. Simply replace a certain word with an asterisk. It’ll help you determine a song from its lyrics or find the missing words in an incomplete expression.

Utilize the minus sign

Refine search results even further by using the minus sign. That will help filter out results that aren’t of any interest. Figure out what terms you don’t want to see (e.g., Jaguar -car) and refresh your search.

Website keywords

This is similar to the “site:” function that initiates a Google search that sifts through one particular website. For example, if you want to see every time TIME.com is mentioned in Google, use Google site:TIME.com

Go through archives dating back to the mid-1880s

If nostalgia pays you a visit, Google won’t leave you hanging since there’s an option that allows you to search through newspapers from around the world archived centuries ago.

Use “vs” to compare foods

With the myriad of food options available these days, sometimes we just need help deciding. Not sure what to have for dinner? Try typing in “rice vs. quinoa” for a side-by-side nutritional comparison.

Filter search results for recipes

Don’t let dietary restrictions rain on your parade. After looking up your favorite dish, click on Search Tools under the search bar to filter recipes based on ingredients, cook time, and even calories.

DEFINE: the definition

Instead of flicking through dictionaries, save time by entering DEFINE: before any word (slang included). You’ll also see its etymology as well as a graph depicting its linguistic usage over time.

Where is the love?

For those looking to add a little romance into their lives, simply press the mic icon on Google’s search bar and say something sweet like “I love you.” This recently-released love quote generator does all the searching for you. If that doesn’t the stir enough butterflies in your stomach, simply click Try Again below the results bar.

With the right tips, you can save time and locate the needle in today’s virtual haystack with ease. If you still have any questions regarding any of the Google search engine tips mentioned above, don’t hesitate to mail us or give us a call. We are more than happy to accommodate your requests.

Telecoms offering network virtualization

With virtualization yet to make its way into the lexicon of common tech phrases, many business owners are still trying to decipher the full extent of its value. Various aspects of the service have evolved over time, and we can probably expect more to come. For now, however, one of its existing functions is getting a boost from the likes of AT&T and Verizon. Virtualized network services are complex and often difficult to understand, but their value is unquestionable. Let’s delve a little deeper.

The overarching theme of virtualization is combining hardware and software resources into one large, communal pool where individual servers and workstations can pull as much as they need, rather than allocating them inefficient individual puddles that either go dry, or unused. In a workstation model, this is realized in the form of minimally equipped endpoints that access much more powerful software and hardware resource pools via web browser.

When it comes to network virtualization, it’s quite similar to virtual private networks, or VPNs. Developments in cloud and software functionalities allow administrators to eliminate time-consuming and micromanaged VPNs while achieving the same swift and secure connections between servers, workstations, and other network-enabled devices residing in physically separate networks. VPNs are like pumps between each of your network ‘puddles,’ individual pieces that require individual maintenance. Network virtualization is like installing one pump with on/off switches on each outbound pipe.

This means that setting up a VPN for the addition of a satellite office is as simple as inputting a few simple pieces of information to gain a world of seemingly local network possibilities. In another example, rather than recabling your office when one department becomes too cumbersome to fit on one switch or hub, connections and protocols can be expanded and redefined by a software client.

With the increasing popularity of any service with the word ‘virtualized’ in it, telecom carriers Verizon and AT&T have begun offering this service to clients. Whether it’s because your business has a growing list of locations, or because your local network needs the flexibility to grow swiftly without waiting for costly hardware and software expansions, these services have you covered.

Both Verizon and AT&T will offer three ways to manage your virtualized network: locally, from the cloud, or a hybrid combination of the two. Once you’ve decided on a framework and deployment strategy, make sure to take time with the transition. Established networks are complex and messy ordeals, and it’s better to start migrating those puddles over time rather than all at once. Instead, move them one-by-one so any problems that arise can also be dealt with one-by-one.

Although consumer-level companies like AT&T and Verizon are offering this service, not just anyone can hop on and start getting the most out of a virtualized network. It takes expert configuration, deployment, and most importantly maintenance. With 24/7 coverage of your network, we eat, sleep, and breathe cutting-edge technology. Call us today and we’ll bring your SMB into the age of virtualization.

5 essential uses for iPads at your SMB

Technology continues to trend toward increased mobility, and business practices are headed along with it. Apple’s iPad has fairly universal appeal as a personal tablet, but what about its small- or medium-sized business potential? If you own an iPad, it’s likely you’re already using it for email and browsing to help manage your business, but there’s so much more it could be doing. Check out our five favorite applications for implementing a iPads at your SMB .

Point of sale apps

One of the most popular uses for iPads at your SMB is as a means of ringing up customer purchases. The checkout aisle has slowly been giving way to automation, and with apps like Vend and Revel you can save a great deal of money on expensive point of sale hardware and wasted employee time. From customer relationship management to loyalty programs and gift cards, these apps give your business a polished, professional front end.

Presentation apps on iPads at your SMB

Business presentations are a staple of the white-collar world, and being ill-prepared for one can sabotage your profitability. Although in the past users were generally averse to creating presentations on ‘restrictive’ touchscreens, Apple’s continued dedication to making it possible is evidenced by their Keynote app. Before writing it off, check out the extremely intuitive creation and delivery functions.

Social media management

For better or worse, the number of social media avenues to promote your business are growing every day. Updating and managing each of them individually is tedious, and ultimately a waste of valuable time. Social media managers like HootSuite allow you to manage multiple accounts, schedule posts, and reply to messages — all from one place. HootSuite even has analytics and campaign plans directed toward small businesses looking to engage new customers.

Remote Access

Mobility is one of the most sought-after traits of any modern business. If you find yourself constantly away from your desk, a remote access app may be your golden ticket to staying productive on the road. Apps like LogMeIn and GoToMyPc give you unfettered access to your designated desktops. This way you can keep working from the cab, home, or airplane, like you never left the office.

Invoicing/Payment tracking

A desktop computer might seem like the ideal place to track invoices, expenses and employee hours, but mobile accounting apps are freeing up business owners to take their company on the road. SMBs with multiple locations or remote workers will love the cloud access afforded to them by the likes of FreshBooksand Outright. CEOs can push data to these apps from their iPad while their accountants review it from the other side of the country.

When it comes to small- and medium-sized businesses and technology, we’re the experts. And whether it’s security or usability that has kept you from utilizing mobile devices in your business processes, we have a solution for you. Don’t risk exposing your business to unnecessary risks. Contact us today to set up a consultation.

Halloween Humor

A bit of Halloween Humor for the week…
#funny #technology #internet #phone

Schedule meetings with Microsoft FindTime

The art of organizing a meeting is much like chess. Each player has different possible moves, or availabilities; and it’s up to you to strategize which pieces to move where, or which events to schedule (or reschedule) when. The objective is to land on a square wherein all participants can attend, but achieving this goal often demands a tiring and time-consuming process. Fortunately, with the help of Microsoft FindTime, you can arrange meetings efficiently and easily.

Before any meetings take place, you’ll need to download Microsoft FindTime first. Fear not, because this Microsoft Outlook add-in is easily downloadable and is 100 percent free. FindTime was developed to help you and your guests do just that — find time! Coordinating all attendees’ schedules, FindTime will iron out a time that works for everyone.

Just the thought of having to organize a meeting across your organization can stir up anxiety and elicit a huge sigh… Sigh! Why? On top of handling your own hectic schedule, you’re expected to juggle your attendees’ schedules as well. This would be the moment when telephone calls start to flood in and emails start to go back and forth, rarely heading toward a unified decision.

Bid adieu to all of that with Microsoft FindTime. Simply compose a new email or reply to an existing one and click the New Messaging Poll at the upper right hand corner. From there, choose the attendees, propose a couple tentative meeting times, and let the voting begin! Once a consensus is reached, a confirmation email is automatically sent to everyone attending.

What makes it even easier is that attendees can take a look at the visual summary that tallies all the votes, and who voted for what times. This lets you see what times the majority of people have chosen, giving you a chance to rework your schedule in advance if and when necessary.

Another plus is that to receive a Microsoft FindTime invitation, your friends and family don’t need an email address or even an Internet connection! Participants aren’t required to have Office 365 either; only the organizers need to access Office 365. This means that you can reach out to your friends, loved ones, and colleagues to organize your meetings, set up playdates, and even plan surprise birthday parties — the possibilities are endless.

For more info about Microsoft FindTime, feel free to send us an email or give us a call! Our experts will gladly answer your questions. We believe that time is money, and money is the last thing you’d want to jeopardize. Allow us to help safeguard your assets by ensuring that all the time you spend on the clock doesn’t go to waste. Every minute counts.

7 things every Windows 10 user should know

Windows 10 stands tall as Microsoft’s best operating system release to date, hands down. But having undergone serious revamping, the OS is ready to rock and scroll. Boasting a myriad of new features, the updated Windows 10 is both efficient and effortless — fully capable of redefining your computing experience for good. Become a Windows 10 power user in no time with these seven tips:

Master virtual desktops

Virtual desktops allow for better utilization of screen space. You can span your applications and windows across multiple “virtual” desktops. Create one by clicking on the “Task View” icon (located at the right of the Cortana bar) on the taskbar, then click “+ New Desktop” in the lower right corner and add as many desktops as you wish. To move an application to a new desktop, merely drag it into the virtual desktop on the bottom.

Next-level screenshotting

The original screenshotting methods on Windows include Windows + Prt Scn, which captures the screen and saves it into the Screenshots folder; and Alt + Prt Scn, which captures the screen and copies it to your clipboard.

Introducing the new built-in Snipping Tool. On top of capturing a full screen screenshot, other capturing options range from a free-form rectangle to a specific aspect ratio or even an entire window as well. You can also set the capture to delay a screenshot by a set interval — this comes in handy when you want to screenshot a YouTube video minus the playback controls.

Shake and minimize

For users who aren’t aware of this trick, you can grab a window by its bar and literally shake your mouse. This causes all the other windows to automatically minimize.

Professional Windows snapping

Snapping windows to certain parts of the screen is ideal for multitasking. You can now organize and monitor different applications more seamlessly. Make the most of your screen space with the following tips:

Drag a window to the right or left to split it in half.
Drag a window to a corner to reduce it to a fourth of its size.
Drag a window to the top to maximize its size.

Record your screen with the Xbox app

After launching the Xbox app, go to the app you wish to record and press Windows + G. You’ll be prompted with a window that asks: “Do you want to open the Game bar?” Click on the “Yes, this is a game” box and let the recording begin!

Talk to Cortana like a person

Aside from typing your requests, you can also use natural language to ask Cortana to locate your vacation photos, or provide directions to your friend’s house. No date needed, just specific words and she’s all set. Cortana is also synced with your calendar, so if you’re ever unsure when your meetings are, Cortana will gladly double-check.

Automatic Battery Saver mode

When activating battery saver in Windows 10, you can limit your portable devices’ background activity and push notifications to prolong battery life. Battery saver also kicks in automatically once your battery life is lower than 20%. To customize your own power threshold as well as which applications you allow to run in the background, go to Settings > System > Battery saver — voilà!

Make the most of Windows 10 with these tips and upgrade your user status from regular to power. Regardless of what you’re using it for — arranging your meetings or planning your vacation — make each computing experience a memorable one. Want to hear more of the latest Windows 10 news and updates? Contact us today.

Friday Funny 07.10.16

Security for your business should be taken seriously… With a #firewall 🔒

#techtips #fridayfunny

Windows gets desktop Android notifications

Smartphones aren’t even ten years old, and they’re already one of the most essential pieces of our daily routines.In many ways they’ve actually surpassed desktop computers in their ability to keep us connected 24 hours a day. But they’re still a separate device, and that means awkward transitions when you get notifications while working on your PC. Those annoying interruptions were the impetus for Microsoft to introduce a new method for syncing Android notifications to your Windows 10 machine. Sound interesting? Here is how to make it happen.

The first thing you need to do is to wirelessly pair your Android phone with your Microsoft desktop. From the Google Play store, download and install the Cortana app and sign into the Microsoft account you use on your computer. Once you’ve signed in, select the Menu button in the upper-left-hand corner and select Settings. After that, select the option for ‘sync notifications’ and toggle which you would like to see on your desktop.

Notifications are broken down into four categories: calls, texts, battery alerts, and third-party apps. Although an option to answer the phone from your computer hasn’t been added yet, you can read and respond to text messages. When deciding on third-party app settings, remember the goal is to manage your interactions, not create more. Make sure to disable any notifications that will create annoying redundancies like doubled-up Facebook alerts between your Android pairing and previously-enabled desktop notifications.

And just like that, you’re all set. As long as you have Cortana enabled on your desktop, all your Android alerts will automatically display in your Windows 10 Action Center. There is no need to interact with the app on your mobile device, and we recommend removing the shortcuts from the clutter of your homescreen. Gone are the days of needlessly checking your phone every time it vibrates, just to find out it’s another telemarketer or unimportant Instagram notification.

As technology reaches the hands of more and more people, and hardware and software options increase exponentially, there are few problems that can’t be fixed with a little ingenuity. Our staff has that ingenuity, and they’re waiting to impart it on you and your business. Call us from your phone or text us from your desktop. Regardless of how you reach us, don’t wait for more problems to sneak up on you.