Month: September 2014

Control your inbox with Gmail filters

Overtime I have subscribed to many newsletter and get many promotional emails from places where I’ve made purchases.  I like to keep all this email separate from the email I receive from friends, family or is business related.  There is an easy, incremental way to do this using Gmail filters.
Here are the 10 easy steps:
1) Open the promotional email.
2) Click on More at the top of the page.
3) Select Filter messages like these.
4) A dialog box will open.  Click on Create filter with this search (bottom right corner).
5) Click on Apply the label.
6) Click on Choose label.
7) The first time you do this you choose New label. I titled my folder “All Promos“. Click Create.
8) Next, near the bottom of the dialog box check Also apply label to matching messages.
9) Check Skip the Inbox near the top of the dialog box.
10) Finally, click Create filter.
When you want to include email from another source in All Promos, you do all the steps except at Choose label (Step 7), you choose “All Promos”.
You can repeat this process for any other category you choose, like newsletters.
By checking “Skip the Inbox”, these messages will not show up in your Inbox, so be sure to check these new folders for new email.
Note that Gmail can be set up to sort out promotional email without these steps.  However, what I’ve outlined is applicable to any category you wish to set up.  I also like having control over which messages I send directly to the All Promo folder and which I allow to show up in my inbox.
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Shellshock Bash Bug

The Bash bug or the Shellshock bug has recently appeared in the press as the latest threat to computer security (remember the Heartbleed bug!)  This is the article from the New York Times.
Apple reports that it’s desktop products are safe from this bug (unless you have changed some very advanced settings which the vast majority of people do not do. These settings are mostly for developers.)  Apple Servers are not safe.  It is important that your Mac be password protected.
Windows users, for once,  are not vulnerable because Windows is not built on Unix.
These types of problems are not going to go away.  Protecting your computer and managing your passwords will continue to be required to protect your identity and your data.

iCloud and iOS 8

iOS 8 implements new features in iCloud which will allow for more storage and sharing options of your documents and photos.  The problem is that these new features are not compatible with the existing iCloud.  Once Apple releases its next OS X for Macs, code named Yosemite, it will all be compatible. This may be in October.
Bottom line:  if you get a new iPhone 6 or update your existing phone to iOS 8 do not turn on the option for iCloud Drive in Settings.

Real cost of that new iPhone

Once you’ve decided to upgrade, figuring out your real cost is not easy.  One way or another you are paying the real price of the phone, which is about $600 give or take.  It’s always been this way, you just did not know how its cost was imbedded into your phone bill.  Now that phone companies, like ATT, give you various ways to purchase your phone it’s a little more obvious but still complicated.

iPhone and iOS upgrades

Here’s my take on the new iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and updating your current iPhone to iOS8.
You may have heard or read about the iPhone 6 Plus being “bendable,” especially if you accidentally sit on it or keep it in a pocket where it can get bent.  The actual number of complaints has been small – Apple says 9 people.  Additionally there is now some evidence that the original complaint and video are a hoax.  After this was reported Consumer Reports not only tested the iPhone Plus but also other phones.  The link to their report is here.  It’s probably not an issue.
In general, I’m a believer in waiting a bit – a few weeks or a few months – to upgrade. Aside from allowing time for problems to appear and be resolved, the lines will disappear and it will be easier to walk in to an Apple, Best Buy or your carrier store and pick one up.

I waited and just updated my iPhone and iPad to iOS 8.0.2.  Everything seems to be working fine.  You won’t see any major changes to look or feel.

The Mail App is one big improvement which I like.  If you swipe a message to the left you have more options to choose from for what to do with the message. If you swipe it to the right you can quickly mark it as unread – as I often do – to remember to deal with it later.