Month: November 2014

Managing Music – iTunes

Many clients have extensive iTunes libraries but have not yet integrated iTunes with their stereo or do not have a music system and want to listen on something other than little speakers attached to their computer.

There are two good solutions for this problem:  the first is to use Apple’s built-in AirPlay to stream music to an Airport Express attached to an existing music system;  the second is to use Sonos technology.  With Sonos, if you have an existing music system you can use Sonos Connect to stream from iTunes and you can listen to internet radio like Spotify and Pandora.  Plus, if you want music in other rooms you can add Sonos wireless speakers.  On the other hand, if you do not have an existing music system you can build a fine one using all Sonos equipment.

More Phone Scams

Many of you have heard my seminar on Internet Scams and Identity Theft.  Just this past week I received two calls, automated calls, purporting to be from the IRS informing me that I have an outstanding balance and the IRS is about to issue a warrant for my arrest if I don’t call now.  As I mention in my talk, this is a total scam, the IRS does not call you about outstanding balances.  If you were to call the number on the recording you would be asked for your Social Security number and other identifying information that would be used to steal your identity.  Just hang up on these calls.  They are meant to scare you and they do sound scary but please, just hang up and ignore them.  And, please, tell people you know who may be vulnerable to hang up on these calls.

Router Hacks

When your browser starts redirecting you to strange sites or you are inundated with pop-up ads, I’m sure your first thought is that you have a virus on your computer.  It’s usually my first thought.  In the past two months I’ve had two clients experiencing this behavior.  In both cases I ran virus scans and malware scans and nothing turned up.  More research was required.

What I turned up, although still rare, is a router hack.  This is something that is very hard to protect against, maybe impossible for now, but what happens is that changes are made to your WiFi router to redirect your browser to sites you did not request.  It is something that can be fixed but requires someone to examine the router and change settings.

If you suspect this problem there is an easy way to test.  If your browser is redirecting you to strange sites, try another device like another computer or tablet in your home using your WiFi.  Use the browser on that second device and see if the same thing happens.  If so, it’s probably the router and not a virus on your computer.

TWO iPHONE APPS I RECOMMEND

JotNot is an amazing app that can replace a fax machine and a scanner.  There is a free version and an enhanced version.

JotNot is really simple to use:  you take a photo of a document, you adjust the dimension of the image, you select the format you want such as PDF then you save it or mail it.  I use it to save copies of receipts, send PDF images instead of faxing, and to save copies of written notes. It can also send to cloud storage and Evernote.

A second app I recommend if FileApp. I used FileApp rarely before iCloud Drive but now I see that I am going to be using it a lot.

FileApp allows me to read most documents on my iPhone and iPad.  The latest version integrates with iCloud Drive so I can store a file, a MS Word document for example, on iCloud Drive from my computer, then using FileApp on my iPhone I can grab that file at anytime and view it.

UPGRADING TO YOSEMITE

With the release of OS X version 10 or 10.10, Apple has abandoned animals – Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion, etc. – for National Parks with the latest OS X release having the code name Yosemite.

The new version has a revamped user interface with newly designed icons looking more like those on the iPhone and iPad, a new color palette and new default fonts.  Many of the built in apps like Mail, iMessage, iPhoto have added features.

If your iPhone is near your Mac computer you can now answer phone calls on your computer or iPad.

iCloud has been enhanced to act more like general purpose cloud storage like Dropbox and Google Drive.  When you enable iCloud Drive the iCloud Drive icon will appear in finder and you can drag and drop files to it giving you the ability to access files from any device that supports iCloud (read about FileApp in this Newsletter to learn about accessing files on your iPhone.)

Yosemite was extensively beta tested and based on my own experience and reading the press it is stable enough to recommend upgrading.  I’ve helped a good number of clients upgrade and have not had any serious problems.