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Tether to a Hotspot

Did you know that your smartphone has (or can get) a “hotspot” feature? With the hotspot turned on, your phone can channel it’s 3G signal and act like a modem, allowing you to connect wifi-ony devices (laptops, tablets) to the internet. This is called “tethering.”

If you are in the car and you want to use your wifi-only tablet, turn on your phone’s hotspot and wirelessly tether your tablet to the phone’s signal. If you need to send a document from your laptop but you are not connected to a network, tether your laptop to your phone and access your email and the internet.Making this work is a two-step process:

1) Turn on the hotspot feature

You may have to activate it with your phone carrier before you use it for the first time. If you don’t see the feature listed at all, contact your carrier to request it.

  • Apple iPhone: settings > personal hotspot > on (note the pre-installed password or create one of your own)
  • Android Phone: settings > more > tethering and portable hotspot > on (note the pre-installed password or create one of your own)
  • Windows Phone:  settings > internet sharing > on (note the pre-installed password or create one of your own)

2) Connect the wifi-only device to the hotspot

Connect your tablet or computer to the phone’s network the same way you would connect it to your wifi network at home.This feature can be very convenient when you are traveling or if your home wifi is temporarily unavailable. Be sure you know how your carrier “charges” you for this feature though; typically, the data transfer used in tethering cuts into the data plan you pay for monthly.

Enjoy your uninterrupted productivity!

Heartbleed Hit List

By now you have heard of the Heartbleed Bug. What is it? What you can do about it?

The Heartbleed Bug is

  • an “encryption bug” that affects some websites, potentially exposing subscriber account information

The Heartbleed Bug is not

  • a virus in your computer
  • a weakness in your anti-virus or malware protection programs
  • something you could have prevented

To minimize your exposure, change your password for any affected sites, but only after the sites themselves have corrected the loophole that made them vulnerable.

Click the link below to learn more about the Bug and to see a list of popular websites and whether they were affected.

If you are curious about a site that is not listed, you can call the company directly or visit the company’s website; many companies are posting information about the Bug.

Note: Be sure to change your password only at the specific company’s official website. To be sure you are at the real site, type the web address in the address bar at the top of your browser, rather than click on a link to that website that may have been sent to you in an email.

Play Ball!

The Major League Baseball season started a few weeks ago and, if you are a fan like me, you need to know when your favorite team is playing.

Here’s how I do it: I download my team’s schedule to my computer, tablet, and smartphone and then I know when the next game is. You can do it too.

On whichever device(s) you want the calendar:

  • Go to
  • Click “Teams” (right side of the menu across the top)
  • Scroll down and click on the name of your team
  • Click “Schedule” (top menu bar)
  • Scroll past the current schedule and click on “Downloadable Schedule”
  • Follow the instructions in the right hand column for your specific device (Apple, Outlook, Google, Yahoo, etc.)

Your team’s schedule is now an independent calendar, separate from your personal or work calendar. You can show or hide the baseball calendar by clicking it on or off.

Good luck this season. I hope your team wins, unless it is playing my team!

Text Expander

Do you often type the same phrase or phrases in your computer applications?

Take advantage of a feature called Text Expander (Apple calls them “Shortcuts”) to summon these phrases without typing them each time; just type a few letters and the whole phrase appears.

If I frequently type my email address, I might make a shortcut “em1” that represents my extended email

To set up a shortcut on the iPad and iPhone:

  • Settings > General > Keyboard
  • Scroll to the bottom and tap “Add new shortcut”
  • Type the words or phrase in the top box
  • Type the shortcut in the bottom box.
  • Tap “Save”

Now, in an email, note, text, or search engine, type the shortcut characters and the expanded phrase appears in a bubble below your text. Tap the space bar to accept the expanded text.

Be sure your shortcut is not a combination of letters you would otherwise type; you will summon your expanded text when you don’t want it. ( Tap the “x” in the bubble to reject the expanded text)

Pretty cool!? Even cooler is that these shortcuts are iCloud-based; if you create a shortcut on your iPad, it will also work on your iPhone.

Many computers, tablets, and smartphones have this feature built-in, but if yours doesn’t, you can purchase a third-party app or program to include it.

Enjoy more efficient typing!

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