Back in February, I installed the Nest thermostat and provided some installation guidance based on my experience. Since then, I’ve installed a couple more Nests and as promised wanted to share some of my experiences.
The answer turns out to be yes that they can and in certain circumstances the answer is that they must.
Huh? It’s my phone not the company’s? If they ask, I’ll simply remove my access to the company email account and that will be that!
Well, no in that case, you could be in deep legal trouble for destroying evidence, as well as setting yourself up for dismissal from your company. Read more »
With any tragedy that gets the type of press that the Marathon Bombing received, come various emails and other contacts by folks looking to make a dishonest buck in the name of the victims.
NBC News is reporting that scammers have come out in near real-time to separate your money from your wallet or to dupe you into installing malware. Here’s the article, which is worth a few minutes to read.
Be very careful not to let the emotion of the moment undermine your normal cautionary behaviors.
One of the ways that writing this blog has provided me with satisfaction, is that I end up surveying the technical landscape for trends and new technologies. I enjoy doing this research that frankly I wouldn’t be doing if not for the desire to find new topics for the blog. These surveys have identified upcoming trends, which I’ve shared in some of my posts.
So, there are a couple related trends that I’ve previously identified as hitting their strides in 2013. However, I’m really not happy that my prognostications were turning out to be correct. The trends are:
- Malware will become sufficiently sophisticated enough to overpower efforts to mitigate them.
- The smart phone will become a significant platform of choice for malware writers. Read more »
How many times have you ventured forth towards a website and found it not responding? At this point, you don’t know if the problem is your connection to the Internet or possibly the site is being blocked for some reason or it’s simply down.
There is an easy method to check if a site is currently active is by the service: downforeveryoneorjustme.com. Enter the URL in question and it will let you know if it can reach it or not. If not, then you know it’s down. If it’s up for them and you can’t subsequently access it, then there is likely something else wrong. If you can’t reach the service, then it’s a safe conclusion that you have a connection problem
Here’s a topic that is tangential to my normal postings, but I figured since I did the research, I’d share what I found. Note: I”m not an expert in this area. This simply documents my findings. Please followup with other sources before implementing your own record retention system.
It’s tax time in the US and every year when I pull together our tax information for preparing our tax forms, I look at the cache of old records and make a pact to actually shed the really old stuff. I have records that pre-date the personal printing press (AKA printer) in our house. It’s scary! Come on, what value are tax receipts from 10 years ago or a bank statement from even 5 years ago … NONE. However, when it comes time to actually remove it, I hesitate and put it off until next tax season.
This year, I’m tackling it. However, before do so, I needed to find document retention guidelines so that I don’t make a mistake and remove documents that could still be needed. To start, I went to the IRS website as they are both the authoritative site for Federal tax information and they do provide significant documentation on tax requirements. What I was searching for was guidance for how long to save copies of (a) tax returns and (b) supporting documentation. So, I found this. Not clear, but unless someone is purposely filing bogus returns or not filing, the max seems to be around 4-6 years. Other sites recommend 7 years, which given the IRS’ requirements seem to be a nice, safe retention period. BTW: Some sites recommend keeping copies of the returns permanently, but the supporting documentation for 7 years. Since the IRS will provide your return upon request, it’s not clear to me that we need need to retain all returns forever. Read more »
Jared Newman of Time magazine published an article that indicates that iCloud email accounts are being censored by Apple prior to delivery. The company appears to be looking for inappropriate or “naughty” language and if found, silently deleting the message without any indication to either the sender or receiver that the message has been trashed.
The magazine MacWorld, has demonstrated the censorship with some fairly extensive testing. What’s particularly interesting is that the phrase “barely legal teens” was one of the phrases that Apple deemed as inappropriate. Though of questionable meaning, certainly not a curse, swear or all that controversial without some context. Also, they found that attached documents were also searched even if zipped.
Over the past 10-15 years, email (and the related instant messaging) has become the de facto standard method for communication both personal and business use. Though email delivery is not guaranteed, the reliability of email has been sufficiently robust enough that users expect delivery or notification that delivery isn’t possible. There is also an expectation that the email text is delivered exactly as written. Read more »
If you use Evernote, please be aware that it’s been hacked and user emails and the encrypted passwords taken. The good news was that passwords are encrypted and there is no evidence that user’s content has been accessed, nor has any credit card information been accessed for Premium and Business customers.
To insure that content remains secure, Evernote has reset all 50 Million user account passwords. So, you need to go to evernote.com, log in, then enter a new password. Following that, you’ll need to re-authenticate on your Evernote apps.
I received an email recently from Molly, who runs a website devoted to helping parents and potential caregivers connect. It’s an interesting site that I would have been all over when our kids were small!
She also writes a blog, which has a number of interesting posts about various issues around raising kids and working with caregivers. Her most recent post intersects nicely with The Family HelpDesk in that she provides 10 apps that run on iPhones to help busy immediate and extended families coordinate their busy lives. BTW: Though I’ve not checked, I suspect most of these apps are also available on Android platforms. Happy reading!
Master Your Family’s Schedule with These 10 iPhone Apps from the Live-In Nanny.
For most folks, the lowly thermostat is a a bit of anachronism. You set it to “heat” or (if you’re lucky) “cool”, then set the temperature. If you have a programmable thermostat, you might be programming the temperature by time of day (cooler when sleeping or away, warmer when home).
However, there are some options for getting a smarter thermostat, including ones that are remotely accessible off your home network. Many of these networked thermostats are expensive up to $500 each and difficult or clunky to program. However, there is one that is relatively easy to install, easy to configure/program and has superb support. It’s also very easy to use. It’s by a company founded by the original designer of Apple’s iPod and it’s called Nest.
I purchased one, then installed it. What follows logs my installation and configuration. At some time in the future, I’ll provide an update as to how well it actually works. Read more »