About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

August 22, 2017

Be Fed Your Favorites

Filed under: Columns — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Ron @ 5:34 am

Do you get up every morning and go to your phone or tablet to read the latest news and information?  If so, do you have those favorite one, two or 20+ sites you visit to get the latest news?  There is an easier way to do this without visiting each site individually which you should try.  I have mentioned RSS feeds in Double Clicks once or twice before in 2013; however, things are always changing.  RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication.”  There is a site that has been around for a while and it has improved RSS feeds with age.  As a matter of fact you do not have to know much about RSS any longer to benefit from them.

Check out Feedly

That site is Feedly (  I have been using it for years and it is very convenient for keeping up with the news in which I am interested.  First when you visit the site you need to create a Feedly account with an email address or associate either your:  Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Evernote or an Enterprise (your company must sign up) information to login.  I have been using my Google account association for years with no adverse effects.

Once you are logged in we know you read the Daily News Record so in the, “What source do you want to follow?” box, type in, “,” then wait for a few seconds and look below where you typed.  You will see (currently) two links.  Notice under the dark titles you will see, “13 followers / 1503 articles per week.”  Since this link is more active you should probably choose that one.  I would not worry about the number of followers stated as it is not very accurate.  Once it is added to your collection you will have each article posted on the DNR site sent to your Feedly page and can read a portion of the articles there or click the link to go to the DNR site.

Sample Feedly Page

Try a large news site ( or and you will see many different feeds arranged by titles/topics.  Click the “Follow” button to the right site of the ones you are interested in and read the new posts anytime you wish.

If you click on the RSS feed links on a site you will see gibberish, below.

Click to see the detail of an RSS page-unreadable to most

Once you click to read an article it will gray out that post to mark it read.  You may also click the small checkmark to the right of the article to mark it read.  The next time you load Feedly previously viewed posts will be gone to make room for all the new articles.  You can click a link to save them to read later and they will remain.

You may see a RSS link on any website and if it interests you click that link, copy the URL after it loads and add that to Feedly.  As that page updates you will get the new info.  Some people like to read Google News.  If you are one of them you can add their news posts to Feedly also.  For example, go to the news section in Google for “Technology,” scroll to the bottom of the page and click the RSS link.  Now copy that URL in your browser’s address bar and add it as a new feed to Feedly.  You will now start getting immediate updates to that news feed.

There are many other options for Feedly so test them out when you can.  None of them will permanently destroy anything so click at will without fear.

February 18, 2013

2013-02-18 WSVA Show Notes

Another day of fun in technology with Jim Britt and myself.  Today we hit a bunch of great topics, programs and apps.  Help in traffic, speed traps, the Federal Reserve site getting hacked and more…even the end of life as we know it.  To find out all of the exciting news (well, OK, fun too) check out the podcast from today.

Tech News
Hackers access Federal Reserve website
The Federal Reserve has acknowledged that an outside party gained access to its website and a limited amount of data, raising questions about the central bank’s cyber-security measures.

"The Federal Reserve System is aware that information was obtained by exploiting a temporary vulnerability in a website vendor product," a Federal Reserve spokesman said in a statement.

"The exposure was fixed shortly after discovery and is no longer an issue," the spokesman said. "This incident did not affect critical operations of the Federal Reserve System."

Microsoft’s SkyDrive now stores 1B documents
Computerworld – Microsoft’s SkyDrive cloud storage service now has one billion Office documents stored in it, the company announced today.

While a billion may seem like a lot, the most popular consumer cloud storage service, Dropbox, has more than 100,000,000 users. According to the company’s information site, users save one billion files to Dropbox every 24 hours.

Windows 8 ekes out 2.2 percent market share
Windows 8 may not be setting the PC landscape on fire, but at least it’s heating up some gains in market share.

The latest flavor of Windows scored a market share of 2.26 percent in January, as recorded by Web tracker Net Applications. That showed a slow but steady rise from 1.72 percent in December and 1.09 percent in November.

  1. Windows 7 – 44.4%
  2. Windows XP – 39.5%
  3. Vista – 5.24%
  4. Windows 8 – 2.26%
  5. Mac OS X 10.6 – 2%
  6. Mac OS X 10.7 – 1.96%

Police Drone
Do you live in a drone zone?
What’s that buzzing through the sky? It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… a drone aircraft? If you live in one of 81 cities across the US, you might be seeing drone aircraft flying overhead much more before long. The FAA has just released an updated version of the drone application list, as requested under a Freedom of Information Act action from the EFF. Is your hometown on it?

Ron’s Android App Recommendation
(This app can be found on Google Play from your Android phone,
tablet or viewed on your PC from the link below.)
Waze logo Waze

Waze is a fun, community-based traffic & navigation app, 30 million strong. Join forces with other drivers nearby to outsmart traffic, save time & gas money, and improve everyone’s daily commute.

With community-generated real-time traffic, you’ll always get the best route to your destination. By simply driving around with Waze open, you’re already contributing tons real-time traffic & road info to your local driving community. You can also actively report accidents, hazards, police and other events you see on the road, and get road alerts coming up on your route too. Find the cheapest gas station along your route with community-shared gas prices.

Ron’s Firefox Suggestions
(You can find this Firefox addon and all the others at
or by click the orange Firefox tab, then "add-ons"
or finally if you use the menu toolbar choose Tools/Add-ons.)

For all of you ePub book readers out there you can now put your book on your PC and use EPUBReader to read it in Firefox. It will link your books marks between Firefox on different PC (if you sync them). However, it will not lync them to your eBook reader.

With EPUBReader you can read ePub files just in Firefox. No additional software needed!

Have a great day surfing the net, downloading new addons for Firefox and trying out Wave on your Smart Phones. See you next time and do not forget to visit and for more info and good information.



August 20, 2012

2012-08-20 WSVA Show Notes

Hey folks welcome back to the August edition of the Talk show/Podcast from WSVA (550 AM).

And as always here are the links and products we talked about today.  Have a great month and see you next time on Monday, September 17, 2012.

Tech News
Restaurant offers a 5% discount to eat without your phone (CNNMoney)
Cell phones often claim a spot on the table in restaurants, sitting right next to utensils, plates and glasses. One restaurant is trying to change that.

Eva Restaurant in Los Angeles offers diners a 5% discount for leaving their phones with the receptionist for the entirety of the meal. The new policy went into effect a bit more than a month ago, according to chef Mark Gold, who runs the restaurant with his wife, Alejandra.

He came up with the idea after a conversation about how annoying he found it that people were constantly communicating on their devices.

EBay bans sale of spells and hexes (CNN)
Sorry, love spell vendors: eBay is cracking down on the sale of magical wares.

Beginning in September, the site is banning the sale of "advice, spells, curses, hexing, conjuring, magic, prayers, blessing services, magic potions, [and] healing sessions," according to a policy update.

The company is also eliminating its category listings for psychic readings and tarot card sessions. The update is a part of a "multi-year effort…to build trust in the marketplace and support sellers," eBay wrote in its company blog.

Jackets made from water-resistant down keep you warm, rain or shine
California-based mountaineering company Brooks Range is introducing what it calls DownTec, a down that’s treated with a nano polymer that makes it impenetrable by water. The down is also anti-microbial and anti-bacterial. Brooks Range will introduce the DownTec technology in the Mojave jacket, an 800-fill down jacket that will launch next fall. The retail price is set at US$299.

"…two American apparel-makers are introducing similar technologies, an indication that water-repellant or hydrophobic down may indeed be the wave of the future."

Paper road maps no longer in fold
Here’s another icon to add to the endangered species list: the American paper road map.

With the advent of GPS, Google maps and Garmin navigators, the foldable and affordable paper road map is starting to go the way of the eight-track player, Betamax tapes and phone booth.

"Last year from January through June, we had an estimated 117,000 members come to our branches to request printed AAA maps, TourBooks and AAA TripTiks," said Nancy Cain, spokeswoman for AAA of Michigan.

"For the same period this year we dropped to about 110,000 requests for the same information. But at the same time, we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of members going online to our website for this information and for our AAA mobile apps."

Paper road maps made their first American appearance around 1913 but really began to take off in the 1920s when they were offered free by oil companies through their gas stations.

Ron’s Android App Recommendation
(this app can be found on Google Play from your Android phone,
tablet or viewed on your PC from the link below.)
GrooVe IP

Voice without Minutes!

GrooVe IP Lite is an android app that connects to Google Voice using Voice over IP (VoIP). What this means for you is you can make free unlimited calls to any phone in the US or Canada without using your voice minutes. GrooVe IP Lite works on any android device, phone or tablet, and allows you to make calls using a WiFi data connection. If you have a smartphone with Wi-Fi connectivity but no mobile plan, you can use this app to convert it to a free, full-featured working phone.

I personally use this on my Android Tablet so that I can make calls from my tablet. No cost but calls as clear as you can get anywhere else. Drawback is that they cannot call you back.

GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.

It has many capabilities. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc.

I hope to see you back next month and also every Tuesday for the latest article!


March 20, 2012


Well I have been given a "fan-boy" title.  Since I have been writing about Google’s many products and features for a few weeks I was emailed recently and asked why I was such a Google Fanboy. 

I have used that term before (re: Apple) so figured this time I would look it up and online at Merriam-Webster’s dictionary.  MW said that a fanboy is a boy who is an enthusiastic devotee (as of comics or movies).  OK, I agree I am an enthusiastic devotee of Google and I sometimes wish I were a boy, so "sticks and stones…"  One very interesting thing I found was that the term was first used in 1919.  I wonder what they were fanboys of in those days… possibly the Treaty of Versailles or Lady Astor? 

OK, on to my next "fanboy" item.  Google has created a neat place to keep track of all the latest news, sports, weather, emails and on-and-on.  If you are a Gmail account owner you get this free and can customize it the way you like.  This "place" is called iGoogle (

Go to the site and if you aren’t already logged into your Gmail, log into the site with your Gmail username/email address and password. 

Once logged into your account you get a default setting of iGoogle.  This default changes from time-to-time.  Today I saw four "gadgets"; the Weather for Chicago, current date and time, YouTube Spotlight Videos and CNN’s top stories.  These can all be edited, removed or rearranged on the page.  For instance you could change it from Chicago weather to your local zip code to get current weather happenings.

The Hamster GadgetGadgets are mini windows made by Google users which offer active content and can be placed on your iGoogle page.  They may be placed on any page you own.  Beware!  This is for the more adventurous only!  Check out for samples.

Ron's iGoogle My iGoogle page contains eight gadgets I like.  First is Google Latitude which shows all of my friends’ locations in Google maps if they choose to reveal them to me.  Next is a gadget showing my Gmail, followed by my calendar, RSS news feeds, local weather, movies currently running at my local theaters (with times, etc.), FOX News and last a How to of the Day. 

You can choose from thousands of different gadgets and take that literally…there are currently over 280,000 of them.  To install one you click the gadget link on your page, find one in the new window, open and click Install.  That’s all there is to it.

Now let’s get real, many of them are time wasters like adding a hamster on a wheel to your page or a spider that follows your cursor around. I just have to ask, why?   However, some of them are very beneficial for personal or business uses.

Set up your own iGoogle page and let me know which gadgets you like.

October 24, 2011

2011-10-24 WSVA Show Notes

Here you go, the news, links and sites we mentioned today on the show.  And don’t forget you can listen to the podcast of the show here.

Have a great month and I hope you hear from me then!


Tech News

Ford vehicles will read you text messages while you drive
Ford is installing a feature in its new vehicles — and many of its older ones — that can read text messages out loud.

The feature, which is intended to reduce texting while driving, is part of Ford’s voice-activated technology, Sync, and is already installed on all model 2012 Ford vehicles with the exception of the Ranger.

Using a Bluetooth connection, it syncs with phones and alerts users when they receive text messages, reads them out loud and allows users to respond with a selection of standard pre-written messages without taking their hands off the wheel.

Google Unveils Driverless Car Tech
Self-driving car technology was unveiled by Google, the pioneering search engine turned car maker.

The website’s co-founder Sergey Brin announced Wednesday that 10 percent of the company is working on innovative projects outside the web domain — the first of which is the building of "autonomous" cars.

The driverless vehicles, which travel through normal roads under the instruction of computers, are designed to help people with mobility issues and to combat congestion.

For info on how it actually works check it out at IEEE Spectrum.

Virginia Law regarding driving and cell phones usage.

Let Me Google That For You
People ask you a question about something that you know would be easy to Google; just send them a link from this site.

Type in the search and it creates a link you can email them and then they just click it and get the search.

Try these –> and 

Who Calls Me?
This is a user supplied database of phone numbers of telemarketers, non-profit organizations, charities, political surveyors, SCAM artists, and other companies that don’t leave messages, disconnect once you answer, and simply interrupt your day.

If you received a strange call, unwanted SMS message, or just came across a number you don’t recognize and want more information about, most likely you are not the only one. Search for this phone number to see the reports of others. If there are no reports yet, leave your comment to start a conversation.

If the number you searched for isn’t in their database, you can add it to the list and see if someone else knows about it. Other users will post to your listing over time.

Also, they have a look up on the site where you can pay to find more information on many numbers.

A site that lists many of the Facebook scams running around from time-to-time. Also, a blog about them with some "Funny Pages" thrown in for fun.

It actually appears as though it could be a quite beneficial site over time.

Have a great month and I will be talking to you next month on November 21, 2011 from 10am to 11am.

May 16, 2011

2011-05-16 WSVA Show Notes

Listen to the podcast online if you weren’t able to listen live this morning.

Tech News
Online Scammers Jump on bin Laden News
Security experts are warning Internet users to beware of Osama bin Laden malware. Symantec says one spam contains a link to bogus photos and videos purporting to be from CNN Mexico. Instead, it directs people to a scam site designed to look real but created to steal passwords. Facebook users also fell victim to fake bin Laden links.

In what’s become common practice among the Internet’s less savory citizens, these scammers are sending out emails and spreading Facebook posts that purport to be videos or photos of the dead bin Laden. They are not. But by clicking the links, users can download computer viruses that steal personal information or otherwise infect their computers.

Yell at your phone to charge it!
New research from engineers in South Korea promises a new way to top up your phone’s battery: by shouting at it. This comes via a technique that turns energy from sound into electricity, and would allow a phone to be charged while you hold a conversation-just don’t throw you charger away any time soon.

Theoretically, using this technology your phone would also be able to charge while hold a conversation, but the sound levels in this situation are not high enough, unless… you shout at it.

CAN IT BE TRUE???? Skype Vulnerability Allows Hackers To Take Over Macs
A recently discovered hack in the Mac version of Skype allows hackers to gain control of the user’s system by sending a malicious instant message.

According to Australian security consultancy company Pure Hacking, the vulnerability in Skype is dangerous and would allow anyone with the know-how to gain control of a Mac by simply sending a malicious instant message.

  • Skype
    With Skype, you can share a story, celebrate a birthday, learn a language, hold a meeting, work with colleagues – just about anything you need to do together every day. You can use Skype on whatever works best for you – on your phone or computer or a TV with Skype on it. It is free to start using Skype – to speak, see and instant message other people on Skype for example. You can even try out group video, with the latest version of Skype.

    If you pay a little, you can do more things, in more ways, with more people – like call phones, access WiFi or send texts.

    Microsoft purchases Skype

  • Planking
    This is the first recorded "Planking" death; unfortunately there could be many more to follow. What is planking? It is the "art" of laying face-down in extreme locations, having your picture taken and posted online for temporary fame.

    As the debate about planking went viral around the world yesterday, Brisbane psychologist Paul Martin warned of more deaths of "extreme plankers". He claimed part of the reason was that the pre-frontal cortex in men aged 23 or younger – the decision management part of the brain – was not fully developed and they therefore lacked a "handbrake" and took silly risks.

    "Add testosterone, add masculinity, add the Jackass effect and then add the explosion of social networking sites which are a way to gain acceptance . . . (and) death is quite inevitable."

  • Gas Buddy & Virginia Gas Prices
    Check country wide or state wide gas prices. Just enter your Zip Code at and it will take you to the area gas prices (for us,

    They also have a trip cost estimator. Enter the FROM and TO, YEAR, MAKE and MODEL of your car and they will estimate how much it will cost you in gas to go and return.

    And of course, they have apps for iPhones, Androids and Windows phones. If you have another smart phone go to

Join Ron and Jim next time on WSVA 550 AM, Monday, June 20, 2011 for more interesting sites, tech news and conversation.

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