Tag Archives: iPad

This Week’s Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Put a PIN in Your Phone

20140529-201524-72924452.jpgI was doing a little light reading last night, about the latest scourge of iCloud attacks, wherein a hacker gets access to your iCloud account, and using the Find my iPhone service, puts your device in “lost mode” and sets up a PIN to lock you out of your own device until you pay the ransom.

It’s brilliant in it’s simplicity, gaining access to a cloud service that is used to protect your data, and using it’s own tools against you.

As I continued reading about the theories about how the hacker was gaining access to the iCloud accounts, and ways to protect yourself from this kind of attack, this bit jumped out at me. I almost spilled my drink.

iPhones and iPads that have a PIN don’t present the attacker with the ability to set their own. That screen earlier on where I remotely locked the device is only presented when it doesn’t already have a PIN so that immediately thwarts this attack. Even if the device is just for the kids, if you connect it to iCloud, put a PIN on it (don’t worry about it making life hard for them, kids have an uncanny ability to access a device protected by nothing more than four numbers).

What the hell people? Ask anyone about losing their phone and they’ll likely tell you about how awful that would be, how it has “their whole life on there”, but they still walk around without even the simplest of security turned on? Really, is the 2 seconds it takes to enter a PIN too much effort? C’mon we have to be better than that. If you don’t have a PIN on your iPhone or iPad please go check out how to enable one. The next time you leave your device somewhere, or set it down in a crowded room/bar/restaurant/etc. you’ll be glad for that meager bit of protection from prying finger tips.

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This Week’s Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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OneNote and Evernote Oh My!

I’ll be honest, I’ve always had a good feeling for Microsoft’s OneNote application. The only reason I have used Evernote instead of it was because the copies of OneNote that I’ve had over the years have all been part of MS Office, which I “owned” by way of the company I worked for at the time. Not wanting to be left high and dry should I move to a company that didn’t provide OneNote, I’ve always opted to use the free version of Evernote to keep notes and have them synched up whether I was using my PC, my MacBook, my iPad or just a web browser from any computer.

Now that Microsoft has basically given OneNote the same treatment, I’m tempted to switch. Except, I also really like Evernote. And Evernote already has all of my stuff. Perhaps I can start playing around with both and figure out some way to keep some things in OneNote and some things in Evernote.

That’s the take Computerworld had on it, which I found pretty interesting:

If you’re primarily looking for a tool that lets you easily capture, organize and find content from the Web, you’ll clearly want Evernote, because its tools for doing that are exemplary. If you instead want to create notes from scratch and have them in well-organized notebooks, clearly OneNote is the way to go.

Then again, you may be like me. I’ve been using both of them for years. OneNote is my go-to tool for organizing and taking notes for projects such as books and articles. I use Evernote for research. Given that they’re now both free, it gives me the best of both worlds.

Personally, I’m hard pressed to find a clear delineation. I’m already using Penultimate on the iPad for handwritten notes in Evernote, does ONeNote give me anything I don’t get there? Should OneNote be my go-to for longer form organization? Which one do you use? Why? Would you consider using both at some point?

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Naughty Gmail App Upgrade

Both my iPhone and iPad prompted me to update my Gmail app recently. Seems Gmail was releasing a new version to fix some bugs and so on. nothing really out of the ordinary there. However, it was right after the app updated, and I launched it that I realized that there was a problem.

You see, I use the Gmail app for two different email accounts. My personal Gmail account, and my companies GoogleApps domain account. When I launched the app, i was prompted to sign into a Google Account. The new version of the app had none of my accounts setup any longer. I had to sign in to one of the accounts, and then go back and add the other account again.

Granted, this is the very definition of a first world problem, taking a few minutes to add a Gmail account, but really Google, can’t you update the app and keep my settings? How difficult could that be when every other app does it?

Speaking of Gmail, there was a much ballyhooed addition of an unsubscribe button to the Gmail web interface. I’m looking forward to using that, especially since there seems to a pandemic of people signing up for all sorts of services using the mikemcbride version of my gmail address instead of their own address. The only problem is, I haven’t seen it yet. Have you?

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Zite Gets Gobbled Up By Flipboard

I’ve been using Zite on my iPad for awhile now. I found it to be a really good way to “discover” news stories and other articles that I wanted to share through my Diigo account, and on Twitter. Given that, I’m a little apprehensive about it being acquired and rolled into Flipboard. Flipboard is a nice tool, but I’ve found it a little bit limiting for that purpose. It’s great for flipping through what others have been sharing on Twitter or GPlus, but much like Kevin O’ Keefe, who shared the news about the acquisition, I’ve found Flipboard to be a bit lacking when it comes to flipping through a specific subject and finding relevant stories.

My theory is that Flipboard’s requirements for publishers make it difficult for bloggers and other sites to get their content into Flipboard’s subject sections. I can’t just feed them my WordPress RSS feed, I have to jump through hoops, add images toe very post and so on. I have a job and a wife, I don’t have time for all of that. This leaves those subject areas to be limited to a few big name publishers, which compared to the rich variety of the web, and blogs specifically, is pretty stale.

I’m hopeful that Zite doesn’t head down that same path, but rather that the Zite technology will help Flipboard make improvements on the subject sections. But I will miss my Zite app when they shut it down.

How do you “discover” new blogs, news, opinions or articles about your areas of interest?

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Update Your iPod iPad and iPhone

For those of you who don’t pay attention to the tech blogs over the weekend, or ever, and use one of these Apple products, go check for a software update today. That’s right, today, as soon as possible. Or at least before you go connecting to public wifi or anything like that, ok?

Make sure you’ve got the latest iOS version..


If you want the details on is latest security flaw, you can get it here.

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Flipboard Stole My iPad’s Disk Space

After seeing a few folks talk about updating their iPad version 2 to iOS 7, when I finally got the prompt to do the same for my own iPad last night I made the impulse decision to go ahead and do it.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t. Turns out that I needed 2.9GB of free space to accomplish his, and I only had 1.1GB. Granted, it’s only a 16GB model, but that’s because I really don’t need more than that. I don’t store much on it. Sure I have a few things in iBooks, mostly for work reference, a couple of items in the Kindle app and a small selection of songs in the Music app, but really how did this happen?

Sure enough, when it had the system show me the usage status, it wasn’t any of those things eating away at my free space. It was Flipboard, which was somehow using 2.6GB all by itself. Apparently, if you allow Flipboard to run unabated, it will just continue to cache all that information that you’re looking at each time. One trip to the settings and I found an option to clear the cache.


After that was cleared, suddenly I had space to perform the update. (I will have more on that in a later post after I’ve had some time to use it). And I have a mental note to clear that out every once in awhile.

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This Week’s Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Trying to Develop New Habits

So, one of the cool things about traveling in 2013 is that a smartphone or an iPad make it really easy to stay in touch without having to pull out my overly large work laptop. (Seriously, it’s impossible for me to work on my laptop on an airplane, there simply isn’t enough space, and it’s more work than it’s worth much of the time in airports or even hotel rooms.)

That’s great, except for one thing. I really hate trying to type on any of these gadgets. Oh it’s easy enough for a quick text message, or short email, but longer emails to friends, coworkers, or blog posts are just difficult for me. So those things tend to get put off until I’m sitting in my office with my desk and a full keyboard to work with. One of the things I’ve since realized though, is that habit of putting those things off, has led to me not blogging nearly as much, and not keeping in touch the way I want to. I see something on my iPad that sparks an idea for a blog post, I put it off, telling myself I’ll write about it when I am next on my laptop, and then I forget what I was going to write about. Sound familiar?

In an effort to try and get out of this rut, I went out and picked up an Apple bluetooth keyboard to use with my iPad. At least this way, when I’m just using the iPad because it’s easier, if I want to write something more significant, I can pull out a small, lightweight keyboard instead of struggling with the native keyboard to iOS. I’ve already seen myself using it here and there when sitting around the house, and I used it in a hotel right after purchasing it. The big test may come this upcoming week, to see if I can pull it out at an airport, or even on an airplane, and actually get something done more than flipping through Flipboard and Facebook. We’ll see if that become my new normal.

Anyone else out there struggling with the ease of carrying around a tablet, with the difficulty of typing anything on them as much as I do? Any suggestions on how to deal with it?

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