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Five Simple And Really Useful Google Search Tips

Posted on: September 10th, 2012 by under Apple, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software | 1 Comment
Simple and Useful Google Search Tips

Simple and Useful Google Search Tips

Wait, I know… There is no shortage of articles about Google search tips on the web. Frankly, most give you too much information – you’re just never going to remember it all.

So I decided to go through them all and come with five tips that are so simple and useful, you’re bound to remember them.


1) Phrases: Perhaps the most powerful tool that I’m amazed more people don’t know about is the use of double quotes around phrases. Let’s say you are searching for cars that double as boats.


cars that double as boats  –  Without the quotes, you’ll get a wide variety of search results – most not what you’re looking for.


“cars that double as boats”  – With the quotes, you get the results you want.


2) Definitions:  If you need to quickly look up the definition of a word or phrase, simply use the “define:” command.

define: plethora

define: passive aggressive behavior


3) Calculator: No need to search for your calculator or open up the calculator program on your computer. Just use the google search box like a calculator:

Type in 24/3+2=

and you get  back: 24/3+2=10


4) Flight Status Finder: Enter the airline and flight number into the Google search box and get back the arrival and departure times right inside Google’s search results.

delta flight 1223 status


5) Conversions: Quickly convert just about anything:

24 teaspoons in cups

100 dollars in euros

1255000 megabytes in bytes


Have some of your own Google search tips? Let’s hear them!

How to secure your Facebook and Twitter Accounts

Posted on: June 16th, 2011 by under Computer Security, Software | No Comments

You’ll be disappointed to know it’s surprisingly easy for malicious computer users to get access to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. It’s especially easy if you ever use unsecured wireless networks.

With the help of a program called Firesheep, (details here) anyone on the same wireless network can take over your accounts and cause mayhem. They can send profane messages as you, send links to virus-infected web pages to your friends and business associates, or just make you look like a fool.

While Firesheep requires the hackers be using acomputer, there is now a program for Android phones called FaceNiff (details here)  that will allow a hacker to do the same things right from his mobile device.

Fortunately, there is something very simple you can do to prevent this from ever happening: Turn on secure browsing.


How to turn on secure browsing in Facebook:

(Warning: This feature may slow your Facebook browsing experience. So you may not want to use it if you are in a secured network or use a VPN. )
Go to Account.
Go to Account Settings.
To the right of  “Account Security” click on “Change”.
Under “Secure Browsing (https)”, click the box that says “Browse Facebook on a secure connection (https) whenever possible”.

Note that if you use Facebook apps (a bad idea, in my opinion), they do not support secure browsing. So, when you use an app, you’ll see this message:

“WARNING: If you click continue, you are no longer in secured browsing. Whoops.”

When you are done using the app, you’ll have to repeat this process.


How to turn on secure browsing in Twitter:

While logged in to Twitter via a web browser, go to settings.
Next to “HTTPS Only ” click the box that says “Always use HTTPS. ”
Click “Save”.

Are you backing up your Outlook email?

Posted on: April 3rd, 2010 by under Software | No Comments

Outlook backup tool

Unless you are using a Microsoft Exchange Server e-mail account or an HTTP account, such as Hotmail or Gmail, all of your Outlook data (messages, contacts, appointments) is stored in a Personal Folders file (.pst).

By default, this file is stored in a not-so-easy-to-find folder on your computer’s C: drive.  Even if you are conscientious about backing up your My Documents folder or your Quicken/Quickbooks data, your email data is not included.

Most Outlook users I come across with a pop3 email account have absolutely no backup of their email and don’t even realize it.  Can you picture suffering a hard drive crash and losing the last 5 years or more of email messages and all your contacts?

No, you don’t want to picture that.  Fortunately, there is a simple solution that won’t cost you a dime. Microsoft has a free downloadable utility called the PST backup tool.

You can download the tool HERE.

Instructions on using the tool can be found HERE.

PLEASE, take a few minutes to do this. Remember to save the backup to a server, external hard drive, USB thumb drive, or anything other than your local C: drive.

I hope you never experience a disk crash (I have), but if you do, I’m sure you’ll be thanking me.

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