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Life has changed there is no doubt and we wanted to reach out to see how you are doing.

As we go through this interesting time, we are trying to look at this as an opportunity to focus on our family and on friends like you. Let us use this extra time to catch up and talk more. Let us cook food that is not fast, but interesting and satisfying. Let us learn to enjoy a time to try new things. Let us find ways to enjoy time at home!

How To Stop Malware

Monday, August 31, 2020

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 High Tech House Calls eNewsletter


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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

How to Pick the Best Microsoft Surface Laptop or Tablet by Wired

Friday, June 19, 2020

Why Am I Connected to Wi-Fi But Not the Internet? by BENJ EDWARDS

It’s happened to all of us at some point. Your Wi-Fi signal is strong, but there’s no internet connectivity. That’s because Wi-Fi and the internet are two different things, and understanding the difference can help you troubleshoot future network problems.

How Is Wi-Fi Different from the Internet?

Wi-Fi is a registered trade name for a group of technologies that allow a device, such as a computer, smartphone, or game console, to wirelessly connect to a local area network (LAN) using a radio link. Wi-Fi replaces the need for a physical cable between a networked device and a router—a device that manages connections between all of the devices on the LAN.

The internet is a general name for hundreds of millions of smaller networks, such as LANs, linked together. Within these smaller networks are billions of devices connected via the TCP/IP protocols. These computers can be linked together using physical wires, optical cabling, radio links, or other technologies not yet devised.

So, when your device has a Wi-Fi connection, you are connected to a LAN. But the LAN you’re connected to may not necessarily be connected to the internet. That’s where the problem lies. Let’s take a closer look.

Understanding the Connection Problem

Here’s a very simplified network diagram. In it, your device is linked to a router via Wi-Fi, forming a local network, and your local network is successfully connected to the internet.

A network diagram showing a connection between a local network and The Internet

Sometimes, the link between your local network (managed by a router, hub, or modem) and the internet goes down. There could be a temporary problem with your ISP’s equipment, physical damage to cables that link you to the ISP’s network, or some other issue. In that case, you are still connected to the local network, but your local network is not connected to the internet.

A network diagram showing a broken link between a local network and The Internet

In this second case, your device may show a strong Wi-Fi connection or signal, but you have no internet connectivity.

What to Do When Your Internet Connection Is Down

When you have internet connection problems, first try restarting your device. If that doesn’t work, what you do next depends on where you are.

If you’re at home, you can try troubleshooting the router itself (by restarting that, for example), and if you are technically skilled enough, there are other steps you can take using your PC to troubleshoot your internet connection. If all else fails, call your ISP and report the problem.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

How to Use Your iPhone as a Magnifying Glass by BENJ EDWARDS

It’s a common problem: Some things are just too hard to see. Usually, they’re too far away, too dark, or too small. With a feature called Magnifier, your iPhone can function as a magnifying glass and sight aid. Here’s how to use it.

What Is Magnifier?

Magnifier is an accessibility feature built into iOS 10 and up that allows you to use your iPhone’s camera as a makeshift magnifying glass or telescope. Some people with sight issues use the Camera app for a similar function, but Magnifier includes extra features designed specifically to help with sight impairments. For example, you might need help reading small text on a menu or a distant sign with confusing colors or low-contrast lettering. In those cases, Magnifier is an ideal tool.

How to Enable Magnifier on Your iPhone

To use Magnifier, you must first enable it in Settings. Launch Settings by tapping on its icon, which looks like a gear. (It’s usually on the first page of your Home screen or in the Dock.)

Open Settings on iPhone

In Settings, swipe down the list until you find Accessibility and tap on it.

Tap Accessibility in iPhone Settings

In the Accessibility menu, tap “Magnifier.” In the Magnifier settings, tap on the Magnifier toggle switch to turn it on.

Tap Magnifier switch in iPhone Settings

After that, exit Settings by returning to the Home screen.

How to Quickly Launch Magnifier on Your iPhone

Once Magnifier has been enabled in Settings, there are two ways to launch it: a special button combination and a Control Center shortcut.

For the button combination, how you launch it depends on the type of iPhone you have.

  • iPhones with a Home button: Push the Home button three times.
  • iPhones without a Home button: Push the side button three times.

Once you tap the proper button three times, Magnifier will appear on the screen.

How to Launch Magnifier Using Control Center

You can also launch Magnifier from Control Center if you enable its shortcut in Settings. To do so, navigate to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls. In the “More Controls” list, locate “Magnifier” and tap on it. It will then be added to your “Include” list at the top of the page.

Add Magnifier Shortcut to Control Center on iPhone

Once enabled, launch “Control Center” on iPhones with a Home button by swiping upward from the bottom of the screen. On iPhones without a Home button, swipe downward from the top right corner of the screen. Tap on the magnifying glass icon to launch Magnifier.

Tap the magnifying glass icon to launch Magnifier in iPhone Control Center

How to Use Magnifier

Once you launch Magnifier, you will see a screen that looks very similar to Apple’s Camera app. Magnifier uses your iPhone’s built-in camera hardware to display whatever you’re pointing at on the screen. It can be used in vertical or horizontal orientation.

Apple iPhone Magnifier Example

Just below the live image area, you will find a small control area. The slider at the top functions as a zoom feature, changing the size of the image. From left to right below that, you see the following controls:

  • Light button (lightning icon): This turns on your iPhone’s LED for illumination in a dark setting.
  • Lock focus button (padlock icon): This locks the focus on an object you have tapped on even if you move the image around.
  • Freeze frame button (circle): This freezes the live image so you can get a steady look at it, adjust its zoom size, and more.
  • Filters button (three interlocking circles): This opens a menu that lets you adjust brightness and contrast, inverse the colors on the image, or apply color filters that can potentially aid people with color blindness or other sight impairments.

Apple iPhone Magnifier Controls

While viewing a live image, you can zoom in and out using either the pinch-to-zoom gesture or the slider bar.

Using zoom slider in Magnifier on iPhone

And if you freeze the image using the circle button, you can zoom in and out and move the frozen image around with your fingers to get a better look at something, even if you didn’t center it perfectly the first time.

You can also save or share the image you have frozen by holding your finger down on the image until a tiny bubble pops up with “Save Image” and “Share” options. Tap on the option you’d like to use.

Tap and hold in Magnifier on iPhone to save the image

If you have trouble making out some details in the live scene or an image you’ve frozen, tap on the three circles in the lower-right corner of the screen, and you’ll find an impressive array of color filter options.

The two sliders control the brightness and contrast of the image, while the color filters change the color tone of the image. They include white/blue, yellow/blue, grayscale, yellow/black, and red/black options.

Apple iPhone Magnifier color filter options

You can also invert the colors of the image (making it a negative image) with any of the color-filter options by tapping on the button in the lower-left corner that looks like two squares with curved arrows between them.

Apple Magnifier inverted colors options

If you want to exit the color filters options, tap on the three circles in the lower-right corner of the screen, and you will return to the original control options.

When you’re completely done with Magnifier, you can exit the utility on an iPhone with a Home button by pushing the Home button once. On iPhones without a Home button, slide your finger upward from the bottom of the screen until the Home screen appears.

Best of all, you can return to Magnifier quickly any time you need (as long as it’s enabled), by either using the button combination or invoking Control Center. Magnifier even works in the lock screen. It’s just one more iPhone accessibility feature that can make life easier for everyone.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

10 ways to use Google Maps Street View you never thought of before BY BRITTANY VINCENT, KOMANDO.COM

Google Maps and its Street View feature can present some truly interesting sights. Whether you’re exploring an area you want to visit or you’re preparing for a trip, both are invaluable tools.

You never know what you’ll see there, for one thing — and sometimes the sights can be downright shocking. Tap or click here to see how people found shocking pictures on Google Maps.

We’ve compiled 10 very cool things you can do within the confines of Google Maps Street View that you may never have considered. From time traveling to using the app at eye level to explore.

1. Enabling Street View via Pegman

Did you know you can move the tiny yellow figure (also called a Pegman) onto the map to enable Street View? It’s true. You can access Street View by either searching for an address in Google Maps or Google Search or by dragging the little yellow man to a destination on the map on your computer.

You can do the same on mobile by searching for a place or dropping a pin, then tapping on a place marker. Quick and easy! This takes the guesswork out of looking for a link that prompts you to enter Street View, which can be frustrating to find as it’s not always available.

2. Go time traveling

Did you know you can travel back in time with Google Maps? Using Street View, you can see what a landmark looked like over the years as part of a digital timeline.

To access this feature, look for the clock icon in the upper left-hand portion of any Street View image. Click on it and move the slider that pops up left and right to travel through “time” to see images of a structure in the past and in present. There are various thumbnails you can look through to see how your chosen area looked.

This is done in the same way on your iOS or Android phone. Just look for the clock and use your finger on the slider. Where you’re going, you don’t need roads!

3. Use Street View at eye level

You can pretend to be anywhere you want to be by using Google Street View at eye level with your phone.

This is a phone-only feature, but it’s still very cool to try out. Search on your phone using Google Maps for a location you want to explore. Then tap the image of the location that you see in the lower-left corner of your screen to visit that area.

You’ll be amazed when you bring up the photo and then tap the compass icon in the upper-right corner. If you hold your phone out in front of you and move it around, it’ll be like you have a 360-degree view of the location!

4. Use Live View to explore the real world

If you prefer to feel like you’re right in the middle of the location you’ve pulled up on Google Maps, you’d enjoy Live View. The new augmented reality feature is available for mobile devices that utilize ARKit, so you’ll have to use your phone for this one.

Live View lets you use augmented reality to figure out where you’re going while you walk down the street. It will overlay a compass and signs as you make your way to your next destination and even offer translations.

To use Live View, select your destination in Google Maps and then tap the Directions button. Make sure you’ve selected the Walking directions option, and head outside in a well-lit area. Tap the Live View button next to the Start button and get going. You’ll see icons and other information pop up as you move around in the real world.

5. Create your own Street View stories

You don’t have to rely solely on Google Maps’ Street View images for your own immersive experience. You can actually shoot your very own 360 stories. To do this, however, you need to purchase a 360-degree camera capable of creating these scenes.

Purchase a compatible camera to get started, keep in mind this can be a pricey venture. Cameras and equipment start around $200 and can go up to $5,000 for a high-quality professional piece of equipment for creating some truly awesome 360 tours.

6. Look around indoors with Indoor Street View

You don’t have to be outside to use Google Maps Street Maps. You can look around inside buildings as well, but this heavily relies on content creators and businesses having opted into creating maps of their facilities on the inside.

Indoor Google Maps let you zoom in to navigate, tap to switch floors and offer improved location accuracy to know where you’re looking. You can look around the area you’re in, such as a mall, stadium, or airport the same way you would with regular Street View, though this won’t be available with every location.

7. Take a special Street View trek

Not sure where you want to explore with the freedom of Google Maps Street View? Google has already created a variety of trips for you to take online to see some of the coolest areas around the world with Google Treks.

Head over to the official Google Treks website and select the trip you want to take. Click on the area and you’ll be taken to a landing page. Click on the “Discover” button to launch a specially-curated trip you can take from your favorite device.

8. Check out Street View photos

While exploring locations from around the world, you don’t have to stop at choosing what’s available officially from Google. You can rifle through a selection of photos from around the world instead.

Head to the Street View gallery to do this, and you can also look at more 360-degree photos by selecting them in the collection of user-submitted photos. Now you have even more to look at!

9. Explore Google Maps with a keyboard

Did you know you don’t have to rely solely on your mouse or finger to navigate through Google Maps? You can use your keyboard if you’re on a device with one to look around the map.

Use your arrow keys to move around the map, zoom in or out with the plus and minus keys, and press a number associated with the location you want to see to learn more. This won’t work with a mobile device unless you have it connected to a Bluetooth keyboard, but it’s useful on a PC.

10. Turn your Pegman into an alien

You don’t have to use a small little yellow man in Street View. There’s a fun Easter egg that lets you turn your Pegman into a UFO.

Just head to the Area 51 Alien Center in Google Maps and drag your Pegman to the location. It’ll turn into a flying saucer, which is absolutely adorable — and a fun nod to Area 51’s secretive activities.

You can also download a separate Google Street View app in addition to what already comes pre-loaded in the default Google Maps app. This way, you don’t have to switch between modes if you use Street View more often than not. It’s available for both iOS and Android.