How to turn off Facebook’s “So-and-So is live now” Alerts

Perhaps it’s the fact that I’m old, but I believe that I have enough of a life that I don’t care about somebody on Facebook having live video waiting for me.

In my case, I have an Apple Watch, and the pesky buzzing from my wrist tell me “Joe Shlemiel is live now” has become annoying.  I have LOTS of folks on Facebook who know me, and I see the trend increasing.

So, I did some Googling, and found this:

How to Turn Off Facebook’s Pesky Live Video Notifications

Crap. Yet another, NEW way for Macs to be harmed. Free and Easy Fix.

This is new – I just found about it today:

ddos-email-client

Imagine having endless new emails being generated, wildly out of control, with a message saying :”Call this number to end the problem”.  That’s basically the newest hassle.

It’s REALLY important that Mac users upgrade to the newest version of the operating system that their Mac can handle. Apple’s on the job, issuing fixes, but we have to do our part, too.

Here’s how:

Chances are good that your Mac can handle the newest operating system. Click here to see if your Mac complains when you try to install it. SOME Macs are too old:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/macos-sierra/id1127487414?mt=12

If it refuses to instal due to your Mac’s age, then you should be updating to the newest operating system that you can – Call 1-800-MY-APPLE and ask them how to get the newest security updates.

Why do I suggest calling Apple?  Because they removed the older stuff that would benefit aging Macs, so THEY should deal with the folks they have abandoned!

FINALLY – an entirely new, EASY way to get those old photos scanned!

I am very excited. This is a free, totally-useful and fast way to get all of those old photos digitized.  I HAVE a scanner, but I don’t use it.   I have access to other people’s really big, powerful scanners. And yet, decades after having the means, I STILL have three big boxes of miscellaneous old photos that have never been scanned, lurking under my stairs.

Now, there is PhotoScan, a free app from Google that just WORKS with iPhones and Android phones:

I just scanned fifteen old images perfectly, clearly and QUICKLY. No thinking at all – I can listen to an audiobook as I crank through a big pile of images.

I prop up an image in a daylit area so that there is no glare. I make sure that the phone’s flash is turned OFF, to avoid glare. I frame the image on my phone’s screen, and click the button. Four dots appear on the image corners. I move the phone to overlap each corner, and after the fourth dot is touched. it’s done. Next!

This is enormously better than using the slow scanner. In my brief time trying it out, I have achieved what I consider to be perfect results, without any effort at all.img_9098Was it really 42 years ago, when I looked like that?

In my opinion, the final results show up exactly as they appeared in the original photo, with no extra work to be done. Now, I want to schedule some scanning time every morning.

Emergency Alert from your Apple Watch

Disclaimer: I do NOT sell Apple Watches, or any other hardware, or software.  I own no Apple stock.  I just post tips like this periodically, because I love my clients, and they love ME!

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If you have an older Mom or Dad who also owns an iPhone, waiting for Black Friday (November 25, 2016) and buying him or her a discounted Apple Watch might be the nicest thing that you could do for them.

Here is why:

On my Apple Watch, if I hold down the side button for three seconds, it starts a ten-second countdown that would allow me to cancel.  If I choose to let it continue, it contacts emergency services (wherever I am, anywhere on earth) with my exact location, identity, plus the fact that I am diabetic, and violently allergic to penicillin.  It also sends a copy of that same information to up to three of my loved ones.  This service costs nothing, once you have an iPhone and an Apple Watch.

If this sounds like Life Alert (“I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!”), then I agree.  The difference is, the Apple Watch is much more useful than some inert button-thing that you may or may not remember to strap on, after a while.  It watches over your heart-rate, it encourages you to exercise, and it keeps flawlessly accurate time.  I use mine for the timer and reminder functions.  It’s VERY water-resistant, so showering or swimming with it is no big deal.

Even better, it’s GREAT if you are going deaf.  My husband Dennis is gradually losing his hearing, like his older brother and father did (me, too, frankly).  It drove me crazy to call him, and always go to message.  He couldn’t hear the ringer. Now, 100% of the times that I call him and he is available, he gets a tap on the wrist to catch his attention, and he answers.  He can also phone-chat with me through the watch (shades of Dick Tracy!).  I can leave my iPhone in the front of the house, and be back in the garden 100 feet away, and still carry on a conversation through my watch.

I DO suggest increasing the font-size on the Apple Watch, because the text is pretty damn small to start with.

The $269 (before Black Friday discount) Apple Watch also pays for itself pretty fast, compared to Life Alert.  The monthly cost of the basic Life Alert-style system is $29.95.  Besides this monthly cost, users also need to pay for a price of $95 to $115 for Life Alert installation to get started.

Here is how to set up an Apple Watch and iPhone with medical-alert info.

 

Apple’s Version of Life Alert

If you already have an Apple iPhone, and you are getting older (as are we all), this new feature built into the Apple Watch is a mighty helpful addition.
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If you have an Apple Watch running the newest operating system, you can hold down the side button until it offers you a choice to declare an emergency.  If you do, then it will contact 911 and the loved ones that you have added beforehand, telling them your exact location.
So, instead of paying for a monthly service, an Apple Watch can stand in for one of those single-use devices you keep on your wrist, or hanging around your neck.  AND, it’s a mighty useful health-monitor and workout log.  It’s immersible to a depth of three feet for half an hour (150 feet on the newest model), so showering with it is no big deal.
Last time I checked, Best Buy was still selling the first generation of Apple Watch (the one that I use, and love) for as low as $189.  The Target Express at 3030 Grape St, San Diego, CA 92102 (the corner of Fern and Grape) is usually a good source for the excess inventory of the older Apple Watch model.
Dennis and I are going to be traveling in Europe, and this feature even works in any country, automatically!
I even went into the Health app on my iPhone and entered my emergency information, that will be sent to 911:
– I am diabetic, and penicillin will send me into toxic shock
– I am willing to be an organ donor, and
– My husband’s contact-info.
I’m in pretty good shape, but both of my parents died at this same age.  You can’t be too careful!

UPDATE your Apple devices, RIGHT NOW!

This is true for Macintoshes…as well as iPhones and iPads:
In short, an Israeli security-hacking company has created a three-part way to hack into Apple devices, but has been selling it to despotic governments who want to spy upon dissidents and journalists, and to take over every part of their devices.  Once it is in the larger environment, bad people can use it to go after YOU.
So, the answer is to UPDATE your Apple-brand computing equipment, and right away.  All of it:
– On the Mac, pull down the Apple menu, go to Software Update, and perform every update.  If you are not running El Capitan yet, it’s time.
– On your iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, go to Settings -> General -> Software Update.
The updates are free, and will improve your life.

From Paula:
I have OS X (.7.5), which I know is old in computer years, and Software Update tells me it’s up to date, i.e. no updates.
Thanks!

From Tony:
The only difference between 10.7 and 10.11 is that there are more bug fixes, and better security. If your Mac is happy with 10.7, it will be quite happy with El Capitan.
In YOUR case, go to the Finder.
Pull down the “Go” menu at the top of the screen.
Choose “Applications”.
Open “App Store”.
Download and install the free El Capitan update.


Don’t Be Fooled!

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 9.08.51 AMI’m seeing a lot of my clients needing to have adware removed from their Macs these days. They are being fooled by big, eye-catching graphics on a web-page, saying “You need to upgrade your Flash Player”. DON’T BE FOOLED. The real agenda for those “alerts” is to trick you into clicking on the button, and getting the process started.

Sure, your Flash Player will be updated, but you will ALSO get some nasty, additional features that you never wanted:

– Constant, annoying ads
– that horrid MacKeeper starts yelling at you to pay for it, and
– your web-browser brings you to Yahoo’s search page, instead of Google.

I’ve gotten pretty savvy at rooting-out such things, and yes, it is a (tiny) source of income, but I would honestly prefer that people avoid it in the following way:

First, upgrade your Mac to El Capitan 10.11.5. That’s the version that roots out adware, every time that you restart.

If you MUST upgrade your Flash Player, there is only ONE safe place to do it: Pull down the Apple Menu, go to System Preferences. Click on Flash Player in the bottom row, then on “Upgrade” in the top row. Click on “Allow Adobe to install updates”, and click on “Check Now”. If it says “Update Available”, click “Yes”.

This should bring you to your web-browser (preferably Safari), and a big, yellow button saying “Update Now”.  Click it!

HOWEVER, this next part is what baffles people, so let me clarify. The Adobe Updater has been downloaded, and it is in your Downloads folder. Many folks get lost at this point, and will repeatedly download the same file a dozen times, hoping for a different result.

In Safari, look on the upper right side of the window, and look for a square with a downward-pointing arrow. Click that. You will see your AdobeFlashPlayer file at the top of the list. Click the magnifying-glass next to it, and TA-DAA! – There’s your file – double-click it and complete the install.


As long as you are being wary, DON’T trust any downloadable program unless it is directly downloaded from the Web site that it originates from.  Don’t download something randomly off of the internet, and then install it unless you really know what you are getting.  Beware of MacUpdate and other “free software” sites.  They are major offenders.

Instead, pull down your Apple menu, open up the App Store, and search THAT for what you want.  You will be protected from the random bad guys on the Internet..

BACK UP YOUR MAC!!!!

If I had any hair on my head, it would be on fire right now.  I want to warn everybody about a subtle change that has happened recently, and now I am starting to see a big problem:

When people upgrade to a later version of the operating system, Apple now asks a simple question: Do you want to turn Filevault on?  It’s one of multiple questions during the upgrade process, and the default is “Yes”, so most folks don’t give it a second thought.  They are in a hurry to get back to their normal routine. They just click “Continue”.

What folks don’t realize is, they are being asked if they want to encrypt everything on the entire hard drive.  What’s wrong with that?  Well, if you forget your password, YOU CAN’T GET YOUR DATA BACK.  Nobody can.  Not even Apple, or the FBI or the NSA.  Imagine losing your college thesis, your family’s genealogy, your baby pictures, or your wedding pictures.  Forever. Imagine what it would cost you to start over from zero.

In the midst of the whole computer security controversy, Apple is tightening security even more. This is all very virtuous, but it scares the crap out of me when I find somebody who has no backup for their computer. So, let’s fix that, and NOW:

  • Walk into your local Costco (my favorite source) and buy the biggest hard drive they sell.  At the moment, it’s a Seagate 5-Terabyte drive, usually around $129.  If you don’t have a Costco membership, get a really big drive at Best Buy.  There is no such thing as a “Macintosh” drive (they all work). There is also no such thing as a bad hard drive brand or model.  They are all excellent in 2016 – The technology has been perfected. Finally, there is no point whatsoever to getting a smaller, cheaper drive.  They cost almost as much as the bigger drives. You’re worth it, so don’t cheap out on yourself.
  • Plug the drive into your Mac.  Your Mac’s operating system contains a free, built-in and automatic backup system called Time Machine.  It should immediately ask you if you want to use the hard drive as a backup drive.  Agree with that offer.  It should then warn you that the drive will be erased.  That is fine with you, so go ahead and agree.
  • Leave the drive connected overnight, and don’t shut down the Mac.  It will stay awake until the first full backup is complete.
  • If you have a desktop (non-laptop) Mac, then NEVER DISCONNECT the drive, ever, for any reason.  Don’t shove it in a closet. If you leave it connected forever, then it will silently and perfectly keep your backup fresh.  That way, if the computer dies some day, you hook up the backup drive to a new Mac, and agree to restore, and it will operate exactly as before, only faster.  You will never lose data, ever again, if you have a backup drive.apple-wireless
  • If you have a laptop, then get in the habit of plugging the backup drive to your laptop every time that you plug it into power.  The BEST way to back up a laptop is to use Apple’s own Time Capsule wireless router.  That way, you are getting backed-up automatically and wirelessly.  The second-best choice is to hook a hard drive to the USB port on an Apple Airport Extreme wireless router (any model, even old ones) – That’s a less-expensive way to accomplish wireless backups.  The least-convenient choice is to hook your laptop to an external drive, but it is far superior to having no backup at all!

Really Good News About Nasty Pop-Up Ads and Scareware

This is a great bit of new information for Mac users who might suddenly see a pop-up message (or a LOT of them) while browsing the Web.  The Mac operating system is really, really secure, but… horrid people (most of them living in India, it appears) have found ways to insert nasty bits of unwanted programs that have been difficult to get rid of. Maybe you downloaded a “free” bit of software, or fonts, and extra programs sneaked in as well.

Malware

This “adware” or “shareware” wants to frighten or annoy you into spending money to MAKE-IT-GO-AWAY.  Thankfully, you don’t have to spend a penny.  Just update your Mac’s operating system to the newest version.  Every time you restart your Mac after that, the operating system scrubs out any possible newly-installed bits of unwanted crapware, leaving your Mac sparkling clean!


In case you are not clear on the concept, here is how you get the NEWEST operating system:

Pull down your Apple menu, and choose “Software Update”, if it shows up.  If you only see “App Store”, then choose that, and then click on “Updates” at the top.  You should be able to find “El Capitan” pretty easily.  Go get it, for free, and install it.

If it runs slowly after that, follow the instructions in my article that tells you how to speed up your Mac for free.


If you are unsure about a message that you see via email or the Web, and you want an expert, highly-biased opinion, take a picture of the message with your phone, and text it to me at 619-804-4627, and say “what do you think?”.  I see this kind of stuff every day, and I don’t charge for the advice.  Why?  Because I need to keep my finger on the pulse of what is happening from day to day, and I never object to dispensing advice!