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Empowering Women Through Technology

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July 2017

How to: use iOS Mail’s auto unsubscribe feature

 

By Charlie Sorrel of Cult of Mac

If you find yourself on a mailing list that you either never signed up for, or just got sick of, then iOS Mail has you covered. The app has a built-in feature that detects emails from mailing lists, and offers to unsubscribe from them right there, without you having to visit the sender’s site and hunt for the unsubscribe option yourself, like some kind of spam-lackey.

Using Mail’s auto-unsubscribe feature

When Mail detects an email from a mailing list, it adds a banner at the top of the email offering to unsubscribe for you:

“This message is from a mailing list,” it says, with a blue Unsubscribe button underneath. Tap that, ands Mail goes to work:

 

It achieves this amazing feat by sending a reply to the sender. If everything works as planned, and the sender of the newsletter is a good internet citizen, you will be removed from their list.

As you can see from the various screenshots around this post, the trick works on both the iPhone and the iPad. It doesn’t currently work on the Mac, at least not on mine.

Manual and automatic alternatives to unsubscribe

Even if Mail fails to spot a mailing-list mail, you can often take care of it yourself. Just scroll to the very bottom of the email in question, and look for the word “unsubscribe,” usually written in teeny-tiny letters, and in pale gray on white (or an equally invisible color combo). Tap it, and you will usually be taken to a page which tells you that your attempt to unsubscribe was a success.

 

Sometimes, you’ll need to check a box to actually unsubscribe, which is going to far in my opinion. Either way, be aware that if a genuine spam mail got through, then tapping an unsubscribe link might verify you as a live human to the spammer.

The other option is to use a third-party service to manage your mail for you.

SaneBox

If an email newsletter keeps coming back, or if you’re getting spammy mails from PR folks who refuse to let you unsubscribe, then you could try SaneBox or something similar. Sanebox automatically files your mails into sensible categories, and filters out the real crap. It also has a great feature called Sane Black Hole. It shows up as a regular mailbox in your email client, but when you add an email to that folder, SaneBox takes note and nukes any future email from that address. It’s a kind of email blacklist, and it’s 100% effective in my experience.

I get almost no spam these days, so unwanted newsletters are the biggest annoyance in my inbox. Or rather, in my Sane Later mailbox. Having a way to quickly unsubscribe is golden. Hopefully it’ll come to the Mac in a future version of macOS.

How do you manage your unwanted email? Tell us your best practices in the comments below!

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T&T: Tips for keeping strangers off your Wi-Fi network

 

 

Give digital trespassers the boot.

By David Nield of Popular Science

You don’t want neighbors or passers-by stealing your Wi-Fi any more than you want them stealing your water, electricity, or carefully curated collection of Blu-ray movies. In fact it’s more serious than that—if someone can hook on to the same network as you, it becomes easier for them to snoop on your browsing and your locally stored files.

So how do you go about locking things down? Thankfully, keeping unwelcome visitors away from your Wi-Fi isn’t difficult and doesn’t need an IT qualification. Here’s what you need to do.

Keep changing your password

By far the easiest way to boot freeloaders off your wireless network is to change the Wi-Fi password. You need to do this through your router’s settings—either dig out the manual or run a quick web search to find the instructions for your particular make and model.

Change the password to something very hard to forget (for you) and impossible to guess (for everyone else) and you’ve got a clean slate as far as access to your wireless network goes. You do have the inconvenience of then reconnecting all of your devices and computers, but it’s a small price to pay for a clean Wi-Fi slate. Pick something that’s important to you, like a date or a name, but that no one else would think of, so it’s both simple for you to enter and secured against unwanted visitors.

 

The router’s initial password is often printed on a sticker that’s attached to the device itself, so changing it will prevent guests like party goers from spying on the security code. If the password’s only in your head or somewhere secure then no one else can connect up until you tell them what it is.

Actually, that’s not quite true—some routers feature one-touch WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) connectivity, so connecting to Wi-Fi can be done with a push of a button on the router itself. If you’re worried about someone doing this to get on the web, you can usually disable it through the router settings.

Check your router settings

While we’ve got your router configuration page open, a few other settings are worth looking at. First, change the default password used to access the router settings page to something else—this stops anyone who might gain access to your network from changing the Wi-Fi password themselves. As you’ll have realized when you accessed your router settings for the first time, you need a password to get into the menus, and a separate one to connect to Wi-Fi, so changing them both gives you maximum protection.

It’s also worth applying any pending firmware updates, which ensures your router is running the latest and most secure version of its own basic operating system. Again, with so many router makes and models on the market we can’t give you instructions for each one, but it should be simple to do—find the instruction booklet or a guide on the web for your device and it will only take a couple of minutes.

 

Elsewhere in your router’s settings you should find a screen listing the devices connected up to your Wi-Fi: Is there anything there you don’t recognize? You often have the option to disconnect a device, depending on the type of router you’ve got, though you might need to do a bit of detective work to identify the devices your router lists.

Finally, you should be able to find a setting that ‘hides’ your network (the technical term is the SSID or service set identifier) from view, so it won’t appear when your neighbors or visitors scan for Wi-Fi on their devices. If you need to connect a new device, you need to enter the SSID manually. It’s not a huge improvement in Wi-Fi security, but it’s a neat trick that can help you stay under the radar of hackers and Wi-Fi freeloaders.

Other security tips

If you want some extra help spotting who’s on your network who maybe shouldn’t be, beyond what your router offers, try Fing for Android or iOS, Acrylic Wi-Fi for Windows, or Who Is On My Wi-Fi for macOS. All those apps are free (for non-commercial use), and are easy to navigate around no matter what your level of networking know-how. Various other apps are available to do the same job too.

 

Installing a VPN on your computer doesn’t do anything extra in terms of stopping people from connecting to your Wi-Fi, but it does add an extra layer of encryption between you and the web—so that anyone who does manage to gain access to your network is going to have a much harder time trying to snoop on your activities (which websites you visit, the data you’re sending and so on). While a VPN might slightly slow down your connection speed, it keeps you a lot safer—just be sure to choose a reputable, paid-for service.

Finally, if your computer is close enough to the router to wire it up directly, and you’ve got strong cellular reception on your phone, you could turn off Wi-Fi on your router every once in a while, which can be done through the router settings on all modern boxes. No one’s going to be able to hook up to your Wi-Fi network if it’s switched off.

Do you have any tips for securing your home wifi network? Share them with us in the comments below!

Weekly Round Up – 7/28

 

 


Kenya – 1. America – 0

How Kenyans are using Tech to stop election fraud and violence.


Because Fake News, that’s why.

Why we need the liberal arts in Technology’s age of distraction


Does this new tech impact my discount as a Yelp Reviewer?

The Risk of Restaurant Tech

 

If Vegas offers odds on this, I’d make an effin’ fortune.
The tech skills gap will test Foxconn’s new Wisconsin factory

 


What?! No more Jitterbug?!

Best Buy bets on tech for monitoring elderly parents

 

Healthcare is the new digital frontier and Amazon already has a leg up on it’s competitors.
Amazon has a secret health care team called 1492 focused on medical records, virtual doc visits

 

We used to joke that The Orchard had us all fitted with implants called the iSliver.
Tech company workers agree to have microchips implanted in their hands

Tales From The Orchard: Apple Isn’t Building 3 Factories in the U.S., No Matter What Trump Says

 

 

ByJake Swearingen of New Yorker Magazine

Despite Donald Trump’s claims to The Wall Street Journal, Apple won’t be building three factories in the United States anytime soon. Why? Well, for starters, Apple doesn’t build factories anymore. In the entire world, Apple now owns exactly one manufacturing plant: its plant where it assembles iMacs in County Cork, Ireland.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Trump claimed that Tim Cook had promised that Apple would be building three manufacturing plants here in the U.S.

“I spoke to [Mr. Cook], he’s promised me three big plants — big, big, big,” said Trump. “I said, you know, Tim, unless you start building your plants in this country, I won’t consider my administration an economic success. He called me, and he said they are going forward.”

While it’s touching to think that Tim Cook would worry whether Trump considers his presidency an economic success, Apple, again, doesn’t build manufacturing plants. (In fact, before he was CEO of Apple, Cook was in charge of winding down Apple’s factories and warehouses in the U.S., closing Apple’s last American factory, based out of Elk Grove, California, in 2004.)

Apple manufactures its high-end Mac Pros, a tiny slice of its overall business, here in the U.S., but the work is done through a partnership with Taiwanese firm Flextronics — and that factory has struggled to keep up even with the tiny demand for Mac Pro towers, causing Apple to consider shifting production over to Asia. Apple has pledged to invest $1 billion in American manufacturing, but that money will filter to American companies like Corning, which produces the glass used in many Apple displays. It also uses many U.S.-based suppliers — including 3M, Caterpillar, and Lapmaster — to build various parts of its hardware, in the same way it uses many other suppliers not based in the U.S., most famously Foxconn.

So why would Trump brag about three new plants from Apple in the U.S.? It’s possible Trump is simply fabricating the story out of whole cloth. More generously, it’s possible that Cook talked to Trump about Apple’s reported efforts to get its Asian suppliers to manufacture some iPhones in the U.S. Indeed, Foxconn seems poised to open factories in the States, and Foxconn produces nearly a half million iPhones a day when in full swing. Apple’s rumored expanded lineup of iPhones could see that number go even higher in coming years.

The most likely scenario probably falls somewhere in between that. Realistically, it wouldn’t cost Apple a tremendous amount to bring a few jobs back to the U.S., mainly because foreign labor costs are starting to rise. The MIT Technology Review analyzed Apple’s supply chain in 2015 and determined that the retail price of an iPhone made entirely in the U.S. would be about $100 higher than it is now — a price jump, but not a catastrophic one.

We may see more jobs and new plants in the U.S. as Apple’s suppliers, from Foxconn to Samsung, continue to expand their manufacturing footstep here. But it won’t be Apple that will be building them, regardless of what Donald Trump claims Tim Cook told him.

What do you think Apple should tell the Trump administration about it’s manufacturing plans? Tell us in the comments below!

WIT: The ‘Code Like a Girl’ Congressional Bill Wants to Close Tech Education’s Gender Gap

 

It’s sponsored by a former computer programmer

 

 

By John Bonazzo of observer.com

Women are vastly underrepresented in tech industries, earning only 28 percent of computer science degrees. This disparity can be traced back to K-12 education, where boys are nearly twice as likely as girls to take a computer science course. how many co-sponsors, what committee

Thankfully Congress is starting to realize the scope of the problem—a new bill designed to make the tech playing field more equal already has bipartisan support.

This week Nevada Congresswoman Jacky Rosen (a Democrat) introduced H.R. 3316, the “Code Like a Girl Act.” The bill commits the National Science Foundation to creating two new grants, which would fund computer science programs aimed at girls under the age of 10.

Rosen knows the importance of STEM education from experience—she was a computer programmer before entering the world of politics. She worked for some of Nevada’s largest companies like Summa, Citibank and Southwest Gas after graduating from the University of Minnesota.

“When I started my career as a computer programmer, I was one of very few women in a male-dominated industry,” Rosen said in a statement. “This disparity is depriving our country of talented minds that could be working on our most challenging problems. Given the ever increasing importance of computer science in today’s economy, it’s critical we find ways to break down barriers and level the playing field for women everywhere.”

The bill will be debated in two House Committees: Science, Space and Technology and Education and the Workforce.

“Code Like a Girl” is co-led by Congresswoman Elise Stefanik of New York (a Republican) and supported by Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas (a Democrat and ranking member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology). The bill’s other eight sponsors are all Democrats.

The Association for Computing Machinery’s Council on Women (ACM-W) also cheered the bill.

“This research holds potential to address the long-standing issue of the underrepresentation of women in computing and complements the efforts of the many organizations that focus on high school and post-secondary women,” ACM-W chair Jodi Tims said in a statement.

Non-government agencies are also doing their part to close tech’s gender gap. The Girl Scouts of America recently announced they would begin awarding cybersecurity badges next year.

What do you think about Congress trying to close the Gender Gap in Tech? Tell us in the comments below

App of the Week: Nebo; the handwriting app is like paper, only better.

 

 

 

BY CHARLIE SORREL of Cult of Mac

Nebo is an alternative to Apple’s upcoming iOS 11 Notes app. Like the Apple app, Nebo lets you use the Apple Pencil to draw and write in notes. It also recognizes the words you write and lets you search on those terms. Unlike the native Notes app, however, Nebo also converts your longhand scrawls into actual, editable text, which can be copied and pasted anywhere.

In fact, I used Nebo to write this entire article. My handwriting isn’t as fast as my typing any more (my hand still hurts), but the app is fantastic.

Nebo is like a smart piece of paper

 

Nebo is absurdly easy to use. That comes, I think, because it works so well. At no point during writing this piece did I get frustrated, or find the app doing something I didn’t want it to do. Quite the opposite, in fact: Nebo works just like paper, only better.

As you write, Nebo converts your words to text, and shows them at the top of the paragraph. This gives you confidence that it’s doing a good job. The handwriting recognition is uncanny. After a while I stopped trying to be clear, and just wrote in messy “joined-up.” Nebo got almost everything. Even better, you can make corrections like you would with pen and paper by writing over the word you want to replace. Nebo recognizes this and corrects the word for you. It’s not perfect, although the level of imperfection depends on how bad your handwriting is.

To erase a word, just scribble over it. To add and remove spaces, or split and join paragraphs, just draw a vertical line up or down. Then, when you’re done, simply convert to text or export text via the standard share sheet.

More than words

 

In Nebo, you can also sketch, add images and diagrams, and even do math. This last feature is pretty neat — you write an equation, then Nebo converts it into fancy math symbols. Better still, it’ll work out the answers for you, which paper will never do.

You can also search your notes (the search terms will be highlighted) and write bulleted lists just by starting each new line with a dash.

Sketches and diagrams are done in boxes, but they remain in-line with the body text. This is already an improvement on iOS 10’s Notes app, which shifts you to a separate mode for drawings.

Apple Pencil required

 

To use Nebo, you need an Apple Pencil. (The app actually requires you to prove you own one on first launch.) But if you have one, and you like handwriting, you’ll love Nebo. It’s not quite the same as the iOS 11 Notes app — in some ways it’s actually more powerful than Apple’s app, which is currently available in beta only.
If you’re hankering for a handwriting recognition app now, Nebo might be perfect for you.

Nebo will cost you just $3.

Download Nebo foriPad.

Nebo is also available for Android and Windows 10.

Do you have a favorite handwriting App for your tablet? Tell us in the comments below!

How to: Scan Documents Using the Notes App in iOS 11

 

 

By Michael Potuck of 9to5 Mac

Apple has been improving its Notes app each year, and this time around one of the main updates is the ability to scan documents within the app in iOS 11. Follow along after the break for a look at how this useful feature works.

Apple has done a nice job implementing document scanning seamlessly into Notes, and from my testing so far, it works well and is quick and easy to use. I love having my scans synchronized across all of my Apple devices and it’s super fast to share scans with or without marking them up.

How to scan documents in the Notes app

1 Open a new or existing note
2 Tap the + icon and tap Scan Documents
3 Place your document in the camera’s view
4 Use the shutter button or one of the volume buttons to capture the scan
5 If needed, adjust the corners of the scan by dragging, then tap Keep Scan
6 Tap Save when finished scanning or continue on to add more pages

This feature works really nicely for any size document, but is especially handy for large documents that can be goofy to scan with a traditional scanner. It seems to be easiest to adjust the frame of the scan by tapping a bit away from the magnifying glass in each corner and then dragging.

You also get the option to use the camera flash and filters when scanning.

You can also edit your documents after you’ve scanned them. Tap on your scanned docs to bring up the editing toolbar to add more pages, change the filter, rotate, and crop.

Tapping the share button from within the scanned docs will allow you to markup, markup as PDF, print, copy, and share. Check out our how to guide for more help getting the most out of your Apple devices.

What’s your current favorite Scanning App? Tell us about it in the comments below!

The Orchard: Why Apple doesn’t want you repairing your broken iPhone or iPad

 

It’s not all about money and greed. No Really, it isn’t.

 

By Adrian Kingsley-Hughes of ZDNet

Despite several states introducing Right to Repair legislation to help make it easier and cheaper for people to repair their broken electronic devices, companies such as Apple and Microsoft are hard at work lobbying to prevent such laws from being passed.

So why are companies such as Apple and Microsoft so against you having the right to repair your broken devices?

The popular belief seems to be that the reason why companies are opposed to people being able to fix their own devices is money and greed. If your device is broken then, haha, you have to go out and buy another, so cha-ching. You get the chance to empty your wallet and the company makes another sale, and the consumer capitalism machine continues to march forward.

But it’s not all about money and greed. No really, stop laughing, it isn’t.

The popular belief seems to be that the reason why companies are opposed to people being able to fix their own devices is money and greed. If your device is broken then, haha, you have to go out and buy another, so cha-ching. You get the chance to empty your wallet and the company makes another sale, and the consumer capitalism machine continues to march forward.
But it’s not all about money and greed. No really, stop laughing, it isn’t.

But rather than looking at money in, think of money going out. Dealing with authorized repair centers that employ trained technicians is much easier and a lot less hassle than handholding Jo Public armed with a chewed up Philips screwdriver through an iPhone repair.

The sort of repair documents that companies supply to a competent technician are going to need to be very different to what they’d have to supply someone who’s never taken a device apart before. An expert might be happy with a phrase such as “refitting is the reverse of removal,” but a beginner is going to want a screw-by-screw rundown of how to put something back together.

Then there’s the whole liability side of things, and who is liable when things go wrong. Modern electronics are difficult to take apart, and most of that difficulty isn’t deliberate, but a side-effect of people wanting things that are small and light. While you can stick your whole head inside a big desktop PC, laptops require you to have nimble fingers, while smartphones and tablets force you to use tweezers and tiny probes for jobs. Then there’s having people navigate around glass and lithium ion battery packs, and having to use sharp tools, all of which offer bounteous scope for injury and dismemberment.

Even when a company total and 100 percent disavows any liability for someone getting a shard of glass in their eye, jamming a screwdriver into their femoral artery, getting a heart-jarring zap of current, or burning their eyebrows off in a lithium ion explosion, that sort of thing can generate a lot of bad press.

Same goes for people using crummy third-party parts for repairs, or causing damage to sensitive components. If a device that’s been tampered with blows up downstream, it can again stir up a lot of bad press.

I’m a big supporter of people fixing their own stuff, but that’s also tempered by the fact that I’ve seen plenty of disasters where someone’s tried fixing something, made a huge mess of it, and then hands that disaster off to someone else — me — to repair. People — usually through having the wrong tools — can create a lot of mayhem, and turn simple jobs such as a battery or screen replacement into an expensive job.

Sometimes it’s not only just easier but it’s cheaper to hand these routine jobs over to someone who does them every day (especially if special tools are required). They have the tools and the know-how to do it efficiently.

There’s an old saying in the automotive trade — here’s my hourly rate, and it’s double that if you’ve already tried fixing the problem yourself.

My take on why companies are spending money on lobbying against Right to Repair legislation is that they want to send a clear and definitive message to both the public and lawmakers they don’t support people messing around inside their devices. Period.

As I said I’m a firm supporter of people having the right to repair, but I’m also pro people being clear on what they’re getting into and being aware that sometimes a professional repair might be better. YouTube videos and how-to guides can make things seem easy, but when you’re dealing with old devices, crusty fasteners, and any damage, things can head for the tarpits in short order.

I also fully support Right to Repair legislation, but it would be good to see the narrative on why companies oppose it change from “greedy companies what more of your money” into something that’s closer to the truth.

What’s your take on The Right to Repair? Tell us in the comments below!

WIT: Working On An IMac From A Train Is A Middle Finger To Portability

 

 

 

By Carissa Lintao of The Next Web

The days of complaining about commuting are over ー for this woman anyways. Our unnamed, heroine took a seemingly unproductive commute into her own hands by setting up a 21- inch iMac (and keyboard) on a folding tray.
Women in tech, meet your new leader.

No one knows her story, but we do know that she is a committed, independent woman. The commute queen planned this endeavor as soon as she booked her first class ticket to London. She carried all the equipment onto the train herself ー no man in sight. She hooked up a personal office space WeWork should be jealous of ー no engineer in sight. And she’s probably on call with management having none of their petty problems ー no care in sight.

She is everything we commuters should aspire to be and more. All while staying hydrated and looking Pinterest perfect.

The man who captured the mystery woman in action is David Hill, a humble tech advisor from Texas. “I had to look twice, I was shocked to see such a large computer on the small table,” Hill said in an interview with the Telegraph. “I am still puzzled why someone would carry a desktop computer around, when a laptop would give her the same options, with more portability.”

 

Oh, Commute queen, thank you for being an example of commitment and hard work to us all.

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