USERBYTES.COM http://www.userbytes.com Tue, 21 Apr 2015 15:22:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.7 OxyLED MD20 LED Flashlight Review http://www.userbytes.com/oxyled-md20-led-flashlight-review/ Tue, 21 Apr 2015 09:00:10 +0000 http://www.userbytes.com/?p=489 I just recently got a new flashlight that I just have to tell you all about. The OxyLED MD20 LED Flashlight.

This flash light is small and super bright. Perfect to attach to your belt loop, inside pocket, backpack for camping to whatever.

It is super bright and putting out 250 Lumens. It has an LED lifespan of over 50,000 hours. Has a switchable power switch to alternate between full power, half power and strobe. On full power you can expect 1 hour of life on a AA battery or rechargeable AA that it comes with, and at half power you can get 3 hours.

It is made of Air Craft grade aluminum and is water proof, so it is great for camping or tactical use.

At only 3.7 inches by 1 inch, its a great pocket light with extreme brightness.

I love this light and have several of them. Check it out.

 

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Q&A Anti-Virus Protection http://www.userbytes.com/anti-virus-protection/ Fri, 21 Jun 2013 16:36:20 +0000 http://www.userbytes.com/?p=477 Top-10-Free-Antivirus-of-2013

I often get asked “What is the best Anti-Virus Protection to use?”  and it often leads to a long conversation about which software package is better and why.  A lot of the time everyone is looking for a band-aid when really they should avoid getting hurt. Here is what I mean.

1. First thing I recommend all of you who are plagued with pop ups and malware along with viruses on your Microsoft Windows computers is to sell that piece of crap or donate it and get an Apple Computer as I did. Trust me I work on these windows computers daily and had them at home for the longest time and even with best practices would often contract some crap over time. That all changed when my wife and I got Mac computers. The OS is built different and requires you to enter a password when system files are requested for changes. Windows usually allows you to run as an administrator right out of the gate and that’s no good. Hardly anyone knows how to setup a USER account and not run as administrator all the time. Running as ROOT/Administrator all the time allows malicious items to install themselves silently. You can read more about why it is more secure here https://www.apple.com/osx/what-is/security.html

If you cannot afford an Apple Computer here are some suggestions

2. STOP USING INTERNET EXPLORER. That browser has more holes in it than Swiss cheese and it always will. It is the most targeted web browser out there. This will allow many items to get downloaded and run on your computer maliciously.
Start using Mozilla Firefox with the Ad-Block Plus add-on. Most of the malware contracted comes from ads placed on webpages.

3. Pay attention to what sites you are visiting. You are begging to get a virus on some sites. Norton released a list of the top 100 websites where you could contract a virus on your computer. http://safeweb.norton.com/dirtysites

4. Get you some software to help. For anti-virus I recommend free from Grisoft, Anti Virus Guard or AVG for short. Then I suggest MALWAREBYTES from malwarebytes.org it is a free program that gets most of the other stuff that is not classified as a virus.

5. Stop with the games. Games are usually bundled with spyware and malware that will slow your computer down. Also do not visit gaming websites. If you want to play games get a game console.

Ok to recap for the Windows users:
Stop using internet explorer, use Firefox
Pay attention to the sites you are visiting
Quit with the games
Install AVG and Malwarebytes and scan your computer occasionally
-OR- skip all of the above and buy an Apple Macintosh Computer.

 

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Control Your Computer With Outlook http://www.userbytes.com/control-your-computer-with-outlook/ Mon, 24 Dec 2012 03:21:14 +0000 http://www.userbytes.com/?p=462 Wow its been a long time since I last posted and I am sorry for that. I have several hobbies and one of them happens to be decorative concrete so I have had my hands a little dirty doing that. Some of my work can be seen on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pearidgeconcrete and at the website www.pearidgeconcrete.com

Ok I got something that is not quite new but may be new and useful to some of you out there reading my technology blog.

Do any of you use the mail program that is a part of the Microsoft Office Suite known as Outlook? I use it all the time and it has a lot of uses other than just reading mail.

Today I will show you how to use it to control actions on your computer. First let me tell you two instances where its actually needed.

The first instance, I use a laptop for work and I needed to run by after work hours and retrieve it from my desk. I knew that I would have to go into the office and power it down and wait on it and then bag it up. I am the type that doesnt like to wait for much, the type that is always in a hurry, so I was thinking….it sure would be nice if I could have it powered off and all I had to do was bag it up when I got there. Sure I could use LOG ME IN or TEAMVIEWER or something to remote into it and shut it down, but at the time I was driving. I know its bad to text and drive, but how about remote controlling into a computer why driving all from your cellphone? No thanks, thats an accident just waiting to happen.

It would be much simpler if I could text my computer and tell it to shutdown. I could manage to type that without running off the road.
How can I make this happen? Before I tell you, how about I tell you about a second instance where such an idea is needed.

A co-worker of mine was out of town over the holidays, he was using teamviewer to remote into his laptop at work. Teamviewer had locked him out somehow and there was nothing he knew to do. He called me asking if I could remote into work and force reboot his machine with some tools we have available on our work network. I says sure I can and I do so and then I mentioned this little hack I am about to teach you guys and he says I should have told him sooner as he could have used it that day so here it is, my latest post in a long time.

Lets get to it!

Basically its simple. I email a code to myself and the computer sees it and does what I have scripted it to do upon receiving such code.

Outlook is the key ingredient here and I leave it running all the time on my computer.

Here is what to do.

Make your self a script folder on your computer.
It could be C:\Scripts

In that folder make a couple batch files like reboot.bat and shutdown.bat
Reboot.bat

cd \
shutdown /r /t 05

Shutdown.bat

cd \
shutdown /s /t 05

Ok now moving on to Outlook.
Lets create some rules.

Rules > Manage Rules and Alerts
Create New Rule
Under Start From a Blank Rule Choose the first one, Apply rule on messages I receive.

Click Next
Place a check mark on With Specific Words in the Subject

image001

Click on the phrase Specific Words in the lower window pane, and choose a secret word or code for the subject.
Then click ADD and OK

image002

Now scroll all the way to the bottom and choose On this computer only

image003

Click Next
Place a check mark on Start and Application.

image004

Click the phrase Application on the lower window pane and choose your script you created earlier.

image005

Now scroll back up and place a check mark in Delete it.

image006

This has to be done in this way to place items in the rule in the correct order.
After its read by outlook and processed it will be deleted.
This way you will not accidentally re read the email at the computer and reboot yourself.

Click Next
Click Next and name this rule.

image007

Click Finish

That’s it.
Now I can email myself and have my computer reboot or shutdown or start winamp or itunes and place a tune, you are only limited by your imagination.

Now armed with this knowledge what else will you command outlook to wait on your word to do?

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Apple Maps Alternative http://www.userbytes.com/apple-maps-alternative/ Thu, 04 Oct 2012 20:35:26 +0000 http://www.userbytes.com/?p=447 As many of you know, I play with as much tech as I can get my hands on. I try to thoroughly test devices and applications best I can.
Also I have been a long time fan of Apple devices since getting my first iPhone 3G in 2008. Soon following with the iPhone 4 then the iPhone 4S and now after being fed up with horrible AT&T service in my area, the iPhone 5 on Verizon.

The iPhone 5 came preloaded with iOS 6 which included the new Apple Maps, a replacement for Google Maps which had been on all iOS devices prior to iOS 6.

I was excited about the new maps and on first use it did not fail. The turn by turn and voice were magnificent. It was spot on. I thought it was working great and would be ready to serve me up directions to anywhere whenever I needed it.

Later in the week to come I read many articles on how the Apple Maps were horrible at giving directions. I couldn’t figure out why they were so bad so I decided to further test it out.

Wow this app really IS bad.
Apple Maps could not find my local Wendy’s Restaurant right in the middle of my small town. Also while traveling, it COULD drop a pin on the hotel I was staying at, but its location was miles from me, so had I chose for it to give me directions to it, I would be almost a hundred miles from it. This was not good!

Apple Maps

Not a Wendy’s in my town at all according to Apple Maps.

No Home Depot in Oxford, MS ????

I KNOW there is a Chili’s in Batesville, MS. Why would Apple Maps disagree?


I can do this all day but I wont.
First before I tell you an awesome alternative to Apple Maps, I must defend them a little bit.
You can read it all day long on the internet http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/science-updates/apple-apology-for-maps-shortcomings but to sum it up, Apple wanted Google Maps to on their iDevices to have turn by turn voice directions.
Google said No!
Google wants to reserve that to just their Android powered devices. Apple said Good Bye and put a nice effort into making their own turn by turn voice driven Map application. Unfortunately it didn’t work out that well right out of the box. Tim Cook CEO of Apple release an apologetic letter to all and within it some alternatives. When Apple gets this one right, it will be great. Its already been proven that it uses vector images and therefore reducing data usage a great deal.

Of all the alternatives mentioned in Tim Cooks letter and the ones I have used in the past, I really really think WAZE is the best to use.

Ones I have used in the past were:
Navigon
TomTom
Google Maps
Apple Maps
Motion X GPS
Bing Maps
Google Maps inside of Safari

WAZE is the only one that has our most recently built TACO BELL on it. This is because the maps are constantly updated with other WAZE users input. I myself have even fixed some roads along my travels.

A short video about WAZE.

 

 

Has WAZE been helpful? You bet!

WAZE knows where the closest Chilis is!

It even knows where Wendy’s is

 

This app is really fast. Its faster than any other navigation app I have ever used. Its intuitive and easy to operate. It has alerts for speedtraps and other things due to the community of other wazers out there reporting.

Get this app and try it out.

WAZE http://www.waze.com/

Meet Waze – a fun, community-based GPS traffic and navigation app.

Join forces with drivers in your area, easily report what’s happening on the road and get turn-by-turn navigation that automatically re-routes you when road conditions change.

That way everybody’s commute gets faster and safer. Smart, right?

Download from the Apple App Store HERE

Download for Android users HERE

Download for Windows Mobile and Symbian devices HERE

Oh yeah and its FREE!!

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Airplay Enabled Backyard http://www.userbytes.com/airplay-enabled-backyard/ http://www.userbytes.com/airplay-enabled-backyard/#comments Wed, 23 May 2012 20:19:47 +0000 http://www.userbytes.com/?p=442 We have talked about Apples Airplay before on this website here http://www.userbytes.com/enable-airplay-on-boxee-xbmc-plex/ which allows us to push whatever we are seeing on the iphone, onto the tv screen if you are using an Apple TV or Plex, or XBMC, or even Boxee.
Airplay is a fantastic technology that uses WiFi instead of Bluetooth.

I spend a lot of time in my backyard working on projects, swimming in the pool, etc. I love it!

Often when we have people over and have time by the pool we pull out an old set of computer speakers with a sub. I have this mounted to a carry around unit I made. I plug it into the power outlet and plug the 3.5 mm cord into the headphone port of my iphone, or anyones device, and we rock out. This is cool and all but I have to remember to put it up out of the weather after each use. Also I have to leave my phone tethered to it.

This is inconvenient.

There’s a better way!

I decided to mount two outdoor speakers under the eve of the house on the corners near my security flood lamps. Then an amp to power them, then connect the amp to an Apple Airport Express. I built a small box to house it all in under the eve of the roof.

The Apple Airport Express is connected to my current WiFi. This is beautiful as I do not have to switch WiFi signals while in the backyard.

This works great too. Now while by the pool or anywhere in the backyard I can Airplay my Pandora, Slacker Radio, or iPod to the speakers in the backyard. I bet my neighbors love me even more now.

Also if you have iTunes on your computer, you can use Remote found in the Apple App Store to control your iTunes playlists and make them play over the Airplay as well. Also in iTunes there are a ton upon tons of radio stations to listen to.

Here is a list of what I purchased to accomplish this setup.

Apple Airport Express

3-way Indoor / Outdoor Speaker set

Pyle – Mini 2x75W Stereo Power Amplifier

3.5mm to Stereo RCA Male Cable – 6 ft.

18 g Speaker Wire

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Shake to Charge Iphone http://www.userbytes.com/shake-to-charge-iphone/ Fri, 11 Nov 2011 19:28:18 +0000 http://www.userbytes.com/?p=438

Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a reserve battery in your cellphone for emergencies and all you had to do was shake your iphone for 30 secs or so to get it charged enough to use it? Think about it. Your cell phone could be charging its reserve while you run, walk, or while its in your pocket while you are walking!

Some have never heard of such, and here I was thinking that everyone knew about this kind of technology to charge things.

I cant remember when I heard about it first, but many many years ago my Aunt got me a shake light for my Birthday and I was wow’d at the simple technology behind it. It has this really neat wireless switch that works of magnetics. It charges itself with a magnet passing through another magnet with wires wrapped around it. This charges a capacitor and stores the power. It can be charge hundreds of thousands of times.

Here is a video from the company demonstrating all there is to know about the light.

It really is a nice flashlight and I recommend it to everyone. Its a great light to keep in your trunk as you will never have to worry about batteries corroding. Take it hunting or fishing, camping, anywhere!

Christmas is around the corner and this would make a great gift for anyone.

 

 

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Apple Releases iOS 5.0.1 – Solves Battery Issues http://www.userbytes.com/apple-releases-ios-5-0-1-solves-battery-issues/ Thu, 10 Nov 2011 19:17:19 +0000 http://www.userbytes.com/?p=436 Apple released iOS 5.0.1 today to fix a few bugs that effected the battery life and some document syncing issues.

You can download it with iTunes and it will be the full install of 709MB or you can use your iDevice and go to Settings/General/Software Update and update it over the air. This will be only the changes needed and will be 55 mb.

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How To Enable Secret iOS 5 Features http://www.userbytes.com/how-to-enable-secret-ios-5-features/ http://www.userbytes.com/how-to-enable-secret-ios-5-features/#comments Thu, 10 Nov 2011 15:09:39 +0000 http://www.userbytes.com/?p=425 Did you know that there are probably dozens of secrete easter eggs in iOS 5 that are just waiting to get discovered?

I will tell you about two the I enabled that are pretty awesome and that you may find useful.

 

First feature that I find very very cool is the panoramic mode of the camera.

Its pretty cool actually. You have to have a steady hand to pull off some great pics, or a tripod.

There is a arrow that acts like a leveler and you touch the camera button then slowly turn to the right and it snaps many photos one frame at a time and puts it together.

Here are some examples and they were done fast and ugly.

The one above was really ugly and done fast.

With a steady hand you could take some really neat photos.

 

Next is the hidden auto correct feature on the keyboard

OK so you like all this and want it and want it all without jailbreaking right?

OK LETS DO THIS!

First you will need a tool. The Tool is iBackUpBot and its available for Windows and the Mac.
Get it here http://www.icopybot.com/itunes-backup-manager.htm Its free to download and use for this.

Download the correct version for your operating system.

Next you will want to do a full backup of your iPhone to iTunes.
I do it the old fashioned. That is to say that when the iPhone is detected in the left hand pane of the library window in iTunes, right click the iPhone and choose Backup.
This will back it up and copy any new apps over to iTunes.

Now you have a complete backup.

Now install iBackupBot (free download) program and open it up.
It will scour through your iTunes Backup directories and reveal all of your backups.

Select the latest most recent backup.

Now for the Camera hack, look for Library/Preferences/com.apple.mobileslideshow.plist
Double click it to open it up in the plist editor.
Click Cancel on this page about registering the iBackupBot app.
Now you will add a few lines and they will look like this:
<key>EnableFirebreak</key>
<string>YES</string>

Then save it, then close it. Follow steps one, two, and three.

Here is a picture.

 

Now for the keyboard hack.

While you are in iBackupBot with your backup open, look for
Library/Preferences/com.apple.keyboard.plist
You will do the same thing but add the following:
<key>KeyboardAutocorrectionLists</key>
<string>YES</string>
After that click Save and Close.

Now from within iBackupBot, you will restore your backup to your device.

 

Now you are complete.

Let us know what you think about these hacks.

 

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Google Adwords Account Permanently Suspended http://www.userbytes.com/google-adwords-account-permanently-suspended/ http://www.userbytes.com/google-adwords-account-permanently-suspended/#comments Mon, 07 Nov 2011 17:13:30 +0000 http://www.userbytes.com/?p=423 Let me tell you a story about How Google AdWords Screwed Me. In case you do not know what Google Adwords is, its a form of advertising program from Google. You can set up an ad to run, known as a campaign on the Google search network based on keywords. Have you ever typed in a search on Google and noticed that first there are ads displayed first on the page? See the picture below. These are ads relevant to your search based on your keyword phrase and you can see in the picture that Radio Shack is first in the list and they probably paid a pretty penny to get there. See you pay per click on these campaigns so if I click the Radio Shack ad, it may cost them (Radio Shack) $1.00 a click or more.

 

When I setup my hosting account with BlueHost they gave me $80 worth of AdWords Credit to use.

I have recently been using DropBox for my cloud storage for all my security cam uploads. (thats for another story)

DropBox gives you 2 gigs of free storage and if you refer others you can get increased storage for up to 8 gigs.

I recently read and article on Lifehacker.com that explained how you can use adwords to get more referrals.

I thought wow that’s a great idea and I have $80 in Google Ad Credit so why not!

Well I tried and it and Google kicked my in the nads! Not 1 day after I set up my campaigns, Google had this to say.

Your Google AdWords account has been permanently suspended for repeated violation of AdWords or Landing Page and Site policies in this or a related account.

So I contacted Google about this OVER THE PHONE!
The representative on the phone said that he saw nothing at all wrong with my account, and that he would escalate it to a higher level and that I would get an email within 24 hours.

All that Google had to offer me was this:

Thank you for your call last week regarding your account.

It has come to our attention that your Google AdWords account doesn’t
comply with our terms of service and advertising policies. As a result,
your account has been suspended, and your ads will no longer run on
Google.

We appreciate your cooperation.
Best regards,
The Google AdWords Team
So I replied saying they still didn’t tell me what I actually did wrong and that I combed over the terms and could find nothing wrong.

They replied once more with a sense of harshness this time.

Thank you for your continued patience during this process. Our specialists
have re-reviewed your accounts and have determined that our decision is
correct and final. As a result, your account, and any related accounts you
may have created, have been suspended, and your ads will no longer run on
Google.

NEXT STEPS

– Our support team is unable to provide any further information on this
matter.

– Please refrain from creating additional AdWords accounts, as they will
be subject to the same suspension.

We appreciate your cooperation and thank you for your understanding.
Sincerely,
The Google AdWords Team

At this point I am mad now. I did some searching and found that Google is doing this to many people and they are not happy about the non explanation for it.

I am going to try it again with a new account and see how far I get.

 

Meanwhile read this article to see what I wanted to do that many others are doing. Nothing at all wrong with this.

http://lifehacker.com/5854955/how-to-max-out-your-dropbox-referrals-with-google-adwords-for-free

Google is just being an Asshole!

 

 

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The Future of TV http://www.userbytes.com/the-future-of-tv/ Fri, 04 Nov 2011 20:25:41 +0000 http://www.userbytes.com/?p=382 For long time on Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. you could find me parked on a couch somewhere tuned into ABC to watch my beloved L O S T.

Before I lost myself in “L O S T” it was “Big Brother” on CBS.
We used to pile around the TV set and watch this show.

To this day I cant figure out why, but me and several others used to have Big Brother and Survivor parties and sit and watch these shows. I say I cant figure out why, because after about 5 seasons of the same thing, you grow tired and wonder what the hell you were doing ever watching it past season one.

Back in those days it was a sure fire way to have a social gathering. A very positive thing.

The negative, was that you may have found yourself always having to be in front of the TV at a certain time. These days the entire television frontier has changed.

The future of TV is right now and growing quickly. Right now you no longer have to fit YOUR schedule around your TELEVISIONS schedule.

With the advent of DVR’s (digital video recorders) and other like devices, you can now watch TV when YOU want to watch it.

In this “On Demand” world we now live in, everyone wants to WATCH what they WANT when THEY want to, freeing up their lives to do more, like going to soccer games, no longer postponing dinner engagements, and other things.

Currently there are many devices on the market to which TV shows, Podcasts, Music, even Movies can be delivered to your TV anytime you want them.

We really shouldn’t call these devices SET TOP boxes anymore as its hard to set anything atop a flat screen LCD that is only about 2 inches thick at most. Instead we now call them appliances. Seems like everyone is getting into this game now. Lets see there is the Roku player, the Boxee Box, The Apple TV, heck even hard drive maker Western Digital is getting into the mix with their WDLIVE!

Out of all the appliances out there today, the only one I want you to really meet is the new black Apple TV or as some are referring to it as the Apple TV 2 or ATV2 since its the second generation one that Apple Computer has put out.

Apple TV is slick and tiny. It can fit in the palm of your hand, and is very easy to setup.

 

You simply just take it out of the box, connect an HDMI cable (not included) to your TV and power it up, then you are quickly presented with a screen to set up a few preferences.

 

 

Check out this video about the Apple TV

 

 

I purchased one of these for my Aunt and she says its the best gift she has ever received, a truly amazing device.

I highly recommend this device over the other ones for its pure simplistic user interface.

 

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