iLove Airport Express

express

Back of Airport Express

Airport Express I love you!

You owe yourself an Airport Express!

What an elegant device that solves a multitude of problems.

  • Add a WIFI hotspot

This clever little device can add an additional WIFI hotspot in your house or office.

Lead an Ethernet cable from your existing ADSL Router and plug into the back of the Airport.
BOOM you have a fast and strong 802.11n wifi hotspot.

  •  Make most USB printers WIFI

Plug your USB printer into the back of the Airport Express.
BOOM your non WIFI USB printer is now available via WIFI from Mac and PC computers.

  • AIRPLAY

Plug a lead from your HiFi into the back of the Airport Express.
BOOM!!!! CHAKA BOOM!
You can play your music collection from any Mac or iDevice wireless and blast it through your HiFi.

  

Scammers & Spammers

We have all seemingly adapted to email spam. We set spam filters to auto move the identified spammer into a junk mail box. The spam still arrives at your computer thus the Scammers & Spammersbandwidth is used. On an ADSL account we don’t notice it but if we are using 3G receiving spam is an unnecessary expense.

Spam could merely be some unsolicited mail trying to sell you something or it could be a more serious attempt to scam money from you. It’s so bad that I assume all mail from any bank to be a scam.

Email scam and spam is not the focus of this article. Scam and spam sent to your mobile phone via SMS is the focus here.

While we can all agree that it’s unlikely we will ever eliminate this practice it is interesting to see where the money goes.

In the world of SMS scammers & spammers WASP services is the way to go.

It’s a simple matter of registering with Vodacom and becoming a WASP service provider. You can now send bulk sms’s to millions of mobile phone subscribers using a database of dubiously obtained mobile numbers. More importantly you can charge a premium rate even for simply sending the SMS.

There is an infinite number of angles to spin a SMS scam. To be safe assume all SMSes that are not from a known contact to be trouble.

Here’s a simple scam that has been pulled on many people:

  • You get an SMS telling you that you have won a prize of Rxxxxxx million. They list a mobile number for you to call to claim your prize.
  • You have not won anything but when you call the number given in the SMS the operator although  super friendly is not super efficient. You are put on hold for ages, asked irrelevant questions and it is clear that you wasting time here.
  • Not all premium rated numbers have to have a special prefix, they can appear as totally normal numbers.
  • You might be wasting your time but the scammer is making money! The number you dialled is a premium rated number and you could be charged any amount per second of the call.

It’s only clear that you have been scammed when your monthly Vodacom bill arrives and you see the extra charges for “premium rated services.”

This is where is becomes really interesting. Remember the money trail!

Vodacom benefits the most from all money made in this type of scam. They get 70% of the amount charged to you. The WASP provider and the registered “premium content provider” gets a mere 30%

It seems obvious to all that a crime has been committed by illicitly extorting funds from you. However, the burden of proof is now yours.

It seems unbelievable that a company as big as Vodacom can get away with this type of crime. The reality is that they do!

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

  

Product review: Olloclip 3-in-1 lens for iPhone

Olloclip lens for iphone

Olloclip 3-in-1 lens for iPhone, available in white, black or red

My fascination with macro photography has changed forever with the Olloclip lens that clips to iPhone 4/4S/5 in three ways – a fish eye lens, a wide angle lens and my favourite, the macro lens! It’s brilliantly compact, easy to clip on and change between the thee lenses.

My only irritation (and it’s not the Olloclip) is the screen protector film lifting once in a while when you’re clipping the Olloclip over it.

Of course, professional photographers will need tripods, lighting and all kinds of plans, but since most of us get around every day with a camera in hand, we record life on the run. It’s never going to trump a professional shoot in quality and composition but it can be used to great effect, for both business and personal records. As I mostly take macro photos of flowers or plants, I often have no breath left by the time I take the photo! You really have to hold the phone dead still for a while to focus, compose the shot, etc. and if it’s a moving object… well, just take a lot of pics.. :-)  And have fun!

I post a link to my Tadaa page again – most of my photos are there.  Let me know where I can see yours.

You can buy yours at Kalahari for around R888

Here’s a video showing off the Olloclip:


Olloclip 3in1 lens for iPhone

  

Photo-sharing app review: Tadaa for iPhone

Tadaa is a a photo-sharing app that lets you edit and apply filters to your photos and share them in a community.

tadaa-rethavs

My Tadaa page – click to view

I love taking photos with my iPhone and after I stopped using Instagram, I tried a number of similar apps to use for posting my pictures online.  Tadaa offers much superior editing features, and I’m hooked!

What I like about Tadaa:

  1. Photo quality and size
    Comparing the Instagram pics I posted before with Tadaa pics, I realise how much I missed higher quality and larger (zoomable) pictures. Tadaa pics are posted at a maximum of 2048 x 2048 pixels and unlike Instagram, Tadaa doesn’t restrict users to a square image. Read More…
  

What to do with Duplicate Accounts in LinkedIn

In every LinkedIn workshop I find at least one person who has a duplicate LinkedIn profile – this is a very common occurrence as most professionals think they should create a LinkedIn profile for every new job or career.  This is not true, and can be crippling to your profile for various reasons:

  • Duplicate LinkedIn accountsWhen searching for your name in LinkedIn, all your (and your namesakes’) profiles will be returned in the results.  This is very confusing and does you no favours. Someone you have done business with may ask for your connection on the old profile and you will not receive the request, or worse… someone WANTS to do business with you but you do not answer their messages to your old profile.
  • All your professional experience, education and skills on ONE profile gives a complete overview of you as a professional. There’s no reason to separate it.
  • As you change jobs or companies, the email from your LinkedIn profile may be sent to a deleted email address.  The right thing to do would be to add a personal email address such as your Gmail address to your LinkedIn profile to allow password reminders/changes to be sent to you.  This way you will always be able to log into your LinkedIn profile to update your new position & company, and add your new email address. Read More…
  

LinkedIn Answers Shutdown on 31 January

If you have been a LinkedIn user for a while, you would have noticed quite a few changes in 2012:
(I link each topic to the LinkedIn help centre’s explanation as I don’t want to duplicate it all here)

The above were all changes for the better, and it’s clear that LinkedIn is improving in leaps and bounds!

The latest change baffles me a little, but I’m sure we will soon see why they have decided to shut down the ANSWERS section on 31 January, 2013.  I have always loved this section and found many answers to my questions by searching for answers there.  They promise to develop new and more engaging ways for us to share and discuss professional topics on LinkedIn, but if you have a lot of questions and answers you value in the ANSWERS section you will have to save it somewhere before 31 January!

I’ll be watching their plans and report back here with news!

===================

Added 28 January 2013:

With the demise of LinkedIn Answers, there is a new place to come to ask any question, any time. We aim to provide answers from people with authority in the topic.

Please visit the new Q&A Forum now (use the link below) and ‘Like’ a Discussion to help promote the Forum amongst your contacts.

And finally, please actively participate. Not only will you be helping others but you will broaden your professional network in the process. If you would like to help moderate any section of this Forum, please contact the group moderators.

MAIN FORUM:
Q&A Forum ►http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=4805754

  

MMO for DADS

maximo

My character in Guilwars2: Maximo Destroyer

MMO is not an acronym that is familiar to the parent generation. It stands for massively multiplayer online gaming.

I use Guildwars2 to create common ground between me and my godson. He lives 1000s of km away from me and it’s tricky to always stay in communication and even more so to capture their attention. Lets be honest what red blooded man does not like a bit of death and destruction. That’s the main theme with most of these games. Create your character and run around killing things.

Guildwars2 is no exception to the killing spree but it is certainly not the only activity available. It allows you to gather items and then use them to craft other goods. The details of your chosen game is less important. The fact that you can team up with your kid and go on wild virtual adventures together is more relevant.

Here is the real gold nugget: it’s easy to setup a free TeamSpeak server on your PC. Using TeamSpeak and a headphone set you and your kid can talk to each other on your virtual world adventures. Most of your communication will be centred around the game play but as any parent will tell you having the common ground is invaluable. I find that it’s him teaching and leading me and this makes a interesting dynamic change from the parent always being the one that knows more about something and the parent leading the way.

Having created a platform that you can naturally talk to each other and have common goals will lead to more communication between you and your kid. On occasion he might even share some personal detail that you would not have been told had it not been for the relaxed and social environment you are now in.

TeamSpeak allows multiple connections. In one of our recent online sessions he asked if some of his buddies could join in. I could easily setup some new users and provide login passwords. I was the “cool dad” chatting and running around adventuring with my godson and his mates.

PRICELESS!!!

  

iCloud made simple

If you have more than one iDevice and/or a Mac and an iDevice you should be using iCloud.icloud logo

Check list of requirements:

  • OS 10.7.2 or later on your Mac.
  • iOS 6 or later on your iDevice

WHY should I?

  • If your iDevice or Mac is stolen or lost you can use Find my iPhone/iPad/Mac to locate it.
  • iCloud is an easy and cable free way of synchronizing data across your iDevices and your Mac.
  • Apart from boring calendar events and contacts your photos can wirelessly be synchronized using Photo Stream!
  • Previously the only way to sync data was to manually connect your iDevice with its cable to your Mac and let iTunes do its work.

Easy steps:

Apple step by step can be found at:
http://www.apple.com/icloud/setup/ios.html
http://www.apple.com/icloud/setup/mac.html

  • If you already have an iTunes account, then enter your username and password into the iCloud System Preferences of both your iDevice and your Mac. Your iTunes account will automatically be upgraded to your new iCloud account.
  • Your iCloud account, iTunes account and Apple ID can and should all be exactly the same thing. To have a different login for any one of these causes unnecessary confusion and hassle.
  • In the iCloud preferences panel on both Mac and iDevice tick on all the options except for document and data sharing. Don’t click Back to My Mac either. Apple are still ironing out some serious issues with this feature. (Documents and Data sharing is only used for iWork)

It’s that easy!

You can now take advantage of your notes, calendar events, contacts and pictures auto synchronizing across your devices.

How did you ever live without this amazing functionality?

  

Why I left Instagram

After my last blog post, ‘Why I loved Instagram‘, I thought I’d explain why I have deleted my account yesterday.  There has been a lot of discussion about it everywhere on the Internet, but it seems most people stare themselves blind against the Terms & Conditions changes.  My reasons are perhaps only my own, but I will try to explain here for those who may have used it for the same reasons.

Goodbye InstagramThe reasons I will no longer be posting to Instagram:

  1. No ‘Preview on Twitter’
    In December 2012 Instagram (who was by now owned by Facebook) stopped supporting Twitter previews of Instagram photos, and while users can still post links to their Instagram photos on Twitter, they are no longer able to view Instagram photos from within the Twitter stream across both the Twitter Web site and mobile apps. Twitter is my main social media platform and it is really important to me that my followers can see previews of photos so they can choose if they want to click on it to see it on the Instagram site.  Now, a post from Instagram to Twitter will show the text and a cryptic link to Instagram, which gets a lot less engagement from Twitter users.  Previously, my Instagram photos got a lot of attention from my Twitter followers, but no more… I don’t blame them as I now find myself skipping over Instagram links in my Twitter timeline, rather than opening a website just to see a pic I may have no interest in. Read More…
  

Why I loved Instagram

On the 6th of January 2011 I made a new friend.  I found Instagram, and I was immediately hooked! I love taking pictures of things around me, people and places, and while my then iPhone 3GS was not the most advanced in photography, I always had it with me and it made perfect sense to use that to take photos rather than carting the SLR everywhere.

Note: Instagram is a mobile photo sharing app, originally only for iOS devices, but later also for other platforms.

Thank you InstagramHere are the 6 main reasons why I loved Instagram and used it daily for almost 2 years:

  1. Filters, frames, rotation, & tilt-shift
    Looking back at my first Instagram pictures now, I cringe at the overuse of filters, frames and other atrocities, but these could make a photo look a little different, highlight good parts or hide bad lighting – in my ‘3GS frame-of-mind’ anyway!  Tilt-shift was a quick and easy way to blur the background or just highlight parts of a photo.  Instagram also added new filters and functionality later. Read More…
  
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