Category Archives: Computer Bytes

Colors, Updates, Backups and Privacy

by Bill Scobie

Turn Up the Color

Noises have colors? They seem to when you are trying to use noise (sounds) to cover up distracting sounds while working. After disabling social media and email alerts, if you find you are still not focusing, try other colors of noise. You know white noise (a combination of all frequencies), but there is pink and brown (emphasizing lower frequencies), blue and purple (the inverse of pink and brown) and others. Research is showing that different work or focusing situations benefit from different colors of noise. And you shouldn’t be surprised that there are YouTube videos for productivity (youtube.com/results?search_query=
noise+colors).

Face to Facebook

You may have noticed that Facebook is expanding its facial recognition features. If you don’t want your face automatically tagged with your name (this is not anywhere near 100% accurate), you might want to turn this feature off. You will need to go into Facebook settings and find Face or Facial Recognition. For extra help, you can always Google “turn off Facebook facial recognition.”

Office Update

Office 2019, coming out this fall, is the 17th version of what most of us use for writing and calculating. Most of us will see this upgrade through Office 365 subscriptions but only if you have Windows 10. There is no announced equivalent new version for Macs. Promised are new Excel formulas and charts (no specifics, though) and animation features in PowerPoint. And if you are still running Windows 7 or 8.1, just continue enjoying Office 2016.

Google Backup

Google data backup is not something most think about. However, what if your account is hijacked or stolen and you lose all your data? You can get a full download of all your Google data straight from takeout.google.com. Log into your Google account, select which data types you want a copy of and wait until you get the email letting you know it is ready to download. Those archives will only stay around in Google land for seven days. Remember to add an alert or reminder on your phone or paper calendar.

Twitter Privacy

If you have a Twitter account, you might want to turn off many of their tracking settings, under their Privacy and Safety settings. You should look for turning off “Personalize ads” and “Track where you see Twitter …” And you should “Delete location information.” Again, for more help, search for something like “disable twitter tracking.”

Bill Scobie fixes computers and networks for small businesses and home. 628-2354 or bill@scobie.net