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About Me

Chicago's North Shore. Psychologist - love my work, Gym-rat, beach-rat, smile...tennis, dominant chord in my nature...just factual, really good food and fine film.

How I Can Help

Passion? Common-sense & honesty. I have gift of savvy intuition.

Interests

Tennis, gym, music, and film...and on...

138 Reviews by Ron

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TechRepublic

TechRepublic

9/28/11
1. Discussion - The 20 most useful Android smartphone apps of 2011
(POINT YOUR BROWSER HERE!:
http://www.techrepublic.com/forum/discussions/102-348270)

TechRepublic is upper echelon of reliability and savvy. If your an Android user, this list is "bread&butter" stuff.

Have fun "app-ing" into oblivion...
Ron

p.s. TechRepublic is WORTH subscribing to for all IT and personal/business computing needs.
WonderHowTo

WonderHowTo

9/28/11
Unusual find. For those who find a diverse "How-To" site orgasmic to browse - here you go. Lots of serious how-to advice, all in video format. Some rather bizarre:

"So you've been pulled over and you need an out. Well, if you're prepared with a water bottle and some skills chances are you may just freak out the cop and he'll let you go!", and plenty with smart/useful topics:

Tartine Bread: "The Beauty and Artistry of Bread Making. Unfortunately, I'm a little behind schedule on my pizza dough making mission, but I promise - more experiments coming soon! In the meantime, here's a beautiful video about the nuance that goes into bread making, as demonstrated by famed San Francisco baker ... ".

Best guess most will find something here to come-in handy. Fun to search categories watch vids just as well.
Warmly to Friends,
Ron
bit

bit

8/20/11
Review is NOT "Bitly", my apologies..***.rather a superb collection of FREE-WARE rounded-up by Gizmo***. (In shortening the URL, bitly came-up. I'm looking into how to test a URL prior to publishing, what to do with extraordinarily long urls, and how to edit/addendum after publication. Anyone has some answers/insights, let me know
Ron: *****@gmail.com. Thanks!) ACTUAL LINK. http://bit.ly/pNkYLK

This is all great stuff, and in one place. Do consider taking a long look at offerings via Gizmo's Newsletter. See if you can't grab some "Bread&Butter" software absolutely free. Don't forget basic tools like TinEye and Free-OCR while you're shopping.

"Online applications (also known as web applications or web-ware) are getting more popular, particularly when broadband Internet access has become more common and readily available to more users. With online applications and services, you do not need to download and install them into your computer for using themyou just need to open up a browser and access them online.

Not only that you can save hard-disk space as they do not need to be installed, but also you can work with files that are saved online from any computer anywhere, without the need to carry a storage device even a USB stick around with you.

Besides, you don't have to worry about different operating systems as these applications and services are cross-platform, running in your browser as a client. Neither do you need to keep updating your software versions, as you will get any new software updates and bug fixes automatically whenever you access them.

Hope you like.
Ron
Slydial

Slydial

7/12/11
Skip being connected to a mobile phone...when you just want to leave voice-mail - and disappear. A free new phone service called Slydial allows you to by-pass being connected to your party directly - and right to voice-mail!

Slydial lets you connect directly with another person's cell phone voice mail, bypassing the traditional ringing process that often results sometimes uncomfortably with someone picking up on the other end.

Users call (267) SLY-DIAL from either a cell phone or a land-line, and are prompted to enter another person's cell phone number.

The FREE service requires you listen to a short advertisement unless users pay a subscription fee or 15 cents per call to skip ads Slydial puts callers directly into their target's voice mail. When you really don't want to talk, just get voice-mail, listening to a short ad is likely worth it.

Recipients should then get a voice mail notification, and sometimes they WILL see a caller's number show up as a missed call, too. MobileSphere Ltd.,the Boston-based communications company behind Slydial, said there were currently some technological limits. It can only be used in the U.S. right now, and generally won't work with prepaid cell phones. so bear this in mind!

ALSO, sly-dialers must have the caller ID feature activated on their phones, which is meant, in part, to prevent people from using it to harass people without detection.

Hope this saves you some grief,
Ron
FindTheBest

FindTheBest

7/12/11
Short and sweet. When comparing two versions of ANYTHING (I compared Avira Antivirus and Avast), Find The Best .com will run down specs on each product in a stunning comprehensive fashion.

Consumers: Accurate & updated data on millions of product & service listings
Objective information free from hidden marketing, side-by-side comparison tables save you time & help you make the best decisions, reviews from friends & experts on millions of listings show all comparisons.

This site is a keeper,
Ron
Download.cnet

Download.cnet

7/12/11
Site should be banned, along with several other freeware hawkers. You can bet most anything downloaded with have malware, or worse, so try to avoid. How-To-Geek, explains it all:
http://bit.ly/1A5x1cW
Grano.la

Grano.la

7/12/11
Cut Your PC's Energy Usage By Up To 35%

Modern computers do, of course, have lots of power settings to help you cut down on electricity usage. Trouble is, you have to continuously adjust if you want to balance the computer's desire to save power with your desire to have a seamless hands-on session with your computer.

Here Jabbers is where a clever new piece of software comes in. "Granola" bills itself as intelligent power-saving software, which continually adjusts the power requirements of your computer to balance your need for speed against the PC's need to save energy. Simply put, if you're doing something that doesn't require your CPU to run at full power, then the software will slow it down where possible.

The single-user version of Granola, which runs on all recent versions of Windows, is freeware. It's a 4 MB download, and you can get it from http://www.grano.la. Why not give it a try? You've only a few bucks to save...these days every bit helps. If it works for you - tell friends.
Best,
Ron
DigitalInspiration

DigitalInspiration

7/1/11
CAUTION: For those anxious to get "in" with Google Plus, beware of a myriad of faux opportunities to do so. Everything from eBay to Google. Google+ has been PAUSED due to overwhelming response. Don't be duped into an offer bound to give-up your password. BE CERTAIN YOU ACTIVATE YOUR BROWSER'S ABILITY TO WARN OF WEB-SITE FORGERIES.

This particular indiscretion is UNLIKE Digital Inspiration's pursuit of quality in referrals. However:

CAUTION: Digital Inspiration is recommending a link offering Google Plus invites, on eBay. The link is malicious, will take you to a faux Facebook page...and if you've activated your browser's ability to detect FORGED SITES (Firefox does/can), it will steer you clear before a password is ripped. REALLY disappointed Amit in this indiscretion.
Ron
FBI.gov

FBI.gov

5/21/11
http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud/fraud#419: DIRECT LINK

This organization is a combined effort of Secret Service, FBI, and other regulatory agencies to specifically address Internet Fraud. An ideal place to begin if you feel you've been defrauded, attempts at Identity Theft, and any number of minor to significant criminal activity you might encounter.
Square

Square

5/11/11
If you have a small to medium size business, and want the capability of accepting VISA, American Express, and Discover (paying 2.75%) via small device plugging into ear-phone jack on iPhone or Android...Check this out. Very smart.
Email Scammers

Email Scammers

5/10/11
actual link to site: http://www.emailscammers.com/report-email-scams/

Excellent resource where financial E-mail/Identity theft-fraud is concerned. Site has all the links/info you need to quickly & apparently effectively report the really toxic stuff. Here's what site says:

Report Emails Scams to the FBI
The IC3 (FBI) is a great resource in fighting email fraud, internet scams, and phishing. The IC3 is co-sponsored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C). Complaints filed via thier website are processed and may be referred to federal, state, local or international law enforcement or regulatory agencies for possible investigation.
Report Email Scams, Fraud and Spam to Yahoo

Yahoo is very receptive to complaints regarding their email accounts. Spam or fraud originating from a Yahoo! Mail account (i.e., *****@yahoo.com) gets special attention. If you receive spam sent from a Yahoo! Mail account, please send Yahoo an unedited copy of the message with full headers via their Mail Abuse Feedback Form. Since spamming is expressly prohibited in Yahoo!'s Terms of Service, any account caught spamming will be canceled.
Report Email Spam /Scams to Google (Gmail)

With the ever increasing popularity of Gmail, there is a good chance you may need to contact Google regarding email spam or scams. They also are very helpful, but they can't help unless you report email scams to them.

Stay Safe!
Ron
TrueRep

TrueRep

4/22/11
I have hunch this is a bad organization. CAUTION!

Intelius, the online go-to site for scoops on "person-of-interest's: personal data. I've used the service myself and never for pleasant reasons. Intelius JUST released a new "service" called TrueRep.com. Here's a release from the WSJ on what the intent is:

_"People-search website Intelius Inc. unveiled a new paid service on Tuesday that allows consumers to see and edit the public records and other profile information companies compile about them.

For $9.95 a month during a trial period, the new service, TrueRep.com, will give subscribers access to the information that employers, friends and others can find about them via background checks on its people-search sites. Information includes address history, personal information, professional information, criminal records, civil judgments and online profiles.

"Most people don't understand the amount of information about themselves that is out there," says Prakash Kondepudi, senior vice president of sales and business strategy at Intelius.

The launch of the Intelius's new paid service comes as the $25 billion online advertising industry is scrambling to make more transparent its practice of collecting, selling and using Web browsing and other profile information to ward off federal regulation."

_ When TrueRep showed-up in my in-box, it seemed interesting, an opportunity to gauge my "profile" on the net (High - Low and 1-100). I showed on the high-side at "75". TrueRep offered me opportunities to select information (addresses, phones, aka, etc.) to "suppress". I simply checked boxes adjacent to the information I wanted "suppressed" and saved.

Long story short...this morning (two days after I updated my TrueRep profile) my Gmail account was hacked, there was mail sent to contacts on that E-mail account (all of which SOLICITED BUSINESS - I had NOTHING to do with!), an attempt to purchase products on eBay, and communications with complete strangers on a Yahoo mail account. This has NEVER happened to me before, not that I consider myself immune, but the proximity to TrueRep is just a bit too coincidental for my comfort. The parent co. Intelius is in the business of SUPPLYING hard-to-get information at premium costs. So what I effectively did (and others will likely do as well), is tell Intelius what information is IMPORTANT to me, and which I don't care about.

Upon signing-up, pages of purchase and interest related instances will be scrolled before you. You're asked to check YES, that's me where you were involved,...or NO, indicated it was someone with similar info - but NOT you. You quite literally hand TruerRep/Intelius all the minutia, all the tiny details about yourself, purchasing trends and interests, an organization who sells one's personal info to another. I have to question the wisdom of supplying this info (in the interest of being MORE invisible), and Intelius' motives in acquiring this kind of deep profile. Will the data be incorporated into their "People Search" operation? C'mon.

In canceling and doing my best to create errata of what they had on my personal life...I discovered - and I promise you...smile...I never saw this, nor am I lax about small print - It carries a $9.95 per month fee to continue to "suppress" your data from those who would give your data up. Rather like the fox guarding the chicken coupe...no?

Keep an eye ion Intelius and TrueRep. I have a real hunch about these dynamics. Just a word to the wise. I'll be spending next week sewing up the holes punched through two E-mail accounts and a load of crap with Ebay, etc.

Be careful out there...
Ron

ADDENDUM: Comments from consumers on Wall Street Journals Forum:
(1) Mark B. wrote:
Wow, I hope people don't get suckered into this new scam! Let me summarize in a nutshell. For paid fee, you can do a background check on yourself, edit what is not current and add any extra information such as social network user names, etc What you have is providing intelius with more up-to-date information so they can resell your information to the next person that looks you up! If you want to fix your reputation on the net, watch your post on social networks, go to your county recorders office, have information that is critical sealed, so data vendors like intelius can't retrieve these critical information.

(2)Bill H.wrote:
Boy, am I glad I read the Terms of Service Agreement before I registered! Read item 3:

"Additional Restrictions and Warranties. You authorize us to use your information to search the World Wide Web using any tools available. You authorize us to use the information you provide to create and publish web content. You grant us the right to publish any or all of the content you provide on any websites we deem fit for the purposes of the TrueRep service. You authorize us to modify any content as we see fit to provide the service. You warrant that you have the right to distribute the content you provide us, and to indemnify us against any damages arising from the utilization of the TrueRep service on your behalf, including the publication or other use of the content you provide whether due to copyright infringement or other reason. You authorize us to act on your behalf in creating accounts on other sites in your name. You represent and warrant that you are truthfully representing your identity and identity-related information to us, and agree to release and hold harmless TrueRep for any loss or damage to you resulting from a false or inaccurate representation of identity or identity-related information."

You'd have to be loony to agree to terms like this.
Let friends know...when TrueRep shows in your in-box...dust 'em.
TechSupportAlert

TechSupportAlert

4/21/11
Microsoft Launches Free On-Demand Virus/Mal-ware Scanner

So far On-Demand scanner has dredged-up a fair amount of malware on my PCs. It's a large download, mentioned in the following run-down, but wasn't enough to deter me...and I'm rather conservative where adding software to my runs-like-a-clock Win XP PC. So thumbs-up for me. It self-expires. and so far performed admirably for an MS freebie. (When UNINSTALLING ANYTHING, grab a FREEWARE copy of REVO-UNINSTALLER. It dogs deep to ferret out bits&pieces files that are almost always left behind when uninstalled.)

Here's The Deal:
Microsoft has launched a new, free virus/malware scanner, that's designed to be used if you think your computer might be infected.

The program is called the Microsoft Safety Scanner. To use it, download the file from http://www.microsoft.com/security/scanner/en-us/default.aspx and then run it on your PC. The app is portable, so doesn't need an installer. When run it, it will analyze your computer and detect, and remove, many of the most prevalent viruses.

Microsoft makes clear this is NOT intended to take the place of a proper on-access anti-virus product. It's simply designed to be used in emergencies...if you think your computer may have a problem that has managed to sneak past your existing defenses. Also, note that the program automatically expires after 10 days, so if you want to run it regularly you'll need to keep downloading the latest version.

Safety Scanner is a cool perk from Microsoft's range of free security tools, of which its Security Essentials suite is probably the best known. But a 67 MB download, for a program that expires after 10 days, why so huge? Go ask MS ::smile:: McAfee offers a similar product, also free, called Stinger. It doesn't expire after 10 days, can be downloaded from http://www.mcafee.com/us/downloads/free-tools/how-to-use-stinger.aspx, and is just a 7.7 MB download.

So check these tools out.Hope everyone is doing well.
Ron
Wolfram Alpha

Wolfram Alpha

4/7/11
Another tough one.
How's this: Making the world's knowledge computable

Wolfram|Alpha introduces a fundamentally new way to get knowledge and answersnot by searching the web, but by doing dynamic computations based on a vast collection of built-in data, algorithms, and methods.

Bringing broad, deep, expert-level knowledge to everyone... anytime, anywhere.

Go to the site, and play with it. Ask questions, about ANYTHING. Toughest mathematical computation...to 'Best Pizza". You'll get an answer. Hope it's fun/interesting for you.
I'll try to get back here more often. The site looks GREAT since last visit! Nice work Rod...
Best,
Ron
Wimp.com

Wimp.com

4/7/11
Hi.
It's been a while. Been busy but had to share this:
Difficult at best to describe Wimp.com...other than to say, short films of an unusually fascinating nature. When you've nothing better to do, absolutely try wimp...smile.
Hope everyone is well.
Ron
NudgeMail

NudgeMail

12/27/10
This is not a new idea by any stretch. I like the way NudgeMail is organized, a bit simpler.

Two easy ways to use NudgeMail: Send any email to *****@nudgemail.com

1. Create a new email (or forward an existing one)
2. Set the "to:" to *****@nudgemail.com
3. Set the "subject:" to the day, date, or time when you want the NudgeMail to come back to you. For example, "Monday" or "Tomorrow" or "Oct 13 or "2 hours" are all acceptable ways to send a NudgeMail
4. Enter anything you want in the body of the email, then hit Send!

OR----- use the email "TO:" to control NudgeMail:

1. Create a new email (or forward an existing one)
2. Set the "to:" to the day/date/*****@nudgemail.com. For example, "*****@nudgemail.com" or "*****@nudgemail.com" or "*****@nudgemail.com" or "*****@nudgemail.com" are all acceptable ways to send a NudgeMail
3. Enter anything you want in the subject and body of the email, then hit Send!

Anything to make things a bit easier, better tools.
Best,
Ron
FreeFileConvert

FreeFileConvert

12/26/10
This is exceptionally handy. There are different online tools that can be used to convert files between formats of certain file types. This means you would bookmark a separate conversion site for video, audio, and document files. Fortunately "FreeFileConverter.com" merges all of those conversion tools and presents them on a single dashboard.

Using the site is very easy: select a file from your computer or enter its URL, then select the desired output format, and click on the "Convert" button. The output format options are provided according to the type of file you select.

When the file is converted the output can be downloaded in the desired format or as a ZIP archive; sizes of both download types are provided with the download link. The output file is stored on the site's servers for 12 hours.

If you're always converting files, bookmark this website.
Happy holidays to everyone. Hope 2011 is a exceptional year for everyone.
Ron
Convert Video to Audio

Convert Video to Audio

12/22/10
Converting YouTube videos to other video or audio formats is a service not many online tools provide. Usually you have to visit separate sites for video and audio format conversions. "ConvertVideoToAudio" however provides all the conversion formats under one interface.

Web-based, nothing to download, and this couldn't be easier. Will convert to ALL popular AUDIO formats, and will convert your YouTube FLV video to MP4! User interface is so elementary...no explanation is necessary. Just go to site and convert.

Love this. Enjoy,
Ron
BridgeURL

BridgeURL

12/22/10
If you intend to share a bunch of links you've discovered lately, then sending those via email looks like the easiest thing to do. But it isn't convenient to click on them one by one and open in browser tabs, especially if there are a lot of them.

BridgeURL solves this problem by helping you create a website slide-show and combining all those sites into a single URL.

The "web-based" service doesn't require registration and you can quickly add URLs and share the new URL that's generated. Simple but has been incredibly handy!
Have a great 2011,
Ron
Min.us

Min.us

12/8/10
Had to bring this to your attention. I love it:

Min.us Here is another minimalist tool that lets you share you photos galleries online. Min.us is a simple website creating quick anonymous albums by letting you drag your pictures to the website. Once the album is complete, a link to your album will be provided. You can then manage the gallery from the link with options such as changing the name of the album, adding more photos, and deleting photos.

Hope you enjoy...
Ron

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